Stills from the Lion King vs A Real Life Safari



Redditor and fellow Canadian Brandon Heuser recently took the trip of a lifetime to the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. After returning to his hometown of Vancouver, he decided to rewatch Disney’s The Lion King. Throughout the film he caught himself saying, “hey I have a photo like that!”.

Feeling inspired, he decided to take stills from the movie and compare them to photos he had taken on his trip. The results were shared last month on Reddit. The accompanying 24-picture album on Imgur has been viewed over 350,000 times since. While not every shot is ‘identical’ (e.g., Rafiki is a mandrill not a baboon) the similarities are quite astounding.

Back home Brandon is the owner of Black Tie Rings, a small business that specializes in tungsten carbide rings.

The Maasai Mara National Reserve is a large game reserve in Narok County, Kenya, contiguous with…

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The fault not in our stars

I have a problem,

I think I stare a lot,

Like Big pun saying “I’m not a player I just crush a lot”

Well…As for me “I’m not a psycho I just care a lot”


See I like to think that people are who they really are, when they know no one is watching,

And the human mind is amazing,

Like a lost child, it never stops wandering.

So you really can’t blame me, for wanting to observe…

It’s like curiosity mixed with a tinge of ceaseless verbosity,

Social atrocities, obscene mentalities, perceived prosperity,

I’m basically writing down what I see; this is everything I know they feel,

Welcome to my covert knowledge reserve,

Believe me; unlike modern day democracy this is real.


Speaking of real, I bet you nothing is,

The pressure is too much,

It’s a wonder we can even sleep with ease.

The pressure to conform is crazy,

It’s everywhere…

In church, in the bar, in school, even on the streets,

It’s the beautiful teenage girl doing everything to please.

Or the young boy who’s just out to tease.

They’re both just trying to fit in,

But it’s a desperately shallow world they live in,

Rolling in the deep, they’ve barley got their feet in.


I’m making sense…no??

Just follow the Paper trail,

We’re making cents now, that’s all we know,

The system is a jail.

Look at the CEO in his Italian suit,

His life is all about financial pursuit, dinners in expensive suites,

Not to mention the occasional secretaries and the damning lawsuits.

All that money, the money is the motive,

Living life in one dimension,

Ask Picasso to draw it,

There’s no substance there,

He couldn’t even come up with a decent motif.


Its official we can’t help it, we’re superficial,

“I’m only with him for the money” I had her say,

Damn girl! Talk about being super fiscal,

“..But dude she’s fine …drive by and leave”.

Don’t even get me started on being super physical.

Lord help us, our perception of love is flawed!

We taste the whiskey in each other’s mouths,

And feel the deceit in each other’s breaths,

The truth is sudden death,

Till we get what we want,

It’s not love any more,

“Caveat emptor”, Let the buyer be warned.


Photoshop our scars and tears,

By the time we’re putting it on Instagram,

We’re so perfect, imperfection is in insincere.

Our cyber clones roam the internet,

Satisfying our every interest,

Sex, Fashion, Money, Fame…

Call it modern day hinder net.

Mr. Local celebrity,

#iPhone, #iPod, #iRock,

All that matters is what I have, #iTalk.

Slaves to technology,

These invisible chains are too hard to break #iStop!

Stop trying to fight these forces that are beyond my control

Hell!..Get used to it, the wind blows #iFlow


We’re living in a world where bartenders hear more confessions than catholic priests,

And life is more meaningful, if you’re seen in certain streets,

The flawless masks we wear are glued tight to our faces,

Our society, is like a pack of cards made up of nothing but straight aces,

“Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?”

“Well I really can’t tell, you all look the same”

“Stupid Ass Mirror! we can’t all look the same?”

“You’re all trying to be who you’re not, it’s the same thing…don’t blame the mirror, it’s your game”


A vicious game we’re playing at,

And if you think about it really, we’re masters of our own art,

But we’re painting over each other’s thoughts and feelings like animals with no hearts.

There’s so much space but there’s no room to breathe,

There’s so much fake, it could nearly kill.

And sadly…

Just not enough real.. to heal.


So I’ll be walking down the streets,

Trying to think of soulful beats in that blasted heat.

Staring at people and forming perceptions,

Coz I know that whether we like it or not,

Our fears, our hopes, our dreams,

Are manifestations of our imperfections.


Then I’ll catch a glimpse of the Street preacher,

And I’ll watch him as he prays,

With his hands in the air,

One eye closed as the other one watches who pays,

And I’ll hear him pray for the world to be a better place,

Then I’ll remember that scene in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.

Where Cassius says to Brutus,

“Men at some time are masters of their fates.

Sometimes the fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,

The fault is in us”

And I’ll walk away calmly trying not to cause a fuss,

But I’m dying inside to just stand and shout

“you know what guys, SOMETIMES ..SOMETIMES THE FAULT IS IN US” !

Living on the edge Tim Kemple
Living on the edge Tim Kemple

The race to a pearl

Download- a brief history of the Kenya-Uganda railway

race to a pearl

To my esteemed readers,

This issue of The Agora focuses on the history behind the Uganda railway. Taking a look at the main reasons why it was built and the events that preceded it. You can download it here.  

I realized that as I ask you to join me in my quest to “save a railway”, It’s only fair that I tell you the wonderful tale of how it begun.

I hope it interests you as much as it did me, and I hope that through it you learn that, no matter how small a single man’s role may seem the outcome is always great.

Check out the latest updates on the “Save the railway” project  here .Enjoy the article, it’s quite interesting if I may say so myself 🙂

Yours truly,


Here’s a snippet ….

Uganda was the pearl, Germany and Britain were on the chase. The Uganda railway was no ordinary rail; the story of its birth is one of strife, resilience and serendipity. A child born of socio-economic interests, philanthropic pretexts and a conflict between two of the most powerful European countries, it came into this world, a painful challenge and at the same time an exciting endeavour.

Ranging from scrupulous missionaries to ruthless Arab traders and impulsive kings, the number of parties involved in shaping the railway as we know it today, is far more numerous than we can dare to imagine.

In the making of history, men are often oblivious of the impact their activities and decisions will have on generations to come. But it is in this unwitting state that they toil and sacrifice to pave a way for those who will come after them. Herein lies the tragedy and triumph of those men.

Men who by their collective actions,
decisions and efforts facilitated the advent of this iron snake to a land so stark yet so highly promising.”


Of hotels, Greeks and a white man’s bronze statue


The only hotel in Mombasa during the period that was the 1890’s was the Grand hotel (which was said to be grand only in name but not in stature.) It was owned by a Greek man named Dallas. The story of one Mr. Dallas is however short and sadly unfortunate. One time Dallas was on his way from Voi to the German station in the Kilimanjaro district, when he lost his way and before he had any chance of finding it, died of thirst.

The grand hotel was a double storied building  that stood opposite the statue of Sir William Mackinnon (first president of the Imperial British East African company).

The bronze statue (which stood at treasury square) was met with great intrigue and surprise by the natives not because of its artistic splendour or any whimsical folly. They simply found it strange that Sir William’s colour seemed very similar to their own.

The statue was removed after Kenya gained it’s independence in 1963 and as for the Grand hotel, well let’s just say it has long long long long.. since been demolished.

Mackinnon’s statue

A massacre and a friendship – Kedong massacre (1895)

“It is often said that the real worth of a man is not measured by what he does when he is alive but what he leaves behind when he dies.”

Historical records are stained with horrid stories of massacres and unjust killings of innocent civilians all around the world. Of all these stories, one incident particularly stands out as a tragic story with an unusual, yet amiable outcome. Never before had a massacre struck a friendship between two warring parties. But men are often unpredictable and sometimes novel in their ways.

This is the story of The Kedong massacre which occurred in Kedong Valley (Rift Valley Kenya ).Little is known about this massacre and how it played a role in strengthening the bond between the Masai and the British colonialists.

The Masai had posed the greatest risk of native opposition to British occupation in East Africa and the British had considered them the most warlike if not barbaric tribe in the region. One may wonder, how they ended up collaborating or even why they did so in the first place. Though debatable, answers to these questions lie in a series of events that forced this regal tribe to submit to the will of an unwelcome stranger.

November 26th 1895… the Kedong valley, a large caravan consisting of 105 Swahilis including 50 armed men and 1,200 Kikuyu porters was camped near Kijabe on their way from Eldama Ravine to Kikuyu. The Swahili chief headman of the caravan ordered some of his armed men to raid a nearby Masai village and seize two young girls for his use. The girls were seized and brought to the camp. They were quickly followed by a group of Morans who forcefully demanded and by so doing facilitated their release.

The next morning while passing the village, the Swahili headman once again ordered the seizure of two Masai girls. In the resultant struggle, a gun went off. To the already greatly provoked Morans this was undoubtedly a call for war. The war-cry rang out from the village and was echoed from other nearby villages. That night the caravan and it’s arrogant, instigating headmen was at the mercy of the Morans. The death toll was almost interminable

  • 2 Swahili headmen
  • 13 armed and 85 unarmed Swahili porters
  • 546 Kikuyu
  • The Masai losses stood at less than 40 killed.

Shortly after the massacre, Andrew Dick an English trader on his way to Uganda came upon the scene. Mr T.T.Gilkison (officer in charge of Fort Smith at Kikuyu) had heard about the disaster and sent out a force of police to escort Dick and company back to the fort. Dick was in the company of 3 French travelers who had just come from a shooting expedition. Without finding out the cause of the massacre, Dick decided to attack the Masai with the reluctant aid of the three Frenchmen. Dick opened fire and almost singlehandedly killed over 100 Morans. Together this “traveling band of misfits” also captured 200 heads of cattle from the Masai but Dick lost his own life through his reckless folly and the jamming of his riffle at a critical moment.

At the time of Dick’s death Lenana (who had been proclaimed Chief Laibon of the Masai people after the death of Mbatian in 1890) was on a visit to Fort Smith along with other Masai leaders. Here they were detained until they had a meeting with Mr. John Ainsworth.

During the meeting it was agreed that the Morans were justified in reacting to the provocation of the Swahili headmen and company. It was also agreed that Dick’s actions were unwarranted and he had no right to open fire.As a result the Masai were not going to be “punished” .But they were however supposed to return all arms and property stolen from the caravan and the cattle that was taken from them was distributed among the families of the Kikuyu porters who were killed.

It is important to note that between the years 1880 – 1890 Rinderpest had led to the severe loss of the tribe’s cattle and to top it all off there was great famine and an outbreak of smallpox during this same period. All these catastrophic events left the once united, inviolable tribe in piteous straits. The massacre incident practically marked the beginning of Lenana’s friendship and loyalty to the government.

Whether Lenana’s collaboration was seen as a desolation of independence or a heroic act to save a weakened tribe, the truth of the matter remains that, it played a huge rule in shaping history as we know it today. And very well left us with this divergent story to tell.

Artistic sanity part 2

By definition of five

Well here’s a couple of wallpapers I came up with over the weekend, while I was messing around with different fonts.It’s the same wallpaper just different colors and backgrounds.Just a little something to spice up your week 🙂 .

A representation of 5 things that I believe define today’s generation

  1. Style
  2. Culture
  3. Passion
  4. Rhyme
  5. Art











Hoping you enjoyed them. Have yourselves a lovely week ..stay tuned for more designs Chao 🙂

Lorem Ipsum – Did you know??

If you’re an application programmer, web developer or graphic designer, you’ve probably come across the “Lorem Ipsum” text more than once. The text is commonly used as a place holder text to demonstrate the presentational elements of a document such as layout, fonts and typography by removing the distraction of meaningful content. (In short you can’t understand it so you don’t bother reading it, you end up focusing on the layout more than you do content)

Historically It can be traced to Marcus Tullius Cicero  (a Roman philosopher, politician, lawyer, orator and political theorist)  who in his text  Boundaries of Goods and Evils argues out the relationship between pleasure and pain and men’s constant need to either seek it or avoid it.


The place holder text in itself is meaningless when translated to English, as it only picks a few parts of Cicero’s text and combines them into unstructured sentences. However, the original text taken from   H. Rackham’s 1914 translation of the Loeb Classical Library edition reads:::

 “But I must explain to you how all this mistaken idea of denouncing of a pleasure and praising pain was born…

No one rejects, dislikes, or avoids pleasure itself, because it is pleasure, but because those who do not know how to pursue pleasure rationally encounter consequences that are extremely painful.

Nor again is there anyone who loves or pursues or desires to obtain pain of itself, because it is pain, but occasionally circumstances occur in which toil and pain can procure him some great pleasure….

In a free hour, when our power of choice is untrammeled and when nothing prevents our being able to do what we like best, every pleasure is to be welcomed and every pain avoided. ….….

The wise man therefore always holds in these matters to this principle of selection: he rejects pleasures to secure other greater pleasures, or else he endures pains to avoid worse pains.”

It is not exactly known when today’s version of Lorem Ipsum was used a place holder text, but it was highly popularized in the 1980’s by Apple Macintosh’s Aldus publishing program. Today  many programs have auto-generate features that automatically place Lorem Ipsum text within code/ paragraphs  these include Microsoft office, Dreamweaver , WordPress and many more.

For instance, If you want to insert “Lorem Ipsum” text in your word document just open up a new document and type..

=lorem() and press the enter key


and just like that, you have your Lorem Ipsum text


So next time you see “Lorem Ipsum” text lying around somewhere, you’ll appreciate the history behind it.As opposed to seeing it as a bunch of jumbled up Latin words you’ll know it tells a lonesome story of pleasure and pain and the inevitable relationship between them.

So you think you can write?

I never imagined I would one day enjoy writing as much as I do now, and if you were in my shoes, well you wouldn’t have imagined much either ….

For starters, there’s my primary school teacher who thought my compositions were unrealistic and found my spelling mistakes scary. (That’s actually the exact word she used “scary”).When others were writing about spending their holidays in Mombasa, I was writing about spending mine in the wilderness in Madagascar (which as far as I was concerned was somewhere in New York).

Then there’s my high school teacher who would just drown my stories in her expansive sea of endless negativity and since they couldn’t swim anyway, they died there, a slow painful death. Their languid bodies washed ashore on a deserted island, never to be found again.Then there was the first blog I ever had, the one that barely any one read…..the one whose URL even I can’t remember.

For the life of me, I wasn’t waking up to; inspirational quotes about writing, encouraging words from my teachers not even a team of muscular, handsome rugby players chanting “Write Chao! Write Chao!”…nothing of the sort.

Malcolm X once said that “our experiences fuse into our personality and everything we ever went through determines who we become”. How I ended up writing, I don’t exactly know. All I know for sure is that I can attribute all this “self-proclaimed-Shakespearean-prowess” to a series of events in my life that drove me to find solace in turning my thoughts into words. Basically anything that my mind conceives through words I perceive.

I write this post to thousands possibly even millions of people out there who don’t know me, who will never hear me or see me, but who through my sentiments and thoughts will be inspired or influenced by me. Sometimes it feels like there’s not enough room in the world for you to do whatever it is that you really want. It seems like we’re all trying to engrave our names on the trunk of a really tiny tree. But we forget that we could always plant our own trees and curve out our names there.

This is what writing does for me; it gives me the power to reach people beyond my scope of friends or family, people from all walks of life, people from all around the world. And quite simply I have the ability to reach an entire population that is beyond my physical grasp. Yes you can call me super woman. But I’m not fighting crime in your city or rescuing your cats from trees; I’m infiltrating your minds and trying to make you see that you only live once, do something that matters to you.

I’ll let you in on a little secret The most important thing in this life is to find and do something you love .Something that you can do effortlessly. Something that makes the sun shine over your head even when it’s raining over others.” You could be a vet with a love for fashion design or an economist who loves astronomy or a nurse who loves mechanics. Let the world call you crazy or ambitious, but if it makes you see light when there’s darkness all around, then hold on to it like a fig tree does to the ground.

Resources may not always be within your reach but hey, who says you can’t make a feast from whatever crumbs you have. For instance if I won a million dollars today, first thing I’d probably do is fly off to Italy and enrol in the University of Rome or University of Florence, to study History/ Art. And since I’d probably be in a position to fund the entire university, everyone will think I’m either a Saudi prince’s wife or a dictatorial African president’s daughter. (:)) Okay I kid, all I’m saying is that it doesn’t hurt to try and just keep trying till you find that satisfaction which will keep you afloat no matter how grey your days get.

Trust me I know how hard it can be to keep on doing something that has no immediate benefits or any justifiable reason, but if it gives you peace by all means go for it. So maybe my stories are unrealistic or my spelling mistakes scary, but it’s fine by me. And if you ask me “So you think you can write?” I’ll probably embrace my black woman aura snap my fingers and say “Of course I can write!!” like Maya Angelou to a poem, this always feels right.

Having a reason to live equals having a reason to give, they’ll always be someone who’ll be influenced or inspired by your work. Make something happen. And finally before this turns into one of those “Help yourself, Do it yourself” seminars where you’ve been sitting down for hours on end and the only thing you can remember the speaker saying is “there’s food and drinks at the back”… I hope you find the strength to start something you love or the courage to continue working on something you have.

Ciao 🙂