8 Things I Am Passionate About (The Mo Ma Meme) and Obama

I have been tagged by Mo Ma. So I thought that with Mo Ma’s permission, rather than answering all the questions in the “Meme Mo Ma” (brilliant branding) at once, I would spread it out over time and discuss different elements of it. I begin with……

Number 8

Eight Things for Which I Have a Passion

1) Women: The only thing on the list that I have loved, hated, feared, not understood, fully understood, cared for, been hated by, been loved by, lusted after and been lusted after all in a brief lifetime. Women are not just a dichotomy, y’all are a eight-cotomy (I was too lazy to Google it, what is it an octocotomy, is there a word for this situation?) with more sides than a sphere (the illogical nature of that statement is deliberate :P ). Not understanding the female side of humanity in my early years is part of the reason that I fell in love with:

2) Psychology: From the moment I heard that Psychology was taught in high school in Oz, something just switched on in my mind. I loved this idea that all our behaviour is driven by underlying principles and isn’t just based on random elements. Ultimately though, I love understanding psychology because it gives one:


3) Control:One of the results of living in a capitalist world is that anytime we investigate something we seem to do it either to use it to our own ends, control it or both. I never ever want to be at the mercy or the beck and call of anyone and want to be one of those people who will determine where I go, what I do and who I do it with. As a result I always:

4) Question Things: I love Timothy Ferriss, Erwin Mcmanus, Noam Chomsky, Steve Biko, Malcolm X and Tony Robbins basically for the same reasons (among other things). They act as points of contrast to the norm. They are living proof that there is success to be had and pleasure to be derived from living outside of what is normal. As a result of their existence I question everything (”Why does a company need to continue pursuing profit-which is basically excess after everything’s been paid off-when it’s reached an all time high in profit and all its workers are well paid?” or “Why do I go to school?” or “Why do I read books?”). Needless to say that this makes me:


5) Different:I love to be a mirror that forever reminds people that there are alternative ways to do things and be. My hope is that over the course of this blog, I will uncover and discover new schools of thought and bring something new to this African immigrant design. Aah and who can forget:

6) The Displaced African: For the 14 or so hours I am awake, I think about this blog for 12 of those. To be honest I am still not 100% sure where I am taking this blog, but I have many ideas that I want to test out and my hope is that this blog at some point will become THE GO TO PLACE for some element of the immigrant experience and hopefully this will make me:

Number 8

7) Guru/Teacher:This occurs much more in the offline world than online (though I’m receiving quite a few, “give me advice” emails nowadays, thanks to the folks who’ve sent them). I love to give people advice and motivate and challenge them. I study so much success literature and self-help stuff that I am always looking for an opportunity to give advice. Yesterday someone asked me for advice on Internet marketing and I literally typed out a 3 page answer to three sentence questions. At some point I want to get paid for helping people change their lives for the better and if I live to old age I want to become a village elder or lecturer….move the passion I have in me to other folk. Finally I love:

8 ) Performance and Public Speaking:Entertaining folks just comes easy to me. I love being on stage, I love talking to and entertaining folks when I first meet them, I love telling and writing stories. Anything that involves my making other people feel something, I love to do and think I do in a semi-descent manner.

Enough About Me

What are you passionate about? What excites you about this life? Leave some comments below and let me know.


Eight People Who Should Do This Meme
I will link to Mo Ma’s original meme so that folks know what format to follow. I am really looking forward to seeing what folks come up with:
1) R from What an African woman thinks
2) Jim from Kenyan Zone
3) Tony (namesake) from Naija Ecash
4) Gal Africana from a search for sanity
5) Seinlife
6) Mzeiya (You have to start a free wordpress blog man)
7) Julia from Relationship checkup
8 ) akiey

Alright folks, I’ll end that one there. To be frank it’s always love-hate when I write posts about myself…I am human and I do love talking about myself BUT I always feel guilty when I write something that am not sure will help, so feedback as always is appreciated.

Who are Eight Minutes You Ask?

I searched for something to do with the number 8 on Youtube and here are the results

I End with Barrack Obama

First of all huge congratulations to Obama and all minorities and marginalized people in the States for moving a step closer to a race-neutral society. Every once in a while I write something which makes folks stop by and call me stupid, naive, silly, idiot, spawn of Satan etc etc and one of the articles that caused quite a bit of controversy was the article I wrote the Empty Symbol that is Barrack Obama. Anyway, this Daily Nation article doesn’t say exactly what I said, but still has the same conclusion: Obama doesn’t exist for our interests and so let’s not invest too much in him,even emotionally. He isn’t ours.

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Enjoy meme-ing away,


  • By -jim-, June 10, 2008 @ 9:51 am

    My one Money Advice..,
    Man.., You think hard like Einstein. Maybe one of these Days you will come out with something big :)

    You still read literature?


  • By rags, June 10, 2008 @ 2:05 pm

    Noam Chomsky is da man! I have like every documentary on him! On the advise side, i took a broadcasting class and we were really discouraged from saying “yah, ahah, eheh, hmmm, ok, ati? ”

    These responses can be very distracting esp in a podcast. i am looking forward to your next podacast. Who knows, you might make me anza my own podcast 2!

    My podcast heroes are Dave Ramsey and Dan Miller. Check out the way they interview, copy what you want and acha waht you dont want. Good luck man!

  • By R, June 10, 2008 @ 2:46 pm

    I ‘feel’ you about control. And questioning things. And being different.

    Oh, and I tried to link to Mo Ma, but it’s an invitees only blog, so couldn’t see the meme so… Seriously, I tried.

  • By Tony - Nigerian Entrepreneur, June 10, 2008 @ 4:25 pm

    Questions, questions, curiosity that is the stuff I love. :-) I don’t just want to take things the way they are, I want to ask why they are the way they are and who set the RULE!

    I love being in CONTROL except as regards my very LIFE! That I am struggling to hand-over completely to the MANUFACTURER because he knows better than I do.

    Thanks for this beautiful piece. I read it this early morning and I felt typing away all the ramblings in my head, but I have to stop because this is not my blog where I can punch any junk and hope someone other than a junkie make something useful out of it.

    Thanks also for the link love. It’s been a pleasure knowing you and having you as a friend, Proudly African! ;-)

  • By Carol, June 10, 2008 @ 6:08 pm

    I sencerely feel you are great Mwangi!From time to time, its fine talking about you ,it helps us, your readers understand you.
    The Displaced African is not that old,no? So I can say so far so good,you can always take it where you want, 12 hrs out of 14, surely!
    A good role model!

  • By Mwangi, June 10, 2008 @ 6:21 pm

    @Jim: Thanks brother! I intend on coming out with something big someday. I haven’t read a piece of literature since I read the second last Harry Potter when it came out, I can’t even read the new one. I have almost replaced all my literature reading with first, autobiographies and personal development books and now podcasts and online reports.

  • By Mwangi, June 10, 2008 @ 6:25 pm

    @rags: Thanks for the feedback, I thought about that and wondered if it was taking away from what people were saying during the podcast. Done! I will now keep that consciously in mind and wean it out to the point where all you hear when I interview someone is their response.
    Definitely start your own podcast man, if you have something to say and share, at the very least its worth a shot. I will check out the folks recommended.
    There was a period in my life where I was absolutely obsessed with Noam Chomsky and even wrote him a couple of emails…..the thing I absolutely love about him is that he applies logic and science to the irrational world of politics, he looks at institutions as having their own interests and investigates how they have pursued them over time…..his view of the States makes a lot more logical sense and explains a lot of “random, bumbling actions” a lot more than some political pundits do.

  • By Mwangi, June 10, 2008 @ 6:29 pm

    @R: I think as a way of nodding my head in agreement I will give two quotes that I love:

    A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything.
    The unexamined life is not worth living.

    For you I will list everything in Meme Mo-Ma:

    Eight Things for Which I Have a Passion
    Eight Things I’d Like to do Before I Die
    Eight Things I Say a Lot
    Eight Books I Have Read Recently
    Eight Movies I Have Seen Eight Times
    Eight People Who Should Do This Meme

  • By Mwangi, June 10, 2008 @ 6:33 pm

    @Tony: One of the rules of engagement in this comment thread is as long as its helpful or useful or constructive in some way and not mean spirited, you can ramble on and write as much as you like.
    That is quite a struggle that a lot of Christians do go through and its even more difficult for Christian women because they have to give up control to Christ and to their husband to live according to the faith. Ultimately though, it has never ceased to amaze me how some people literally always seem to have the hand of God upon their lives guiding them from strength and mini-victory to strength and mini-victory.

  • By Mwangi, June 10, 2008 @ 6:35 pm

    @Carol: Thanks for the feedback. Yup, I intend on taking it somewhere one brick at a time. The problem isn’t often that I don’t have the time or enthusiasm but communication problems and lag times with other people who I am trying to work with. But we shall climb this mountain one little step at a time.

  • By Mzeiya, June 10, 2008 @ 7:54 pm

    Hey Mwangi,
    Actually I thought of starting a blog soon after the post election skirmishes in my home country. So I registered http://www.hakunanoma.blogspot.com
    Somewhere down the line I figured out I dont have the time and skills for an effective blog. For starters am usually ignorant of many political and social issues unlike you, who I must say here, is well versed with such matters. In fact I have never voted in elections.

    At the moment I am more content in making thedisplacedafrican.com the place that I can contribute to when necessary.

  • By Mwangi, June 10, 2008 @ 8:28 pm

    @Mzeiya: Well, then, welcome and continue to make many wonderful contributions over the months and years to come. What happened to meeting up?

  • By Mzeiya, June 10, 2008 @ 8:58 pm

    @Mwangi, I got my hands full at the moment. I ll get in touch with you just before I leave in a week’s time.

  • By Mwangi, June 10, 2008 @ 9:30 pm

    @Mzeiya: Cool, no biggie, no rush!

  • By gal africana, June 10, 2008 @ 11:32 pm

    First off: hello! been silent because I’m not a podcast/you tube interview fan…I just prefer the written word.

    Then…I really like this piece because its about you personally. I understand your guilt when it comes to writing about yourself but when done in a spirit of honesty it helps others discover who they are too. One can always analyze others and the reasons why they do what they do…but one rarely comes to know the full story…but with oneself…well…

    I like the way every point leads to the next….and it ALL starts with women! lol…what an impetus ;-) Like the word play too!

    We have quite a few passions in common…I’m now
    hooked on the personal development books and my kalittle blog. The being different thing is not a choice but I love it too. Have to learn the control thing. Not a fan of rules either…or the crazy “man eat man in the name of profit” society set up! Just doesn’t make sense. Who thought it up? Why do all those clever people lose themselves in it?

    As for Obama…he’s not ours and that’s a good thing isn’t it? (humor me…politics is not my forte AT ALL) . If he was, then it’d just tip the balance in the opposite (minorities/blacks) direction…which wouldn’t help matters any…right? He seems to be very balanced…for everyone…no?

  • By Mwangi, June 10, 2008 @ 11:43 pm

    @gal: Welcome back, the house hasn’t been the same without you. But alas if only everyone on Earth, loved videos and audio as much as I disliked the editing process. I like to write in the flow, but editing and spell checking is a real drag, hence my love for vidz and audio…
    I am glad you like the style, I love it when folks notice the little things, cause I like the little things too…..there’s this principle in film mis-en-scene, I think its called, which proposes that everything that is on screen is there for a reason and the same can be said for this little blog and its articles, even the time the article comes out everyday must be numbers that add up to 7 (3:04 a.m. or 2:05 a.m.). I just love to play with mis en scene….anyway I digress.
    Do tell more about your Tolle+ Robbins+Oprah oddysey, you can’t imagine how eager I am to hear what you have gotten out of their work.

    “but one rarely comes to know the full story…but with oneself…well…”…the statement is ambitious, clarify please? In truth I love reading about people’s likes dislikes passions and the like, so I’m glad its at least of some use on my site.
    I guess you do have a bit of a point. His appeal does stem from the fact that no one really owns him….even in the States, he is part black, part white, part African American, part “booty scratcher”, part WASP/Redneck-esque. Too true.
    I think most folks lose themselves in it out of fear, its much easier than going the opposite way and living the life of servitude and being a pauper…..folks who say that love is weak have it all wrong, to love and be vulnerable takes glass globes…to be a critic, apathetic and selfish, that’s quite easy especially in this world.

    Anyway, glad to have you back.

  • By akiey, June 11, 2008 @ 2:20 am

    Good one Mwangi & will most def work on getting the meme done. Like I’ve mentioned before, your brains works both forwards & reverse and all for a good, creative cause. Sorry as I sense am about to blog on your blog…

    I don’t take my sleep as seriously as I should but control is way up among the most important things to me. If it wasn’t for that I wouldn’t have come this far career-wise or in terms of creativity & even personality. On that point we’re in agreement, totally!

    # 4 , this one I will tie in with your #5 :
    I couldn’t agree more. I believe in the creative world there’s two distinct kinds of people. The innovators & the immitators, all for a good cause but if you’re the the questioning thinker and continue to be one then there’s no mountain that could be so high and so wide standing in your path to success. You will most def question why and why not. That in itself is key to success.

    I too was served a variety of Chomsky principles and ideas esp in late high school & early undergrad. I have nothing but respect for this prof! My personality remains more on the kool, humbe side but the Malcolm comes out in me esp whenever there’s injustice and I never mince my words becoz I am from the school of thought of justice, fairness and equality to all “by any reasonable means necessary”

    # 1 What (not) to say about women? I won’t stop loving back all the good-natured, respectful and self respecting women who’ve loved me & kept it real with me as I’ve always done with them.

    # 8 Tells me you could some day comfortably turn this blog or even the whole idea of The Displaced African into either an audio or visual version with you yourself narrating/taking a major role in it. So branching off from the written word to the spoken, interactive version…may be a talk show even? All’s possible man.

    # 6, if that’s what gives you a reason to wake up earlier than usual, to work harder and keep thinking up new ideas then more power to you, you’re putting God-given talent to good use. Just imagine if that same amount of time and energy was spent on a less fulfilling & enriching cause? Creativity being the form of energy that it is, needs to always be channeled…at times subconciously too.

    # 7 most def explains why your blog’s becoming a staple to some of us, lol! At times you jump the gun and actually offer pointers to stuff we’d probably have asked you months down the line. Keep doing your thing.

    Obama, I wouldn’t even try too hard to show my support for him. It’s grounded, I will exhaust that last resource to keep sharing his vision which I’ve believed in since 2004.

    Will make time for the meme, gotta do that. Thanks for the tag.

  • By Mwangi, June 11, 2008 @ 2:26 am

    @akiey: Yet again, thanks man. You are the halo on the angel’s head dude. Can’t wait to see what you come up with for your meme. Please link to it from this comment’s thread considering you don’t have a blog I can subscribe to.
    As for the talk show, I think when it’s all said and done this blog will have to maintain a lot of written word, esp when you consider African internet speeds. But I love audio and video and they are so much easier for me to play with so I definitely want to include a lot more of that on the blog.

  • By Mwangi, June 11, 2008 @ 2:27 am

    @akiey: I just figured, you’d probably be a fan of Chomsky for his linguistic work as opposed to his political stuff. You know, I hear he is a very big deal in linguistics. Is he really that big a deal?

  • By akiey, June 11, 2008 @ 2:34 am

    You’re welcome & thanks for the speedy reply Mwangi. It encourages me to see similarly creative folks doing their thing with a passion and your style of writing & picking our brains is no exception.

    I too have had issues with the slower speeds provided by most African ISP esp when it comes to ‘rich media’ which I work on almost exclusively since mid last year. It’s near impossible to share some of the really good, ahead of the times multimedia with anyone with slower speeds. Hopefully when the fibre optics cable reach Msa & Nbi early next year Kenya & the rest of the continent can also enjoy the 100MB/sec speeds we at times take for granted.

    I do have a blog http://akiey.blogspot.com that I’ve not updated in many months. I think I will up the meme over there when done. I’ve become a notorious absent blog owner due to getting into more Web 2.0 interactive stuff.

  • By Mwangi, June 11, 2008 @ 2:36 am

    @akiey: Cool man, I’ll subscribe to the feed and look forward to seeing what you come up with.

  • By Mo Ma, June 11, 2008 @ 3:03 am

    You did it! Brill.

    I’ll do the couchurfing post soon…it really is difficult to defy the call of the people…guillotines have begun to float through my daydreams…

    I’m off to blogwhore once more (as I’ve heard it described)!

  • By Mwangi, June 11, 2008 @ 3:11 am

    @Mo Ma: Looking forward to the couch surfing post and glad you like the little tweak I made to it.
    Well any-blog-body whose so insecure as to call it blogwhoring is clearly blog-jealous of our better blog designs and the fact that we have better readers than them (said while sticking out his tongue ;) )

  • By gal africana, June 11, 2008 @ 5:46 am

    “Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.” Carl Jung….

    need I clarify more?

    I’m off to think about that humongous meme…why is it called a meme?

  • By Mwangi, June 11, 2008 @ 5:51 am

    @gal africana: Wow, Jung wasn’t just a great psychologist, that statement was deep AND it makes complete sense AND I can relate: quite the hat trick. It’s crystal clear to me.
    You know I have no clue why it’s called a meme, my intuition tells me it was probably taken from a science where it meant something else like a virus or something viral or contagious, but in truth I have no idea.
    I see you have become quite the Eastern philosopher whose following her on Tao on the way to Nirvana blissfully living in every single moment ;) ….can’t wait to see what the meme will look like.
    Have you watched the movie…I think this is its name, “Ways of the Peaceful Warrior”,based on the book of the same name….for some reason I just feel like you’d like that as well as the What the Bleep do we know duplet series.

  • By gal africana, June 11, 2008 @ 7:26 am

    No havent seen the movie…will check it out…the description sounds alot like the “Eat Pray Love” book I’ve just finished reading.
    I have, surprisingly, taken to Eastern philosophy….it makes complete sense to me…
    As for the Tolle-Robbins-Oprah transformation….didn’t you find that you changed over time and not overnight? I think I’m still too much of a beginning student of these schools of thought, so I’m battling with it…

  • By Mwangi, June 11, 2008 @ 7:42 am

    @gal africana: Though I have definitely moved away from Eastern philosophy over time, I definitely see its appeal and why people are drawn to it. The West its religion and culture is so much about growth, expansion, growing, moving outward and doing things whereas the metaphor I would use for Eastern philosophy is its like building a volcano within yourself and exponentially increasing its power over time.
    Not really, as T. Robbins put it, the psychological shift takes place in an instant, you embody it over time but the most important change, 75% of the work tends to occur in a moment of change and in that moment a lot of the time you can predict in which direction you are headed psychologically.

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