Sunday, November 18, 2007

A Monument to Me

I’ve been thinking for a while that I need some sort of permanent reminder of myself to leave to future generations. I realize that every mistyped word out there is really a small commemoration to my greatness but I think we need something a little more permanent, like a building, sculpture, park, or country named called Typlandia – so nothing too big or ostentatious.

My inspiration in this endeavor is former Kenyan president David Arap Moi. Few men have ever had quite so many things named after themselves in quite so short a time. But the subject of my current admiration is Nyayo Monument, downtown in Uhuru Park.

Nyayo means “footsteps” in Kiswahili and was Moi’s nickname. It is also the name of the local stadium and a government building among other edifices. This is a man who understood the importance of brand recognition – and of branding everything in sight.

The reason that the Nyayo Monument is a good place to start for my own future memorial is in the architecture, which, I’ve been told, Moi oversaw himself. Before I let you in on the insights my friend Rab shared with me, check out the picture above yourself for a moment or two and see if you can figure out the brilliance of the design.

Built in 1988, each of the four sides of the monument has a different disk representing a different aspect of Kenyan culture and life. Although slightly difficult to see in my photo, in front of each disk is a set stairs rising to meet the center of each circle. Finally, there are also several fountains shooting water on each side of the edifice.

So why is it so cool? Each inverted V-shaped wall looks like an M from far away. The disks form perfect O’s. And the stairs are the final I. That means that no matter which side of the monument you view, you are subtly reminded of the man who ordered it built – Moi.

With the Nyayo Monument in mind, I am now accepting bids from anyone with similarly brilliant ideas for my Typ0-themed monument. I’m thinking something small and understated like the Typ0 Dome, or Mount Typ-more. But I’ll leave that to your discretion.

No comments: