18 December 2013

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR

When yester-mid morning I met up with some great friends for a hike, I did not know it would be an experience that would forever remain in my mind. Three friends and I embarked on a hike in the not so famous Njukiri Forest, Kirinyaga County, Kenya. The forest is known (to those who know it) for a river, river Rupingazi which traverses the county coming from Mt. Kenya. A quick fact about this river, it is the boundary of Kirinyaga County and Embu County and is quite wide and deep.

I regress. All we had in mind was a hike in a bid to sit under a waterfall along the river or at least behold its beauty. We walked a few kilometers to the forest and a few hours later we were lost. As we passed through the foot paths of the forest created by people who felled trees in the place, I couldn’t help but feel the spirit of adventure rise in me. Finally after a few slides, several pricks by thorns, crawling through thickets, we finally made it to the bottom of the valley where river Rupingazi flows. At first the feeling was exciting, as I had found a safe place (despite there being no mobile reception), a place where all you could hear was the river’s water angrily hitting the rocks creating waves…this is the safest place on earth; or so I thought. The place we had descended was quite far from the waterfall so we decided to wade our way through the river waters, upstream to the falls. This is where my series of events started to unfold.

In a span of four hours, I was to be reminded thrice that my life is dear. As we were starting our wade, two of my friends ambushed me and pretended to throw me in (a joke that I told them never to play on me again). They held my feet and let me slide on a rock, my head touching the angry waters of the river…they burst out in laughter amid my screams for help…I stared at the water below and started shedding tears…at this point; I shut my eyes and said a prayer as I thought of how people would find my body, in case one of them let go. I thought of most of my loved ones. They pulled me up and I honestly felt like throwing them in!! A few meters into our wade, I slipped on a slippery rock and fell. I hurt my hip and landed on another rock…as I sat there waiting for the pain to subside, I looked at the waters all around me then again, I saw myself being carried away by the waters, and them finding my body downstream. I said another prayer…this time, a confession.

With these two shakes of life at the back of my mind, I joined the others in the fun; we took pictures, laughing and smiling, oblivious of the fear creeping up. At this point, our pairs of jeans are wet and we are hungry. We identify a wide rock upstream where we would sit and eat the snacks we had carried. We were almost there when we decided that the water was too deep and moving too fast. The men found their way there but we the ladies declined to risk, so they came back. As we were having the snacks, I joked about it being the last supper (since there were some red liquids involved). I was quickly corrected by my friends and we stuck to the first supper. As soon as we had had the last glass of berry juice, an old tree a few meters away fell from the walls of the valley into the river; we look at each other in disbelief!! It had fallen on the exact same spot where we had said we would eat at. At this point I was shaken…we look at each other again and the fear is evident…we could have been on that exact spot, had we not turned back. At this point we agree that we should be on our way up. We were shaken (one of us was literally shaking). The place I had thought was the safest place had thrice turned to a place where I saw my life flash in front of my eyes.

On our way up, I was so determined to get to the top, to get away from all the darkness at the place. We climbed up with so much energy; we got to the top in a record 20 or so minutes. It was not until I got home and took a shower, that the throbbing pain in my hip came back. We never got to the waterfall, but I left that place with a changed mindset. And looking back at it, I wanted an experience that I would never forget…well, now I know why they say “Be careful what you wish for”

13 December 2013

THE SON OF AN AFRICAN MOTHER.


At dawn, I rose, and headless we were.
Mother said he ditched us,
Went to look for greener pastures,
Pastures greener than the green card he had;
So manly of him!

Leaving his seed as well as the whole farm,
Giving up what he called his fam.
“You are the first born” he said
“A boy child, proof of my manhood;
Don’t ever shed a tear, African men don’t cry
I never did, and don’t ever ask why”
Pooh! Please!
“In my absence you are the man of the house”
You're damn right I am!


I will never leave my village,
I love my village,
You live with dignity, though your pockets are empty;
To hell with the city!
Its people are poor and backward,
Pulling each other down so that no one moves up!
I will find myself a girl, a woman.
A village girl, a village woman,
I will marry her, make her my wife,
Be the man my father never was!

I am the son of an African mother;
The man of the house;
They look up to my hands, huge rough hands,
Hands that polish handles of spades, knives and hoes;
Hands that dig yams, carry bunches of bananas, handle foes.
Hands soaked with sweat, hands full of tenderness.
Hands that provide; manly hands,
Hands of the son of an African mother,
The man of the house.

I work at the farm, as the wind moans, 
As the moonbeams cast shadows,
I work to feed my family, our family.
I feed, I keep. I protect, I own. I discipline;
Things a man ought to do.
Things my father never did.
I am the son of an African mother,
The Madiba of my Africa,
The man of the house.

 Befado

26 November 2013

COFFEE FUNS

Ladies and gentlemen, I am in coffee rehab and have been trying to avoid coffee for the fear that I am drugged :-D. Anyhu, I came across these two photos about coffee and thought, why not share them?




This one got my attention though. I ain't saying you should take beer though. :-) :-)

Have a caffeine free week :-)

10 November 2013

YOU SAY, YOU DO


You say you hate publicity,
But when a bunch of girls call,
You drive all the way to meet them.
You say you love indoors,
But each evening, each afternoon,
You can’t talk coz you’re driving.
You say you love chatting,
But when in my excitement I text you,
You reply one hour later.
You say you love spending time together,
But when I’m in town,
Your phone goes off.
You say you love me,
But clearly,
You’re in love with another woman.
You say many things, many promises,
I hear you, but no longer believe you,
Because what you say is not what you do.
Befado

24 October 2013

WE ARE ONE


Ever reached a state in life where you cry and laugh at the same time? Tears of joy are on your cheeks but the pain in your heart is just so much? As I write this I’m an emotional wreck…wreck because I am torn between patriotism and something else. (Forgive me Lord, for I don’t know what I am doing).
 A few days ago, Westage was all we Kenyans could speak about. Some terrorists (suspected or otherwise) came and for a few days, our lives (excluding mine) were at a standstill. Then a great inventor, who I know not, added a new phrase to our list of national phrases. We all know about the “We Are One” concept, or is it the newly acquired synonym to patriotism. Well, I was recently involved in a heated discussion (more of a debate) about this new concept.

I remember so well those four days when our dear ones were held hostage, woooooooh Kenyans became really patriotic. From the social to the antisocial (yeah, I call it as it is; antisocial is the face-book, sister twitter and cousin whats-app) media, Kenyans really poured their hearts out. Wait! Before you judge me, I was also in the group. Oh how we changed or names on (anti) social media, how we changed our profile pictures and cover pages. You should have seen the number of text messages I received from “concerned patriots” asking me to say a prayer for those affected. And pray I did.
Oh, did you see how even network providers provided accounts for people to send money free of charge, and even some public service vehicles ferried people for free, how Kenyans gave blood donations that all blood banks are now full; wow. My favorite was seeing members of parliament, senate (name them all) came out from their hide-outs to give blood, contribute money and (annoyingly) visit west gate to “assess” the damage. I commend us Kenyans. Anyone who did not do any of the above listed was viewed as un-patriotic and inhumane.
 
Then it hit me. What happened during the Eastleigh bombing, the Baragoi massacre, the Sachangwan fire, slum fires, when hundreds of people die in attacks, were we “two” then? Didn’t such things also happen to our loved ones? The cases were different, you may argue out. Could it be that “We are One” only when “bad” things happen to the rich? Who was there to donate cash and blood when these other disasters happened, were we not one even then? 


Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Kenyans or the rich. I am just saying that our oneness should cut across social classes.
So, till the next tragedy that affects the crème de crème of our nation, “We Are One”; or are we?

20 October 2013

MASHUJAA DAY TRIBUTE


Happy Mashujaa Day!! Well we all know today is Mashujaa day (in Kenya that is). Allow me to shed some light on this for those of us not in Kenya or Kenyans. Mashujaa day is the 20th of October, a day that Kenya takes time to celebrate the heroes who fought for the independence of our nation. Mashujaa is a Swahili word that means hero. It was previously known by the name “Kenyatta Day”, named after the founding father of our dear nation Kenya. Mashujaa day is the day we celebrate not only the heroes who fought indefatigably for the independence of our nation, but also the heroes in our lives.

Having said that, this is a special tribute to a hero in my life (what? Wipe that smirk off you face, I have the freedom to! If you didn’t write your hero a post; well, it’s your loss!). Born a few years before me, he is the one man I have looked up to all my life. As a toddler, I watched him play with other children with envy. I mean, before I could walk, he would leave me in the house in the morning and occasionally come back to eat with some sweat on his fore head. He made me want to go out and play so much that my parents claim that I started walking and talking so early, thanks to him. I can also boast that the few soccer skills I know, he taught me. Yes, he taught me to play with my left foot, which we all know not many people can do, which helped me play for the teams I have played for, as a left wing striker. (Yeah, I’m bragging now).  He trained me those days when I used to do track events in primary school. He is still an athlete, in a way, and plays soccer for a local team.

 Ever since I can remember, he got prizes every prize giving ceremony for his hard work and sharp brain. I remember in primary school, they would award pupils who did excellently with chocolates after each exam; and guess who would have more than twenty bars, and guess who he would give half of them to? (If you answered “you”, as in, me; you are right!!). Watching him being awarded at every prize giving, from primary school to high school inspired me to work really hard to (if not for the goodies) make it in life. This, he carries on till today in university. He is the only man I know who has been scoring high academically since nursery school. (And he doesn’t study that much; darn!!) He inspires me do my best when it comes to books.

He is the first person who introduced me to poetry, art and music (he does not know this). Being a poet, artist (sketch artist and painter) and designer, he keeps encouraging me to explore art and occasionally asks me to accompany him to various art, music and poetry events (whoop whoop).  He speaks and writes English so good that even I at times cannot understand; I have to constantly consult my dictionary (those who know him can bear me witness) if asked, I would say Patrick Lumumba tries to impersonate him. 

He has always been by my side. He has the strongest spirit I know of, despite all he has been through (which is a lot). His life is an attestation that hard work pays. He is the only person who has been on and by my side since I came to be, my greatest fan. He has never missed any of my performances.  He inspires me to be me in so many ways. I have always looked up to him and I turned out good (if we don’t count my retarded nature). He is my Hero. He is my brother, Murimi Kareithi (or as his peers also know him “Croemaestrus”). The pioneer of the Kareithi Empire; the first of Kareithi’s offspring and the duke of Kareithi’s Monarchy. This is a tribute to my brother. You are my Hero.

As he keeps saying to me, so do I say to you on this day;  “Think, and let live; or die doubting” (don’t ask me what that means).


Happy Mashujaa Day!! Celebrate your hero today!!

7 October 2013

I STOPPED WRITING by @wanjiru_wanjiku

I stopped writing
when you left my world,
For how could i write,with my world
crumbling...

I stopped writing,
when on your face fell a frown,
For what would my words play with,if not
your smile....

I stopped writing
when your back is all I saw,
for what would I scribble,when the radiance
of your face was gone.

I stopped writing
when all I saw was anger in your eyes,
for how could I write,with guilt saw-milling
my heart.

I stopped writing
when there was no longer you in us,
for even though my hand held the pen,my
heart wrote the words


 
©MaggieWanjiru2013. All rights reserved

11 September 2013

A CONVERSATION IN THE DARK.


At 3 am she rises, despite the fact that a few hours ago she was awake, making ready her family’s clothes for the following day. In the next one hour she will be busy, talking to a friend, her lover, a ruler. After that she will go back to sleep, sleep for another hour before her day starts.
She delights in this habit that she developed while she was young.  Many, even her husband, are not aware of this. One might think she’s in an affair with this ruler. Coming to think of it, she is. So as is custom, she awakes this particular morning, goes to the call line and dials a number that she is too familiar with, her lover’s. Their conversation goes on well, she thanks Him for who He has been in her life and that of the family, then goes ahead to the business of the day. Her husband is in trouble; their children are not turning out to be what she hoped for. 

In the middle of their conversation she breaks down, it is too much for her. Yet, the ruler does not hung up, actually he never does.
As she cries and opens her heart, He listens, carefully. Their conversation is filled with tears but she does not mind because she knows that at the end of it all a burden will be lifted. She knows too well that this conversation at this time of the morning is what will determine how the day will carry on. These conversations hold so much. It’s this conversation in the dark that ensures that the day is full of light. As the rib of her man and the source of the fruit that is her children, she knows if she does not have this conversation; their affair will be in vain.
She was taught and she knows about the power of having this great conversation in the morning, particularly at this time of the morning. As you see her walking about in the streets, or at work or in her car, you see her smile. She replays their conversation in her mind all day long. She smiles. Amidst the pain, the harsh words, the wounds, she smiles; a real smile. God, I love how people envy her. People say she is strong, she is a fighter. What they know not is that the conversation at dawn is what gives her the strength. She vowed to continue with this affair, 365 days of the year. Occasionally, her husband and children join her in this conversation.
  
I wake up with her at three and eaves-drop as they hold their conversation. I enjoy listening to her and her lover chat. I know that I too will be holding similar conversations in a few years time. Actually I have already started. No, its not an affair that I am involved in, but a conversation with the ruler of the world, our God. Because of this conversation at dawn, she is sure that her family is protected, no matter what happens to her husband, to her children, she holds them firmly with prayer. She is the strength behind her husband’s success. She is the shadow that no one ever notices when he stands in the limelight. But she takes pride in being his rib. And when things go wrong, she worries not, for she is a warrior, a prayer warrior.
The strongest woman on earth is the prayer warrior. She fights battles (spiritual or otherwise) on behalf of her family.

9 September 2013

FACING YOUR FEARS; ONE BY ONE




Three months ago, if you would have told me I’ll be driving through the streets of Nairobi like a pro, I’d have ROTFL (by the way, the Rolling On The Floor Laughing is never real, not unless someone is tickling your tummy and you’re 8 years old! More still, those who write that I’m sure do it in the middle of really boring, meetings or with a stone face and their bodies are nowhere near any floor).

Fast forward to some days ago, my first long distance test came. You see, I always had a fear of driving and cars. Since a close friend was killed in a car accident while being given a “lift”, I developed a fear of cars and driving….and it put me down for years. This was till I decided to take driving classes… well, let’s just say I was pushed…ok I was forced to. So I signed up for the classes, just so that the nagging may stop. Two weeks later and my instructor signs up for my exams...and pass did i. (but they didn’t fool me, I went back and made sure I had maximized use of my fees)

So a few days after getting my license and I was driving through the streets of my home town like I had been driving for years. I had taken my first step to overcoming my fears. Most of us have serious fears, like my other fear of millipedes (I wonder how I can overcome that one). But I came to realize, all it takes is taking that one great step. Believe that you can overcome it. Having someone who constantly tells you “you can do it” “I have you back” “I’m here for you”; having someone to help boost your confidence. But mostly, you just have to believe in yourself.


Then came Friday night and my dad announced that I will be having my first long distance test. Driving to Nairobi and back…at first I was nervous but that night I called a friend and he told me he believed in me. I was now ready. 4 am and I started the “journey of a life time”. I must admit it was a nice experience, accelerating till I felt as if I would fly, slowing down at bumps to occasionally hear strangers ask “is that a child driving by herself?” watching policemen stare at me in amazement as I passed them. Oh it was lovely!  Snaking through the hills and valleys of Central Kenya (coz there are no hills in Nairobi). 

At the end of the day, I came back feeling so tired, my eyes sore (I was actually shedding tears. I guess I took the “keep your eyes on the road” too seriously). When I picked up my phone and called my best friend to tell him this great fear I had overcome, his reaction was a boost to my confidence (that is part of the reason he is my best friend; the way he encourages me *smiles*). Anyway; even though I now have to go back to wearing my glasses, I did achieve something great. My list of fears is one fear less.


Take that first step. I dare you to face your fears.

5 September 2013

SORROW BY Gerry Loughran


Sorrow, is only a knock away,
Peace is just a fleeting word in a way,
How does it feel, when happiness is taken away?

The qualms of daily life....
Let's just say, gifts are a part of complexities,
Of man to express himself when words are lost,

The necessities that we don't need....
Yesterday, today and tomorrow,
Who knows what's gonna happen?

It pains to see all fade away,
To emptiness so they say
Yes, bitterness yearns to suffocate all that life entails...

Blinding effect of a shinning diamond...
That's what tongues of men taste,
Forgetting the inner beauty of life.

I love you thee...
It's becoming more of à daily word to many,
Ask life for mangoes,
If it gives you lemon,
Make lemonade out of it!

©Gerry Loughran.

19 August 2013

SPEAKING FOR FATUMA; LISTENING TO FATUMA SPEAK




The clock ticks 4 pm. Today is Friday. My 2nd favorite day of the week (Monday is my favorite). But no day can beat this, no time can beat this, no event can beat this. Today, like every other Friday of the week, of the month, of the year; I will join great people in attending an event that has become an addiction to anyone who get the chance to attend it. It’s like falling in love with your best friend once you fall, there is no getting up. And you fall so deep and you are sure you want to fall there forever.

I quickly make my way to PAWA 254 studio in Nairobi, Kenya. This is where it all goes down. Not only this Friday, but every Friday of the week, month and year (venues vary but it’s always there).  And the experience; wow! Only your wedding day can beat this!

I was on my way to attend #FatumasVoice. #FatumasVoice is a weekly event that happens on this and every Friday from 4pm-7pm. Why Fatuma and why voice? You may ask. Well, #FatumasVoice is a figurative gesture for a platform whereby young people meet to talk about the evils happening in the society and how they could solve them, their hopes for the future, their life experiences as well as networking hence expanding their social circles.
This is one event where one gets to experience poetry, live music, motivational talks (at times the tea and snacks offered are a motivation to me), and open forum discussions where people air their views on a certain chosen topic of the day.

#FatumasVoice was established with the objective of encouraging young people like us to know how to express ourselves, earn their self-esteem, improve their talents, be responsible citizens and to make us understand the value of networking. The founders realized that young people do not really get the truth about life in their homes, nor in the churches or mosques, nor in politics or their social quotas nor in themselves. They thus thought of something that will bring them (us) together to talk about important things that will help us mature. 

So far the bigger bunch of the audience is budding artists. Unsurprisingly, people from the working class are trickling in at a fast rate.This can be related to the moral support from a few people like Churchill Winstones and Bonnie Kim, who mentor the participants and founders.


Once you attend one event, missing it another time will feel like a break up. For those overseas or in other parts of the country, if you visit Kenya and particularly Nairobi (and it happens to be a Friday) you now know where to spend your evening between 4 and 7. Let’s meet there, let’s speak on behalf of Fatuma, let’s listen to #FatumasVoice

8 August 2013

AS IF TODAY WAS YOUR LAST


I was skimming through Saturday’s paper (3rd August 2013 Standard Newspaper, to be precise) trying to get what was happening in the world in a few minutes. A few papers into my speed-read, a story got my attention. “Dying 2-year-old son to be US couple’s best man” read the title of the story. Like any other human being would first think, I thought the couple was crazy! A deeper read revealed that the son was the couple’s. Sad story there (you can read more of the story in that paper). This story brought flashbacks that all human beings (including I) are afraid of…

“I am dying” those are the worst words a friend or a loved one can ever say to you. Worse still, they are the worst news one can ever find out about a friend or loved one; “so and so is dying”. With the mention of those words you get that mini-heart attack. You feel it is not your friend, but you, who is just about to die. 
We have all lost someone to the grim reaper (does he even exist? I think I watched too much cartoon when I was young) at some point in our lives. Well, I have not lost someone of late, but whenever that time comes, I don’t want to regret anything. I never want to say like people say these days, I wish I had told so and so I loved them, I wish I had told them I appreciated them, that I cherished them, that they mean so much to me. 

So for the past few months, (three to be exact) I started doing something that I would like anyone who reads this to try. I have been living as if today was my last. Funny thing, you know, today always exists. Actually that is funny. How we say tomorrow this, tomorrow that but today is always there. Tomorrow may not come, but today IS there and that’s all that counts.

My dear friends, living as if today was my last (as un-practical as it may seem) is actually good. Wait, not financially actually; if you live that way financially you will die of debts and loans. I’m talking of socially, spiritually and mentally. Letting your loved ones once in a while know that you appreciate them is part of it, avoid the "I wish I", "I didn't", "I wish I had" and "If only I had" moments. So I take this moment to tell those who read my posts, I appreciate you.

Back to the news paper story; the poor thing has been given a two weeks’ notice before he meets his maker, and the mum has sworn to make most of the two weeks (including having him be the best man at their wedding). She said he wants the young tot to know that he was loved; he was appreciated and make memories that will last even after he is gone.
Dear friends, live as if everyday was your last. Start with today :-)




29 July 2013

MIDNIGHT IN AFRICA.


Daylight fades, darkness creeps,
Its night; time for moans and weeps.
The women gather the reeds,
We weave skimpy outfits.
As the night gets darker, our spirits go hyper!
Sinking in our nature, lighting the fire,
The village comes to life; the city dies to the world.
The intoxication, the osculation, the insemination and later the abortion;
Animals of the jungle we are!!
Its midnight in Africa!!

Daylight fades, darkness creeps,
It’s time to kill our reads.
We gather some reeds, make some beads and tidy our beds.
Soon we’ll wake in the dark, clean in the dark,
Cook in the dark, leaving our mark.
The adrenaline, the rush, the thrill of the night, we know not.
So we fall deeper in sleep, at the sight of fire.
Blow the candle, ruin the fire!
Its midnight in Africa!!!

Daylight fades, darkness creeps,
We gather by the reeds,
Anticipating his coming.
The foe reigns, ruling over us, for now.
The time has come, the time is now.
We assemble our arsenal, sharpen our swords,
Sharpen our words.
A revolution starts tonight, the uprising shall rise!
Stones, guns, arrows, machetes, fire at hand; we lie in wait.
Cut off the electricity, start the fire!
Its midnight in Africa!!!
Befado

10 July 2013

LOST LOVE



Ladies and gentle men, boys and girls, madams and monsieurs I am going through a loss. I have lost a love that this world has never seen. You see, it started a thousand grasshopper years ago but to the human eye, ears and mind; it was a few days ago. Thirty-something days to be exact. Our love relationship lasted for 30 days. These 30 days were my best days of this year, if not of my life. With this love I found myself so happy, so comfortable. I was literally living in the clouds. With this love, all was well. I smiled real and genuine smiles in those few days. I knew of no disappointment as everything we did was mutual and brought us both joy. Ok maybe not both of us but you can be sure I experienced the most joy and peace.
I did not care to introduce this love to my friends, though I shared the joy I derived from our short-lived relationship with them. I took walks alone at night along streets, looked outside mysteriously as the car moved fast, tightly clutching the waist of the man riding the motor cycle. So special did this love make me feel that I cooked the best meals I have ever cooked in my life, did my dishes with so much eagerness, scrubbing and making them sparkle. Tried so many new dishes that I believe are my new recipes.

Then the time came and I lost this love; just like that. 30 days and it was over. I moped around for millions of seconds trying to imagine how life would go on without this love. I prayed that God would have prolonged our stay together but He said that it had to happen that way. That it had to happen that way for the world to move. Sadly I accepted and though I was heartbroken for this loss, I was glad that I had met this love and had spent moments and days with this love, the best ever.

But now I am glad that I have found a new love. One that has replaced my lost love in a way that I never thought it would. It has only been 8 days and this new love has made me forget my lost love. I know this new love will also be short lived. I know our relationship will last for 23 more days but I will make most use of this new love. So far, so good, I am enjoying myself.

Dear friends; my lost love, the month of June, was so good, the best. I achieved so much in June. Did so much, laughed daily, had peace daily, had real joy. It seemed as though I was in a relationship with the month. 30 days were not enough, but it seems as if July is even better. Half the year is gone, and the second half has started. The first half ended in style and the second half has started even better.

Fare thee well June, July is here and I have to move on

12 June 2013

TO THE ASK SHOW WITH MY CHECKLIST

Well, it’s that time of the year again; the annual agricultural shows are here. I am so excited about this year’s show. I am so excited because I have a bone to pick with the ASK (Agricultural Society of Kenya).

If you attended the shows when you were young, you will agree with me it’s where we spent every shilling of our savings. My brother and I would save for several months for the sake of these shows. See, our parents would pay the entrance fee and leave us to “explore” the area. Warning us not to get lost and telling us to meet at a certain food kiosk at lunch time. The show was like the event of the year, especially when we were in primary school. Walking around in cliques looking at what the ASK termed as wonders of the world.

 This time round, I am going there as a lady on a revenge mission.  The ASK lied to me, deceived me at my tender age, and I go there this year on a revenge mission. Like ARROW the series, I bear a pouch with some writing materials and cameras as my arrows and I do have a check list (by the way if you still have not watched arrow the series, ensure you do :-)). In this checklist, I have several things that ASK deceived me with. I am going with only one aim in mind. To prove (with photos where applicable) that some of the things they made me glare at, drool at, having visions of those wonders of the world that I believed then, could only be found at our local area.

Some of these things include mermaids (don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to say mermaids do not exist but am sure those were a fake), half-men-half-women, (till this day I don’t understand how they pulled that one off), some chicken that had tits and gave milk (I swear hiyo ni uchawi), the half-man-half-donkey (I know, I believed they are real!). Those are the few that are the top of my list. On my visit this time, I will ensure I touch (or throw a stone at) any of them to see if they move. I will even sneak at the back and take pictures of their “back-stage” acts (well i will also give that evil laughter in a cheeky voice that goes like ehehehehehe...gotcha!)


As the ASK Embu show starts tomorrow the 13th, I will make my way there on 14th with my checklist and my mission in mind. Well, I will definitely ride that merry go round! I know that one was real, and so was the thrill of riding it :-)

10 June 2013

3 June 2013

THE SHE FACTOR


We were standing at a bus station (sort of, it was what we call a stage). A child about two years old starts crying. Naturally, I turned and saw he was stretching his arms up. My first instinct was to stretch mine and just pick him up and woo him till he keeps quiet. Then I turn around and there, I see it. 

You see, I was not the only one, 10+ other ladies and women had turned too and had that concerned look (which you will obviously notice when you look at a mother whose child is in tears). They were all ready and willing to pick up the little kiddo. My friend whom I was standing with whispered to me “what is wrong with you ladies”. You should see the look I gave him! It was the “it’s like asking if a freezer is cold” face. (If you have never seen that face, ask me an obvious question and you will get it, fresh). I whispered, well it was not so much of a whisper coz the couple next to us heard, him “it’s our nature”.

Flash back to those days I used to watch a series by the name “nanny 911”. Well I’m not sure if that is the name or I got a word wrong. For men, I know you wouldn’t be caught dead watching it, so I’m going to shed a little light on what the series was all about. It was a show where mothers who had issues raising up their children called for help from this supper nanny. There! I got it now! The name was “supper nanny”. There was however, one episode that made me shed a tear. I actually never shed tears when watching stuff (unless its reeeeeeeeeaaaallllly moving) so this one was really moving. In that episode, the mum had an issue of being too attached to her last born son. Yes, too attached. I mean the boy would cry and the mum would just rush to pick him up, spoil him and hug him tight. So what the nanny was trying to teach the mum is to not pick up the baby when she cries. So the kid would cry and the mum would just try, really hard, to ignore the kid and boy did she end up with a bucket of tears. And she would go like “I just can’t, the minute he cries I just want to pick him up and hug him, tell him everything is okay”. And that would touch that softest spot of my heart and I would whisper to the telly “I know! I feel you”


I mean, it’s in us. Every girl, every lady, every woman, every mother, every chiq has that in them. We will want to turn and stretch out our arms to any child that is crying. (I can see the ladies nodding) We will want to cuddle that child that has lost its mother. We will want to hug any child when an opportunity arises. We will say “aaaawwww” when a child says or does something that we think is cute. We will smile and do that cliche sigh when we see kids playing. We will long to hold children. One gets this feeling in their heart…it’s just … I cannot even find the words. Ladies you know what I mean right? It’s in us, it’s our nature. So men, any time you see us do anything of the stuff mentioned above (and so much more) just understand. It’s our nature. It’s in us. It’s the she factor!

16 May 2013

FINANCIAL SECURITY; ITS NEVER TOO EARLY

Recently I was enraged when a member of the Kenyan county government (Nairobi county to be precise) publicly claimed that the salary he gets of 800,000 a month (less allowances) could not meet his basic needs. To make matters worse, it was his first time in politics and I was left asking, what has been included in his lists of basic needs now that he is a politician that were not there? Aren’t basic needs equal to all human beings?

As I was thinking about how our members of parliament and county government mismanage their salaries, it brought me to the deep contrast with some of us. Last week, my brother said to me “Believe it or not, sijawahi Okoa Jahazi” I know, I got the same shock as you.

(For those of us overseas, Kenya’s mobile services provider Safaricom has a program called “Okoa Jahazi” where people get credit in advance which they have to pay in the span of 2days with a 10% charge on the advance credit)

It reminded me of a friend who literally lives on “Okoa Jahazi”. He borrows today, pays tomorrow and immediately after paying he borrows again. And I got challenged to think about a young person’s financial security. “I am too young to start investing.” “There is still time.” “I have no money.” These are just but some of the excuses we young people have for not investing. I asked a friend who works in a bank if young people are given loans easily. Well, as you must have guessed, the requirements remain the same. One must have security in order to access a loan.

I know of many young people who have never thought of a bank account, few who have bank accounts, and even fewer who regularly maintain that account. And the reason is not that they have no money, they do. A lot of it, for that matter. Reason is, we young people think that we have so much time to be young and forget that the future is coming soon and we need to be financially secure.


For those of us who have already made investments are heading towards financial security, well done! Keep up the spirit! For those of us who are living day to day on our money and debts without thinking of the future, stop and think. What would harm you if you saved that 500 per month and placing it in a bank? Instead of buying those snacks that last two hours and then spend the rest of your live starving, save; for your own sake, for your future family, for your financial security. You are not too young. Its never too early.

9 May 2013

IF MY HEART COULD SPEAK


If my heart could speak,
It would swell, yell and tell,
Of the crave to be quenched
Of the longing to be held.
Tell of the pain I feel, each time I miss you.
The pain of an egg falling off a tree, just before it hatches.
Tell of the thirst in my lake,
Thirst no water, no liquid, no solid, no acid nor base can slake,
The thirst to see you, to hug you, to feel your touch.
Tell of the joy, when I think of you, how my heart quavers and skips a beat,
Joy as sweet as the taste of ice-cream on my lips on a hot day,
The cooling warming effect of your scent.
Tell of the delight of hearing your voice, of reading your messages

As your words massage my heart, a massage no masseuse can match.
Tell of the love inside it, engraved in its floor, imprinted on its walls, filling the space between.
 Ask, if nothing lasts forever, if you will be my nothing.
If my heart could speak,
It would convince you that these are not just words,
They are confessions
Befado

13 April 2013

I GIVE UP

Last week, four of our lecturers decided to return out CAT papers, at the same time (talk about giving a student a heart attack). One of my classmates in a fit of rage threw up his papers and said: 

siku hizi ni kuchimba tu lakini sijali…..nili give-up kitambo” (these days all I do is fail but I gave up long time ago)

Our attempts to cool him down were in vain and one of us ended up with an emotional wound since he started saying so many nasty things (I thought women were the drama queens…this one made me leave that opinion open). So  there he was, he “threw in the towel” and to think that it is our last semester in campus made me feel so bad.

The wise old man, now deceased and decayed, Solomon said in the book of Proverbs “For a righteous man falleth seven times, and riseth up again; But the wicked are overthrown by calamity.” (Proverbs 24:16)

I am just thinking how you would fall seven times…really, not unless it’s in the rain and your shoes have no grip, there are plenty of bananas on your way or you’re just crazy for you to fall seven times at once. But anyway the main purpose of this verse is to encourage us not to give up. Just imagine falling down seven times (even in different days) and just waking up each time.

 Most of us have become experts in giving up. our common vocabulary is "I give up". You fail once and you give up immediately, without even giving it a second thought…be it exams, life goals, relationships(especially this one, I hear some young people as young as 20 years old say that they have given up on love and I’m like seriously?! You have not even lived a bit of your life to give up), conflict resolution or on life goals. A tiny slip and you throw in the towel (to wherever those towels are thrown into). By the way, where do all those towels that are thrown “in” go?

I attempted to quote that verse to my classmate and the response was, “aki sasa bado ntachimba six times ndio nipite! Na exams ni next week” (oh great! Now I have six more times to fall so that I wake up and we are having exams next week) and then the therapy session started. My point, anyway, is and was THOU SHALT NOT GIVE UP!! 

For those of us familiar with the theory of probabilities (yes I love math, students are in an “exam-mode” and this would not end without throwing in a math “something-y”), you are aware that the probability of getting 1 right in of 10 attempts increases as you tend to move from 0 to 10 attempts :-)