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 :-)