27 December 2015


A few days ago, I remember asking myself what to write for the last month of the year. I went through the posts I have done in December over the years (check them out by the way…I don’t know what is it that comes over me during December), and I couldn’t help but wonder what to write about. I thought about doing a yearly review and all the shenanigans like I did here. I almost wrote something cliché about sijui 12 lessons learnt in 2015, or 15 lessons to carry forward from 2015, or even 2015; the ups and the downs. At some point I  contemplated summarizing the year in a piece but I remembered a conversation Daisy and I had a few weeks ago about people writing pieces that don’t make sense or don’t communicate and kept that piece tucked tightly between pages of my notebook.

So, three days later…I still did not know what to write about, or how to end the year 2015 on Njeri Kareithi. I skimmed through my drafts on my computer; nothing. Flipped through my notebook that I carry around to note down ideas based on observations wherever I go; nothing. Then I remembered this one time in campus where we were preparing for a play. See, I was part of a drama club in campus, but we had not done anything major other than mimes. Now, the one thing that I loved about mimes is that you don’t get to talk. And we used to wear masks so…you don’t even get to look your audience in the eye. But plays, my friend…you have to talk. And not only talk, but you have a face to face conversation with the audience. Now, those are the parts I wished we could skip (but that would not be a play; would it?).

My history with crowd phobia can be traced back to my high school years. Crowd phobia is not to be confused with shyness. No. I am not shy; but I have crowd phobia. Get me a face to face meeting with 5-10 people and you will take home an image of a very sociable, funny, fun to be around (is this what blowing my own trumpet means?) person. Get me in front of 50+ people and my eyes will not leave either the ground or the ceiling. To make things worse, I was appointed a senior prefect in my last year of high school. If you are familiar with Kenya’s High Schools, prefects get to make remarks during the morning parade, especially the prefects on duty, who would make announcements and call out the names of those who have not done their morning duties. And boy did I hate my week of duty. But we survived anyway. Where was I? Yes, crowd phobia.

So here we are, we are debuting a play in campus. We have been rehearsing, for months. The script is good. During rehearsals, we are alone in the hall so it goes on smoothly. I was playing a part that required me to make several costume changes and several long appearance and conversations. So, all was well. I was very excited. There was excitement in my voice each time I mentioned the play to my fellow comrades. Till d-day came. And the curtains were closed. Backstage; we are laughing and eating, teasing each other about our costumes waiting for the MC to welcome the audience. We take our positions on stage and my body freezes. You know, when you are back stage, you have no Idea how many people are on the other side of the curtain. So my brain starts freaking out when I start thinking about the audience. My bladder thinks that it’s time to start playing games. It’s too late. The scene starts in less than a minute. I can’t run outside for a call (pun intended) to help me calm down. I look at other member of the cast. “Why aren’t they freaking out?” “How many years of acting experience do they have?” “What did they eat?” “Haven’t we been acting with masks together?” “Is my make-up melting?” “Is my costume too tight?” “Will so and so be in the audience?” I remember asking all these questions.

Bam! The curtain opens. I get to see the size of the audience. Suddenly I feel like my bladder will just give in. I take a deep breath and the play starts. Play runs well. Towards the end, a cast-mate noticed I have been holding my breath almost the whole time. We are doing our last bow at the end. “Breathe Dee, Breathe” He says while giving a nod of assurance. Curtains come down. I take another deep breath.

Many a times when we are starting or ending anything we have so much anxiety and fear. When we think about the times ahead we are filled with fear. Fear of the unknown, as many would call it. But each time you feel like the world expects too much, like there is so much pressure, like you can’t to it. Breathe. As the curtains come down on 2015, some of us have screwed up so many times, we have messed up so many times, there is so much expectation from people around us, there is so much pressure from around. But as the curtains come down; breathe. Take a deep breath, smile and say “I’ve got this. Bring it on”.

See you all in 2016, readers of Njeri Kareithi. Happy Holidays and be safe.

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21 December 2015


…so, did you fantasize? Did you see it like it was yours?

Are you serious? Did I do what? hahahaha” I ask with this look on my face as if that can never happen in real life.

Yes I am, did you?

A few days ago I was attending a wedding where two of my childhood friends were getting married. And this festive season all around us; well one can say love was in the air. So, it is evening…and this good friend calls to ask how my day was. There I
am blurting about how the clothes, shoes, bridesmaids, cake, how the kids I was carrying were adorable and how we were singing along to some songs with the matron of honor (well, it’s been long since I attended or participated in a wedding so this was really refreshing). I finish my side of the story and ask about his, which he shares quite interestingly since he was participating in another. Towards the end of the conversation he asks if I fantasized. I remember laughing and laughing, almost uncontrollably in the section of the conversation up there. Like, I know it’s the festive season, people are with loved ones, people are cuddling and holding hands all over, “I love you” messages and actions are all around and it’s the time of the year when you are reminded of how being away from a loved one can be devastating. Oh, and visiting that grandmother who keeps reminding you that she has two school buses ready and waiting for me to tell her to get people ready, makes it all worse. So, maybe  I did, maybe I did not hahaha.

Okay, but that is not my point. Thing is, during this festive season, there is so much love around. Like real and genuine love. Husbands spending time with families, wives spending time at home and not work, kids away from school and playing around the house, nobody is at work (except those who work in very sensitive areas like doctors, bankers, supermarket attendants, chefs…you know, those who we would die without), and comfortingly…families and homes are filled with laughter and joy. And food. And Sunshine. And conversations. Oh how I wish everyday was Christmas.

So all along I have been asking myself; why does this have to happen on Christmas and/or New Year’s or during holidays? If there is a time I see people genuinely show love is during festive seasons. It reminds me of a conversation I had with my mentor a few years ago, and he was saying how he pities our generation, because we all want to be loved but don’t want to love. Like so many of us want something that lasts forever but are not willing to do what is takes? I mean…we all have been in love once and we all let go at some point, we have all gotten heart broken…but really, what if we all loved? Like genuinely loved? The kind of loving that makes us look forward to the future? That kind of love that makes us say “I know he/she is not perfect but there is not another being under the heavens that I would rather be with”. The kind of love that makes us say “no matter what is happening, I will keep this love pure and keep working on it”. 

source: www.pixlabay.com
I know every day cannot be Christmas…but what if we faithfully loved? In a generation where there is little or not much genuine love, in a generation that wants things that are already complete and people who are already established, in a generation that lives by the “let me fool around…when the time comes I will be serious” kind of attitude, in a generation that seemingly does not know how to love; what if we learnt how to love? What if we became students of love?  The hard-working, appreciative, full of gratitude, kind, reliable and consistent love? And who better to learn from than Christ? What if we sat down with elder people who have experienced this kind of love and learn from them? What if we genuinely cared and loved the less fortunate, the elderly, and the orphans? Would we lose anything? 

What if we did it for our families, relationships, companies, ourselves? What if we did it #ForMyCity and for humanity? What if we started today (and sustained it)? What if we did it #ForMyCity and for humanity? After all, love makes the world go round (refer to power puff girls’ song “love makes the world go round" lol).

Dear readers of Njeri Kareithi, this post marks the end of the “What if” series. You can read about the others here. The series was inspired by a theme by dubbed #ForMyCity led by Poetry Spot. (Follow the conversation here). Love was the last in the series because all the other attributes, when love is added, make a complete person (flaws and all). Not perfect, but complete. I urge us all (me included), to take up the challenge and join me as we strive to make these attributes part and parcel of who we are.

"So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love." 1st cor 13:13 (ESV)

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