Thursday, 13 November 2014

A Mission to break-in Shoes or Break my feet

I had an interview last week. One of the very few interviews where my head was straight as I prepared for it. Mainly because at the beginning of this year, I asked my dressmaker to make two official suits for me. Just in case. I had a feeling I would need them. Or rather I had planned to need them.And i did.

So, there I was, fully prepped, my papers in order, my outfit ready. Only one problem.., shoes. 

I have always had a love hate relationship with shoes. I cant stand physical pain at all. And more so on my feet. And somehow shoes and pain went hand in hand in my case. But that is not the only reason why I love hate shoes.

The only time I remember diligently wearing shoes was when I was in high school. And that was mainly because for whatever reason, my feet really smelled horrible. (I guess mainly because, I had only a few pair of socks that took forever to dry whenever I washed them, and so was forced to wear wet socks more often than not) Apart from that period, there is no time when I did not jump for the occasion to throw my shoes away, put my legs up and let my feet breath.

Growing up, I was always in trouble with my mother for leaving the house without shoes, or for  losing my shoes if I left the house with them. I was always walking around barefoot. Jumping up and down, walking on my toes or heels  at any given moment because either the ground was too hot ( we call this tsapi),  cold or had thorns. 

You would think therefore that I would end up with those feet that had soles as hard at the hide of a crocodile , and toes that were as tough as the hoofs of a cow then, right? No.

In retrospect, I tend to think that my feet may be the most sensitive part of my body. I don’t mean that in any provocative way. I mean it literally. Whereas I have always managed at one point or another, though not very often,  to squeeze and mold and mash many parts of me into outfits and structures that I have wanted them to fit into, I have always failed to do the same for my feet.

And that is where my love hate relationship with shoes begins. I generally like shoes. Not love, but like. I would not throw a fortune away on account of shoes, but once in a while, I will put my money on a pair of nice gold sandals, beautiful white heels or official black wedges. The other times, I spent my money on Maasai sandals.

Not because I love the Maasais so much, but because I can no longer take the disappointment that follows me after buying shoes. It is always the same pattern.

I spot a beautiful shoe. I try it on. Walk around for a few minutes to gauge its fit. Leave it. Come back after a week. Try it again. Leave it. Come back after another week and if the shoe is still there, I take it as a sign that it is mine, and buy it.
Only for me to be disappointed the very first time I wear it. It is all pain and blisters and all un-comfort-ability. And within no time, I put in on a shelf with the rest, waiting for about 6 months to lapse before I give it out to someone.

So back to my interview, here I was fully prepped, my papers in order, my outfit ready. The only problem.., shoes. So I did what I have always done. Borrowed a pair from my cousin. And they were the most comfortable heels that were not mine so far.

I realize now, it is solely because they were already broken in. Something that i have never learnt to do.

So, breaking-in shoes…these stiff-necked stubborn little things that make my life miserable.

It is decided. I am on a mission and it is official.

I am still not sure whether to blame shoes or my feet...but whichever the culprit is, they have been fore warned. This time there is no choice...

And I will stop at nothing till these shoes or these feet are broken.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Mystery is definitely a lady.

I just had to find the dictionary to be sure. And mystery is defined as something that is difficult to  understand or comprehend.

Talking of mystery somehow reminds me of a song by Kenny Rogers. I think I first heard this song when I was in high school. At my uncles place in buruburu. I remember thinking, wow! So powerful a message in so little words. And I fell in love with it.

It talks something about knowing when to hold on, fold out, walk away or when to run.

It has been said that a wise person always holds his cards close to his chest. Arms folded, palms on chest I assume?

Recently, my folding resilience was tested. I had to look people in the eye and pretend that nothing was going on. Hide critical information. Participate in forming plans that I knew I would not be executing. And not give a clue away. I had to be mysterious.

Well, I think I may have pulled it off. Of course, coupled with me ending up with sweating palms,  smelly armpits, trembling legs, anxiety, an almost loose bladder and am pretty sure high blood pressure.

I, have never known how to fold my arms to my chest for long. I always end up stretching them out. I am,often, an open book. A pitifully honest person at times.

Think of those  once famous hostage movies where where everyone is armed to the tilt. And then, comes this negotiator who goes in completely unarmed. It seems crazy and stupid. But it always works out in the end.
And yeah,  I know that  it is because it is just a movie.

But, is it possible that in a world where people expect you to always have some explosive hidden under your vest, coming out unarmed is actually more shocking and unarming?

Could it be that hiding information and acting mysterious actually prevents you too from using it? Forcing you to play the equation in your opponents perspective?

They say mystery is a lady...hehe! Well, then I think I can  now understand why female suppression dates back to creation. Mystery is a b****!!!

I would choose painfully honest over mystery to fight my wars any day.
I know it sounds stupid and naive, but I think stretching your arms out often knocks the wind out of people more than we can imagine.

But hey, that's just me, musing over nothing.

Monday, 20 October 2014

The things we do for handsome faces..

I arrived at the booking office so early. My bus was leaving at 11:00, and 8:00 found me seated waiting. I was restless.

Well at about 10:00 one of the bus staff approached to inform me that the 11:00 bus had been cancelled, so she was to fix in one of the early busses. And the available one was the 10:00 bus, almost last seat.

I was furious. But accepted nevertheless. What was I to do? And so I boarded the bus.

After pushing and heaving with my luggage to the back of the bus, only to find someone already on the seat I was to occupy,  I was almost exploding with anger.

I mentally prepared for a fight... and nudged his shoulder.

Instead, he looked up, beautifully smiled and asked


I looked at his face. A young man,  maybe in his early to mid twenties. Beautiful eyes and lips. Symetrically perfect face and chiselled cheek bones. Handsome.

I could not help but smile.., my killer smile,

'Yes' I replied.

'Sorry,  I am leaving. Just a minute'

'No, take your time. No problem.' I quickly replied, surprising myself.

After waiting for about five minutes, I tapped his arm.

'Which is your seat again?' I asked.

'Forty-six, The last row' he answered.  Smiling wickedly. 

'Okay, I will take your seat' I said. Smiling back.

Okay was all he said.

' Okay' I answered.  Thrilled and mad at my self.

I settled down, heaved a sigh of relief and prepared for a very bumpy ride.

The things we do for handsome faces. Nkt! !

On the bright side, he kept checking on me to see if i was ok, and giving me those wicked smiles for the next eight hours of the journey.

And through it all, i could not help but steal glances once in a while, and giggling to myself.

It was worth it after all. :-)

Monday, 13 October 2014

Should We Just Shut Up Already?

A few months back, a group of friends and I were on a fun weekend in the Kenyan highlands. It was the usual crowd, two couples and one or two singles. I was one half of the couples.

Now, my friends and I are a crowd of people that most of the time do not know how to hide things.  We say it as it is, laugh as loud as we can and get mad like hell when we have to. We are honest people, falling somewhere in between civilized humans and drama queens.

And in such a crowd, it is very normal once in a while to witness disagreements and various bursts of emotions among ourselves. Not too bad, though, because we always find a way to work them out. And that is exactly what happened. A couple of disagreements here and there. And I thought this was very normal behavior.

Until I met this very beautiful couple who were so in sync and agreeable to one another that it was unbelievable. For the week that I was with them, this couple worked side by side without even as much as a question to each other. It was as if they could read each others mind. They agreed to everything the other said and were all 'hun and swts' over each other.

I was very impressed. Extremely impressed.
And i just had to ask. The secret to their harmony.

It was simple I was told, the woman knew when and where to speak and when not to. Full stop.

This reminded me of a time once when a friend of mine told me that in a relationship, all a man needs is three things -: 'Food, Sex and Silence' Though not necessarily in that order. Simple.

The problem is, i always find myself involved in some sort of back and forth exchanging of words at one point or another. Whether its about where to eat, what to do, or whether the day looks like a Sunday or a Monday. I will always be countering somebody's statement. In a good way though. :-)

Luckily, i was told that you learn these things. How to behave in front of people with your significant other. How you agree to your partners statements without a blink even when you clearly have a different opinion. How you touch each others arm and shoulder just at the right time in a conversation, just for solidarity.

A very respectable colleague of mine says she has been able to sustain a 30 year old relationship based on this. She never opposes the husband, only speaks when she is spoken to in public and always lets the husband lead and make decisions in front of people. And as  she says it has never failed her.

There is  a verse in the Bible  that clearly states, "Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord."

And thus, I can not help myself wondering, is it a fallacy then that you can have a good honest conversation with your partner and agree to disagree, and move on?
What happened to marrying someone who intellectually challenges you? Who will tell you as it is and correct you when you are wrong? What happened to marrying your friend, whom you can tell everything and anything? What happened to a good juicy conversation and argument?

Are we kidding ourselves in trying to get too comfortable with our partners and becoming too familiar with one another at the expense of respect and long lasting families?

Should we go back to a time when a woman's opinion mattered only if it was solicited? Is that what makes relationships work?

Well, maybe.., or maybe not. 

Meredith Duran once said that "For a woman's words to wound, it would require a man to listen first"

Could it be possible, then, that the solution to so many problems in relationships then could be for the woman to shut up already?

Well, whatever the case,  “If she'd just kept her mouth shut, she would have been perfect, but no.." is not a sentence i wish to have used in my reference. So let me just shut up, already.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Dinner in Kanyakine…

So i get to Meru, and all i want is a hot shower and a peaceful dinner. But no.., i had to meet this man.

This tall, dark and somewhat good looking,(yeah, if you squint your eyes, he could even be handsome), young man.
He drives a KBW and is confident enough to shrub and rain saliva with no apologies while he talks. He is the new breed of younglings cropping up as a result of the devolved systems, a hopeful kind of people that are taking power at the grassroots.

If he just sat there and closed his mouth, he could be tolerable, even likeable. But no, he had to go and open it. His mouth.

As a true coastarian, I politely answer all his greetings and inquiries..., 
‘Do you like Meru? Have you seen the farms? Where are you from? Etc.’

After realizing that i am from the coast, he smiles cunningly, and moves his chair closer.

‘I hear the coast people are full of witchcraft, a friend of mine married a coastal girl and now can’t leave her no matter what he does’,
‘You know the problem with coastarians?, they are very lazy, especially the Giriama, are you lazy?’ 

He laughs, and pauses. Then goes on.

‘You know i don't know why Mombasa is a city, it is very filthy, it has horrible buildings, they are all old and dirty’,
‘And i hear you people sell all your land, but my friend tells me that i should not bother buying because i will never build, the locals will bewitch me’,
‘And no development is going on there, see even Meru has changed in the past one year, but Mombasa, it’s still the same, the only nice place is Mariakani!’,

‘Are there no middle class in Mombasa? Why are there no new buildings? You know like in Kitengela’
‘You know what your problem is? It is bad leaders and laziness..., or what do you think?

I stare at him straight in the eye, and answer, 'Yeah, I think you are right'
'Really?' he asks,
‘Yes’ I tell him.

Relentless, he goes ahead, ‘So I want to come to Mombasa, where would you advise me to go?’
‘It depends with your budget, how much are you willing to spend in a day?’ I ask
He keeps quiet. 
‘Maybe 3000?’ I prompt,
‘No, that’s expensive. The cheapest’ He says.

‘You know I don’t know why it is so expensive and there is really nothing to see there apart from the beach.’ He clicks, with a shrub!.
‘Though my friend tells me you can touch the dolphins there!!!’ He goes on.

I look at him, amused, and keep quiet.

There is no winning with this one. So i gladly rest my case.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

A Day in her Life...

'I am hungry' He said
She looked at him, as if seeing him for the first time. Yet he had been leaning on her leg for an hour now.
'I know' She replied. Angry.
She looked around her. And quickly tried to choke down the emotion that was rising in her throat. Only that her quickly seemed like eternity.

She could feel the ball of anger, more like a ball of fire, slide down her throat, slowly, as if on a mission to kill her.
For a while she could not breath, did not want to breathe.
She was suffocating. She closed her eyes. 
She knew that if she let herself have the luxury of letting that breath come out of her, then the flood would follow.
And she could not cry at this time.

Not in front of him.

'Dear Lord,I come before you this night' She started.

She opened her eyes. Then closed them again. She could see a star moving around in the darkness. It distracted her.
She opened her eyes again. Looked at her hands, clasped in prayer.

She thought about what she wanted to ask for.

Just then her son moved. He had eventually cried himself to sleep.
She looked at him.

'I want to say thank you. Amen.'
And then like a mad woman, she jumped on her feet and ran out.

She knew what he needed. And sitting there talking to herself would not get her that. She thought. HE must understand. HE should understand.

For now, she had to find food.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

At times, a haircut is all you need.

“Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go but rather learning to start over.”

So take your time..,

And as you wait for that time to come.., try out new things. And let them trigger your rebirth.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Celebrating my Little Sister :-)

"The thing about little sisters, is that They spend so much time wishing they were elder sisters that in the end they're far wiser than the elder ones could ever be.” That's my sister, my not so little bundle of wisdom!

 My little sister celebrates her birthday this week. Here is to reminding her, what she has always meant to me. :-)  <3
Growing up, I was the quiet one and she was the loud mouth of the house.
My sister was always the life of the party, the charmer, the outgoing one.
She was the dancer and the story teller, and whenever she was around, our house was always filled with laughter. She gave life to our days. And she still does. :-)

But don’t let her smile fool you. This girl is tough.
You know how people tell stories of their brothers or older sisters standing up for them during fights?
Well for me, it was my younger sister. For a long time, she fought my battles.  She would always came through for me when those naughty teenage boys would follow me around 'chokozaing me'. Or when someone would decide to challenge me to a battle of words, which I was clearly not good at, she would step in for me. This girl made enemies of those  my came my way even without asking why or how! She was my bodyguard! And just for your own safety, let me say this, NEVER EVER mess with me!!!

Yet my sister has also been my bubble buster. The one who awakens me to reality no matter how cruel it seems. She is the one person who always tells me the truth. Once, when I was in high school, she refused to be seen walking around with me because I was too big (read fat). And for the whole month when I was on holiday, whenever we were going somewhere, we would decide the route each was to take and the time each would leave the house just so that we are not seen together!!! Yap, that’s how much she wanted me to know I am big. And if anyone managed to awake me to the reality of my weight then, it was her. In one year, I lost 30 kgs!!! Heheheh! She is my reality check. So whenever I am looking for some honest opinion, I never have to go far.

Now lest you jump to conclusions, I want to tell you about my sister, the biggest cheerleader. My rock. The reason why I find courage to do what i do. She never settles for average and is not friends with mediocrity. She always urges me to go for bigger, better. She always believes in me, and makes me know that she knows that I will always work things out for us, no matter how big the challenge. She depends on me, and in her eyes, I can do all things. My sister has the kind of faith that Jesus was talking about when He was referring to faith that can move a mountain. She is not one to despair.

My little sister is just lovable. She just has a way of getting you to slowly like her and before you know it, she has you wrapped around her little finger! This girl is a magician when it comes to getting her way! She is the only person I know who can get whatever she wants from anyone, I tell you. I am yet to come across someone who has been able to say no to her demands! On her 20th birthday, she managed to get us to buy her a phone at the cost of 26,000/- while I myself was carrying around a 3000/- phone! Of course on my following birthday she got my ‘people’ to upgrade my phone saying it was a shame for me to carry such kind of a phone, when she had an expensive one! Hahahahah! Yeah, She is just amazing.

Today, I cannot be more proud of the young lady she has become. She loves, and is not afraid to show it. She is a strong, feisty, confident and aggressive kind of little woman, full of ambition and initiative. I look at her, and I see a young lady who knows exactly what she wants and is not afraid to go for it.

And this week, as she celebrates her birthday, I cannot help but share how AMAZING she is.
“A very Happy Birthday to my little sister. God truly blessed me when He chose her for me. I Love you more than you could ever know!”

“Bless you, my darling, and remember you are always in the heart — oh tucked so close there is no chance of escape — of your sister.”  

Am very sure mama is smiling down on you with love and pride. :-)

Saturday, 31 May 2014

There are no ugly women, just lazy ones!

Almost three months ago, my very cool 'cul-de-sac' crew challenged me into becoming a  "Va-va-voom woman" Their words exactly! :-)

They went ahead and invented a  sexy experiment mainly to help me up my game. And as you now, I failed the experiment. But i did promise that i would make a major comeback after being given pointers on how to bring my sexy back.

To say the least, i was excited to begin my journey.

Now, for those who don't know me, I have never really had any kind of fashion sense or style or anything to do with looking good.I am a natural. And at times proud of it! :-)
I don't know why or how, but when it comes to matters dressing, saying i suck, is putting it way too mildly!

I remember, immediately after high school, i worked in a salon for two years. It is here that i got to experiment with a little bit of beauty stuff; nail polish, fake eyelashes, new hairstyles.., i even got my second and third ear piercing and dyed my hair red during this time.

We would laugh at people and point out their mishaps every now and then.
And when it did happen that a lady who was well dressed and looked hot came, we would admire. And then immediately point out something negative.., you know like probably she looked terribly ugly naked? That is why she spent all her time looking great dressed up!!! hahahah!It was a very interesting time.

And i think, that was the prime of my fashion radar. :-)

You see, left to myself, when it comes to style, i would go with orange flowered shorts and a black and white checked shirt anywhere any day!!! I love being practical.
Luckily, i have a sister and cousins who are very meticulous about dressing, and have over the years saved me from being a walking Christmas tree.

So, the first thing i did towards attaining my "Va-va-voom" status was to become friends with make-up. Now, it was not easy. But after a few hitches here and there and at times risking having the look of a ghost in a Nigerian movie, i got my groove. And i fell in love. Today, i am addict.
Mmmmh! Come to think of it, I guess that explains the facial selfies that i am always sending to people, as if fearing they might forget my face!

Yeah, my mind has a thing of celebrating even the smallest milestones that i make. Like looking good in a photo? Yeah, That kind.

So today, i want to consciously celebrate this milestone. The make-up milestone! lol!

Now, i don't want to sound like am gloating or trying to sound like the expert here, but i feel like i want give some motivation to girls like me out there. The naturals. I am sure i will be told to hold my horses and relax but hey, i want to share. And nothing is going to dump my spirits today.

So, here is my two cents:

I am not sure where this journey will take me, or even how long this looking good thing is going to last for me but one thing i have surely learnt these past few months is that there are no ugly women really, we are just too lazy to put in the effort.

So here is to not being lazy and putting in the effort.., and looking beautiful, even though just for a while. Cheers!!!

Monday, 26 May 2014

In my head...

It has been a while since i jotted something down. Yeah...This has been one of those months. The crazy ones. The ones that eat you up, wholly, wholly, without chewing. And eyes dry, without a blink.

The ones where you run up and down chasing people, deadlines, time, money, Trying to grasp what you seem not to reach. Stretching, straining.

And as i sit here, all alone. In quiet stillness, except for the clicking of the keyboard keys. The ocean roaring. The chilly breeze dancing on my face, my arms. The sun disappearing into the next world. Darkness slowly creeping in.

I feel a longing, a deep longing.., to fly. To soar up into the sky and stare down at the world. Not a care in the world.
I slowly exhale and let all cares leave me. And i am just here. My mind clears. My heart lightens and my eyes brighten. And all i feel, for a moment, is calmness.

If i could hold this moment still, exactly as it is.., let all else disappear, and sit, here, staring, into nothing. If i could have this for a few more minutes. Just a few more, I would be home.

Well, i have to run. I am walking home after all. So, later.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Can a woman have it all???

For someone, who works in a women empowerment docket that advocates the unleashing and maximizing of human potential, sometimes i am tempted to think that nature has really short changed us, women. Or so i have been thinking, after one of my women challenged my training and my stand as a Mijikenda role model for young girls!

I have been told over and over again that i talk too much! Of course i don't agree...heheheh! Believe me if i could tell you the things that i stop myself from saying, then you would agree that relatively i talk very little. Very very little!

That aside. The woman forced me to start thinking. About life. The life of a woman. And the expectations of society. And her dreams.

They say, reach for your dreams, go for it. There is nothing you can not do. And they get you all excited.

You grow up, go to school, graduate, get a job and a man. You are in your late twenties...the time is ticking and biology waits for no woman. This is your life.

You are supposed to get married, have babies, be an awesome wife, and the best mother in the world and adopt a whole other family that you will likely have to run. This is society's expectations.

And then there is your dreams; you want to conquer the  world, (Read, advance your education, go up the corporate ladder, venture into business, and also throw in a little bit of changing the world.) And you have it all planned out so clearly, because you have been taught to believe with all your heart that you are destined for great things.

And you are supposed to juggle it all.

What they do not tell you is that this system, this whole plan more often than not, does not work out so well.
And what is just disheartening for me, is that i am yet to come across a woman who has successfully juggled these three aspects of her life and lived to tell of it. 

History tells that, at some point, a woman just has to compromise. You just can not have it all! No matter how you look at it, either way, you just gotta give something. And i think it rather sad!

I remember my bushman lecturer in campus telling of evolution theories that painted the woman as the weaker and disadvantaged sex. In my opinion, then, i thought him (and the thinkers) crude, old fashioned and insulting.
I mean, how could that be? I strongly believed, and i still do, that there is no height or depth that a woman can not reach. I have seen it.

However, fast track three years down the line and i am at a cross road! And even worse, i have no response to the challenge an old woman expects an answer to.

Truth be told, beneath it all,  most of us are simple girls who are conservative enough to believe in marriage and family, and yet modern enough to believe in having a career and attaining self-actualization. And most of us want it all.

But after lengthy lectures from my rural women proving the contrary, i find myself wondering, is it really true that we can not have it all?

I mean, seriously, is life orchestrated in a way that either way, a woman just can not win???!

And if we can, can someone please share the secret?!!! Because i seriously need a solid answer to preach to to these old women and young girls that are eagerly waiting to hear from me very very soon.
 And i plan nail it right on the head!

Friday, 4 April 2014

Cheers to Birthdays, and Mamas!!!

A very early Happy, Birthday shout to me! 

I am officially in the late twenties bracket this month, yap late twenties. I know, I know, it feels old, and really grown up. And serious.
And it makes my stomach warm and squirmy. And I  don’t know why really, but it scares the hell out of me!

And it is on days like today that I really long for my Mum! Because of all things that my mama could do, the best was knowing how to make us feel better. Always!

I know today would have been an amazing day, if she were around. 

 She would have laughed and joked around about how old I am making her look. 
Am sure she would have made some impulsive decision to go eat out. Or better yet, she would have asked me to prepare things for her to make me her infamous Biriani,  and we would have had soda! Oh yeah, there had to be plenty of soda. With my Mum, it was never a celebration without soda. Ooh, how I miss that.

I am pretty sure she would have danced around to that 'Tobina' song, as she claimed that she was saved now and should dance only to Christian music. Hahahah!
She would have laughed. Laughed so hard and loud, as she made fun of how I cannot dance to save my life. :-)
And then asked my sister to join her in showing me how to move to the rhythm.
And they would dance for me, because of me.

And she would tell me stories of how when I was born, I had the tiniest nose and mouth, that she had asked the doctor if I was going to be able to breath!
Or how my aunt accidentally sat on me when I was a week old and how I got lost once when I was around five years.
Or how I grew a tooth in the middle of my upper jaw when I was seven, and how she woke up at night and found me asleep under the bed one night when I was just six months! (I like to believe that these stories were made up just to make me feel special.., if not, then i must have been such a weird baby!)

And eventually, she would have found a reason to call our dad, who would then be forced to wish me a happy birthday. Even sing it, if my Mum insisted. :-)

And I would feel special. 

With her, nothing was impossible, she made life seem so easy. You know, like it is all about waking up every morning and painting your colorful mark on this earth. It was so simple.

 Well, she is not around though. 

So today i pay my tribute to the Woman who single handedly held my world intact, my first love, the person who impacted in me courage and taught me that nothing is ever that bad, the one who i would literally do anything to see her face one more time today...

As i turn a year older, i want to take this opportunity to celebrate my mama for the amazing woman she was, and to remember the good moments we had.

Because honestly, i think birthday celebrations should be for mothers.  It is because of her sacrifice that i stand here today.

Like her, i want to laugh,  i want to embrace life and move with it, to live like i am dying this very moment, so that when my time comes, i am completely wasted! 

After all, i am my mother's daughter!
Thumbs up to you Mama!!! ;-) 

You are dearly missed. Beyond words! <3 <3 <3

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

No Sir, I am not 'Wife Material'...

The other day, I had the privilege of sitting with my very dear friends to catch up after a very long time. As usual, it was amazing. If laughter adds years to your life, I am very sure that I have added 21 years to mine in just two days!

Now, these days, a day is not really over until the topic of marriage finds its way into my conversations! I tell you if I was given a note for every time  the word marriage left my mouth, I would be the richest wife-to-be a dude could ever marry in these parts of Kenya. :-)

So we started by updating each other on what's happening in our lives, everyone obviously not that interested in the usual banter about the weather, relocations and jobs that we were giving.
However, when the topic on men and marriage came up, you would not move anyone from their seats no matter what.

Now, I should tell you that 2014 is officially the year that people my age are going to get married. I can not tell you the number of committee invitations, wedding line-up requests and wedding invitations I have received so far...and it is only four months into the year. This year is going to be mega I tell you...i can already feel it.

However, woe unto you if you have no clue when your day is going to be, or worse still if you do not have a prospective man tucked somewhere in your life. Have you met such ladies?, I tell you the fear and desperation, can be seen in their eyes and felt in their voices. It is torture.

Lucky for us, a good number of us have a man they have already trapped, have set a trap for or planning to do so. So we were safe. Or so I thought.

However, as the conversation went on, I was amazed to realize the extent to which a lady would go for a man. All in a bid to be seen as 'wife material' and snag that man, and have him take you to his parents.

If you ask me, this 'WIFE MATERIAL" tittle is a curse.

And for whatever reason, the title 'wife material' has been used to refer to me more often than I can remember, (Heheheheheheh! I know, funny, right?) and the truth is I do not like it. Why you ask?

Well, mainly because I suspect the man who coined it was just looking for a way to get free milk without buying a cow!

Really, what is the logic behind trying to find if a woman is wife material before she is even a wife? I don’t get it at all.

So today, you find young, independent and intelligent women running after a man just to prove that they are 'wife material'.
And they cook, do laundry, clean after him, become yes people, change their dressing, their likes and dislikes and even their friends. All in the hopes of becoming a wife someday.
And the sad part is that more often than not, they don’t.

It is just annoying.

So, here is my take, you wana know if I am 'wife material'? My dear, you have no way of finding out other than marrying me first. Period.

Otherwise, I have no business behaving like a wife now.

I have a whole lifetime to show and prove to you that I am. For now, I am just a young woman trying to grow up, so allow me to be just that.

And, if it so happens that you are interested, my dear, I insist, you will just have to take a chance on me.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Please Cover the Bones!

I was waiting for the Lupita fever to go down a notch before I posted this.

These past few days, I have silently observed the immense love and pride being poured out to Lupita Nyongo before and after she won the most coveted award in the film industry, The Oscar.

Bile aside, this girl has made it. Not because of anything else but for the fact that she managed to get even the president of our country, the first lady and all the government's who and who, competing to send congratulatory messages to her. Woe unto them, if they were left out of this praise party.

I mean, even our country's longest serving and biggest brands, the runners, have not gotten there yet. The Rudisha's and Kemboi's of Kenya can only dream of such recognition.

Come to think of it, I think our brothers could learn a few things from these guys from the lakeside. How they sell a logbook association to the country so much is a amazing, while the real people who have marketed Kenya since time immemorial look like mere toddlers at this art.

I am compelled to bow down, sincerely, Kudos to Lupita are well deserved, for this, and much more.

Yet as I have watched the hullabaloo of 'oh Lupita this and Lupita that' and the adoration being poured out, there is one thing that I have not really agreed with. Lupita's dressing!

It is hard for me to do this, but I just have to. So here we go. I only have two things to say really….

#1. It is amazing how people are marveling at Lupita's dressing yet really, I don’t think it is that good!!!

Oh, yeah, the clothes she wears are amazing, why lie and the colors are eye catching. Point to note here is the clothes.
Yet my eye has not seen the spark and amazement people are talking about Lupita, in these clothes. No hard feelings really, so please feel free to enlighten me people.

The blue dress that resulted in the trending of #nairobiblue on twitter is just but an example of what I am talking about.
Given, the dress was amazing. But did it look good on Lupita? In my opinion, NO!!!

Really, as I looked at her, all I could see were the outlines of her rib cage in place of her boobs. In place of a little armpit fat, I could see her ribs, heck I could even count them!
Yet the whole world over was gushing at how she looked beautiful. I mean what are you people talking about? Really, am i that blind?

She has displayed the rib cage again at the Naacp Image awards on the 22nd of February, 2014, it is horrifying. We already have enough images of malnourished and starved people from Kenya on the internet, I think.

#2. If you ask me, I would say Lupita should do us all a favor, as Kenyans, and cover those bones. She looks better that way!
You don’t believe  me? Check out the Golden Globe awards, she looked amazing.
The secret, you ask? Bones covered.

Need I say more? I am actually tempted to think that Lupita's trending on the fashion side is merely as a result of who she is wearing and not as much how she looks. But then isn't that how these things work?

So my two cents unsolicited advise is this, you are very beautiful girl. You look amazing. Just cover the bones. That’s all.

Ok, there. I have said it. I feel better already! ( at the risk of sounding like a jealous-good-for-nothing-b****)

However, after all is said and done, I, like any other Kenyan, am very proud of Lupita and would like to send my most sincere Congratulations.
A tad too late maybe, but very sincere.
(Unlike some of those who were sending them just because that was what was trending on Social Media, uhuh!)

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

...a roll of tissue and a pen.

The other day I was chatting with a friend during a long bus drive to Mombasa. I love traveling, I always have. Since I discovered the secret to not gushing my intestines out every time I am in a vehicle, I have loved traveling.

For as long as I can remember, I have dreaded traveling. I dreaded entering into a vehicle that was moving and was full of people. I always felt like I was suffocating, and then this suffocation would move to nausea, and nausea to a  flowing of all the contents of my intestines onto whatever and whoever was near me, that would leave me wrenching in pain and embarrassment. Mostly embarrassment.  I hated cars to say the least.

 But I have come to learn how to deal with this menace. Growing up makes you wiser, after all.
  1. You avoid food six hours before the traveling moment
  2. Once in the vehicle, distract yourself from the stuffiness and the possibility that you might be dying slowly from suffocation as a result of the other people with bigger noses taking up all the oxygen
  3. Sleep the whole journey
  1. Carry a couple of black paper bags just incase

So the other day I was chatting to a friend during an 8 hour bus drive to Mombasa. Yes, all in a bid to distract myself, as sleep had cruelly evaded me without reason.
Now, the reason why I love travelling is not so much because I now trust my stomach to behave itself while it is in a car. No, not at all.
To be honest, i actually carry with me a couple of paper bags, a leso, two rolls of tissue, Orbit chewing gum, some perfume and a pair of extra panties, as it does happen, sometimes when I am throwing my stomach out, that my bladder goes loose!!! Yap!I said that!

Not to worry though, actually my bodily functions have been behaving themselves so well these last two years. However, as my sister always states about everything,
 "It is better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it"
So I carry my emergency pack with me every time like a ritual. After all, you never know.

So, as I was saying, I was chatting to this friend of mine. And that I love travelling. The thing is, I like sitting with people I do not know when I am traveling. One, because if it does happen that I puke on them, the disgust on their face will disappear once we go our separate ways. Two, because I can control whatever conversation we have or do not have. And three because I believe I like meeting new people.

Also, while traveling, I carry along my music, my laptop and a notebook and a pen, because you can never be prepared enough when that million dollar idea pops into your head, or when that inspiration strikes.

And this is truly why I love traveling.

It is when I am traveling that that sixth sense within me awakens,
the one that makes you hear that silent cord or voice in a song that you had not heard before,
the one that makes you see all this beauty you were blind to before,
the one that makes you remember those memories you never thought you had,
the one that awakens such life, such passion, such creativity and such determination.
The one that rejuvenates you, 

The one that enables you to see life from a different perspective...from the eye of an observer!

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Wooing the sexy back!

As the year came to a close last December, the whole question of being sexy occupied my time one way or the other!
Now, like most girls my age, the age where the attention from men that you want to attract starts to worryingly dwindle, the whole issue of being sexy usually takes on a life of its own.

So this past month i have spent quite a considerable amount of time trying to find out from my very able 'Cul-De-sac' , Google, glossy magazines,and other sources not worth mentioning what the being sexy means. You will be surprised the number of articles that have been written about this topic. And the different definitions given to this one word will make your head reel from exhaustion and confusion.

So you want to know if you are are some made up experiments the 'Cul-de-sac crew' came up with just to clear the confusion!!!

Experiment 1: So you are seated, with your girlfriends, at a car wash, open drive way with food and drinks. Smiling and looking attractive. Who is the first person a guy talks to?

Experiment 2: So you are out for a walk. Completely dressed down and all, even in slippers. Who looks like a mboch?!

Experiment 3: How many times has someone insinuated or even stated ( knowingly and unknowingly) that you are younger that you actually are?

Girls, if you win 2 out of the 3. You are officially sexy! If you win get the 3 out of 3, you seriously give the rest of us a bad name!!! And you better sleep with one eye open!

Now, i am told being sexy has been the in thing long before Justin Timberlake coined the song bringing your sexy back and Caroline Mutoko joined the list of aspiring sexy women in Kenya.

The thing is, while everyone else was joining the sexy band wagon and trying to woo it back to their houses, for me, having clean clothes, and clean skin underneath them was enough.
Well, fast track a couple years ahead, and i guess a gal just has to figure some things about herself at some point no matter how much more evolved she thinks she is.
So here i find myself today asking myself where my sexy is and what the hell it looks like, when girls years younger than i and the entire 'Cul-de-sac' are already owning theirs and splashing it out for display like it dont cost a thing.
Such a shame! On me? Yes, it is when you have girls around who were born to be sexy, while you have such a vague idea what the word itself means.

I am often very comfortable in my skin... i have been able to love myself with warts and all. I never really understood those girls who were affected by peer pressure and had issues with their weight, wealth and looks. I always believed i was beautiful, very intelligent and gift to the world! And it helped that everyone else kept telling it to me so much, i grew up believing it. Staunchly so.
And i thought that was all.

However, in todays world, a girl has to do more than just be comfortable with herself, she has to run the world, literally. And in order to survive, more often than not, you have to know how to strut your stuff. And this requires you to be sexy.

So, if you are like me, i am sure by now you are asking yourself what being sexy is all about then, yes?
I asked the same question a while back, and this is what the sexy Guru had to say;

  • Its about attitude- meaning the air that you carry yourself with
  • It is all about the right kind of clothes (more to come on this)
  • It is about having some kind of mystery- (note: here mystery is achieved by talking less and leaving your listener wanting more)
  • It is all about posture
  • It is about loving yourself- read taking good care of your nails, brows, lips, feet, hands, hair etc
  • It is all about youthfulness ( well to be fair, wanting to be forever young is not just a preserve of the women, the men are joining in too!)
All sounds too easy, right? Yes, but all too elusive.

So this year, as February begins and Valentines begins to fast approach, i set out to find my sexy and woo her (or is it him) back home. Not because i want any man to notice me, but to prove a point to the 'Cul-De-sac' crew and more especially to myself, that i have got it!
Because after all it really is not about the number of men who line up talk to you, it is about you crashing the bar that has been put and then going ahead and setting your own standards.

Oh, and yes, i failed all the three sexy experiments, but watch this space, i never stay down for long, and most definitely i am never out! ;-)

Thursday, 23 January 2014

What is it with you, Mijikendas?

Lazy, Nyika (bush people), illiterate, ignorant and LAZY!

I bet somewhere they have coined a riddle to this effect by now. If they haven't then here it is,  'What is lazy, illiterate and ignorant?!' Heheheh!

First, i am tribal! Yes, I am indeed tribal. And i feel that as a Kenyan, i need not explain myself, because you get me, right? Yes, i know you do.

Secondly, i never like being on the losing side. No, i like winning. It is like an addiction that drives me so insane that one way or another i have to go back and take that one last sniff.  Only that i definitely know that it will not be the last, just like any addiction.

So you can imagine my deeply entrenched agony then to belong to the nine tribes of the Kenyan Coast!

One way or another, in the course of my almost adult and adult life, i have always found myself defending the reputation, actions and mindset of my people. I have found myself coming up with explanations, rationalities and even excuses for what we do, what we say and how we behave.

In most gatherings, it is always a surprise to people that a Mijikenda is part of them. It is even more insulting if i have to explain who the Mijikendas are and where they come from. I have had to deal with stereotypes left, right and center not only because i am a woman but worse because i am a child of the Kaya!

For a while i thought the problem was with the other people, i mean, we are a richly cultured community that is fairly blessed with resources at our disposal. We are a people who are balanced, grounded and at peace with ourselves, our gods and our environments. We make do with what we have, laugh easily, forgive fast and share with open hearts.We live for today, embrace family and know how to kick a party and dance to the music of life. We are a beautiful people. Which are all good things, right? I mean, how could people not see and appreciate this?

So i perfected the excuses and built theories to explain my community to these people. These people whom i thought were just oh so ignorant that it pained me.
Only that as i worked with the Mijikenda community these past three years, i realized that i was repeating these same theories more and more, and i was telling them to the Mijikendas themselves! 

Why, you ask?! Well, i guess i was just convincing myself that it is ok to be who i am. That it is ok to be at peace and content with myself, (like i was brought up to know,) even if that person is said to be a lazy and illiterate loud mouth!

But i am not ok. I am tired of putting up this face and pretending like everything is fine because it is not. I know so many Mijikendas who are learned and intelligent, but have nothing to show for it. I know so many proffessionals and retired experts who are back in the villages burning charcoal and drinking mnazi, while they could be sharing their expertise with the community. I know so many young people like me who just blend in the crowd and fit in while they could do something better and bigger. I mean, seriously, what is wrong with you, Mijikendas?

I am yet to tell you why we behave the way we do, i am still trying to understand it myself.

But for now, i think all i want to tell you my fellow Mijikendas is that it is not enough to be content, to be grounded and to be nice. It is high time we did more than ruffle the waters and make a lot of noise. We need to act! we need to stand up and be counted, not with the rest of the Country or the world, but among ourselves. We need to push each other, pull one another and demand only the best from ourselves. We need to change.

And to do this we need to be discontented, to be irked by what we know and reach for what we deserve. We need to demand this of ourselves before we demand it from others.We need to rebuild our identity before we ask to be recognized.

Then and only then, will i stand proud as a child of the Kaya!

Oh, and the answer is Mijikenda!