Category Archives: LIFE

ANOTHER MONTH, ANOTHER PAINFUL LOSS

Hallo awesome people,

I’m back.

With something I would like to share. It’s a bit heavy but here goes…

A friend died by suicide on the 17th of March, and it was such a devastating loss for everyone involved.

I’ve hang out with him just a couple of times after moving back home, and each time was an absolute pleasure.

The last time we hang out, it was in his father’s car at our local grocery shop. I was sitting at the back, his favourite female in the entire world was sitting at the passenger seat, while he, obviously, was on the driver’s seat.

As we waited for the attendants to load the items that were on the list into the car, we talked, laughed, and made fun of each other, and our other mutual friends.

We didn’t have a care in the world at that point, at least that’s what it seemed like. Everyone was okay, everyone was happy.

I left the two in the car as I had a short errand to run for my mum in town.

That was the last time I saw him alive. 5th March 2019.

Before this, he had graciously accepted my invitation to our church’s Valentine’s dinner back in February.

He came, and obviously, he was the life of the party.

Here he was, trying to explain what he looked for in an ideal partner.

Before this, he had been playing with an adorable three year old princess, distracting the speakers with how much fun they were having together.

He tried his best to tone it down, but the little girl was having too much fun, and he just got sucked into it completely.

You should have heard the child giggle as they played on the grass. It was the cutest thing ever!

On the afternoon of 15th February, he, along with our two mutual friends, and Sammy, had come to help me with the preparations for the dinner that would be held that evening.

The conversations were endless, and again, everyone seemed okay. Each of us seemed happy and content just being there with one another.

And now, he is no more! He’s gone, and by his own hand, nonetheless.

It just goes to show that we never really know the extent of the darkness that lies beneath our glowing smiles and hearty laughs.

And, it’s no one’s fault.

It isn’t our fault- despite the fact that we were his friends, and could have caught a glimpse of this darkness once or twice, but couldn’t do anything more for him than just laugh with him, and make everything seem okay, albeit for just a couple of minutes.

It isn’t his family’s fault either – I know they tried to show him love and support the best way they knew how. I’m sure they went above and beyond for him, and somehow, it still wasn’t enough.

Sometimes, love is simply not enough.

You can love somebody so much, with every being in your body, but still be incapable of saving them from what is eating them from the inside.

Sometimes, love isn’t enough.

Sometimes the darkness overpowers your will to go one more day.

Sometimes the thread that holds you to your loved ones becomes too miniscule compared to the monster growing inside you.

To quiet the voices, to drown the pain, you choose to do the one thing that would crush your loved ones’ hearts.

But, at least, finally you get your peace. And, eventually, you hope, that they’ll find peace in knowing that you are finally resting.

I am in no way condoning his decision, it hurts, and I can’t possibly imagine what his family is going through.

But, every time I put myself in his shoes, or in my own mother’s shoes, I can see how the battle can become overwhelming, and no amount of talk, love, or support can stop the disease, this darkness, from taking over.

Recently, (literally two days ago), we were ranked the sixth most depressed nation in the world.

That means hundreds of thousands of us are depressed, and our suicide rates are skyrocketing especially amongst our young men.

I think the best thing we can do is to be on the lookout for the earliest signs of depression in our family members, and act upon it immediately.

We need to help people fight their demons way earlier on before the disease spreads farther, and our love, support, and listening ears can’t do much to help.

It’s like cancer – early detection is the only way we can circumvent the effects of the disease.

And, depression is a disease. A serious one, and I’m tired of people my parents’ age not understanding this point, and behaving as if all those that are depressed are a bunch of entitled brats!

Some people are born predisposed to depression.

Others fall into it because of the poisonous societal conditions we’ve managed to create over the years, and seem unwilling to change at least for the sake of our collective mental health.

Right now, I’m at peace because my friend is in peace. He was so young, but somehow the disease had progressed to a point nothing we could do or say would have changed the path he chose to find that peace.

But, I know that in order to stop such a tragedy from happening again, I need to be extra ALERT and pick up on the earliest, smallest signs of depression exhibited by the people around me.

My conversations and interactions will be more meaningful, more insightful. It’s going to be me listening more rather than talking, and allowing my loved ones to be as free as possible around me.

I hope that somehow this helps, and I hope that you too, dear reader, get to do the same for your loved ones.

Anyway,

Goodbye until the next time I have something to tell you.

Kisses 💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖

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KIKUYU WOMEN: WE ARE WHO WE ARE

We were hanging out at the local yesterday after work, and as the drinks piled on for them (I just had one cup of yoghurt), an interesting debate ensued- one on the rising cases of women killing their husbands or significant others in this country.

Yes, domestic violence used to be the preserve of men perpetrating it against women, but now, women are meting out this violence on their husbands and boyfriends seemingly everywhere you look with reckless abandon.

It’s alarming to say the least.

During this particular discussion, I was the only female at the table with 5 of the boys, six if you include Sammy, just trying to help each other unwind after a disastrously hard day.

The conversation started with us airing our divergent views on one of the most perplexing marital murder cases to hit our dailies in recent weeks.

A serving magistrate has been accused of murdering her lawyer husband in cold blood alongside three senior police officers.

The details of the murder are gory with the victim having been tortured by the suspects, and then fatally shot SEVEN times.

Gasp!! Who shoots someone seven times? How dead do you want someone to be for it to be necessary to shoot someone seven times?

Anyway.

The magistrate and her co-accused are set to undergo psychiatric assessments before the hearing of evidence against them, and sentencing.

I feel that the psychiatric assessment is justified because there has to be a level of insanity involved when you decide that someone has to be shot SEVEN bloody times.

He wasn’t attempting to run away, he’d just gone through immense torture. I doubt he was barely conscious or mobile by the time they decided to end him. One shot would have sufficed in my opinion.

One clean shot. Seven for what, Goddamit. For what? Madness!

This is such a scary story mainly because of who the prime suspect is, who the victim was, her relation to the victim, and the manner through which this victim sadly met his demise.

This is a woman, first, and secondly, she’s a woman with a seemingly powerful job. She is set.

Her husband is was a lawyer, and by all accounts, this couple was doing well for themselves.

What else could she have possibly wanted in life to push her to such a macabre act? What?

Sadly, this isn’t an isolated case. Many Kenyan women are offing their husbands nowadays, and reports of such incidences are increasing as the years go by.

The worst part about it, and the part that was making my friends very very angry yesterday evening is that most of these cases, whereby the woman is accused of killing the husband in cold blood, rarely make headline news. These ones are usually on the hush-hush.

I feel the only reason that this particular story made headlines was because she was a magistrate, he was a lawyer, and the co-accused are police officers.

Otherwise, this story would have never seen the light of day.

What shocked my friends even more was the fact that the woman in question is not a Kikuyu woman.

From here, the conversation took a sharp turn from how evil women are turning out to be nowadays, and how disenfranchised the boy child is turning out to be economically, socially, and emotionally, to how scary Kikuyu women are.

That’s right. Every time you hear a Kenyan woman has been accused of killing her husband or significant other, the woman is most probably a Kikuyu woman.

And, the killing is never self-defence. It’s usually premeditated with anger at the man, or a desire for the man’s wealth (~96% of the cases) as the main motives.

It gets worse.

Every time you hear that a man’s privates have been cut off, there’s probably an irate, non-repentant Kikuyu woman in the docks for that crime. (She’s probably from a place called Nyeri. Surprise, surprise, I hail from there as well).

And, you will never hear of these women serving jail sentences FYI. Somehow these things are swept under the rug, and not considered as serious domestic violence cases.

It gets even worse.

Every time you see a middle aged Kikuyu woman driving a Harrier, and/or is a landlady with flats especially those sides of Kikuyu (it’s a small town), there’s more likely an elderly gentleman who is six feet under, having died from mysterious causes.

Many of these women usually keep young men to satisfy their sexual needs. When I say ‘keep’, I mean that they sustain these young men financially.

………………………………………………………………………..

Dear reader,

I’m a Kikuyu woman, and I wish I could be, or even act appalled by this stereotyping of the women in our tribe, myself included, but the evidence is too loud to be ignored.

Everywhere you look, Kikuyu women are killing their husbands for all sorts of reasons, or beating them senseless, or taking all of their wealth, and leaving them destitute and hopeless.

Yes, Kikuyu women are to be feared.

One of the guys in the group, who is Kikuyu by the way, took it a notch further by letting us know that there was no way he would sleep with a Kikuyu woman.

Never!

It kind of hurt because he’s super cute, and unfortunately now, there’s no Kikuyu woman who will ever experience that yumminess.

All because we are known for all the wrong reasons.

We’re constantly shooting ourselves on the foot, we Kikuyu women.

If it is not our excessive love for money and material trappings, it’s our bad cooking; or our collectively poor fashion sense; or our temper that has no equal; or our inability to submit to our partners; or our lack of interest in coitus (apparently, we are known for just laying there).

….or the fact that we kill our men, or dismember them when they annoy us, or when they have become too much of a bother.

It’s not that all Kikuyu women exhibit the above traits, it’s just that many of these traits are common in so many of us that it must be a thing.

Do I exhibit any of these traits?

Let me start by saying that my cooking is phenomenal. I mean my own parents, who for your information are my harshest and biggest critics and from whom compliments are as rare as a clean Kenyan politician, think my cooking is amazing.

So do my brothers, and practically anyone I have ever cooked for in the last two years. Before that I wouldn’t be caught dead in the kitchen.

So, I’m not a bad cook. I hope that I have made that point abundantly clear.

The sex part- let’s just say that as I continue to age, I am getting more comfortable trying out new positions. But, yes, there was a time before that when all I did was just lay there.

I do, however, have a temper like seemingly the rest of the women folk in my community.

A bad one. One that can easily push me to violence in a split second.

It’s quite scary actually, especially now when you realize how many men are suffering from domestic violence abuse.

I hope I never lay a hand on my spouse (violently, that is). I hope this rotten aspect of being a Kikuyu woman from Nyeri never rears its ugly head because I never ever ever want my spouse to be part of that horrible statistic.

Am I submissive? No!

Do I have some semblance of fashion sense? Nowadays I do, actually!

Am I attracted to men because of their wealth and money? No! I am mainly attracted to people based on how cute or smart or funny or unique they are.

I was once in a relationship with someone because of how cute their nose was.

It gets worse.

I fell for my current boyfriend because he has dreadlocks! (I know, you want to hit me right now, but, I like what I like).

Furthermore, I have a ‘provider’ mindset, which means that I love providing for myself and the person I want to get nasty with.

At least on that note, the Kikuyuness didn’t rub off on me.

Anyway.

I love being a short Kikuyu woman. I wouldn’t change it for the world even with all the stereotypes that exist about us.

Like every other woman who has ever lived, I’m just going to have to rise above these stereotypes about women like me, and change/control some of the things about myself that would cause others around me to believe in these stereotypes simply because of my actions.

Enjoy your weekend, people 💖💖💖💖💖.

MAKING THE FIRST MOVE

Hi everyone 👋🏿👋🏿👋🏿👋🏿,

I’m back!

I haven’t posted anything in the last month, and that has me feeling a certain type of way. It feels like I am letting my spirit down for not writing my personal thoughts as often as I should.

So, here I am. Writing.

What should I write about?

My last three posts (this one, this one, and this one) were detailing the death and agony that was going on around me throughout the month of January this year.

January was a tough month all round.

But, February came with the much needed reprieve.

No deaths, no burials, and very few heartaches. Life slowly went back to normal.

The youth group in our church organized a Valentine’s dinner for the 15th of February. Entry was free; there was a buffet dinner, amazing music, great ambiance, great lighting and powerful speakers/relationship experts.

Of course, I had to sing a song to the audience that night because as I have told you before, dear reader, I can actually sing! The crowd loved my singing, but I still have a hard time looking at the crowd as I sing. On that night, I found myself looking up at the sky as I sang.

The sky was so beautiful that night, and yes, I am working on maintaining eye contact with the crowd throughout my performance.

Oh, which song did I sing, you ask?

Well, if you must know, I sang a rendition of the truly iconic love song, ‘Can’t help falling in love’.

I used the cover done by Jules Aurora for inspiration. She is such a talented singer!

Anyway, my performance was awesome, and I got some pretty amazing reviews after that.

Here I am performing (just in case you didn’t believe me, and need photographic evidence):

I invited literally everyone I watch football with at our local pub. So many of them came, and we had an exceptionally wonderful time. Who wouldn’t when there is free food and music?

John, my best friend, came all the way from Kilifi just for this dinner, and to hear me sing (that’s a lie; I know he came to see hot girls). Here he is eating 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

But, the most incredible thing about that night was that I actually had a date!

A date! A real date for Valentine’s. Colour me shocked because this is so unlike me. I never date. Never! I don’t go out on dates, or celebrate Valentine’s as a romantic holiday.

But, this year I did, and I am so glad.

And, get this, I’m the one who asked him to be my date. Yaaaaaaaay to girls making the first move!!

I almost died when he said yes!!

We had such a wonderful evening, and we haven’t looked back since.

He is now my boyfriend, and I am having the time of my life getting to know him better.

He makes me laugh. Hard! I’m always laughing when he’s around, and that is a beautiful thing!

He’s natural in every possible imaginable way. He doesn’t exaggerate who he is, how he feels, and there are no mind games. What you see is exactly what you get.

He’s into art and music in a way that is so captivating and enthralling, I’m just compelled to like him even more.

In these few weeks since we started dating, this man has opened me up to a world of Kenyan art and music that I had no clue existed!

Oh My God!!

We live in a capital full of orgasmic talent, and most of us are oblivious to it. We are letting little pieces of heaven slip us by. What a shame!

I was oblivious to it too for the longest time, but now that he has exposed me to this world, I feel awakened and hungry to hear, feel, see every artist’s body of work.

It’s a beautiful feeling!

Now, I can honestly say that I know authentic Kenyan artists, and that I have a favourite Kenyan band (it’s Yubu and his gang just in case you are wondering, check out their performance this previous Saturday at Dagoz Artists’ Bar below)

These guys are beyond amazing. My boyfriend sent me a link to some of their songs a couple of weeks ago, and asked me if I would like to see them perform.

I said yes, because they sounded amazing. During their performance that night, they dedicated two amazing songs to me, and for the longest time, I was breathless.

Ah, it was a beautiful feeling!

He also loves my voice ever since he heard it at that Valentine’s dinner. Because of his encouragement, I have performed thrice at Dagoz, even in front of Yubu and his gang, as well as some legendary acts like Dave Otieno, and Fariji.

I would have never thought of doing something like this. I am so glad he’s here to push me to dream even bigger.

My last performance was this last Sunday at Dagoz. I had never sang in front of such a big crowd before, and everyone there was a stranger, except my boyfriend, and my friend, Deborah.

He just asked me out of the blue if I could talk to the band to see if I could perform when they took their break. I did just that, and they said YES!!!

The crowd was mammoth, but, I wasn’t scared for some reason. It felt great being up there, and listening to my own voice was amazing.

Watching the crowd get stunned as I hit those notes is probably the most exhilarating experience I have had in my adult life. Wow!

And then, just after I had completed that number, even before the applause and the cheers had died down, they started demanding another song. I just had to do one last number for them, which they absolutely loved as well.

Oh, which songs did I perform that night, you ask?

1. Sweet talker (acoustic version) by Jessie J

2. Can’t help falling in love – Jules Aurora cover (it was still fresh in my mind)

The band members were blown away as well, and they are looking forward to jamming with me in the coming weeks ( I’ll keep you guys updated, I promise).

Honestly, all that mattered is that he loved how I performed.

I think I found my biggest fan, whose not just a fan of my voice, but of my entire essence.

I am so glad I made the first move. It has been an absolute life changer.

Goodbye everyone, and have yourselves fantastic weeks.

JANUARY 2019 III- WHEN TERROR STRIKES

And here comes part 3 of the series on deadly events that have transpired around us in the first month of 2019.

A TERROR ATTACK!

It sounds surreal even writing about it, like, did it really happen, or did we imagine it?

But, it’s true. It happened. It was not a dream, and 21 people died, just like that.

On the 15th of January 2019, 21 innocent people walked/drove/were driven into the Dusit D2 Complex on 14 Riverside Drive, and never came out (alive, that is).

Their families are devastated, their destinies having been forever altered by the actions of a few deranged, brainwashed, mentally unstable, backward individuals who have not yet realized that they are being used as pawns by powerful people, who by the way, place no value in their lives.

700 people were rescued, which we are grateful for, but, we might never fully comprehend the emotional scars they carry with them as a direct result of this terror attack.

They will morph into completely different people as a result of their experiences on this day. For many, the change will not be for the better.

In cases like this, there is also the trauma faced by the rescuers and first aiders, plus the individuals who live and work around the area where the terror attack has occurred.

It is literally a 15 minute walk between our city home, and the complex that was attacked. I pass this area everytime I am going and coming from home. Ever since the attack, all I keep thinking whenever I pass here is that it could have been me.

Or it could have been my parents.

Or one of the guys I watch soccer with at our local every weekend. Or one of their loved ones.

Or one of my friends from Church. Or their parents. Or their siblings.

It could have been any of us because of our proximity to the place, and we would have never known that our end was coming.

Sadly, the end came for those 21 souls. People who had plans for their days and for the rest of their lives.

People who had nothing to do with the war in Somalia. People who had done nothing to deserve the ire of Al-Shabaab.

They were just normal people, leading their daily lives, exercising their full human rights.

Words cannot even describe how senseless this attack was, how senseless every terror attack (including the ones orchestrated by the West) is.

We created this problem ourselves; all of us as a collective.

There are those of us who participated directly in fueling the flames of religious extremism (mainly for economic gain political dominance), and, there are those of us who stood idly by, pretending that we could not see the monster being created, pretending that we had no power to stop it.

WE ARE ALL TO BLAME! Each and every one of us, irrespective of religion, or nationality.

I personally feel like I am responsible. Like there is something I should do or should have done to help fight terrorism authentically without all of the political nuances and intonations.

Like there is a better way to handle this catastrophe, and it’s my fault for not working hard enough to figure it out. For always putting it at the back of my head because it does not affect me directly in the past.

But now it has affected me directly. And, it has been a wake-up call for me, and I hope for everyone else affected by this terror attack to put our individual efforts in solving this problem.

Whether it’s paying more attention to our surroundings, alerting the authorities of any suspicious activities around us, refraining ourselves from engaging in exclusionary practices based solely on religion, intervening before a loved one is inculcated into an extremist group, or choosing political leaders that promote rather than reject diversity, we all have a part to play.

There is something you can do today that can stop a terrorist attack tomorrow.

We owe it to these 21 Dusit D2 fallen souls plus the millions of innocent victims of terrorism all over the world.

You owe it to yourself and to your loved ones.

Stay safe!!!

JANUARY 2019- THE SAD, UGLY, AND DOWNRIGHT DEADLY II

Hi there,

It’s me, again.

Here comes part 2 of the series of sad, ugly, and deadly events that have transpired around my parents and I in January 2019.

Event 2

We had barely come to terms with my elder cousin’s deadly diagnosis, when a death occurred in our church congregation.

Just last Sunday, a week after my cousin was transported to Kenyatta National Hospital for emergency treatment, we were informed that the son to one of our fellow congregants had died suddenly in his sleep.

By all accounts, this was a healthy man in his late 30s living a healthy lifestyle, and yet here he was,….gone and never to be heard from again.

He was at the peak of his life, based on testimonies from friends and family, and now, he was no more.

The saddest part is that he died an ocean away from home (he was working and residing in Australia at the time of his death).

It’s so sad that his parents and sister never got the chance to say goodbye. Or maybe they did, but they just didn’t know that that would be their last farewell. That’s even sadder.

It’s devastating to think about the pain the family is going through right at this moment, and even as we keep on going to condole with them at their residence, the shock, for both us and them, isn’t wearing off.

We were told that he died in his sleep from a brain aneurysm. The assumption that most of my fellow congregants are making is that he died peacefully without any pain. If this is true, I hope it gives the family some form of comfort.

We are waiting for the full medical report from the coroner abroad so that we can begin the process of transporting the body back here as well as the funeral arrangements.

I have never met him, but I can tell how loved he was by the grief that we are all experiencing and the pain we are feeling on behalf of the family.

You can literally see the turmoil in their eyes. His sister has lost a dear friend, a confidant, a companion…an only sibling!

His parents have lost their first born child, their only son. An unbreakable bond that’s been dissolved before their very eyes.

The three of them were so used to having him as part of their life; his presence was guaranteed. For 39 years, he was an intrinsic part of their tight knit unit. How are they supposed to move on from this?

How?

They’ll be no getting over this for them, and even for us as a church community because three of our members will forever be hurting. When one of us is hurting, we are all hurting.

This is our pain, this is our loss.

——————————————————————

YESTERDAY, COME AGAIN by Kui

If only we could go back to yesterday,

When I could hear you speak,

When I could hold you,

If only we could go back to yesterday,

When your smile lit up my heart,

And we talked and laughed,

If only we could go back to yesterday,

When I was sure I would see you forever,

Ah, yesterday, won’t you come back again?

And if we could go back to yesterday,

I would hold you, and not let go,

And I would pray,

Pray,

That that lonely tomorrow,

That tomorrow that’s without you,

Never should I have to live through it.

Yesterday, won’t you come back again?

Rest with the angels, our dear son 💖💖💖💖💖💖

JANUARY 2019- SAD, UGLY, AND DEADLY (PART 1)

I hope wherever you are reading this from, you are having the best January of your life.

Too much of a stretch?

Okay, let me try again.

(Clears throat)

I hope wherever you are reading this from, your January 2019 is unfolding much better than mine is.

(Is that better? I hope so).

You can tell by the title of this post, that this January for me, and for so many people around me, is nothing but pure HELL.

It’s only the 17th of January, and I feel like I and the people I care about have lived 10 years within these first 17 days.

Let me explain.

Whenever we usher in a new year, we hope and pray for prosperity, health, success, promotions, wealth, love, and so many other desirable things.

We do this every year, and usually for me, January is a quiet month with very few surprises. Everything is moving slowly as we try to adjust ourselves to normal life after a long month of festivities.

But, not this January.

Nope! This one we’ve been hit by deadly surprises one after the other, and I can barely catch my breath. It almost feels like we are being cornered as we watch the invisible hand of death pick from all around us.

It’s only human to ask, am I next? Is someone I can’t imagine life without, next?

She’s hitting so close to home, and a pattern is forming, at least in my mind. And, I know I’m usually the paranoid one, the worrier, the overly anxious one, the overthinker; so maybe my concerns are baseless. Or are they?

So, what exactly has been happening? What’s got me so frazzled?

I’ll tell you. Let’s start from the beginning, shall we?

Event 1

On the first weekend of 2019, my elder cousin was transported from a town called Nanyuki to Nairobi, our capital city, for emergency treatment.

She arrived at the wee hours of Saturday morning at Kenyatta Hospitality (our public national hospital), and my parents drove there to help with admission and stuff.

I went there during the day on Saturday, and I was shocked at how ill she was. She couldn’t swallow anything (she still can’t) because there was something blocking the food and water from passing through. She was so emaciated it was hard to believe it was the same woman. And, she’s in so much pain.

My parents and I have been taking turns visiting her since the day of admission, but it’s getting harder now to see her because her condition is getting worse every day.

This week they finally told us that she is suffering from throat cancer, and it is at the advanced stage. The doctors are not very confident that we can beat it.

This is not the only life-threatening disease that she has. She has suffered from epilepsy all her life, and these epileptic attacks have caused her to suffer so many physical injuries. For instance, during one of these epileptic episodes, her leg was severely burned when she kicked over the stove, and it burned her. To this day, several surgeries later, her leg still oozes pus sometimes, and her mobility is diminished.

She’s also suffered from chronic nose bleeding for years, and this has resulted in further complications.

This is not the first time that we as a family have experienced cancer. Both my maternal grandparents died from cancer. My maternal uncle and aunt also died from cancer. My real mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer a year or so before her death, and this must have contributed significantly to her decision to take her own life.

So, we’ve been down this road before, we know the outcome. Yes, there are better medicines now, and better equipment, but my research indicates that the survival rate for late stage throat cancer is still quite low in the country.

But, I’m not going to think about that. I’m going to think about her, her mother, her children, and her children’s children. I’m going to think about her healing, and I’m going to think about how we can reduce the pain.

I’ve seen her laugh a couple of times before and after the diagnosis. Seeing her laugh gives us strength; it gives us hope, and renews our spirit.

I’m also going to think about her eyes. She has these incredibly innocent white eyes. They are so beautiful, so childlike. I have never seen a middle aged woman with eyes like those, so clean.

Wherever this journey takes us, we shall walk together, for each other.

Did you know that Kenya is in the African Eosaphagal Cancer Corridor, which means we have the highest incidences of throat cancer in this region? We are basically a hotspot for throat cancer. Shocking!!

Part 2 and part 3 of this series are coming up shortly.

Try and have yourself a wonderful January, for my sake 💖💖💖💖💖

THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON I LEARNT IN 2018

2018… it’s almost done, y’all, and I’m still here…. yaaaaaaaay!!

It’s been an interesting year for me, full of challenges, intrigues, and mysteries (psyche! My life isn’t that interesting).

I have had fun living this year, and I can honestly say that for most days in 2018, I lived my life with intention, I followed my passions (baby steps), and I remained true to myself.

For most days….

I think my biggest achievement this year was being able to prioritize my loved ones despite how crazy busy my schedule got, or I wanted it to get. I managed to do this by completely turning my life upside down (😮😮😮) in order to accommodate the people who mean the absolute world to me.

Okay, maybe I’m being a tad dramatic as all I did was relocate from the capital city to upcountry (in order to help my mum manage her farm- she’s getting old and she can’t keep traveling to and from the city in order to oversee farm activity) where I spend most of my weekdays.

On the weekends, I travel back to the capital city in order to take my darling nephews to church every Sunday (I’m a Sunday School teacher, and a deacon, remember?), and to spend time with my best friend, John.

My new lifestyle took a lot of adjusting, but, honestly it’s been worth it. I feel whole now as opposed to how I felt at the beginning of the year. The depth of my relationships with my loved ones has increased, and all I had to do was just be there, be present.

Take my mum, for instance, we’ve become absolutely inseparable since I moved to the farm, (and began to spend weekends with her in the capital city).

Before I moved, I had no idea how much her age and deteriorating health (she’s a 70 year old with high blood pressure and diabetes) was affecting her life and her mobility. Don’t get me wrong, she can still move around and stuff, but she has so many things to manage, and it’s becoming very taxing for her.

She’s also quite forgetful nowadays, and her eyesight and hearing have had better days.

There’s also the loneliness bit of it. Aging can be lonely, that’s for sure!

I would have never known the challenges my mum was facing if I hadn’t stepped out of my self-centric comfort zone.

But, I am so glad that I have gotten the opportunity to make her life, in her old age, much easier, more comfortable, and more enjoyable.

She relies on me so much nowadays (including mentally and emotionally), and it’s an absolute honour for me. This beautiful lady has sacrificed everything for my brothers and I to be where we are today- and, I am glad that I am physically close enough to her to be able to give back to her every single day in all the ways that I can 💖💖💖.

I can say the same thing about my relationships with my brothers and my best friend. My bonds with these boys is considerably stronger than they were a year ago.

I’m here when they need me, and they know that- what a spectacular feeling!!

Here’s a pic of me, two of my brothers, and my nephews.

The quality of my life has also dramatically improved- I can’t compare to how I was when I was living alone. Don’t get me wrong, living alone was immensely fun mainly because

– I like being alone most of the time (my company is that awesome),

– I am a workaholic (it’s not a good thing)

– I don’t like sharing my time (refer to the first point)

– I love routines. I am sure I have told you this before, but I absolutely love routines. Living alone meant that I could follow and enforce my own routines without anyone judging me or interrupting me

– My apartment was my sex pad, and I could dictate my sex calendar (so liberating)

BUT….

………it was still empty. Why? Because I wasn’t paying attention to the people that matter, people that actually yearn for my presence i.e. my mother, my best friend, my father, my nephews and my brothers (in that specific order).

My spirit wasn’t at peace knowing that I wasn’t giving the very best of myself to the people who have loved me through EVERY stage of my life.

There’s something very selfish about spending all of your time alone when there are people that love you and would love to share some of your time. I have been selfish for a very long while.

This by the way is my biggest weakness when it comes to relationships (familial, sexual, or romantic)- I just don’t like sharing my time with others (probably why I am still single)

But, I realize now that this is not the way to live. Something about the way I lived my life had to change in order for me to be the best daughter, the best sister, the best aunty, and the best best friend that I could possibly be.

That something involved relocating upcountry and traveling to the capital every weekend (it’s only 1 1/2 hours away).

The best part is: I was able to purchase a parcel of land just right next to my mum’s!!!😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁

My biggest lesson learnt in 2018 has brought with it an abundance of blessings, and I am truly happy that I chose this path.

I have found fulfilment in sharing my time with the people I love; I have found balance; I have found purpose 💖💓💖💓💖

And, you can too.. don’t wait until it’s too late!

MY LIFE-CHANGING EXPERIENCE WITH GREEN TEA

Question: Is there a support group for green tea addicts?

If there is, then I need to be in it. Guys, I NEED HELP!!!!

I drink so much green tea in a day that sometimes I end up getting nauseous (this is usually when it hits me that it’s time to eat).

And, I am not trying to accomplish anything by drinking copious amounts of the beverage, I just love how it tastes, the bitter the better (too often, I catch myself wondering what exactly is wrong with me, you’re probably wondering the same thing aren’t you?)

I absolutely love green tea.

Art by Carter Kingsley

On normal days, I can take at least four large cups of green tea, much to the astonishment of those around me (mainly my mum, dad, brothers, John, cousins, farm assistants, and my friends in church – yes people, I carry green tea bags to church).

Oh, and get this, it’s always sugarless.

Hahaha, I love the look on people’s faces when they ask to taste my tea, and find that it’s sugarless. That look is… PRICELESS!!

I stopped sweetening my tea a few years ago, mainly because the scientists were and are still saying that we should reduce our consumption of sugar. I also stopped drinking soda for that exact same reason. I don’t actually know if I am healthier than the people who do consume these products, but, my body still works optimally (I believe), so I must be doing something right!

Anyway, back to green tea!

I started drinking green tea while in campus (I’d like to say 2nd year) because my research (extensively done by the way) had shown that it could help make my hair grow longer. It and neem (mwarubaini).

Side note: I have always been obsessed with long hair, ever since I was a young girl. I would pray every night for my hair to grow longer and for me to grow taller.

Why? Because I thought I would be prettier if I had longer hair and if I were taller (absurd, I know).

Suffice to say the height bit never quite worked out. I’m like 5.2″ now, so yeah, those prayers were never answered 😤😤😤.

Okay, now seriously, back to green tea.

Neem was way too bitter even for me, so I decided to go with the green tea, and boy oh boy, did I find a lifetime obsession.

I drank green tea religiously in one semester, and my hair actually grew! It grew! I was so estatic! And it was during the time I was transitioning from permed hair to natural. It looked wonderful!

So, yeah, it helped my hair grow back then. Just a little but it was noticeably thicker and longer.

Another awesome thing happened when I drank green tea that semester. I was a heavy smoker back then and green tea somehow helped quell the urges.

I was gobsmacked! Longer hair, less smoking, my life was seemingly on the right track.

You would expect that I would continue taking this miraculous beverage because of its visible benefits.

Nope! Not this girl! I honestly don’t even know why I stopped taking it, and my addictions continued to spiral out of control. My hair did not fare so well either.

But, I was young, dumb, and reckless back then, so it’s understandable. Not much has changed though, so no need to get your hopes up 🙃🙃🙃😏😏😏.

I cleared campus in 2014, and had spent the whole of 2015 in Meru so that I could get to know my biological father better. Or was it so that I could drink myself to death unencumbered?

I’m thinking it was both.

There was hardly any green tea consumption during this time, just a lot of booze, even more than in campus. By the way, my drinking escapades here were LEGENDARY…. they were crazy, but still the stuff of legends.

But, in 2016, when I moved back to Nairobi, I took up green tea again, and I swear weird things started to happen.

No, I didn’t and haven’t grown taller, if that’s what you were thinking (insert eye roll).

But, my hair, OH MY GOODNESS!! Let’s just say that my dreams have come true in terms of hair. I have luscious dreadlocks that are so long, and my mother (and nearly everyone I meet) is in constant awe (over my hair- not my height).

(I would show you a picture but Wahu didn’t raise a braggart 😋😋).

Other than the green tea, I think that having a great loctician has also played a seriously huge role in how healthy my hair is.

Another weird thing- I don’t smoke anymore. I have been cigarette free for close to two years now, which, to me, has been an amazing feat.

I quit smoking gradually, and naturally, and at first, I didn’t even notice that I wasn’t smoking anymore. The urges just dissipated by themselves without any intervention, medical or otherwise.

I can’t even believe that I used to smoke, let alone the fact that I had been addicted to cigarette smoking for years! It’s like that entire phase of my life has been erased. I honestly can’t even remember the taste or even the brands. It’s literally like I have never smoked a cigarette in my life!

I don’t know if there are chemicals in the green tea that can actually control your urges or if I just swapped one unhealthy addiction (cigarettes) for another healthier one (green tea), but whatever the case, I am so proud of myself for quitting this disastrous behaviour.

And then, there was the alcohol. This one was a bit harder to break, and took a longer time to overcome, but I can honestly and proudly claim that I no longer drink. Not a sip! Not even wine! And this is coming from a girl who used to be drunk from Monday to Monday less than two years ago.

Of course, leaving these time consuming habits has enabled me to focus on other areas of my life, especially my writing. I have been able to build a stable freelance writing career from scratch in the last two years, and even here, green tea has been extremely instrumental.

My ability to focus improves dramatically when I am sipping cups of my favourite tea while writing as opposed to when I am writing without consuming the tea.

Again, I don’t know why this happens, but it is an observation I have made countless of times.

Lastly, I have a strong conviction that green tea has altered my metabolism, and my ability to lose and gain weight.

Before I started taking green tea regularly, I was a very poor eater. The poorest eater of all poor eaters, and as a result, I was a very tiny girl. I just didn’t like eating, I found it boring and time consuming.

Nowadays, things have changed drastically!

I’m still petite, that’s for sure, but I am not as thin as I used to be. Why? I eat like a crazy person nowadays, because of my high metabolism thanks to all of the green tea I drink daily. I eat, drink green tea, and within a few hours, I need something else to bite.

Funny thing, my weight has not changed much even with my ever-growing appetite. I’m still 48 kgs, despite all of the food I eat. I know it seems small for a girl so close to 30 years, but I am actually very healthy and strong. I think I was just born to be small, and there is very little I can do about that.

So, that’s it;- my journey with green tea, and the changes I have noticed ever since I started consuming it.

I’m not saying that green tea is a miracle cure for everything under the sun, but, I am sure glad that I drink it!!

If you have a green tea story, feel free to share it with me in the comments.

❤️❤️❤️……

POLITICS, THE CHURCH, AND POSSIBLE CONFLICT OF INTEREST

So, I’m a deacon now…………………………………….

in church!

Gasp!!!!

I and other deacons were ordained last Sunday in front of the entire church (Wahu and Kamande included).

We had to kneel and say vows, and stuff (it was funny… I haven’t knelt in so long, it felt weird).

There was also no lunch or special snacks afterwards, so that kind of sucked. And, I still had to teach Sunday School (a role that I take great pride in, but I thought they would give us a break, seeing as it was such a ‘special’ day).

But, I’m not too bothered by this.

Deaconhood suits me; I wear it well, if I do say so myself. Although, technically, it’s been less than a week, and I actually haven’t done anything deacony yet.

But, I am supposed to do something deacony this Sunday, and it’s making me a bit uncomfortable.

Okay, here goes…

Our church is hosting a super Harambee (fundraiser) this coming Sunday to raise funds for a bigger sanctuary (we congregate in a nursery school; I for one think it’s cute, but you know churches and their expansionist policies)

A very important guest will be in attendance, and I am very conflicted about his possible presence on Sunday.

You guessed it!

It’s our very own deputy president of the Republic. If you’re Kenyan, I’m sure you didn’t have to try that hard to figure it out. His name has become synonymous with church fundraisers lately, so, it’s pretty obvious I was referring to him.

Now, I am not trying to be sanctimonious or nothing, because even I have a past, and the church accepts my offering every single Sunday. So why should she react differently when it comes to the deputy president’s contribution?

Well, for starters, there’s the nagging possibility that the money he’s dishing out to all of these churches is part of his ill-gotten loot (he’s perceived to be one of the most corrupt individuals in the country;- where there’s smoke, there’s always fire, people).

I have heard some of the older congregants brush this off claiming that ‘everyone steals’. I don’t think that’s true, and even if it were, shouldn’t the Church be standing up against this vice.

How?

Not accepting stolen public loot from corrupt politicians seems like a very great place to start, don’t you think?

I mean, how can the Kenyan religious fraternity claim to be admonishing corruption and at the same time be in the front lines when it comes to receiving ‘alleged’ proceeds of corruption?

I have raised this question in regards to the deputy president’s impending visit to our tiny church, and this is the response I keep receiving:

At least he is returning some of the money back to the public. He’s better than those who don’t return anything‘.

Wow!

This is just sad.

We have grown so accustomed to being stolen from as a people that we applaud those who steal from our public coffers and ‘return’ a negligible proportion of it as charity.

And, it’s not like this charity comes without strings attached.

Of course, he’s doing this for political goodwill. He knows with the Church’s support, it’s much easier to win his desired political post. Otherwise, he would have contributed silently without all of this hullabaloo.

And, how can we criticize someone when we have already accepted money from him?

I feel like his (and other politicians’) donations have the potential to gag churches disabling them from ever criticizing bad governance.

Knowing all this, how can I possibly in good conscience, appear on Sunday and perform my deacon duties?

I am so troubled…so, so, so troubled!!

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But, I hear there will be good food. I love food. Food always makes me happy, which can come in handy as I try to grapple with the realisation that we accepted *allegedly* stolen money to build a bigger sanctuary.

And I am also going to need a lot of good food because later on that evening, Arsenal will be up against Tottenham. It’s a scary game!!!

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For those who follow me on Facebook, my new position might come as a surprise to you given the numerous anti-religious posts that I share on the platform.

Don’t be alarmed! I’m not leading a double life. I have very strong criticisms about Christianity as a religion, and I am very vocal about this at home and even in church.

But, I have learnt to separate the religion/theistic dogmas from the faith. I have learnt to focus on the faith aspects of the predominant religion that I have been exposed to, and mix these with my own inherent and acquired values.

In short, I have come up with my own faith, because I feel that’s a right for every human being- to choose or create your own beliefs (sounds ridiculous I know but it works, for me at least).

And what better way to change what I think is wrong with the church than infiltrating (I use this word very lightly) the institution and working on it from the inside. I feel that this is a more effective way of fixing the problem rather than just throwing stones at the institution.

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Anyway, let’s see how Sunday goes…bye for now!!

DEPRESSION, SEX, AND DRUGS

Ask anyone who knew me in campus or two years after that about the kind of girl I was, and they will probably tell you a myriad of stories, all of them revolving around my drinking and smoking.

This is despite how sweet and innocent looking I was. Exhibit A:

My habits were not only bad, they were excessive. I tend to be a slave to routine, and unfortunately, those days, alcohol and cigarettes were a big part of my daily life.

Whenever I look back at how I used to live my life a few years ago, I see that my habits were extremely unbecoming of a woman with a forehead such as mine (I’d like to believe that there is a code of ethics that girls with HUGE foreheads have to live by; such facial features are a gift that come with their own set of rules and morals).

But that is the girl I was back then.

A heavy smoker, an alcoholic, and a depressed little girl trying to hide herself and her forehead from the world.

Of course, with the excessive alcohol intake came the many sexual escapades, some of which were a pretty risky undertaking.

There was A LOT of sex! A LOT!

And there was also the RA (rheumatoid arthritis), most likely triggered by my excessive smoking.

Even that didn’t stop me from engaging in these harmful activities. In fact, the pain from the RA fueled my drinking and smoking because they helped me forget about the pain and also the shock of having such a condition at such an early age.

Yes, I was using drugs and sex as a way to cope with things, and I had been doing it for years without realising it.

It’s like I wanted my life to end, but I was too scared to go through with it the quick way (although, I did try once and it failed miserably. It’s crazy; after a failed suicide attempt, shouldn’t you get like an epiphany or something, that leaves you wanting to live your life better?)

The epiphany never came in my case.

And so, I chose the slowest, most painful, most accessible, yet most concealed way of ending my existence.

The drinking. The smoking. The sex.

No one knew that I was on a mission. I don’t think even I knew I was on a mission.

On the surface, I thought I was doing it because I liked it; but, on further introspection now, I can see that I was doing it to cope.

Unfortunately, I had no clue what it was that I needed to cope with, which fueled my frustration further.

So, even though I promised myself not to kill myself, I found relief in engaging in such risky activities because they had the potential to do the job for me.

There was something wrong inside; but I didn’t know what was wrong, I didn’t even know how to find out what was wrong.

So frustrating!

And so, the drinking, and the smoking, and the indiscriminate sexual activity continued.

But even the most well laid out plans can backfire, and my deep conscious’ attempt at ending this seemingly miserable life through drugs and sex, wasn’t working.

I was as wreckless as I could be, risking my life in ways that you can only imagine, and not even a scratch (okay, maybe apart from the RA, which came and went as it pleased- it wasn’t doing its job fast enough, and I wanted results).

I was tired. I was bored. Nothing was working, and so, I became recluse.

The more I spent time alone, listening to my thoughts, the more I became aware of the sadness that had engulfed me mentally and emotionally.

I had never known I was sad. I had never known how sick sadness was making me mentally.

The sadness was emanating from wounds in my past (mostly childhood) that had never healed; grief that I had never properly processed; anguish and pain that I had never acknowledged.

Bad things had happened to me, and I buried these memories so deep making them virtually non-existent.

But they didn’t go away, and I continued piling memory after memory, pain after pain.

Introspection led me to start reliving these memories instead of running away from them.

It felt like an endless horror movie each time I did these mental exercises, but they helped me gain a better perspective of my experiences. They helped me validate all of the anger and all of the pain that I felt I wasn’t allowed to feel.

For the longest time I had believed I wasn’t allowed to mourn the death of my mother, abandonment by my father, or the loss of my innocence at such an early age; they happened, and there was nothing I could do to change it, but to just move on like everyone else, and forget.

But that wasn’t right. The girl inside needed to be heard, needed her pain to be acknowledged, needed her vulnerability to be seen.

No one else could do this. No one else but me.

Bearing witness to the pain inside helped me heal. The inner me could now trust herself to be open, and I am a beautiful sight.

I learnt to love the wounds and the scars and the damage inside, and to accept them as a part of who I am.

I learnt to authentically love myself despite of how messed up I was, despite all of the miserable choices I had made.

I also learnt that there was so much more to me than my trauma.

I learnt that I am obsessed with routines, and I absolutely THRIVE when there’s a routine in place.

I learnt that I love to be alone. I love being left to my own devices for long stretches of time. I find it so refreshing.

I love to hear the sound of my laughter. It makes me laugh more.

I love to eat (alone), and to cook for myself. I find immense pleasure in spending time by myself doing normal, simple things.

I love to read. Economics is a great turn on for me.

I learnt to look deeper past people’s actions in an attempt to make sense of why they do what they do. This little nugget helped me come to terms with my mum’s suicide, and my dad’s leaving.

And, of course, I learnt more about my sexuality. What I like, what I don’t like; who I like it with, and who I don’t like it with. I’m still at the sex-without-commitment stage because I’m really into variety and I LOVE my own space. But now this is no-risk sex. It’s clean, it’s fun; no alcohol or drugs . My physical needs are met, and that, for me, is a top priority.

Maybe in time, I will learn how to share myself emotionally and mentally with someone. But, I am not there yet.

I also learnt that there are people whose regular presence in my life has been a boost to my mental health.

Wahu, my adopted mummy is number one on this list. She is my rock. We are INSEPARABLE!!

My best friend John is also on this list. And so are my nephews and niece, Justin, Jude, Aiden, and Jasmine, plus my annoying brothers.

I have learnt to follow my intuition, my own voice, and the more I do, the more I end up exactly where I want to be. Fulfilled!

Most importantly, I have learnt to value myself. To appreciate myself even when no one else does. To feel beautiful inside and also to acknowledge and appreciate how physically attractive I am.

And to learn and love people… just the way they are…

Have an awesome rest of the week, won’t you?