Category Archives: KENYA

LEGALIZE ABORTION BUT EMPHASIS ON PREVENTION OF UNWANTED PREGNANCIES IN KENYA

I am a 28 year old, sexually active woman.

I have been sexually active for almost a decade now.

Gosh! Reading that last part out loud makes me feel a certain kind of way about my age.

(Weird thing on the same note: I got my driving licence exactly 10 years ago, and I have never touched the wheel of a car since then. What exactly is wrong with me?).

Anyway. Where were we?

Oh yeah, sex!

I love having sex, especially now that I do it with someone I have very strong feelings for.

Nowadays, I’m very responsible about sex. Like very responsible!

But, I wasn’t always such a good girl.

Yes, there was a time when pain, confusion, depression, and stupidity of youth ran my life.

Sex was part of my poison, and boy, did I indulge! And, in many instances, I was doing it without taking the necessary precautions.

I got away with my recklessness. I’m a lucky little girl.

Not so smart but infinitely lucky.

I didn’t get sick; I didn’t get pregnant.

How? No idea. Fortunately, my stupidity phase gradually wore out as I entered my later 20s, before I could make any life changing mistakes.

I still don’t have a strong liking for children, and I shudder to think about the kind of mother I would have become had I accidentally fallen pregnant during this tumultuous stage of my life.

I don’t know why I lack the apparently ‘inherent’ motherly instinct. I guess I just wasn’t born with it.

I would have been a bad mother, that’s a fact. Why would I have been a bad mother? Because, I’m sure I wouldn’t have wanted the child. And, being forced to keep that child would have made me resent this innocent being, because, as you know, I was a dumb child back then.

I’m sure even the shape of his/her head would have ticked me off.

It sounds mean, but it’s true. I just wasn’t ready for such a huge responsibility then.

I’m ready for the financial responsibility now, but, I don’t think I’m ready for the mental, emotional, and physical responsibility as of yet. I might be 28, but I seem to mature much slower than other females.

Emotionally that is… I’m all good in the physical sector, thank you!

Abortion is illegal in our country, and I don’t know if I would have received any help in acquiring one ‘under water’.

I hear abortion is commonplace in Kenya, but, I wouldn’t know where to start. I just don’t have the streetsmarts like other girls do.

It simply wouldn’t have been an option for me, and I’m sure it isn’t an option for millions of Kenyan girls who are/were just as naive and as reckless as I was, but also unlucky.

But, it should be an option. An option made available to the millions of horny teenage girls who are as reckless and as naive as I was back then.

People make mistakes all of the time especially when it comes to sex. I don’t see why women need to be the ones bearing the brunt of mistakes that can easily be rectified with one medical procedure.

If I had fallen pregnant at this time, I would have sought an abortion with everything in me. There’s no way I would carry a baby I didn’t want, and I wasn’t ready for simply because I would have been a pretty useless mum back then.

Motherhood is serious. You need to go into it wholeheartedly. You shouldn’t just get into it accidentally, and hope for the best, especially when you are not mature enough, and cannot support yourself and the baby.

Abortion should also be an option to girls who have been raped by strangers and by family members, and ended up pregnant.

It should be an option to women whose health and lives would be in danger if they carried a high risk pregnancy to term.

An option to women carrying nonviable pregnancies; as well as an option to women who would give birth to babies with severe defects if forced to carry their pregnancies to full term.

Abortion should be an option. A legal option to any woman in this country. An option that doesn’t carry with it any shame, or ostracism.

However, it should only just be the option of last resort.

We need to focus on preventing these unwanted pregnancies in the first place.

How?

Let’s begin by educating teenage girls on using protection everytime they engage in sex.

Not just in class. Everywhere!

Let there be government sponsored ads on billboards and on TV that specifically target young girls with the aim of informing and educating them of their individual responsibility for their own sexual health.

Let it be so in their face that any teenager or young adult engaging in sex uses protection instinctively.

We also need to start proactively giving our girls and young women access to condoms, and instilling in them the confidence to demand that their sexual partners use these every time they decide to engage in consensual sex.

It would be even more proactive to give our young girls access to female condoms so that they are completely in charge of their bodies.

Such a scenario would be so liberating!

Boys too need to be trained thoroughly on the importance of using condoms in every single sexual encounter; not just for the sake of avoiding unwanted pregnancies, but, also for their own sexual health.

While providing our girls with access to condoms and birth control, we also need to be engaging our girls on the consequences of unwanted pregnancies.

The loss of education/income opportunities, the stigma associated with early pregnancies, abandonment by the father of the child, and the physical, mental, financial, and emotional burden of having a child when you are just not ready.

If you are not ready for such a heavy responsibility, you are more than likely going to make some huge mistakes along the way.

No sane woman wants to make her child suffer the consequences of her ill-preparedness for the journey that is motherhood.

Furthermore, we need to actively educate women on seeking immediate medical attention in case of rape in order to avoid the possibility of a pregnancy, or worse, an STD.

(Can I just say that I am for the castration of male rapists especially those with pedophilic tendencies. But, this then raises the question of what would be an equal punishment for female rapists?….mmmmh, I’ll have to think further on that one).

Abortion should be made a legal and accessible option for each female in this country. But, as I said, it should only come as a last resort.

Before this, we need to pursue all preventive measures at our disposal to the fullest possible extent so that we can mitigate the risks that come with abortions, regardless of how legal and safe they may be.

It’s more than a tad unfair to make young girls, who are simply dipping their toes into the turbulent waters of sex, have to live with the consequences of one bad decision for the rest of their lives.

There needs to be a fair playing field for both boys and girls.

We need to stop making girls jump through overwhelming hoops, and punishing them for silly mistakes they made in their youth while letting their counterparts go scott free.

Hence, the urgency of employing all of these measures described plus many more instead of simply burying our heads in the ground pretending they are not having sex, and throwing them under the bus completely when they fall pregnant accidentally.

Thank you for reading! Have a nice day. Kisses πŸ’œπŸ’–πŸ’œπŸ’–πŸ’œπŸ’–

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QUESTIONS WE NEED ANSWERS TO: HUDUMA NUMBER

I hate being forced to do things. That’s exactly what I felt was happening when our government started pushing us to register for the mysterious ‘Huduma Number’.

We’d never heard about this number before the beginning of year, and all of a sudden, the government has put registration of all Kenyans as its top priority.

Not the hunger that was ravaging many parts of this country because this same Government didn’t use the data it already has proactively.

Not the spiraling public debt that could throw our economy into turbulence.

Not the surge in mental illness that is turning our men and women into killers.

Nope. Its top priority is getting us registered for God knows what reason.

The government is threatening to deny its services to citizens that do not have the number (which, btw is actually illegal).

This ‘super-helpful’ process is costing us Ksh 6 billion just ahead of an 18 billion shilling census.

Can you imagine that! More than 24 billion spent on collecting citizens’ personal data in a year that the government is supposed to be implementing austerity measures.

This Government is a punishment for our collective stupidity, greed, and naivety as a populace.

Back to Huduma Namba

I and millions of other Kenyans including children had to waste an entire day at least once in the last 45 days, queing in order to register for this supposed elixir for proper service delivery.

We are not even sure as to how this number is supposed to help us.

I have never heard anyone complain that we have too many identification numbers. Each one has a specific purpose, and keeping them separate is ideal when you live in a country run by a government gone rogue.

That aside, I don’t think our government has the capability of delivering to all of us these squeaky clean numbers that are meant to be the gateway to all of its services.

Epic fail best describes this government, and perhaps deployment of the Huduma Namba will be nothing but a pipe dream, and the citizens can rest a bit easy knowing that an incompetent government doesn’t have in its possession all of their data in one centralised location.

Some of the questions I have regarding this number include:

Is it going to improve service delivery?

How is one number the magic trick for fixing everything that is wrong with our government?

How is this unique identifier different to the other unique identifier numbers we possess?

Wouldn’t it be cheaper to declare our national IDs the only identifier?

Do we really need a census after this harrowing experience? Doesn’t this entity already have all the information it needs?

Will corruption holes in government be sealed as a result of this number?

Where did this idea come from?

Did it come from the Chinese?

Which case studies did they use as proof that this will work?

Is our data secure?

Although most of the data we are providing is already in government records, won’t centralising this data make it easy to steal.

If someone stole this information, what exactly would they do with it?

Will this data be used to monitor us as citizens?

We already live in a failed state; we don’t want to live in a police one too where all of your movements are monitored and trackable.

How is a democratic state supposed to run when the Government can monitor, and quell any opposing individuals?

We will be in a lot of shit when our government finally figures out how to control what we do online and offline.

Who stands to benefit from the tenders associated with registration and maintenance of Huduma Namba database?

Some of the companies awarded the tenders were the same crooks that sold us the registration kits for last elections. They did less than a stellar job, so what makes the Government think they’ll do a better job this time?

Will the maintenance of this database be done at the national or county level?

What happens to kids born after the deadline? How will they get registered?

Who should be held accountable in the event that a data breach occurs, and personal data ends up stolen?

Who should be held accountable if the constitutional rights of citizens to privacy, movement, freedom of speech, and freedom of association, are curtailed as a result of this massive collection and storage of citizen data?

Everything is a bit up in the air at the moment, but, soon we’ll know the truth about this number, and who it is truly supposed to benefit.

Let’s just hope the government effs this up like it does everything else so that we don’t pay the harsh consequences of mass registration.

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 πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–

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 πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–.

MAKING THE FIRST MOVE

Hi everyone πŸ‘‹πŸΏπŸ‘‹πŸΏπŸ‘‹πŸΏπŸ‘‹πŸΏ,

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 πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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.

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!!

Before You Get a Sponsor- Lessons Learnt From a Kenyan Girl Who Paid The Ultimate Price

When the news of Sharon Otieno’s death broke a couple of months ago, the whole country froze! It was all any of us could talk or think about for the many weeks that followed.

I remember that day like it was yesterday. My parents were accompanying me to Komarock to see a parcel of land (because in my father’s eyes I’m still a baby who can’t be trusted to make big decisions- there’s also the small matter of him being a licensed land surveyor making him much more experienced in these matters than I will ever be).

In the car with us were two other friendly surveyors from the company selling the land, and the news of Sharon’s death was all we talked about to and from Komarock. The details were still sketchy but they spread like wildfire on social media, giving us a lot of material to discuss.

Her death continued to make headlines throughout October as the prime suspects were arraigned in court.

Why has her death been so captivating?

– It was the way she was murdered- it was beyond macabre; the gory details of the murder of this young woman seemed to be straight out of a horror movie script

– it was the fact that she was pregnant- 7 months no less; (FYI in Swahili, an unborn baby is known as kilenge; I just thought you should know)

– it was the fact that there were stab wounds on the foetus’ body. This is just another level of inhuman.

– and it was also because of who was implicated in the murder- a sitting governor! The father of the baby she was carrying!

That man was granted bail a few days ago after spending a month in jail. On that day, there was a jubilant crowd of his home supporters outside the court room ready to embrace their son. (Can I just point out that many of those supporters eagerly awaiting his release on bail were women- talk about being our own worst enemy, ladies..)

I did not see a crowd full of the slain woman’s family’s supporters. There were no placards demanding justice for Sharon and her late child.

The main suspect, was out. He was happy; he was relaxed.

He gets to hug his family members. That must be a relief.

I don’t understand why his wife is still with him, though- I hope I never have that level of ‘grace’.

Plus, I don’t envy her at all, woi; I wouldn’t want to sleep in the same room with such a man.

Let’s put this into perspective- your husband is accused of murdering a girl, his lover to be precise. She is young enough to be your daughter, and it turns out she was seven months pregnant, with his child, no less.

How are you supposed to be even in the same house with such an alleged monster, leave alone let him lie next to you for an entire night? What level of sanity are you required to have mastered in order to even stand to look at him…to hear him speak as if everything is normal, and that everything in the news is a bunch of hogwash?

I just can’t!

And her kids! Her kids! Jesus, they must be traumatized by their father’s alleged actions. They are probably not getting over this soon. (I am trying to put myself in their shoes-hopefully, they are good, sane kids. On the other hand, they could be horrible, entitled kids for all we know, and they are sleeping very well at night, their mother too).

He gets to resume his duty as governor because in our Constitution, you are not guilty until you are proven so by a court of law.

So guess what Migori?! You have an alleged murderer, and a confirmed sexual predator preying on young women in your universities as your county leader- you guys must have won some raffle!!!

I wonder how the murder, the investigations, the arrests have affected business and investments in Migori county. That would be a super interesting case study on why having an alleged criminal as your county governor is bad for business. Maybe then Kenyans will learn to choose leaders of good character (a girl can hope).

Okay, back to the story.

So, he has been set free on bail, and I expect he is going to move on with his life, and to do everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, to put this matter to rest (including appearing in a local church unannounced; because PR is important even when facing murder charges).

He is a powerful man, and powerful men have the means to make things happen.

Everyone is going to move on with their lives.

Everyone except Sharon….

Except her unborn baby (her kilenge)…

Except her living kids…

Except her mother and father…

I dare say that even her former husband is not going to move on from this treacherous ordeal.

This is a sad story but one that is full of lessons for everyone that it has touched.

I think the biggest lesson I have learned from this deadly love affair is one on the power dynamics of sponsor-sponsee relationships.

It is quite obvious that in such relationships, the sponsor is the one with the power, and he/she can use any means necessary to make you do as he pleases.

There is no love; they just like the fact that they can control you.

There’s no equality here, your only value is providing pleasure, mainly of the sexual kind (which is also the best kind FYI especially if there is no power play involved).

They are also deriving pleasure from how easily they can control you mentally, emotionally, and physically.

There is even no semblance of respect; you are a mere tool that he/she can discard once your purpose is done, or once you begin to appear like you are becoming a threat.

Woe unto you if you think you even have a chance to wrestle this power from him/her.

That’s when you become a threat. At this point, you need to be neutralised.

From my understanding of the case, Sharon thought that she could control her sponsor and make him do her bidding. She completely overestimated her position in this arrangement. This was her fatal mistake.

DO NOT make the same one.

Another critical lesson closely tied to the one above is that you shouldn’t try to outsmart or trap your sponsor.

These individuals are significantly older than you, almost twice or thrice your age. How in the world do you think you can outsmart them, or try to trap them?

These people have lived. They know all the rules of the game, and they already know every move your naive self will make even before you think of making it.

Don’t go playing mental games with these people because they will mess you up. Stick to your lane, sponsee, and only play such games with your agemates (although this might end in disaster as well, so it’s just best to avoid setting traps for any individual you are sleeping with just to be on the safe side).

These are not individuals to have children with- you are not trapping your sponsor, you’re trapping yourself- to a lifetime of fights, disrespect, shame, and money problems (the same ones you were trying to avoid by trying to baby trap someone).

Final lesson- Never get in too deep with these individuals. You need to leave some wiggle room so that when shit hits the fan, and it will eventually, you can flee unscathed.

That means no kids.

That means keeping crucial information about yourself secret from your blesser so that they can’t use such information against you.

That also means not participating in any illegal business with your blesser. You are only there to exchange your sexual goodies for monetary ones; not try your luck at being a crime lord.

If you are already in the mix, be careful. Your sponsor can just as easily throw you under the bus when you guys are finally caught. Woe unto you if you had been the face of the operations. You, my friend, are in shit because the only one paying penance is you, you gullible fool!

I don’t think there’s a happy ending in a sponsor/sponsee relationship. The dynamics of such relationships make them too cumbersome and dangerous to be appealing to anyone, and yet so many of us, just like Sharon, are falling into this trap head first.

It’s just best to avoid these kinds of arrangements. Period.

Only greed and blind ambition can drive you to invite all of this unnecessary drama of super old, super creepy, super dangerous, and let’s not forget, utterly demeaning sex into your life.

Simply living within your means will save you a world of trouble.

But, if you must have a sponsor (because your greed is beyond your control, and you are only thinking short term), you have to realize you are only a service provider, there’s absolutely nothing special about you.

This is a business like every other. Provide the service, receive your payment, and wait for the next time your services will be required. Never let it get to your head if you want to keep your head, you feel me?

Parting Shot:- Know your place, sponsee, know your place.

KENYAN FOOTBALLERS NEED TO INTROSPECT: LESSONS LEARNT FROM GEORGE ‘JOJO’ WAWERU (AND OTHERS)

It was the 2019 AFCON qualifiers games last week, and we were up against Ethiopia. We desperately needed to beat them in order to have a shot at qualifying for the tournament.

The first leg of the fixture was in Ethiopia, with both teams unable to score. The game ended in a barren draw, and I for one could feel my heart sink.

What if the Wallas managed to beat us in our home turf? The Stars have not always been particularly consistent in terms of performance; what if they had chosen this second leg as the perfect opportunity to drop the ball? (figuratively and otherwise).

Please don’t forget about all of the financial hardships our national team has had to endure this year. Delayed allowances and delayed staff remuneration were bound to have a detrimental effect on the morale of the team.

However, these were apparently cleared up before the second leg of the tie (thank you Jesus! But it is seriously shameful to see how poorly funds are managed within our sports fraternity)

I would have been mortified if we lost at home.

But we did not lose.

If you watched the second leg of the Ethiopia-Kenya tie, like I did, that performance must be etched in the upper echelons of your limbic system.

You, just like me, must be thoroughly impressed with our boys’ performance. We won 3-0 in a must win fixture and it was my best football experience this month, of course after our (Arsenal’s) 5-1 thrashing of Fulham earlier this month.

There has been some debate in some quarters on the financial benefits that teams accrue for reaching different levels of this and other CAF competitions, but this post is not about that.

(although a 166%increase in prize money for the winner is quite an impressive financial incentive. Maybe if we at least manage to reach the quarter finals, we can stop relying on handouts to support the Stars).

This post is about how we treat, train, and guide these sports men and women who make us so proud as a nation. These individuals who invoke in us a sense of nationhood. Individuals who make us proud to be called Kenyans, albeit for one game or one race. They are doing something worth celebrating; but most importantly, worth protecting.

Being a Kenyan is one of the most difficult roles under the sun- there is constant disappointment literally everyday and everywhere you look- but the way these individuals use their talents to put us on the world map- that is indeed something we need to hold dear, guard and guide.

But we have failed to do so… miserably!

The last time Kenya qualified for the AFCON tournament was in 2004 in Tunisia under the able leadership of Jacob Ghost Mulee.

In the lineup was a young, brilliant defender who played a crucial role in helping us qualify for the tournament. His name is George ‘Jojo’ Waweru. He is among the last generation of Kenyan players to have played in the AFCON competition.

He has won several accolades throughout his football career, which included winning the KPL title as a Tusker FC player.

Sadly, his career took a nosedive after suffering a neck injury while training for the AFCON game against Mali. He was literally abandoned and left to his own devices by the league, by his club, by his government, and by his country men.

News reports indicate that he has been battling with alcoholism for years after being abandoned, and this has had a tremendous impact on his health.

He is currently admitted in hospital owing to alcohol-related complications where his condition is reported as being grievously ill.

Unfortunately, he is not the only legendary footballer who is ailing, living in squalor, and addicted to alcohol amongst other drugs.

I’ve heard numerous stories of Kenyan football legends who have been forced to eke out a living from menial jobs such as sweeping the streets.

They are so many and it’s a situation that has been repeated year after year, squad after squad. Worse still, we don’t seem to want to fix the problem.

Remember the Kadenge story I wrote earlier this year? As I was doing the research for that article, it dawned on me that this man-this hero has been suffering financially and health-wise for several decades after hanging his football boots despite being the biggest legend in Kenyan football history.

Watching the match between the Wallas and the Stars on Sunday, I couldn’t help but feel anxious about these men’s futures.

Will they end up on the same path as JoJo and the others?

Do they know that there is life after football? Do they understand how short a football career can be especially one occasioned by injury?

Do they have basic money management skills? Have they started saving for retirement?

Are they getting paid their worth? (Doubtful especially when you consider delayed payments both at the national or club level)

Are they investing the little money they do get in order to multiply their sources of income?

Or are they drinking it away- living for today with absolutely no consideration for tomorrow; chasing a celebrity lifestyle that they cannot afford to maintain- not with their pay and not in this economy.

Do they know that their so-called friends will desert them immediately their hard earned money runs out?

What about their minds? Are they taking care of their minds? Are they furthering their education? Are they investing their time in acquiring skills that can make them an asset even after hanging their football cleats?

Do they have the mental strength and resilience to avoid the alcoholism and drug abuse trap- a scourge that has permeated to the very fabric of our nation- destroying each of us including children everywhere you look?

We live in a nation where alcohol advertisements form the bulk of adverts on TV, and on billboards, in newspapers and on social media. We’ve made consumption of alcohol so cool and so alluring that it has become a national culture. We entice people to enter into alcohol and drug abuse, but we abandon them when they are overcome with addiction, and cannot get out.

Can they withstand the pressure and not follow their peers into this death trap?

Do they understand the gravity of the fact that the Kenyan Government, their clubs, FKF, and the country they play for will not give a hoot about them when they leave the game? If it takes months for them to receive their dues now when they are active, how much worse will they be treated once they retire?

Twenty years from now, where will each of these Stars be?

If I’ll be there, will I be penning another sad story of a fallen football hero, addicted to drugs and alcohol and unable to pay his own medical bills?

I don’t want that. I don’t want to see people who once gave me so much joy, who had a chance to be bigger than we have ever imagined, and who consistently put their bodies on the line for national pride end up poor, deserted, sick, dejected, and plagued by alcohol and substance abuse.

I don’t want that.

So, I’m calling on all Kenyan footballers, regardless of club, league, or whether they play for the national team or not- to learn from the mistakes of the legends who have gone before them, and purpose to be better;

To learn how to manage their income with tomorrow in mind;

To discern that this is a short term career and they need to develop alternative sources of income now before they retire;

To shun bad company (slay queen’s are not your friends; neither are your boys if all they want to do is drink your money or invest in shady deals);

and to know that in this country, heroes are treated badly, literally abandoned, after their service to the nation.

Anyway, back to the present. Let’s wait to see if we have to play Sierra Leone or not.

Good luck Stars; AFCON here we come!!

Learning To Love and Appreciate Harambee Stars and African Football as A Whole

We are inching closer to the semi-final stages of the 2018 World Cup, and the competition is getting juicier. This is definitely one for the memory books considering how many great teams have fallen along the way (wink wink Portugal; wink wink Argentina; sad wink wink Germany).

Count yourself lucky if your favorite team has at least made it into the quarters of the World Cup. Mine didn’t; they did not even make it past the group stages. For a minute, okay, let’s be honest, for some time now, I have been suffering from an internal paralysis. Don’t be alarmed! My organs are not failing. But, I feel a deep sense of loss, a deep sense of mourning, and an even deeper sense of stunned motionlessness. ‘Where did they go wrong?’ is a question that keeps ringing in my head. It actually feels like a small part of my heart is broken. These changes in the world order are too monumental, you cannot ignore them.

That is how much emotion I had invested in the German national team going all the way to the finals of this tournament. Their football, their passion, their lust for glory has beguiled me for years, and it was like a kick in the stomach when they could not meet my expectations this time around. I probably should have seen the signs when they lost to Brazil in that international friendly match three months ago. I ignored those warnings!!

I craved and yearned to see them play at their best. My body and mind needed that fix I get whenever they play. I was looking forward to that excitement, to the numerous goals, to the un-ending action. But it all came to a sudden stop, and now my drug of choice isn’t flowing anymore.

For some time after they were knocked out, by South Korea no less (you can check out my short commentary on how devastating this loss was here), the World Cup for me felt empty. At least until I caught the Belgian bug.

I’m better now, thanks for asking. I am beginning to enjoy the WCΒ  a little bit more, so that’s a ray of sunshine.

I am still very disappointed though, but my disappointment is not only directed towardsΒ Die Nationalmannschaft. They sucked, and that is on them, butΒ I also feel a bit disappointed in myself.

Why?

I just came to the sad realization that I am putting too much effort into deifying another country’s football team whereas I can barely remember eight names from the Harambee Stars’ starting line up. That is so sad!

Sure, the love of football should transcend all borders, but how comes I do not feel the same commitment, and loyalty to our national team?

Why don’t I get thoroughly depressed when they lose? Why do I dismiss them so easily, and only take the time to watch just a few of their matches annually?

Why is it that I do not feel connected to Harambee Stars as I do another country’s national football team?

Fifa currently ranks our national football team at position 112, which is a bit embarrassing I have to say. I also think we have the worst football management in the history of football management. There are so many reasons to not pay attention to Kenyan football, to Kenyan sports for that matter.

But, I feel like a traitor. Whether they suck or not, there are tens of men and women all over this country who are playing football at a professional or semi-professional capacity for many months every year. We see the sacrifice our brothers and sisters are putting into playing in this toxic, depressing environment that is Kenyan football, and they do not stop. That’s their love for the game. There’s a resilience about being a Kenyan football player; about being a Kenyan sportsperson that you just cannot find anywhere else.

We, scratch that, I need to honor this sacrifice (you have to do it as an individual before we can achieve the desired collective action).

Our standards, techniques, coaching, or management may not be anywhere close to professional standards, but the sacrifice these players are making has to count for something.

And, I am all about embracing everything that is Kenyan, including that which is inherently wrong with us, football included.

Maybe if we paid more attention to it, like serious attention to it, and own this process of understanding the intricacies (problems and all) of Kenyan football, we can start revitalizing it; correcting the mistakes one by one.

Maybe that’s how I (and hopefully you) will learn to feel more connected to it.

It’s ours; love it or hate it, it’s always going to be ours, and we might as well find the gems hidden in the cow dung that is our sports fraternity.

We have a national football team. It is not the best but it is ours. We have to give it a little more love.

Enjoy the rest of the WC!