Category Archives: KENYA

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’–

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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 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.

*****************************************

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

BEFORE YOU GET A SPONSOR- LESSONS LEARNT FROM SHARON’S DEATH

When the news of Sharon Otieno’s death broke two 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!!

EMBRACING WHAT IS OURS

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!

WHAT A WOMAN! WHAT A STORY!

If there is one Kenyan woman in the public stratosphere that I hold in the highest regard, other than Wangari Maathai of course, it is Esther Akoth. My reverence for this woman cannot be put into words, but I will try.

I love this woman. I love everything she embodies. She is all of the things we women have been conditioned to not be in order for the system to keep us β€˜in our place’. She is confident, she is aggressive, she is a provider, and she is a dream chaser. She makes her own path. No one can tell Akothee no, and it is such a shame that more women like these are missing within the public domain especially in our entertainment industry.

She is unaffected by all the hateful and condescending criticisms that Kenyans throw at her on an almost every day basis. We do this because we want to break her spirit. We realize she is a force and we want to put her back in her β€˜rightful’ place. She is shaking our patriarchal establishment to its core and most of us, including many of us women, were never ready for this change.

We ridicule her, her lifestyle, her music, her life choices, and we label her as a Kenyan laughing stock. But, as has become the norm for us Kenyans, we are living in denial. Akothee is not a laughing stock. The only laughing stock here is us Kenyans for not realizing the true magnitude of Akothee’s influence. She is a freaking revolution! And she is changing the narrative on a whole list of societal issues, the most important one being how single mothers, and women, in general, should view themselves.

One of the many things I have learned from her and her lifestyle is to embrace womanhood and be unapologetic about it. She is a sexual being and she is not ashamed of her body. She embraces her sexuality, and she flaunts it. She works on her body, and flaunts it some more. All those pictures of her in skimpy clothing, is for me, an appreciation of who she is and where she has come from. She looooves her body! She works hard for it. That body has given her five amazing kids, and she is literally paying tribute to the miracle that is the female body in each of those posts.

Multiple kids later, coupled with the stress of raising them on her own seemingly has not deterred her from fulfilling her idea of a healthy, sexy body. She has worked hard for that body and no one, not even a vast number of self-loathing Kenyan women, will stop her from flaunting it at every opportunity. That is more than inspirational for me as well as for the other countless women who know deep down they are not working hard enough to keep their bodies healthy and fit.

Another thing that completely blows my mind is her love life. She has had 5 kids, and her love life is still going strong. 5 kids and she still has some time to develop a sexual relationship with someone. She is a single mother of 5 kids, a musician, and a businesswoman, and she still has time to develop a serious relationship. Where does she find the energy?

This brings me to my next point. This woman is the mother of fresh starts. She has not given up on love even after her baby daddies left, one after the other. This woman has a backbone and a half. I am sure she has gone through a host of heartbreaks with the men that she has been involved with in the past, and yet, she does not let that phase her. From my armchair observations, it has actually helped her figure out the kind of man she really wants, and she is not willing to settle for less.

She is also the queen in my book for chastising the majority of women on their inability to stop relying on men for their upkeep. She has children with different fathers, yes. All these men are expected to pay child support, which is the law. However, child support or not, she hustles seriously in order to give her and her kids the best.

How many women in this country are using their children as meal tickets? How many?

You cannot put this woman down, regardless of what we and life throw at her. She should be lauded for her tenacity, her courage, and her perseverance. She deserves it.

She has risen above her circumstances countless of times, and this is something worth celebrating and idolizing.

She’s a real-life heroine and we better recognize.

#Callpolis…

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE KENYAN IN 2018?

Being a Kenyan over the last few years has been nothing short of a ceaseless mental and emotional torture.

I swear, being Kenyan corrupts you. It’s like a pair of shears cutting through your moral fabric each and every day. Your spirit is in constant moral decay, and you feel parts of you getting lost. The innocence is gone. You’re dirty! You’re dirty! and your mind and your soul is filled with filth. And your pastor, God bless his soul, cannot help you because he is stained as well.

He’s dirty, you’re dirty, our kids are dirty, our home managers are dirty, our bankers are dirty, our teachers are dirty, the environmentalists are dirty, our doctors are dirty, our musicians are dirty, our policemen are dirty, our farmers are dirty….our mums, our dads, they are dirty too.

Our moral police is filth incarnate!

We are all stained!

Being Kenyan…

You are constantly unhappy; constantly complaining, but the source of your unhappiness is so far from you; it’s much bigger than you and you cannot touch it; you cannot solve it.

You see it in the newspaper every day, and you hear it over the radio, but what can you do except bury your head in the sand and try to push your miserable life along? When will this sordid existence end? You could try to pray, but you know you’re stained, and you do not feel worthy. Do Kenyan prayers really reach heaven? It sure doesn’t feel like it.

This stain…

It surrounds you, it engulfs you; it suffocates you, and you’re dying inside. You screamΒ but no one is listening. It’s like no one cares. They are blaming for your predicament, like, how stupid could you be to put yourself in this situation?

Yes. Everyone else is laughing at you, pointing at you, jeering at you. Wondering what the hell were you thinking? Why weren’t you smart enough to know that you were entering this big, big, big-ass hole? How dumb are you?

Being Kenyan…

It feels commensurate to being that naive girl who doesn’t see past the charms and the lies of the middle-aged neighborhood fuck-boy. You know the ones I am talking about; mmmh, they are everywhere.

So, here we are, the naive girl getting fucked over and over and over again by someone who will never treat us like humans; he will never see us as people. All we will ever be to him is a bitch to lay. And he’s doing it raw people, he’s doing it raw! To make matters worse, we are feeding him and clothing him. Funding his very existence!!

And, he has convinced you it’s fun when his friends join in, and that he likes to watch. And there you are, pining away over this mediocre dick, thinking he is God’s gift to women. Who cursed us? Who really cursed us?

He doesn’t care about our dreams, our aspirations, or where we want to be in 2030. He and his cronies promised you the good life with lots of wine and fine dining. Do you remember how they promised the moon,Β and good roads, and good hospitals, better trade, better healthcare, better sex?

Or is your mind so far gone right now that you cannot remember that part, the good days? The days he was trying to woo you, and he made you feel like you were the rarest, most beautiful thing on this planet?

Well, it’s been a couple of years now and so far none of those promises have come true. All he does is keep fucking you and you keep buying his tripe. Why? Well, maybe you’re delusional, like most other naive girls. It could also have something to do with the fact that your self-esteem is in the gutter because your parents told you that you were worthless, you were an ingrate, you are lazy, entitled, and don’t know the meaning of real work.

It could also be because you have only been messing around with old men since 63, and you think this band of fuckboys is legitimate and a step-up from what you are used to.

Being Kenyan is not healthy, and it has not been for a long time.

Being Kenyan is wrong!

Being Kenyan is a punishment, and some of us were born just the other day, and we do not know what we are being punished for.

Wait, I know. I know what we are being punished for. Generational mistakes, for sure. From the time of our grandparents and great-grandparents, each generation has had a dalliance with this kind of nonsense and no one batted an eye. None of these generations had the balls to walk out of these sexually ungratifying, money sucking innuendos.

Sooner or later, we are going to get pregnant like the generations before us, and we are going to be forced to see this pregnancy through. When these babies come, it won’t be a celebratory moment. They will not be children, these ones.

Nope, the ones coming after us are going to be MONSTERS! Monsters that we helped create because we were afraid. Too dumb and too afraid to grab that niggah by the balls and tell him to get out of our goddamn house and our goddamn lives.

Yap. that is what it means to be Kenyan in 2018. Getting fucked, raw, over and over and over again, by a middle-aged, unemployed, illiterate, foul-smelling, cheap liquor drinking, hair-receding fuck boy whose in and out in three minutes. And, don’t forget about his cronies, they are in this too.

Let’s be honest. We have no future, we have no souls. They have taken everything; everything we worked for, everything we believed in. And now, we are their slaves, and our children will be slaves, and our children’s children will be slaves. There is no end. This is Kenya!