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Showing posts from 2015

#JinjaThings

It's been 2 months, 3 weeks and 2 days since I moved in.
Long enough to bump into people I know at most of the public places I go to.
Which is a pleasant surprise.
Some of the  things I like:
#Dress school uniforms.
I went to a girls boarding high school in Kenya and I know of only 1 school(then) where the female students wore dresses.
In most primary schools,girls wore dresses,then switched to skirts in high school.They also wear trousers now.
I therefore noticed the high school girls in dresses here.
I discovered dresses 3 years ago and I wish I had that choice in high school.

#The street food.What an array of choices.
The street behind our office comes alive from 5,when we lock up.
Chicken,liver,samosas,milk,Food(matoke,rice, posho,cassava,pumpkin,sweet and irish potatoes) maize,fish,chip,mandazis ,chapi,rolex.........spoilt for choice.
And at fair prices too.

#Men with children.
In my life,I've seen the most of  men  accompanied by  children in the  last 84 days.
I see them ta…

6 years ago

On this day, 6 years ago,I was sitting at my desk at work when Wangari, my small sister called me.
We had left the house earlier together;I was headed to work,she went to the hospital to take care of Dad.
I'd called her an hour earlier,to confirm he was alive.He was.
When I saw her number on my caller ID,I knew.
She was crying,yet her voice was strong,as she told me what I knew,yet dreaded to hear.
I called my favourite cousin,Sarah and she started to cry.I quickly hang up.
Next on my list was my colleague,Carol.
Within 15 minutes,I was out of the door and headed to South B.
I'd texted my close friends.
I refused to answer any calls,it was the only way to hold in the tears.
He was still lying in his hospital room when I arrived.
He was warm.
Mum,Wambui and Ng'ang'a,my other siblings were there.
His brother,Uncle Jeff ,
My cousins Anthony,Hinga,
Eda and Pastor Ann were also present.
My tears were prompted by Wambui and Anthony's tears.
The  taxi had a puncture on th…

The woman in my dreams

I have come to love sleep because I get to spend time with her. She looks like me,talks like me and is usually hanging around  the people I know. Sometimes,I'm tempted to think she's me. On taking a closer look,I change my mind. I envy her courage She forges her own paths   She makes decisions based on her own happiness She isn't bogged down by her obligations I envy her freedom She has unshackled the chains of society's expectations She uses the box she was supposed to fit in as a waste bin I envy her love Her heart self heals She proudly displays her scars on her trophy cabinet In her eyes,everyone is innocent until proven guilty I envy her. The woman I dream  to be

Grateful

I started a new job day before yesterday.Sept 1st 2015.Yeey.
An answered prayer.
I have been on my knees for a long time for this one.
It's a short term contract and might not get renewed due to funding challenges.

So on Day 2,I started worrying about my job prospects in Jan 2016.
I know.
Ridiculous,isn't it?
Here I am.
With all the boxes checked from my 'This is the job I want' list
Job outside Kenya-tick
Work in a small office-tick
Engaging men&boys-tick
School and Community mobilisation-tick
Conduct Trainings-tick

And I wasn't savouring and enjoying it.
I was wondering about bloody January 2016.
And I know I'm not the only one.
Behaving like a child with a treat-enjoying it for a few minutes,
then putting it aside and wondering when the next one is coming along.

So,today,I had a meeting with myself and decreed that I will enjoy my time here
That  I will appreciate this opportunity to learn.
That I will endevour to be the best trainer and programme develo…

Violence Against Men#not a laughing matter

On Wednesday,10th June 2015,Kenyan media ran a story of a woman , who had been arrested after assaulting  her husband and chopping off his penis.
After the usual outrage,social media has been awash with funny memes on the matter.
I have to admit,I chuckled at some of them.
Of which I ought to be ashamed.
A lot of work has been done around violence against women and Kenyans generally have been sensitized
on how to respond to the female survivors of violence.
In fact,most of us sympathize with the woman and where possible,we offer assistance,comfort and reassurance.
Which is in sharp contrast to our response to male survivors of violence.
After our shortlived shock and outrage,we start joking about it.
Most of us,since we are a patriachal society,cannot fathom how a man can be violated.
We rationalise that it must be  his fault and wonder out loud  what he did to provoke such an act.
We then laugh and  forward the numerous jokes of the defence classes,male chastity belts and Nyeri ahea…

So help me God

One of my favourite compliments is'you have exceptional courage'
My friend Neha told me this last year.I floated on it for  weeks.
Exceptional courage.
This last week I have been feeling anything but.
After a number failed  expectations,I was crushed and was in this deep dark,
dragging me down funk.
My mind was replaying videos of my failures while listening to the don't deserve tracks.
And try as I might,I felt paralysed.
I despaired,cursed myself and the world.
My conversations with God were riddled with  accusations laced with disappointment.
Then I remembered I'm perceived to  have exceptional courage.
And decided to give it a try.
I don't know what it entails but I will be brave,for myself.
Slay these demons  that are threatening to tear me apart.
So help me God.

#Kenya pt 1

We all know that one person,who is gifted,fantastic at something but they don't see it.And regardless of what we say,their negative perception of self always trumps  any affirmations we make.

I feel we Kenyans are like that.We have outsiders telling us we have a beautiful,safe country,that we are one of the world's  best investment destinations,that Nairobi is one of Africa's best cities and yet we are busy trending 2years of helplessness and Kidero drums.

Over the years,Western media has been accused of negative publicity about Africa,of which Kenya is no exception.And we Kenyans, have decided to build on that  platform.The Garissa Attack photos,the stripping women videos,,the traffic terrorist attack warnings spread like bushfire.We eagerly retweet ,share and forward these images and messages.

I read yesterday of the impending collapse of the tourism industry.We mostly blame the  government and yet I wonder if we also didn't play a significant role.Our newly found fr…

Blog Contest

There was a contest last month:
How can the World Bank help#End poverty in Kenya?
We're inviting Kenyan citizens between the ages of 18-35
to answer this question.

This is what I wrote:

As early as 1965, the Government of Kenya recognized poverty as one of the major constraints of human development.
Today, 49  years  later, the poverty levels are higher, not lesser despite numerous interventions by Government of Kenya and non-governmental  institutions.
I strongly believe for us to win the fight against poverty, Kenyans must first learn to think for themselves.
From birth, majority of Kenyans are socialised to obey, follow instructions and not to question.
Growing up, the model child is the one who obeys her parents, guardians and elders.
In school ,she is taught to listen to the teachers, without  questioning and cram the textbooks in order to pass exams.
The same cycle happens in institutions of higher learning, she learns in order to pass exams.
At the workplace, the ‘best ‘employ…

Waititu#Kabete2015

I ran into a colleague from Kabete yesterday and he was wailing at the fact that Waititu won the nominations in Kabete last week.
He &his male agemates were blaming women for it.

At the heart of the anti-Waititu sentiments was the fact that he's not from Kabete.He was popularly called 'muki' literal meaning One who comes.An outsider.
A wife is also  commonly referred  to as 'muki'.
The theory then is the women voted for Waititu in solidarity,that they are outsiders and they shouldn't be dismissed on account of not being Kabete natives.
It's probable some voters used that reasoning to tick the box next to Waititu's name.

It however,doesn't  sufficiently explain 14,696 out of 22,248 valid votes cast.
Personally,I thought it was an easy way out-blaming the women.The good old Adam syndrome.

Here's why I think he won:

i)Good campaign-I  live near  Wangige Shopping Centre and used to hear his caravan shouting 'baba yao 'till around 7.30pm.