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Showing posts from 2018

Umenyamaza

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One of my pet peeves is when someone gets in touch and accuses me of being quiet.
'Umenyamaza(You're silent) is a common Kenyan phrase.
If I had promised to get in touch and failed, remind me .
If we've been in regular contact and the conversation fizzled out, then say hallo.
Do not get on your high horse and patronize me.
I appreciate you noticed the silence and decided to do something about it .
Keep judgement out of it

Betrayal

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I celebrated my 4th birthday in Uganda on Monday.
With an old friend and his friends, which was special in many ways.
Later someone asked me what I was celebrating.
And  it's many things, being here -alive, learning , growing , thriving .
The theme for 2018 for me has been learning.
 And my(now) favourite has been learning how to handle betrayal.
Distance -physical and emotional , venting and perspective helped me process.
The relationships are  cracked and no amount of remodeling will hide the rupture.
And I'm finally okay with that.
Will cherish the times we had and the enormous impact they had on me.
One of the toughest things to do was to shush the pain and hurt, refuse it to cloud everything.
Next was fighting to own and take this as a reflection of me. Still struggling with that

Death

I was telling my today colleague about my fascination with death.
As long as I can remember, have been intrigued with the end of things.

I'm currently mourning the death of a wonderful friendship.
When I lived in Nairobi, I used to see this girl 2/3 times a week .
We were so close.
I've only seen her once this year
She didn't return my missed calls.
It hurts.

We both had near death experiences in 2015, she was electrocuted in the shower,
I had malaria.
We agreed that the sensation of approaching death is pleasant, peaceful and warm.
And comeback from that brink was disappointing.

Back in my teens, my church mate Leslie made a statement that still periodically
 echoes years later; what if we are dead and don't know it. What if we
 died in another world/dimension and ended up here and now.

What if?


13 years

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I'm an unmarried mother for 13 years today.
Parenting is a replica of life- epic highs , heartbreaking lows and mundane mediums.
I'm glad it's okay to now say as a parent you're  making it up as you go long.
Thankfully, she doesn't know better either.
Two imperfect human beings trying to figure out life together.
Thank God for love. It indeed covers a multitude of sins
Happy birthday Mukami.

Waringa

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I love my name, Waringa.
As my father's first daughter, I'm named after his mother.
This was the name I was called the first 12 years of my life, started
using my baptism name in high school.
Waringa  is derived from  karinga, a traditional Kikuyu metal cup for
 measuring and serving drinks.
It's been on my mind for years to revert to this name.
Kampala was perfect for this; new job, new city, new beginning.
Now I'm officially known as Waringa and it feels
I'm finally coming home to myself.

Self doubt

Some weeks ago my friend Emily Ward posted this self doubt quiz on Twitter .
Took it since I struggle with impostor syndrome and live with a lot of self doubt.
Today, I went through my results and was blown away.
It was spot on. I'm wondering who leaked my script to Sas Petherick.
Try it and see

Kampala

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On 31st August 2015, I arrived in Jinja ,Eastern Uganda.
After the hustle and bustle of Nairobi, this source of the Nile town is exactly what I needed.
I knew no-one there and relished the opportunity to discover who I am and what I stand for.
Jinja has been good to me and my daughter Kami.
It was a 3 year personal retreat and we both loved every moment of it.
Last week on Friday I packed my bags and is now settling in Kampala.
I'm excited and oh so nervous.Have no idea what this capital city holds for me .
Guess there's only one way to find out, right?

Life lessons

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Hard for me to believe that this wedding has come and gone.
I walked for hours in downtown Kampala looking for the perfect shoe,
didn't find it and this one was an easy choice to make.
Liked that it wasn't too weddingy, can wear it after without
being obvious it was bought for a special occasion.
I only wore it for the wedding service and took it off
immediately after this photo.
The heel for the left shoe came off at the photo shoot.
If you look closely can see the shoe is flat on the ground.
 Only the bridal party was around and Shiru, fellow bridesmaid, and
I share a shoe size, she had a spare pair and the would be shoe crisis was
resolved before it took off.
Again, divine timing.
I love that this photo reminds me what you see is definitely not what you get.
As my favourite blogger put it, many a time, it's all smokes and mirrors 

Leonard

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My bridesmaid dress for Penny's wedding was not well done.
The knight in tailor armor who rode to my rescue is Leonard.
 Via WhatsApp, I explained my predicament and he agreed
 to redo the outfit.
At first, he thought I was in Nairobi and learning I wasn't even in the
 country didn't daunt him.
Thank God the dress was already in Nairobi and the  other dress musketeer,
 Ng'ang'a my brother took it to him.
He instructed what measurements to get from my Jinja tailor and voila,
he worked his magic.
My rating for him is 5🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟Timing, price and product
 were excellent.
He is based in Makina county council market, Kibera, Nairobi.
Stall 572/3.


Wanja's Visit

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Most times, especially when favour is on my side I believe
everything happens for a reason.
My old friend Wanja has been planning to visit me for months.
Something would come up at the last minute and she'd cancel.
She arrived on Friday morning, 2weeks ago.
What she didn't know is that I'd had a ganglion on my right hand
 removed a day earlier.
Her visit was at the perfect time. She cooked, cleaned and
shopped for me; tasks that right-handed me was struggling with.
Not only am I immensely grateful for friendship and health,
my belief in divine timing has been affirmed.

Podcast

My friend Emily interviewed me for her podcast lifedonedifferently
Enjoy

#tweetwithmalelogic

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It's been a long week for me, blooming with heartache and frustration. 
Then I came across the hashtag #tweetwithmalelogic; a lens on male privilege.
It's heartbreaking and liberating. I'm not the only one who's experienced the absurdity  and finally 
someone has said it.
For the women, some of the posts will strike home, for the men, allow this to teach you. A few of my favourites

'Hi. What is up?I'm from sub-saharan Africa and everyone, myself included, I've ever grown up with is dark-skinned. However, me and my successful friends won't consider going out with A WOMAN who isn't light-skinned. OHMYGOSH!!! WOMEN....BLEACH?!?!'                                 *****************

Her: ...it was the most terrifying experience of my life, I was completely scared when he locked the door & threatened not to open it until I gave him "something. Him: let's play Devil's advocate here, what if he wasn't being serious…

Alan Watts

What do you desire?   What makes you itch? What sort of a situation would you like? Let’s suppose, I do this often in vocational guidance of students, they come to me and say, well, we’re getting out of college and we have the faintest idea what we want to do. So I always ask the question, what would you like to do if money were no object? How would you really enjoy spending your life? Well, it’s so amazing as a result of our kind of educational system, crowds of students say well, we’d like to be painters, we’d like to be poets, we’d like to be writers, but as everybody knows you can’t earn any money that way. Or another person says well, I’d like to live an out-of-doors life and ride horses. I said you want to teach in a riding school? Let’s go through with it. What do you want to do? When we finally got down to something, which the individual says he really wants to do, I will say to him, you do that and forget the money, because, if you say that getting the money is the most impo…

60

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On Tuesday,  July 10th 2018, my father would have turned 60.
Which means this October, I’ll have lived 10years without him.
The tears streaming down presently are a reminder that the pain of death
never goes away.
On a good day, it’s obscured by the clouds of life. Today, the wound is
bleeding.
I tell the new and aspiring mothers that after a child, their life will never be the same again.
I forget to mention the same goes after the loss of a parent.
Been in battles I didn’t even know existed, others I wouldn’t have thought
would land on my doorstep, because my father is no more.
Our patriarchal African society is cruel,  especially to those whose
male shield is six feet under.
I wrote a gratitude post and the hardest line was ‘I’m grateful for
 what I’ve become in his death”

πŸ™

How do you calm your soul?
My recipe includes crying, sleeping, reading, listening to gospel music, conversations with a trusted friend and eating sweet things  I skyped with Chris yesterday and at the end of the 1-hour chat, the clouds were no longer pregnant
with anger and resentment.
This morning I came across this post by Jeff Foster. It watered my parched emotions.
My favourite quote is 'It's vitally important to make room for the darkness too.
To create space in your life for the grief, the rage, the shame, the fear and the loneliness. To bring these poor, misunderstood creatures out of hiding and into the Light'
Yes. Let's do this πŸ’ͺ

ABW

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Anger was lying next to me when I woke up today
For most of last month, work wasn't going well for me.
My contract expired in April. At first, was reassured it'd be
renewed, then was informed my position was being scrapped
and split into 4 roles(yey, I'm that good) and I'd have one of the roles;
a promotion on paper and deduction on the bank balance.
After a lot of exhausting back and forth, I signed a 3-month contract
with less pay and is actively job hunting
My angst with the whole thing was the process and I'm convinced
some of the bias is because I'm a black woman.

This year has been a reminder of how, as a black African woman, I'm at
the bottom of the human food chain.
Yes, it's the way the system has been set up and where awareness of it helps,
the continuous frustration births a day like today, when the tears aren't
enough of a balm.
From the glaring difference in the services I get in Jinja
when alone vs with my white friends
to the tens of…

Wedding Dress

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One of my BFFs, Penina, is getting married on Saturday and I'm a bridesmaid.
Took a gamble to have my dress made in Kampala and I lost.
Shipped the dress to Nairobi and it's been done all over again.
Of course this ups my wedding budget.
For a minute there, I really beat myself up. Went down the well-travelled lanes;
 how stupid can I be, should have known better
It took a lot of effort to flip this script
I exercised some of my strengths in this: risktaking, hope and optimism.
I'm also good at solutions, was able to fix this in time.
This was a lesson, not punishment.

Karma?

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I ran Club G, my family's bar and restaurant for close to 4 years (one day I'll write about that place:)
We had to sell it in 2014 and out landlord shafted us,
he took half the money from  the sale.
For the longest time, I was angry and bitter about it, mainly him.
Then time happened and sometime last year,  realised the wound
no longer stang when I came across it.
Two weeks ago, he had a fundraiser for treatment in India.
I didn't rub my hands in glee .There was a satisfying 'case closed' echo.


And Still I Rise

I've always loved poetry and was stoked to find myself , after a difficult week of work, reciting this.
One of the best surprises my mind has thrown recently.

by Maya Angelou. You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I'll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? ’Cause I walk like I've got oil wells Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I'll rise.
Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops, Weakened by my soulful cries?
Does my haughtiness offend you? Don't you take it awful hard ’Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines Diggin’ in my own backyard.
You may shoot me with your words,

Deepest Fear

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One of my favourite poems has been circling in my head for days.
Coupled with a some deep conversations I've had last week, think the universe is
trying to tell me something.
And like Samuel, I need to stop running to Eli , be still and listen.
I've got nothing to lose, right?
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us. We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God. Your playing small
Does not serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine,
As children do.
We were born to make manifest
The glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us;
It's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we're …

Kintu

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Kintu, by Jeniffer Nansubuga is now my favourite African book.
It's a superb, well told tale. Living in Uganda, it took on a special significance.
My favourite character is Isaac Newton, and he has one of the saddest stories in the
clan.
Miisi, the one, in my opinion, who pays highest price for the curse, is a writer for a local
newspaper and he wrote one of the best imageries about colonialism I have come across.

Ekisode
Buganda, unlike the rest of Africa, was sweet-talked onto the operating table with praises and
promises.Protectorate was the plastic surgery to set the sluggish African body on a faster
 route to maturity.
But once under chloroform, the surgeon was at liberty and did as he pleased.
First he severed the hands then cut off the legs and he put the black limbs into a bin bag and 

disposed of them.
Then he got European limbs and set upon grafting them on the black torso.
When the African woke up, the European had moved into his house.
Though the African was still too weak to g…

WIP

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I participated in a 30-day Do Tough Things challenge in March.
It was hard.
Opened my eyes to  how many things I've let slide in my life;
from being reluctant to say no to having an audio course that was
still wrapped 5 months after purchase.
Made some good strides , then had to travel for a few days
and by the time I was back, found myself mostly  at square one .
AAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH
I know it'll take more than few days for habits to take root
and bin others.
Know  that progress takes time and yet constantly berate myself
for not turning a new leaf fast enough.
Patience isn't my strongest suit.
I'm extending the challenge and  part of it will be
being patient , kind and compassionate to myself.
Aluta continua

My soul speaks

My soul speaks.
In gentle whispers and fleeting thoughts
I turn and catch the end tail
It's enough.
I ignore

My soul speaks
Through voices I don't and do
trust
Passing a message only my ears
can decipher
I brush it off

My soul speaks
Tired mornings and
sleepless nights
Restless days and a
stormy mind
I cannot unhear the echoes

My soul shouts
Hammering on my dumb walls
Aaaaarrgh, how annoying
I  listen.

Unmarried mother

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I've never been comfortable with the term 'single mother'
Yes, I'm single and have an offspring but put together, the term has
implications that don't sit well with me. My family and friends have time and time again shouldered the responsibility
for Kami's emotional, financial and social well being.
Still, I sometimes wish I had a co-parent. And  this longing usually
resurrects during events.
Kami is closing school tomorrow and I'm unable to pick her as well as
 attend the end of term ceremony.
I'm grateful for friends who are stepping in and travelling back home with her.
It doesn't, though, assauge the guilt I feel at such times as these. Of not being enough. Which probably most parents feel .Mine's a bit more glaring.

Body love

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Yesterday I listened to the Loving and Listening to your body guided meditation on
Insight Timer and it broke me.
It was the first time in my life I was paying homage to her , affirming my love
 and communicating intent to heed the messages she sends me.
The number of times I have looked back, usually when it's too late , and realised that
I ignored and /or shut down the cues she was giving me about a situation are countless.
And I always pledge to listen the next time and promptly break  the promise.
I have not been kind to her,  have treated her poorly; as an afterthought.
Somewhere along the way, I decided to not let her define me , which my mind
and spirit translated to not caring.
In fact, I only befriend her when something is broken and once fixed, go back to
 my old snobby ways.
Well, there comes a time,
I'm glad my time is now here.
She has housed me for the last 36+ years, it's about time I showered her with
 all the love, compassion  and attention that I can muster…

Finally

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After many moons, I've learnt to love
my body  as is, not waiting when it's
how I hope it to be
I'm loving my life,
marveling as it unravels,
no longer saving
my joy and wonder about it
for a date in the future
I'm in love with this moment,
the sunsets and sunrises,
winds and waves ,
breezes and hurricanes ,
all of it.
Finally

Wish

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Wish there was a place I could go to. And air out my grievances,as an African Christian.
I struggle with  how the Church laid the foundation for colonialism.
The teachings have been used, over time, as a tool for the subjugation of women,
to justify racism, slavery ,homophobia ,abuse
Femininity has been shamed, condemned and the yardstick for morality
is female sexuality.
Who else is milking my faith and what are they using it for?
How much of what I believe is manipulated  and how much is real?And what does real
here mean
I've heard over the years that I must choose between being African and being Christian. Must I?
Where can I get some, if not all of these answers?
Without being judged , shamed or guilted?


idk

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In 2016, my bosses Calum and Emily taught me the magic of saying  'I don't know'
It was even in the training manuals, if you don't know the answer, just say so.
What a relief.
As a facilitator, this set me free.
Knowing that I don't have to know , and worse, pretend that I do and fumble through my
answer.
It trickled into my life. Now have no qualms telling Mukami, my daughter, that I don't know.
Nowadays I admit to myself, at least, that I don't know what my opinion is or how I feel about
some of the hashtags floating around. And I don't have to know.
For a once upon a time ,Know it All, this is liberating.
My new superpower; I don't know.

*The other day Kami tried to switch on the cooker and it didn't work.
She informed me and I told her it's coz the child lock is on.
''How did it know I'm a child?'' She asked.

Heart Choices

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I saw a friend's tweet about YearCompass and decided to try it.
What a treat.
 It was a great way to put 2017 in perspective and put on paper my hopes for 2018.
One of the things I want in 2018 is love.
And looking back in 2017, I think my heart and brain have ,for the most part, made up.
They're no longer fighting about who gets to stay and who goes. At least not too much.
From walking away  from a guy who made me feel I had to compete with others,
firmly shutting the door on an ex, dancing the night away with a crush ,
a nyama choma and reggae date, it was a good year.
Barely any regrets .
Think I'm on my way to getting the love I deserve.


Love

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My friend Susan visited me in Jinja in Dec and it was awesome.
Both of us are single, want  romantic love  and we chambuad (delved deeply) our current state.
The reasons are personal and outrageous.
One of the decisions we made was to take more risks when it comes to love.
As 35+ , intelligent, beautiful, self aware professionals, we sometimes
a) just expect interested parties to know how amazing we are and therefore
b) it's up to  them to lay all the groundwork, with or without encouragement from our end
It's in this light that we decided to lean in when it comes to romantic interests and relationships.
Then I stumbled on this video , an apt reminder, to hold gently and let things flow.
Will let you know how it goes.