What Are we teaching Our children?

What goes through your mind when you see a child, running to school, alone in the rain, wearing tattered clothes, a cardigan that must have been used to erase a lot of chalk, sagging socks and a soaking back pack? Do you ever wonder what their parents were thinking when they let them take off like that? Were there parents even around to let them head out that way? Don’t you wonder what they think about life? because it must be a real sonofabitch!

They reflect who you are

What do you think a child will do when you curse at them or others around them? “Stupid Fool,” You say easily even to the defense of your child, but do you ever stop to think that your child absorbs this and will use it on another person? Oh wait; do you know they might even use it on you some day? I see my children playing house and I watch to see how they act my role out. You know I never quite realized how much I walk when I pick a call till I saw my now three-year old walk all over the house looking for a quiet corner to sit and talk. These kids are a reflection of who we are, why lie. She even used her hands to express herself! Then I had to stop my seven year old from kissing my cheek all the time. Do I do that too? Lawd!!

Monkey see, Monkey Do- yeah this pretty much means the same thing…

Now, do you teach your children humility when you are not humble yourself? Do you ask them to apologize to their older siblings when you can’t say sorry for misunderstanding them? Are you teaching them to be responsible or should they pick up, ‘survival for the fittest’ tact through such experiences? Do you know how to share or are you the kind of person who hides meals inside microwaves when a guest shows up? :-/  Hmmm I can almost swear that many parents have no clue they have bad habits that they pass down.

How do you expect your child to speak to their teachers when you attack them aggressively in their presence, shout and threaten to sue them?

Dann right I could ask you a million more questions… what do you want the kids to do with a knife when you hold it up against your wife in a fight? They will most certainly not only use them to chop carrots.

Let’s be better parents

Do you ask that your children be kept away by their mother so they don’t bother your with their noise and gazillion questions? What do you want them to do with their childhood for Pete’s sake? Do you complain a lot about your society and teach your children to keep complaining about it too? Why not show them what they can do to be better? What are we teaching our children really? To survive this world or to make it a better place for their children and grand children in years to come? It’s all up to you, you know.

Investing with your spouse? Depends…

This topic has raised a myriad of questions and shaken the strength of many weak relationships. So it’s clear that many marriages in the 21st century are built on money and selfishness: and lots of it! The only reason people keep their things to themselves is simple! They don’t want to share! On a radio-talk show, someone argued that the reason Indians couples share their investments is because they marry their relatives. We, the rest of the world marry apparently marry complete strangers and if I keep on with this thought I think I will go absolutely bonkers. I wonder though why we marry people we don’t trust. Seriously, why do that?

 

Where did we go wrong?

 

If you can truly spend hundreds of thousands to stop people from their lives so they come watch you get a ring on, go ahead and have a child, then another, even worse, lock yourself at night and get all naked and vulnerable…and sleep!! …Next to someone you don’t trust, then I must have landed on the wrong planet. Surely! Did people take life lessons too hard? Is everyone getting too cautious or is this really where we are now? Or is it the movies? Wait, who made Mr. and Mrs. Smith? Perhaps that Simon dude should have been stopped. This is the first movie I remember that made us all wonder if our spouses were in the National Intelligence Service and we were being watched round the clock.

So, the Question…

 

Would you invest in your spouse? Me? Yes I would. I would rather not judge my husband over all stereotypes or all the mistakes other men make. I give him the benefit and entrust him with the responsibility of not letting me down. If he shows me he is not to be trusted, then that will already tell me he doesn’t have my best interest at heart. Good to know! The next question I’d want to understand would not be if he loves me. We are already married and I should know this by now. So, ‘Are we living a lie or is this a genuine problem?’- Would be my next concern.

Should he trust me with his property and wealth? Yes he should unless I give him a reason not to, which would only mean that he made a mistake marrying me in the first place!

 

Here is one major problem though

If you got hooked up after wealth was accumulated, whether you are a lady or man, the question, are you a gold digger? Will always linger in your spouse’s mind, and in their relative’s minds… and in your friend’s minds and your mind too. So you should perhaps get married to someone who is willing to accumulate wealth with you preferably from scratch. I sadly can’t think of any other way anyone will trust you with wealth you never took part in accruing. I just can’t.

The Typical Kenyan Man’s Valentine’s Day

13th February all over Kenya…the air is thick with love you can cut it with a knife. Every hawker has stashed away their usual merchandise and are now donning the streets red with plastic flowers and boxed holding meaningless white dolls and form balls. Busines is expected to boom and it perhaps will.

The typical Kenyan male…key word, typical (For the preservation of the genuinely good man) is making a win on his plan to hack valentine’s Day with his wife, a junior colleague and his MWK, Sarah who is obviously oblivious of her position in his life. Let’s call typical man Mike.

On Phone…

Mike: …We will do nyama choma or tumbukiza at a joint famous for benga music bands and Koffi Olomide wanna bes. Firstly though, lets go to work. Be early enough because I’m gonna send you a large box of chocolate, a bottle of wine and an extra large bouquet of flowers; large enough to conjure as much jealousy from your colleagues . Let them see how special you are to someone. Let them burn in misery for not having the same. I will then pick you up at 5:30pm and head out for the big meat fire.

nyam chom

Sarah: Why not  just do a nice dinner? You know? I think its more romantic.

Mike: No. No need for slow jams and dressy garments. No need for red gowns either.

Sarah: But I already bought one that cos…

Mike: Let it go darling. I’m doing no suits myself and I’m sure you don’ want to look like you’re pushing it now, do you?

Sarah: (Snorts and curses under her breadth) Fine.

Mike: 5 O’clock. Be ready.

Sarah: Don’t forget the…(click. Phone disconnects)

MIke: Dials wife’s number

Typical man barely survives the gospel ringback tone till she picks up eventually. He curses under his breath and doesn’t hide his anger.

Mike:Why do you let your phone ring so long. Where were you? I have told you severally that a mobile phone is MOBILE. It’s supposed to be with you..at all times (Rumbles some more)

His wife ignores him and asks what he needed. She is so used to the MOBILE LECTURE she lip syncs on his tag line every other time. ‘I have told you severally that a mobile phone is MOBILE…meh meh meh (eye roll)..” 

Mike: What are you doing tonight?

He doesn’t sound cheerful. Of course he doesn’t. This is just obligatory. He expects she will be busy with church activities. Nevertheless, he has to show her he is available and will only be away because she won’t be in anyways. He gets a little surprised though. She explains that the church visit to the local children’s home has been moved to mid-morning hours and the street kids’ visit lot has been confirmed so she can’t join now. “So, I’ll be free,” she says.

Horrified, Mike stutters and tries to think fast. ‘What to do? What to do!?’ he bites his lip and squirms at the pain he inflicts himself. He had wanted to spend some time with Grace, his sexy assistant at an all- catered- dinner offered by his office.That isn’t going to happen anymore. He knows she will have to bear seeing his wife enjoying all of him. hmmm ‘Maybe it will make Grace jealous,’ he thinks. Mike: ‘Yes! (Now how about that!’)

Wife: Yes what?

Mike: I uhm…just thought of a place we can go. Be ready at 7pm. Dress up and all. I’ll only come home to change. I have a late meet-up with my organising team for the Valentine’s offer at work.

red dress

Wife: (Excited) Great! I will be ready darling. Should I wear red?

Mike: By all means yes! ( He curses under his breath again) You have to look good in front if my friends.

She smiles and secretly plans to make his day one he will never forget.

TO BE CONTINUED….

 

 

Forgive or get sick!

If you find yourself holding grudges or taking too long… or never, to forgive yourself or others you should consider reading this post. If you have anger issues or depressive tendencies then come running and feed your mind!

I didn’t know this at first, but I can attest that a couple of times in my life I have gotten so angry, my hands trembled, I stuttered and sometimes couldn’t speak…it got worse when my stomach would churn and I’d get pressured to empty my bowels, and all my intestines attached therein.

I would easily have described it  as ‘Hasira ya Mkisii” and move on with life content with my heritage…but then, i realised people react differently and forgive at different rates, some never forgiving at all. It got me curious and, well, here we are!

dragggin

So, like many things it starts small, with a spat with someone you care about or an action that angers you. It then matures and turns into resentment and hostility and since at this state its almost impossible to collect yourself, you walk away with a promise never to go back on what you feel. A heavy dose of hurt and disappointment leads you to fall into high levels of anger…chronic anger; as I found out.

Now here is a fact. Did you know that Chronic anger can completely throw you off-balance? You get into a fight-or-flight mode; your heart rate increases, your blood pressure sky rockets and all the while your body struggles to get you back into safety? This unfortunately increases your chances of being depressive, getting a heart disease and diabetes among other illnesses.

So as they insist, forgiveness calms stress levels, leading to your improved health.

More facts…studies have found that the act of forgiveness can reap huge rewards for your health, lowering the risk of heart attack; improving cholesterol levels and sleep; and reducing pain, blood pressure and levels of anxiety, depression and stress.

And as you grow older, this connection increases.

So forgive yourself and those that hurt you. Do it, not for them, but yourself.

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So What’s cutting?

Its 2017, and this year, unlike many others, you have vowed to not make any resolutions. You perhaps made so many over the years and ended up accomplishing none. Even worse, you turned out worse than you were in 2015, no? Oh well, worry not. One of my resolutions is not to make any either. But…

I still want to be different. I feel different anyways so I might as well live as I feel, right? There are a couple if things I realise we need to work on to make these actually happen. There we go. Those are plain and outright resolutions right there! Sigh! I give up. I do have resolves, I want to share them as they may work for you too and yes, I’m going to shove them down your throat in just a bit.So, hold on, before you make any move…I’m not giving away any guarantees but, these could make that little difference.

Mind your own business

People don’t really care about you or what you do if it doesn’t affect them. Most of them, at no_one_cares_cartoon_round_sticker-r31fbfc8382b740d5ac6edf462f6d5b0a_v9waf_8byvr_324least, (eye-roll) so mind your own business and stop telling people what you did unless you’re sharing tips on what worked well on something they could do too…that, or you’re better off sharing it as a testimony (eye-roll)

Take up a project. Seriously!

It could be on yourself, your business, if you don’t have one already, or for someone. I’ll share a few examples…

  • If you have some free time during or after work, take up a free course on how to improve yourself. Even better, pick something you know is challenging or something you have shelved for a while. If you like to draw or write, put a up blog and put it down..or take up voice lessons for fun. You never know where this could lead you to.
  • Take advantage of current situations and problems and do something for your business…or start one. They say necessity is the mother of invention. We are a third world country and well, so much lacks! However, be careful not to throw money on a project you haven’t researched well on and worse, don’t get tricked into jumping on other people’s ideas. You’re creative. Yes, you are.
  • Do something for someone…this works best with someone who deserves your time. ways-on-how-you-can-help-your-child-perform-better-in-school-725x445It could be junior colleague you can mentor, your child who probably has shown interest in a musical class or your spouse who is jobless and perhaps, idle. Do something…we don’t have to call it a resolution as long as you feel the difference.

Continue reading “So What’s cutting?”

Lustful Brother and a Witch- This Girl, Anna 3

“Eh, Bratha” Zack muttered struggling away from his heavy accent. “Call me back.” The line went dead before Omari could breath a second time. He called back immediately. “Is everything ok there?” Omari asked, a little anxious that something could be wrong with his wife, yet fully aware that he couldn’t trust everything his brother said. “You tell me,” Zack responded, his voice laced with venom and spite. Omari didn’t speak for a couple of seconds. Then, “Are you out to frustrate Marlene, Zack?” Sarcastic laugh. “Ha!” You know me so well Bratha.” Sneer. “And you knew I was right too” he went on. “Marlene hasn’t survived two years in your house. You already threw her back to your village. More laughing Who would have thought to believe beauty ever knew where brains lived!” Omari clenched his fists and forced himself not to say a word. Being far from his wife didn’t stop him from protecting her, but it definitely slowed down his actions.

walking man

“Leave-my-wife-alone.” Omari made each word sound like a sentence. “She is there for a reason and I don’t have to explain anything to you.” He spoke through gritted teeth but let the last word out in full anger. Zack on the other side couldn’t help but smile. This is exactly what he prayed for. A break-up. And it was happening right before his eyes. “ It’s all good bro. We’ll take care of her.” Omari started to talk…but his brother was no longer interested. He placed the phone back on the receiver, turned and walked back home, whistling, happy that he had actually been right! Marlene had failed to keep her house in order…or maybe Omari had failed to unleash the real woman in her. Perhaps Marlene was not happy with her choice and was holding back in her marriage! She probably regrets everything! Zack’s mind was reeling now. Maybe he had a chance with her. Maybe, just maybe he could finally make her, his! His heart thumped hard in excitement. It took him a full minute to realize he was walking very fast too.

 

Marlene downed a second mug of porridge while young Missy sat scooping hers with her finger and licking it. “Missy, you got to stop that now!” Marlene scolded and Missy quickly shoved her finger into her mouth again. Sucking all the porridge on it she pulled her finger out, examined it and smiled in satisfaction. Marlene stared at her and looked away, pain filling her as tears welled up in her large eyes. ‘We shouldn’t have come here’. She thought ‘The poor thing will go crazy playing all by herself!’

 

The door suddenly burst open, startling everyone in it. A huge elderly lady stood at its entrance. She stopped and stared at Marlene, then at Missy, and back to Marlene. “Nana!” Missy sprang from her chair and ran to meet her grandmother. She was the only person in the room who made any move. Marlene then stood and waited for the hugs, kisses and saliva-spit gestures to die down before saying a word.

funny-cartoon-old-grandma-granny-illustration-18389500

“Karibu” She finally offered her mother in-law in. Mama Maria was in no rush though. She walked in slowly as though cautious her weight could pull down the sad example of a house. After carefully scrutinizing Marlene, she finally smiled to herself and looked down making sure Marlene knew the smile was in no way meant for her. She had figured her out. Mothers! “You plan to live alone when you know very well you are having another baby?” She held no mercy at her scorn. Marlene fell into her seat, speechless and unprepared. She could have sworn this woman was a witch! How on earth did she know this? Or Did Omari tell her? She hang her head in shame, waiting for Mama Maria’s execution. It sure as hell did. “That baby had better be a boy.” Looking straight into her eyes Mama Maria made sure she was well understood. “If it is then you and I can remain friends. If it’s not…Well, you had better pray it is!” She took two steps back from her daughter in law and warmth and love suddenly filled her face as she turned to face Missy. “I have some soft sugar canes for you, little one. When you get tired of running around in circles, come over so we try them ok?” Missy hardly heard half of what her Nana said. The accent a major barrier, she simply smiled and nodded. Mama Maria walked out slowly, supporting her weight on her own large hips. Marlene realized she had been holding her breath all this time. She gasped, grabbing her porridge. The only word she managed in a whisper was, ‘Witch’

 

This girl, Anna…..Part 2

……continued…..

“Good to see you Zack”, Marlene lied as she offered her hand and tagged along a fake smile. He ignored the hand and staggered right into her house, scanning through the walls and floor like he was looking for something. Marlene was not surprised. She was sad though; Zack had never changed. She shut the door and followed Zack through his rummaging. “I didn’t carry anything that would be useful to you,” She thought she could save him some time. It was enough that she wasn’t Zack’s favourite sister in law. Knowing how much he disliked her made her grateful that she lived so far away from them. The nagging feeling of regret slipped back. This time she let it hang around for a while. She’d had too much peace within herself; any negativity would destabilize her. Right now, she needed stability…and peace, and this may have been one of the worst mistakes she may have made since she said ‘I do’ to Oman.

Zack gave up his search and turned to look at Marlene one more time. “Why did my brother stay back in the city?” The smell that escaped his mouth made Marlene swallow back impending puke. “Has he finally agreed to marry another wife?” Zack tilted his head as if in deep thoughts, ignoring Marlene’s look of discomfort. His face suddenly lit up, a clear indication that the thought pleased him more than the sight of her. Staggering a few steps back he waved a finger at her in disapproval. “He should have married Flora. They look better together, you know” his grin curved up to one side of his face and once more he force- focused his face at Marlene and let his eyes train through her trim body. Marlene shifted uncomfortably. Her husband’s brother was crazy enough to seek another woman for his brother. Who knew what else he was capable of? The lust in his eyes didn’t make her any relaxed. “You should go now. Its Missy’s nap time.” Zack ‘s grin widened, “Really?” he slurred. Marlene went for the door, and opened it, again, wide. “Thanks for stopping by.” Her face looked serious enough to make Zack stagger out, but Zack’s unmoved grin said he would be back, soon”

woman in black

Marlene threw the door closed and rushed towards the back door, almost tripping over young Missy who sat quietly picking dirt with her fingers and putting in it in her mouth. She opened it and let her belly pump up onto the flowers. Herbs. She suffered terrible morning sickness and much as Zack served her nostrils some odour, she knew she was well into the core of the first trimester.

Days turned to weeks and uncle Zack kept a close watch of Marlene. He thought of her a lot lately, even dreamt of her at night. Her body looked lean even after childbirth. Her skin always glowed and the sun never ran her dry. Her breasts didn’t hang like most village girls and she was too bright for a girl. He didn’t like her. He was obsessed with her, and he hated that she had such an effect on him, yet she married his brother. His anger rose as he recalled the day of the announcement. He was so hurt he couldn’t attend the wedding. So he lied about some travel plans he had and instead hid at his friend’s hut. They moved to the city immediately and he resolved to treat his wounded heart in peace. And now, here she was, in no hurry to go back to the city. This puzzled him. Had Marlene failed to make her marriage work? He spat out the remnants of the sugar cane he had sucked dry and noticed they had landed on the ground his sister had just swept clean. Quickly, he tiptoed to the back of the hut to finish his thoughts. Flora his childhood friend and once bait to distract Omari from marrying Marlene, was still around the village. This meant that his brother had not considered her as his other wife. So then why would Marlene move back alone? He decided to visit the local phone booth, call his brother and find the answers to all his questions.

….to be continued…

This girl, Anna….1

Anna

This is the Story of Anna* now a 29 year old. She is a happy and bubbly woman and most people think its because she has no clue what life is about. But Anna has had a humble childhood. She has seen poverty and she knows frustration in its literal sense.. Maybe walking her journey will tell you more. I hope it does….

She was almost never born…Oh yes! She came way too early like she just couldn’t wait to start living already! The choice wasn’t quite hers but her parents. They were distraught, frustrated and confused. But, scared as they were, they decided to keep her. She had an elder sister, Missy who was barely a year old when she was conceived. But it didn’t matter any more. Little Missy had to stop breastfeeding, and learn to be a big girl.

Life was already serving Marlene a hard one. The city life had served her too much culture shock and she was just getting used to speaking the local Swahili language with less accent from down South. News that she was expecting another baby this early would spread faster than bush fire. She was sure she could hack being a mom to yet another child, but not the rumours that would carry with it. She knew she had to do something about it. She had less than three months to decide what.

Meanwhile young Missy adapted to the new changes, oblivious that her young life would change a lot in the next couple of months, maybe less. She wondered why she wouldn’t enjoy her ‘nyonyo’ times anymore, but was content with just sitting on her Mama’s lap and dozing off each night. ‘Porridge with milk isn’t too bad anyway.’ She would comfort herself, ‘especially when it has sugar and margarine in it’ and so life moved on with plans to get away from the city life before Marlene’s pregnancy started to show.

It wasn’t long before Marlene, young Missy and the unborn child were settled in her marital home in the village. Her new neighborhood comprised of scattered huts, lots of digging land, millet and maize farms and lots and lots of in-laws. Had she known life would turn out worse for her, she would have gone back to the city with the first available bus. But then here she was, ready to do this.

Mama B

She had just finished setting Missy’s clothes on the far end of the wooden plank she had improvised when she heard a knock on the door. “Hmm, it could be anyone!” she almost scoffed when it dawned on her that all her neighbours were her relatives. She battled the painful sting of regret that tempted to show her around and with a smile opened the door, wide. The man standing at the door didn’t replicate her smile though. He carefully scanned Marlene’s tall and slender frame taking in her beauty with envy and spite rather than anything positive, as was his character. Zack was Marlene’s brother in law. “So its true you’re here?” He sneered and almost fell backwards at the weight of his own voice in the air. He was drunk and Marlene was not ready to coax a drunken man on her first day in the village. She needed to make him leave immediately.

….To be continued…

They Shot at Him

Words may not break bones but they can tear even the strongest heart apart. I pulled my phone from my ear where I held it, pressed the speakerphone button and lay it on the arm of the couch. The man on the other end was still speaking and he seemed to be having the time of his life ruining mine.

“I’m Saitoti” he mocked and I could tell he was smiling, and lying. “Go check the owner of this phone at the Mortuary because he is dead”

 

5 Minutes beforehand

 

I sat with my little girls playing before bedtime. I’d had a crazy day at work and I could feel a migraine slowly slipping in. Still I knew my daughters enjoyed ruffling me up so I let them. Suddenly my phone rang. It was my mom. I figured she must have missed me as she calls her children during dinner, or when it rains and thunders too loudly…or when she sees riots on TV. I shushed the noisy girls and said Hello.

 

My mom was crying and I could barely make out what she was saying. Finally I caught the words ‘police’, ‘My brother, Jay’ and ‘a shooting’. My heart stopped, or nearly did. I didn’t give up though. He could have survived, right? I asked where he’d been shot, because it could have been his head or his heart…and it could have been his leg or hand and nothing too critical. “They shot him in the hand and leg. Please rush to Jamaa Mission Hospital.. He has no family with him, just neighbours. I’m recording a statement. I’ll join you as soon as I can.” She said something to someone she was with that I didn’t hear “where was he when it happened?” my loud mouth questioned. I should have kept quiet because the response had a lot of shouting and commanding involved. I didn’t think it was so serious, perhaps my bro and his friends saw cops approaching and they chose to run which meant if they were shot at, then its got to have been on his heels…yes that made much more sense. I almost laughed at the thought but decided to call my brother and hear it from the horses mouth. The thieves picked the call instead.

 

“He is dead. I shot him myself.” The self-proclaimed Askari, Saitoti declared. “I saw him going down hahaha! he is no more” My heart sank at the thought of his joy. It was the cruelest thing anyone has ever said to me. I instantly forgave all my High School frenemies and decided this would be my new found hatred- an armed robber.

 

I met a huge crowd at the hospital’s emergency room. My brother lay at the centre of it all on a bed, strapped with bandages on both his thighs and right hand. This was definitely bad. “Hi there” I greeted and he looked away almost immediately. Tears ran down to his ear and before they could land on the pillow below a young lady holding a small towel caught it and soak it into the towel. I looked closely. She too was quietly weeping but didn’t want her tears to dry.

 

Then followed the story of that brought everyone together. They had already mugged him, turned and started to leave when one of my brother’s friends shouted “Fake Gun!” That ticked off Jay, who was already wondering what explanation he would give my mom . His phone was barely three days old. Without a second thought he ran and caught up with the only un armed one of the thieves, a kid probably 17 years old. He punched him hard and he fell. The other two rushed back and one placed a gun on his chest. “You say its fake yeah?” he dared jeeringly. Jay put his hand against the barrel and pushed it away from his chest. Agitated, the kid fired twice. The first bullet crashed into the side of his thumb and burnt a hole in his T-shirt as it left, the second got lodged into his index finger. The kid turned and ran, knowing all too well he had attracted attention with the loud bangs. My brother, now filled with adrenalin and anger (That originates from the deep parts of Gusii land) chased after him.

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The other armed kid ran back and shot twice at Derrick, Jay’s friend. He shot him on both legs and he fell instantly. Jay stopped and realised it was setried. He tried to politely ask for his ID but that instead earned him one shot though both his legs before the thieves fled into the darkness.

 

Five gunshots and all of them met flesh and blood. They were rushed to hospital and both went under the knife, and for what? a phone that would probably be sold at Kshs. 1,000? Was it really worth it? Perhaps it was because to a thief 1,000 shillings is so much more relaxing than your life.

 

My brother is recuperating, thanks to God and through the great doctor who operated on him…so is Derrick. But the psychological trauma may last, the fear of darkness may creep in every so often and the sound of a gunshot may make them jump. Life may just never be the same for them.

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Its only nice that I say a big thanks to Nurses Steve and Callisto of Jamaa Hospital for the great kindness they showed us and for allowing me to take a good look at the retrieved bullet.. a pic too… 🙂 scary but hey, such is life right?

Me and the big tall kiddo
Me and the big tall kiddo
Bid sis and the big, tall Kiddo
Bid sis and the big, tall Kiddo

 

 

 

Mourning Lummie’s Death

We started off pretty well say a couple of days before Raine was born in December 2013. Hubby and I, well, we decided to gift me early with a new phone for being a mother-to-be anew. I was very brave! Walking around showing clear evidence of not being a virgin… or better yet declaring to all and sundry how you never used protection while at it is REALLY brave. I ballooned a lot slower this time and by early December that year I was literary straining to move around. I was barely hanging in there and anticipating the freedom from pregnancy. This story has nothing to do with babies or fat cheeks and sausage toes.

 

Justin brought the phone home on the 26th of that month and the first photos I took were of Pesh my elder munchkin. She looked lovely through the 5mp lenses and I couldn’t stop clicking after her. Right after the birth of Raine, I woke up in the middle of the night and took photos of her, clicking at her every move, zooming in on her skinny and peeling toes and some more at her clenched fists. She looked so bold and strong she made me think how I must have been when I was born. I shared my pictures with my husband at 4am that morning…

Lumia

It felt as though we were whispering as we chatted for an hour through Whats App. The font was just big enough, the light not too bright for my sensitive eyes. I fell in love with it just as I did my new baby. It was through my Lumia phone that I joined instagram. It was with this beautiful gadget that I was able to print photos and send to my mom in law after her visit. I loved using the speakerphone and so did Raine. She enjoyed conversations held out aloud during diaper changes, and seemed to enjoy the attention she got every time the video recorder followed her. I recorded pretty much every thing; from her first crawl to her first steps , her first water splashes during bath times and all her giggles…her first teeth were captures in it…so did her first matutas…and mosodo which we ended up creating a song for.

cute feet

But she must have known my phone was a darling to me because despite all these adventures we went through together, she was the first person to smash it on the floor. The first screen crashed early this year. I should have started saving for a new one then but we just never know what fate has in store ever, do we?

 

I spent a painful and savable 5k to fix the screen and in less than a month, Pesh joined the smashing bandwagon. I spent another 4k in another cubicle repair shop worried that I may become a regular. I finally decided to protect the gadget from my overly playful minions.

 

I went to my favourite online shop – Ebay and shopped flat out., pimping my little gadget with a new protective case, and a protective screen and a pink unique charger… Oh yes it had to be pink!

3ft-Retractable-Charger-Micro-USB-Data-Cable-Cord-For-Samsung-For-Huawei                      $_12(18) the case too 🙂

A few weeks later Little Lummie,(that’s my phone’s name and its sad I am naming it now) passed on quietly while lying silent and untouched on my desk. I rushed to my fundi who declared its death just this morning…”The memory collapsed” he said, “…Think of the memory as the heart of the phone, through the charger is in perfect condition.” He went on as I blinked hard pushing back tears of pain and disappointment. ‘It should have at least lasted till its second anniversary for friends’ sake!’ I thought. It wasn’t even the least remorseful. It never even flickered or gave a sign of its coming end. It- Just-Died… on the 22nd day of a month; of all times of any month.

Gone forever... I loved you, Lummie, but you loved yourself more
Gone forever…
I loved you, Lummie, but you loved yourself more

So I move on with life without looking back. So long Lummie, and goodbye Nokia. I am not to trust any more of your gadgets with my friendship. I have lost friends and that hurt…I have others ignoring me and that’s ok. But some friends just leave with all the treasures you entrust it to keep for you. You want to hate them but end up missing them. I have to stop typing now. Its enough I’m blogging about a dead phone but I shall not shed a tear over it!

 

I am Tooth Fairy

Four and a half loose milky teeth ago, my now 5-year-old daughter had her first loose tooth. Losing teeth is one of those experiences parenthood doesn’t prepare you for. We assume we only need to contend with soiled diapers, fevers and the all too famous terrific two’s. Those million mommy blogs hardly talk about us having to pretend to be brave and cruelly pulling out teeth. I contemplated booking Pesh at the dentist’s but wondered how it would be spoken of. I, Mama Pesh- the Bold, took her daughter to a dentist to get a dangling, almost falling tooth to be pinched out.

Squints*  Not so impressive

If only her father was around. This would not be an issue to break my back over.

Proud of you lil one
Proud of you lil one

Then suddenly a brilliant idea came to mind. I could have someone do it at a cost and still not be seen near the dentist! I would not only have created temporary employment for someone, my dear Pesh wouldn’t have to watch her supposed pain reflect on my face! I felt so bright I could feel the burn!

 

I got it done very well and then, we had a new problem. We got the tooth out..so what do we do with it? Pesh held it tight in her hand so it wouldn’t fall and get lost. “Hun, have you ever heard of tooth fairies?” I asked suddenly excited with my continued brilliance. “Like Thumbelina?” her eyes opened wide with curiosity. “Yes,” I explained “but Thumbelina has brothers and sisters who you don’t see on TV but live around us” Thank God there is no commandment on lying because this would have jetted me straight to hell. Or maybe number 9 is? “When you are so brave like you are right now-, “ I continued wearing my sweetest smile. “They put your name down and come at night to hunt for your tooth.” She suddenly frowned and pulled her hand away hiding the tooth wrapped in her palm under her armpit. “Why?” she whimpered. “Well, so they can reward you!” I hoped she would brighten up…and she did. “If they find your tooth they pick it up and reward you with a coin to buy yourself a gift.” she was elated and brought the tooth back to light.toothfairy 1So together, that night, we hid the tooth under her pillow, said our prayers and my two daughters went to sleep. I sat and watched them both in admiration and remembered back in the day when our brevity during such events were rewarded with stalks of sugarcane we could hardly bite into. At times we were asked to hide the teeth under our pillows and when my parents couldn’t get a coin they would throw the tooth away while we slept and promise us that good luck would follow us. It never occurs to a child why good luck must follow people but hey, our parents had spoken!

 

I slipped a Kshs 20 coin under the pillow Pesh lay her head on and pulled out the tiny incisor we had placed therein. My husband and I promised to give our children the best childhood we could and this was going to be one of them. That morning Pesh woke up and immediately checked under her pillow. She was thrilled to see a shiny coin in place of her tooth. ‘Looks like you were very brave, the fairies got pleased with you!” I teased, “I never got any coins when I was young.”

“No? What did you find?” Pesh asked wearing pride and content. “Nothing” I replied, almost tasting blunt sugar cane juice in my mouth.

“ I was not as brave as you are,” I went on worried a little about Hell- Jet. “ I cried ever time. Even when I felt no pain. I hope you now I’m proud of you, sweetie,” and a hug sealed this fairy conversation.

Fairy motherThree more times Justin and I ensured we replaced the teeth with coins and had the same excited reaction in the morning. Innocently she knows the fairies are proud of her and she will do everything not to fail them. Now, I can only hope she wont hate it when she discovers there are no real fairies…that her tooth fairy is me and that we did it all  to give her an exciting childhood.

To you Mwambi, the love of my life

The first time I saw you, nine years back was not even face-to-face; it was from the corner of my eye when I walked into class, last, nervous and tip toed to the only empty seat there was. You were so easy to notice. You were the hugest man in that class and if my eyes are not too small or deceiving I was perhaps the tiniest. How ideal right? I remember this day so well as though I knew I would eventually write about it. It was the first time after high school that I ever had a true friend. I trusted you the moment I spoke to you. You were so cool, calm and constantly thought ahead before uttering a word. Not that any of this changed, but I liked sitting next to you to listen to all the silly genius facts you’d talk about. I admired how you spoke so eloquently and even dared to correct my grammar. The nerve you had!

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We were so natural. Not once did I dress to impress you and your constant creased shirts totally got to me. Still I loved your company, your wit and the air of joy you spread around. This is the part where I should say if I were told you were my Mr. Right, I wouldn’t believe it…no. Perhaps I would have cried to God to save me from this cocky hardheaded genius that didn’t care how he looked. Nevertheless, because we are in today and things are what they are, I owe God a mighty bear hug for choosing you for me. He knew what I had gone through in my life and thought so kindly to gift me with the one and only person who would heal from my hurt and go down on his knees to help me climb up.

 

I was in a low place when we decided to hit the road together. Yes I know they say you should give it half a year to heal well (Scoffs and eyeballing going on here) but with you I didn’t need time to be able to give you the best of me. You had seen me in my best and worst. You knew when I was not ok and went out of your way to make me comfortable. You were the only person who saw me when the whole world turned its back on me. You gave me hope of a better life ahead when I was mocked, cheered me up when I would fall ill and always made me laugh about scary stuff. You remembered all my birthdays and made the men I dated look bad. You would wait for me at our bus stage with one giant queen cake and a smile on your face. The most impressive thing was you did this to all the friends you cared about, and to date I see the care in everything you touch.

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Now if that isn’t caring enough I wonder what is!

 

The memories I carry of you are way too many. You are an amazing friend to everyone who knows you. Reliable is possibly a better word to describe you. Each day gets even better knowing we got each other in this crazy world. Its amazing.

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I intended to don this page with photos. in fact I probably should have let the pictures tell it all but hey I am a talker…much as it annoys many but you love it 🙂

So here we are years later and I still love it when I look in the mirror and I see you, the shadow that’s constantly by me. My pillar of strength, my best friend and the only man I know I will ever love. You are the reason I glow; the reason I am radiant, and at peace. What more would I ever ask for. Everything else is simply a bonus for me.  I already have a lot with you and I know everything else will place itself in our lives. #TeamMwambi for good!

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#TeamMwambi

 

Mpango wa Kando at my doorstep

I know now what they look like… how they smile, the thievery look they wear… Its not nice. Not at all

It was 11 in the darkness and little Raine and I were still up waiting for sleep to make its way home. I had just placed a warm bottle of milk in her hands when I heard a knock on the door. I would be a witch to expect a guest a few minutes to midnight so I checked and made sure I had locked the doors. Thieves get creative these days and much as we have excellent security around our place, I knew having my lights on this late could make us a possible target. I let Raine sit on as I peeped though the kitchen window. There stood someone wrapped in a Maasai kanga facing away from me. Instantly I remembered a friend who lost his expensive camera to someone in a Maasai Kanga. I grabbed a kitchen knife before calling out. “Who are you?”

Husband stole my baby

She turned around. It was a woman carrying a small purse and nervously kept looking around. “Please open the door.” She asked to which I almost snorted, but fought back a chuckle instead. Surely? I chose to remain polite. “I don’t know who you are or what you want. Why would I open my door?” She frowned at me; searching at my eyes and when she got nothing she opened her mouth. “ I am looking for my husband”. Huh? You lost him? “He stole my baby and I have been tracing him. I followed him from work and I can almost swear he came in though that door.” She pointed to our front gate and I remember wishing a skin disease on the person that left it open.

Friend of the enemy

“I wouldn’t know which house he went to,” I offered halfheartedly, but she wouldn’t let me off. He is a fifty-two-year-old man, and is married.” My jaw dropped and I took another good look at her. She must have been in her late 20s. “His wife is fifty and they are both very quiet people”. They moved here about three months ago”. She explained, “How old is your child?” I asked, more snooping than concerned. “Two. He’s called CJ,” she said pulling out a photo from a bag to which I tightened my hand around my knife. Raine was by my side in a few and I could see a woman’s struggle to check her out. I let her confirm it wasn’t her CJ then asked her to leave. “Please help me find him,” she begged and much as I would have liked to I didn’t work at night. I asked her to come back on the weekend or seek help from the security at the gate. I should have known what I was getting myself into.

It gets juicier…

illegitimate

20 minutes later…..

Baby Raine batted her eyes sleepily. She held my gaze and finally her little mind got tucked away as she drifted off to sleep. I put her to bed and felt a calmness that wasn’t going to last long. There was a sudden bang on my door that would have scared my soul right out of me. Whoever it was had no right to hit my door that way…and who were these people coming over at such witchy hours anyway? I checked the time. It was almost midnight. Mama CJ had been here just twenty minutes back so I thought she had come to tell me she had found her lost husband. I recalled how she almost picked dust with a finger and licked it as she swore she saw him come into my house.

In trouble with the boys!

I didn’t open my door. Instead I peeked from my kitchen window. It was Mama CJ alright with two of our watchmen “Mama Pesh, open the door. We want to talk” One said. Some nerve he had. “I can hear you alright. Sema,’ I insisted. Peeking brightly from where I stood. “Do you know this woman? She says she had come to see you” I shook my head blinked hard not wanting to say much. He went on lecturing me on the dangers of leaving our gate open to strangers. I listened on as part of me wondered off to the idiot who had left that door open. “I hear you.” I finally responded, a little annoyed “I hope next time you make sure she doesn’t get this close to my house”. Justin suddenly woke up from the couch where he had been napping and blearily came to the door. The watchmen were whisking the woman away and I told him bluntly that his other wife had come looking for him. I maintained a straight face.

 Cover up

He sobered up straightaway. Not guiltily…just instantly and asked, “Who again?” I tried narrating the unfolding drama but he wasn’t as patient as you are. He took the keys and rushed out after the watchmen. I followed…for gossip sake. The watchmen, had just closed the large doors behind poor and cold Mama CJ and to Justin’s persistence we were informed that the man she sought lived in one of our tenant houses; an old bloke that didn’t look like he could kill mosquitoes leave alone cheat on his wife with mama CJ. We went back home not just awed at our tenant but also how much these watchmen know and cover up!

 

 

 

 

 

I Almost Got Mugged

Here is how it happened. Someone was fixing my laptop. The things I have seen techies do, ai, my head is heavy with information. He asked me to download an app called Team viewer and in a few minutes my privacy was invaded, my power controlled. My mouse was moving all over the screen clicking pointing…waiting as words jumped into tabs. I sat and ogled like a two year old fascinated and at the same time curious. I strongly fought the urge to move my mouse pad and contest Al, the techie who was checking up my MacBook from the other side of town.

Despite it all Al said he needed to physically have the machine, so we met in town and I handed it over. The story begins.

thief 2

I got out of the supermarket where I intended to window shop while I waited for my laptop but ended up stuffing my bag with little silly stuff. It was evening and the rush hour was being just, the rush hour. People pouring into the streets, some changing buses, some joining queues and others waiting for people…I was one of them. Al finally came and we didn’t waste any more time. I had the laptop in my hand and knew I had to keep it well in my bag. But my bag was full and I had to remove the impulse shopping to make room for the Pc. I walked on a little further and stopped near a tiny growing tree, shielded by a metal frame. It wasn’t enough to make me obscure but I was sure of no surprises. It took a minute and I was already on my way towards my route.

I was minding my own business until a hand smacked my bag obviously hitting the edge of the MacBook tucked inside. That got my attention and instantaneously, two incredulously tall men, one of who had hit my bag briskly walked past me. I stared after them noting the ugliness of one of them. I only saw the side of his face and he was nothing short of a tough perhaps heartless bloke. He wore a nice fitting pair of jeans- not faded and a black t-shirt. The other was in grey slacks and a black shirt. Uniform? I wondered. But I also took in the possibility that if they were thieves they would either have jackets on or some form of camouflage. Nevertheless, the colours they wore would not be noticed from miles away.

thief

It gets juicier…

I maintained my pace and kept them in my front (My husband always says you are safer behind them. you can see their every move), but then things changed. The not-so-ugly-one began to text and slowed down… I wondered for a moment why his friend wouldn’t wait up. Either way, I tried to get a good glimpse of this one who I ended up walking past. He had his tongue sticking out on one side of his mouth and for a moment I thought of calling my husband and laugh that joke away. He looked like a big anecdote but I had no time to even smile about it. The ugly tall caught my attention as he too suddenly slowed down. I thought ‘Eh, he must have realized he was talking to himself’ and I found myself walking past him too. Now I felt uncomfortable. They felt too close behind me and I had no idea how they intended to pull the rug under me.

Just then I saw the last person standing on a queue, route- Eastleigh. My place? No. Still I jumped behind the last man and for a moment I locked eyes with the ugly tall. I pretended not to notice them that it was by chance we locked eyes, but the moment they walked past I was right behind them once more. I now felt better, in control, but I knew they didn’t. Ugly clicked his tongue and gasped covering his mouth with one hand as though to say ‘Damn! This chic is too alert!’ the other whispered back and suddenly they turned towards a corner and stood, I assumed to strategise. That made me feel insecure. I had no idea whether they had given up or if they would give me a final scare. (Faults of watching too many horror movies) I didn’t wait though. I took to my heels. (And they were high) but I ran like a mad woman. Ran because that was the point when fear got to me…Ran to the safety of my bus and the comfort of my seat. I tried hard not to think if what would have happened to me in an effort to steal from me, but couldn’t help thinking the worst.