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….

 

 

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.

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“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

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

Kicking 2015 into shape

As optimistic as I am I keep hoping to be a better person every year. Since I had my second child I went on maternity leave, came back three months later and continued working with a pregnancy brain all through till December. You know now is when I am wondering why I feel so different, why I am more energetic, and less worried. I thought it was simply the New Year craze, but no! I have no more hormones playing Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on me! I feel free! (Dancing to Dorobuchi) …‘Doro I, Doro am, Doro free! Doro Freedom!

 

What I’m doing for me

Eish! My waist hurts. I need to work on my aerobics already. I waited and hang on to my size 10 trousers hoping to ease back in them. Instead, I jumped all through to size 12 mini and just sat there. This year I have decided not to look at the spot where I once was but to make a new spot. I have accepted my heavy bottom and my house help also accepted the many size 10s I offered her. I love my full cheeks and mature look. It’s not exasperating anymore when I almost think it’s my mother I’m looking at through the mirror.

 

What I’m doing for my children

My husband and I are making the future better for our 5 and 1-year-old girls. First things first, we are having savings accounts for them. We want to teach them to save early. No education policy for us unless the insurance assures that if I want out at whatever point in time, I get all my premiums. Since that’s just a dream, I shall keep dotting my pencil on that piggy bank absent-mindedly wondering where else to throw our money.

My 24 hour Job
Miss and Miss Mwambi 😛

 

I opened email accounts for both Pesh and Raine. Here, I occasionally send them stuff I’d like to share with them when they finally grow up. I send them pictures of themselves; tell them what I feel about them, videos and all. It’s really cute to picture them all grown up and going through a bunch of exciting (Hopefully) mail!

 

I chase Raine around on all fours and when I catch her I tickle her till she loses her breadth…Pesh likes playing Temple run with her dad, but out of jealousy she cuddles with me and we watch Sofia the first together.

 

What I’m doing for my husband

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I love him more. I am his mobile app and he, my handbag. In short we hardly leave each other’s side. We take walks together to the shop, the bathr…aaah, the shops, everywhere! We have set times to spend together, eat his favourite meals and drink my favourite wine. If I go on like this, I may have no resolutions for next year. So there you go. I’m out!

To Bosses with Hearts For Working Moms

This world does have some good people, probably equally as many as the bad, I wouldn’t quite know. This post wants nothing to do with the bad though. I am here to acclaim those bosses and employers who understand women. Who said being a working mother, and a wife was easy? But heck lets break some glasses in cheer to those who don’t tear their hair away over us women!

I started working when I was 19 and in the nine years I have been in employment I have constantly seen bosses treat juniors, women especially, with a lot of petulance. A few others who can tolerate us make it up by trying to push us to get sexual with them. I have resigned from two jobs in my past because I could not take my boss breaking those invisible respect lines. I have feared working as a mom, feared losing my job and feared not being that somebody in the society… for the very reason that makes me a woman. I am not sure if it is how we react to situations or how we learn to prioritize our families above all else? I have no idea. What I know is my heart feels warm and happy that I have the most understanding boss as my employer and since I can’t send this article to him (Breaking those invisible lines) I would rather dedicate this piece to all great bosses and employers out there.

Tight schedules

Some of us are wired to rush home every evening after work. For fear of being caught in traffic, we sometimes steal the last five minutes to rush and powder our noses then have the clock tick to time with one foot already out the door. I know of a woman who shifts her working hours so she reports in and leaves early. There are bolder mothers who take classes after work. Bravo to you for I cannot bear not to see my children before they sleep.

My 24 hour Job
My 24 hour Job

Office Parties we hardly attend

That and missing trips away from home are just a few of the kind of things that I imagine must annoy you to hell and back. It’s obviously very possible with older children and understanding husbands. I type this with one hand as the other wipes off a nagging tear for a trip to the coast that I have to miss. I instead chose cuddles and nyonyo in the middle of the night.

Pregnancies and their planet

You must really hate us when we suddenly announce that we are expecting a child. In your mind you probably calculate the extra expenditure on our medical covers and the hiring of someone to take our places while on leave. Worry not, to make me sleep well at night I repeat to myself how you must be proud that working for you helps me grow and live and be what I want to be. I even picture you patting yourself on your back proud that through you our family survives… and I repeat it over and over like a mantra.

good boss 3

Our raging hormones while pregnant are something else. We forget what we were typing for you right in the middle of the work, we forget dates, we text you by mistake, we look for a napping spot to sneak in over lunch hour, we walk around with bare feet, put them up when they swell and keep rushing out of meetings to satisfy our churning bellies, we snack all the time… Christ, what is it that we don’t do? Yet you stand us and even trust us with projects. God bless you!

Babies and work

When the babies come we make you pay us three months while we heal and bond with our babies at home. I know I was guilty enough and carried my work home. I hope my boss appreciated this. A belated cheque would do, thank you very much. We stay home and come back looking like strangers wearing masks with our faces…then work a few hours and fly back home. Having added well over ten kilos these bosses must think twice before wanting us to represent their organizations anywhere!

Nannies and No nannies

That call that “The nanny is gone and I am looking for a new one”  or “My child hasd an accident and I must run” must be one you dread most. Thank you for not showing it. You take it in and even offer advice where necessary. If only to offer you some peace, know that we follow in your footsteps to be virtuous bosses to our house managers. Between you and us, even though we trust them our most precious little ones we live on the edge hoping all goes well every time we go to work. Our success also comes from the comfort of knowing all is well back home.

thank you Thank you for letting us run home when there is an emergency with our babies…I mean you could ask us to send their fathers home anyway, but you don’t. Thank you for supporting us through our challenges. Your kind words do reassure too. Thank you for helping us acquire stability in our lives, and to my boss, thank you for being that number one mentor in my life. I always want to excel and some day make someone’s life worth its while too. So to you all wholesome bosses out there, salut!

Stripping of women – a Scapegoat to Hidden Resentment

ribbon

I am saddened that this is where chauvinism has got us. Yes it has to be chauvinism for how else would you explain a grown –ass man growing a head, big enough to think what he says goes…and applies this outside his home? It makes me even sadder that most of these men are from my community if not the neighborhood. I will try hard not to dare go there lest you see the ‘Tribalism From a Patriot’ in me. I will also try hard not to mention one of the reasons why I chose to marry outside my tribe. Jeez! The tribe word again!

I have noted with contempt that all these culprits that strip women naked are sexually starved and have not a single vein of romance in them. They are the very same men who command their wives to meet them in the bedroom, naked and with the lights switched off. They are the same kind who hide behind an epitome of vices such as mob violence if only in hope to touch…and have a feel of a woman’s sacred body part if only to know what it is they miss. They have no decency to ask a woman out, no patience to get to know her and no intelligence capacity to understand her worth. This is the same man you will meet at work who can’t stand working with you because you are a woman, and that very same man who tells you he cannot validate your ideas. Oh yes, that is the very same man applied in the street version.

chauvinist

Looking at the profiles of the people captured on social media, they all fall in the same, old, sorry state. For some reason they seem to carry around a stench of illiteracy, backwardness, and Jesus! Don’t they look like they must really hate their life situations! I say this because we need to understand that it is in spite that they strip women. It is not because we dress the way we do… that’s just some lame excuse … a vey demeaning one…it’s because they hate to see other people happy with their lives, happy with what they live for while they remain stuck in rut holes doing the same trips they do and ending up nowhere…everyday.

Then some bunch of idiots in suits who have no idea the street stripper just wanted to touch a woman to please himself goes on a chest-beating rampage claiming to support the street stripper’s actions… If only they knew what egos they massage. If only they knew what that even makes them look like.

They are the sorts that want women to stop being intelligent stop excelling, stop building empires… stop balancing work and motherhood…even stop talking already! Just sit. Sit and look pretty. Sit still and make men look good…they hate that we women are taking over the world and they hate that they are lagging behind.

Fine some ladies do dress provocatively… just like some Muslim ladies may once in a while leave that hijab behind…why not take the example of our Muslim brothers…walk up, say hello and tell the lady in a very nice way that it would be nice to put on the hijab as their belief requires? And if you really have no polite cell in you, then why not just catcall and let it go? Have we ever demonstrated against cat calling? And do they think we enjoy it? So should we strip them for catcalling too?

I shall continue to dress the way I feel best suits me. I shall continue in the same way to be a great woman in the society, or do you think it affects my reasoning, like it does you? Oh and while at it I shall make more money and buy more little dresses. You know why? Because every punch you throw at a woman only makes her stronger. Let me wear my mini… I need it at that height, not any longer, not any shorter. It is not up to you to decide for me. #MyDressMyChoice

new prof..

 

Smile, Breathe, Live and live Good!

We have all heard that life is what you make of it, how you want to see it and when you want it to be. It is said over and over, everywhere like a mantra, and yes, almost all of us just won’t listen or learn. We live our lives carrying burdens we are well sure we will never offload; we let fear grip us at every chance it gets…jeez! Aren’t we ever so ready to give up on life? enjoy life I once read a book by Stephen King, and he began the chapter by serving me a cold glass of heart wrenching despair. Here was a man who barely survived a drowning episode, lying by the sea under the glare of the scorching sun. He lay unconscious and as he awoke from his persistent lethargy he realized he was still alive and immediately garnered some hope of enduring his ordeal. Being alive for him meant he had yet another chance fight to survive. He had a badly broken leg so the most he could do was crawl under the blistering sun. Just as dusk began to possess the sky, he noticed several large crabs moving towards him. Hunting him…also hoping to survive one more day by making a meal out of something, or someone…like him…well, maybe not all of him, but just a few toes, one of which a large crab successfully ripped off amidst minimal struggle. Where am I headed with this?   In life we often believe our personal problems are the worst anyone has ever experienced. Wait till we see what others are going through  We curse at our bad situations all the time, brooding over issues such as lack of attention, small salaries, falling businesses, broken marriages, children or lack of them. There one too many life frailties we go through but not all of us are ever strong enough to counter them. Many of us break down and cry when problems take a peek at us. Others pant and get panic attacks when these problems start walking our way and when they sit with us, our newscasters get overwhelmed with stories of suicide, crime, drugs and grass-eating fellas. Yes! While you run to church, the mosque or the temple to seek solace, someone somewhere sneaks into a sorcerer’s den for some quick fix too.   We have no time to say formal greetings, not to our problems, no! In fact, we would do anything to make them go away faster than they came. We hardly take time to think through these challenges or what may have caused them to show up, hence we lose a lot of learning time agonizing over them. We forget that problems will always be there and when one goes away, another may soon run along…and while we are busy gawking at this thing called life we remain perched on a fence hawk-eying the other side of life; wishing we could be the ones running those huge companies, taking vacation tours all over the world, wearing all those expensive jewelry and having such happening marriages. Fine, I agree some of us try to seeking advice and help from those with rights to speak. Yes, we try to change the person in the mirror; we try even though most of the time the question that lingers is why me? Why do I have to be the one to suck it up? Why do I have to be the one that will bow down? Why do I have to let them win?’ We try so hard to fight for the best seat in this bus called life when we can enjoy a good view from the window near us.

Life can suck, sure but while it hurls those decays at you, get a grip of yourself or a baseball bat to counter the attacks. Here is how.

  1. Smile. Yes, small as this exercise is, you will discover the gold beneath it. I smiled at the officials at a county council office once and they helped me with my problem, I smiled at the rowdy uneducated tout and he treated me like a lady, I smile at everyone, even strangers when we interact and its awkward. I din’t die. Smile, smile, smile…it makes you feel even better than the person who receives it. It makes you lovable and approachable. It makes the whole world respond to you with glee.
  2. Breathe. Oh yes! Life never sends a memo or a schedule of What To Expect When alive. Whatever it hands you, take it all in and savor it. Enjoy the thought of how better and stronger you will be when it’s all over. Breathe to remain sane.
  3. Live once. Stop acting like you friends. Stop trying to fit into their shoes and buy your own. Stop pleasing people. Don’t step in front of the truck for anyone who is not worth it.  Live your life, maximize your space and watch life happen before your eyes!

*I pick up my champagne flute and take a sip. “Cheers! To life!”

I missed a pill…. he paid the price :D

What do you do when you forget to swallow your pill? I always brag at how good I am at taking this mini-pill that it literary got to my head! I now understand why my fellow mates would rather get jabs on their bums or get the skin on their upper arm broken. Still I remain faithful to no alarms or reminders! This is what happened to me…So I forgot to take my pills for two days straight! I was well into the third day and I was having a ball, eating life with a fork and knife. Life was good! Splendid even! So on day three evening, when I remembered that I had run out of them and was supposed to have bought some more, I panicked. What had gotten into me? Was it carelessness or was I just fed up with routine? Dreadful doesn’t even scratch the casing of what I felt that night; and to think that it was at 10 o’clock and I could not buy some OTC didn’t make the situation any easier. I had to think, and fast! First thing I did was tying my hair up into an ugly bun and wrap it up in one of those stockings all men hate, and that man aint an exception.

He was watching me all this time, a puzzled look replacing the looming enthusiasm on his face. Next, I picked a promotional Tee- shirt I had sneaked away during one of our client’s events and almost literary jumped in. It was big like that. The eyes that watched began to bulge. “What are you doing?” hubby finally couldn’t hold it. I smiled and struggled my way up through the t-shirt that looked like Justin and I could fit in together neck to neck. “I forgot to buy my pills” I responded to which he sighed and said, “Shucks! Ok, so you are rushing to buy some more? I was beginning to wonder who you think you are dressing like that for” I stared right back and my eyes clearly said I was not leaving the house.

“You’re not going out?” the eyes were now on the verge of hanging out of their sockets as he scanned me up and down in dismay. “I missed two days, already. ” I explained. “ I might as well be carrying baby Andrew, but I am not taking any chances with you. I want nothing to do with you for the next seven days.”
He was horror-stricken but seemed to understand my actions. “You mind?” I asked to confirm and he responded negatively. “Well, it’s better than putting a fence in the middle of the bed!” A smile. “ Great idea,” I quipped, “and making it spiky will certainly keep you away! I’ll go fetch some wires. Be back in a bit!” I said and rushed to the bathroom. When I got back, he was asleep, snoring loudly and a safe distance from my side of the bed; pissed but not enough to lose his sleep.