New Year Resolutions?

Oh yes, It’s still January, 53 days later! We are still alive, surviving on the cabbages and spinach we had snorted at back in December. House helps who had disappeared to go enjoy the holidays in full are now asking for their jobs back and while there are bills to pay and children to raise, it’s a new year with bigger and greater opportunities to make the world a better place. We may have decided not to make any more resolutions and this may be the best for some of us who barely tick off past the third vow, but we must at least have a goal to add us some form of sanity this year.

Complain Less

Lets try to appreciate that everything really does happen for a reason, sometimes unknown to us. Let us look at situations with a more optimistic eye, believing that bad situations could as well have been worse and good things will always follow us when we are good.

Appreciate more

It never hurts to appreciate others, nor do we lose anything when we give a good word. In our effort to be positive towards life, let us encourage others when they do well, no matter how small. I am looking at showing kind words to my house help, children, husband and colleagues at work.


Grow more

No matter what, don’t be the same as you were last year. Purpose to be better, stronger, wealthier, and well, just don’t remain stagnant! Lets teach our children better growth tactics

Revealing the Gender to my other children

Last clinic day (hopefully) at 36 weeks found me getting another unplanned ultrasound. That previous night my eldest daughter had insisted on going for the check up with us. I should probably have said yes, but thinking it would be a usual 10 minutes doctor’s visit, I dismissed her request and asked her to help Yvette decorate the house for her sister’s fourth birthday. At the hospital all seemed well, but imagery and some blood work was insisted on to make sure all was as good as it seemed. This only meant one more thing for me; yet another chance to get a sneak peak on baby’s gender…and well, how big a head I would be dealing with!

It’s a baby Girl!

While the head measReured 38 weeks the rest of baby was 37 and 6 days. Standing at 2.9 kilos I am most definitely having a baby bigger than both my daughters at birth. She looked perfect and as usual kicked everything in her way including the sonographer’s instruments. I prayed for acceptance and this is perhaps what God wanted me to do because it was answered immediately. I fell so deeply in love with my new baby and for the first time since I discovered I was expectant, I couldn’t wait to meet her.

 I am a Grateful Mama!

“You’re going to have a little sister,” I whispered in Raine’s ear and her reaction was beyond impressive. “Yaaaaaaay!” and in seconds she had disappeared, screaming away in excitement. She didn’t want a brother all along, but only because girls in our hood only played with fellow girls while boys chased and played rough ball games. Minutes later, Pesh, my eldest came running back. “Is it true, mum?” We’re having a sister?” Much as I would have loved the experience of having a son and for them to have a baby brother, it is God’s will that our last also be a girl. I accept her fully and plan to spoil her and her sisters with a lot of love. I have amazing, healthy babies and this for me just does it.

Published on 17th Jan 2018

Looking into 2018

We’re barely heel-deep into 2018 and the mad rush is already here with us. School fees, uniforms, books, shoes and bags, oh wait, there are hairdos to take care of too! Its crazy everywhere! Kids are having trouble going to bed so early and waking up even earlier. Raine claimed to have forgotten all her sounds and all the numeric they learnt last term. Sigh. I am not sure how much damage the two-month-holiday has done to this kids. They have literary been on vacation enjoying sleepovers with their cousins, travelling to rural areas, others out on trips. I hardly saw any books touched. TV remotes were taken over and our kitchens… man, don’t get me started on the food budgets!

Schools Open

I am perhaps one of the few parents who would rather have their kids home than school…well, ‘cept for this past holiday I spent so much on food and power bills thanks to all the baking and frying we did. Schools finally started and the excitement in my girls knowing they now join new classes with unique names could not be contained. Raine is in PP1 and Pesh in Grade Three; sounds like we just moved to some state in the US. These kids are lucky school is getting easy for them. They are sure to enjoy the fewer, more interactive lessons unlike us who struggled to master a zillion books!

Njaanuary Pains

It’s only 10th and the month feels old already. It’s been January forever, hasn’t it now? It’s even longer for me, having the kids come home from school each day hoping to meet their new sibling. They look rather fed up with my large belly. If only they knew I’ve had enough of it too! I am tired of walking like a duck; breathing heavily, looking like impending doom and having everyone wait on a slow me to move along. Anytime now this journey will only be a story to tell, and I will be the newest mommy of three in town! Now that’s something to look forward to this month!

Cheers to a better year, 2018!

So we made it to 2018! Happy New Year people! It almost seems as though 2017 slipped right underneath us, right? We almost didn’t do anything at all! Several times I felt guilty, receiving a salary I had hardly worked for. For the most part, we watched people lose their jobs and companies get shut down. We counted losses and much as we sent out our few invoices, we were made to wait till the end of the year if we were to get any returns. Life was tough and we all are quite relieved to be here, in a new year, free from the shackles of politics, tension and dark days.

Making the Most of this year

I am on my final lap in this pregnant journey and I plan to work till my waters break. Trouble is I am due smack in the middle if the month unlike my previous December bliss experiences. Anything could happen while I am 40km away from home. After losing jobs twice last year hubs decided to try out something new. I feel it’s about time especially since he will be flexible and around when I need him at home. We have decided to go for online writing and as soon as baby comes, investing in a reliable home Internet plan and a good computer shall be our next endeavor. I may also get into it, depending on how much time I manage to spare and if it works, then this year will most certainly be one different and busy one!

What to look Forward To?

The kids are not very excited about going back to school. The only two things they seem thrilled about is going into new classes and knowing baby will be coming home this month. The latter steals the show. Raine is already making plans of carrying the newborn into her class, co-sleeping and being the official best friend. Pesh has more mature plans. She promises to help bathe the baby and stay in charge when I go back to work. Looks like I will have a lot of help this time around. Ain’t I one lucky mommy!

Published on Wed 3rd Jan 2018


So you are Reeeeally ready to start a Family?

It’s been quite a while and man did I miss blogging! I usually like it when I get the drive to write, lest I indulge and perhaps bore you to death with meaningless gibberish. I was having a few thoughts to myself a while back and realised many people, myself included ended up starting a family with just cues of what is expected of a woman and a man. No one taught us how to live with another human being and have your own little beings, offering answers to every situation and case studies of how it works.


Bridal showers and marital counseling do prepare you, but do they entirely?

Bridal showers do help a great lot except when everyone gives you’re their own experiences and expect you will take their testimonies…forgetting that we don’t all marry similar characters or end up in similar situations in marriage. We all go through challenges and none is ever quite the same as the other. While one couple will battle with childbirth or the lack of it, another will face childlessness and discrimination. While one battles with lack of employment, the next couple will have one spouse not cooperative in budgets and spending and will end up stuck in rut holes earning so much and heading nowhere. We all have unique things that make our marriages unique; we also have those things that make us similar in humanity. Those are what I intend to engage you with today.

Bridal Showers….

When your man Helps Around

When a union is made, we all think we can now have all the fun we had to sneak around to do, and perhaps we do, except we now can’t run from the mess we usually left behind. Deep down a man’s mind he knows he doesn’t need to call the laundry lady anymore or keep burning his fingers putting a meal together. They will smile when you ask for help and they will secretly pray you get yourself organized in time because one day they will not. You may think you are lucky that your man does house chores, only, see how they act when male friends visit… they hop onto the band wagon of being ‘True African Men’ who wouldn’t be caught dead doing a woman’s job. Lets appreciate when they help…trust me our fathers didn’t teach them to wear petticoats or tie lessos when we need help. This is a lesson we are now teaching our sons.


When Women expect too much

Let me promise to tell what goes on in a man’s mind…I am still cracking mine’s head up because he wont make it any easy for me. What I have learnt however is they can only genuinely do what they have watched their father’s do. You will notice that most men who are barely there for their children in a home, chasing them off into their bedrooms to keep out their noise had their own fathers do the same to them. Most men who hit their wives only learnt this from..Erm…the best? A family built on mutual respect, love and care for each other will hardly build up children with a stranger character. A child who grows up watching his father protect his mother from harm will never lay a finger on his own. A man who’s sisters’ taught him to help around the house will never find it hard to get down and dirty helping his wife. Women need to understand the kind of men they get involved with before they commit to them. This will help them get a light image of what to expect from them.

I remember pushing my husband to wake up at night to help me with the baby, back in 2009 when we had our first. It was so easy for my friends’ husbands and they made me think mine fell short if he wouldn’t. This turned out to be frustrating for him, keeping awake most nights and having to work the following day! When I realised I could take more than he could, handle the baby better and multitask easier than he could, I stopped pushing him and worked around myself. He somehow managed to get into my schedule, giving me an hour or two each evening to take a nap while he played with the baby. I realised he offered more when I didn’t ask because he really wanted to be part of our child’s development, only not under duress! There’s more; so much more examples I could give but time does limit and we have so much to catch up with.

The Two-Week-Wait

Trying for a baby? Here are my experience of the two week wait of my last pregnancy on the next post sooner than this one did!. Lots of TMIs on this one but I promise to make it fun!



When a woman becomes a mother

It all starts with an oblivious perception of what motherhood is. “I’m going to be a mother!” It’s pure thrill!…”just like her, or maybe I’ll be just like my mother. Perhaps better, I mean, my mom was a tough nut so I should be better, no?” You just found out you are pregnant and suddenly the world changed view. It looks funny, doesn’t smell any better and my, you suddenly notice the many children around you! “I will now cease from being just me” You fantasize and start picturing yourself as ‘Mama Nani’ and not just Alice anymore…and while to some it’s a terrifying reality, most women lovingly welcome their BFP (Big Fat Positive)

Fitting In


The oblivious journey begins from here with you, reading through baby blogs, week after week and rushing to the obstetrician each time you suspect something isn’t right. Baby movements begin with uncomfortable stitch-like pains between week 18 and 20 and you check into hospital again, scared sh*tless because tot may have accidentally moved into your rib cage and got trapped there.

Phew! You survive the first trimester and begin to enjoy the calm period. You go out with your girls hoping to still fit in, shop for baby stuff and trendy outfits for yourself. Damn! You make pregnancy look so good, all your friends now want to fit in with you! You are rocking it silly and out of nowhere, the pride of your looming status checks in…


I wonder though….


What do our mothers and moms to teens and grown up- children think of new and younger moms? Have you ever thought about it? When they see young moms in parenting blogs claiming to have hacked it in marriage and parenting yet they bag less than 10 years in it. Do they scoff at us? Or perhaps mock? Why wouldn’t these moms find some hobby and share their experiences too?


We really can’t help it, you know…


See, the moment you get pregnant, you suddenly feel as though you have experienced it all, and now know what it is like to carry a child…and by all means, you do…You feel so wise you would buy a crown and walk with a stick if you could. You get your first baby and it’s an occurrence to behold! You can’t wait to put it down in words! So you start a blog and plaster as many photos of your baby as it can hold. Ha! I know I did that! You get your second child and no one can tell you what it is like to be a mother to multiple children.


They are still very young, but it doesn’t matter. You are now a self-proclaimed expert on parenting…I know because I felt like I had made it to the sky, hugged the moon and waved at the sun. Now, what happens when a third child comes and your head won’t grow any bigger? You go quiet and watch first time moms follow your trend, right? Hmm.


I am a culprit!

I am not here to attack young parents, no. I am one myself and I have written all the crazy, embarrassing stuff on my babies too. I am simply trying to show you how crazy, yet sanely normal the changes are that happen to a woman when she becomes a mother.

She suddenly has to grow up, be more responsible and think of others before herself; she has to answer questions she would love to know answers to and has to work harder than she used to keep up with life demands. Funny, we do it all and with a big smile.


So, when a woman becomes a mother…

It’s simply because it’s a joy to be a mother; to have a child is to have someone who loves you with their existence and want to be just like you. You’re their all-time best friend and your presence itself takes away every discomfort they have.

A new mother’s life changes so much she feels as though she was not living before her baby was born. It’s as if her life was meaningless, without purpose and with nothing to look forward to. It’s a pure feeling and one only experience can teach and one no one can ever take away. Whether the baby is a new born, a toddler a pre-schooler or a teen…whether the child didn’t make it past a certain age and whether it is adopted or a surrogate child…motherhood is that feeling of responsibility to a child. The connection that draws you to put their lives ahead of yours. Its a beautiful feeling, whether cut short or lives on. Lets embrace it just as it is.

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 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.




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!


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.


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

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.


“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 2


“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


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.


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.


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