Mourning Lummie’s Death

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

 

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

Lumia

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

cute feet

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

I am Tooth Fairy

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

Squints*  Not so impressive

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

Proud of you lil one

Proud of you lil one

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

To you Mwambi, the love of my life

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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#TeamMwambi

 

Mpango wa Kando at my doorstep

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

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

Husband stole my baby

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

Friend of the enemy

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

It gets juicier…

illegitimate

20 minutes later…..

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

In trouble with the boys!

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

 Cover up

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

 

 

 

 

 

I Almost Got Mugged

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

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

thief 2

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

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

thief

It gets juicier…

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

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

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.

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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

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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.

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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.

Dear EX, It’s been a while!

This post is not entirely my experience, Oh, please do not be tempted to think that I am not over my past or that I am bitter about it. I am simply venturing to new heights of my writing skills. I intend to offer inspiration, motivation and lessons on relationships and marriage. This letter is for many kinds of men all pulled into one body, the EX. This is for you who are stuck in a relationship that you know well will end dead, yet you still hang on, and for you who will step over everyone else as you try to eat life with a wide fork. This is for you who will let this move you a step ahead. For you who will let it guide you to be a better person.

Dear EX,
It is a shame how it took you so long to grow up. When I sit back and recall how you were back in the day I can’t help but squint my eyes in disgust as I chew off the ends of my rubbery pen. It was so full of drama; I still wonder how I live to tell the tale. What in the blazing hell was I thinking, getting entangled with you? How did I even survive? You were youthful, cheery and peppy. You were the man of your time…the man who could have as many girlfriends as the hours of a day. You were ‘The Ish’. You preferred the naïve type of women judging from all the women I ever caught you with. I was simple, old fashioned and natural. The most make up I ever wore was a simple eye-tone and lip balm. You made me feel like the world revolved around me the first time you lay your eyes on me. You bought me gifts every other day, took me out to expensive hotels and dedicated songs to me. You never wanted me to use public transport, not when you had enough cars lazing in your lot while you showed off your favourite pick of the month! My every whimper was your command, as you would stumble over yourself in an effort to please me. I ate whatever I wanted and had flowers and chocolate delivered to me.

In short you were my slave and I your queen…at least until you got me entangled around your finger. I couldn’t imagine life without you being a part of it. I worshiped you, spoke only of you, slept on open text messages from you and only after good night wishes and kisses sent from you. You were in my dreams, in my head, in my heart, and all over my life! You made sure to occupy every inch of me and were very jealous of anyone who got as much as a smile from me. And I filled your life with me…at least I did, until that day when on our way back from the long drive from The Mara. I saw something that changed everything between you and I. The name Baby Steph was on your phone’s screen, having replaced the profile name of your current theme. I stuttered as I asked whose phone that was. I could never get it through my head that you had a child, young enough to be called a baby. How old was she again, three months? But you told me she was well over a year! You knew very well how wrong it sounded to the ear…that you have a three-month-old child and you are still roaming around like a demon looking for a weak soul to devour.
broken heart 1
After a lot of convincing that I was the one and not the other woman, even though I was the other woman, I still stuck around and served as a slave to your charm. I was however getting brighter by the day and one day I put one foot against the door and got firm. Fine I was appreciating my beauty and glowing in love but to you it translated to me growing a big head…you got insecure and in your puerility and immaturity turned callous on me. You suddenly used what was mine against me. That I had not joined university was a problem. I became an illiterate nobody. In your eyes I became trashy, or was it trash? I was as useless as a lone staple pin. Then you exposed me to your first love. The woman who felt she had a right over you above all else. She was there first; she was with you when you were penniless and ugly… Oh, the comfort of having money brings a confident smile on, and that smile is simply breath taking! She seemed to know so much about me and she threw words at me. I know I looked strong even as I fought back, but deep inside those words were daggers. They sliced every gentleness and purity that made me unique. The very facet that made you attracted to me. I walked away with wounds that would take a long while to heal. With no apology and no compunction, I turned back and gave you one last smile, not to draw you close, no, but to glance at my path and salute you for making me stronger and wiser. I limped on with hope. I knew better and I just needed time to heal and get back up.

I did heal, I forgave you, I understood that it was childish play and that nothing that meant so much to me meant anything to you. I laugh now at how I trusted my heart and my love with you! It was like giving an expensive gadget to a seven-month-old baby who only knows to soak it in saliva and in minutes loose interest in it. broken heart 3

It’s nice to see you again. Really, I had actually forgotten how far I have come. The wounds you gave me are nothing but scars that remind me of a war that I survived. I live to warn my fellow girls to be careful about men like you. Oh you‘ve changed? How be that? Oh? Ok. So you are mature now, I see. How is your daughter? Oh, you don’t say! Now you are protective of her? It is nice and ironic that you know how men out there can be! I am not mocking you! On the contrary I pity you. Because that messed up dude or dudette who said Karma is a bitch never got an award for that, even though the bugger was so right! I hope you are born again now? No? Oh but you go to church? Nods… Nice. Aaaah, tithe too! Awesome. Then get your Pastor to pray with you. Your fate will follow your daughter. A man that she will give her everything to, will take that heart, spit on it, shove it to the floor, stump on it, yank it off the floor and aim it for the trash can. You will treat my wounds but this time on someone who means a lot more to you. The wounds will remind you of your past and the women you messed up. broken heart 2

So long friend. I hope you tell your fellow men to watch out. Karma’s got one big eye and is looking out!

I cry for a little Girl- Cindy

Friends I need your counsel. I sent this letter to a man and his mistress. This is not something I would do as we grow up and let bad habits go. But I have been frustrated for a while now and I need your wise words as I have asked them to pop here and hear what you have to say. I have changed their names for purposes of anonymity.
It starts,

All God’s children have a chance to better people. I hope this letter finds you all well. I know you both know me, but hardly. Let me formally introduce myself. My name is Fanne Mwambi. I am an administrator and researcher in a Public Relations firm, some Radio presenters like calling me a HR consultant when I do radio interviews for them. I am also a writer with a local newspaper. Guess what I write about marriage and relationships! I am also a blogger and very soon will be an entrepreneur. In all these I always ask God not to let me forget where I have come from and what is most important in my life; my husband and two daughters.

I am a relationship therapist enthusiast and I coach young marriages and relationships. Its funny that God had to bring you wife and child to us before you two completely destroyed them. Brief history…I had an experience with men who had a lot of money… but not easy money like you Mr. This was money they worked very hard for. My little story is a bit different but I hope you can pick up some lessons. The main difference, Shirleen*, was I never had men who belonged to other women. That is being greedy, you know. Still it was not easy. I was picked from college every day and dropped home. I bought clothes from Amsterdam and the Emirates (Well still import stuff but now with my own money!) I never bought a phone in a local shop in Kenya. But when I was in too deep, true colours came out. Shirleen* this is for you. These men will never work hard to get rich only to spend it all on you. Oh no darling. They have skills they use to make sure they get the cheapest sex from you. It is called the horse and carrot game. The horse will never get the carrot…but it will keep following the promise to get it. I dated several men before Justin and all were the same. They saw women as objects, trophies, weaklings, less human and punching bags. So I vowed to be an independent woman and to get a man who would like to work hard with me and grow rich with me. I found him and we have always loved each other in poverty and in riches. We respect each other and never let anyone or anything come between us especially money. Oh that’s unless you kill him and take all the money, which is what many materialistic women like you do anyway.
mistress
Tim*, when we got a call to help you settle in Nairobi, we were scared, because you were a stranger. But we didn’t say no. We welcomed you into our home, and tried to make you comfortable. We wanted you to get the best experience in Nairobi so you don’t suffer here. Truly if you were a good man, you would have let us go immediately if you knew you would bring us such sadness to our family. Instead you thought since my husband was jobless, maybe he was desperate. So you pretended to help, even promised him heaven…. What you didn’t know is we live in Nairobi and here there are no free things. Slowly we realized you were just a big liar. Still my husband volunteered to help you and planned to leave as soon as you were ok. The kind of business you want to do wants a very honest person. Not a liar. I will tell you for free that suppliers can mess you up if you lie. Anyway. Aside from that you told very many lies, blaming my husband for the many mistakes you made. Yet you said you trusted him. I was shocked when your wife asked my husband why he recommended a fake lawyer. My husband is the most respectful, loyal and honest man I know and for you to taint his name like that is not only shaming but also disrespectful.

Despite your bad treatment we kept the respect. Jesus! it breaks my heart that a woman can do this to a fellow woman. How foolish can anyone be to allow a man to treat her with such disrespect? If I were someone’s mpango wa kando and the most evil woman on earth, I would never sleep in a matrimonial bed. If this man has so much money then he can get me my own place. Its a curse to yourself, your family. It’s a curse to your culture! But no! Shirleen* has no morals she accepts Tim* to treat her like trash, sneaking into the house and sleeping in another woman’s bed. Hahahaha! You look funny sneaking around asking the cleaners for updates around the house.

THIS WAS NONE OF MY BUSINESS until I met young Cindy*, a very beautiful but disturbed girl. She likes it when I call her Baby Girl. She has lost trust in people because she is scared the people she cares for will leave her. Shirleen*, if you see this little girl, you will understand what I am saying because one day you and I were just like her, looking for people to trust. Slowly she will grow up to hate men. One day she will know her father does not value a woman and if she tries to have a relationship with a man, that man will treat her the same way her mother has been treated. When I saw this coming, I made it my business.

I thought about going to children’s court and sue this man who talks so much of God and treats the mother of his child so badly. I realized the charges are many, Abandonment, neglect, … and the mother of all charges is getting this young mother pregnant while she is underage. Cindy’s mom knew all this. By the way just because she keeps quiet a lot doesn’t mean she is stupid. This woman is intelligent and she is going places. Anyway the idea to sue will work if she wants to sue, but that is her decision not mine.
You two have a history, and a very sad one. Tim*, I am still trying to imagine how you sleep at night. How do you have peace when the only person who was with you when you were nothing, is away from you? Many people who brag the way you do have not gone through problems. But you Tim* have no excuse. And you can do better than that. I told Cindy’s mom we should all go for a vacation, the four of us; she and you…Justin and I for a romantic vacation. This is usually the first step to making a relationship work… but she told me no, that Tim* is no longer the poor man she fell in love with. Saying I love you is a problem. Tim*, how do you love her when you tell her not to follow you once she is in Nairobi? Why do you call someone your wife and you are not a husband to her? You ask her to respect you when you don’t respect her? I know many men have mpango wa kandos, but you are the 1st one to bring this mpango into your wife’s house. That is just wrong. Goodness? What kind of a heart do you have? You act like you have been bewitched! People say ‘Kukaliwa chapatti’ ama? Shirleen*? Have you? If yes then one day hio dawa itaisha tu.

I pray one day when your eyes open, because they will. And when you lose all your money, because you will… (You know God is a jealous God…he has seen what you are when he gives you money so he will take it away and your wife will have a chance to be rich) I pray when this time comes you will not regret losing the people who are supposed to be number 1 in your heart.

Can you fight with some love, please?

We fight, I fight, Jesus! I curse! we almost want to stab each other at some point. We hate those we love the most because we love them that much. However there are things, a many that we forget. Fights in relationships are inevitable. Fights, they say are healthy, in fact, the more you fight, the more you understand each other. The more you fight, the better you get when you make up! I am struggling to keep the thought off the next thing that rhythmically comes to mind…the more you fight, the better you get at it! Oh my, that’s evil! This is however not how we feel in that instance when a fight starts. Its systematic, often kicks off with a stupid word or grunt that we usually regret to have said later…that one cotton-picking word that just sets the whole place ablaze. (Forgive me, I got some rub-off from my favourite writer) From what I know and have seen in the news , with my neighbours and with my husband, it always starts with a bad mood followed by a wistful feeling to quarrel.

Mr. and Mrs. Dog

This is how it starts with us, and exactly how it started at my neighbours’ despite frantic efforts to talk in low tones. I contemplated singing a loud misplaced song, one kind of zilizopendwa that they like playing so loudly on weekends making us unwillingly nod rhythmically to the tunes even when our minds want out of the tunes. couple-fightmy intention would probably be in an effort to make them realize that whatever it is may not really be worth it. Still, I remembered how that wistful feeling must pass before any reasonable thoughts are reached. So I listened. “Woman, did you just call me a dog? Me; your husband? A dog?” the man sluggishly spoke. Clearly he had had enough to make his tongue heavy. Wow, that was wrong, I thought. She didn’t feel wrong though, “ You come in here all drunk at this time of the night and won’t let me sleep! Yet I will leave you here snoring like a train with a broken engine in the morning!” Ouch! I thought. She wasn’t making this any better. The guy, drunk and sloppy seemed to struggle to get his balance, which he lost anyway and hit something, that went sprawling to the floor. “You called me what?” he muttered clearly struggling to focus on the latter insult. He would deal with the train one later.

Socks and matchboxes

The dog punched his wife somewhere near her mouth, as the next words that came out of her were, “Oh, what’s wrong with you?” But they sounded more like Oh! hats hang ith yu! A struggle ensued and the dog proved himself stronger than Mrs. Dog who eventually conformed into begging him to calm down so they don’t let the neighbours hear them. We heard from the part where you called him a dog! I was tempted to say, instead I checked to make sure al my girls, Viv, included were not party to my eavesdropping. As I did so, I couldn’t help but think of all the tiny things that have made Justin and I fight almost to hell and back; As a smoker, he would steal my matchboxes, use them and place them in places he would not remember later(in his pocket, on the TV counter, in his other pocket or on my dresser). He still throws his socks and misses the laundry basket… and sometimes even when he cant tell me a juicy story with all the juice in it I cause fire, but a dog? No, I would never call him that.

My dad versus my husband…

Justin and I first met about nine years ago, in an ICDL Class. ICDL simply means international Computer Driving License. He asked me out and I said no. I said no because I preferred a man that was cut out just like my father. Just how would I date a man that never ironed his shirts as well as my father did or make his trousers neat with the sharp edge sharp enough to slaughter a careless fly. Just how would he stand before my father, to his awe and declare his love for me? Any man who was to face my father had to be, well, my father! But Justin wasn’t. he didn’t mind wearing a creased shirt or hanging out in casual slacks. The only thing he could not stand was hair on his head and face. Hair he had grown and bred since his teen-hood and had had enough of.

My father might as well have worked in KDF, The Armed Forces or somewhere therein. He was so particular about hygiene, grooming and keeping time, and he was and still is a perfectionist. As his children, we could not escape these habits rubbing off on us. We all learnt to brush our shoes…and his to a shine, brighter than the adverts bragging oh, so confidently on TV. He used to be a jack of all trades; aside from being the official mosquito repellant in the homestead, (forget the, ointments,jellies or nets), he could effortlessly, change the long fluorescent bulbs into shorter ones and he fixed the radio and TV when the roaches had made them homely. dad hubbyThis man, my dad could fix a broken sink, and the drainage and mend wooden joints. He was The Father…the Man, the super man, and the icon of the home. He taught us to depend on only him. We almost worshiped him! He fixed watches, goodness! He fixed everything! So when I met a man who wouldn’t mind walking around with a pair of creased jeans trousers, could go swimming in the evening of any day, sleep with one arm availed to lucky mosquitoes to feast on, and could chain smoke if the day allowed it, I was pretty sure my father would shake his head till it snapped and fell off, in disapproval. Justin was a free man. He was free and in his free-ness, he asked a naïve me out for a drink. I tried to picture myself in his company…and my father smiling blessings down on me. That picture just didn’t work.

Five years on

I would get annoyed when after waiting patiently for the man of the house to do it, I would have to kill the night suckers myself. I loathed having to balance on the kitchen counter to fix the bulb, and even worse when he would sleep outside the net, feeling all claustrophobic . I wondered what kind of a man he was. I wondered what kind of a man his father was not to teach him what my father taught me! What then would we refer to as protective, and the head? I honestly thought the head could cut, mend, fix, repair, calm down and well, beat up thugs! This man my father created in my head was bigger than superman. God would probably call him brother. But the man I met and married was a smaller man; a normal man. A man who would let me work and split the house costs equally. He won’t stop me from carrying our child through while he holds the door. This man weirdly treats me as an equal. Part of me likes that he puts me that high on a pedestal… the other me wishes he would take care of everything and have me worry about the next clinic day for my child, and what snack to pack in Pesh’s school bag. This man I married is so different from my father, and it surprises me how I have coped with him since I started dating him, five years ago.fay 5

I Am At My Best Now

Fay 1Family is the most important aspect of my life. I am not sure it’s the same for every woman I know, especially those who wouldn’t mind letting off their steams on anyone their tired gazes fall on after a hard day at work. I know of many who easily put their work ahead of their family and let everyone but their bosses wait. I know of many who beat up their kids for being creative… I know I almost did that to young Pesh for being a little mouthy pipsqueak. When she told me her teacher has a hard time doing the same I decided that was enough punishment already. Then there are those who let young pre-school kids cross the road alone. I still try to get my mind around that…and why in the name of cold seasons do those kids wear shorts that look like they did a lot of sitting, squirming, and rubbing…pairing them up with no cardigans?

Now there are those of us who misplaced their list of priorities. They let their husbands ogle at other women’s thighs in night clubs because they are NOT interesting anymore. I wish to believe I am a good family woman, and a great, no awesome employee. See, the beauty of being a rocking, married woman is that I get to enjoy life more and pretty freely too!. Being a mother automatically signs me that free ticket that allows me to perform motherly duties to everyone I meet. Pardon me if I use saliva to clean your eyes if you didn’t clean them well.. pardon me for your white heads and unfixed collars! I can easily tell a man he is looking smashin without looking like a flirt. If he dares to eye me, I will easily add that lady he wishes to please had better notice that and fix myself at the witness stand!. I can tell funny jokes and really be myself around my colleagues without the fear of making an impression! In fact, people will be curious as to who really I am; the other side of me… the side that drove my husband wild enough to marry me. I say wild because the other side of me is nothing short of non-serious business. Anyone who knows me in my hey days will agree…I loved to party, drink, dress up and dance….lots of ragga and hip hop dancing…and, whether its great or not, the belief that someone (Justin) actually liked that me teases my ego
fay 3

I am not trying to instigate the idea of marriage into anyone’s heads. I am also not trying to tell you how much single-ness rids you of the full joy in life…goodness I am getting carried away here. I am not trying (Despite my failed efforts) to show you that I am at my happiest at this stage in my life. I am not saying loving one man and knowing the ring he wears bears my name on it, or knowing I have a boss who is a family man and understands when family calls have to be responded to. All I am saying is I am inciting, not you, but the little charming thought in your head. I am hoping it turns into the angel that sits on your shoulder and tells you that that is the ultimate purpose of life. To have a family that you see grow, run home to, go out with, sing in the car with, take pictures and spend time with. For we work to live and not the other way around. Your family should smile when you are home to compensate the time you are away working.
fay 5

I have a purpose to live now, I know what I am working for, It feels incredibly good to have someone I can entrust to make me some microwave tea when I am lazy or take me out for dinner when we feel the need to, I have someone who will call me endlessly if I am not home, not to quarrel, but with worry over my safety. I have a child who will steal chocolate from mommy’s bag when we take her to school and eat my food in the belief that ‘what is mom’s is mine’. A baby who drools on my Tee-shirt or falls asleep and lets go of the nyonyo, falling away as the milk hoses all over her face. I am happier knowing I am valued and important, in the eyes of those who matter most. I am happier when my parents talk to me as a friend or colleague rather than as their child. I am a happily married woman.