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To My Friends Whom We’ve Lost Touch Yet, I Still Think About

Had we imagined we could get this far, we would have maximized those moments. How easy was it then when we were all in one place? We were sure to see each other as frequently as possible. We didn’t anticipate much change. Even though we felt things would change but we didn’t give it a good estimate. Until it surely happened.

Now, those times are gone, those moments we took for granted and we wish we had spent more time with each other. We’ve grown apart and the times we can get to at least meet each other have slowly diminished.

But, it’s life. Sometimes it gets hectic. And in the midst of it all, priorities change. We get carried away by new things as we push away the old stuff. We’ve never been ready for these. In the midst of growth, we just shake hands with newness and discover other aspects of life. And we drift, sadly; differently.

We Innocently Dreamt

As kids, we dreamt in unison; pass exams, go to university. Become doctors, engineers, pilots, and lawyers. We didn’t see ourselves becoming teachers, accountants, writers or even worse still job seekers. As kids we knew we would wed together and ensure our kids grew together in families better than ours; where they would apply blueband (margarine) on bread for breakfast.

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Sadly; life slyly winked at us. It saw us coming into the future with so much ignorance. And we’ve discovered thinks don’t work like those fairy tales. Probably, they have met their loved ones when you are still confused in the streets of life. Maybe they have settled when you are not yet with your education. Or you’ve just gotten your dream job while they are still tarmacking. Some have moved abroad while you still don’t know “where next” for you.

Change is Inevitable

I got the cue when things started changing but I didn’t want to believe it. I was so much obsessed with the belief that; as long as we lived on this green planet, we could create room for each other. But I was wrong. Some people have simply said, ‘if someone loves and cares for you, they will create time for you.’ But it’s never this simple. Sadly; we can try but it’s never easy. Life can strike like a thunderbolt and your entire universe is changed.

Schedules aren’t ready to cooperate with our wishes, and when we try to create space, other challenges creep in: financial issues, sicknesses and bills, and a lot of uncertainties. Besides, aren’t we humans who can’t handle all of it at once?

During my moments of introspection and reflection, I wonder if we still truly matter to each other. We’ve grown so far away that life begins to look strange. Are we strangers to reality? Does it mean that all the friendships and love we once lavished each other was fake? Was it just a fleeting scene in the episode of our youth?

Memories Are Here with Me

Yet; regardless of the mute and the overcoming feeling that I now have, you can rest assured; I still think about you even if we’ve not seen for a while.

I remember childhood games. I remember the obnoxious us; making fun of crazy jokes. I remember how we studied together and competed in the class. I remember how we fought, cried and forgave. I remember our dedication in church and the memory verses. Those childhood memories are a craze in my world.

I remember the high school funkies. I remember how we exchanged contacts using our shirt collars because we didn’t have phones in school. I remember the dances. I remember academic trips. I remember getting into trouble with master on duty, and the school assembly sessions were terrible when we had committed offenses. I remember the entertainment sessions and how we watched the movies together sometimes fighting over the remote control.

 I remember on campus, we read big books and walked everywhere with T-square for engineering drawing. I remember our first meetings and liking each other on the spot. I remember we sang in the choir. We ate dinners together and made fun. I remember how we went out for dates and experimented with things we hadn’t known.

I remember the encouragement you gave me when I was falling apart. I remember your praises when I was succeeding. We loved and cared. We were excited. We thought, believed and promised to spend the rest of our lives by each other’s side. And even when I felt unloved, you showed that I was lovable.

When I reflect on whom we’ve become over time it pales in comparison with whom we were then. Incredibly, we’ve not just grown apart but we’ve grown up.

And so, I remember everything. I think about you at least; most of the time even though it feels like I don’t.

You Are My Friend Forever

I, therefore, hope to see you soon. I want to meet the new you and I want you to see who I am becoming. I believe I have made some incredible improvements in my life. And if indeed I have become better then know that you are a part of the success.

You are the reason I believe in true love and genuine friendship. You are the reason I work hard, not to compete with others but to improve myself and make the world a better place. You are the reason I still believe in myself even in the face of defeats and shortcomings. You are that person! You are the reason I still believe there are true friends. And you are the reason I never shall trade my authenticity for approval.

For so many reasons, you are the person I still count on and will keep thinking about for the rest of my life. Even if we’ve lost touch and we don’t see as often as we would want, I want you to know, I still think about you.

BOOK REVIEW: THE POWER OF NOW

By: Eckhart Tolle

Hey there, I know it’s (N)January, and budgeting for a book is an option probably not on your table. But you can squeeze yourself a little and get a book. My first read this year is The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I’ll not pretend that I am writing the review for this book, in part, because I am not adept at writing reviews. Still, even if I was good at it, I don’t think I would have the literary wherewithal to write a review that is commensurate to the potency of this book. My intention, therefore, is to urge you to get the book and read it.

Eckhart Tolle poses that NOW is all that we have. Which indeed is a cardinal truth. So we should live in the NOW, embrace and shake hands with the NOWs. That could help us really enjoy the Being. The fulfillment of life is in being and that can only be tapped when we acknowledge, welcome, and embrace the NOW. Hence you don’t need to think and ram your mind with details about the future, it is an illusion, you don’t have it. You don’t need to be drawn into your past, that too is an illusion. All there is and there will be is NOW.

The book helps us to free ourselves from the burden of overthinking, using our minds. He says our minds are our slave masters. We don’t have control over any other thing apart from NOW, and we need to enter it and find the peace that is everlasting. Entering that peace is consciousness. Refusing to embrace NOW, and to think about the future is unconsciousness. Eckhart points out that unconsciousness is why we have so much crime, hatred, anger, jealousy, intolerance, etc in the world today. So many people in the world are unconscious and the world can only get better if everyone became conscious of their Being and got enlightened.

One fundamental aspect of this book that is so relevant today is the idea of compulsive thinking. Compulsive thinking is the reason we have so many people stressed and depressed, and this book comes in handy to cure the problem. Eckhart establishes that people are riled up, mad, stressed, angry because they allow their mind to control their lives; they refuse to embrace the NOW. These people are basically unconscious of the present life, they strive to overthink their future and their pasts. They refuse to enter the bliss of letting go of all that is not within their control.

Compulsive thinking triggers negative energies, and one wonders why humans are the cruelest of all God’s creation. Humans killed over one hundred million other humans in the twentieth century, alone. That’s crazy. Eckhart establishes that the world is full of negative energy because people we have refused to embrace the Now. The beginning of a liberating spiritual journey is to embrace the NOW. Free yourself of the burden of worrying, overthinking, negative energies, and enter into the bliss of a fulfilling life. NOW.

My Best Reads 2020

Here are the books that I read during the tumultuous year, 2020:

Autobiographies and Biographies

  1. The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
  2. Left to Tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza
  3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  4. Too Much and Never Enough by Mary L. Trump
  5. Cristiano Ronaldo by Guillem Balaque
  6. Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis by Donald Spoto
  7. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
  8. Wings of Fire by A.P.J Abdul Kalam
  9. Diary of Miaha by Verah Omwocha

Leadership and Management

10. The Way of The Superior Man by David Deida

11. The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Swartz

Personal Development and Self-Help

12. Outwitting the Devil by Napoleon Hill

13. Outliers by Malcom Gladwell

14. Ordering Your Private Life by Gordon McDonald

15. The 5 AM Club by Robin Sharma

16. The Game of Life by Florence Scovel Shinn

17. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

18. Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday

19. Option B by Sheryl Sandberg

Spiritual and Theological

20. The Pilgrim Progress by John Bunyan

21. Living in the Light by Shakti Gawain

22. Soul Print by Mark Batterson

Novels and Fictional Works

23. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi

24. Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi

25. Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe

26. Glitter and Glue by Kelly Corrigan

27. The Man Who Rode Thunder by William H. Rankin

28. Gift of the Magi by O. Henry

29. Death of Salesman by Arthur Miller

Poetry

30. Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson

31. Poetical Works of Elizabeth Barret Browning

32. King Leah by W. Shakespeare

History and Politics

33. Land of Fetish by Alfred Burdon

34. Kenya: Looters and Grabbers by Joe Khamisi

35. American Democracy in Peril by William E. Hudson

36. The Footprints of Jesuits by Richard Thompson

37. Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T.E. Lawrence

38. European History by Robert Libbon

Philosophy and Sociology

39. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

40. Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche

41. The Art of Seduction by Robert Greene

42. Everything is an Argument by Andrea Lunford

43. Hermeneutics by John D. Caputo

44. Critical Masses by George Moffett

Why Rural Girls Still Need to be Empowered: The Story of Truphena

This happened many years ago, when I was in class six but it is vivid in my mind as though it happened yesterday. Fun fact: I had my first crush in class six but I was too shy to tell her. She was a pastor’s kid. Pastor’s kids will be the end of me.

I was the tiniest and the youngest in the class. In spite of my size, I was the class prefect. This lady, Truphena was my classmate, though she was older than most girls in the class. She sat on the desk that was right in front of mine.

One day, when the bell for lunch had rang, as usual everyone left quickly because pupils used to suffer from incurable hunger by noon. But as the leader I had to linger on a little longer and leave only when all the students had vacated the room. Truphena looked different that day. She didn’t want to leave her desk which was unusual of her. She used to leave fast because she stayed very far away from school and trekking home was the only option for all pupils. I thought she wasn’t planning to home for lunch that day.

Ultimately, she summoned some courage to rise up. And I saw something I had never seen before, the image of which is still scarred in my memory. She had a wide patch of blood at the back of her school uniform. I wanted to know whether she was okay. Well, I had learnt about menstruation in the textbooks but I hadn’t imagined it could be that messy.

Pupils that were still hanging around gathered at the scene. She was at the center of everyone’s attention. Truphena’s face was charred with hot coals of shame as pupils talked about and boys laughed out the incident. She picked some scrambles of confidence she might have had, and tried to walk home though with a deflated demeanor. I watched as tears flooded her innocent eyes. I then asked some lady to lend her a sweater so that she covers her shame. That day, Truphena went home for lunch but she never showed up for the evening classes.

Days that followed had Truphena be the gossip item in the entire school. Everyone knew that she had “gone to the moon” while in class. I watched as this girl dissolved in perpetual humiliation that dented her self-esteem and brutalized her personality. She was bereft of her usual vitality and greenness. She withered. She couldn’t perform well in class anymore and by the end of the year, she had failed enough to repeat the class.

When I finally graduated from primary school, I left Truphena in class seven. I don’t know whether she managed to complete her primary education. I have never heard of her since then, but her story has stuck with me. She is probably married by now to an abusive husband, with three or more kids. I say married to an abusive husband because I have observed that most girls who go through trauma in their early lives have the proclivity of settling for wrong men.

Truphena’s novice and brilliant dream of becoming ‘somebody’ died because the society didn’t provide her an environment where she could deal with her challenges as a girl. Menstruation is a natural biological phenomenon that strains young girls, and it summons our collective effort to help the girls cope up. As a matter of fact, girls whose self-esteemed have been squashed and their confidence dashed don’t do well in class much less in life.

I am certain there were so many girls in class then as there are today, who experience menstruation and use unhygienic materials because they can’t afford sanitary pads. These things still happen today. My visit to the rural home during the holiday woke me up to this reality. We say girls have been extensively empowered, but have you gone to the village? For Truphena’s dream that collapsed, I have vowed to ensure that 200 girls in the rural areas get sanitary pads this year.

Happy New Year, 2021!

The Opis Mutiny Speech by Alexander The Great

Alexander III of Macedon

What I am about to say is not meant to stop you from returning home. As for as I came, go wherever you wish. But I want you to know how you’ve behaved towards me. And how I have treated you.

I will begin, as is right, with my father Philip. When he found you, you were mere peasants; wearing hides, tending a few sheep on the mountain slope. And you could barely defend them from your neighbors

Under him you begun living in cities; with good laws and customs. And he turned you from slaves into rulers over these barbarians who used to plunder your land. He conquered most of Thrace, taking the best harbors so there was trade and prosperity, and put the mind to steady work.

The Thessalians; they used to terrify you. Well, we rule them now. The Athenians and Thebians, always looking for a chance to attack Macedonia, were so humbled. Myself playing my small part in the war, but they no longer take tribute for Macedonia. But instead, depend upon us for their protection.

My father went to Peloponnese and put their house in order. Then he was declared supreme commander of all the Greeks for the campaign against the Persians; an honor not just for himself but for all the Macedonians. This is what my father Philip did for you. Great enough on its own but small compared to what you’ve gained from me.

I crossed the Hellespont even though back then the Persians still commanded the sea. I defeated the satraps of the great kingdom Dorayas, and made you rulers of Ionia, Aeolis, Phrygia, and Lydia. And took Miletus by siege. The rest of the land surrendered willingly and their wealth became yours.

All riches of Egypt and Cyrene which a won without you are yours now. Syria, Palestine, Mesopotamia, Babylonia; all belong to you. The wealth of Lydia, the treasures of Persia, the jewels of India, the outer sea; you are now satraps. You are generals and captains. What have I held back for myself apart from this purple cloak and diadem? Nothing!

No man can point to my riches, only the things I hold in trust for you all. And what would I do with them, anyway? I eat what you eat, I get no more rest than you. Many times I have spent the night on watch so you can sleep soundly. Who among you believes he has worked harder for me than I have for him? Common!

If you’ve got scars, strip and show them to me. I’ll show you mine. There isn’t one part of my body; the front at least that doesn’t bare a wound. My body is covered in scars from every weapon you can think of; swords, arrows, stones, clubs…all for the sake of your lives, your glory and your wealth.

And yet here I still am, leading you as conqueror of land and seas, rivers, mountains and plains. We’ve celebrated our weddings together. Many of your children will be cousins of my own. I have paid off your debts without asking how you got them, even though you are paid well enough and pillage every city we take.

Many of you wear golden crowns, badges of courage and honor, given you by me. Any one of us who was killed, who met a glorious end, we buried with full honors. Many now stand immortalized by bronze statues in Macedonia. Their families are honored and pay no taxes.

Under my command, not one man has been killed fleeing the enemy. And now I want you to send back home some of you who have been wounded or crippled, who have grown old to be welcomed back home as heroes. But since you all wish to go, then, all of you, GO!

Go home and tell them that your king Alexander, conqueror of the Persians, Medes, Bactrians, and Scythians, who now rule over the Parthians, Corasmians, and Hyrcanians as far as the Caspian Sea, who has marched over the mountains of Hindu Kush, crossed the Oxus Tania rivers, even the Indus, first to cross it since Dionysus himself (I would have crossed the Hyphasis too if you hadn’t cowed in fear), who sailed into the great sea from the mouth of Indus, who crossed the desert of Betrosia where no one had ever led an army. Who took Carmenia, where my fleet sailed the Persian Gulf.

When you get home, you tell them that when you made it back to Suzza, you abandoned him and went home. Leaving him under the protection of the foreigners you’d conquered. Perhaps, this report of yours will seem glorious in the eyes of men and worthy in the eyes of the gods.

BE GONE!

Daddy Days: Missing Our Fathers

It must have been the sixth stairs, though my right foot was already resting on the seventh. There, was a beggar seated on the step with a cup scantily filled with coins. The footbridge at Ngara was choked with people; descending and ascending in quick succession. It was in the evening, the sun was ogling from the horizon, and the curfew hour was fast approaching. So I had to speedily squeeze myself among the flux of humans so that I would make it home before I landed on the wrong side of the law. Nowadays, it’s easy to offend the government and our men in uniform lose their heads whenever they find a civilian on the wrong side. I guess those who shall have made it through this corona pandemic without being arrested should as well be pronounced or pronounce themselves as heroes. Maaanh, it’s so easy to get arrested in Kenya during this uncanny period of the world’s history.

A senior man passes next to me, and the waft he leaves on my face throws me down the memory lane. The smell is a concoction of mature sweat and a faint old cologne; exactly how dad used to smell whenever he came home in the evenings after a long tireless day in his hustle. As I climbed the remaining stairs to cross over, my mind travels back and gets occupied by the fragments of memory about daddy. It’s eight-strong years since he passed.

Things that make us miss our dads! If it’s not rhumba music, Kolela, Dolla Kabari, or Okatch Dolla music being played by a roadside shop or over the local vernacular radio station, then it is the twisti dance by mzee Nzenze or Daudi Kabaka’s hilarious lyrics with a sweetly grotesque melody. Sometimes the fatherless children see someone with a jacket like their dad’s along the road and their memories are awakened. They dream about their fathers.

Sometimes, it’s their old emotionless photo, hanging on the living room, sometimes it’s their favorite seat that remains unoccupied in the house. These are some of the mundane stuff that makes us wish we had a dad. And now that on Father’s day, people will hopefully be appreciating their dads, orphans will be watching and saying, “We miss our dads.”

Yet that may not be the crux of the matter until we realize that those to whom, grace has permitted to still have a father in their lives, do the very least in appreciating them. Fathers receive the very least of attention when people are being prized.

Naturally, children tend to love and bond with their mothers more than with their fathers. To be a father, therefore, is to be thrown on the unfavorable side of nature; too much expectation, a little sympathy, and little appreciation even when you’ve done your best.

Other Voices

“I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection.” Sigmund Freud.

“The father who does not teach his son his duties is equally guilty with the son who neglects them.” Confucius

“It doesn’t matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was.” Anne Sexton.

Many boys are going without fathers hence they are not getting the skills of how to be husbands to girls who perhaps also grew up without fathers. Too many girls growing without their fathers into mothers with little knowledge on how to handle a man who perhaps grew without a father and is lost in his eternal search to be a father. A lot many relationships are today in bad shape because there was a missing link: fatherhood. Always taken slightingly, yet Fatherhood, to this end, has proven to be very important.

So today, as we appreciate our fathers, having lost my dad during my teenage, I can only reminisce upon those old days; the daddy days. And I have, in my recollection enlisted some of the few lessons have deduced:

  • Daddy days remind me of how fickle time is and how it passes so fast. It is now clear that my childhood with its drama, complexities, and challenges, has now varnished. And despite the tragic death of my dad, I have learned to cope up, man up, and trying to grow up into the man he never was but would want to be.
  • Daddy days remind of that a man must always work hard and provide for the family.
  • That to father a child, one needs not only the material resources but also enough emotional and spiritual preparations; a great deal of it.
  • That while I may not have had a great childhood with a perfect father, yet I may still just be a great father to my children. For indeed, even the seemingly great parents also failed at some point.
  • That being authentic and true to self is imperative. It implies; creating exorbitant time for yourself to grow without hurrying into fatherhood.
  • That being able to spread sperms doesn’t make one a father, even those who can’t bear children can still be fathers. Fatherhood is more than just making a woman pregnant.
  • That a man must Pray! And love his children as His Father loves him. Faith is indeed the reservoir of courage, hope, and purpose.

My memory with my dad is a lot more to me like the Northern star, through his mistakes I learn to mend, through his success I set a formidable grounding. While I, as most fatherless children, always searching for a mentor in my life, before I get one, I use my dad’s recollections to forge my path. So, to the boys with dads, the girls with dads, how I wish you knew we strongly crave for those old bearded, face-wrinkled, stubborn, sometimes autocratic, nagging, overly possessive, full of mistakes, sometimes negligent, and what-have-you type of human beings in our lives. Fathers are incredible humans!

HAPPY FATHERS DAY TO FATHERS AND POTENTIAL FATHERS

Mama’s Love-Happy Mother’s Day

Because you bore in fulfillment all the naggings,

The pain, the deserting miseries of motherhood,

Certainly knowing, believing,

And praying that the fetus will grow past childhood

And become a person that would fix your broken pieces

And embrace your inadequacies, You’re the true mother

Because you’ve always taken a chance with your babies

Your dreams, education, career, and ambitions you forfeited,

Or put them on hold to take care of the person you had conceived,

It’s the true sacrifice to see one person lay her life down for the other

And in this regard, we celebrate the mother

She has done what ten men combined could never

Yet she embraces her duty, deriving satisfaction in every bit of it

She treads on earth like one who has known no pain

She is not the victim of her perturbations, she loves being a mother

While we love babies, we only love the products

She loves and indeed so, endures and faithfully so

 The trouble that comes with bringing a human being to earth

Mama wears love as her favorite garment

Wrapped in the ribbon of peace and compassion

She embraces her role with devotion

And ungrudgingly she makes her children grow in strength;

Of mind, spirit, and intellect

Preparing them to meet the purpose

For which they were created

She doesn’t curse or becomes bitter

For she is a woman, a mother, she has only known

How the hearts melt and tears run down

The passion she has to take care of her own

Going without food, but at least they’ve eaten and grown

She is a true mother, our respect and compassion you’ve always won

Has few clothes but her baby has enough to wear

Can’t protect herself some from the searing cold

But her baby, in her bosom, finds the warmth

The shrilling cry of her child is to her a beacon of hope

That she is bringing up a child that would one day grow up

To fulfill the earth’s broken dreams

Mama’s blessings from the depth of womanhood

Like a fountain that flows searchingly from the mountain through the wood

It gives strengths to our wilting and timid ambitions

Her smile is like the fire that we inhale

And ignites brimstones of hope in our deepest chambers

Her liveliness is like the magical wings

That gives her children the buoyancy to keep striving

So mother, keep making this life deserving

And radiantly our lives shining

To wake up each day knowing

That your prayers are being answered bit by bit

In your children’s lives in the world full of sham

Mother, plant your hope in the sunshine of our youth

Keep believing in us despite our shortcomings

Keep cheering us even when we are falling

It’s your voice of encouragement that keeps us going

For all the sacrifice and lost aspirations

For the love and the continued support

We derive not satisfaction

In celebrating you on one day, this day

We celebrate you, mothers, every day of our lives.

Happy Mother’s Day to My Mum, Nyobera.

Happy Mother’s Day to all Mothers.

For the love of Nyobera

Happy Birthday Winnie- A Tribute

It was evening, and the skylarks flew;

As they sang their sweetest melodies;

Cattle, gracefully, carried home their bulging bodies;

The stars tarried, brightly shining, it was hope

While the clouds to a far horizon had eloped;

Winds moved with whispering conspiracy of tales untold

And the trees swayed to a quieting rhythm

That was the day, before, she was born;

Earth conspired in preparation to receive the princess,

The magnificent trophy which life had won.

The lady whose smile makes the sun blush

Doves cooing, the day broke with unison chorus;

Their psalms tuned the hearts, it was all dazzle, and time had no rush;

25th day of April, [26] years ago, it happened like a drill;

To mum and daddy, the day brought a thrill;

The entire family rejoiced after a long waiting;

The beautiful girl was ushered with much rejoicing;

To the world to make her purpose best befitting;

And one day get me a poem writing;

Expressing my gratitude for the nice person she is becoming;

Rocking life like a fearless lioness;

Wedded to her dreams like bees sucking nectar,

From the flowers of life to give to the world her honey;

And your name is Nyaboke, which is honey;

Honey! Honey! Can you hear me calling?

Your devotion to the things you love is unmatched;

Poetry, psychiatry, liberation, education; books and the talks you watch;

Your treasures; family and friends whom you value so much;

And your detest for earthly vanity;

Distinguishes you from others who lust after triviality;

Yet you entertain a little bit of levity;

Your confession; the things that make us friends is as much stupidity;

As is intellect, candidness, compassion and integrity;

No one is going to get you off from the love of your life

Be it by hook or by crook, girl you love so firmly,

You are the friend whose love strikes like thunder;

And palpably affects me like a magnet, you are a wonder;

A sure source of inspiration to those who dare to dream;

And an anchor that supports those who can win.

Swaying, Playing, and Laughing

To the girl with a crystalline personality, our admiration you earn;

Sharp like a razor’s edge yet does no harm;

Has a soft and pliable persona like a little baby’s arm;

And wears kindness like a crown of charm;

Still sparks, and is spirited like a high voltage electricity;

That brings power to the system of humanity;

Your face, it lusters and with shining rays;

Of your smile that turns the darkest nights to days;

Now as you turn a year older may this day;

With its celestial glory make you gay;

Yet find in it the inspiration to grow in an upward way;

Go and have of yourself; a bountiful and happy birthday.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY PINEAPPLE

Your passion for education inspires the galaxy of humanity. Our professor in the making.

JUST SCREAM Revamped, Revised, Reedited and Republished

I come to you with a message, a good one; That my maiden book got rebirthed. You see, when I first published this book, it was quite naïve and innocent like a virgin. It bore in it my raw, novice and indeed green thoughts. And from my estimation, it wasn’t properly done both from the publisher, and the author. I wasn’t proud.

I went back to the drawing board and revamped the book.

And now, this is the version of the book that I desired to have published. Tweaked to address senior high school and college students, Just Scream is a one-on-one conversation with the youth. In it, I share my two cents and experiences with being a youth who is called a millennial, and cursed by life.

Just Scream is about Hope, about staying positive, about being happy with unhappiness. It’s my slim, though significant, attempt to help my young brothers and sisters prevent and cope up with mental illnesses like depression. I would be arrogant to say the book is the ultimate balm of Gilead for mental illness. No. To say so, is only comparative to a wishful thinking, that one man can successfully hug a mountain. I have only provided my small effort in the collective fight against mental illness, something that ravages the lives of our young brothers and sisters.

And as Viktor Frankl says, “But there was no need to be ashamed of tears, for tears bore witness that a man had the greatest courage, the courage to suffer,” my book challenges men to cry, or better yet, Just Scream. Because there is indeed some power there, in crying.

I will avail the digital versions soon so that we keep distance as we read. And for those in Nairobi, I will be availing sanitized hard copies, soon.

Grace and Gratitude- My Birthday Reflections.

It’s in the afternoon, the sun ogles at the earth with intense scrutiny. We are seated at the beautiful sunny beach of Gerard Larose, Seychelles. The water shore swings rhythmically like two lovers, enamored into a romantic chit chat while dancing salsa in a less tense atmosphere. We are seated shoulder to shoulder, very close. The type of closeness that violates the “social-distancing rule”. There is no covid-19 here.

She has her legs crossed over mine as we watch from afar, dolphins squirm on the blue sea that spreads in front of us. Her legs though, I’m enchanted. Girl has got cute legs, those legs that would prestigiously walk you into your dream life. The type of legs that hug the ground with an authority. I mean, premium legs.

Some legs are not just to be called legs, that name is so precise, and it comes out loose and rough, ati legs, just like that!?!!. Some legs ought to be called smooth names like; poyee, canopy, yogoyogo, potopoto or better yet rabolomaler. ‘Legs’ isn’t a cute name for two admirable thick strands of flesh supporting a gorgeous woman.

While her attention is trapped by the scene of playful dolphins, my eyes are entrapped in admiration to her potopoto, the cute poyees, the cool canopy. And I don’t bulge. When I love I love, I can die while admiring such monumental legs. Legs that deserve seventeen air gunshots and straight-up army parade oversighted by His Excellency, the commander-in-chief of Cute legs. Epic.

“Dolphins can be so beautiful, wow!” she exclaims.

“What? Legs can be so beautiful,” I retort.

“Which legs, boy, dolphins got fins not legs?”

“Yes, but humans got legs, not fins.”

It’s only then that she discovers that I have been, for all this time admiring her poyees. She blushes, thunderously. I then dynamically stretch out my arm to hug and draw her closer for a peck.

I wake up. I turn. I get mad, and grudge. What I wasted dream!

I only discover that I’m lying on my bed like a lifeless bull, and tightly hugging my fluffy pillow which is softer than the mushy loam soil of Kadem. I reach out for my phone to confirm the time, it’s 4:34 am, 26 minutes to 5:00 am. My alarm always rings at 5:00 am. Since I joined the 5 am CLUB, I wake up every day at 5 to pray, read, exercise and yeah…kick start my day.

But since the corona global crisis, my sleep partner has been distorted. Staying indoors most of the day, I find myself sleeping very late. But today, I have woken up earlier than usual and I can’t bring myself to understand why.

Seated on the edge of my bed, bare chest, jerking my chin with my arms, my thoughts race back and forth. Sometimes thoughts go grazing afar, and they must be summoned back in dire times of need. My brain kicks up and I remember it’s 25th March, MY BIRTHDAY.

“Boooooy! It’s your birthday amidst a coronavirus crisis, a global pandemic.”

“The world is full of negativity, many people have lost their lives, Italy is crumbling, China is resuscitating. Hope has been blasted. Do we really have anything to be thankful for? As a musician puts it: Do you see anything to smile about.?”

“I guess, there are things to be thankful for,” I reassure myself.

Turns on the light, seats on my reading table and opens the laptop to write positive vibes only, the things I am sure God in His awesomeness has granted me an opportunity to be thankful for. Indeed, for the years I have been in the world, as much as things stand gloomy, there is a lot more to reflect and be thankful. It’s grace.

Family and Friends

I’m eternally grateful for my family. God blessed us with a strong, wise and insightful mother who holds our family in place. And she is prayerful, mothers can pray. Growing up without a father has come with its shades of challenges but it’s the challenges that are refining us to live up to our dreams and aspirations. We’ve always missed Papa Ratego, but such is life, we live and leave when the time comes. My brother and sisters, cousins, nephews, aunties and uncles, big love.

True and genuine friends are a gem and are indeed difficult to find. For the friends that I always count on, I’m indebted to your love and comradeship. I also strive to be a true and genuine friend. And for the Boy’s circle, we keep it spirited.

Life and Aspirations

Enjoying my little achievements keep me going, however infinitesimal. I’m the optimist. I look at the positive side of life because I have been through much darkness to keep myself bogged down by negativity. So, I hope, light up and enthuse. I don’t distress myself of dark imaginings, for paranoia, fatigue and loneliness are the seedbeds of fear.

I have learned to keep myself interested in my career and keep grinding on my work. Follow closely, my passions. And while at it, aim at making the world a better place. I think this is what I was called for; service to humanity.

I have learned to be tolerant of others whom I don’t share views, culture, and religion, for life is full of humor; I have met many nice people and have been helped a lot many times by people from the other side. And there is nothing cool about being rigid, for no one has the monopoly of wisdom in life. It’s just as prudent to learn a few things from others as you would them learn from you.

Listening keenly to people’s story opens one up to see the world from a different perspective. And never belittling those who look ignorant is a glorious hallmark of patience, kindness, tolerance, and maturity.

God

There are times I have felt that God lets me down. So I have always confronted Him. I ask Him tough questions. We argue, he is my dad. Sometimes I have doubted Him. We wrestle. And it’s amidst the struggle that He has reassured my soul. He is the source of wisdom. He has fixed my spiritually broken bones.

Hey, Big Man, Much LOVE for this far. I’m your favorite kid who keeps asking a lot of questions. A curious kid. But also obedient. I bow, I Love you.

Sometimes I think of myself that a believer who hasn’t been an atheist even for 5 minutes in his/her life hasn’t actually discovered who God is. Because, it takes doubt to decide, and demanding questions to discover answers to the deep issues of life. There is a revelation in drilling, searching, asking and learning.

And to the youths who are struggling with the question of Faith and Spirituality, hold on there. Don’t give up, because it’s when you seem lost that you are close to discovering yourself. And remember, spirituality is an important frontier of your life, you must ensure you perk it up. As much as you desire to grow intellectually, emotionally, and physically, you must grow spiritually. And as my pastor advises, “God finds the lost,” so hold on there.

Let’s Talk About Food

I still don’t like githeri unless it’s served with avocado that went to “the group of schools”, the type of avocado that can heal broken relationships. Arrow roots (aka nduma) are still my favorite breakfast meal, and a lot of chickens break bones whenever I get paid. My latest addiction is tea and kebab, sounds pedestrian. Boy can leave his house board a matatu to town (Uber once in a while), alight at Commercial, walk to Home Lunch restaurant along Moi Avenue just to take Kebab and chai, now that is the stupid thing with addiction. Maybe, it’s a fleeting thing.

Books

It’s not going to end well if I don’t talk about books. So this month I’m reading Obama’s The Audacity of Hope, seems likely, the best for the current situation, that we all need an audacious Hope. Besides, I’m enjoying Chimamanda’s novel Half of a Yellow Sun. Which ones are you?

And as this week’s routine, I wake up early in the morning to recite a verse or two of my all-time favorite poems; Desiderata by Max Ehrmann. The first and last verses:

GO PLACIDLY amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it’s still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. STRIVE TO BE HAPPY.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DON

P.S: You, the lady with the potopoto, canopy or poyee type of legs, can we meet at Home Lunch for tea and kebab? My budget is tight.

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