Category Archives: Life and People

The fault not in our stars

I have a problem,

I think I stare a lot,

Like Big pun saying “I’m not a player I just crush a lot”

Well…As for me “I’m not a psycho I just care a lot”

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See I like to think that people are who they really are, when they know no one is watching,

And the human mind is amazing,

Like a lost child, it never stops wandering.

So you really can’t blame me, for wanting to observe…

It’s like curiosity mixed with a tinge of ceaseless verbosity,

Social atrocities, obscene mentalities, perceived prosperity,

I’m basically writing down what I see; this is everything I know they feel,

Welcome to my covert knowledge reserve,

Believe me; unlike modern day democracy this is real.

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Speaking of real, I bet you nothing is,

The pressure is too much,

It’s a wonder we can even sleep with ease.

The pressure to conform is crazy,

It’s everywhere…

In church, in the bar, in school, even on the streets,

It’s the beautiful teenage girl doing everything to please.

Or the young boy who’s just out to tease.

They’re both just trying to fit in,

But it’s a desperately shallow world they live in,

Rolling in the deep, they’ve barley got their feet in.

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I’m making sense…no??

Just follow the Paper trail,

We’re making cents now, that’s all we know,

The system is a jail.

Look at the CEO in his Italian suit,

His life is all about financial pursuit, dinners in expensive suites,

Not to mention the occasional secretaries and the damning lawsuits.

All that money, the money is the motive,

Living life in one dimension,

Ask Picasso to draw it,

There’s no substance there,

He couldn’t even come up with a decent motif.

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Its official we can’t help it, we’re superficial,

“I’m only with him for the money” I had her say,

Damn girl! Talk about being super fiscal,

“..But dude she’s fine …drive by and leave”.

Don’t even get me started on being super physical.

Lord help us, our perception of love is flawed!

We taste the whiskey in each other’s mouths,

And feel the deceit in each other’s breaths,

The truth is sudden death,

Till we get what we want,

It’s not love any more,

“Caveat emptor”, Let the buyer be warned.

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Photoshop our scars and tears,

By the time we’re putting it on Instagram,

We’re so perfect, imperfection is in insincere.

Our cyber clones roam the internet,

Satisfying our every interest,

Sex, Fashion, Money, Fame…

Call it modern day hinder net.

Mr. Local celebrity,

#iPhone, #iPod, #iRock,

All that matters is what I have, #iTalk.

Slaves to technology,

These invisible chains are too hard to break #iStop!

Stop trying to fight these forces that are beyond my control

Hell!..Get used to it, the wind blows #iFlow

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We’re living in a world where bartenders hear more confessions than catholic priests,

And life is more meaningful, if you’re seen in certain streets,

The flawless masks we wear are glued tight to our faces,

Our society, is like a pack of cards made up of nothing but straight aces,

“Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?”

“Well I really can’t tell, you all look the same”

“Stupid Ass Mirror! we can’t all look the same?”

“You’re all trying to be who you’re not, it’s the same thing…don’t blame the mirror, it’s your game”

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A vicious game we’re playing at,

And if you think about it really, we’re masters of our own art,

But we’re painting over each other’s thoughts and feelings like animals with no hearts.

There’s so much space but there’s no room to breathe,

There’s so much fake, it could nearly kill.

And sadly…

Just not enough real.. to heal.

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So I’ll be walking down the streets,

Trying to think of soulful beats in that blasted heat.

Staring at people and forming perceptions,

Coz I know that whether we like it or not,

Our fears, our hopes, our dreams,

Are manifestations of our imperfections.

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Then I’ll catch a glimpse of the Street preacher,

And I’ll watch him as he prays,

With his hands in the air,

One eye closed as the other one watches who pays,

And I’ll hear him pray for the world to be a better place,

Then I’ll remember that scene in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.

Where Cassius says to Brutus,

“Men at some time are masters of their fates.

Sometimes the fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,

The fault is in us”

And I’ll walk away calmly trying not to cause a fuss,

But I’m dying inside to just stand and shout

“you know what guys, SOMETIMES ..SOMETIMES THE FAULT IS IN US” !

Living on the edge Tim Kemple
Living on the edge Tim Kemple

So you think you can write?

I never imagined I would one day enjoy writing as much as I do now, and if you were in my shoes, well you wouldn’t have imagined much either ….

For starters, there’s my primary school teacher who thought my compositions were unrealistic and found my spelling mistakes scary. (That’s actually the exact word she used “scary”).When others were writing about spending their holidays in Mombasa, I was writing about spending mine in the wilderness in Madagascar (which as far as I was concerned was somewhere in New York).

Then there’s my high school teacher who would just drown my stories in her expansive sea of endless negativity and since they couldn’t swim anyway, they died there, a slow painful death. Their languid bodies washed ashore on a deserted island, never to be found again.Then there was the first blog I ever had, the one that barely any one read…..the one whose URL even I can’t remember.

For the life of me, I wasn’t waking up to; inspirational quotes about writing, encouraging words from my teachers not even a team of muscular, handsome rugby players chanting “Write Chao! Write Chao!”…nothing of the sort.

Malcolm X once said that “our experiences fuse into our personality and everything we ever went through determines who we become”. How I ended up writing, I don’t exactly know. All I know for sure is that I can attribute all this “self-proclaimed-Shakespearean-prowess” to a series of events in my life that drove me to find solace in turning my thoughts into words. Basically anything that my mind conceives through words I perceive.

I write this post to thousands possibly even millions of people out there who don’t know me, who will never hear me or see me, but who through my sentiments and thoughts will be inspired or influenced by me. Sometimes it feels like there’s not enough room in the world for you to do whatever it is that you really want. It seems like we’re all trying to engrave our names on the trunk of a really tiny tree. But we forget that we could always plant our own trees and curve out our names there.

This is what writing does for me; it gives me the power to reach people beyond my scope of friends or family, people from all walks of life, people from all around the world. And quite simply I have the ability to reach an entire population that is beyond my physical grasp. Yes you can call me super woman. But I’m not fighting crime in your city or rescuing your cats from trees; I’m infiltrating your minds and trying to make you see that you only live once, do something that matters to you.

I’ll let you in on a little secret The most important thing in this life is to find and do something you love .Something that you can do effortlessly. Something that makes the sun shine over your head even when it’s raining over others.” You could be a vet with a love for fashion design or an economist who loves astronomy or a nurse who loves mechanics. Let the world call you crazy or ambitious, but if it makes you see light when there’s darkness all around, then hold on to it like a fig tree does to the ground.

Resources may not always be within your reach but hey, who says you can’t make a feast from whatever crumbs you have. For instance if I won a million dollars today, first thing I’d probably do is fly off to Italy and enrol in the University of Rome or University of Florence, to study History/ Art. And since I’d probably be in a position to fund the entire university, everyone will think I’m either a Saudi prince’s wife or a dictatorial African president’s daughter. (:)) Okay I kid, all I’m saying is that it doesn’t hurt to try and just keep trying till you find that satisfaction which will keep you afloat no matter how grey your days get.

Trust me I know how hard it can be to keep on doing something that has no immediate benefits or any justifiable reason, but if it gives you peace by all means go for it. So maybe my stories are unrealistic or my spelling mistakes scary, but it’s fine by me. And if you ask me “So you think you can write?” I’ll probably embrace my black woman aura snap my fingers and say “Of course I can write!!” like Maya Angelou to a poem, this always feels right.

Having a reason to live equals having a reason to give, they’ll always be someone who’ll be influenced or inspired by your work. Make something happen. And finally before this turns into one of those “Help yourself, Do it yourself” seminars where you’ve been sitting down for hours on end and the only thing you can remember the speaker saying is “there’s food and drinks at the back”… I hope you find the strength to start something you love or the courage to continue working on something you have.

Ciao 🙂

Rebel and a Cause

I started writing this article five days ago but right after I found my inspiration to start it, I lost my determination to finish it. Five days…It took me five days to come up with this piece. Not because it’s the most amazing thing you’re ever going to read in your life, there’s nothing really eccentric about it. Herein basically lies a story about a quest, not the overly adventurous Harry Potter or Django kind of quest no, just one girl’s simple quest to make the slightest difference in a tumultuous world. What transpired in between those five days really doesn’t matter. So I’ll tell you about the alpha and the omega. I’ll tell you about the first and the fifth day:

Day 1: I’m busy Occupying Parliament. I mean I’ve thought about very many things in my life I’ve imagined meeting Johnny Depp (like a thousand times), I’ve imagined sailing into the sunset with my pet penguin Horatio, I’ve even imagined getting away with naming my daughter Persephone, but never in my life had I imagined I would one day literally sit down on Uhuru Highway. Never .It’s been a very nice day on the whole, feeling all inspired and change-spirited .I'm part of the change, a revolution in progress. I’m glad.
I get home decide to write about it, then ……….blank ……………..her highness goes blank after the first measly paragraph.

Day 5:As part of the Nenkashe group, I visit Beloved Daughters Rescue Girls’ Centre in Olooshoibor which is behind Ngong hills. I meet two dozen or so girls aged between 7 – 17 who've been rescued from forced marriages, FGM or some of the hardest living conditions you could ever imagine. Very few things in life compare to the elation you feel when you see the smiles on these girls faces.  The very fact that they have been rescued and given a second chance at life is enough. It’s not about the food they’re eating, or the clothes they’re wearing or their hairstyles. It’s simply about being grateful for the little that they have and the much that they've been given.
I get home everything seems much clearer now; I bear witness to the fact that the dots make much more sense when you connect them backwards….  I write…

The aforementioned two days really had me thinking about my life, the kind of priorities I have, the sort of things that give me “joy”. When I’m not obsessing over how slow my laptop has become I’m busy musing over something or someone in my life that’s not going/doing too well. Time wears off a lot of things except OMO (which has constantly been new as far back as I can remember… New OMO Multi-Active, New OMO with catalyst, New OMO with super-secret-powers…trust me the list is endless) with time we discover new things, with time we progress .My time had finally come and just as I heard the fat lady  in my head sing, I knew that my subliminal odyssey of ignorance and nonchalance had come to an abrupt end.

You know that feeling you have when you realize that, that smug conductor didn’t give you back your change. It’s a fusion of horror, anger and self blame. That’s exactly how I felt when I realized that I have never had to fight for anything in my life, everything I am today someone else fought for. This is what I mean, this is me; I’m independent in my own country, proudly African, pompously female, Christian, respectably educated, enlightened, aware, you name it.

They say the world is governed by the dead, that those who went before us determine how we shall live. Whether dead or alive my perception of others, their perception of me has basically been shaped by a man/woman who I will never get the chance to know or even thank.

For instance, today there are some  things that I will  do and some I will not do, cases in point:

I will not be forcefully placed in a concentration camp or forced to wear a Kipande because I’m not free in my own country. I will not be forced to till my own land for someone else. I will not be subjected to hard labour or  inhuman treatment, because someone fought for my rights and for the very land I reside on. Someone else fought for my independence.

I will not be treated as less of a person because I am black. I will not be asked to stand up for a white person on a bus. I will not be eligible for only manual and low-key jobs because I am termed incompetent. I will demand for equal rights wherever I go.I can do this and everything else today simply because someone fought for racial equality.

I have never had to fight for my education; someone else did .Years before I was born someone fought for Africans to get equal and quality standards of education. Someone else fought for the girl child to go to school. All I’ve had to do was go to school that’s all. So for every morning I’ve woken up grumpy and gone to school, for every minute I’ve had to sit in a class and zone out ,for every exercise book I’ve jotted down something in and never bothered to reread ,I have never had to fight for

I come from a community which practices FGM. But I’ve never been forced to go through it I’ve only seen it in the news or read about it in the papers .My mother educated me, my mother’s mother educated her, my mother’s mother was educated by her mother, my daughter will never go through it because I am educated and I will in turn educate her. Why? Because someone fought for this practice to be abolished, someone fought for the people to be educated and for them to be enlightened; So I’ll read about in the papers, shake my head in grief and two minutes later get back to whatever I was doing because it’s okay I’ve never had to fight for it anyway.

I’m free to choose the person I want to marry and when I went to get married. No forced/early marriage for me. I will not be married off at age 9 or 10 or 11 or 12 to a man nearly five times my age, I’ll pursue my studies and my interests to the level which I desire and make a life for myself. Simply because someone fought for me to have the intrinsic right to make my own decisions.

A story is told of the Uganda Martyrs, Christian converts who were burned alive for their faith and their refusal to offer sacrifices to traditional gods in the historical kingdom of Buganda. Today I can pray anywhere I want, I can proclaim my Christianity and talk about my religion with the utmost magnanimity .I’m not ashamed of who I worship,I’m not afraid to worship,I’m not banished from any place because of my religion. I can stand smack in the middle of Uhuru Park and proclaim wrath and fire on anyone who doesn’t repent and give me a coin or two. No one will so much as flinch. Someone died for me to assert my religious opinions and not be in fear or find shame in doing so.

I could mention many more examples of things that I take for granted or things that to me seem so normal but a few years back were unheard of or possibly not even allowed. I appreciate that in many ways I have been blessed enough to be born into a time where things were ,for lack of a better word “easier”.But I also have to ask myself in what way am I making the life of someone else somewhere  better regardless of whether I know them or not.

I may have faith to make mountains fall, I may have the brain to compute the most complex algorithms, I may have beauty that not even Aphrodite can match, I may have the strength of a thousand men or the wisdom of the days of yore and the days of Thor combined , but if I’m not using it to make an impact in someone else’s life then I probably have the same effect a candle has in the sun.

We all have problems, 7 billion people in this world and each person has their own little world which equals 7 billion more worlds. Man, that’s a lot of “worlds” to deal with. Does it help to always remember that there is someone somewhere praying for what you have, someone who has it worse than you? Yes it does…not all the time, but it does.

I’ve got two things in my hands, the kerosene and the desire; I’m desperately trying to light a flame within your minds. I hope that as I scribble down these thoughts and realizations,  I speak not only for myself but for millions of people out there who just like me are in a comfort zone, so obsessed and stalwartly fixated on their little, little, little, little, little problems.

There’s a lot to live for and a lot more to fight for no matter how small, a cause is a cause…

“Through sunshine mornings and harrowing nights”

“They played their horns and they clamped their pipes”

“And when the winds of horror blew”

“They stood their ground and got blown off too”

“Their spirits live on at the same old spot”

“Where others come to dissent the rot”

“No matter how many times they get carried away”

“They keep on coming, they vow to stay”

“For they know that their might is the strongest of force”

“So look alive sunshine you’re a rebel with a cause.”

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Good day people Ciao 🙂

I and I :The politics of life

 

 “Cold ground was my bed last night and rock was my pillow too

Talking blues, talking blues they say your feet is just too big for your shoes “

Bob Marley -Talking blues

I got into a huge fight with a friend of  mine the other day, I’m not going to say what it was about simply because  I’m ashamed to even say I had a full blown argument on<<topic X>>. It really wasn’t that big of a deal but in the midst of flaring tempers and raging emotions I remembered a quote I had heard some time back  “For those who believe no proof is necessary, for those who don’t believe no proof is sufficient” ,so that’s how the argument ended nothing more nothing less.

I can’t remember exactly where I heard this quote must have been on Criminal Minds not too sure, anyway, point is I love it. It’s one of the few things that make absolute sense to me. So now I’m stuck with this habit where I use it every time I’m having an argument with someone and it gets to that point where we’re just going round in circles and no one wants to back down…

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I had been meaning to write something for a while now (it’s been 4 months ) .I was willing to , I just wasn’t able to, everything I thought of either sounded  inane, too deep ,too long, too serious, too trying-so-hard to be a writer ,too I-keep-forgetting-what-I-wanted-to-write-so-ill-just-come-up-with-a-bunch-of-random-stuff,too just-not-good-enough… and that’s just half of it. Luckily this fairytale like every other one does have a happy ending, after staring at that white blank page for days on end, little miss thoughtful here finally got her groove back, right before she sits for her exams, talk about perfect timing.

As I said, I had a hard time finding something to write about and you’d be surprised how fast time flies when you’re busy turning every small rock in your life  into a huge mountain. So when you realize you’re not the same person you used to be, you’re keeping to yourself a lot, apart from the occasional “Hi…Bye” you barely talk to anyone any more. That becomes something you could write about. You start getting “bullied” by his ex-girlfriend and co, not to mention the texts, the mean glances and you walk around holding that huge “Sticks and stones may break my bones but tearing my Game of thrones book will never hurt me” placard, you find something you could write about. (Ok who am I kidding it hurt like hell 🙂 When all he says is “just leave them alone things will be fine”, you find something you could write about.

You call your best friend a tribalist and refuse to take it back, you find something you could write about. You’re  fighting temptations, You’re feigning happiness, You’re doing everything you can not to listen to your conscience, You’re too scared to take risks, You’re praying for miracles…all these things become “something you could write about”. Every day ends the same, you can’t settle for anything in particular but its okay you put your earphones on play some Frank Ocean, “you’ll figure something out tomorrow”.

So early one morning you’re feeling restless you can’t get to back sleep, innumerable thoughts, God blessed you with roommates who never hear their alarms ring so by virtue of being the only one who can, forget about that thing they call sleep … you decide to start going through your old journals and you find something you wrote down a couple of years ago  – >“Tra qualche amo ,di tutti questi piccoli guai,che ora ci preoccupano tanto chi si ricordera “ –In a few years who will recollect all these little troubles which now obsess our minds. It hits you that there’s a lot you can write about you just have to find out what’s worth it and what’s not. So now you have tones and tones of things you could write, you begin to separate this from that, nothing’s ever too small not to matter, grey matter, purple matter, pink matter everything matters;

You watch your grandparents celebrate their 50 year wedding anniversary; right there you find something worth writing about. You sit up all night drinking lemon tea and talking about childhood cartoons with your friends, you find something worth writing about. Your clothes don’t fit you any more, they’re either a bit bigger or a bit smaller, allow me not to say which is which ,but hey it’s still something worth writing about. You’re thinking of starting a “How I Met your Father blog” someday, when you meet their father of course. You’re sitting on the rooftop, you love this place, you’re watching all the little people back on earth scurry around with their little worries, you’re telling people exactly what’s on your mind, you’re making really bad decisions one after the other, your hair is growing so there’s a little bit more swagger in your step, you’re thinking of those friends you just don’t talk to any more, you’re having as many dreams as you are doubts.

You feel confused, there’s a lot going on but you know that men do many good things and men do many bad things, bad things make the best experiences good things make the best memories. So you’re writing them down now the good and the bad alike, it’s not for you to chose who reads whatever you write, the  universe has  its own forces, the same forces that caused you to write this will bring them here  to read this.

They say man is to err and if the world is governed by laws, and these laws are written by humans and these humans are made by other humans then our entire existence is built upon one big flaw…..no??? …I’m not about to go all Miss. Analytical “who are we and where do we come from”, I’m simply talking about the politics of life, the basis of imperfection. The politics of life is about I, I am not fair, I am not nice, I am not virtue I am vice, I do not listen, I do not care, I do not accept my mistakes, I put myself first and I want everyone else to do the same, I have no need to apologize, I see no need to recognize that which does not affect me. I am imperfection at its best and knowing this makes me nearly as perfect.  It is not goodness to be better than the worst they say, and if good must exist next to bad then my entire system is a co-existence of the two.

Which bring us back to my precious quote “For those who believe no proof is necessary, for those who don’t believe no proof is sufficient”. It doesn’t matter whether mistakes are weighing heavy on my mind, it doesn’t matter whether  I’m chasing my own dreams or sailing around the world this quote will always mean the same thing to me, “You know what maybe I’m wrong maybe your right who knows?, But at the end of the day I have a mind of my own and I’m entitled to believe in whatever I believe in, I’m not perfect neither are you so respect me and Ill respect you”.

As you can see close to 1000 words later I finally found something to write about; I call it The Politics of Life – a recognition of fault and an appreciation of conflict .And whether or not its sounds  inane , too deep ,too long, too serious, too trying-so-hard to be a writer ,too I-keep-forgetting-what-I-wanted-to-write-so-ill-just-come-up-with-a-bunch-of-random-stuff, too just-not-good-enoughnothing is perfect and I reckon it probably sounds like all of the above.

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Its not always rainbows and butterflys its compromise that moves us along

Who’s the Judge?

What I have to offer is simply the testimony of my own life , a testimony which I have less right to suppress since I am one of the few beings who can offer it…

Who’s the judge?

The judge is God!

Why is he God?

Because he decides who wins or loses, not my opponent!

Who’s your opponent?

He doesn’t exist!

Why does he not exist?

Because he is merely a dissenting voice to the truth I speak!

The Great Debaters (2007)

Today I am convinced that we are all pilgrims upon this earth and I hold truth the notion that we live our lives in preparation for that one particular inevitable moment..death.That our pilgrimage towards death is involuntary because immortality is an option denied from us.This post is dedicated to all the people who’ve gone before us ,who got to the end of the road even before we did and who never got to tell us what they found there.

It is the dead who govern.Look you man,how they work their will upon us! Who have made the laws? The dead ! And the titles to our land? Have not the dead devised them? If a surveyor runs a line he begins at some corner the dead set up; and if one goes to law upon  a question ,the judge looks backward through his books util he finds how the dead have settled it – and he follows that.And all the writers , when they  give weight and authority to their opinions,they quote the dead ; and the orators who preach and lecture – are not their mouths filled with words the dead have spoken ? Our lives follow grooves that the dead have run out with their thumbnails. …quote from Millennium.

The Phoenix

R.I.P : Stephen Wangoru Maina , Davies Maison Sindiyo , Mercy Wangoru , Nancy Wangoru,Alice Wangoru, Shadrack Mliwa ,Violet Shambula …….

Cowards die many times before their deaths;The valiant never taste of death but once.Of all the wonders that I have heard,It seems to me most strange that men should fear,seeing that death, a necessary end ,will come when it come..Shakespeare.

The Phoenix bird is said to be an immortal creature .It can be found  in the mythologies of the ArabianPersiansGreeks,RomansEgyptiansChinese,TurksIndians and Phoenicians/Canaanites.It has a 500 to 1000 year life-cycle, near the end of which it builds itself a nest of twigs that then ignites; both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young phoenix or phoenix egg arises, reborn anew to live again…click here for more on the Phoenix