Wednesday, 27 July 2011


I was never really prepared for my life. I grew up as a last born of three in my very large family... I say large because we have such HUGE personalities in our house I often find myself wondering how my mother has managed to love us unconditionally all these years. One day I will blog about Mrs. M. She is quite something.

People often delude themselves into thinking that last born children have it easy and that things fall into place for them. If there is any truth in that statement, I am yet to experience it... My siblings are way older than I (does that mean I was an Oooooppps baby? I'll ask Mrs. M). So I pretty much grew up alone; well with the house-help(s), if that counts. I had dreams growing up. Initially I wanted to be a shoe-shiner (I loved to polish shoes). After that I wanted to be a car-washer (I love(d) washing the car and playing with water). This career ambition was followed by a desire to become a nurse (I love medicine, blood, medical dramas and everything about it). I still remember the day I told my mum I wanted to become a nurse! I was so excited. It was the first thing I blurted out to her when I got into the car that evening. Later, I decided I wanted to become a hair-dresser (a dream completely inspired by my late Aunt. I'd spend every day at her salon just watching her do her thing. She had a heart of gold). Thanks to debate club, I then aspired to become a lawyer- I was and still am very good at arguing my case, probably the only good thing that came from being a last born. When I was 12, I found my passion... I wanted to become a HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST. This dream has lasted in my heart over the years, although with a few modifications here and there.

So, you see; I had a plan. I have always had a plan. For the most part, things worked out just as I had always wanted them to, except when it relationships and boys... That was then and oh boy don't I miss those days. 

Now... I just realize, with every passing day that I was never prepared for my life. Most importantly I was never prepared for society and her expectations of ME. I hate that I am expected to dress in a certain way because I come from a certain family, or because I am a certain age. I hate that if by the time I am 27 and will not take a man home, my aunties, grand-folks and relatives will ask me "kae Wanjiru utari na kamodo?" never mind that I am comfortable with the idea of not having a man in my life. I hate that just because I graduated at 20/21, I should behave like someone who will graduate at 24/25... I must work NOW! I must do my Masters before/by a certain age. I must find myself  by the time I am a certain age! 

I believe finding myself is something I will do for the rest of my life so its ridiculous to attach a time-line to it. I want to be young, be my age and not have to act like a 26 year old just because I graduated at 20/21. I want to be allowed to be single forever; if that is what my heart will desire at 27; the age when I should be "settling down". I want to do my Masters, and not because I will become a "trophy-daughter" but because I will be doing something for MYSELF

I was never prepared for society and her expectations of me. I was never prepared for life; because as I said, being a last born, I pretty much grew up alone and although I was expected to perform better than my siblings had in school (which was never a challenge.. except in Mathematics)... Such expectations would never have had an huge impact on WHO I AM & MY HAPPINESS like the expectations of society have now.

I was never prepared for society and her expectation and now my mind is like this

I was never prepared and now my mind looks and/or feels something like this.
My mind is a jig-saw puzzle. I have never completed a jig-saw puzzle before (does that speak volumes about my intelligence levels? It shouldn't. It should tell you something about my patience.) I have never completed a jig-saw puzzle, but my mind will be the first I complete... Even if it kills me. 

Monday, 18 July 2011

I will touch myself... AGAIN!

When I was in High School, my best friend missed school for a week. She never showed up on the day we were expected back, which was very unlike her. She was the serious student; the one who studied extra hard and forced me to wake up at ungodly hours of the night so that I could study; a habit that I never accustomed myself to even after 21 days. We were just about to sit for our exams; KCSE they called them. That perhaps added to my fright. My encyclopedia was missing just before the big exams. She never showed up the next day either. Worried senseless, I asked the crazy lady who used to perpetually smell of garlic and ask me “Jackie, what is your name?” :-D to call her mother and find out if all was well. Fortunately for me, the crazy lady loved my best friend… They got along like two kittens. She made the call. The response was that my best friend was in hospital because she had undergone a minor surgery. Minor surgery? Really??? People have died while undergoing MINOR surgeries. There is something about doctor lingo that really irks me. I digress. She came back to school and told me the minor surgery was to remove lumps from her breasts. That was the minor surgery.

Fast forward. October 2008. I meet up with a friend who informs me he has been checking women’s breasts all day because October is Breast Cancer Month. To cut the long story short, he wondered if mine had been checked and if not…. Enough said. Thing is, I had noticed lumps in my right breast but I figured I was probably still paranoid after what my best friend had gone through. That night I checked again. This time more carefully; after all I had been given step-by-step instructions on how to go about it. I felt IT! I was sure this time my mind was not playing tricks on me. Was I scared? Hell yeah. Wouldn’t you be? My first reaction was to text my best friend. She was in Eldoret. We talked and cried that night. She ordered me, as my elder – she is exactly 6 months older than I – to go get checked. Fast forward to when I actually go to hospital. Walk in Dr. H. Tall, dark, handsome, funny and a DOCTOR! He told me he has done this before, countless times. He was so excited I believed him. He checks me. Sends me for an ultra-sound… The results are out in about twenty minutes and they are not good. I have SIX lumps, not one or two… Nope. Six. Four on my right breast, two on my left! To cut the long story short, Dr. H, said they’d go away by the time I hit 25… Are you wondering how old I am? Don’t your mind to task over such petty issues. I’m old enough…. For whatever! So, I didn’t have cancer, at least that’s what Dr. H said. I believed him.

Why did I blog about this? I watched Jeff Koinange today (18th July 2011) On the Bench – the 8 p.m. show. There was a nine year old girl who is a cancer survivor/patient on the bench. She is only nine years old. Her story was moving and one of hope. She is not scared of cancer. Her words: “Cancer is just a big rock on my smooth road to big things.” 

I will be honest with you and myself: Three years ago, if I had been diagnosed with cancer, I would not have spoken like that little girl. She has a song: it’s called I BELIEVE. It takes something more than courage to be that girl. It takes more that optimism to be or to speak like that girl spoke. It takes more than faith to see the light at the end of such a dark tunnel; one with really sharp corners. I reckon it takes JESUS! I’m not about to get spiritual on you but the only thing that would make a girl so young, who has gone through so much, speak with such zeal and expect so much good from the same life that has already been cruel to her is JESUS! WWJD – What Would Jesus Do! I suppose that is her motto! I salute her parents for they have raised a fine young girl.

I never went back to see Dr. H. I stopped checking myself, because I was/am scared. I just found a new reason not to be scared… This is for Rose Nasimiyu, the nine year old girl with a heart of gold and outstanding courage. The nine year old girl who has given courage and faith a whole new meaning; the nine year old girl I will never meet but I am proud of.

I will touch myself again… Will you?

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Religion & The Sexes.

I met this man a while back, a long while back. He had me at good grammar and his mastery of the queen's language and has had me since then. Yes! Yes! It really is that easy to impress a woman... at least this woman.During one of my uninspired moments of being a blogger, I asked him to write something which I would post... Like a guest blogger of sorts. Don't get me wrong, at this point I am not uninspired or short of things to blog about, quite the contrary. I thought it kind to treat you all to this piece; I must say, its quite something... But be the judge!

Ladies & Gentlemen: Here goes...


You know how “they” say there’s a first time for everything, turns out it’s in fact a FACT! So I’m writing at her bequest, why she chose to have me contribute only she knows! This is for you lady Aiyanna! This is for the power the pen holder wields!

For all of you who came long before me… What do you put up? What is fit for public reading? What tips or guidelines are there for the very many yet meek first timers who can’t pose this question to you o wise ones? Do we completely let ourselves go and proceed to disclose intimate things about ourselves, is this an avenue for venting and for ranting and for all form of lewdness and debauchery, is this purely recreational or is this in the artsy world the underground of writing?

Consider these my first steps in alien territory! Will I conquer or will they vanquish me? So, to get you talking and hopefully win a few more followers to the lady and myself, let’s tackle the two questions no one has answers to; religion and the sexes! Got you interested, huh? It’s ok to have your eyes tear a bit shows we’re en course, next stop blood shot eyes!

God created MAN in his image...and then there’s eve! Proverbs 18:22 “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and receives favor from God.” Self explanatory I would expect. Then a trend emerges that I find rather alarming. I mean God created us alike, men and women alike. So while there are many instances in the Holy book where “man” refers to both sexes, there are probably just as many where “man” is gender sensitive. So is there a superior gender? Or is there, to be politically correct, a less superior gender? Take how for example women are always handed things as opposed to earning them. How for instance until recently most of the women seating in the Kenyan legislature were nominated, how the rise of affirmative action demanded that women be given positions of leadership rather than earning them. How it’s ironic that the stronger sex is the weaker one, maybe they meant stronger in number? You decide. Please note that I’m NOT a chauvinist, I’m just making observations. 

Moving on, in 1st Corinthians 7, Apostle Paul goes on to urge followers to stay single but should they be incapable of that then they may SETTLE, (pun intended!). However the one thing that’s very clear in this very complex book is the fact that this one verse has been scripted more than once, I’m not sure if it was to serve as a warning or if it’s simply for emphasis…for the meek of course… Proverbs 21:9 “Better to live in a corner on a roof than in a house with a quarrelsome wife.”  Read also Proverbs 25:24. I’m no Sherlock Holmes but if you connect the dots everything presents itself…simple MAN, as in gender of first created being, should steer clear of the “fairer” sex… You’ll have to forgive me for giving my two cents worth on this as well, but if we’re talking fairer in appearance then HELL YEAH FAIRER SEX!

Finally, if you’ve gotten this far, thank you for persevering… Did you enjoy it? Do you want to slap the daylights out of me? Do you want to beat my host to a pulp or till she can see stars? Go ahead do it! Oh! I should probably ay that I’m not advocating that you do any of those things physically, this is a cold war.

By Macharia Gathoni.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Of New Beginnings

Today is a big day. Its an important day, or so I think anyway. I have probably mentioned before that I am pretty young, in terms of age anyway. In my (x+y) years alive, I have not seen much happening around the world. You see when the world was changing and a global hegemony being established, I was less than half a decade old. When genocides happened and wars broke out, I was too young to understand it all. When Kenya became a multiparty state, I knew about it, only because my father and late uncle (God Rest his soul) were ecstatic about it. I remotely remember eating a cake on that day and a party of sorts happening... Or was that my birthday? Hmmmm! As I said, a lot of the events that have shaped and defined the international system happened when I was young and innocent. When all that mattered to me was my doll, my crayons, my break and skipping rope.

In my (x+y) years, I have seen America have their first black president, but only heard, again from my father about the Civil Rights Movement in the States so many years ago. I have also seen Africa have the first female president, mad props to Madam Sirleaf! I haven't seen much. Today, for me, is therefore an important day because I get to see a nation, South Sudan, get her independence after many long painful years of suffering!

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I have a dream to be a scholar in International Affairs & Relations; and today is a big day for me; although I doubt its not nearly as big for me as it is for the child soldiers, women, children and men of South Sudan who have lived through one and/or two wars/genocides, although I think the latter is more appropriate in this case.

I did not know of the Late John Garang, because when he changed the fate of Sudan I was young and oblivious, oblivious of the genocide in Sudan. I only hear of him. Heard of a man I think is a hero to the people of South Sudan and one who died too soon.

This is South Sudan now:

This post is for South Sudan and her people! Her people who had to convert to Islam to avoid death. Her people who suffered rape, violence, abduction of her children and other inhumane acts. 

Dear South Sudan, 

WELCOME TO AFRICA!!! Your arrival has been awaited with bated breath. Contrary to popular beliefs, Africa is not the land of poverty, disease & conflict. You arrive at a time of awakening within the continent. Beware of the West, they will be particularly interested in you because of Abyei. Learn from the never-ending woes of Somalia & D.R.C. Learn from Liberia & Sierra Leone. Learn from Kenya & Rwanda. Learn from the revolutions that took place in North Africa. Let not your failures conform to the cliche failures that associated with African nations! It takes time to grow... Just like a child, you will teeth - and it will hurt. You will fall head-first, but it shall not cause permanent brain damage. You will crawl before you learn to walk. You will put the cart before the horse, and try walking before you are strong enough to, and you will fall. Maybe bruise yourself a little bit. But you will be just fine. Eventually, you will learn to walk, then you will learn to jog, then to run, then to sprint like Bolt and one day you will fly! It takes time to grow. H.E. Kagame could give you a few tips on how to get back up. 


Yours truly,
Excited Kenyan!