Blog

M&E in Love

If there’s anything I have a fear for it’s failure. It could take up many different forms but the most paralyzing for me is the hidden kind. The kind that only you know you have failed in. That internal battle that confronts you each time you stare at your source of misery.

The best example is one of relationships. Say you are affiliated to a significant other who, one the outside seems like a perfect snatch but the reality of the human inside the physical body is short of an animal.

Of course in the beginning it appears that God answered all your prayers and you could not help but gush about them to anyone who cared to listen or, more commonly, follow you virtually. The both of you together was nothing short of perfection and no post made was ever complete without the #couplegoals.

So what do you tell people a few months/years later when you are fully invested in the human and in the “US” you have created… How do out then come out to tell us that it was all a great play in which the wolf actually had on a sheep’s woolen overcoat? Utaambia watu nini?!

It’s not uncommon in the era we are living in now. It’s much more rampant than either of us care to admit. I am definitely no expert in psychology or the human behavior but I believe these matters can be minimised, if not totally eradicated.

How, you ask?

Well, maybe if we spent as much time as we do investigating and interrogating each other as we do posting, commenting and soliciting for advice from unqualified persons and/or institutions, maybe then we could mitigate these instances of abuse and myopic comprehension.

While investigation and interrogation may sound harsh, compare them to the harshness of the circumstances and impacts of abuse, maiming and death associated with the lack of their implementation.

Consider these the next time you meet a potential mate and apply it if you are already matched. Whether by the Divine’s hand or through your devious schemes. Either way, it’s time to conduct an important exercise known as Monitoring and Evaluation.

Thank yourself later.

I’d like to gather your thoughts and opinions on this. Kindly comment, share and like if you indeed resonated with me today.

Love and Live: EastAfricanSimba

Ubuntu

It’s crazy how we, as a population, have forgotten who we really are. An idea was recently presented to me for my consideration and it totally blew my mind. That a different version of you exists all over the world (at least as far as your little feet have gotten you thus far!). When you think about it; it is amazing how true this really is.

I’m afraid for today, I’ll use a very morbid illustration but in and for good purpose. So, please pardon me and apologies to anyone affected by this little exposé.

While on my girl guide trip in Meru a few weeks ago, I had another magical opportunity to sit and relate with another grandma who opened my eyes on a couple of matters. As superstitious as it sounded in her description, she noted that the largest casualties in this life are the youth. In fact she made a direct correlation to situations of war and today’s subject matter.

I will refrain from relating any opinion on this circumstance because nothing can be said about it other than negative stuff. I’ve heard several counts of the same story but what stands out is that none of them were honest about themselves.

The saga is that of the publicly witnessed murder of a university medical student at 11 am committed by a supposed boyfriend, potential mate or family friend (the state of their relationship was unclear)! Without question, the matter was gruesome.

What we need is to assess ourselves and learn from this incident. We cannot remove ourselves, male or female, from this situation. Our relationships are calling out for serious attention. I mean relationship with self and others.

Are we who we say we are? Do we even agree with ourselves about which “who” we reflect to the world? Are we comfortable with looking within ourselves and actually identifying and settling the issues we struggle with?

As long as we keep putting on façades and parading ourselves as one thing knowing full well it is a fake, we will incessantly be faced with circumstances that cause us to question our humanity. There has been a great need to conduct introspection and the mounting pressure is at its peak and eruptions are evident. The hot lava spewing all over us is causing serious and irreversible damage.

We must go back to the root of the matter; you, me and I. Are you brave enough? Is life worth enough to purpose to fight the demons within and permanently put them to rest?!

Going through life expecting some magical partner to come out of the blue and love you as you should love yourself is at the least, immature and irresponsible. No one will love you more than you can love yourself and the real truth is, most of us don’t really love ourselves that much: It shows in our persistence in looking for external sources to validate our existence and significance.

The era in which we begin to apply the principles of Ubuntu: “I am because you are, you are because I am”, is the only time in which we can claim to be comfortable in our own skin. Then and only then will we have solved the great mystery of what ails our psychè and society as a whole.

I’ll keep the candle burning for us while we grope out of this pitch black darkness. I have faith in all of us. We can.

Aligned

I guess sometimes when you want something so bad for so long, it sort of feels lackluster when you finally get it. What’s even worse is how quickly one forgets those things that filled your life before the manifestation of this “priceless” desire.

I have come to understand that stuff does not make you happy. It only exists to magnify and catalyse the process called happiness. As much as we can relate to this, we still have a great need to acquire stuff.

Why?

Well the simple answer is; it’s human nature: We instinctively and ineptly have a knack for survival. Somehow now, undoubtedly, the world belongs to those with stuff. It’s a constant battle between the Haves and the Have Nots.

Technology has clearly been on the forefront seeing to it that this agenda goes fully global. The impact on almost, if not, all principles of life as we knew it is undeniable and this shift in reality has created a great rift between generations.

In my perspective, those of us in our late twenties to late thirties got thrown into the world wide web with absolutely no parental guidance and/or supervision. For whatever reason, most of our parents received the internet with indifference and prejudice. Validating the saying: ‘people are afraid of what they do not understand.’ If only they had enlisted themselves and paid more attention to the changing tides…

Some things are inevitable: Like time. Yet and still, most of us are still living in the past. We all must wake up and smell the coffee. Read the signs of the times. Let go and let God.

Unconditionally accept yourself and others. Affirm and visualize positive positions for you and your loved ones. Listen to the younger ones. Believe and invest in them. Most importantly, love them exactly as they are. Don’t try to change any one.

Honestly, grandparents are our biggest supporters and they have the best advice I have ever heard. They have mastered a delicate balance between charm, wisdom and no-nonsence notoriety.

I am forever in awe of their awesomeness. They challenge me to wonder if my life will have made a difference in whichever number of years to come. I know it will.

As I come out of my hiding phase running towards you, have no doubt that I am a soul rebel a.k.a. free spirit. Get in alignment. Love and light.

For the Alphas

As a jobless youth with major personal responsibilities, I am continuously seeking opportunities that will secure my financial stability. Not an minute goes by without visions of how stable funds could change my life and the life of those around me. Sadly, there are a few options available on the quest for this stability.

The most obvious option, for me, is entrepreneurial ideas that run through my brain visualizing how I can realize my desires. The ideas are splendid and revolutionary but they require the ever elusive funds to manifest.

Some options require nothing: No funds, no values, no morals, no brains, no thought … Just a willing and submissive participant. As easy a choice as it may seem to most, I find them to be not only degrading, but also terminally detrimental to my overall wellbeing; mind, body, soul and spirit. And that’s a price I’m not willing to pay.

The more general option that enlists one as PAYE could, might, would work if only the pay considered my responsibilities and trebbled the figure. Maybe then I could save and invest the remainder. But as reality holds, that idea is but a figment of imagination and even if there existed such a lucrative salary, I would have to be in the pocke of so-and-so who would be the catalysing factor enabling me to clinch that spot. Most unfortunately, his/her influence would be curtailed and fruitless if the subject of another more powerful so-and-so eyed the same position. Then, I would be stuck with my degraded self with a special mix of disillusioned.

Who wants a slice of that? I’ll pass.

As things stand, it is we who desire to earn an honest and dignified living that will have to figure something out. We must accept that those before us and those we appointed to smoothen the trail failed. We must soberly admit that this fact will strongly prevail and understand that the lifeboat we have been waiting for is long overdue. We can and most definitely should keep lobbying for justice but at the same time working tirelessly to create a solid foundation and a footpath for the Alphas. Barely two decades from now, they will either be moving and shaking foundations or be back here looking for a way out in the dark. It is up to us now…

Are you ready?

Childhood

I had my slice of beautiful experiences growing up. It wasn’t much but I remember being happy most of the times. As life would have it, I was not spared the negative experiences either. Sure, they might pale in comparison to what other kids endured then and continue to endure in the present but when you are a child, everything matters.

It is only when I became a mother that those seemingly small, insignificant bad memories had their greatest effect. For a long time I truly believed the past was forgotten and dealt with. I really believed I had made my peace with all that had happened or not happened. It turned out I was lying to myself, denying truths that my own intuition was screaming at me, reimagining the plot to fit my idea of the strong woman I had become. Sadly that was only a way to escape reality and it was an epic fail.

The reality was, something precious had been taken away from me as a child, I would never get it back, it left a big wound in my soul and no one cared but me. In taking personal responsibility, I guess I should have realised this truth sooner and worked something out by now but as it turns out, dealing with traumatic experiences is not an overnight task. It takes months if not years to come to terms with the event, accept that it happened, acknowledge all the feelings that came with the event and choosing to release the negativity all while attempting to forgive those who did you wrong.

To spice things up, the same person gets pregnant and swiftly jilted, is unemployed and has to move back into the circumstances that damaged her in the first place. Oh, the pranks that life plays on us! I cannot begin to describe the kind of depression, anxiety and lack of self-worth that hits an otherwise normal individual.

What makes me sad and borderline mad, is to know that all this struggle was unnecessary and at the very least avoidable. Had only those who mattered purposed to listen to my childhood pains. If only they had come from a place of love and understanding. If only they could understand the long term effects of a tiny broken heart. But they couldn’t or wouldn’t. And I can’t blame them really, I blame the society.

The society I grew up in doesn’t approve of any child shedding light on so called injustices. This society’s knee-jerk reaction is to punish and ostracize any child who has the nerve to speak up for themselves in any way shape or form. We are brought up to believe that our small minds and opinions don’t matter in the presence of adults. We have been conditioned to believe that because they are older, they know best and thus should never be questioned. They put the fear of them in us for sure.

In examining that system of parenting however, I see great loopholes that cannot be swept under the rug much longer. Most of my peers and older are barely surviving not to talk of thriving. Most of us are out here living on a bare minimum salary, settling for unhealthy relationships and engaging in perceptions and practices we have no real idea or opinion about. When you add technology to this age of information, we are constantly battling one issue or another and it is deathly overwhelming.

As a parent with my history, I can’t help but panic anytime I notice some peculiar behavior and get heavy handed with my child. I freeze in the after moments over analysing my reaction to assess how bad or good I did. This habit irks me because I like to be sure of myself when I’m handling my kid. I always want him to get the best parts of mommy all the time. But even as I hope to achieve this impossible feat, I know it’s good for him to be exposed to some harsh truths occasionally because that’s just what life will serve him up. No amount of shielding can keep him from it and any attempt at doing so diminishes his capability to handle unpleasant situations.

In all honesty, I’m just a mother experiencing parenting in a new age and with some acquired wisdom. One who is scarily looking to the future, furiously wiping tears off her eyes, hoping against hope not to repeat the mistakes of generations past, patiently caring for this unfolding masterpiece who holds his own unspoken truths in his spirit.

My greatest wish is to relate with other mothers just like me who have a wounded past but have nonetheless purposed not to repeat the cycle with their offspring. We all must appreciate and acknowledge the times we live in and realise that the old methods of parenting will not survive the test of time.

We must agree that these methods need to undergo some serious updates and SWOT analysis. We should be brave enough to unlearn those lessons that didn’t serve us and learn new and relevant lessons to teach. We have to connect with our inner child to understand our child’s perceptions on life. It is mandatory that we approach them from a level they understand. Most importantly, we absolutely must not silence their raw yet innocent voices. Even when we don’t like what comes out of their tiny mouths.

If I may add, we must detach ourselves from the imaginary thought that our children are a gift to us and instead see them as an invaluable piece of the worlds large puzzle. We are just but custodians. For a time will come when the world will need them to execute their higher purpose that might or might not include you. Your only duty is to love them with no condition and to nurture and protect them until they can do so for themselves. Anything else, is on them to take on and for you to support.

A lot is changing in our world but the connection to your children cannot and should never be forfeited for the benefit of any other thing that is and is yet to come. So listen to them when they talk, even about the silliest most insignificant things. It could save them a big portion of their young adult years and even maybe save their life.

Destiny

The story of the MAUMAU has always intrigued me. It’s close to my heart as I hail from where all the action happened. It seems, however, to be shrouded in mystery and this has led me down a path that seeks to demystify its theories.

I just now returned from a trip to Meru where my grandmother is a native. She is well into a century of her life and still strong though now slowly and sadly fading away. Never before have we talked at such lengths about this historical fact. But today my eyes were opened to new perspectives and I can’t wait to hear more.

At the time of the infamous curfew imposed on my people, she was a mother of three and was operating a shop with my grandfather. Here, she was at the centre of the tension from both ends and she witnessed the brutality and bravery of all the players.

As a trader, those who fought for freedom and those who opposed it were regular clientele. She narrated to me the harrowing near-death experiences she survived and it was nothing short of breathtaking.

She told of babies strapped to the backs of their mothers upside down to aid in maneauvering through thick forest seeking hideouts. The reason for strapping the tots in such a precarious position was to protect their delicate heads from being scathed by thorns. You would imagine they would wail and throw up with all the blood rushing to their tiny brains but no. Not a sound did they make. How else you can describe an act of God, I don’t know.

She told of lifeless arms bobbing up and down in government trucks passing through. Their drivers leisurely stopping for a refreshing drink before proceeding on to offload the carcasses at a humongous pit where they then set them on fire.

She told of days the curfew was in full force, when they had to sit in a Chiefs office from dawn to dusk. On these days they had to forgo trading, food and drink and not forgetting toilet breaks. All they could do was sit there silently until the day’s activity was complete.

She told of witnessing, with her own eyes, mutilated bodies sliced open at the throat. These images put fear in her heart and she confided in her husband about wanting to leave. But it was no secret that there was nowhere to run to. There was no-one the war hadn’t touched. She and her family were only safe under the Chief’s protection because to the eyes of the warriors, they passed for sympathisers. And none of them, if ever caught, would get away with their life.

As sordid as the details sound to my millennial ears, something of strength left her lips and I have never felt more empowered. Many females of today will be surprised to hear that the females of that time were the bravest and most tactful warriors. Their attacks were unprecedented, vicious and exacting. When they struck they never missed and always got the job done. They were fearless! Nothing short of magnificent.

Needless to say, this was by far the most revealing and awe-inspiring MAUMAU story I have heard yet. I am pumped and I can’t wait to learn more. It got me back to the reason for doing this project as it is my view that women today pale in comparison to our heroines who have gone unappreciated for so long.

We, as females must put our boots back on, face and fearlessly fight whatever ails our present society. We cannot afford to, any longer, sit on the sidelines and expect things to miraculously work themselves out. We must put on a stern stance and refuse to be shoved any which way.

So, girls, ladies, women, even men, remember who you are and where you have come from. Wake up from those cocoons and manifest yourselves into a force to be reckoned with. If you don’t, no-one else will. God will not come from the skies and make everything alright. So get up and face whichever demons stand in your way. You have the strongest backing that you have no clue about.

Let us all men and women, leave our groups behind and stand alone for what we believe to be true and just. A heavy price was paid for what we now carelessly enjoy: freedom. Pay back by being responsible and insightful in whatever this life throws at you.

Seek knowledge and you will gain understanding and thus be wiser for the next generation. As you bring them into the world and raise your tots, make it a priority to never let them forget how precious their land is.

Let us all be worthy custodians of this priceless history which is now, gratefully, our reality. Own up and don’t delegate. Know your history and let it be the foundation for a great destiny.

From my grandmother and East African Simba, to you, with much love.