See the World Through My Eyes

Guest Writer

It’s Never That Serious… Really?

Today’s blogger happens to be one of my best friends who I am always thankful to have met. Meet Linda Muriungi. I have seen her go through the most crucial of life’s stages. She is one of the people I would unflinchingly lay my life down for. She is family. Recently she went through a life threatening situation where she found herself bed-ridden and unconscious. In the darkness that engulfed her, she found her true self. She has a lot to be thankful for and in this post she reminds us that there are more important issues to pay attention to. I’m glad you’re back. This is what she had to say when she came to.

By Linda Muriungi

They say the best therapy for the soul is to put your thoughts on paper, so today I take this chance to bare my soul. Just for the simple reason of stirring a sense of faith in myself and others. To believe that everything always happens for a reason. To accept that the experiences we go through are meant to challenge us and afford us an opportunity to learn something novel and life altering.

So as I sit here today wondering where to begin with my tale or rather true life experience, my pen comes to life.

As the year began on a good note for some, mine took a turn for the worst. What I went through was one of those things that happen in a split second, that turn your life into a midst of uncertainty and turmoil.  How to deal with it and its effects is the test. This incident made me look at myself with a keen eye and it is with coming face to face with such a life altering event that one learns to appreciate life in totality.

You see the worst thing about the ordeal, was that I never saw it coming. I went about my normal life yet the clock was counting down to that fateful day. And thereafter, my wall came crashing down. I wondered, why me? Why now! Was this part of God’s plan? Then again, I worried about how soon I would get back up.

Good news, I made it. Two months down the line and have never been more true to myself as I am now. How you may ask? It simply took the willpower to make my situation better, faith in my Father (God) who at some point I had almost given up on, and the presence of my family & friends who all stood by me every step of the way.  You see, to get better in whatever situation; you need lots of laughter, stress relievers and hope.  Figure out what you want to achieve and work towards achieving that goal. It is all about determination which gives one the strength to continue, the steadiness to succeed, and the wisdom to slip past difficulties undisturbed.

All I needed was some sort of assurance that it would be okay. And it now is.

The trick to handling such experiences, and trust me I know how tough it is to keep on keeping on, to smile at the world and yet you are dying inside, is to simply; stay positive (encourage yourself with simple phrases, they will mean a lot to you despite the simplicity in the words) maintain good friendships (keep positive people around you), keep  your family close (they got this uncanny way of loving and caring for you when you need it the most) and lastly pray until something happens, as the track for Kanji Mbugua goes… P.U.S.H ON (Somehow I have never been this close to God, He’s kept me sane in a time of chaos)

Now it’s time for me to live my life, smile as I face the world with my head held up as I tackle the everyday challenges. I will try to take each experience positively and see it as an opportunity to be a stronger and better person. The thing is, it’s life & it happens. The point is to never let anything take your spirit, we are all one slight adjustment from making our lives work for the better.

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Things We Never Say Part III


‘As I read ‘Things We Never Say‘ by Ahenda and Michael, I got thinking and reflecting… You know how some chiqs try to force into a man’s heart and world even when they know it will be a futile battle. She knows he is drowning in another chiq’s love…but she won’t quit. Some are prudent and recognize it…They then concede. Thanx Mike for another opportunity..and to Ahenda, my childhood pal for helping unblock the writer’s block I was facing…’
Liz Lenjo

Dear Michael,
Remember me? We met after your huge break up with your ex-girlfriend…What was her name? Ahaaa…Ahenda it is. I remember how we met: the little kahawa shop just by your office. You were starring at her picture. You looked so lost, drowning in the memory of her.

“He is so cute!” I thought to myself. That is why I sat next to you. I could see the hurt, the confusion and the sadness in how you would hold your cup of coffee; staring at it as though wishing it was beer. I knew I had a soul to rescue…a heart to save. Perhaps to save and have it for keeps. Hopefully change my ever bad luck with men.

You said hi back at me…and you did not find my obvious stares rude. I had to ask what was bugging you. And you opened up. In your voice I could feel your admiration and adoration for your lost love. A soul mate you called her. You were not certain why the two of you ended but you felt it was right. You kept trying to convince yourself that you would get over her and move on. Move on to another love with sparks as hot and cosmic as the previous.

I thought I was going to be IT-The answer to your heart ache, and the plaster to your heart break. It was an exercise in futility, but nonetheless, I had to give it a shot. You were my soldier, wounded in the cruel war…war of love. I hoped I was going to be the nurse…the nurse that puts you back together and wins you over. I wanted to be your knight and shining armour.

I wanted so bad to believe that you would like me…all the while, you were looking for the Ahenda in me. I could see it in your wishful eyes. You once asked me why I never loosened up and hang around in my undies…I was shy! I had tough shoes to fill, and I couldn’t be her. You cannot deny it Michael, you wished I were her. And now as I read your letters to her, I know I was fighting a losing battle. But I could not resist…Your charm, your smile…your finesse! I saw what Ahenda saw in you. But you could not see me for me…you were blinded. Blinded by a passion so strong and a bond so tight…sealed by destiny. Fate did not have it in store for a possible you and me…sigh!

I was surprised you had me around for so long…I knew I was fooling myself. But the desire to have you love me and want me like you constantly did her got the best of me. I was warned but I did not listen. Two years Mike!? What took you so long? What took me so long? I guess you were smutten…smitten…arrgggh! What is it about her? Now just after two months since we broke up, you are marrying her? Worst still, on the day of our ‘anniversary’? The first day I laid my eyes on you at the little kahawa shop by your office.

I should have just walked away…But then again, I concede. I raise my hat to the queen that captured your heart so…and dominated your entirety. May be I will be lucky someday to be an Ahenda to another lad…Only difference I will be an Elizabeth…Me!

Like Queen Elizabeth II remains in the English throne, he will be my dynasty…sans threats, sans insecurity.

My hat off to Ahenda…I concede. Love him like he loves you. Adore him like he adores you. I couldn’t steal his heart: It belonged to you in the first place! He is yours FOREVER.

I must confess I was sad when we finished the sequel for ‘Things We Never Say‘. The response from my readers was overwhelming! Almost all wanted the third issue. Well, the beautiful Liz Lenjo has saved the day. She has added an interesting angle to the whole saga. These are the things we go through in our lives. Liz Lenjo‘s words are powerful and sensual. She is a lawyer. I can’t help smiling when I try to imagine how she would present a case in court. Just don’t dare go up against her.
– Michael Ngigi



The Play Pen

This week I introduce to you Asaph Bryan Change, probably one of the most creative and sick minds I have come across. If you ever feel the need to have a disgusting conversation about mucus and bathroom soap scum he’s your guy. On a more serious note, I have to admit he is a brilliant writer on relationships and everything else. I just hope what he writes won’t land him in any trouble. Finally, I have to say that the opinions herein do not necessarily represent anyone’s belief in particular but just one of the major global challenges.

By Asaph Bryan Change
A story is often told of love and the forever after that falls in place, and my question always seeks answers to why we are blinded from the false front of this ‘pairs’ I see around looking like they’ve been squeezed out of those love stories we read about. Another question that I at times ask myself is whether this two find full fulfillment in each other or do they individually face greed in the face and seduce it into eating them alive. Allow me to explain.

Men have for many years, faced scrutiny for being generous with their attention to the sometimes unaware and most of the time willing members of the beautiful opposite gender; but what has come to the attention of the current error which I regret to be identified with is the emerging population of women who have joined the sport men have been playing for a long while. It’s been called the pay-back-time retribution, what he can do she can do better; but what I strongly believe is that it’s a pure case of something that has always existed. She didn’t just wake up one day and decide to hit back, she has been equally generous with herself since memorial in time.

We have faithful men out there priding in relationships they think grow groomed in reliance, but what he’s subconsciously exposed to is the painful fact that his spouse reigns in the wide selection of men who don’t have to cater for material or emotional needs, she has them just for the aimless reason men see the need to look back into the toilet seat after a lengthy session just before they flash. Nothing.

Men, face it – she’s just more gifted than we’ll ever be in this thing here. We fail when it comes to those small things called guilt and recklessness. It comes in as soon as we get home and look at that ever-loving and welcoming face that has been doing the very same thing. We twitch in fear of her seeing what we’ve done written all over our forehead while the very same secret exists in her. We’ve done it for years, but what has been an unknown fact is that she’s done it for centuries. I’ll give you a pointer that I have noticed in the many relationships I’ve seen taking place around me. I won’t go all traditional and tell you of things you already know like she’ll stop looking you in the face when talking to you, or that she’ll start blaming you for the smallest things. Those are things she won’t need reasons to do. I’ll just lay it down plain and simple in one sad fact so you can confirm facts that I’m certain you’ve been suspecting but never quite came around to having the scrotums to confront.

The sad reality is that she’ll probably never be caught. She’s that good. I’ll give you a very familiar scenario to justify my claim, one that I once noticed some time back and got me astonished as to how closely related it is to this whole thing.

I attended my nephew’s fourth birthday party sometime last year, and as goes such functions, it was manifested by small adorable things that pleasure in junk food, toys, ample space to run around, urinating in sand-boxes and wailing uncontrollably after getting their heads wedged in the smallest of places. So there I was running after the few that I could while negotiating sanity with some that could actually stop to listen to what I had to offer, and what I noticed answered the question that has inspired this article. I stood in the middle of that play-pen with like five girls and three boys within my view, and as they went about their individual play I realized how neat these girls were compared to the boys who had dirt from their heads to their insides. The two groups clearly had different modes of achieving fun with the girls consciously opting to have their dolls within reach and surrounding neat while the boys ran round unaware of the mess they pleasured in. The way that picture bluntly resembled this edge of live left me in stitches.

Women and men both acknowledge the ecstasy of jumping into the playground every once more often, but what makes her get the upper hand is the fact that she’s neater, better planned out with her subjects within eye-view. He on the unfortunate hand is careless, handles all this ‘toys’ at once without consideration of where one will land once he throws it in the air or where he’s squirmy self is seated before he seconds later stands to resume his movement with dirt stuck on his sad behind.

You will never find out what dolls she has been dressing [and undressing]. But she will however often spot the dirt you stupidly bring home.

So call her up, ask how her day is, listen carefully to her reply because you will not pick any grime in her tone; but she’ll hear your evidently panting voice you try hold back after a time well spent on the swing.

This is what I think; she’ll never step out of the playground, for many reasons known best to her. She pleasures difference. So if you’ll seat there secretly justifying why you being the one with the acclaimed nuts to test your so called skill, take a time-out and acknowledge the reality that she’s very much in the game; only a couple of more rows head of you. She’s better at it; you’re not. She hides it best; you walk around with it under your nose. She won’t stop; you’ll always be vulnerable to being caught. In fact, you’ve been caught a couple of times if not many, right? And all this goes on while you have nothing on her. Face it.

Happily ever after to you and yours.


The Rich Notes

By Jimmy Mwangi

I have to start by commending all the writers who contribute to this blog. Finding a way with words is one of the most fascinating elements of a human brain. With Words, you get along. You’re peas in a pod. Like peanut butter and jelly. Big Up guys!! Amazingly talented. Well having read a very beautifully articulated piece titled ‘Pick Up the Phone !‘, a few thoughts have been lingering in my mind. Well, lets see how well it goes….

The CNN reporter in the background announces … another increase in poor nations aid. The World Bank said yesterday that it would almost triple lending this year, to help prevent ‘HUMAN CRISIS’ in developing countries and maybe turmoil in financial markets… I’m sure we hear this everyday. its sad that its even become background noise and we fail to realize that what they are actually describing is US! …. Machiavelli said ‘the reason why there is no change is because the people who stand to loose from change have all the power and the people who stand to gain from the change have none of the power.. what he actually described was the global structure of rich and poor in today’s society!

Would you call yourself rich?

If your answer to that was not a yes, then you are in trouble! For over 40 years as a country, we’ve been asking ourselves what causes poverty? As much as there are various challenges linked to the increased difficulty in the prosperity of Africans, I believe one major issue has contributed to the now created system of economic and personal slavery. Something that has colonized our minds and continues to plummet this country. We are actually the biggest problem! All along, we’ve been asking the wrong question. what we should be asking ourselves is what causes Wealth? Hold that thought though, don’t be too quick to think that by wealth I mean money.

Let me introduce you to a very simple idea. One that has changed my thinking in the way I work, in the way I do stuff and in the way I operate in society. How do we explain when some things don’t work the way we assumed? or better still, how do we explain when some people seem to achieve all the things that seem to defy all the assumptions? For example, why is Apple so innovative? Year after year they seem to be more innovative than any of the other companies within their category and yet, they are just a computer company. They are just like anyone else. They have access to the same talent, same consultancies, same media? Why is it that they seem to have something different?

Why is it that the Wright brothers achieved the discovery of controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air  flight, while there were certainly other teams that were better qualified, better funded and in better positions to achieve this? There is something else at play here. As it turns out, there is a pattern, all the greatest leaders and organizations of the world, think and act in the same exact way and its the complete opposite to anyone else. This whole idea comes from one of my most favorite speakers and orators Simon Sinek through a simple concept he calls ‘The Golden Circle.’ Its probably the worlds simplest idea.

3 things. The Why, The How, The What! This simple idea explains why some individuals or organizations continuously inspire while others aren’t. Let me explain the terms really quickly. Every single person on the planet understands what they do. Some know how they do it. Whether through certain proprietary processes etc. Unfortunately very few of us understand WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO. By why I do not mean to make profit(money). Thats always a result. What I mean is: what’s your cause? What’s the reason you wake up in the morning? What’s your belief? Why should anyone care? As a result the way we think has always been from the clearest thing (The What) to the fuzziest thing (The Why) whereas inspired individuals or organizations regardless of their size always start with THE WHY! let me give you an example.

If Apple were like everyone else, here’s an example of how a communication message from them would sound:

We make great computers (The What)

They are beautifully designed, easy to use and user friendly (The How)

Wanna buy one? (The Why)

Completely uninspiring don’t u agree? and thats how most of us think. “Hi my name Mary and I work long hours with minimum supervision. I am self driven and I am a go getter. Please hire me”. The culture that has formed the roots of entrepreneurial journeys in this country does not inculcate such beliefs and therefore continuously end up not contributing to growth of our economies. Politicians with their 10 point plans continue to fill our screens with nonsense that is taking us absolutely nowhere. Some of the relationships we find ourselves in have no basis or reason for existence whatsoever. We say what we do, we say how its different and expect some sort of influence or vote. It’s simply uninspiring and unsustainable.

So here’s how Apple actually communicates;

Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently (The Why)

The way we do this is by making our products easy to use, beautifully designed and user friendly (The How)

We just happen to make great computers. Wanna buy one? (The What)

Totally different huh? Inspiring? All we did was reverse the order of information. What is simply proves to us is that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. We create influence buy building a ‘cause’ not by selling a reason. Individuals who are driven by a cause shall manage to build influence and success in whatever they do. Companies that sell their cause, will succeed in building influences.

I am a firm believer of Building Passion in whatever we do and this is where its starts. Starting with ‘Why’ may just as well be the first step in personal prosperity as Africans. It might just as well be the first quantum leap to breaking out into wealth which in my translation starts in the mind.

Whatever personal aspirations we have, whatever entrepreneurial aspirations we have, lets build purpose into it, maybe its time we started killing our ‘Mental Poverty’…. Lets build Wealth!

Have a Wealthy day!



Wonder Where They All Are..

 

Flo Mwangi is a gifted writer who is known for her golden words. Maybe it is in the way she presents real-life-familiar situations that leaves readers wanting more, or it could be the way she speaks to me. I have to admit, she is one beautiful soul that I will forever be thankful to ever have met. Intelligent, reliable and well grounded. I also have to admit that I had to talk to her nicely just so she could let me publish this article. Take in her words and maybe then will you find out the reason why I am a hopeless fan. I am clearly biased.

By Flo Mwangi

I was musing about how interactions with people over the course of our lives has influenced and shaped us. Right from a tender age, from your teachers and playmates back in grade school, your first crush. I remember mine, my first crush, I thought I really loved him then again what did I know about love at that age? For all I knew love could’ve been the wonder of a beautiful butterfly fluttering about, or that wonderful feeling I got when mum came home from work with some goodies, or when we did those lovely family picnics, or when my best-friend carried extra snacks just for me, oh the excitement!! But it was so much fun just being together I mean we did not overburden each other with unrealistic expectations we accepted everyone as they were, one big happy family we all were, every day seemed like a holiday, there was so much harmony. And all these were manifestations of love in its simplest and purest form, we of course complicate it along the way as we grow up and life happens.

One thing I miss about being young is how despite of whatever catastrophes’/disasters might’ve been going on about us, we remained completely oblivious and so grounded in the moment it’s like we existed in a protective bubble and everything just bounced off of us. Nothing mattered more to us than the moment, we were not burdened by the worries and cares of tomorrow. We had so much energy, it’s like life just flowed through us and then growing up just saps it out of us  *sigh* Where’s the time machine??

Ok maybe all was not rosy but our greatest fears, which at the time seemed life threatening, were school bullies and the meanies who in their torment sure sharpened our survival skills; we knew just when to sprint and what not to say around who and that just about covered everything. The meanies, now that’s a frustrated lot in life; you spend your life bringing nothing but agony and grief to others and think Karma will just pass you on by? Think about it though, if it weren’t for all those encounters we wouldn’t be who we are. All those people showed us how to live like we do. Whether it’s my ex best friends who I really don’t know how we grew apart, or past loves. I sure have had experiences of what love is and isn’t.

To those I loved but never showed it enough and they were taken from me too soon or we just drifted apart, and they took away a piece of my heart. I might not be able take that back, much as I wish I could, but from that I sure learnt to appreciate and cherish loved ones better for as long as I still have them around. Then there are those that have been there from the start whose loyalties haven’t changed even in the tides of time. Timeless friendships and unions; the beauty of such people is I never need to explain myself to them because they understand me and love me, faults and all, and they only want what’s best for me. They’re ever challenging/inspiring me to be better. And not even my worst profanities can keep them away.

But I’d have to say the lessons I hold dear were from those that scarred me.  Right from*Stacy who couldn’t stop running her mouth about me in grade school, for a long while I thought the problem was with me while clearly baby girl had bigger issues. All that bad mouthing was just a projection of her own shortcomings and nothing to do with me. And the likes of *Stacy don’t change much even in adulthood. But knowing that people will always have an opinion about me and how I should run mine, and that I cannot for the life of me please everyone, helps me deal with all that -if you ain’t got nothing constructive to say you could keep going till you’re out of breathe and drop dead for all I care. To *Mark whose broken soul I was so bent on loving till it mended until l I realized no amount of loving would fix his broken self. Positive change can only be brought about by one’s own acceptance that indeed they do have a problem and genuinely seeking out solutions to that problem. Love is just not enough if the one you love has no willingness to change for the better, no matter how much of it you give, and making up excuses for them trying to cover up for their flaws does not help the situation either. Hoping that you can love someone enough to change them is deluding oneself. Before long you find yourself in an emotional rollercoaster that completely drains you emotionally and physically and that is no way to live. Walk away from that.

And if you’re lucky all that wrong might be righted by an encounter with someone who forever changes your perception of love. Right from our first date I knew there was something special with this one. I went into it with an open mind and having no expectations whatsoever except to enjoy myself. I did not have the ‘Mr. Right” checker list we girls secretly carry around. We have all the wrong things on there anyway; all centered on image. Now see that’s where we go wrong. I’ve done that; stayed with someone cause we looked so good together, picture perfect and behind closed doors we could not have been more incompatible. Or because he was well off and seemed like he had a lot going for him and boy did he have a lot going; women, children, physical and emotional abuse. You get the drift.

Back to my date; expectations aside, guard down, I have never had more fun. There were no facades no fronts. He made me laugh. I felt comfortable in my skin and so did he. It was like we had been doing this for years. How do you explain being with someone for the first time and yet feeling like you’ve known them all your life? There was chemistry too; not the ardent urge for physical gratification but a palpable excitement brought about the anticipation of what could be. By the end of that evening I knew that that was the onset of something wonderful and I wasn’t wrong. He has proven to be the best thing that has happened to me in a long while. Loving him is effortless. Even after all this time, every time we get together feels like the first time. I could talk to him for days. He gets me. He sees right through me. Now would you fault me for wanting to have that for a lifetime? Didn’t think so. With him am constantly reminded that there are still some good people in the world, and that we all have a right to happiness in spite of past disappointments and failures. We might never forget the pain caused by those that did us wrong in our past but neither can we keep punishing those that we meet for others’ mistakes. We should never give up on love.

I know we all sit and wonder where all these people -that’ve touched our lives one way or other- are. We’ll never see those days again, and things will never be that way again but that’s just how it goes.

People change, but memories are forever.

http://flo-mwangi.blogspot.com/


The New Girl In Town: Just Remember Everything Will Be SAWA

Have you seen The Bigger Picture? Well it’s one of the blogs that have inspired me and given me pointers in writing my own. I am honored to know the owner of this blog and she happens to be a good friend. I have taken time to study her work especially in writing and photography. My conclusion? She is gifted. Meet Susan Wong, a Chinese Canadian who has travelled the world extensively. Wong is a traveller, writer, radio personality, photographer and fashion designer. When she told me she was on a flight on her way here, I didn’t waste the chance to request that she write me a blog note while on the plane. Today was her first day on radio (Capital Fm 98.4). She was good!

By Susan ‘Lucky’ Wong

My body ached and my head throbbed from exhaustion.  Coming up on 20 hours of travelling time, jetlag was definitely catching up to me.  As I flipped through my colourful Kenyan guidebook in a desperate last attempt to absorb as much information about my new home, the captain spoke over the intercom and informed us that we were descending into Nairobi, and moments later the flickering city lights welcomed us.

Mesmerized by the enchanting lights and the new adventures that awaited me, I reluctantly closed my guide book and put it away.  I realized that no amount of homework could really prepare me for my relocation to Nairobi.  I suppose the best preparation was to put aside all expectations and just humbly enjoy every moment, adventure and opportunity that crosses my path.  And with that mindset, I penned this journal entry to myself just before the plane touched down…

Dear Self,

 

Young Lady, you are no stranger to Africa, Kenya, Nairobi or the challenging task of relocation.  With that said, ignore those butterflies in your stomach; stop thinking about the ‘what ifs’ if you had made another choice; and tell your Mom’s chanting of “Nairobbery….” In your mind to hush!

 

Undoubtedly there will be a lot of challenges ahead.  You will face challenges that seem impossible to prevail.  You will meet people that will challenge who you are and the core of what you’re made of.  You can do this.  Remember that you’ve been blessed with this opportunity to follow your passion and perhaps answer a call.  There are amazing people that are waiting to support you.  Be bold. Just be you.

 

Don’t forget about the lessons you’ve learned in the past.  And yes, you’ve learned so much in Ethiopia from the past few years.  Take everything with a grain of salt.  Trust people until they give you a reason to not trust them.

 

Enjoy yourself and don’t forget to explore the diverse restaurants in town!

 

Don’t fret.  Chin up Girl because everything will just be Sawa.

Voice over the intercom: “Welcome to Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.  The temperature outside is 18 degrees and expect a light drizzle …. Thanks for choosing….and we hope you have enjoyed your flight.”



The New Girl In Town: Just Remember Everything Will Be SAWA

Have you seen The Bigger Picture? Well it’s one of the blogs that have inspired me and given me pointers in writing my own. I am honored to know the owner of this blog and she happens to be a good friend. I have taken time to study her work especially in writing and photography. My conclusion? She is gifted. Meet Susan Wong, a Chinese Canadian who has travelled the world extensively. Wong is a traveller, writer, radio personality, photographer and fashion designer. When she told me she was on a flight on her way here, I didn’t waste the chance to request that she write me a blog note while on the plane. Today was her first day on radio (Capital Fm 98.4). She was good!

By Susan ‘Lucky’ Wong

My body ached and my head throbbed from exhaustion.  Coming up on 20 hours of travelling time, jetlag was definitely catching up to me.  As I flipped through my colourful Kenyan guidebook in a desperate last attempt to absorb as much information about my new home, the captain spoke over the intercom and informed us that we were descending into Nairobi, and moments later the flickering city lights welcomed us.

Mesmerized by the enchanting lights and the new adventures that awaited me, I reluctantly closed my guide book and put it away.  I realized that no amount of homework could really prepare me for my relocation to Nairobi.  I suppose the best preparation was to put aside all expectations and just humbly enjoy every moment, adventure and opportunity that crosses my path.  And with that mindset, I penned this journal entry to myself just before the plane touched down…

Dear Self,

 

Young Lady, you are no stranger to Africa, Kenya, Nairobi or the challenging task of relocation.  With that said, ignore those butterflies in your stomach; stop thinking about the ‘what ifs’ if you had made another choice; and tell your Mom’s chanting of “Nairobbery….” In your mind to hush!

 

Undoubtedly there will be a lot of challenges ahead.  You will face challenges that seem impossible to prevail.  You will meet people that will challenge who you are and the core of what you’re made of.  You can do this.  Remember that you’ve been blessed with this opportunity to follow your passion and perhaps answer a call.  There are amazing people that are waiting to support you.  Be bold. Just be you.

 

Don’t forget about the lessons you’ve learned in the past.  And yes, you’ve learned so much in Ethiopia from the past few years.  Take everything with a grain of salt.  Trust people until they give you a reason to not trust them.

 

Enjoy yourself and don’t forget to explore the diverse restaurants in town!

 

Don’t fret.  Chin up Girl because everything will just be Sawa.

Voice over the intercom: “Welcome to Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.  The temperature outside is 18 degrees and expect a light drizzle …. Thanks for choosing….and we hope you have enjoyed your flight.”



Things We Never Say

Intro by Michael Ngigi
When I first saw Ahenda Anjichi‘s work I was stoned, thanks to my good friend Liz Lenjo. I have followed her posts ever since. I hope that one day, she will write something long. A book. Maybe a memoir. A diary… Initially, I didn’t expect her to agree when I suggested the idea of writing an article together. Why would she agree to work with someone she’d never met? As we spoke on chat about the project, I couldn’t help noticing how intelligent and creative Ahenda is. I have to admit, I fall shy of her skill. This article seeks to portray the feelings that words cannot say lest they hurt the spirit.

By Ahenda Anjichi & Michael Ngigi

Dear Ahenda

I smoke the herb when my mind is on the run. I few long drags and my mind is suddenly light. It makes me forget that I am the worst liar in the whole world. I feel like a missing person. It is strange that I feel it is where I should be. I don’t think you know anything about this, or the fact that I am about to break up with you. I can’t help asking myself where I lost everything. Where did I lose you? Where did you let me go? I am about to pour these last five years down the drain. I need to get everything out of my chest. I need another story. I am man broken down, not by what I did or what I didn’t do. I am angry, afraid, selfish and selfless. Selfish because if I wait for the end to come, I might not survive it. Selfless because I made you a promise. Baby, remember when I told you I would do anything to make you happy? I meant it. If leaving you will put a smile on your face someday, then leave you I will.

There’s nothing left for me here.

Last night on my way home I stopped at Lazzaro‘s to buy you roses. I couldn’t find the strength to hand them to you so I threw them in the dustbin. I realized couldn’t look you in the eye to surprise you when you opened the door. I couldn’t stand your sad eyes beneath your beautiful pretending face. I feel like I have lost all I ever had. You’ve always wanted  me to believe you’re happy. Great. That makes two of us.

Lately, I can’t help revisiting the great moments we shared when our love was new. All the mornings you tirelessly taught me how to tie my tie. I learn slow but you gave me time. I made mistakes and got hurt in the process. Still, you were ever near. The days we’d chase each other across the covers while we played a game with no name or rules. I ruled your mind. And you, mine. I knew how to make you happy. Boiled eggs, alcohol and garlic could not stop me from the sweet taste of your lips. Lazy days were our best. Lying still in each other’s arms silent but saying everything in the way we stared at each other’s eyes. Our album. I am surprised how unfamiliar the people in the pictures are. I hate these pictures. They remind me that I had you for a minute and the next you were gone. Only this time, you didn’t pack your bags and leave. You left your body with me as your heart wondered off. I am trying hard, but I can’t reach you. Sad eyes. You want to cry. You want to tell me but you can’t. I haven’t done anything wrong. It’s eating you from inside.

I’m smiling. We had great sex in ‘our time’. That I had to fight you down and conquer you made me feel it was what I was born to do.  The earthquake that always shook our landing still fascinates me. The peace of collapse and surrender that followed as we lay twining our up-stretched hands. Stretching imaginary skies and plucking at non-existent stars. Me and you Ahenda.  I hate that the smell of your skin still lingers on my nostrils. Flowers. Now you cry every time we make love. I can tell the sad darkness you’re going through when you whisper in my ear that you love me. I can’t do it anymore. You speak without saying a word. You’re out of love. The fire dies down and all that remains are the weak coals that gasp for more more wood.

The world is vast, dark and lonely. I wait. For you to send me those naughty texts. For a time you will tell you that you have time for a chat. For that time when you will have time. For that time you will stay up late waiting for my call. For that time I will make you smile just how your best friend Fiona does. For that time you will talk about our future plans. Our ‘house on the hill’ doesn’t fascinate you anymore. When was the last time you asked me how I was doing? I know it’s not that you don’t care. You just don’t want to lie to me. You are a wonderful soul. I guess it’s why you don’t want to tell me the truth and hurt me. More tears from your big eyes. You hate yourself for what you’re feeling. You hate that you’d want to love me but can’t. You don’t know why.

I am going to save you. Save myself. Save us. Save what we’ve built so far. The memories. The moments tatooed on our minds. I choose to leave. I can’t make you happy. You know I have tried.  Let the blood be on my head. Just let go so I walk the plank alone. I will be fine. Fine because I have kept my promise. To do anything that will make you happy. Life lies full beneath your feet. You will find what you’re looking for. Keep the ring and I will keep the pictures.

Mikey…my darling…

You look at me different these days, you have that look in your eye like a deer caught in full headlights awaiting certain death, standing rooted to the spot and frozen in fear.

You’re afraid of me; my heart, my soul, my body and my mind.

Even your kisses have become strangers to my lips, I do not blame you. You must know.  You must have figured it out. You must see that the flame we had is dying, the embers in our hearts simply fizzling, leaving us the ashes of our dead union.

When I met you, when we first met, my insides used to itch to hold you in conversation, to hear you laughing-you have this laugh my dear, so deep and hearty and soulful and the sound of it made my world sparkle. You don’t do it as much anymore-laugh that is, you half-smile at me in the evening when I’m in the kitchen, trying to remember how you liked the spices mixed up in your meals…I had a special recipe that awakened your inner demons and you used to have me on the kitchen counter, tightly gripping your back, head thrown back in absolute ecstasy and so out of breath. My knees used to shake and I would bite my lower lip in anticipation by just how you said my name…now, you sound like Mark, the photocopy guy at the ground level shop at our office building. It’s quite baffling.

What happened to us?

Looking at you now, it’s like I’ve been a stranger these five years…do you still like sleeping on the left side of the bed, love? (I can hardly feel your breathing late at night, I find myself laying on the edge, as if running away from that ugly awkward tension that has moved in with our relationship and isn’t paying the rent.)

I need those days back: when you held me so close I could feel you thinking, when I could tell what words your lips are forming before you spoke, when I knew what shirt you wanted to wear and the tie I’d help you fix…(oh, boy! Did it take you a while to learn!!), when you would know when my days are bad and you would kiss my worries away….memories now.

What happened to me being able to float through my misery? Being able to wear the smile you so loved without you knowing that I’m straining to keep it alive? What happened to me being able to mesh into your arms without flinching? What happened to you being the best thing in my universe? What happened to me wanting to rush home to you? What happened to the son we were to have?

Babe, those roses in the trash, I saw them. Poor little lifeless creatures shriveled up and left neglected, cold and alone. So without color…I laughed-they must have reminded me of us. I’m not happy at this thought; it’s just the irony in it all. You thought they were better off in the trash than in my hands; do I now possess the ability to wound a thorned flower?

This is not your doing. It’s mine. You stayed here loving me but I left without much of a goodbye. You cannot imagine how desperate I am to love you-I did once, I really did.

It was the way you paid attention to me, the little things you did, your smile,your laugh,the way your shoulders sag when you’re tired, the way your finger bends when it’s pointing, the silly faces you’d make watching  football, the way you drank a glass of water, how you put on your shoes, the crease above your forehead when you’re being serious, how you would tickle me and kiss my neck at the same time…how rude of me to take these things and forget what they feel like.

I’m just numb. You move me no more.

This is not your doing-it’s all mine.

You have given me a chance at real love; you HAD given me a chance at real love…so here i am now, tears flowing onto this letter you wrote and this ring barely shinning in this dark room…still in its box, left by this damn letter.  I chased you off before you even got down on one knee.

Isn’t this every woman’s dream I was living, with you?

I can almost hear your pained voice, gentle and sweet, speaking these words.

Michael. You loved me.

This is not your doing-it’s all mine.

I doubt that she can love me as well as you do. All she can do is be the secret fuel to my fire and the forever silenced voice of my longing.

Mikey…just so that you know, my soul remains with you.  I’ll stay here, caught between my heart and mind-wanting it to be good knowing it’s not.

I’m really sorry Michael.

Outro by Ahenda Anjichi
I can’t deny-I jumped at the opportunity to write this, I love writing, but more so because someone as gifted and expressive as Michael thinks I’m good at it. It’s a huge, huge compliment! I’m short of doing a “yippee” dance on my office desk; it’s a refreshing chance to try something new aside from my usual prose/poetry.

Michael, many thanks for the shout. This was so much fun to do. (And Liz Lenjo for being the lovely bridge to this point!) .



Dull, Dreary, Cold.

Today’s guest writer is the beautiful Patricia Kihoro, an outstanding and well known performer in the arts. She was also a Tusker Project Fame Season 3 finalist (TPF3). The first time I met her I couldn’t help saying a little prayer for my life. I found her magnetic, hypnotic, disarming and the most loyal friend anyone can have. She is wise, and in her calm voice and look you will appreciate the raw intelligence she radiates. I have read this article three times. I admire how she describes familiar moments in their most intimate forms.

I was at a funeral today. It was for someone I had never met, but at some point I had tears in my eyes.

And a lump in my throat.

I had heard about him. Good things. Not so good things. Now he was no longer living and I was at his funeral. He was gone.

I watched people cry. I watched some laugh. Not at him of course, just laughing with each other. Probably remembering happy things about him. Happy times with him. Or maybe they weren’t even talking about him at all.

The weather was perfect for a funeral. Dull, dreary, cold. Just how I like it on a regular anyway. People came trickling in slowly. There was no church service. Everything was done by the graveside. And I was taking pictures. I was there to take photographs. And I wanted to do it in the most sensitive way I could. Without being in peoples faces as they bawled their eyes out, and held each other, and grieved for a friend lost. Without making them feel as though they had to keep themselves composed because there’d be a camera lens in their faces trying to catch the tears. I felt cruel. But I went on anyway. They wouldn’t mind. They wouldn’t even notice. I wouldn’t be invasive, or obtrusive. I would keep my distance, yet capture the sadness on their faces. Capture the grief. Capture the loss.

Some faces looked solemn, and stoic. As though they were doing something they did on a regular. As though they were waiting their turn, now that they had bade goodbye to so many around them, and were expecting to be next any day now. They looked as though their tears had long ran out, and death was just another part of the game. It was a game now. One they didn’t enjoy being a part of but had no choice but to play. They seemed strong, but it wasn’t strength I saw in them.

I saw anger on other faces. Anger at what they deemed unfair. Unfair that their friend was dead. That he had not lived longer. That he lost the battle. That he left them. Anger at the fact that they had to endure losing him. Anger because it hurt. Anger because they didn’t understand why. Why he had to die. Anger because he hadn’t finished living his life. Anger because they were not finished loving him, and they weren’t ready to stop. Anger at why death had to be. Anger at a ‘system’ that seemed too flawed to ever be praised again. Anger because they knew. Anger that it would be them too someday.

There was sadness on most. Sadness because they missed him. Sad because he had died. He was dead, and death was a sad thing. Sad because those left behind remain thinking about all that they could have gotten to do with their loved one. Wishing that they had. All the hopes and dreams that went unfulfilled. All that could have been. All that won’t be. Will never be. All the children they never got to have. The things they never got to do. The places they never got to visit. The rest of their story that never got told. The void that has been left that can never be filled again. Sadness because of the regret that gnawed at them. Regret because of what they should have done that they never had the courage to do.

I kept at the picture taking. Snapping away. Walking slowly round, trying to get the right angles, where the light would fall just right on the faces of the mourners.

Mourners.

Were they really all mourning? Weren’t some there to celebrate a life ‘well lived’? That’s what the obituary said anyway.

There was another funeral going on a few metres away. But those people were using speakers so loud, it felt as if we were there for that funeral. It made me angry. Angry because they were being disrespectful. Inconsiderate. But they were sad too. So I felt guilty about my anger.

I let them be, and returned to ‘our’ funeral.

I continued to click away. They were singing for him now. It looked painful. The singing. They looked like it hurt to sing. And it hurt for me to watch them sing. But I took pictures of that too. There were more tears now. More anger. More shadows across the faces. Shadows that had nothing to do with light. Shadows that appeared from within.

They were burying him now. Lowering the coffin into the grave. And they were quiet as they did so. It was heavy. The silence. It’s as though the silence was weighing down on the coffin. Pushing it deeper into the grave. Covering it. Drowning it. The lump in my throat grew larger. My vision became blurred. So I lifted the camera to my eyes. I didn’t want anybody to see me shed tears for someone I had never met. I would be like one of those well oiled, well practiced funeral wailers. It would be pretentious of me to cry. So I hid behind the lens. And clicked away.

He was under. They began to pick handfuls of dirt. And threw them into the grave. Like a final wave good bye.

And then the shovels came. Bright. New. And they quickly filled it up. The grave. And placed the flowers on top. Red roses. Whose petals fell off and began to roll away with the wind.

As if they didn’t want to be there.


My Soul for Your Love

After reading her note titled ‘Damn!’, I knew I had to get her to write something for my blog. Liz Lenjo is a woman of many abilities. A talented writer and model, Liz also happens to be the editor at Varsity Phunk Magazine. She has studied Post- Grad Diploma Law at Kenya School of Law . You might want to follow her work, I have a feeling she will hold your attention at ransom. Watch and learn.

By Liz Lenjo

The first love letter you dubbed it ‘Night of the Eclipse’ I knew you would be the one I for me…Forever. I could see the darkness of your soul, but I had to dance with the devil. Just to know your embrace. My soul for your love I exchanged.

The day you said you love me…I knew that my tango dance with fire would never end. I loved the pain and the misery. So long as it was by your side, I reckoned that was the meaning of love. I did not mind for my soul for your love I traded.

Rivers of tears at your cost, by your side I remained. Determined to uphold a contract I made with the dark side…Your darkness I embraced and made it mine. Losing myself I willingly did… For my soul for your love I exchanged.

Love for pain? Pain for love? To erase you I need to, but somehow part of you still lingers. I guess rescinding the contract to have my soul back, was not going to be a walk in the park. But I must! Knowing now…my destiny was never with you…But somehow: for your love, my soul I willingly bet!