See the World Through My Eyes

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Have You Found Yourself?

purpose One of the biggest challenges of our generation is knowing what our purpose is and how to achieve our dreams.

I’ve talked to many people but sadly most of them don’t seem to know their purpose and what they want from life. I too have struggled with this question all my life and I still am. I hate that it has become the monkey on my back and I hate that I have to wake up everyday to look for myself. I can’t concentrate at anything I do and I have turned into a hopeless scatter brain. I feel like time is running out and the prospect of growing old and miserable, haunted by dreams that never materialized scares me. It makes me go into panic; a miserable state that can be observed by looking at how many things I’ve tried in my life.

I have tried starting my own business more than once and I have tried going up the ladder in my career and still, there is this nagging feeling that I am just not where I want to be.

When I’m at work I find my mind wandering to distant places and I am fearful that maybe those places are where I should be instead. I observe other people and suddenly it looks like everyone is getting onto their path. They seem happy and everything they do looks deliberate and based on a well defined purpose.

So is it that I have failed in finding my path or am I expecting [unrealistically] too much from life? Do I have the wrong paradigm of how life works? Is my purpose locked in this ‘uneventful’ job that I don’t seem to give the appreciation it deserves? Am I part of those who will never amount to anything? Is that my destiny?

On the other hand I also see many people who are like me. People who don’t have a clear plan of what they would do if they won a million dollars today. People who procrastinate and are always anxious because they are not sure of the future. One day you are excited about this new idea you’re pursuing and the next day you’re not sure if it is what you want. Your life goes in phases that come and end as fast as a flame on a matchstick. First there is the ‘I need to buy land phase’, then comes the ‘I need to start saving phase’ and today you’re on the ‘I need to start a business’ phase and the cycle never ends.

I’ve heard people say that you are always in the path that God wants you to be but I am beginning to doubt that. Why? because if this is where He wanted me to be, why am I not happy? Why do I feel like I am in limbo?

I have seen many of our parents live their lives in simplicity and mediocrity; retiring at sixty five and immediately going into the last phase of life where they miserably wait for their sunset. Somehow it has always felt wrong because [I believe] life is not meant to be a mere existence and a process that is predictable as to how it ends. What happened to dreams? At what point do dreams die? Is it to late for my parents to start dreaming all over again? Why I’m I getting sucked into the same cycle of broken dreams and surrendering without a fight? Why is this the more comfortable path to follow?

I’ve had a good career so far; it would be ungrateful for me to ignore that. Learning new things has been the best part of it all. Being challenged to do the impossible has kept my adrenaline pumping and like a junkie, I want more. I want more because there is this strong unshakable urge inside me that tells me I have a higher purpose. Something I can write my name on. That THING that I can do for free and not worry where money will come from because it will be automatic. That purpose that will make my life count for something. I want to be remembered for something great!

I have looked for it everywhere and I am willing to do everything to know why I am here. Sometimes I wish God would use my friends, family or even a stranger to tell me what is it that I am good at so I can dive into it NOW. Or maybe that’s not the way He speaks, maybe it is. But at the end of the day I just want a nudge in the right direction. Or maybe I have already been nudged but was too distracted to feel it? Where is that ONE clear hint that will show me which door to knock? Or maybe a hint is not supposed to be clear after all?

Whatever and wherever my purpose is, I have decided I’d rather die trying to find it. I can no longer sail blind in this darkness. I need to find a beacon and I need to find it sooner than later. I hate losing sleep over things I can’t decipher. I hate to be a person who always changes his dreams because he doesn’t know where he is going. One thing I am sure though, is that I am here for a purpose. What it is, I don’t know. So I’m going to start my search and I will hunt down my purpose to the ends of the earth if need be.

Last week I decided I will put all my dreams on paper because I had a feeling they will lead me to my purpose. It was a challenging experience to decide on what I want for my future, but it’s a start. After pasting cut-out pictures of what I want in life on a white page, I am starting to have this strange experience that I like. For some reason, I feel like I am on to something good and long term.  For once I am pretty clear on my dreams and when I would want to achieve them. How I am going to achieve this is the billion dollar question. Whether this yields anything only time can tell, but I can’t shake off the conviction that this is probably what I should have done years ago.

You see when I was young, my mother taught me this trick and it got me my first car. She told me to write down what I wanted in future and keep it where I could see it every day. I bought a car a few days to my twenty fourth birthday -which is the date I had written down. When you are a child belief is raw and unadulterated, but as you grow older logic gnaws at your dreams and suddenly they become fantasies. I guess somewhere along the way I forgot the basics; that you have to visualize what you want because it’s the first sign that you can and will most likely get it.

It’s time I started all over again. After all, maybe life isn’t about finding yourself but creating yourself.

I’d like you to take a moment and ask yourself this simple question. Have I found myself?

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Too Late

toolateHe got out of the house and banged the door behind him in anger. He felt she didn’t know how much he had sacrificed only for her to repay him how she did. He felt the lump in his throat grow bigger and harder and he could not help but choke as tears forced their way out beneath his quivering brows. He felt bitter and he could feel the uncomfortable heat of rage churning his insides. How could she? The mother of his child and his only wife  that he had learned to love so much? She’d kept it from him all these years and now it made so much sense. He’d always wondered how it happened. No one seemed to know the details and no one seemed to care. He couldn’t bring himself to acknowledge that she was capable. This time he wouldn’t forgive her. How much more harm was she capable of? He knew this was the last straw. He walked in the rain for hours late into the night. In his hand was a bottle of whisky. The third one since he got out of the house. In his pocket were four pictures. A story of how he’d buried each of his children who’s lives were snuffed out at exactly six months of age. Strange but all the deaths were attributed to some vague ‘condition’ he still couldn’t understand. After 7 years she chose to tell him today. Her eyes were empty and she had this look that was scary and aloof. She did it. She’d pressed a pillow over their faces one by one. Their hands were to feeble to fight her off. The mother has power over her offspring. She feared that he’d stop loving her.

And as he staggered into his front door, there she was staring blankly into the white. At first he thought she was floating in the air in her murderous trance  but a flash of lighting revealed the rope behind her neck. He was too late. He knelt down as his knees gave way to a hopeless weakness. And at the far corner of the room, his son sat there playing happily with his toys oblivious of his dead mother’s dangling stunt.

Today is little Jonah’s graduation. Wait, he’s not little anymore. He’s graduating from one of the best universities in the world. As his name is read out, one can’t help wonder how hard the road has been for him. You see his father suffered a stroke just after his mother’s suicide. He suffered another stroke during Jonah’s last year in campus. Now he’s sitting at the front of the crowd where the disabled have been allocated spaces just below the dais. He can’t talk. He can only show his excitement by drooling some more. It’s been a tough 14 years for him and Jonah. It’s almost as if Jonah had understood their predicament all through the years for he worked really hard. Now he was top of his class. Little do they (father and son) know that that Jonah’s dad would die the week after the graduation; peacefully. This time, he wasn’t too late. At least he saw his son become something.

This short story is dedicated to a friend who I chose not to name. He happens to be one of the most successful young people of our time. It’s never too late to tell a story.


TOP 5 DOG MOMENTS OF ALL TIME

AT NUMBER 5

AT NUMBER 4

AT NUMBER 3
AT NUMBER 2
AT NUMBER 1!

Remembering the 365 Dog Days of 2011

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 26,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 10 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


Libya: War for World Government?

Introduction by Michael Ngigi – Author, A Day in a Dog’s Life™
Have you been pondering over the events that are unfolding in current world politics lately? There seems to be a lot of disconnects and many unanswered questions especially in the situation of our African continent. I for one can’t help thinking that everything happening today especially in Libya is part of a bigger plan that doesn’t involve the benefit of the Libyan majority. I still believe the Libyan situation could  have been solved in a better and more civil way. Today I introduce to you Tony Cartalucci the author of Land Destroyer Report, an alternative news blog based in Bangkok, Thailand covering geopolitics. In today’s article, he gives us insight that the mainstream media will never give us. I suggest that you take time to read this report, lest your country be ‘next’ on the ‘list’. Meet  Tony Cartalucci.

Libya: War for World Government by Tony Cartalucci

“It is a test that the international community has to pass. Failure would shake further the faith of the people’s region in the emerging international order and the primacy of international law.” 
Brookings Institute‘s “Libya’s Test of the New International Order,” February 2011. 

While a parade of politicians and pundits cite the “international community,” the UN, and the “Arab street” as giving them the justification to not only wage illegal war on Libya, but to threaten illegal war against Syria as well, it should be remembered that it was neither the UN nor the “international community” that laid the ground work for this campaign.

What started out, supposedly, as spontaneous, simultaneous uprisings across the Middle East, has transformed clearly into an aggressive Western-backed blitzkrieg of destabilization and regime change. This was a plan that was years in the making, talked about in 2007 by then, presidential hopeful, CFR member, and International Crisis Group trustee Wesley Clark.

We now know that the protesters from Tunisia to Egypt had been trained by US created and funded CANVAS of Serbia. We have learned that the US State Department openly admits to providing funding to tech firms to assist protesters across the Middle East and Northern Africa to circumvent cyber-security inside target nations. Perhaps most alarming of all, we now know that the US State Department is also funding corporations like BBC to undermine the governments of China and Iran, revealing the full-scope of their ambitions.

The “international community” that feckless stooges like Joe Lieberman talk about, or his French equal in impotency, Nicolas Sarkozy‘s “new post-UNSC 1973 model of world governance” are concepts not born of these “elected representatives,” but rather the product of the corporate think-tanks that hand them their talking points. It is the corporate-financier oligarchy that constitutes the “international community” and who aspires to rule through “world governance.” Their goal is to eliminate national sovereignty and assert their agenda and the laws & regulations to achieve it homogeneously across all national borders.

To see who Lieberman and Sarkozy are channeling, we look to the Brookings Institute report “Libya’s Test of the New International Order” back in February 2011. In it, it talks about the primacy of international law over national sovereignty and considered it being at stake in Libya. Allowing Libya to defy the “international community,” they worried, could ultimately threaten its “resolve and credibility.”

Another telling Brookings Institute report, “Bifurcating the Middle East,” mentions rallying “the Arab street” to confront defiant states like Libya, Syria, and Iran, all of which are mentioned by name. Nowhere was oil mentioned, nor the tremendous profits defense contractors would surely reap, and while these are primary motivators to garner support for the regional campaign within the corporate combine, they are by no means the primary motivators for the campaign itself. The final goal is world government, the elimination of borders, and a monopolistic corporate-financier cartel that can systematically eliminate all challenges to its hegemony – in other words, the dream of all oligarchs since the beginning of time.

In Syria, resistance to the Western-backed opposition is a similar direct challenge to the corporate-financier oligarchs. Nations like Syria, Iran, Libya, Burma, Belarus, and many others are demonized and systematically isolated and undermined not because they are a threat to the world, but because their independence and refusal to acquiesce is an obstacle before a corporate-financier ruled world government.

We are given childish explanations that prey on the most ignorant and feeble of minds as to why we are fighting in Libya, and why we are threatening war with Syria and Iran. Nowhere in Lieberman or Sarkozy’s ranting statements is talk of who these rebels are; that they’ve been fighting on and off against Qaddafi for nearly three decades with US help, that their opposition is based in London and the United States, and that they have overt ties to Al-Qaeda, with rebel leaders themselves openly admitting their affiliations to the terrorist group. We are now told that recently returning to Libya to lead the rebels is Khalifa Hifter, who has spent the last 20 years in “suburban Virginia,” and has spent his time in America lending support to anti-Qaddafi groups.

After fighting a decade in Afghanistan and Iraq at the cost of nearly 6,000 US lives, supposedly to stop the ubiquitous “Al Qaeda,” an organization the US itself created in the mountains of Afghanistan in the 1980’s to fight the Soviets, we have come full circle, with CIA/Al-Qaeda assets fighting side-by-side in Libya, complete with US air support.

Do regular folks forget that Syria was mentioned as part of George Bush’s “Axis of Evil” and that Obama is merely carrying on a continuous agenda that has transcended administrations up to this very day? Considering the agenda revealed by Wesley Clark in 2007, we see how seamlessly “Obama’s war” against Libya fits in. If we are to believe Obama and Bush are ideological opposites, what other explanation can be given as to why this agenda, scorned by the political left under Bush, has now found a new home in Obama’s administration?

Quite clearly politics in America is but a mere illusion. So to is the “War on Terror,” as the US helps Al-Qaeda sweep westward towards Tripoli. It is all empty rhetoric carrying the agenda of global government forward. Despite losing nearly 6,000 of their brothers in arms, the US military carries on, following orders despite the absolute, overt absurdity of their mission. They are literally providing air support now for the men that helped send their buddies back in pine boxes from Iraq. They do this while the media that lied them into a decade of war now celebrates their enemy, these rebels of Benghazi, as heroes of democracy. Again – we come full circle as the Mujaheddin fighting the Soviets were once “heroes” of the West as well.

None of this makes any sense from the political left or right perspective. None of this makes sense from a West verses “Muslim extremist” perspective. The only perspective from which it makes sense, is if a cartel of corporations has been lying to us all along, saying anything and everything to get us to jump through the appropriate hoops. With their plans becoming bolder, perhaps even desperate, they have begun to mix up their narratives to the extent that they are bombing “Al Qaeda” in Pakistan and giving “Al Qeada” air support in Libya. They areadmittedly strafing civilians from the air in Pakistan, but imposing no fly zones on Qaddafi overunverified claims of doing the same.

Indeed, this is not a war of America, the UN, NATO, or the European Union. The feckless politicians that pose as our leadership are merely taking orders from the powers that be – the corporate-financier oligarchs. If we are to frustrate these oligarchs, we would be wise to waste little time on their front men and instead get straight to the issue. Boycott these corporations and systematically replace them on a local level. While they wage war to eliminate the nation state, from its borders down to our own individual rights and liberties, we must wage a campaign to undermine and eliminate them, from their crass consumerist networks that infest our towns, to the parasitic monstrosity that is the international banking system which infests this planet.

While they must wage their battle through murder, lies, and deceit, we must wage our battle through constructive pragmatic solutions, ingenuity, hard work, community, and self-sufficiency. This is not a war for Libya – this is a war for world government, that if won by the globalists, means our defeat as well.

You can follow Tony on Twitter @LandDestroyer


The Truth About Libya

First of all I would like to say the views expressed in this post are not mine but I agree with the author that the truth has been skewed in Libya‘s case. Being a great subscriber to Pan-Africanism, I believe strongly that it is in our continent’s best interests for NATO’s involvement in Libya to cease. I don’t believe that NATO or any of the powerful western nations have the capacity to solve African problems. I would like you to take a moment and reflect on the events of the past two decades where ‘intervention’ has been employed. I’m talking about, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas. I am yet to see positive change. They will label bold leaders as dictators and will move in to ‘help’ nations in crisis. We should look past that and ask ourselves ‘What’s in it for them?‘.  Today, I stand my ground. African problems need African solutions. Let all put their cards on the table. We have Southern Sudan to show for our portfolio. What do they have to show? Enjoy this great read and comment. – Michael Ngigi

By Stephen Goodson

Colonel Muammar Gadaffi is frequently referred to in the media as a “mad dictator” and “bloody tyrant”, but do these allegations accord with the facts?

Libya consists of over 15O tribes, with the two main groups, the Meghabra living in Tripolitania in the west and the Wafallah living in Cyrenaica in the east. Previous attempts to unite these tribes by the Turkish (1855-1911) and ltalian {1911-43) colonial rulers failed and the country was split in two for administrative purposes.

Oil was discovered in Libya in 1959, but King ldris of the Senussi tribe allowed most of the oil profits to be siphoned into the coffers of the oil companies. The coup d’etat on 1 September 1969 led by Colonel Gadaffi had countrywide support. He subsequently married a woman from the royal Barqa tribe and adroitly unified the nation.

By retaining Libya’s oil wealth for the benefit of all its people, Gadaffi had created a socialist paradise. There is no unemployment, Libya has the highest GDP in .Africa, less than 5% of the population is classified as poor and it has fewer people living below the poverty datum line than for example in Holland. Life expectancy is 75 years and is the highest in Africa and I0% above the world average.

With the exception of the nomadic Bedouin and Tuareg tribes, most Libyan families possess a house and a car. There is free health care and education and not surprisingly Libya has a literacy rate of 82%. Last year Gadaffi distributed $500 to each man, woman and child (population 6.5 million).

Libya has a tolerable human rights record and stands at 61 on the International Incarceration Index, comparable with countries in central Europe (the lower the rating, the lower the standing – the USA occupies the no.1 spot!). There is hardly any crime and only rebels and traitors are dealt with harshly.

Anyone who has read Gadaffi’s little Green Book will realize that he is a thoughtful and enlightened leader. Libya has been accused of having committed numerous acts of terrorism in the past, but many of these have been perpetrated by foreign intelligence agencies as false flag operations – the Lockerbie bombing being a prime example.

The CIA and MI6 and their frontmen have been stoking up dissent in the east of the country for almost 30 years. Libya produces exceptionally high quality light crude oil and its production cost of $1 a barrel, compared to the current price of $115, is the lowest in the world.

Riba (usury) is not permitted. The Central bank of Libya is a wholly-owned by the Libyan Government and is run as a state bank, issuing all government loans free of interest. This is in contrast to the exploitative fractional reserve banking system of the West. The no-fly zone and the bombing of Libya have nothing to do with the protection of civilians. It is an act of war ­ a blatant and crude attempt by the oil corporations and international bankers to steal the wealth of Libya.

I have tried to search for the author but he still remains in the shadows. However I believe that Stephen Goodson is the leader of the Abolition of Income Tax and Usury Party of South Africa. If you have information as to how I can reach him, let me know.


Bin There. Dump That.

Last weekend I embarked on a general house cleaning that lasted from saturday till Sunday. I had no choice but to appreciate Carol, the woman who has been my house keeper for 7 years. How she has managed to keep my den neat and fresh with great dedication and consistence still surprises me. I also got to do some filling as fate would have it,  I got to learn some very important lessons.

You see when you decide to clean up, you realize how much trash you don’t need. Name it, clothes, books and various other junk. You come across stuff you thought was valuable earlier but now lies useless taking up precious space. Junk. That’s what it is. Yet the process of an object becoming junk is hard to notice. It’s like watching grass grow. Have you ever noticed when re-arranging your documents how much of them you end up throwing away? It’s because now they just don’t make sense. They have become just mere records of done deals and dull reminders of the challenges that nearly killed your hopes in the past. Invoices. Hotel postcards for when you went for holiday with your now ex. Now useless instead of making happy memories. How about the bank statements you nearly framed just because you thought it was the fattest your account would ever get? Now they represent a younger you, when you were broke and humble enough to appreciate the little you had. All in all, there is the junk  you get to keep but the largest chunk of it just needs to go.

My lesson? Friends. I think it’s time you trashed your 50/50 friends. They are not good for you and it is clear that they will never be there in your time of need. Go on, tell me that you’ve known them since you were young! Well, people change. Do you have an idea what they think of you? Have they ever proved it? Has anyone ever told  you what they say in your absence? Do they rejoice when something good happens to you? More questions. If you had/have a family, would these ‘friends’ take care of it in the event of your demise? No? Would they put you up at theirs if you lost your job? Would they share the ‘little’ they have with you? When was the last time they declared their loyalty to you? You probably don’t have any idea what I’m talking about. I don’t blame you.

In the past one year, I have had to ‘clean up house’. I am still in the process. Results are starting to show. I have fewer worries and I care less. I am happier.  I’m still the ‘good guy’ only colder , bolder and more calm inside. I play along to the music of my fake friends, all the while knowing what it means. I will hardly ever go out of my way for them unless of course there’s something in it for me. I’m a businessman. As I have said time and time again, I don’t have enemies in my life, only challenges. And to my true friends, I give my all. I might not make it clear to them but I prove it every now and then. These are the people I would die for. These are the people I would commit a crime for. They know.

So how many friends do you have? I mean seriously. Most chances are, you have none. What you have right now are just acquaintances. Very few people manage to have true friends. It’s time. To shed off the baggage. You have done everything for some of them yet they keep sinking your boat. Talking evil in your absence. Mocking you in your time of difficulty when you need them the most. They join your aggressors when they should be defending your name as you would theirs. You’ve tried hard to do well by them and for them but you’re met with those unsaid words. They go silent when you walk in. In their silence, their hateful whispers tower over your head. How is it that thugs and villains will be true to their friends to the point of making them family, while the rest of us rejoice in drinking and making merry with the hounds that would kill us for a price? I would like you to take a piece of paper and write down 5 friends that you can swear will come through for you when that time comes. 5 that you can die for. Trust me, I feel your pain.

This post is dedicated to my mother. Happy birthday mum. Through you, I’ve learnt the value of loyalty and true friendship. Now that you’re able to read my blog, please remember that my readers are still waiting for your post. I wish they knew how good a writer you are!


Theory of a Black Man

Black man country
On the flight to Ethiopia, I meet a friendly gentleman by the name Hakim Geteye. He introduces himself as the mechanical technician on board with over twenty years experience. It is his last day on the job so it’s understandable why he is in a good mood. We talk about airplanes (duh!), the economy, world politics and various other general interest subjects. One subject that especially catches my interest is inequality. I can’t believe it when Hakim tells me to expect racial discrimination in Ethiopia. On probing further, he tells me that quite a number of Ethiopians do not consider themselves African; the reason why they treat fellow Africans ‘differently’. I refuse to believe him. I just can’t imagine my fellow African mistreating me just because I am… Afican! When I get off the plane I am lucky to find a seat in the waiting area at Addis Ababa‘s Bole International Airport. After three hours trying to get comfortable on the hard bench, I decide to have a drink at the restaurant at the far end of the lounge.

It starts with a sneer from the waitress after I motion her over, which I ignore. I choose to assume that it’s not meant for me. I keep calling out to her until at some point I figure she could be deaf [It happens]. So I decide to walk up to the counter and order my drink. As I walk to the front of the restaurant, another customer who has just walked in calls the waitress over to his table. I am astonished when she shoots past me to serve this particular customer. I feel small and angry. Another customer who I assume is Ethiopian, notices the helpless look on my face and decides to help me out in one sentence.

” White people tip, black people don’t”.

Black man at the door.
I have 5 minutes to get to the Hilton. I managed to clinch a deal with some Israelis who want to set up a meat processing plant in the country. Today, they  want to sign off. If this goes well, I could end up with a very good package. I break into a run and I’m at the entrance in no time. This is one business I wouldn’t dare lose. At the door, I am stopped by the security guard who asks me where I’m going. For a moment I pose trying to catch my breath and just as I am about to inform him he nature of my visit, a tour van comes to a halt at the hotel entrance. A group of tourists seemingly European alight from the bus and pass between me and the guard. As if by instinct, the guard scurries off to say jambo and karibu to the new visitors while lowering his hat and clasping his hands together in humility. They ignore his greetings and head to the reception. Mr. ‘Security’ comes back and continues interrogating me on the nature of my visit. I am angry. I glance at myself in the reflection on the floor-to-ceiling windows. Don’t I look normal? I am smartly dressed in a dark suit, black tie and white shirt. WTF (It’s not what you think). Anyway, I ignore his question and empty my pockets of coins and my cellphone as I walk through the metal detector in the foyer. As I pick my items on the other side, the guard ‘kindly’ remarks that that ‘it’s not a must’ that I pick the coins. Why? Because it doesn’t ‘look right’ for a man in such a ‘nice’ suit to walk around with noisy coins. By this time, I am shaking from rage…

Black man cuisine.
This food is dry. I ordered rice and fried beef but i didn’t expect it to come without some gravy. I signal to the waiter and ask for some soup. She politely tells me that they only serve gravy or soup when one has ordered fish fillet or pepper steak. I ask her to then explain how I am supposed to eat such a choking-dry meal. She politely tells me that it’s a management decision and that there is nothing she can do. I am furious.  I then ask her to bring me ketchup, maybe it’ll help. She hands me the ketchup and I proceed to make my food edible. After a minute, I realize that she is still standing there. I smile at her and politely tell her that I am fine. The ketchup will work just fine. She politely responds that she is waiting for me to finish with the ketchup because the management requires her to repossess the ketchup after the customer has had their first squeeze. She takes the ketchup and deposits it at the counter. Does this sound a bit too familiar? Agony is…

Black man justice.
A huge mob has surrounded the bus that been victim to hijackers a few moments ago. The leader of the faint attempt is forced to come out of the bus that is now parked diagonally in the middle of the road by angry citizens. Like a pack of hungry hyenas, they erupt into a frenzy, baying for his blood. The suspect kneels in front of the bus and pleads for his life. The crowd goes wild, and for a moment all one can hear is “Kill! Kill! Kill!”. They have had enough. They start pelting the suspect with stones. Huge stones. One can clearly hear the impact as the stones land on the suspect’s head. For a split second, I witness the suspect’s temple split open from impact. The crowd wants more. Someone in the crowd pleads for mercy on behalf of the suspect. He goes silent when another person accuses him of being a sympathizer. It is sad how frustrated the citizens have become. There is little anyone can do at this point. Part of the key people in the crowd that can change this whole picture are three police officers. Against the requests of civilized by-standers, the three officers refuse to rescue the suspect. Minutes later, the suspect lies dead on the street, his skull crushed underneath a 60 pound stone. No one knows his name or why he’s lying there on the street. A citizen with the same right to life as you and me…

Black man down.
I don’t know when this happened  but I am sad at what we’ve turned into. What makes us not want to be associated with who we are? What makes us treat each other with contempt? We are all to blame. We are quick to smile at foreigners and also quick to judge and condemn our own. Funny, I’ve heard black women wish that they had blue eyes and blond hair. I have seen black people take drugs to lighten their skin. Where did the black pride go? I don’t condemn you. I believe you have your reasons….


15 MINUTES OF FAME

Ahenda Anjichi is back again, this time on a mission. She is out to create awareness on this long standing challenge of HIV and AIDs. The first time I read this post I couldn’t help acknowledging the weight of her words. It is my hope that this message spreads far and wide. If you are not infected, you must be affected. I take this opportunity to launch the first awareness campaign on this blog. Let’s call it  A Minute of Silence. Thank you Ahenda.


“My feet sort of just glided haphazardly from the seat of my car, ankles angrily exerting force onto the tarmacked parking as I made my way to the side entrance of the white building. So many thoughts were racing through my mind, why am I even still walking? I couldn’t feel the ground but I felt myself moving. There was a buzz of activity around me. A pregnant woman who just looked void of all human energy was standing by the main entrance, her husband/boyfriend/friend/baby daddy hunched over her attentively…I whizzed past them, smelt her cheap perfume and grimaced.

My feet pounded on relentlessly, I wanted to slower my pace but I guess after being up since 3 AM and having thought about this all night, I was here. Some unnatural forces were pushing my body, against my will to the first floor.

A gust of hot air hit me as I emerged into the semi-packed waiting area. I sat down on the plastic covered seats, not quite sure what to do or how to do it-my thoughts were louder than the baby wailing in its mother’s arms next to me and I only heard a whisper next to me when the white cladded receptionist/nurse tapped my shoulder and repeated her question five times, obviously irritated by my absent-mindedness. I nodded.

Yes” was the choked reply.

Five minutes later, I was half walking behind her and half running out the door, my body feeling like a 5 ton truck and my heart pounding against my ribcage.

What the hell am I doing here?

She led me into a tiny room, at the end of the hall and all of a sudden my heart stopped beating, my feet refused to move and I stared in blank wonder at the white walls and statistic charts adorning the walls.

I was offered a seat stood there as she rambled on, talking nonsense because I wanted to forget I was there.

10 minutes later,

Time sort of stopped.

Froze.

Stood still.

My head was spinning so fast, I felt the white walls turning 360 degrees…i had developed malaria: aching joints, fever, hallucinations, and shortness of breath and one hell of a headache…

It’s only when I felt a slap on my face and someone screaming [the fake name I had jotted on the dotted line on that yellow single sheet of paper] and telling me to calm down, that I realized the throbbing headache was actually my heart sinking and the aching joints were as a result of my hitting the floor and table, banging my head against the surface of the floor and my chorus of “OH NO’S!!!”  made the hallucinations.

It was like a freaking out-of-body experience! I was watching myself act out this role in a movie and it was not actually happening and I’m not that crazy girl reeling on the floor, bringing attention to herself in that small, white walled room with arms flailing all over and white lab coats straining to pin down my struggling and jerking limbs.

I looked up through my tears and glanced back at the two ugly red lines, which in just FIFTEEN MINUTES had managed to shatter my 24 years of living, by a simple prick to my index finger and small talk of living positively.

In FIFTEEN MINUTES all the people who saw me walking down the hall would remember my draught stricken face and my tear stained cheeks and how concerned the counselor was as she led me back to my car, whispering words of encouragement in my ear that seemed to evaporate into whims of air the minute they left her lips because they didn’t register in my mind, neither did they make any sense-she could have been talking Greek for all I cared.

The world around me was like a bad dream and I was snow white and those two red lines were the evil step mother that had turned my world into gloom.

There was a slow buzzing in my ears and I found myself hunched over the low hedge, violently hurling out the remaining gooey lumps of my breakfast, constantly jerking like I was in an epileptic fit as if to drain every grain of the disease from my system.

I was in a pained trance and I could still feel the warm tears cutting irregular streams down my face.

I could swear that my heart had stopped beating and the quick breathes escaping my nostrils and mouth were my life’s essence seeping out into the noisy world and nobody noticed my frame, slouched next to my car, fingers digging into the tarmac and my arms hugging the front left wheel, hopelessly wishing that I was that cold inanimate object that proudly owns no emotion.

At that very moment, I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me whole, because all the stares and glances had me naked and vulnerable and I felt like “HIV POSITIVE” was plastered on my forehead.

I had drove into the hospital just FIFTEEN MINUTES earlier and nobody knew me; now I was just but one of the statistics.

 

FACT FILE:

DID YOU KNOW??

That-

  • Kenya is home to one of the world’s harshest HIV and AIDS epidemics.
  • An estimated 1.5 million people are living with HIV; around 1.2 million children have been orphaned by AIDS; and in 2009 80,000 people died from AIDS related illnesses.
  • Kenya’s HIV prevalence peaked during 2000 and, according to the latest figures, has dramatically reduced to around 6.3 percent.
  • This decline is thought to be partially due to an increase in education and awareness, and high death rates.
  • Many people in Kenya are still not being reached with HIV prevention and treatment services. Only 1 in 3 children needing treatment are receiving it.

This demonstrates Kenya still has a long way to go in providing universal access to HIV treatment, prevention and care.

  • Kenya’s HIV epidemic has been categorised as generalised – meaning that HIV affects all sectors of the population.

Nearly half of all new infections were transmitted during heterosexual sex whilst in a relationship and 20 percent during casual heterosexual sex.

  • HIV prevalence is higher amongst specific groups and tends to differ according to location, gender and age.
  • Various studies have revealed high HIV prevalence amongst a number of key affected groups, including sex workers, injecting drug users (IDUs), men who have sex with men (MSM), truck drivers and cross-border mobile populations.

Some of these groups are marginalised within society – for example, homosexuality is illegal in Kenya and punishable by up to 14 years in prison. Therefore these groups are difficult to reach with HIV prevention, treatment and care, and the extent to which HIV is affecting these groups has not been fully explored. Up to 33% of new infections in 2008 were within these ‘most at risk populations’

  • In 2008, an estimated 3.8 percent of new HIV infections were among IDUs and in the capital, Nairobi, 5.8 percent of new infections were among IDUs.

Laws prohibiting harm reduction services, such as needle and syringe exchanges, significantly hinder the prevention of new infections among IDUs.27 HIV infections are easily prevented in healthcare settings, nevertheless, 2.5 percent of new HIV infections occurred in health facilities during 2008 in Kenya.

  • Women are disproportionally affected by HIV. In 2008/09 HIV prevalence among women was twice as high as that for men at 8% and 4.3% respectively.

This disparity is even greater in young women aged 15-24 who are four times more likely to become infected with HIV than men of the same age.

Kenyan women experience high rates of violent sexual contact, which is thought to contribute to the higher prevalence of HIV. In a 2003 nationwide survey, almost half of women reported having experienced violence and one in four women aged between 12 and 24 had lost their virginity by force

  • Adult HIV prevalence is greater in urban areas (8.4 percent) than rural areas (6.7 percent) of Kenya. However, as around 75 percent of people in Kenya live in rural areas, the total number of people living with HIV is higher in rural settings (1 million adults) than urban settings (0.4 million adults)

Source: http://www.avert.org/hiv-aids-kenya.htm

N/B:

Those statistics were as of 2008/2009.

Imagine how the situation is at this moment.

I did a random survey in a mat this morning, asking how many people riding with me to town had ever had an HIV test done.

I was sitted just behind the “kange’s”seat.

Keep in mind that the mat was full.

I managed to talk to the “kange”, the guy behind me, the passengers sitted on the double seats across from me and two guys alighting the mat, and with the Kenyan spirit of “udaku”, the answers chorused around me in the mat.

Out of 14, only 5 had “I have been tested” answers.

Now spread that out across all the mats in the traffic on Msa road at 7.45 AM at the Nyayo round-a-bout inter-section this morning.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT.