Well. My dear reader. It’s been quite the year. I can say both positive and negative. First I never thought that I’d one day graduate and secondly, I never expected life to be as strenuous as it is. I guess nobody prepares you for what’s ahead.
My silence has been due to the fact that I’ve been trying to find myself amidst the chaos. The drama from home, life, love, and cents. Worse off life is moving at its own pace. Not the way I expected it to be. With all that, pouring my thoughts to you my reader became a huddle. But guess what, something inside of me irks to inspire you. To give out my beautifully crafted thoughts. I know you have missed me and here I am.
Although a lot has been overwhelming, I can say it has also taught me valuable gems that I think are worthy of sharing. Sometimes you might expect those that are closest to you to be the source of happiness yet they end up being the ones inflicting pain. What do you do? I have learned the hard way just like Konshens sings: “seek not the approval of a man or a woman, Mankind here today, tomorrow they are gone.” Or like Gloria Muliro: “If God was asking human beings how we ought to behave, then I’d not be the way I am and still I’d not be where I am”
There is also societal expectation. Se out expiry dates. Ages to get married, finish school, what jobs to do and where to call home. And if you are not careful enough you will feel frustrated if you don’t fit into this. You will be a wild goose chaser on things that are unattainable.
There is also shame and guilt. You feel bad for making mistakes. People leaving you. Having to start again. This is because we grew up knowing that failure is bad and if you got a D in math, then you don’t know how to count. Well, what if you didn’t understand the questions? or you were sick? Or you are good at something else not necessarily math?
Well, that is our society and what it has been teaching me. I hope the short nuggets will inspire you to see that despite what you are going through, everything will be okay. Like 2 Pac told us: “But please don’t cry, dry your eyes, never let up. Keep ya head up, ooh, child, things are gonna get easier Keep-keep ya head up, ooh, child, things’ll get brighter”
Yes, I’m back. I know my dear reader that you have been asking where I went but here I am. I had taken a small break first because I wanted to figure out what is next in my life. How do I move from where I am to the next position? Secondly, I was going through a lot both mentally and emotionally. And as a creative, if not in the right frame, it’s hard to churn out ideas to the world. Thirdly, I’ve been thinking about how do I grow my brand from just a write-up to something that can transform people’s lives. Soon much more will come from through the mask. Even a podcast/vlog.
Thank you for your patience. To today’s topic. Actually, it coincides with what is happening in Kenya. The general elections and the anxiety that has arisen. Everyone wants to know who is the president. Why is it taking long before they announce? is there a plan to rig the elections?
Well, I don’t think so. We live in a society where everything is instant so much so when something takes a while to appear, we get frustrated. When you want coffee, place your cup in the coffee maker, when you want warm food, place it in the microwave. If you want food, order and Jumia will deliver to your doorstep. Want your favorite whiskey or wine, order and dial a delivery will do the job.
Even our favorite celebrities are endorsing this. Recently I heard some talk about cooking. How they despise the whole process, they’d rather order than cook. “We cook when we want to and doing the dishes, is a whole lot of process.” But when they are hungry, do they eat when they want to or because they have to? Questions to ponder on.
We have reached a level where so many of us despise patience and putting effort in that we now have instant standards. For example in dating. If a man doesn’t treat a lady, take her out then there is no need for being together. A certain meme read that if he doesn’t know your waist size and shoe size, leave him. People don’t want to work hard for what they want because it will take time rather they put pressure on instantaneity. Same case for men. You want to meet someone today, go out the next boom you’ve had intimacy, and in a month or two call each other lovers. Well, it doesn’t work like that. You don’t even know them. How can someone be your girlfriend yet you’ve only known them when they are happy? do you know what ticks them off? what fears do they have? what’s their favorite drink? I guess stick to Steve Harvey’s 90-day rule of sex.
As instant as we want things, let’s remember that good things take time to arrive. It takes a lot of digging for miners before they can get gold but it’s easier to mine brass and silver. On the weighing scale, gold costs more than silver. Cheating your way to a job seems easy than putting in the hard work but the hard work pays off because you will have gained experience. You will know what to do when a crisis occurs.
In 2017 when we rushed the electioneering process, what arose was too many abnormalities and inconsistencies that put the country on the brink of chaos. The courts ruled that there was no transparency and the affected parties took to demonstrations once the grievances were not met. Now in 2022, the process looks slow but it leaves no room for anyone to rumble. And that’s how to live life. Rather take the long road and just like Mandela, the 27 years will pay off. Adios, my reader!
I’m usually amazed each time we reach the election cycles in any country. Because it’s usually the time politicians come up with slogans and promises of what they’ll do for us and then end up on not doing them. For example the talk of corruption. Five years ago it was going to be “dealt with” and five years later were still dealing with it. One wonders, are we really moving forward?
Don’t worry my reader. I’m not talking about politics. It’s a comparison I’m making. You see, life is like that sometimes. If you keep doing things the same way, don’t expect different results. Like going to the gym. If you lift weights the wrong way, no matter how much time you spend there, you’ll definitely not see results. Why? Wrong technique.
Same case to other areas of life. If you want to be financially free and still are spending money up hazardly, you’ll definitely never save a dime. Why? You don’t know how to manage your finances. I remember when I was in primary school and my teacher used to tell me no matter how long you study but your attitude towards the subject is bad, you’ll definitely never get good grades.
Which is something that has stuck with me till now. I never loved math but when I came to campus and changed my attitude, it has come to be one of my favorite subjects. Actually boosting my grades. My dear reader as I finish, I urge you to have a different outlook towards issues in life. Think about them differently and apply new techniques to solve them.
Like an addiction. You can never stop a behavior by doing things the same way. If you’re a drinking addict, look for the reasons why and change your patterns. If you’re used to drinking after work, why not use the same time to go to the gym? Or reading books? Adios till next time 🤗
Have you ever realized when your angry at someone it’s easier to bash them out rather than to resolve the problem? You notice the mistake but you don’t notice the solution to fixing it. Sometimes that’s how life is. Words like: “you failed me” “you’re not perfect” are easier to say than “sorry” “let’s fix it”
Why you may ask? Because we live in a world where perfection is praised, hours are spent on ensuring things run meticulously that when one thing goes wrong, we feel we are taken back. Especially for us in media. One mistake in a link delays the whole program.
But then again, if we strive for perfection we miss the bits of life. Because no individual is perfect. The only perfect being we know of is the one watching the celestial world. He/she alone is the one blameless. And trying to equate your lover on the same level with God, you will be utterly disappointed.
A human being will fail you, will disappoint you. They will definitely not be able to meet your standards. And trying to make someone meet standards, is like trying to break a wall with your bare knuckles. Eventually you’ll get hurt. Standards are also the causes of imperfection in any relationship.
Why not try to let the other person be themselves? Give them a space where they can fail and allow them to do so. If they spill milk on the floor instead of complaining about it, help them clean it and let them learn that pouring it down isn’t good. Also, be human enough to whisper words such as “It’s okay” “I’m sorry” “let’s fix this” because through this words, we affirm to the other person that we hold them dearly and we are ready to work with them. Forgive them and show we value their presence.
I love going to the gym and I think that’s one of those things I do without anyone forcing me to. Reason being is I enjoy the company of those I work out with and two I want by the time I am 60 or 70 to be in the best shape possible. I don’t want to be a grandfather who cannot play with my grandchildren.
Yes. Those are my reasons for working out. I don’t know yours and I don’t know if you actually work out. Do you? we’ll that’s a personal question to answer. For today I’m talking about the mental gym. And this being the mental health month, I believe it’s a right topic for the right time.
So many of us spend much of our time behind a mirror applying makeup or at the mall buying the most expensive clothes yet our inner selves are stained and require cleaning. You can have the most expensive watch in the world but don’t know how to plan for having quality time with your loved ones. Or you can have the latest Fenty lipstick applied on your lips but what you utter is much more foul than the color.
For what reason are we like this? I think it’s due to the fact that no one talks to us about our inner selves. When you’re in school a teacher is concerned with how many marks you get in a test and not why you are sullen and sad. That to him/her is “laziness”. And if you grow up in such a system, you end up a broken adult.
You start hearing of high suicide rates, high spouse murders and high drug use. Which shouldn’t be the case. But on the other hand, you may ask me: “How do we resolve this issues?” First and foremost the basic thing we need to do is to train people to understand themselves.
Who are you and why do you act the way you are? if you are an introvert or extrovert, what are your characteristics. If you are an INFJ or INFT or EXFT. Secondly let us train people to speak up. Have mechanisms of sharing, complaining and being heard. Because we bottle down our emotions and once they blow up, disaster looms. And lastly let’s learn to take care of ourselves. Think of you first because you can’t be of service if you are bleeding. With that, the mental gym in our brains will be wired to face life’s atrocities
Since technology started changing the world (from the discovery of air transport), the global outlook drastically changed. We started experiencing the film, playing records, and listening to the radio which for long has served as a companion. Then came mobile phones and then the rise of the internet. This has not only revolutionized the way we communicate, but it has also transformed how we live.
For the last I would say 15 to 20 years, there has been a rise of internet speakers who have tapped into the undeniable need of healing a broken society. A society that is hurting so much that they cry to them. People like Andrew Kibe, Amerix, Caroline Mutoko, Over 25 (crew), Huddah, and many more. They have understood that society is bleeding and know what to offer. That is why it is easy for Amerix to amass a large following to the extent people are living their lives on his terms. Whatever he says, becomes their mantra.
I’m not a critique of their work. I appreciate what they do. What I am trying to put out is why do we have to treat symptoms instead of the sickness? You might tell a 25-year-old girl not to have sex (funga duka) but you have not addressed the story of sexuality. Why does she need to abstain? Is sex good or bad? What are sexually transmitted diseases? She will be treating the symptom that men are only satisfied with sex and that she has more power in a relationship because she controls sex. Yet at the same time companionship (courting) has been proven to be the key to building a strong relationship. Even recorded in the bible: “In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife, loves himself.” (Eph 5:28)
As recent events have transpired, they have got me thinking. We so much ignore treating the disease till it becomes late that’s when we look into the issue. It took a lot of people to commit suicide and governments worldwide started taking the matter seriously. Introduction of shorter working hours, laws prohibiting work-related conversations outside the office, and taskforces created (such as that in Kenya) to deal with mental health. And still, we are not addressing the issue. Especially here home Kenya.
A task force might say the reason for high depression cases is drug use but they have not addressed the reason why people use the drugs while they are depressed. Or instead of talking to people while they are adults, we should start talking to them when they are young. Start addressing these issues early enough so that a man or woman when they are 33 or 45 doesn’t have to run to YouTube for advice. They will have known how to cope with issues.
The basic places for nurturing are usually at home, at school, and at a religious institution (a church, mosque, or temple). And mostly these is the same places that are failing to offer support. Most parents when their child cries the first thing they think of is how to get the child to stop crying and nowadays is handing their phones for them to play games. “Shika unyamaze” (catch to stop crying). In school grades and how well a student is doing is the most emphasized thing and if a child excels more in soccer than math, it is soccer that is pulling him/her behind. In religious institutions, the devil has possessed the individual.
Instead of the parents understanding why the child is crying or what is causing them to cry, they are quick to calm the wail. The same to the school and the church. The child grows up knowing that for him/her to be “successful”, he/she must be book equipped. Which later leads to a broken society that is finding itself through over 25 episodes.
Yes, let us have more people who are like Amerix that have realized the problem in our society and are trying to fix it than people who seat and are cosmetic about the issues. Learn from them and start nurturing the next generation from inception. Correct where you went wrong and fix the broken society. Because as they say in Swahili: “Mtoto umleavyo ndivyo akuavyo” (How you raise a child is how they become)
Have you ever walked and got lost then you found your way? That good feeling. Or walking at night and coming across a place with light? Well, thats the idea of my article today. Finding yourself. Often, you will be caught up in life till things make you forget about who you are.
Doing things the same way gets you the same results. This can frustrate till you one day squeal: “Life is hard”. Is it? Yes but I believe it can be made simpler. Not by seating down but by finding yourself.
Then again, you may ask: “What is finding yourself? Who am I? Where do I want to be?” If this questions keep lingering in your mind, then you are on a journey to discovery. Because finding yourself is a journey with no formula but a Genesis. A speaker might give you ten keys to success but never keys to your own sucess. The fact is that my life’s journey cannot the same as that of my friends. Reason being we are all uniquely built.
And all you need is that one moment of realization. Currently, I’m reading the Tina Turner biography and in that book she details that it had to reach the point that she could stand up to Ike’s abuse that she finally got free. If she didn’t do so would she be free? The same to Jay Z. He details in his own book (Decoded) that after the murder charge he got it’s what pushed him to change his life. Same to Gucci mane who says (in his book) that it took him to almost loose everything and especially the person he loved that he had to change. The Gucci mane of 2007 is different from that of 2022. Much masculine and sharper in thinking.
Even though you get to that one moment of realization, you need to think of how far you have come and what you have lost and where you want to be. Tina looked at her life and all she had lost and realized that she is wasting time and years don’t go backwards. That pushed her. You might be putting up with someone in a relationship yet it is draining you much. Holding you back from your destiny and the love you deserve. Like Nipsey Hussle. 50 cent in his book (Hustle hard, hustle smarter) pens down how if not being around the same place as he started, Nipsey would have been alive. He stayed too long inert at the hood.
Get off that abusive relationship. Get rid of that friend who is pulling you back. Stagnant and never plans for his/her future. Like Jenifer Lopez and Diddy. If she didn’t leave Diddy, we wouldn’t have the successful JLO we do know.
Not saying that Diddy is a bad man rather I’m pointing on the direction JLO wanted to take. Or Kim Kardashian waking away from Kanye west. She put up with a lot that drained her energy. But when she realized what she had lost, she decided enough is enough. To you my reader, when is your enough? How much more do you think you can put up with?
As the corona pandemic fades away, so does a new dawn start. It seemed impossible to reach a point where we would walk mask free. The last two years have really taken a toll on the world.
But then again, that’s how the world works. Full of different seasons. One bright, another gloomy. Hence weather cycles: winter, summer, autumn and spring. If it’s summer we wear freely. If it’s winter, we keep warm. We know when to plant and harvest.
Though when it comes to our daily human life, we skip this seasons. When you are down, you feel as if you will never get up. And when you’re up, you feel as if the world revolves around you. Forgetting things do change. As lucky dube once sang: “Be good to the people on your way up the ladder, you’ll meet them on your way down”.
And no one is in control of fate. You might have a large sum of money in your account and suddenly the stock market crashes. Or you fall ill and need money for treatment? What do you do? We’ll that you have to answer alone. But then again, as the title suggests (new dawn). A time to start, be great and chase your dreams. I remember when Covid started, almost all media and news reports were negative so much so that some suggested that “we’ll never be able to go back to how life was.”
But here we are. Mask free? Were they right? I don’t think so. And that should serve as a lesson to you my dear reader. Sometimes situations, life and people may put you down but it doesn’t mean you can’t get back up. Just because you are struggling doesn’t mean one day you’ll never be successful. Or because you live in a shanty town you can’t own a house. Embrace the struggle and know that joy comes in the morning.
Have you ever asked yourself why you do things the way you do? or subconsciously you just do them? Let’s take the example of religion. Do you go to church or the mosque because you want to go or do you go because you grew up going to the madrasa? Do you have a personal relationship with God? do you read the bible? well, that’s food for thought.
Most of us do things without ever having an “I” imprint in them, following blindly. We go to work (because we have to pay bills), have to get kids, and married by a certain age (because that’s how my parents and uncles told me). Without ever truly being ourselves. There is always a driving force that is behind us. Not disputing guidance but then, if you rely on others to be you, then at what point do you express yourself? Can’t you say that you are not prepared to get married and you want to keep searching till you find your partner? when prepared? people will be angry but in the end, you will have lived your truth.
I like what Big Ted said recently in his CTA (Cleaning The Airvawes) episode. He said despite his father being a bishop, his personal relationship with God has nothing to do with him. It’s all about him. His experiences and what God has done for him in his life, have made him strong in faith. Well, are there any more Big Ted’s in our society? I believe so and for things to change, we first need to analyze the past, what worked and didn’t so that we know what needs to be left and what needs to be kept. When a society is consciously aware, individuals are personally improved.
There are four vital things that I believe need to be addressed. First, it’s sex, second alcoholism, third education, and fourth success. Let us begin with sex. For so long sex (esp in the African setting and black American setting) has been viewed as a taboo and a topic of rare conversation. Most of us growing up viewed sex either as a “gift during marriage” or that “sex before marriage being a sin.” But has anyone ever told you why it is a sin? No. That’s why the highest number of sex, sexual workers, and sex-related complications in America is prevalent among the black community. And one of the biggest flaws of Mr. Mandela’s government was the HIV epidemic. Not because he couldn’t tackle it, but because his government refused to speak about it.
The second is alcoholism. In most cases, most of us growing up have either looked at alcohol as a “bad thing” or “something that is consumed by those who are smart in our society.” Either because our parents drank it or because we saw it as a cool thing from our favorite movies. But no one tells you of its dangers. No one tells you of responsible drinking. And I remember last year a government official telling me that the highest number of drinkers in Kenya are aged between 18 -40. She was worried because Kenya’s population is made up of the youth and if the youth are wasting themselves, then who will build the future?
The third is education. Growing up I remember the four main careers that seemed “successful” were law, medicine, engineering, and architecture. You had to aspire to be one of those. And extracurricular activities were seen as of “no importance” value and if you dared say you wanted to be a musician, you were seen as a bad person. And fourth success. Success in our society from time immemorial has always been viewed on the lens of money, prestige and status. The more money you have, the more successful you are thought to be. But again, we forget that money comes and goes away. What if today you get bankrupt or you get fired? Does it mean you become unsuccessful?
Like Obama writes in his book “Dreams from my father”. Where he says that at one point his father got so broke that he sent his sister (Auma) to buy him cigarettes with no money but a mere word “tell him you’re Obama’s daughter. The one who helped shape Kenya’s government.” She did so and the shopkeeper replied saying with no money, no cigarettes. Auma then had to work and look for money and went back home with the packet. Her father Obama SNR thought it was his name that worked magic but it wasn’t. Auma didn’t want to disappoint her father.
It’s saddening. But I am a firm believer in change. That things can be better. We just need to put the best foot foward and start the journey. Let’s start by talking. Having honest and truthful conversations. For example on sex. Let’s teach children and young adults about it. Let them know why it is dangerous to engage in immoral sexual behaviors. Tell them about things such as sexual transmitted diseases. Teach them when they get married sex shouldn’t be a relationship control tool but a bonding tool. Let them know that sex isn’t just about the physical touch but there’s much more than that. Like children. How many does a couple want and how many can you manage to raise?
Or on alcoholism. Teach people especially teens and the youth on it. Teach them on vices such as drunk driving, substance addiction, irresponsible spending and lifestyle diseases. I was recently watching a program on TV (Citizen in the morning 16/3/2022) and they were discussing about hypertension and heart diseases. And the most prevalent cause of the above conditions they mentioned was the lifestyle an individual is living. What you eat and put in your body. If you consume large amounts of alcohol, chances are you are susceptible to such kind of diseases. And it is eating away a whole lot of people.
Let’s start making the changes so that we can have a better tomorrow. Where people will be fully satisfied with the work they do despite the position they hold and where people will be much open to discuss issues such as education and sex so that we can save our generation.
In the last 20 years, the number of mental health cases in the world have risen and 3/4 of those come from men. Shocked? Well you shouldn’t be. Men are the most affected and the least to speak about mental health. It’s actually a taboo to cry as a man. I wonder who came up with such rules? 🤷
And just recently the Ricky Rick story got me thinking. How many more gents must die before we realize that there’s a problem? How many? I think it’s high time we act. Not just seating on the sidelines as we watch men suffer. Let’s stand up and fight this thing.
First and foremost teachings given to men from childhood should change. If a boy is hurt at home he is told: “not to cry and carry the pain”. Thus when he grows up he will ultimately know that pain is a good thing. Room for vulnerability is shut as pain is seen as the “manly thing”. Secondly it’s the structure of our society. That men should always be the leaders and women to follow. Yes it’s a good thing to lead but if all the time you are on the drivers seat, when do you have time to be chauffered and enjoy the ride?
Then come to social wiring. Let’s take a bar scenario. And this is a research I’ve carried out and observed for the last 7 – 8 years. (As a good journalist 😉) Two tables. One with approximately 6 – 10 women and the other with the same number of men. The table of men the discussions will be about politics (like the current Ukraine – Russia tension), football, business, women and sex. Then the table with ladies will be deep talk. If one shares about how her business is running, the rest will be curious to know how they can help. And a lady won’t feel ashamed to share with her “girlfriends” if she has marital problems. By the time a lady leaves the bar she is feeling lighter as a load is taken off her back. And surprisingly the table with men will be the one that has more alcohol consumption.
That’s why it’s easier for a man to come home from a bar and beat his wife/ children while the wife will come home straight to bed or have a small chat. Because she has relieved the tension within her. How I wish we borrowed that leaf from our counterparts. The thing about opening up and allowing yourself to be vulnerable. It doesn’t reduce your manliness by saying I’m weak. Actually it strengthens you because you will be able to tackle the stumbling block. Like when we were kids. If you were weak at a certain subject, you took remedial classes to be able to sharpen your skills. The teacher gave you their ears and took a keen interest at you.
When the test came you scored better grades. And lastly to my fellow men, saying I’m weak doesn’t mean you’re no longer a man. It means your a better man because you have finally recognized what ails you. You will be a stronger man by the time you finish the therapy sessions. Don’t wait till it’s too late. And if you see your fellow man is down, pick him up and help him walk. For we rise by lifting others 🏋️♂️