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Universal emotions and experiences, like love, hate, pain, happiness … rejection. As long as you have experienced any living in this life you have gone through rejecting and being rejected. Its like one of the engines that turns the wheels of life. Whether from a job, family, a loved one, school..It is sharp and distinct, especially if you are the recipient of the rejection. Like a stab by a thorn on your foot or the bite of a snake, you know the pain has arrived and something in your system prepares for the real pain. The one you always know is coming the moment a conversation becomes real and alive, which occurs when a spark of trust shorts out the delicate circuits you keep insulated under layers of irony, momentarily grounding the static emotional charge you’ve built up through decades of friction with the world.

And most people avoid talking about their rejection because we have labeled it ugly. Something to be ashamed of. Something that is not worth talking about because other people are unable to relate to your experience, whether because of pity, envy or simple foreignness. There is a beauty to that because the experience will drift from your life as a result of your lack of acknowledgement, until the memory itself feels out of place, no longer having a place to land in your soul…I guess that is how you heal.

“He was a big deal, he had power. He made me feel safe…at first. Like nothing bad could happen to me because I was under his protection. why do we do any of the messed up things that we do and tell ourselves that its okay? Who we think we are and who we turn out to be…are they ever the same? The best we can hope for is another day to try and get it right…rejection…no matter its ugliness, gives us this chance”

Rejection is also a state of exhaustion inspired by an act of senseless violence, which forces you to revise your image of what can happen in this world, mending the fences of your expectations, weeding out invasive truths, cultivating the perennial good that’s buried under the surface, before propping yourself up in the middle of it like an old scarecrow, who’s bursting at the seams but powerless to do anything but stand there and watch. Because you can’t change another human’s thoughts. You just have to accept it. At that moment it feels like your life is flashing before your eyes, but its actually the opposite, you’re thinking forward, to all the things you haven’t done, the places you intent to visit, the goals you’ll get around to…to all the “could-have-beens”. And you can wish all you want, because life is a game of chance. And each passing day is another flip of the coin. Who can blame you for wanting to be there when it lands?



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I’ve been jostling around for days with the notion of writing a poem about life. Because life is kind of like poetry. There is an imbalance about it that always makes it imperfect. Yet the same imbalance is so distinct and pure…it ends up being perfect. People are grappling everyday with how we came to have life. Whether it is believing in a higher power…or science itself that is just so fascinating, there is a story about how our lives came to be…our lives.

I once read somewhere that ‘”More than 7 billion people experienced today differently. Can you Imagine 7 billion different days for yourself if you could even live them to begin with. Isn’t that just imperfectly perfect. It’s daunting to say the least. And those 7 billion different days happen every single day…All at once. It’s precious yet so fragile. We are in the world where we learn that in some years to come, there will be nothing left of us. How can this unrepeatable miracle ever go away…

But in as much as we sometimes need a pause to think about the direction we are taking, more often than not it has a mind of its own. And it goes faster or slower than you expect. And it makes you doubt its magic. Our guts are from life itself, which is all about hunches and taking chances.

Life is long and life is short. But not in that order. When we are born, we are put in little boxes and labels are slapped on them. But if we begin to notice these categories no longer fit us, maybe it will mean that we’ve finally arrived, just unpacking the boxes, making ourselves at home…Living.



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So I’m kind of late reading this book. But life would be boring if we were always on time, on schedule, on point. The missed moments are the ones that make it so amazing. As long as you still do it. You cant fake it till you make it forever, something has to give. Okay, I’m digressing!

Anyway, so I read this book in less than 24hrs. I’m seriously not kidding AT ALL! I couldn’t put it down, okay close the pdf reader on my pc. It’s a great book. I’m even tempted not to say anything about it so that you just go read it for yourself. I think great African authors are the coolest because they capture the African spirit beautifully. A line in the book actually says…”a good book to you is one you can feel” I definitely felt it. Because this young new blood of Yaa Gyasi transported me in this book to two centuries ago, and I came full circle at the last line (PS: I’m totally rooting for a sequel in like another 200 years because it felt…unfinished…a good kind of unfinished though. And that it is just her first book makes me think that there is more from this talented author that is just as good as our beloved Chimamanda

Speaking of Chimamanda, its a lot like half of a yellow sun but it begins from the beginning, from way back in the 1700s. (Also have you read her new writing on the Complete Guide to Raising A Feminist?…read it here. And the beauty about it is that it is fast-paced and in no time you have crossed oceans, colonialism has become past tense (Did it really end?…Okay that’s a whole new discussion for later) and technology is brought to life in the book.

So the book is arranged into chapters that tell the story of the lineage of this family and how the different paths each of the members of this “cursed” (I know!!!!) family have each led have somehow brought them back home. If you are looking for a book that speaks about African heritage and culture, the role of history, colonialism, women in society, slavery, drug abuse, parent-children relationships etc…then you are in for a lovely treat.

I can’t say anymore because the book is only 200 pages (Just 200 only:-)) and I understand why Text Book Center chose it as their book of the month for September. It’s a gem and I’ll even avoid giving snippets of phrases in the book like I always do with my other book reviews just to let y’all enjoy it that much more. If you want a copy just write your email in the comments section and I will get it to you! or get a hard copy from a bookshop for I think Ksh 1000 or 10 USD, equivalent.

PS: Someone asked me “Kwani all the books you read are nice because you don’t say bad things in your book reviews” Well two things. First, I don’t write reviews of everything I read, just the ones that truly truly stand out. Plus I read a lot. It would be bad to subject you to books that I myself did not enjoy and even worse to technical stuff that I read more often than not like IAS, IFRS, CFA or CPA. Secondly, I don’t think anyone can say that a book is bad. That is really unfair to the person who wrote it. They put their life’s work into it and I know how hard it is to come up with a paragraph let alone a 500 page novel and for that, I have deep respect for writers. I will probably not agree with one or two things based on my opinion but I don’t go as far as saying a book was a waste of my time. I believe everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t and that keeps me open-minded to learning from anything…and everything…even a not-so-cuddly book

Happy reading!🙂

Of Perfect Imperfections and Worldly Anxieties


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Being a writer is an exercise that many who go by this title grapple with everyday. There are those who do it as their day job, the one that puts the food on the table yet there are those that write to fill up what they call hobby time. I am the latter. Because I don’t believe we were created to be one single thing. Versatility is the pump of my heart. Whatever kind you are, at the end of the day, we know, us writers, artists, that to not write is synonymous to hiding a piece of you and being ashamed of it. Of its ability to not only transform you but the world. Writers can’t not write, just like chefs can’t not cook, singers can’t not sing and painters can’t not paint. It’s the one thing we all have in common. That itch that never leaves you no matter how much you scratch, only leaving a stinging mark of a blister urging you to put a band aid on it…the band aid of the art that is you.
But then despite all this passion that wells up in you to just pour out your heart’s and mind’s glory on pen and paper or on your device, it is also difficult to come to terms with how much of yourself you are willing to share with the world or yourself. Even writing in your own diary where only your eyes see is a form of vulnerability. Because you are always standing on the outside looking in. Judging that beautiful garden that with good light looks spectacular but on a gloomy day you can’t bear to look at because it is not a sight for sore eyes. You’re always wondering if what you are writing will make an impact if any to anyone. Sometimes forgetting that in sharing your imperfections there is someone who will feel a code strike within them and hit the like button or share because they have felt a kinship with the silkiness of your prose.
My brother used to write poetry once. Growing up I always knew he had a deep soul and I would sneak some of his art on my blog until I got the courage to one day ask for his permission. He shared them on his Facebook but somehow alienated himself from his work, as if he thought it wasn’t good enough. As if his pride would not let him share with the world his imperfections. But there is beauty in the struggle and the roughness. Any art is always unfinished. And if we never allowed ourselves to share it, how would we bless the world, how did the many quotes we often chant and live by come to be gospel truths, the authors surely did not know that they would be quoted with such reverence years after their death, they just confidently stood by what they did and what they said. UN-afraid of the judgement the world is always so quick to throw.
There is also the fear that comes with the imperfection, the fear that someone else could have expressed a certain thought process better than you. There are times I have held back on writing certain things. Being someone who reads a lot and has friends who read AND write a lot, I am faced with the all too common moments of appreciating other people’s work, great or unknown. Seeing the way the words roll so effortless in my tongue and I’m genuinely impressed then the feeling of inadequacy sets in. How can you compete? At the end of the day, all artists cut themselves some slack. All individuals should cut themselves slack, not set too high standards, accept their space and own it, revel in their achievements however big or small, forget the anxieties, pat themselves on the back and accept their perfect imperfections. Maybe that will help in explaining the long sabbaticals I take with my blog, strangers on this new world we call the internet have come to show me that my literature has space it has already carved out for itself in the world and silencing it would be doing a disservice to it and myself. Isn’t that what all bloggers tell themselves? I wouldn’t know.



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I didn’t know if I had the strength to forge on. My life felt like it was falling apart on multiple fronts and the fact that I had to put up a brave face every day to the world made the situation even worse. My therapist had just told me it was the anxiety of the unknown, that everyone went through it and it would go away with time. But I had been feeling like this for more than six months. I know Dr. Riziki had a point, but did he really, truly understand the despair I was going through?I had resisted entertaining any thoughts that I was depressed and suicidal. That was never me and was never going to be me. Now I sat at the Jomo Kenyatta airport terminal waiting for my flight. Dr. Riziki had recommended a trip to somewhere I had never been so that I could get a new lease on life. Said the best therapy is to get a fresh perspective. It would certainly help to do something new and maybe try out the new camera I had just bought and not got round to using because I had stopped going out. So here I was, feeling the anxiety clawing at my skin, threatening to escape and disintegrate me into a million pieces. I clearly knew what was ailing me. The frustration of being stuck here, in the now, in this one body of mine that could only inhabit one place at a time. The smallness of it all. The airport was full of the other travelers hurling suitcases, alighting from wherever they had come from, places with strange names and strange cultures, all just representing one more thing I would never get to see before I died. My problem was inadequacy, because the arrow on the map was so ‘helpfully’ pointing out that I was here, and that was it.

I got on the flight and hoped that when I came back I would feel a bit better about the quarter life crisis I was going through and maybe even have a plan. It was about time I started being positive before I had to deal with friends and family telling me that she was displaying all these ‘white people problems’. As if depression was meant for a certain skin color. Another thing that made me believe in the increasing shallowness of the human mind. I did not want my mother to start with the “Anita you have a good life, Anita you take for granted all the blessings in your life, Anita you are not sick”. The last time had got very heated and they both said some things they wish they could take back. But don’t we all take for granted that life moves forward and you move as you do when rowing a boat, facing backwards. You can see where you have been but not where you are going. And your boat is always steered by a younger version of you. Its hard not to wonder what life would be like  facing the other way. Maybe I wouldn’t feel so stuck. When I come back I’ll talk to mum and make things right.

I settle in my seat and decides I will just sleep through the journey. “Nothing to see but clouds anyway”, muttering under my breathe. A lady who looks my age sits next to me and says hi with such happiness that for a second I am taken aback. “What is she so happy about?” I almost snaps at her, a habit I am finding hard to knock off and which is not getting me any favors with the world.
“I’m Jacky, first time to Victoria falls? I’ve been there once and I just have to take pictures of the waterfall again. Too magical”

She is definitely in a bubble of happiness and its somewhat infectious were it not for the fact that I am a sour sport. So instead of being gracious and polite and telling her my name I blurt out, “Don’t you think there is frustration in photographing something amazing when clearly thousands of identical photos already exist. The same sunset, the same close-up of an eye, the same sky… the same waterfall. Doesn’t it just turn a unique subject into something hollow and pulpy and cheap? Like a mass production of furniture you happen to have assembled yourself?”

“It can’t be that bad, there is beauty in everything because you saw it through your eyes. What do you do for a living?” I tell her I’m a construction engineer and she looks very impressed(They always are when you do a predominantly male job)

I sense Jacky is something alien, because she just smiles and this perplexes me the more. We both settle in our seats and have a silent flight with the occasional announcements and refreshments breaking the ice. The plane lands in Lusaka, Zambia and at the baggage claim, Jacky turns to me and says something that sticks for a while, “care less about things, loosen your grip on life and stop over analyzing and glancing behind every few steps afraid someone will snatch it from you before you reach the end zone. Hold it loosely and playfully, like a volleyball, keeping it in the air, bouncing freely in the hands of trusted friends…That’s how you stay sane. Enjoy Zambia”

I am about to get angry at this girl who knows nothing about my life but then again, she has said something important. As I hail a cab, I am aware of the smallness of my perspective, by which I couldn’t possibly draw any meaningful conclusions at all, about the world or the past or the complexities of culture because although my life is not bad and I know I am an epic and unrepeatable anecdote, it still only has a sample size of one, and may end up being the control for a much wider experiment happening elsewhere. I know I need to chill out. Maybe this trip wasn’t so bad an idea. I’m already learning something and I haven’t even began the trip itself.

Book Review: The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

I need to candidly express my gratitude to TextBookCentre who never fail to make my heart and other book lovers’ heart leap with joy. So I’m going to buy myself a copy of book of the mo…

Source: Book Review: The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

Book Review: The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult


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I need to candidly express my gratitude to TextBookCentre who never fail to make my heart and other book lovers’ heart leap with joy. So I’m going to buy myself a copy of book of the month. (Let me digress for a minute. TBC have this amazing book club where people meet to discuss the book of the month. It has just started this year but it is something that’s picking up well. If you are interested in being part of the book club, knowing which books have been read so far or just catching up with like minded people, head on to Kenya National Theater every first Saturday of every month or check their Facebook Page page if you want to know more details. PS; its FREE). So where was I, yeah buying the book which I knew would be cheaper by 10% and you know how us Kenyans, I mean humans love discounts and sales. It was sold out! How could my luck be this bad. I had been dreaming about this book for a whole two weeks and smelling it and falling asleep while holding it and reading it on my bus ride home. I think the teller thought I was going to have a mini-heart attack and thankfully came to my rescue. They said they will order the book for me and would call me in two days. Phew! Then they gave me even better news, They had a sale to celebrate a year of that branch being open. Now, this is the equivalent of a sale of shoes, food, wine, chocolate, clothes, a trip! I left for the sale without thinking twice.

What a story that lead to me reading quite the interesting story. And Jodi Picoult can really weave a story of the human spirit. Humanity is what she does best. We already fell in love with her beautiful prose in My Sister’s Keeper so I knew this would be a wonderful ride. I love African stories but every once in a while I like knowing what happens on the other side of the world. What are the stories of other countries the way we have colonialism and independence. At the end of the day do we have histories that link us because of the emotions that carry within? I have very little knowledge of the Holocaust in Germany that led to the death of millions of Jews. Discrimination has not only happened in Africa, in Kenya, in Rwanda, in Pakistan, in Libya. It has also happened in Germany and I thought the books i had read about the Genocide in Rwanda were all the ugliness I would see about humanity but The Storyteller is an eye opener.

Basic Run-Down: Its about this old man who has met this young chic at a grief group(Like Alcoholics Anonymous). They become friends. Until he tells her that he is a murderer and tells her a story that changes everything (Is the suspense alive already? hehe)
Does war affect only those who live it or does it seep through into the future generations?
Is there something that the present world with all its problems can learn from history?
Just because we don’t ask for forgiveness, does it mean we don’t need it.
I hope this book entertains you as much as it did me. It has an all time twist at the end that you will not believe (I still don’t!). Its a story about love and war. Murder and mercy. Betrayal and forgiveness. A story that made me understand the Holocaust better than I ever would. This is a gripping story considering it was more than 500 pages and i finished it in two and a half days🙂

You can get it at TBC for Kshs350 (if the sale is not over I hope)
Love and Light till the next book🙂

Book Review:The Unfair Advantage by Robert Kiyosaki


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Monday, another week, another challenge, some good inspiration. And what better way to get some good inspiration than to read a good book. This Monday is as good as any to get yourself a book. A Monday book. Well, I have one that you won’t want to put down. Its simple but in its simplicity it teaches very good lessons.

Most people know Robert Kiyosaki for his other favorite book,”Rich Dad Poor Dad”, a very entertaining book about how to look at money. If you thought Rich Dad was quite the educator then Unfair Advantage is the best dessert. It came later and its a book that basically in a nutshell tells how to make money work for you. Its about taking advantage of the “unfair advantages” in society that not everyone is privy to.

Before I go on, we all want money. Some may be more open about it than others but the truth is that its the answer to a lot of material situations that we face and even emotional, social and mental situations we face. The only disadvantage to this is that with each upgrade you need more and more of it. But in such a scenario that is the reality of our lives isn’t it better to be in control by knowing how you can help yourself get more of it? A life worth living in fun definitely entails a glass of wine here, a fancy meal there, a nice vacation to see the world, a beautiful space to call home. It entails celebrating the good things you contribute to to the universe and treating yourself with whatever makes you feel happy.

I believe we should be taught a lot of things but schools miss out on a very important factor of life, a lesson that is for the ages no matter what career or path your life follows and that is the lesson of how money works and how to make it work for you. I found The Unfair Advantage very insightful because of agreeing with all these sentiments. Even the author says he knows this is a secret that most wealthy and successful people keep for themselves and he didn’t see the importance of the secret since there is enough to go round for everyone.

The book has five key unfair advantages that are pretty exhaustive:
1. Knowledge
2. Taxes
3. Debt
4. Risk
5. Compensation

Some good tidbits I picked up from the book:

“If a person has a solid financial education, they will not cling so tightly to job security, a steady paycheck and a pension. If a person knows the tax laws, they will not pay unnecessary taxes. If they understand the banking system, they will not save money. Rather than call their home an asset, they will know that it is a liability. If they understand inflation, they will not try to live below their means. Rather than get out of debt, they will learn how to use debt to gain wealth. And they will not turn over their money to bankers, financial planners and real estate agents in the hope of obtaining a secure retirement”

“We study hard so we can play Monopoly in real life”

“Your brain is your greatest asset. Your brain can also be your greatest liability”

“A true investor does well in any market condition”

“If you are a fool you will probably lose no matter what you invest in”

“Nothing is a good investment if you are a bad investor”

“I believe it is better to teach people to fish than to give them the fish”


I hope they inspire you to get the book. Kenya and the world over is in a great time. We are becoming more sophisticated in how the world interacts and because of this new opportunities keep coming up each day. Wouldn’t it be great if you have the necessary tools to help you be part of the movement of success? But despite how many unfair advantages you are presented with, being true and authentic to yourself will make making use of them all the more if you are a good investor. It doesn’t matter how good an investment is if you are not a good investor. Because at the end of the day its your good judgement calls that determines your success. Unfair advantages just give you the whole buffet of options. It’s a good motivation for the start of the week. You can get it from most “Inama” (Bend-over) bookshops in town😉 .

Dreams of the City


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You always see a different perspective when you are looking at something from the inside and the outside, the near and the far. It makes you see something you don’t normally consider in your day to day life. And even better when you re-have those perspectives. I used to imagine Nairobi in my head before I actually came here. And now it has become home…I see it everyday and it shows me all its facets. I hear so many stories of Nairobi having thugs and it feels funny to me because I’ve actually never once been robbed. Its an interesting place. That has its beautiful and its ugly. Its also the place where you can do anything. When Human of New York came to Kenya…I saw it captured in a beautiful light. No one tells you that you’ll get here and it will have  you having fun, and thinking and making yourself a better person. It also does show you that you’ll encounter hardships of being broke yet none of your friends will tell you they are…it’s and unspoken secret. You’ll make amazing friends in all the places you are lucky to work and even if you tarmac for a while…you’ll still make those amazing friends…to weather you through the hard times.

Its a great time we are living in where we can see our friends on social media having a good time even if we don’t normally meet. Because we are all trying to figure out this hell that gives us different devils to deal with. It gives you a break from family and make new families…of friendship and love. I got to experience Nairobi’s skyline from a distance and it looked majestic. It looked like a pile of concrete and you couldn’t see the people…and you imagined them in that concrete jungle. I figured for someone who had lived there all their life, they had those dreams they attached to that concrete jungle. A silhouette at best that looked both tempting and daunting. Maybe they long to one day come to “The Big Apple” or maybe they have no desire to. But we are all from different backgrounds here trying to make our great count. As a quote in a book I’m currently reading (will review it in a week, keep tuned) “this is your kingdom and your reign and at any moment the keys are with you and only you”

What was and is your dreams of the city?

Matatu Chronicles

She sat at the first seat. I had been behind her in the line as her older boyfriend kept her company. So many people go to upperhill…or rather to visit sick people in Kenyatta because there is always a line on that Citi Hoppa route. I wondered why the owner decide to give his business such a queer clandestine name. It’s like a grasshopper that never settles…always hopping and traipsing around in Nairobi. So this girl was really entertaining her guy. I assumed he was le boyfriend coz he kept leaning over probably to smell her long ass hair. She was quite the looker…freezing up in that line because she looked like she had had a night of debauchery and dint carry a change of clothes. So the Citi Hoppa gets here and on we hop and because I’m a sucker for following up stories I decided to sit nect to her. Why she chose the first seat baffles me considering her short dress. Everyone lighting the bus was met by her caramel toned thighs and she dint bat an eye. I loved her confidence. Immediately the bus left the waiting bay she calls her friend called Mwende and they launch into full on Kamba. I’m glad you can’t tell the Kamba on me otherwise she wouldn’t have said half the things she said as I sat there. I think she used it for anonymity in the full bus to give Mwende the juicy details of the night before. So I took out my book as I always do and pretended to read but my ears were all on her. I know….I know it wrong to listen in. But by Jove. I couldn’t help myself. I can’t even translate the things she told Mwende because as many know…mother tongues have a way of making such talk to border on obscene….especially Kamba…I would know. I left that bus thinking…poor guy probably in love to the point of waiting on her to go not knowing he is only good for the goodies he provides like the pink S-4 she was rocking


I really hate going for interviews in a matatu but what can you do when you are financially challenged? You squeeze up in the back seat coz you can’t wait for another mat as you will be late and the only seat left is the one at the back where because of your tallness you sit tilted. You console yourself that its better than the front middle seat which overheats your legs. Plus the awkwardness of getting in and out in your heels and tight fitting official skirt is too much as the top of your head knocks the roof of the matatu and ruins your perfectly combed hair. You are a bundle of nerves and this is not helping at all. The mat gets on its way and as you leave Moi avenue those bumps do more damage to your hair. Some professor looking character seated next to you exclaims at how “a matatu with no shock absorbers is dangerous”. I almost laugh at his ridiculous observation but then he is old and looks like he will cry from the pain of being thrown up and down. I’m so glad to get to my destination. That matatu was three seconds away from killing us on the road.


I got into a threesome a while back in a matatu. Before you jump and exclaim at my lewdness..let me explain. Travel for long distances is not a joke in a matatu. Even before you have left the CBD, your legs and ass are already cramped…probably from the anxiety of what awaits you. And eating before is usually the worst. My nausea comes to the helm and keeps threatening to break out of my poor mouth. But for the most part, you end up getting acquainted with your fellow passengers despite the fact that you dont even talk. It’s because of these huge ass touchscreen phones.  You don’t even have to struggle like when people carried around those huge brick like Motorolas and Ericssons that had a screen the size of a matchbox. Nowadays you see everything someone is doing on their device without even trying too hard. Just a tilt of the head or at night you read through the window. So if someone gets dumped the whole matatu joins in the dumping. So it was with all this new generation phone funfare that I witnessed this poor girl have a most disastrous journey home. The boyfriend kept asking why she went home and why she couldn’t spend Easter with him. I think he was being overly sensitive. A girl should be able to go see her family without being made to feel like she has committed treason. So she started off with very angry messages which seemed to only anger this guy more. Talk about stocking the fire. She finally had enough and put it on silent and into her bag from where she fished out a packet of tropical heat crisps. Thin girls get away with munching on anything and the waistline remains intact and no love handles hang about when you sit down (that is what I call blessings). I think she got bored again so she decides to take out her phone to scroll instagram or snapchat (these apps are too many to keep up with by the way!). The boyfriend had gone all dramatic. He apologised then got angry then dumped her…in 10texts and 15missed calls). Her whole mood changed. Suffice to say…she left the matatu a very sad confused girl


Matatu mugging is like a fad in Nairobi. Especially in good old Githurai. They watch you the minute the matatu stops to pick up passengers hoping you grip the phone a little less tightly then they move in for the kill. More often than not. The phone ends up in their hands. But there are some rare occasions where these muggers mess with the wrong ones. I once sat next to a man who was very small and looked like he was bullied in high school. You could smell the being a target on him from a mile away. He was on his phone from the minute he sat playing this candy crush game that never ends (what’s up with that? I want to get to the end and feel that sense of accomplishment but I’m stuck at level 219!) I was sure that phone was as good as gone. The matatu was just getting into town at Ngara. Some lad in sagging jeans thrust his hand in and attempted to take it but small guy was not having it. He poked the guy’s eyes! With his middle finger! The guy left screaming obscenities. That was a lesson in not judging a book by its cover

Book/Author Review: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


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So… my resident favourite author is in the news. Chimamanda is back! Relax now…another book is not yet here (but soon…very soon). She has been making waves since she spilled that she just gave birth to a girl and her troubles with depression during an interview on Lunch with the FT Both great news because she could sure bless the world with a mini-Chima(though its not a guarantee she will have her mother’s literary capabilities-we can always hope) and also that he coming out shows she is not above human realities and struggles. So I thought…what better time to urge you to get yourself one of her gems.

No one makes me both indecisive and alive, two emotions that should not go together, like Chimamanda. I’m at a level where I have read all her books, from the short stories in the thing around your neck to the stories spanning decades and continents in americanah, half of a yellow Sun and purple hibiscus. I can’t pick a favourite. She is that good. Very rarely do you find authors with such talent that any book you read, no matter what the genre or style, leaves you with longing and awe as to why the story is ending. I was afraid of writing book reviews about Chimamanda’s books as I thought…”hell. I don’t think I can do this woman justice”. But then, I can’t not encourage others to read these books…that’s why at the moment all my copies are on loan…its the first book I recommend my friends to loan from my library.

I read Americanah once a year. I think her books have some kind of raw honesty you don’t see everyday. Plus an author who understands sarcasm always stays winning. I first read purple hibiscus when I was on holiday in Voi and I just related to it page by page…it was full of punchlines on religion, hope, morality,  family issues, siblings…all under the veil of war in Nigeria. Reading her feels like a story telling session wuth your favourite grandma.

But nothing brings out the toll of war as Half of a yellow Sun. I got to learn about the quality of life, how its not always black and white, how you can’t influence what others do but you can influence your reactions and attitudes about it and how people should not be boxed into age-old prejudices of what makes a person good and acceptable in society. Anyone living in Africa can relate with her books coz she is honestly just genuine and it comes through in her writing.  I can’t find something critical to say about her writing, despite that I’m sure she is as flawed as any other person, I’m in love with her views. But her writing is truly genuine, true and she has something to contribute to the world. I’m sure I’m a certified groupie of hers since I’ve read more than just her books. From interviews, to Ted talks to Vlog reviews.

It is a book about love, race, hair, continents. It is so smart about so many subjects that I can’t even cover the scope of it. It is witheringly trenchant and hugely empathetic, both worldly and geographically precise, a novel that holds the discomfiting realities of our times fearlessly before us. It never feels false. There are some novels that tell a great story and others that make you change the way you look at the world

Purple Hibiscus:
It’s not the book that entertained me the most from the Chimamanda collection but it brought to light how countries rose after colonialism and how religion brought by the same influenced households and families. Pleasing fathers,  silent mothers, perfect sons and fearful daughters. The book’s heroine comes into her own to become an extrovert. It’s just a refreshing read

Half of a yellow sun:
Kenya went through post election and this book talks about how a nation can implode and the aftermath of that kind of chaos on those left behind. It’s a story about loyalty and betrayal and how public and private allegiances collide

Go out and buy a copy for yourself this year. In bookshops it goes for Kshs.1000. You will find yourself nodding to her, crying at the emotional parts, laughing at her sarcastic wittiness and closing the book to take in something deep and reverent. Her books require some open mindedness and attention. Actually just buy all of them…it will be a delight. Nothing beats this Nairobi cold like a good story.

A book review and a reflection: The defining decade


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I know. I know. It’s been a while since I wrote a book review or a blog for that matter. I have a perfectly good explanation. I’ve been busy with work. Okay now that I’ve said it out loud it sounds very flimsy. Anyway…a series of events which the good Lord will call fate led me to read this book. It’s a serious book but It made me think a lot about the next ten years of my life. Don’t say that’s boring. Trust me you’ll need this shit.

So I don’t have a job now. Not the end of the world but its bad news that many have been through. I’ve realised people only like talking about the good stuff in this vain-driven world. It’s always the nice holiday, the sexy boyfriend, the spectacular food. I wish someone would post a photo of burnt food coz it’s realistic and it happens. Even in this blog sometimes I refrain from talking about my personal life but I figured what else is there to talk about if I can’t be real and ‘say it like I mean it'(you know!)And with bad news always comes the “what happened?” question. The same old answer can be so exhausting! I thought of making up all these stupid reasons why I was out of a job like “I was caught embezzling” or “I had an affair with one of the interns” or better yet “I drunk too much at the office party”. But lets face it, it sucks especially when you keep seeing all your friends ’employed’. And what beats being let go on a Friday?….why its being let go on a Monday! You probably have the whole week planned out topped by a LIT night around the town on Friday night.

First days are a bitch! I had a mountain of business cards which I thought of writing on with a highlighter crazy things like “GoT analyst” or “Feminist Miseducator” or Bitch-face specialist”. What a waste of business cards! But then you start looking at the positives like now you can sleep, have weekends off….the positives people. And for me that includes blogging and reading books. So my unemployment lead me to this book. At first I was like “I dont need this shit”. But then I had heard a Ted talk about this Meg Jay and coz I had enjoyed It I figured why not. I can safely say it was a most thoroughly enjoyable treat. It’s packed with sensible seriousness for the 20-something who has no clue that the time Is now to play, work and have a fun-balanced life while avoiding the stress of the future in style. It doesn’t tell you what to do but it gives you a clue on how to go about your own unique situation. It’s a good navigation especially for many my age who have just finished school, probably on their first job and without a clue how to go about ‘adulting’.I couldn’t put it down. It’s that epic! A few excerpts from it:

“Identity capital is our collection of personal assets. It is the repertoire of individual resources that we assemble over time. These are the investments we make in ourselves, the things we do well enough, or long enough, that they become a part of who we are. Some identity capital goes on a resume, such as degrees, jobs, test scores and clubs. Other identity capital is more personal, such as how we speak, where we are from, how we solve problems, how we look. Identity capital is how we build ourselves -bit by bit, over time. Most important, identity capital is what we bring to the adult market place. It is the currency we use to metaphorically purchase jobs and relationships and other things we want”

“Most things in adulthood come from the strength of weak ties”

“I feel like an incredible failure. In school there was a formula. It was pretty easy to figure out what to do so you’d know where you stand. You’d know you were living up to your potential. Sometimes I think I should just go to grad school because it would sound better and I could get As again. I don’t know how to get an A in my twenties. I feel like I am failing for the first time”

“Adult life is built not out of eating, praying and loving but out of person, place and thing. Who we are with, where we live and what we do for a living. We start our lives with whichever of these we know something thing about”

“Pundits and parents worry that marriage Is dead, dating Is in demise and hooking up Is the new relational medium”

“The art of being wise is knowing what to overlook. As we age, we feel less like leaves and more lie trees. We have roots that ground us and sturdy trucks that my sway, but don’t break, in the wind. We become rooted in the confidence that problems can be solved, or at least survived”

“Our attitudes and reactions are our last human freedoms. We may not have control of every situation at work, but we can control how we interpret them and how we react to them”

“For work success to lead to confidence the job has to be challenging and it must require effort. It has to be done without too much help. And it cannot go well every single day. A long run of east successes creates a sort of fragile confidence, the kind that is shattered when the first failure comes along. A more resilient confidence comes from succeeding and from surviving some failures”

“Knowing you want to do something isn’t the same as knowing how to do it, and even knowing how to do something isn’t the same as actually doing It well”

“Life itself still remains a very effective therapist”

“Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness”

Its a great book….anyway don’t take my word for it; please get yourself a copy. The defining decade by Meg Jay

Redefining what it means to be a man


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Its Father’s Day, a day when people go online and post about how their fathers have shaped their lives, toiled for them, given them what they never had themselves and how they have been there for them. It might be true and it might be a farce given that social media promotes the culture of pretense. But on a positive more lighter note, its good to see what other people view as good fatherhood. Its good to see that there is something greater than #deadbeatdads motivating young men out there to be better men. There are people who have grown up without fathers or mothers and do not get to glorify in these days set aside for parents. Some were a little lucky to have father and mother figures who have allowed them to participate in the fathers day and mothers day hashtags when they crop up. But after all the posting is said and done, what can people draw from all this. Its something despite being designated a day should be marked throughout in action. In the spirit of making an impact that matters its good to put Father’s Day into perspective.

Many dads now will probably not enjoy the attention since men shy away from public displays of affection but they will enjoy the lunch date to go grab a beer and talk to their kids about what is going on in their lives. Others will just be content to spend a lazy Sunday home after going to Church with the whole family. Others still will just be more than happy to know the school fees is paid and the home is fully stocked for the next one month or week. Others yet have pregnant girlfriends and this just acts as a reminder that more responsibilities are on the way and its time to step up to the plate. There are also others who will feel their “biological clocks” ticking and know its time to stop playing, settle down and start a family. But in all these scenarios, those looking up to the trailblazers are not in the least bit encouraged by what they see ahead.

Men keep complaining that the boy child has been neglected. After years of boys being appraised, girls and their growth took center stage at the beginning of the 21st Century, much to the chagrin of the male populous who might feel left out of the bandwagon. This has culminated to more girls in schools and more graduating and joining the workforce compared to the male child. So as women create mentorship programs and sensitize their own, men have not stepped up to the plate to do the same. The effect of this, a whole bunch of new generation guys who think its okay to be irresponsible, wayward, rude and downright childish. Before I go on, I would like to say that not all guys in the millenial age bracket fit this description and I am only speaking about it because majority of girls out there have encountered one and its clearly something akin to an epidemic that should be discussed. I have seen the likes of Biko with his Whisky dads something and Caroline Mutoko’s vlog on youtube talk about this key issue. Father’s day should not just be a day to celebrate dads who did right but also speak up about what is ailing our society on men NOT doing it right. Its about time the society asked ourselves what is happening such that so many young men out there have no sense of being a good man, are being brought up by single mums, why divorce is on the rise or why so many cases of domestic violence are being reported every year. Despite there being three sides to every story, I believe one way to fix this is to encourage more men to help the young understand that being a man is so much more than an ego and height.

Just like every man defines himself and every woman defines herself, there are some virtues that would do well to be instilled in kids as they grow up. Don’t be a single mother that raises her son to view men as the scum of the earth as they will grow up expecting to fail and fall into this categorization. Rather bring up your kid to understand the importance of humility, respect and loving others as yourself. Dads should also not show their kids fear, because they will grow up demanding it of their children and what a culture to propagate to the next generations. I’m inspired by the beautiful stories of people who view their dads as the heroes in their lives and it warms my heart.

As people wish Father’s Day to their fathers and father figures, Im hoping its not just to fit in with the latest trend of the day. Let it come from the heart and let it speak the truth and let it be something that a young person will see and aspire to be for their kids in the future.

Happy Father’s Day



The Politics of Kenya


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I did  random survey, Millenials (as the world has come to call radical 20somethings) do not want to vote. They simply do not see the point. They would rather have that free day to sleep after long days of working or better yet go have a day out with their friends doing what millenials do. The country feels like it is slipping into the abyss of madness as we have witnessed in South Sudan and other war torn countries. A situation which is seemingly becoming acceptable as a norm rather than the exception. This is despite most people vowing that after 2007 we would not subject ourselves and our future generations to come to such inhumanity in our souls.

Every day a fire we thought was dying keeps being stocked. I personally blame these politicians. They have the might to send their children and families overseas should shit hit the fan in the next few months. Meanwhile, they are happy to advocate for more hellfire with the excuse of “we are fighting for your rights”. No Mr/Mrs/Miss politician! You are not fighting for anyone but your self gratification. I know power is intoxicating, in whatever environement be it as a politician, in the corporate world or in the sports arena. But Kenya is slowly erasing the line it viowed never to cross again. Are we really back in the era of assasinations, public funds looting and never ending riots. Maybe we simply never left. That could be the case here.

This is primarily why the youth do not see the point of voting anymore. Ask any youth in your vicinity, Its a waste of your time because you will think the guy charming your county with promises of grandeur will make a difference, not knowing that it is all a facade and you are jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Im worried about my country, Im worried about what this constant bickering reflects to our future generations. I am worried that the next elections will precipitate a war of humongous proportions. And the saddest part is that im not thinking it alone. Only that people are too busy trying to amasse their wealth and hit the next paycheck.

But as i nod off…there will be no paycheck and deal tomorrow if Kenya crashes and burns due to the idiocy of some politicians not to let  sleeping dogs lie with their grudges…and if Kenyans keep giving them the amo to keep at it

A poem for “those” days


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Resist the urge to listen

to those who try to tell you

who you should be;

you know yourself better

than anyone could.

But also resist the urge to be deaf

for there are things about you

you only learn through someone else.

Resist the urge to be hard

for in softness lies formidable strength.

But also resist the urge to be too soft,

for there are times when you should not yield

times when you should put yourself first.

Resist the urge to be selfish;

you must learn to share parts of yourself

if you are to establish genuine connection.

But also, resist the urge to be too selfless

there are some things you must keep only to yourself;

these are the things you cannot afford to lose.

Resist the urge to be stuck

we are made to evolve, to eclipse ourselves.

But also resist the urge to give in to everything

for a person needs an inner compass that will stand firm

despite all the ways it is being challenged

Resist the urge to be safe

you don’t get to live life twice.

Drink in as much of it as you can.

But also, resist the urge to live without stability.

Carve out a life for yourself

that you don’t have to escape from.

And most of all, resist the urge to think when you must feel

for there are moments that can only be understood when felt.

But also, resist the urge to be driven by irrationality.

You are more capable than you think. 

You are not a prison.

You can master yourself.