What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear or read the word pain. I will tell you my definition through a series of experience I’ve gone through in the few years I’ve existed on this rock that revolves around a star.
5 year old me was a confident wanna be adult. I talked fast and acted faster. And when I bolted to the kitchen to to make myself a cup of hot chocolate, no one saw me. I was a tiny being who was and is still height challenged. The hot water jug had been placed on the table and as I clumsily pulled it, it tilted and the hot scalding water poured on my chest. The pain was so immense that after I let out a blood curdling scream, I lost conscious.
The following 8 months were grueling agony of trying to heal. School, friends, birthday parties, playing, joy, became obsolete. I then yielded an unfamiliar companion and confidant, radio. My love for music, art and communication blossomed there. Sundowner, radio theater, educational episodes on KBC became ingrained in me and left an impact.
Heartbreak. I was living on cloud 9 first time I fell in love. Then it happened. I never knew love could hurt this bad. My self esteem was in shambles. I lost weight, mind and will to live. I went to a place I never knew existed in my head. Then I found Quran. I know its a cliche when people say “God saved me” but am a living testament. I created a relationship so strong, intense, personal and fulfilling with my God that has enabled me to tackle most challenges in life I’ve faced with certain confidence and assuarity.
Aug 2013,I received a notification from my bank stating that the cheque I had issued had bounced and I had been penalized. I was broke. I couldn’t fathom how I had reached here. Memories of the times I spent money on unnecessary things haunted me the same way our government is being haunted by corruption cases. I had to learn to live within my means. Gone were the days where I used to eat chicken like a caucasian. Nowadays I clean the chicken bones so good that my fellows brothers and sisters from the western community would be proud of me.
Fast forward, to Feb 2018. I had been transfered to Doha Qatar. Money, status quo, and living in the wealthiest country in the world. Yet I was living my worst nightmare. My skin color, gender and age were my shortcomings when it came to my occupation. I did everything, frkn being nice to get the whole office dunkin donuts for two months. Nothing worked. I loathed how I felt preparing myself going to work. I despised how my co workers treated me. I shuddered at the sound of Skype call because I knew it was nothing but it would be something that will totally make me feel depressed. As I lay in bed, I wondered how I got myself here.
That morning I woke up, picked my passport and left for the airport. I left all my worldly possession I had over there. I slept two days at the airport for there were no direct flights back home. All I knew is that I was done, and I wanted my piece and peace of mind. And that I wouldn’t find it anywhere else than back home with the people I love and the environment that my soul knew.
So señoritas and señors, physical, emotional, financial, occupational pains that I have gone through has created fundamentals aspects of these woman you see infront of you. What doesn’t kill, makes you stronger, and gives you unhealthy coping mechanism that helps you to waddle through this journey called life.
Via Nay Nay.
A standard measure of a mans’ worth is the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The closer one reaches the top of this pyramid the more accomplished or fulfilled they are. As one completes the five levels the more whole they are posited to be or feel.
The first level or the foundation encompasses physiological needs. These are physical requirements for human survival, which if not met the human body cannot function properly and will ultimately fail. These needs are approximately or fundamentally nine in total and include oxygen, water, nutrition, sleep, sex, warmth, excretion, mobility, and pain.
The next level is environmental needs. Growing up there were a lot of empty plots of land around our neighborhood which were adversely occupied. We tended to convert this lots to our playing grounds, and since they weren’t fenced off yet, I could join adjacent estates’ children in playing football. Sometimes we had access to the Adidas 1970 world cup Telstar design inspired leather bound sphere football replica but more often than not we would wrap newspapers into a globe then envelope it in a plastic paper bag or two and just for good measure tie a string around it in a mesh style fashion squeezing the contents so tight the object could roll in a straight line and actually bounce.
The middle passage of this strata ranking is social needs. As a Kenyan, a majority of your childhood was spent in prison-like institutions called schools. In my particular penitentiary, intermittent breaks of academic learning were spent kicking soda cans and plastic bottles around in a game of pseudo football when an actual football was not available. We couldn’t carry a proper leather one to school since the older boys would deprive us of it and our parents would whip us if it got stolen or lost plus ultimately our innovative polythene bound orbs were banned by the principal.
We had variations of the beautiful game such as the one-touch, where if you scored by kicking the ball once you faced a new opponent, any more than one stroke and you were disqualified paving the way for a new contestant in your stead. Of course, some of the popular kids would get to break the rules but how they arrived to be so high in the pecking order is open for discussion.
Self-esteem is the penultimate stage, and I was lucky enough to have never had an acne breakout during puberty in the meantime gaining a deep bass in my voice in the process. My adolescent years were spent perfecting a three-point shot on the basketball rim my elder brother had fastened to a Jacaranda tree I had hoped my father would build a tree house for me on. At the only basketball court in my town, I always managed to reach 7 points in a game of 21, when men twice my age had to sit out the rest of the play for not doing the same once the leading scorer reached 11 points. My strategy since I was small was to get the ball, shoot from outside the D, after which I would sink the first free throw earning two more points then choose to either score one more point with the second free throw or violently slam the ball against the board in the hopes I could recapture it outside the D for another attempt at a three-point shot for an additional two points plus the requisite two free throws earning one point each bringing a total of five to eight points.
I took up swimming fervently in high school until the pool was drained and the renovations took more than a couple of months. I remember standing in the deep end of the empty abyss, eyes closed, imagining the natatorium filling up with water lifting me up. A hairline fracture I neglected under my right knee limited my professional athlete career although such an excuse didn’t stop polio-ridden right-winger and forward by the name Manuel Francisco dos Santos alias Garrincha from winning the world cup for Brazil in 1958. Perhaps it’s my lack of discipline that’s to blame. My tardiness to school ensured I ran a kilometer three days a week as punishment plus my annual valentine’s day ritual of a thousand sit-ups keeps me fit. One of the many older girls I’ve dated who’ve witnessed my sporting prowess used to tease me on how dirty I was in the lower primary by evening after a day of scrimmage football. I pray the athletic gene traits I’ve been told I possess are passed onto my future generations.
Currently, I’ve taken up cycling and will resume training on my 15-speed mountain bike once I purchase new tires to achieve at least 50km in one and a half hours. I will reward myself with a ‘700’ race bike with 27 gears or more that I see on tour-de-France. I plan to do this and participate in the tour-de-Machakos before it becomes an elitist event needing millions of dollars sponsorship from multinational corporations.
The final and highest phase is transcendence, where one becomes too much associated with excellence in a field that they inspire others to be of the same caliber, even if it’s not on the same genre of practice. This because success has a generic trait of sacrifice and postponement of gratification, in layman terms: no pain, no gain. Cristiano Ronaldo is an icon who at the age of twelve left his Madeira hometown for Lisbon city thousands of kilometers from friends and family. Two decades later he has won every major trophy and award bar one, the world cup. Mayhaps in a fortnight from now this statement won’t be, but nonetheless, with his Spartan-like livelihood, I won’t be surprised if he graces our screens and grass on the pitch in Qatar and America. As with all racehorse champions, we shall retire him to pasture as a pedigree stud. FORZA PORTUGALE!
Via Sir Alan.
He racked his brains, from the moment they met, where they had been to, people they met. Any clue that he thought would be able to solve this puzzle. His brain lit up like a light bulb when he remembered the one place she had whimsically mentioned a couple of times. He had a good feeling about this one. He imaginarily high fived himself for his eidetic memory.
Quickly he picked his jacket, cell phone, wallet and left the house. He didn’t want to drive because he was not in the right state of mind. Ran to the nearest stage, got into a matatu and left for town. The lively matatu culture around him felt surreal. People boarding the matatu, others alighting, the makanga shouting, the driver blasting latest obscene Kenyan songs, all to him felt illusory. The makanga had to tap him twice when he was asked for fare and thrice to let him know he had reached CBD.
He was in his own world. As he boarded a shuttle heading to Thika, he realized that chances of her being there are subjacent. But a gnawing feeling that he might see her there was too immense. The closer and closer he got to the town, the more he catechized himself on her disappearance, him seeking her out and whether he should let her go. Then he recalled how she made him feel, her sarcasm, laughter, terrible jokes…her entire quirks and quiddities made him realize to breathe and live. She brought him a peripheral range of understanding of the world, her and himself that he hadn’t unearthed despite having a brain power than most. Yet in a transitory second he knew whatever the reason she had for abandoning the ship, was valid and him seeking her out would not make much difference. But his ache to see her, even it was one last time, won this battle.
He didn’t know the place, so he got into a cab and asked the driver if he knew the area. Luckily for him, he did. He was torn whether to go empty handed or not. Heck, he didn’t know how to act when he sees her. “It is what it is” he mumbled as the driver sped on.
The the weather was cloudy, cold and grey as if prepping him for bad news. When they got there, the gate-man didn’t allow the cab to go in. He paid, got out and asked the gate-man if he knew where Layla lives.
“Layla mgani? Hapa kwa hii estate watu ni wengi my friend”
Blank stare from the gate-man.
“Ummm….babake alikua mkubwa pale Delmonte?”
“Ah! Si ungesema tu Amin wa Delo! Nyinyi vijana mnakuanga na maneno mingi hehehe. Hata ameingia tu saa hii kutoka sokoni. Nipe ID yako na uandike majina na numba ya simu kwa hii kitabu”
Relief with a tinge of anxiety kicked in as he wrote on. He was given instructions where Layla’s house was located. Like a man on a mission, he stepped forward and fast. He was in a high pitch fervor to see her. As he opened the gate to Layla’s house, he realized he was sweating. A quick wipe of his brows and a pat on his shirt and pants, he wished he had adorned an antiperspirant.
“She likes my smell anyway, hope that hasn’t changed.” he chuckled as he knocked on her door.
He knocked twice. No footsteps, no sound coming from inside the house. Hit harder, no answer. He twisted the door handle, and the door nudged open. He hesitated to wonder whether he should go in or not. As he stepped in, she appeared at the end of the hallway. His feet froze as her hands thawed and she let go of the cup in her hand, breaking into smithereens on her feet.
Via Nay Nay
2 a.m in the morning. I just got into bed after a hilarious one or so something hours of Zoolander (Dear God that movie is stupid!). I tossed and turned for a few minutes before accepting that I’m just not sleepy… yet. Then I remembered that the thing I craved most of all about getting a new laptop is the chance to do something constructive, or just active, with my insomnia. And, well, we all know that writing is my go-to. So here I am.
I don’t exactly have a topic I want to embark on tonight. To be quite frank I have no idea where I’m going with this. But God it feels so good to write!! It feels like… like I’m in another world if I’m honest. One where all my dreams are not only possible but are actually real.
In this world, I’m traveling to coast by plane. Not because I feel entitled and can’t ride a bus or anything, but only because I haven’t been on a flight yet. I get on that small gadget the Wright Brothers invented, and the beauty of this all is the excitement, the exhilaration of doing something new. At this moment, I totally understand what my buddy Richard Branson meant when he said, “Don’t ever lose the excitement of discovering something new.”
In this world, I’m sitting by the beach. The sun is not nearly as blisteringly hot as it would be in reality. The palm trees are more aloof than could ever be. There are laughter and shrieks all around, and I’m watching it all, smiling quietly as I write all about it. The little kids are running into the ocean and then scampering back ashore as the waves roll in. The lovers are walking hand in hand, probably on their honeymoon. The beach boys are shouting out all sorts of services they offer for a tuppence. It’s a typical day at the beach. I love every minute of it.
I get back there in the dark of night. This time, all is quiet, all souls are deep in slumber. All but the ocean, whose spirit is alive and ferocious. The only thing I hear is the crashing waves as they hit shore. Tide after tide after tide. I have to tell you, few things in this world bring out inner peace. The heart of the ocean is one of them.
In this world, I’m back home. Only, I don’t live with my parents. I have my own little apartment. It has a balcony with a beautiful view of the sunset. It has a small kitchenette where I make cinnamon pancakes when I’ve got cravings. There are paintings all over the walls- some made by me, some by actual artists (hehe, not that I doubt my skills) My loo has a tiny stack of magazines and novels (100% comfort as you do your business if you ask me) My friends won’t quit teasing me about it every time they come over) On the balcony, there are little pots of flowers. I don’t know them by name, but they make me so happy every time I sit with my coffee just gazing out. Among the flowers are a few herbs that Winnie said were good for me. Their scent, Lord their deep, earthy smell just gets me. That little garden makes me so proud. Maybe I should do a bit of spinach here while I’m at it.
In this world, I wake up each morning full of energy. Before I get out of bed, I remember my mantra; “Do not grow slack in zeal, be fervent in Spirit, serve the Lord.” And that is what I am dedicated to. Each day I purpose to follow excellence because I know that success will chase my pants down. At this moment (the real moment), I don’t see that distinction is being a teacher. I don’t know that it’s a mentor. I don’t know that it’s an artist, a counselor, an agribusiness consultant. I don’t see that it’s all of these things, or that it’s none of them. What I do know is that whatever the combination, I am definitely kicking ass. When I get into my oh-so-cozy bed each night, I smile knowing that I have lived my mantra, and now I can rest.
In this world, the thing I see almost most clearly of all, is a moment such as this one. Whether in a coffee shop, trying a new variance of latte, or in a bus, on my way to Tafaria (I’m definitely going there soon) Whether in my office, on a lazy afternoon, or in my house, listening to Tanya Stephens. I’m seated as comfortably as I can get, I have this beautiful machine on my lap, this goofy smile on my face, and I’m typing. I amuse myself with little jokes I’m inserting. Sometimes I cry because the story is too emotional. On some days I even forget my laptop. So now I’m at Java, waiting for a friend, busy with a pen and notebook. I don’t know that I exist without writing, even the dumbest of things. I don’t know that I ever was not connected to this great lurrrrrve of mine. But the thing I see most of all, even without knowing how, is that my words shall impact people. And someday soon I’ll be the one getting interviewed (whoop whoop!)
So, back to 2a.m. Back to reality. My tush is a bit sore from sitting up. My eyes are starting to get a bit heavy. But my heart is doing a little dance in excitement. This is the first piece on this laptop. Hopefully the start of many. Hopefully the beginning of a legacy. Because these dreams, they remain nothing but… dreams. And who wants to forever swoon at fantasies when they could actually turn them into the real deal?
Via Maggie Mungai
[edsanimate_end]Kennedy space center, a rocket taking off , this was engraved on my tiny tee, my favorite Tshirt to be precise, a Tshirt that I wore every weekend when I was 10 years old. There was something about that shuttle, the flames beneath it that my small brain couldn’t comprehend but only got fascinated by.
Did you know that Thad Roberts, a NASA intern, spent 7 years in federal prison after having sex with his girlfriend on a bed full of stolen moon rocks? 🤪
Hoots here, hoots there, fast life, no this is not the outer space. Bright lights, strange waves, what’s there to worry? Nothing to lose each time you get knocked down. No fear of the unknown, just floating in a frequency only you can feel. Anything more exciting than this?
Well there is, I just came across a field, a field that we’re all entitled to plough, we’re are farmers by design if not by default. Is it a calling? Or do we stumble upon it by sheer luck? I told you about restoring your system to default when you feel like your software isn’t responding. It comes to a point that you have to pick the jembe and be a mkulima, scrub the mchagua jembe sio mkulima code off your script.
I just started ploughing my shamba, there are no bright lights, life isn’t fast here, every move matters. Every tool I use. In this field it’s ploughing ploughing but for the fruits that I’m sure I’ll enjoy tomorrow.
The shamba really looks fabulous so far, it rains sometimes, other times it pours, most of the time it’s like watching the sun set with the birds singing, thunder rarely comes. I’m not planning to put my tools down, not anytime soon. This is my Space center. I am the astronaut.
Farming I realize is within us all.
Reprogram, change your ways, there’s a field that awaits you. A space that is only meant for you.
Be good do good.