BACK and moving on.

For the past 13 months, I have had no time to think. Think about what the world around me thinks. Think about friends I once had. Think about acquaintances I once made. Think, think, think about anything that was not my mother, money, classwork and how I hate waking up at noon because I slept at 6:30 am trying to meet deadlines.

I have been not blogging because I simply was out of energy but I had all the time and materials. I forgot about manicures, pedicures and shaping eyebrows and for once I know that people don’t die because they don’t have those. I even stayed for two months without braids in my head!

Today is different though. For the last two months I finally came to terms with the fact that my mother will always be terminally ill for the rest of her remaining life. I had a hard time accepting that and had hoped from one hospital to another, surgery after surgery, doctor after doctor. I forgot to look out of the airplane’s window to marvel at a sight I could treasure forever and looked out (without seeing anything) to curse the world and to question God on things I can’t change. Yes, I’m just human. That means I need to get to blame something or someone before I can finally accept that my fate is sealed to the worst of a girls nightmare.

The fact that I will eventually lose my mother does not bother me anymore. She is almost sixty and still looks forty (despite having changed acquaintances to not only include businessmen and government officials but to have doctors (pending and on call) and resident nurses). What bothers me is that one day I will not have my best friend. I will not have her to patiently hear me rant about Noel the antichrist who fucks my brains out with his stupidity or Julius the Kisii man who thinks he owns every woman in the streets of Nairobi and who I have no idea why I have him as a friend (yet he still is). One day I will have mom’s sisters trying to boss me around because they will think I am their responsibility when mum is gone. I will not have her having her friends convince her that the only hope of me having more money than I can bathe with is getting a nanny job in Qatar or a waitress job in Abu Dhabi. I will not have her running to my house at the death of the night because I am in labor or have her boarding the next flight to Kisumu because I can’t eat fish or the next bus to Nanyuki because I have a cold…yes, I will wake up alone, with no one to fuss around about their fragile daughter who beats the crap out of ‘matatu’ touts and keeps men awake coz she is competition they have a hard time beating in this fishing business.

So, today I decided to do what I do best. Keep myself at par with my emotions. Take them where they are most at peace. I got my reader and laptop out of their dusty daze. I read the blogs I stopped reading 13 months ago. Maguga Williams, Bikozulu, Savvy, Potentash, Dear Doris…I even read Onyango’s annoying religious diarrhea!

In Bikozulu, I met his mother pieces…and I met Joe Black (again! That guy can write) and his once upon a time dark world and what he has done with it. I read Biko’s mother pieces and I realized that I will, sooner or later, learn to move on after my mother breaks my heart. The difference between him and me is that I keep expecting that call from that new nurse (I am yet to grasp the name she uses) and Biko did not. His heart was broken with an ear crashing heart shattering crash, mine has been breaking bit by bit and that day will only be a seal to a fate I very much know is coming. A start to a life I dread. A journey to a destination I hate to envision but which I have accepted whole heartedly.

It is not that I don’t love my mother. I do. She is funny, loving, caring, strong and dutifully loyal. And she is my Mama. But then, who tells fate what to do except karma the bitch? I sure don’t know where he parks his goatee!

So, today I walked out, watched the sun rise and made myself a promise with the elements as my witness: I will live day by day. Cherish my mother day by day (annoying as she can get at times) and treasure the friends who have been there for me in it all (hoping that you still stick around).

So, am back… and I know I was not missed.

Wanjiru2015.

HE USED TO LOVE ME

I am tired of crying:

Because he is never in a hurry to see me.

I am sick of trying,

To make this relationship I used to have with him work.

My mother taught me:

A woman builds a home by building relationships.

I have tried mother,

To the point of stripping off my dignity.

Don’t we all have a breaking point?

Mine is this: The shedding of a tear.

Ain’t you the one who taught me that tears signify weakness?

Now I admit it: I was never strong enough.

At thirty, am I too old to start over again?

can the world stand a weak woman?

Dear mama?

At thirty five, am I still your little dimpled daughter?

You told me your door will always be open for me:

Heart broken, stripped, rugged in emotions,

Dear mama?

Am I worth coming back?

At your doorstep I come clinging:

For you is my only hope.

In him was only my disappointment,

He is that guy you warned me about long time ago.

He raped me mother:

Raped my emotions and stripped of my pride.

He who once I called “my love”,

Now to whom my worth equates that of a coke bottle: thirty minutes is the most time he can spare me…

I feel stripped: The world has forsaken me.

I feel empty: He who I trusted with my life has robbed me

I am crying mama: For weakness is my new strength

…and you, MAMA, my only hope.

Notes on Education & Excellence

Those who had dreams of professorship, either tighten your education belt or just bypass that dream… It is still valid though.

Gukira

I attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) for my Ph.D. According to the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, this is a Research University with Very High (RU/VH) research expectations, one of 108 such institutions in the U.S. According to the 2014-2015 ranking of World Institutions, UIUC ranks as 29th in the world. According to the University of Nairobi website, UoN ranks as 1624 in the world. A more updated metric suggests it is actually 907 in the world.

These numbers matter, if only because knowledge travels along global lines and with global implications. Kenyan academics interact with their global peers at global conferences and send their academic papers to international journals. Their knowledge is assessed against global standards of recognition.

The Commission for University Education (CUE), following a mandate from the Education Cabinet Secretary, recently announced that it would only permit Ph.D. holders to lecture…

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Feeble Minds or Sheer Stupidity?

I get to to the stage and find this car that looks older than 18 BC and am supposed to fill it by sitting on the rim of the front seat. I decline and walk towards the next car in line which is no better but at least is 18AD. And I am the first passenger in so I will not sit on rims. The kange of the 18 BC is thoroughly pissed off by the fact that I by passed him and chose an empty vehicle. Like it is written in the bible that I should always board his mat full or empty. He comes to the window I am seated by and tells me of how a better looking more smartly dressed chick has taken the seat I declined and how I should learn from beautiful chiks without Maringo. He stands there waiting for me to get pissed. Suprise to him, I give him a smile and tell him: “You know the difference between her and me? It is not the beauty. It is the fact that I have no make up on and she is baked in it, the fact that I have my natural hair and she has a weave and the fact that I am proud of my natural me and am not afraid to show it to the world. She is not. Also, the fact that I rely on my skin to be confident and she is a girl dependent on beauty and artificiality to feel confident. I am not afraid of anything because I know I don’t have to rely on anyone to make decisions for me. Bring the world on and I will face it fearlessly.” He stood there paralysed like I had just given him an injection of immobility. Then walked away shaking his head.
Life has taught me not to give people what they want. I give them what they least expect.

On another encounter though, some teachers really need to be sued. I recently met this guy from the coast. He started giving me stories about>>>>>>>> wait for it>>>> COFFEE NUTS! You are wondering what those are, right? It took me two days to realize that he was talking about coffee berries and even then, I could not convince him that nuts and berries are not anywhere close to being family. I made him google them but he still thinks am lying to him! For all its worth, I consider him a lost case.

Then again today is sunday! A boring and sleepy sunday. Good night friends.

THESE DISTORTED AFRICAN STORIES.

For love. Jack and Jill make up the African version of Romeo and Juliet. They are always together. Juliet is always waiting at her parent’s fence for Romeo to call for her. Juliet’s parents are against their relationship because they think they have a better choice of one to be Juliet’s husband.

But then this is Africa. Good means wealthy in quantifiable measures like goats and cows and how many wives the man already has. Or that is how all the stories go.

Yet, no one wants to acknowledge that the Africa they used to tell tales of is long gone, and in its place is this Africa most of us have a hard time living in. An Africa where ethics is a foreign notion: an Africa where moral identifies vice and vice is virtual: an Africa with liberation and religion that simply never works. A region with a high and rising rate of anti belief in this European God who died to save the Israelites (or was it the world?). An Africa that is at crossroads where what it believes in is no longer tangible, but highly blurrred….wait, I should be saying Kenya, right?

Yes, because Kenya is a state by itself, aside from Africa, in Africa, its continent. It still pisses me off when someone asks whether I am from Africa. I am Kenyan and that is it. European and American geography must be highly flawed for them to keep believing that Africa is a country…or they are just selectively stupid.

So, my Juliet story is not a story after all? No it is not. It is a white man’s representation of Africa: Damn, Jack and Jill are not even African names…and so are Jesus, Peter and any other orthodox names we get strapped with and strap our kids with all the time. And that story will only be feasible if we continue buying this foreign ideologies and burying our own ideologies. Hell, people used to live, pray, eat and rave long before colonialization, westernization and Steve Jobs!

Technology is all nice and classy and should be learnt and adopted by all but it should not do away with what we believed in or try to make me a devil because I said I am not a christian! It should make us all open minded and tolerant of each other’s perspectives because each one of us will always have an opinion. And by the way, what happened to the African God? Who made him a demon? The Ngai of Gikuyu, the Mulungu of Abaluhyas, the Enkai of the Maasai…who declared him evil so that my dejection of christianity/islam becomes a death surelity? These universal religions, who said they are the only ones based on truth…and nothing else but the truth? If God can be kind enough to answer me, then maybe we can be friends.

For now, distorted versions of the African story will continue to suck the identity of Africa as a continent and all its constituent countries and their communities. And that sucks!.

Dear E.

Dear E,
I might start with all those things they said long ago -like how much I love you like Aladdin and whoever he loved or how I miss you like the sands cover the ocean- but the truth is, I DO NOT. So I will start this the way I do my business; with a straightforwardness that pains and a truthfulness that hurts. If you do not like it, you are welcome to use the same door you used coming in. It’s our entrance and exit. Again, I have my friends in clusters, and to be honest, internet friends who have my number are just that: ghost friends. So, I treat them like I treat business acquaintances; straight forward, brief and to the point.
The kind of job you do does not really matter in today’s world. What matters is what is in your pocket. Are you a daddy’s boy still asking for hand downs from your parents or are you a guy out there working his ass silly to make it work in this harsh world? To be honest, even if you are a hawker and you trip your ass to get food on the table, WE ARE FRIENDS. The daddy left hand (unless your dad owns an estate you are supposed to manage and get a salary like the rest of us) and me, we will never click. Do you know why?
No you do not: Because you never bothered to know. You are so uptight on your insecurities that you think the world is bogging down on you. Well, bad news to you. IT IS NOT. Remember, you are not the center of the universe and you will never be. Like your great grandparents and their grandparent’s grandparents, you will eventually die. We will be sad for a few hours for a day and then we will go back to our lives; like nothing happened. As for those you will leave behind -your kids blah blah blah- they will be too busy trying to make ends meet that the only time they will remember you, is when they have school fees arrears: and even then, they will be busy looking for it, so, it will be for a flirting second.
Have you ever heard of this word PASSION? I hope you have not. It is LOVING what you do no matter how the world sees you, or it. Did I tell you that I am supposed to be a sociologist? No I did not; because I am too busy digging ponds and farming fish to care about what I am supposed to be. Again, I do several other jobs like mentor young boys and girls or rehabilitate rape victims. I could make the two full-time jobs and earn big with them. But I love fish. I grew up farming fish. And I f*****g love farming fish. I am that girl you will find buying ice cream at TRM with every cloth I have on soaked in mud. And I freaking do not care what they will say; what the world says; what my friends say, or what the counter girl with well-trimmed, manicured nails will say. BECAUSE I F*****G LOVE MY JOB!
So when you come to me all fire like an angry resurrected dragon, behaving all hurt because I referred to your job title in a conversation, a job title I had no idea you carry around your neck like a bow tie, it pisses me off. Not because I am guilty (you will see Jesus come back before I can apologize for using your job title on you), but because it makes me wonder what you are doing there in the first place. Thing is simple, whatever you do for over eight hours a day for thirty days a month definitely owns you, crowns you and names you. That is why we have people being referred to by their professions: bloggers, writers, photographers, designers, architects, biologists, doctors, thieves, swindlers, con men, burgers, butlers, cooks…heck salesmen!
Vincent Kiprono is one of my few friends I have carried over to now from my past. He is a salesman. He sells insurance and I call him just that: SALESMAN. Noel Onyango is one of the few friends I have made via social media. He is an architect and I tease him about drawing cartoons all the time. And his nickname? MR. CRAYONS. Andrew Aballa is another social media friend. We met when I was an undergraduate and he was a post-graduate. I call him POO-CHASER coz he is a laboratory something (whatever they are called) who does all these tests on microorganisms for organizations like KEMRI…and hospitals. They all call me TOM GIRL/ MIMOH-THE-MUD-TEASER coz you are more likely to find me in a cowboy shirt and boots, very mad at some guy who won’t dig a dyke to my preference or who is trying to f**k around with my pond measurements than you are likely to find me in a “decent” lady like dress cord of long/short nice Christian dresses.
What am I trying to tell you E? It really does not bother me that you are mad at me for using your job tag, neither does it bother me that you will probably not talk to me ever again. I will still put food on my table in the evening, pay my school fees and buy beer at Jambo grill/Natives every Friday evening. My life will move on like you never existed and I will not be sorry about it. What was that saying again? The fewer the people you engage with in a day, the lesser the garbage you will have to put up with.
Just do me a favor. F*****G LOVE YOUR JOB or QUIT. Also, buy some sense of humor. With the two, your life will be much easier. So much easier if you learn to embody what you do, own it and love it. In retrospect, it will learn to love you, respect you, appreciate you and pay you back for loving it.
Former-ghost-friend,
Mimmoh.

prospective grooms

Today I woke up feeling particularly unfit for human activities, which excluded beds and pens. So we will talk prospective grooms.

photo adapted from www.huffingtonpost.com
Every little girl has a dream that one day they will wear a white net, hold a bunch of flowers and walk down a certain alter sandwiched between her parents and followed behind by a caravan of maids. Some little men too dream of big cars, starched suits and being the center of some over bloated attention. I, too, had a dream wedding. It went something like this: I am in Maasai attire and my groom is in his traditional community attire. We would walk to church singing those romantic kikuyu traditional songs that get everyone dancing to their tune- whether or not you understand what they are singing. I never dreamt of nets and flowers!

photo adapted from www.pinterest.com
Now that am older, I don’t want a fancy cultured-religious wedding. I do not want traditional songs and dances. I do not want to be the center of attention (that stuff sucks AF). I want a simple walk in the park in an alien land, after a quiet civil visit to the marriage registrar who, by the powers vested in him, will be able to make Mr. Fitting (who agrees that Mr. Right is a stupid notion?) kiss me in front of him, after pronouncing us husband and wife. I do not want a month long honey moon (I still have bills to settle and a life to live) or a week of total-cut-off-from-the-world-in-a-manyatta in my in-laws compound where the only visitor will be a hand at the window bringing in food (jeez, waking up to stare at the same face all day and night is boring, even if love is involved!). I do not want gifts like cups, beds and cup boards: I can always check in at Ebrahim’s Home Appliances any time!
I want to get married, not for the pleasure of that one day, but for the companion of a life time; the joy of having someone wait out the night with me, because I am in labor; the peace that comes with knowing that someone accepts me wholly without judging every word I say or action I take; the grace of knowing that we can be in the same house, for a week, without talking, and have a lot done in silence because each knows what the other wants. I want to get married, not for the pomp my family will get, but for the joy I will give to them after I leave their custody.
I do not want a perfect guy

image from www.30somethingandfab.com
I want a man who will understand: that there is that time in a month, when I will want to sleep alone at the guest room, because I hate him touching me at those times; that when I say I want to go home, it is because there are things only my mother can advice about; that I need time alone, because silence is my best friend; and that he can drink all he wants, but sleep at the couch, till he is sober. I want a man who will understand that I will love him unconditionally even if I give birth to thirty kids, so he will not make me choose between him, and the kids. A guy who will feel the need to keep me in the know, so I will not get worried when he does not turn up at 8 pm. I want a man who will care enough to use a condom when he decides to have extracurricular activities at Sabina Joy- to protect our children and me from AIDS and its consequences. He is not perfect: he is just a man I will love and protect with my life: IF ONLY HE WILL DO THE SAME FOR ME.

photo adapted from financialjuneteenth.com
I want to look back and say: I made the right choice; then look up and say: Daddy, it is your little baby making you proud of her.

PASSION

I had this writing bug while in church. So I hope that grammar Nazis will give me a break: at least for today.
Let’s talk about passion.

Passion is all about loving what you do by doing what you love the most. Doing that thing that makes time fly faster than sound or light. That thing that gets you immersed so much that you would not notice that something is out to plunge a knife on your back if he stood behind you. Passion is finding immense pleasure in what you do so much so that you find yourself finding it wherever you go.

Example is this music teacher I have recently met. He walks around identifying voices wherever he goes. He keeps pointing them out. “That one can sing alto, that one can sing saprano1…..” he identifies himself with his profession: music. Not that he has an album or anything close to a single, he just loves music. He lives, feds, loves, dines….Music. He teaches people how to sing in harmony. He listens to his output and praises his Gods for it. He is a happy man, not because he earns a lot of money but because he found his true calling and lived it. He does what he loves each and every minute of his breathing minute. He sings. He listens. He lives. That is passion: and he is living it every single day of his simple whistle filled life.
I love writing. Even if I go to hell for blogging in church, at least I had my fun doing it. It feels nice being in my zone; the writers zones.

Have a great reading day to the readers, writing day to the writers and music filled day to the musicians and the music lovers… just make a point of doing what you love, attend to your passions and happiness will be your everyday dessert.
AMEN.

SEX, C-WORD AND EVERYTHING THERE ABOUT

We all go around collecting vocabularies from everywhere. “It is human tendency to,” or so my linguistics 303 teacher, Mr. Njiiri, used to make it sound. Problem comes in when people start to make uninformed assumptions about words and what those words represent or when your nephews and nieces come up with ‘big’ words they want definitions for (coz you become a walking dictionary when reading as much as a single sentence is too much word for people around you).
So, three weeks ago, the 10 yr old was all about condoms and sex. What they, are she knew; why people ‘argue’ about them she did not. She wanted an explanation.

“You know aunt, the catholic popes (like they co-exist in numbers!) say that condoms are unfit for human consumption (wait did she just say ‘human consumption’?) and thus should not be used. They said that god said to fill the world! Then everyone else says to use them. Is doing sex that bad that everyone has to argue about it?”

The 16 yr old wanted to know what postinor2 is because all her friends are talking about it and she cannot get the hung of it. The friends, she said, say that one has to be prepared by buying them before having sex, just in case.
You are wondering where all this came from, right? I was too until I heard my neighbor curse the media for showing uncensored pictures of a woman giving birth on prime time news and having to answer ‘embarrassing’ questions. I figured out, if they are going to find out these things from the media, they might as well hear a more appropriate version from someone close to them.

Explaining contraceptives (what they are, types, methods, age, effects and stereotypes) was easy. Explaining sex was not! Apparently, taking E-pills is easier than using condoms! Why? The explanations I got, only the gods will save this society!
The 16 yrs old niece and her counterpart the 18 yrs old uncle agreed that using a condom is like eating tropicals with the wrappers on. They both had disgusted faces when the 18 yrs old asked, “Who does that?”

colored condoms
They also explained that ‘kavukavu’ (skin on skin) is the real deal as it adds to the joy and the intimacy involved. (SMH.) “Having sex with a wrapped penis is like kissing when both of you are on either sides of a fence,” explained the 16 yrs old.
“So, are we talking about things you have already done?” I asked trying very hard to hide my surprise.
“Of course.” The answer was unanimous.
“When?” I asked.
“Fourteen.” The 16 yrs old replied.
“Twelve.” The 18 yrs old confirmed.
None of them showed remorse. In fact, they were so proud of themselves it hurt.

Are you in the same boat as I? When our MPs were busy discussing free condoms and arguing about sex education to primary school kids, the kids were busy engaging themselves in extracurricular activities armed with all the wrong information!

Getting them to at least start using condoms was a huge task. They did not care about AIDs. After all, there are ARVS! (at that point I had to get myself a glass of iced water) Pregnancy on the other hand was unfathomable; none would dare risk it!
The worst part was to get my other family members to talk to their kids (and little siblings) about sex. The mentality that it is a bedroom issue still exists in this 21st century. Much worse is that it is treated like a plague. Thus, ‘cool’ kids are googling it and acting all professional sexologists: comparing notes and spreading the wrong gospel to their peers.

pocketed condom
I realized then that it is never too early to teach your kids about coitus. The earlier the better: after all, you don’t want those off guard questions in the middle of a charity fund drive, or do you? That marked the start of our two weeks evening class. By day three, I had a class of twenty kid; because the older two (16 and 18) spread the good sex-class gospel to their peers, who came against their parents wishes, subjecting me to the wrath of ten moral strapped couples! As we went through the classes, I found myself wondering why no one taught me this things and when exactly I had become a sexpert. Why no one was teaching them if they were this willing to learn and until when they will hold off the AIDs menace if we continue to behave like they are our little saints.

image downloaded from photobucket.com
image downloaded from photobucket.com

The answer is simple. We are all huddled up in our childhood where sex and anything sex related was taboo. It no longer is. If you want to get your child safely to adulthood, teach them about sex as early as you can. Take them to the nearest VCT. Be honest about everything. Use charts or cover your face (so they won’t see you blush) if you have to.
An informed child is a wise child. An informed society is an empowered society. Forget those moral steps. Teach them what they need to know. After all, if you do not, aunt google will…and so will the media: giving them all the wrong information at the very least.

PERFECTING THE ART OF PROSTITUTION!

Dear Journal,
Long time no talk, ah? Well, sorry that I found a new friend but maybe you will always be my best friend so, LOTTA! Let’s get that bottle of white wine out.
I was wondering what I will do today (after waking up at noon with a very big smile for waking up early!) when I decided to read. I opened my calibre eBook organizer but I had no idea which book to read. Apparently, someone has been tampering with my reader following my recent love with bookshops and paperback materials. You got to agree, the touch and smell of a new book is addictive but the feel of soft paper beneath your fingers as you caress the book page by page is thrilling and erotic! All the same, someone tampered. It got me mad because they added a whole bookshop of silly materials like The Art of Female Organism, The Art of Seduction and Perfecting Anal Sex…Jesus! Who the hell wants to read those?
Before you answer that, let us be clear here. There is nothing wrong with anal sex as long as I am not the one doing it, I have no problem with reaching an organism (in fact, if you can make me come all through our sexcapade, I will marry you instantly) and I have no problem with being seduced as long as I can tolerate your breath and your manners are agreeable, but I have no interest in reading what someone thinks is the perfect way of doing this things because they worked for them. Fact is, I love the Italian way of seduction and the Mexican romantism, but hey, I live in Kenya and the closest you can get near Mexican romance and Italian seduction is by dating a Luo! Maasai and kikuyu men have no idea of what foreplay is; well they did not know until they started reading The G-spot, Men 101 and Glamour Magazines! Luhya men will buy you chicken then climb you like a horse and kalenjin men will get you running a sex marathon!
Well, the point is my calibre eBook organizer has been tampered with and now I get to read all manner of boring stuffs like How to Pass an Interview, How to Write a CV and A Resume That Sells. As I was skimming through How to Command an Interview, I found a list that listed qualities of a bad interviewer.
They catapulted (yes, the luo bug got to me thanks to @omnoel) to what I like to refer to as my last interview. I had had a previous phone interview with a certain Mr. Kinuthia. They had announced a vacancy for rock climbing guides. I have magnet particles that keep attaching me to dangerous activities. So I applied for the sheer need to dance with danger and date one Mr. Risk. I passed the phone interview and was scheduled for a physical interview. However, Mr. Kinuthia could not make it. I found one Mr. Kariuki. He kept talking, rarely giving me space to answer his questions. He kept probing about my personal life and completely avoided my professional life. He was pissed off when I said am a monotheist and not a Christian. He got mad when I challenged his gospel of Jesus and told him to give me a difference between talking to the wind and talking to an unseen being that is purportedly present in and around over 40 billion people all over the world at the same time. He got bitchy when I said I can do anything other than swim. Through some miracle I cannot explain, I became amused and started giving very skimpy details. I knew I did not have the job the moment our religious views crashed. Apparently, my choice of religion is a basis for denial of a job I am highly competent at.
I have no objection to what he did. My major point is: He is a very bad interviewer. I don’t see why my personal life or my religious beliefs have to be the basis of a professional interview or why my professional life was not interrogated at all. It was done though and I left feeling very pleased with myself for challenging him and making the interview about him and not about me. I hope that confidence stays with me forever. Amen.
As the day progresses, I will get rid of those materials I can only consider as rubbish (or what do we call things we have no use for?) probably get some better-worth-my-time reads.
Sorry about the title. (How else would I have got your attention?) Have a blessed day.

yours @_Mimoh_

wanjiru’s world