BULLYING OF SINGLE PEOPLE

single ppleMandy Hale said, “Single is no longer a lack of options but a choice. A choice to refuse to let your life be defined by your relationship status but to live every day happily and let your ever after work itself out.” Many people are suckers for love, but that is easier harboured in the mind and left to be fantasized than experienced. For a long time single people have suffered in silence at the expense of torment from people who purport to be madly in love with their other halves and enjoying every minute of their so called relationships. By the way I’m not a sadist; in fact I’m happy for everybody who is in a relationship for all the right reasons. I support all my friends who are married. I appreciate it’s not that easy. Having said that however, my problem is directed to a certain clique of the society who make it their business to let us know, how they were beautifully caressed last night by their partners or how their marriage is the best (mind you they’ve been married for less than a year) and how they pity the single people out there. These are the same people who are engaged just to conform to societal expectations.

What this school of thought is oblivious of, is that every new day millions of single ladies are turning down offers from their bosses, similarly, their male counterparts are turning a blind eye to ladies making strategic moves with their shallow credentials notwithstanding. Single hood is normally associated with solitude, rejection and loneliness but being single is one thing and being lonely is a totally different thing. In any case, one of the most common cases of loneliness is found in marriages and relationships and it’s more detrimental. We have taken upon ourselves to perceive the single in a very negative way. We have placed them next to criminals, some treat it as an abomination, ask high school kids. Soap operas have redefined relationships and they are now a matter of life and death. Love has been commercialised, consequently all the ugly effects are borne by the Singles.

We are all at different stages of our lives and single hood is part of it, in any case it’s a good thing for self-growth. It’s the right stage in life to assess and evaluate oneself, reflect on the past and ponder on the posterity. It has no room for feeling small or self-pity. A good number of people are getting into relationships and marriages for validations and affirmations, and what they do in return is scorn the single. These are the same people jumping from one relationship to another in a couple of months. They are escapists who are afraid of handling their very own baggage which continue to build up. Ideally they should be the last to point fingers at any single person. As the old saying goes, apples don’t fall far away from the tree, the same usual suspects will be spotted gate crashing and mingling in singles events.

Single people are brave and that should be appreciated. Please do not get into a relationship to please your peers as some apply all unorthodox ways to woo successful people or people higher up in their career ladder. How do you flaunt with your boyfriend’s car when you contributed nothing, not even emotional help. And by the way chances are, you’ll not be his girlfriend for long before he finds someone better than you. Some are too desperate to betray their own skin just to be ‘loved’. Someone asked, would the world perceive you the same if we were all blind? This notion of losing yourself to please somebody is what many are doing and hypocritically bad mouthing the single.

Let the single be single in peace. There is more fulfillment and self-respect that comes along when you are honest and true to your conscious. To those who are in genuine relationships, all the best. The rest keep the sensation to yourself, social media does not need it, not unless you need fake smiles and very fake aaaaaw moments from ladies. To the single, prejudice is everywhere, ignore it and embrace what completes and makes you more at peace. “Hope for love, pray for love, wish for love, dream for love but don’t put your life on hold waiting for love.” ―Mandy Hale.

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Of Ladies Who Accompany Their Men To The Barbershop

bbI usually have a seemingly good chemistry with Fridays. I tend to smile more and my skin glows perhaps due to looking forward to a well deserved weekend. It is also the day to dress down which works magic on my moods. Typically, after 5:30pm, I dash to my favourite barbershop for a haircut. Am not a hair guy or so it dawned on me in my late teen years. By this day I uncharacteristically don’t feel comfortable, not with my beards sprouting.

So I check to my barber, one we fondly refer as ‘Shemus’ amongst the three who by this hour are quite busy. Ordinarily, each one of them will have his clients lined up and waiting patiently to be attended on a first come first serve basis. The men at work skillfully do what they do best with zeal and precision, surprisingly not deterred by the bulging queue. In the background, cool rhumba music is playing from the stereo, sweeter to the ear than when I try it on my playlist. It is this time, that I get disturbed when ladies accompanying their boyfriends, husbands or ‘latest catch’, make way to the elusive space at the waiting couch. It is even more annoying, when they give you that guileless look, as they fidget with their galore accessories.

In our ‘gentleman syndrome’ , one is made to stand to impress the lady who doesn’t even care to appreciate. To many of them, it is an entitlement. Funny enough, conversations are interrupted or even distorted whenever men realize there is a lady who is obviously eavesdropping. Men subconsciously pull superficial decorum, and even tend to be careful with their choice of words. There is no more boring discourse than men pretending to be who they are not even close to being. On one hand their eyes will be darting all over and on the other wittingly stealing glances at the said lady to catch her attention.

A barbershop is a place where men pour their stress from that nagging wife, or office politics. Men don’t mince words in this arena, everything is black or white. They also gossip in a very subtle way, they camouflage in the name of comparing notes. All this is complimented by football talk and more football ‘in depth analysis’. My barber, Shemis is not only a Chelsea fanatic, but ‘understands football inside out.’ Once in a awhile he’ll make fun of Van Gaal losing his first game or why Chelsea are title favourites, never mind there are 41 games to go. But all these changes in a lady’s presence. The accountants in the house will make their careers known by occasionally throwing financial spanners in the discourse and so will be the I.T geeks. The bankers will adjust their ties as tourist chauffeurs flaunt of their last destination .

I once made a mistake of falling into a trap of a friend who convinced me to pick her in a salon as it was getting late in the night. I was supposed to wait her for, utmost 5 minutes but it prolonged to 45 minutes. The experience was harrowing. The gossip rich in fodder was from pregnant women, to the aged, engaged and seemingly single ladies in the room. The talked rolled from one’s spouse who does not pick up calls whenever in a ‘meeting’, to another ones sidekick who in this context was an Asian man. Ladies like exploring, quite literally, sorry not all, but majority. They didn’t even shy with my presence, even though I pretended to be busy on phone. All my friend would do is show some punctuated smiles. I have never felt so out of place.

Back to the barbershop, my simple research concluded, of the ladies who accompany their men to the barber, nine out of ten will be savouring new relationships and the sensation that comes along with it. Every Friday, I spot different ladies at the barber’s couch innocently trying to be romantic in words and deeds to their other halves. Romance my foot! With all respect, ladies stick to your lanes, find something more constructive to do in that one hour, hook up with your girls for coffee, or go do cooking or house chores. It will make your man more happy.

MEET MY HEROINE – PAULA KAHUMBU

pDo you have a passion? What boundaries have you crossed? How far have you stretched it? What are your crazy stories? Do your close friends harbour thoughts of you going nuts? Well if not, you are not passionate enough. Passion should make you wake up in the wee hours to jolt down a line or two for your next song, two scribble down an idea for your next book. That’s passion for you. It should make you restless, sleepless and agitated if you have not satisfied it. It drags you out of your comfort zones, to a unique world which only exists in your mind, they call it utopia. Passion should remind you of one Boniface Mwangi who downed his cameras and projects from the likes of Safaricom, to advocate for good governance in this country. Passion should remind you of the the late, Wangari Maathai, who endevoured to preach conservation of our threatened environment even when she was mishandled by police. Passion should make you recall, Timothy Njoya who cheated death along Parliament Road while agitating for the second liberation.

Whenever I think of passion, my mind reminds me of a noble and phenomenal woman, a wildlife conservationist, to be precise, an elephant enthusiast, who will do anything to ensure elephants in this country are safe from poachers. She breathes, eats, drinks and tweets anything conservation. Inspired by another veteran in the field of conservation of fauna, Sir Richard Leakey, Paula has grown through her passion to sensitize communities across Africa on the need to protect the endangered wildlife. People never appreciate wild animals, they take them for granted, in fact they do not understand these animals have feelings. When infernos burn out a forest, wildlife is threatened. When poachers pounce and kill them in numbers, they are reduced to extinction. When human wildlife conflict arise, communities take the law in to their own hands and maim or kill them. All these sad but real stories, make the heart of one Paula bleed in pain and anguish though not helplessly.

In her words she says “conservationists do crucial work on a shoestring, cut off from the rest of the world. They’re in remote, isolated places, some even risking their lives.” Currently working under Wildlife Direct, a charitable organisation founded by Richard Leakey, her job revolves around keeping in touch with conservationists in Africa on the ground who try their best to ensure endangered species are safe from the enemy. Bloggers and photographers in this field, can share articles and videos in real time, on the day to day challenges of wildlife in Africa. Thus it came as no surprise when Paula Kahumbu walked to Kimaiyo’s office and patiently waited for a record, 8 hours to have an audience with him and put an offer on the table of helping the police, in arresting a suspected ivory kingpin Feizal Ali Mohamed. Kimaiyo appeared briefly and casually dismissed her. You can count on me, this is not the last time you you will hear of her, raising her voice to the annoyance of  government busy bodies who can’t match her intelligence in this field.

What Paula is doing is to say the least, exceptional and deserves a standing ovation. She is a rare being, at least in Kenya  where we auction the country at the mere smell of money. And in our peculiar habits, we only celebrate people when they die. They die not knowing they inspired, brought solutions and made us happy. I choose to celebrate her today and encourage her and everybody else who is stepping out to make this world a better place to live in. What is your passion, and how is it helping this world, is it just tearing it apart? If you haven’t figured out one, you better crawl from the conformers and mediocres and may you be inspired by Paula. Be an inspirer.

EBOLA – WHO CARES!

EBOLA-master675I shudder to mull over an Ebola case being reported in Kenya, thanks to our porous borders and laid back reactions, God should forbid this. Kenya media has been reduced to a mere spectator only reporting on the new cases and deaths. I have not heard of any sensitization from the many channels or papers I have flipped through so far. The World Health Organisation has declared an international public health emergency. Last night there were reports of a suspected case at Kenyatta National Hospital, though the news were rather hazy with no results from KEMRI released 5 hours later, way before I even penned this article. However it was good news when a passenger en route from Liberia to Uganda, who had been put in isolation with fever, tested negative. Am not sure if the results are final since am made to understand the outcome reports are shipped to America for confirmation.

Kenya Airways has not yet halted flights to West Africa where the outbreak was first reported, it has killed 960 people, this year alone. The anxiety is obvious after KQ insisted it won’t cancel its flights even after the big players like, British Airways, Emirates and others withdrew their services to contain the menace. Guinea has been the worst hit with 367 deaths, followed by Sierra Leone and Liberia reporting 298 and 294 deaths respectively. 2 people have died in Nigeria. Speaking of Nigeria, president Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency a day after his counterpart, president Ellen Sirlief of Liberia made a similar declaration. As Nigeria set aside $11.7 million for emergency funds, Liberia president warned, extra ordinary measures were needed for the very survival of the state.

But an uncharacteristic Obama termed it premature to send experimental drugs to victims in Africa. Really! Did he just indirectly imply that the poor should bury their people.I do no want to castigate the just concluded Africa-US partnership Summit, but I must put it on record, that for far too long, the West have perceived Africans as lesser human beings. Ponder this, two US citizens infected with Ebola were cured with a secret serum as Africans continue to die like flies. Did any of the invited president challenge America to do more in terms of financial and medical support. Do they even care or was it another cajole attempt from the big brother for its selfish gains, well it could have also been a rare holiday trip and photo expedition as some twitter streets put it. A section of respected medical pundits have argued in favour of US saying the drugs used to treat the said Americans were ‘experimental drugs’. I ask, does it matter?. If the drug can help improve a victim’s health why not administer it to them.

Take note that Ebola has a 90% fatality rate. You simply don not dance with such statistics, but who cares to listen to our pleas. We are all alive to the fact that most African countries have for a long time under invested in matters health and have no capacity to contain Ebola in earnest as developed countries would do. Traditions, religious leader,speculation, ignorance and uncoordinated efforts are some of the impediments that hamper the surmount of this life threatening ordeal. Well I managed to gather some of the signs and symptoms listed here below;
• Fever
• Headache
• Joint and muscle aches
• Weakness
• Diarrhea
• Vomiting
• Stomach pain
• Lack of appetite
Some patients may experience:
• A Rash
• Red Eyes
• Hiccups
• Cough
• Sore throat
• Chest pain
• Difficulty breathing
• Difficulty swallowing
• Bleeding inside and outside of the body

Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to ebolavirus though 8-10 days is most common.

Have a healthy day.

‘POLICE RECRUITMENT’ – KARMA IS A BITCH

police-recruitmentIt came as a great relief to many when the National Police Service Commission announced plans to recruit 10,000 police officers. Many patriotic and concerned Kenyans were at least impressed by the efforts the government was making towards achieving the recommended ratio of police to citizens which stands at 1:450. Another age group  was rejoicing as the commission had reduced the minimum entry grade from C (Plain) to D+ (plus) and put the minimum age to between 18 and 28 years for KCSE holders, and 30 years for those with specialized skills including Diploma and Degree. But as they say, the more things change, the more they remain the same. Old tricks die hard.

The ills that marred the recent police recruitment will finally catch up with us sooner or later. In fact part of the complacency annihilating  the security sector in this country, to a large extent is a problem emanating from vague police recruitment. If nepotism, tribalism and money are the requirements for one to join the force, then we are shooting ourselves at the foot.This ineptitude in the name of recruitment drive is catastrophic to say the least. Reducing an enormous task as this to an auction for the highest bidder only shows how low and selfish we have become. Sh.2.9 billion of taxpayers money have gone down the drain.

Senior commanders and politicians outwit each other in absorbing  their relatives, cronies and fellow tribes men and women in the force at the expense of genuine youths fit as fiddle who only count at the recruitment as their last resort. These are jobless young lives who have bared the wrath of a harsh reality of searching for those elusive opportunities in the job market. Remember they obviously do not have godfathers because these is a country of unequals, what J.M Kariuki would term as a nation of 10 millionaires and 10 million beggars.

These selfish acts means police condoning impunity on our roads, passengers pegging their lives at the mercy of notorious drivers will always resurface occasionally. Drug cartels and their dens sprouting all over and thriving will continue to be a thorn in the flesh. Citizens mobilizing neighbours to keep vigil around the estates and the villages will be our new norm for a long time to come. Dreams will be shuttered and precious lives will be brought to a halt courtesy of extra judicial killing by elements in the force who do not give a damn. Al shabaab cells will continue to terrorise residents and people will be displaced every few months. We will get used to burying our young men and women, their lives cut short by poisonous liquor. Am sure you now know all wealthy people have ‘licensed guns’. Yes they can never count on the police. Nobody even cares for the Wanjiku.

Am hoping the Kavuludi Commission will unravel the rogue police men and women, cartels and brokers in these business and recommend severe actions to be taken. Stations that registered massive complaints should be be given another chance to hold a transparent recruitment.  We must set a precedent now by raising the bar in professionalism, in conducting these drive and punishing impunity. After all is said and done, Karma is a bitch, we certainly do not need to sob later for the bad seeds we continue to sow now.