POETRY: THE STORY OF OUR TIMES

anguishIts shocking, its terrifying. Our new norm is driven to a large extent by sad news,
Mothers burying their alive babies,
Fathers killing their entire families,
Siblings hacking each other to death,
Is the story of our times.

Villains butchering fellow country men/women in the name of religion.
Churches thriving in hypocrisy and open deceit,
Mosques covering up terrorism networks perpetrated in house of Allah,
Preachers succumbing to adultery, Congregations being condemned for being ‘poor’
Is the story of our times.

Stripping women in the name of ‘indecency’ dressing,
Ladies falling short of walking nude, to appease the mass,
Youths dwarfed by hard drugs, having been reduced to zombies,
Fathers being stripped their responsibilities due to addiction to cheap liquor,
Is the story of our times.

Pedophile uncles salivating over their nieces,
Erosion of young boys’ innocence by venereal house girls,
Rape and chopping to death of our beloved mothers,
sisters, aunts and close friends,
Is the story of our times.

Pupils being punished for attending private schools,
Scoring 407 marks and missing a slot in high school,
Students falling victim of self centered teachers unions’
Is the story of our times.

Our coolness is defined by Instagram pics of us smoking shisha,
Our society is full of conformers and timid personalities,
Who ridicule people who stand out, of the crowd,
Is the story of our times.

We’re frozen by impunity, in the man eat man society,
We’ve taken cue of Sodom and Gomorrah,
Ignorance of warning signs, in the book of Revelation,
Is the story of our times.

POETRY: HOPE FOR A BETTER DAY

kiqThe days are flying pretty fast.
Expectations are growing and glowing from every corner.
My mind and heart are holding me at ransom.
All pushing in different directions, selfishly.
My intuition is compromised by mistakes in the over 20 years span.
While at it, hope for a better day.

Self realisation and a prayer a day will save me.
Not validations and affirmations from all and sundry.
In fact I’m more motivated when I prove people wrong than when am
bombarded with expectations.
Rise up my mind, surmount mediocrity and simpleton mentality.
While at it, hope for a better day.

My heart don’t trust easily. I know that’s a tall order for you,
seek advice from your brother(brain) when overwhelmed. Bleed if you can,
cry to create room for happiness. And when it comes, forget the flaws,
live in the moment. Appreciate every experience, that’s appreciating life.
While at it, hope for a better day.

My mind, I’m a consequence of your decisions.
Sometimes profound ones, sometimes silly ones.
Take your time my mind, patience is a virtue.
Embrace it, all day.
Nevertheless, don’t lose opportunities, take the heads up, from
your cousins(eyes) downstairs seriously. Surge and grab them(opportunities)
not the Langata way, though.
While at it, hope for a better day.

My legs, keep walking as Octopizzo advises. My eyes don’t be intimidated by the sun.
Wear the dark glasses and dare it. Keep me focused and all knowing.
I depend on you to see the world. My conscious, be at ease. Keep me clean, spiritually.
While at it, hope for a better day.

POETRY: AT TIMES

sssAt times i wonder why we have to flaunt of our cars, spouses, big houses. I get pissed off.

Am not an exception too, at times it slips off. I piss many. Other times am not the best friend. I sneeze some arrogance.

My veins will at times flow with bloody temper. I can be annoying, I know how to irritate, at times.

Having said that, I know I try to be nice, courteous, rational and all those virtues put together, but at times

i find myself losing the sensitivity of life.

My patience is taken advantage of, not always but occasionally. At times i find myself at crossroads,

trying to please two camps who don’t  take a shit of what i do. They laugh all the way to the bank,

as I wipe my sweat after days of labour. I lose life, I lose opportunities, I lose family all in the name of working hard.

At times my heart will be troubled, at times i’ll go by the flow, not giving a damn. Its the hard reality

of playing catch up with life. God your are my best friend, however cliche it is purported to sound. How I wish I would

listen, like you always lend me your ear. You are gentle and understanding. At times i take it for granted, sad

as it appears. Please forgive me.

I dare to dream everyday, at times the dreams dwindle, almost vanishing, chocked by snears and scorning eyes.

Prayers  from my mother and your love, rescue me from jaws of delinquency and evil spirits, always roaming like vultures,

out looking for a carcass. I wake up motivated, unapologetic for my success and your favour, only at times.

At times I think too hard, take myself too seriously, fight insomnia in the dark hours and battle unwarranted worries. At times I crave for better days.

At times am misunderstood. But this is all in a day’s work. Fighting personal struggles and wars with the outer world.

I promise myself not to lose momentum, otherwise  I’ll not break the glass ceilings.

APOLOGIES FROM ACNE SKINNED, FORGET IT

AVRIL_PIXXBy the way I don’t have the best skin. Once in a while I struggle with acne. Actually why there are apps that distort one’s image is due to humans trying to run away from the truth. Distort is a harsh word, maybe I should have said, ‘enhance one’s outlook’ or filter as they call it on Instagram. Make up products were invented for this purpose too. To conceal a blemish here and an annoying pimple there. Acne faces and oily skins go hand in hand, talk of dangling a carrot.

Am sure this is not the first time you’re reading about acne. Few weeks ago, legions in social media were ‘surprised’ by an image uploaded by Avril, the musician on Instagram. She had not applied make up and her face seemed to battle with intense acne. This was an audacious move, very unprecedented in Kenya.The degree of boldness she portrayed attracted an equal measure of detest. As you would expect with this generation that appreciates hate more than anything else, insults were traded from here to the end of Africa. This is an abomination, at least they said. Kenyans are not familiar with celebs not looking ‘sharp’, otherwise why are they in that platform, in the first place? Kenya’s celebs depict a larger than life lifestyle only short of perfectionism. Is it self defeating to showcase this kind of life, at the expense of concealing our shortcomings? The jury is out.

What disturbed me is the hypocrisy in social media. Some of those hating are victims too. Many live in denial. Trying to hate a celebrity who is human anyway, is escapism to say the least. Avril gave them a chance to discard their self loathe.They should thank her. Before you trade aversion recklessly, get your facts right.

• Acne is a skin disease that involves the oil glands at the base of hair follicles. • Acne commonly occurs during puberty. • Acne is not dangerous, but can leave skin scars. • Types of pimples include whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules, nobules, cysts. • Approximately three-quarters of 11 to 30 year-olds will get acne at some time. • Acne can affect people of all races and all ages. • Experts believe the primary cause is a rise in androgen levels (hormone). • A susceptibility to acne could also be genetic.

Treatment for acne may depend on how severe and persistent it is.  Acne can be affected by the menstrual cycle, anxiety and stress, hot and humid climates, oil based makeup, greasy hair and pimple squeezing. Acne can be worse when one is under intense stress and depression, when in use of oily hair products, during menstrual cycle and after change of climate when one travels.

If you struggle with acne it is important to appreciate some ‘don’ts’ that might help in reducing acne prevalence. • Don’t try to burst the pimples. • Try to refrain from touching your face with your hands. When you are on the phone try not to let the receiver touch your face • Always wash your hands before touching your face. • Glasses should regularly be cleaned. They will collect sebum and skin residue • You skin needs to breathe. If your acne is on your back, shoulders or chest try wearing loose clothing. • Don’t go to sleep with makeup on. • Hair collects sebum and skin residue. Keep your hair clean and away from your face • Too much sun can cause your skin to produce more sebum. • If you shave your face, do it carefully. Irritating the skin causes acne.

You are not alone, some world famous personalities suffer from the ailment too, from Christiano Ronaldo, Miley Cyrus to Nelly Furtado. All the best comrades in crime.

ABOUT LAST SUNDAY

20141228_084128[1]We that work on Saturdays normally have a tendency of looking forward to Sundays. Sunday is that harmless day, so to speak, free flowing and gentle. For me, Sundays is a time of healing from the previous week bruises. I find myself reflecting, assessing and reinventing myself ready for the following week. I take time to read extensively on this day though nowadays I will lazily watch a movie in the afternoon if not taking a siesta.

Last Sunday was not that different only that I was more at peace, happy and in good books with my conscious. Actually, I was so challenged by the people I interacted with on that day.  Immediately after the church service, by the way am a church guy, at least most of the time. I walked straight to the newspaper vendor who hardly knows my name. I didn’t have ‘loose money’ for ease of getting my balance back. It would mean waiting for like 20 people to be served. So this guy hands me my copy and tells me he has no problem with me paying next Sunday. To be frank, I was very surprised.  This is not your typical vendor who even after bumping into him countless times on the streets to expect him to entrust you with his wares for a later pay day. That’s very unusual in my country, or so I was proved wrong. We have profound people darted all over, only that we overlook them.

That’s not all, with my surprise I walked home but before that, I set foot in my local supermarket to get some few items. As soon as I was served by the cashier, the guy behind me on the queue gives a heads up, asking me if am interested in getting some bonus points now that he forgot his shopping card.  As you are aware this is an inimitable occurrence, I quickly nod to him as I  get my card. By the time I got home, I felt mean and selfish, the people I met on that day clearly made me look bad.  It never hit me that ‘kumbe’ there are great people in our small worlds.

Feeling drained by the scorching sun, I sip some cold water as I flip over the TV stations. I am eager for more inspiration on this day. I stumble on Family TV and the preacher, one John Hagee gives a conflagrant speech warning of the coming rapture many Christians are not prepared for. With prosperity gospel all over our TV screens in the recent past, this is a program I dare not to ignore. Hagee goes ahead to point out the warning signs, of the coming of Messiah in great lengths. The only other place you can get similar preaching’s is at Prophet Owuor’s church. The message was, we must repent and take control our lives before it’s too late.

The subsequent program is even more worthy to watch. The preacher who I didn’t get his name teaches about Abel and Cain’s story in the bible. Cain developed jealousy to his younger brother seemingly because the Lord favoured Abel after they made offerings to Him. Genesis 4:1 – 26. Our generation is obsessed with jealousy. We loathe everybody around us and in so doing help them count their blessings as we overlook ours. Jealousy begins where our talents and skills end, said the preacher. He shares a memorable bible verse, that we can reread in our low moments equating to calling the hotline 911(Psalms 91:1).Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

Catching up on the day’s paper, Christ Hart a popular columnist wrote on how the world worships talent but really values character. He talks about how we are misguided that our purpose in life is seeking happiness. According to him, what you feel when doing things beyond youself is more fulfilling. He concludes that greatness comes from selfless determination to improve society for the benefit of all.

Later on I proceed to watch the eagerly awaited Arsenal vs Man City game. I sit next to this white man who after exchanging pleasantries informs me he is French. I quickly indulge him on the anti-Muslim attacks in his country on the wake of Paris attacks. He sounds unaware and the conversation is cut short by the kick off. He is warm and diplomatic

The challenge that disturbs my mind as I lay in bed after such a memorable is whether my impact on people around me or whom I interact with on my daily hustles would warrant somebody to write about me in a story I will never come across. Can that random person who bumps into you, for the shortest time possible needlessly find he/she narrating to his/her friends a positive encounter with you?

May you be that person who’ll take up the challenge.

FARE THEE WELL, FIDEL

ff1It’s never the wish of any parent to encounter and grapple with the death of his/her children in their lifetime. In fact, parents hope that it will always be the other way round. Of ageing as they watch their sons and daughters walk through the many stages of life, successfully. Parents being alive to meet their grandchildren is to them, unfathomable joy. Their hearts dance blissfully. In our African culture, it’s considered one of the greatest blessings.

It’s in this context, that I register my deepest and heartfelt condolences to the Odinga family and the entire nation at large. I sympathise with Hon. Raila Odinga and Mama Ida, I understand the excruciating shock, disbelief and grief, they are going through at this difficult time. Fidel’s death was hard, unapologetic and sudden. Akin to that of Hon Tom Mboya , Mutula Kilonzo and Otieno Kajwang.

I can attest Fidel’s passing away, is the single worst blow to the Odingas’ dynasty, after Oginga Odinga’s death on January 20th, 1994. Fidel would be instrumental during the detention of of his father, Raila Odinga  for six years after he was linked with orchestrating the infamous 1982 coup, during the Moi regime. He was the scion and pillar of the Odinga’s  when Raila was languishing in the dark and tall rooms of Nyayo House. Mama Ida was closely monitored by the Intelligence; hence Fidel would take the key role of taking care of his younger siblings.

That Fidel loved the fine things life had to offer is an open secret, from the big and sumptuous cars, tasty bourgeoisie wines, winsome women and elitist venues. With his six foot height, and hailing from an opulent and famous family, you would be forgiven to imagine, he was the most aloof personality on planet earth. I’ve stumbled on kids from rich families, and I know their deluxe personalities, and they’ll look you like you owe them an apology for being alive. But this was far from the truth for Fidel, he was none of those. In fact in sharp contrast, he was accommodative, empathetic and very protective of his close relatives. At least this is what I have gathered from reliable sources.

To the laymen, Fidel was a harmless fly, who had an endearment for parting just like any typical rich kid. Actually, when he was arrested late last year for drunk driving, many were not ‘surprised’ like the gossip tabloids. In their minds, they were like; “That’s Fidel for you.”  Fidel from the onset, when he was born on 4th January 1973 had big shoes to fit in. His grandfather was actively involved in fighting for Kenya’s independence. In fact, in the wisdom of Oginga, he vowed Kenya would not move on and gain independence if Jomo Kenyatta was not released. That was remarkable. Exit Oginga, enter Raila. He is the former Prime Minister of Kenya, described by many as an enigma in Kenya politics. He has made tremendous contribution in fighting for democratic space in this country for decades. With that, you can understand the pressure Fidel struggled with, from an early age. He represented the face of the entire Odingas’ posterity. He was being gloomed to be the captain of the ship.

ffWas Fidel ready for politics? To close friends, he had a split personality. On one side, he was aggressive, and the other seemingly laidback.  However in the recent times, he had come of age. With a now ‘stable’ immediate family and a son, 2017 was his for the taking. He had made friends from both his father’s antagonist camp and CORD family. He was playing it safe. He knew the art of not making unnecessary foes. He was popular in both the populous Kibera and native Kisumu. He was ready for the mantle.

But this was cut short, rather hard and mysterious. It was sudden and unapologetic. Am told he complained of stomach ache, late in the day. I tweeted on last Sunday morning, that whatever would be the cause of Fidel’s death, may the Lord rest his soul in eternal peace. Who are we to correct God? Fare thee well comrade. Till we meet again. Your mark in our generation was indelible. Peace.