DEAR NJOKI CHEGE, LET MEN BE

citygirlMy good friend Amos promised me an audience with Njoki Chege one of these fine days I’ll be in town. I should actually blame myself for not pushing hard enough, to see this deal work. The timing couldn’t have been better. Wait a minute; why would I be interested in meeting Njoki Chege? Would she go ahead and throw mud at me for showing up late, or would it be about my dressing code? Would she judge me for my choice of rendezvous or how I would sip my cappuccino? Would it be about the length of my finger nails or everything to do with my deo? Would I join her list of men who trigger (not inspire) her to write about damn men. Truth be told, Njoki Chege am waiting for this meeting to experience your other persona. If it ever happened, I’d ask you several questions; I’d confirm whether you’ve watched the movie ADDICTED and your opinion of it. It’s on this note that I’d indulge you on your childhood. Whether you had a father figure while growing up and who is this man who messed up with your life to warrant the rest of us, brace your hummers and tongs for the rest of our lives. I’d ask about this boyfriend that promised you heaven on earth but went ahead to fail miserably. I’d ask about these men in your life that deluded or rather provoked your ethos in your teenage life. Which are these scores you’re settling in a national newspaper, dear CITY GIRL?

But while we wait for this meeting, I wish to register my disturbance from your consistent onslaught of the XY chromosome.That’s all the biology I know. Who has paid you to crush our egos? Who sent you to make our hearts pound more anytime we get hold of that Saturday Nation Newspaper? Men have become society’s punching bag. Young boys growing up are struggling with the overwhelming noises of extreme advocacy of the girl child. No pun intended. Men are paying the ultimate price, of people nursing wounds of a bad childhood or them that are frustrated with life. A determined section of the society is venting anger just to feel good about themselves. Njoki Chege summoned us, pulled a chair and advised us to raise our standards to meet hers. Well, fair enough. Probably, she’s frustrated by the calibre of contemporary men society is churning out. But not all men are miserable. Not all men are visionless bla bla bla.. In any case, if you keep on bumping to these kind of men, the only person you should blame, is yourself.  You might be the one with low standards, you know! Or rather hallucinating about this ideal, tall, handsome guy with this perfect personality, financially endowed, who’ll choke you with unparalleled romance.

Njoki Chege is engaging in runaway radicalisation of our girls and women. How do you deal with a son who whenever he peruses his dad’s newspaper, encounters this article that demeans men every other week. Njoki, you are hurting your yet to be born son by blanketly and consistently condescending the Kenyan man in a national platform. How are men to blame for sharing pics on Instagram? My senses tell me Instagram is open for both genders including men from Kenya. According to Njoki Chege by laws, no man should share pics about their ruracios and ngurarios (dowry traditions). Why could she be bitter about it, while every lady craves for the day that honour will knock to their homestead? It comes with territory and tremendous respect. I mean, it takes a lot of courage for a man to bother friends to cheap in on the whopping budget. Worse still, sitting down with stubborn wazees negotiating about bride price, paying hefty amounts of money, bringing along buckets of honey and spotless goats, crates of beer and other shoppings is no mean achievement. To the rest of his family it’s a sign of commitment. Now, if you happen to share that experience on Instagram, Njoki Chege qualifies you as a cheap man, with low standards and no ambition. Let me educate you Chege; as weddings are to ladies, so are ruracios and gurarios to men. Let me not mention about socialites on these streets who make it our business to care about their foreign boyfriends who own these alluring mansions and intimidating cars.

Njoki Chege, if you live in a neighborhood where the boy next door drives this blue subaru with deafening exhaust sound, blame yourself or your employer for not affording a better hood. Dont make it appear like your financial woes should be a ‘man’s failure’. Men also persevere in neighborhoods that have this ‘extreme gossip lickers’. You know of these women who can tell whether you’ve chucked out for jobo or not, with their instincts. They’ll converge and spread half-truths and concocted lies on every female who checks to your digs even if it’s your sister. Men will never throw a blanket condemnation against all women for these uncivilised acts. We discern and sift and later address accordingly. Unlike Chege, we celebrate great women in our lives, with sincere hearts. Am also of the opinion, that once a man gets a first job, he should work towards getting his house. However, nobody should cast the first stone at them without first appreciating why their parents still harbor them at 35. Don’t blame them, blame their parents. Furthermore so many women still live in their parents’ digs, some with several kids. We (men) never raise our eyebrows unusually!.

To me, Njoki appears to be constructing and wedging a very selfish conversation of blaming men for all women woes. Its the high time you  gave men a break and deal with your estrogen issues. Am a writer and I appreciate work done behind the scenes to make a good article. Talk of researching, drafting, editing and more of editing. Its never that easy. However I have a problem with them that hate and propagate propaganda every week about a particular gender. It not only exposes ones weakness as a writer, but also makes one become very predictable in the sense that we can always tell what you’ll hate next.

Dear Njoki, kindly let men be. This overzealousness in demeaning man in women circles to say the least, is despicable and unfortunate.

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WILL OUR DEEDS BE ‘BEATIFIED’ WHEN WE’LL BE LONG GONE?

ssteSr.Irene Stefani was born in 1891, the period around when Britain opened fertile highlands of Kenya to white settlers. She had 12 siblings, 7 of whom would die in their infancy. Her mother passed away when she was only 16, and ostensibly a young Irene was left with the task of taking care of her younger 4 siblings. On 29th January 1914 she consecrated her life to God by taking the Religious vows and on 28th December of the same year she left for Kenya. She would heed to every call in the night to serve the sick and baptise those in the blink of death. She would naturally speak to people she encountered, about God with joy and conviction. On 20th October 1930, she opted to visit a sick teacher who previously had spoken badly about her and her way of teaching. 10 days later, Sr.Irene died at the age of 39 after inhaling this teacher’s breath which probably caused her infection.

That’s Sister Irene for you. Her love and mercy transcended races, continents and people who disliked her work. Its on that note that this weekend, the entire world, catholic or non catholic zoom their lenses to a typical sleepy village of Gikondi, in Mukurweini, Nyeri County to witness a historical moment of their lives. Gikondi, will be trending globally as a mammoth of Christians congregate for a night vigil to commence the beatification process of Sister Irene. She died in this very village but not before walking miles, far and beyond, in her boots of glory to spend much of her time in sick peoples’ bed sides. People of Gikondi had nick named her Nyaatha, meaning Nyina wa Tha (Mother of mercy and love), for her rare sense of mercy. Sorry for telling you what you already know.

Sister Irene was phenomenal. She had a big heart. A merciful heart that touched legions far away from her country and family. Close to a century later, her deeds still captures the world’s headlines. Her rich impact still trembles the world’s sophistication and contemporary life. To me that’s beautiful and humbling. Thank God, social media was not invented then, and if it was, she wouldn’t care a thing. Her heart bled for the people. She cared less about basking in her glory. She was empathetic, noble and compassionate. Picture this, while your agemates, join campus and others venture into businesses while some start up families, Stefani harboured a different dream. A dream of carrying the emotional burden of people in a different continent, poorer and uncivilised, then.

Unlike Sr.Stefani, our lives are spent on social media where we exhibit any new dress, car or house. That flight trip that was 100% footed by your employer is flaunted on instagram for days. Our generation is obsessed with frivolous gratification of our naive excitement. We pose this demeanor of living large which is all but a life lived in denial. We live for others, while we auction our minds to them. We are too feeble to stand naysayers. We parade our spouses sent from heaven, our beautiful kids and the last escapade to the coastal beaches or hiking in Hell’s Gate just to make news. We badly crave to be worshiped or perceived in awe.

If Sister Irene was to resurrect today, she would be overwhelmed by the self – centered mentality in us. We no longer hear of good samaritan stories anymore. Do we ever raise an alarm when a neighbour’s house is broken into? When families lose their son or daughter whom they struggled to school, in a University attack, do we sympathise with them? Do such news bother us or what we only care about, is our very close relatives? Why is it hard for school going kids to come up with a list of role models? Sister Irene would be defeated by news of Presidents clinging onto power as their countries bleed with riots and melee. Would she come to terms with news of people killing comrades for the mere reason of them belonging from another country.

Its all waste of national resources and our time if we’ll spend an entire weekend glued to the TV screens or rather blazing the sweltering sun to witness this historical moment if it’ll not turnaround our lives. Beatification of Sister Irene should serve a purpose to us. It should trigger a sense of self interrogation and evaluation. We should have a moment with ourselves, mirroring our past mistakes, achievements and pondering on times we’ve set aside(if any) to help the disadvantaged communities around us. How many times, have you given way in traffic voluntarily? Or assisted a grandma carry her luggage home? When was the last time you were involved in your church’s development project or do you always look away when such announcements arise.

Your life’s footsteps will be judged harshly or otherwise when you pass away.Sooner or later. What will your eulogy read? Will tales of your generosity and kindness be told? Will humans who are not necessary your relatives or close friends be overcome by emotions by the reality of you being no more? Will you have touched lives by the time you meet your death? Or will your family be left with the burden of filling the voids and gaps of your pale or dull life as they bury you six feets under? We have no business being alive if we don’t make faces smile, give a hand and create time for loved ones. We have no business being alive if we don’t aid in wiping tears of a society.

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
― Leo Buscaglia

MY AFTER THOUGHTS & ENGAGEMENT EUPHORIA

6117-07562879Its on this rainy Thursday evening. Close to a fortnight ago. I have been left alone in the office. Its quiet. It feels blissful. The silence is fulfilling. Its been a long day. I have been hitting the keyboard all day. Drifting to emails staring at me stubbornly, demanding for responses. At times, staring at the computer screen for minutes, to figure out solutions for myriad of tasks. Papers would be scattered all over the table, waiting impatiently to be attended to. Oftenly my immediate colleague would interrupt my silence, and pass on some fodder. You know of the office politics and chit chat. She would prompt me to check on Biko Zulu’s website (bikozulu.co.ke). I would interject her; letting her know, I visited Biko’s site 5 hours ago but couldn’t manage to read it due to workloads. Speaking of Biko, I don’t know whether am the only one who happens to be taken on an alluring journey by his words, flow and depth of creativity. Anyway, enough of Biko for now. I will pen about him in the near future. Remind me if I forget. On this day, am also battling a cold that sneaked to my body while in Embu the previous weekend. Embu is damn cold. Or was it the season? I have never been to such a green, hilly and spotlessly clean town. And of people with heavy accents.

I drift to Facebook, to ‘like’ photos of acquaintances and people I have never met. I have to like their photos, even if some are not so appealing. Sorry, zero chills. But I have to ‘like’ anyway, lest I will be labelled mean or jealousy. This generation has crazy problems haha. The silence in this office, is rewarding me with that peace I needed. Peace makes me write. Peace triggers creativity in me. It heals a day’s wounds and frustrations. It straightens my conscience. It makes me go on a journey of reflection and self evaluation. I ignore my phone all this time, though it seems to vibrate every 2 seconds. Blame the Whatsapp groups. A heated conversation must be ensuing. I look away, I don’t seem interested. At least for now. Lest my peace will vanish.

I drift over the window, and peer at weary souls walking home. Of people who perhaps had a bad day with their bosses. Some of them would be entrepreneurs agonising over low sales. Some would be thinking about their loved ones in a distant town. I watch mothers, padding fast, along the streets holding their sons and daughters from school. They might be thinking on what to prepare for supper or of the well being of their 1 year old toddler left under the care of their 3 weeks house girl. At an advantage point, I hover at men heads presumably carrying along burdens of their families and dreams of a generation.

I remember my colleague muffling to me about this fashion blogger who had an engagement somewhere besides a lake I didn’t learn in school. I should sue my Geography teacher. Lake Michaelson, only found in the small plateus of Mt. Kenya. I’d only assume. This said chap pulled a first. Its never a cup of tea for everybody to hire a chopper for 100k an hour just to propose to a lady and recite sweet nothings expecting OMG moments from her. So this couple, armed with a photographer and the pilot who also happened to prepare something warm for the couple savoured a lifetime’s dream. They kicked, somebody’s bucket list. They were engulfed by a water body, dense forest and buzzling nature and its kids. Their breathed fresh air oscillating between the appealing flora and fauna. Clearly this lady, must have been visibly moved and excited to see dreams unfold. She must must have felt lucky and blessed to have this man.

This engagement left tongues wagging and many chaps grappling with sleepless nights. Their ladies now have a benchmark and a reference point. As a man you’ll be judged with how far you are, from affording to take your girlfriend to such a high end engagement spree. Poor men!…..I had an interesting argument earlier in the day, with this colleague over the pros and cons of pulling such a surprise to your girlfriend. I was of the opinion that men should not be judged with the depth of their pockets, in isolation. All other attributes should be brought on board and be judged as a package. I could see her pupils’ dilate, wishing she was this lucky lady. The association of Kenyan men should sue the said chap, for making us look bad. We’re now judged harshly and unfairly. Our adam’s-apple bulge with fury anytime we’re bombarded with this kind of expectations.

Congratulations to the beautiful Sharon Mundia. May the engagement bore more breath taking experiences.

Enough of my thoughts. Have a thoughtful day.

LADIES WHO DATE AGED WHITES

gfffaI’m in my usual rendezvous, watching a dull Chelsea game with my usual suspects. Eden Hazard dives and there you go, they have a penalty and a trophy. How so! Anyway, during the 90 minutes of play, I am distracted by this unusual couple. Well, the word ‘unusual’ may be relative, since I’m the only patron in this room, who seem to roll eyes in anguish. Blame the rest for the so called civilization.

Here’s the thing, right opposite me, sits an old mzungu with a very young girl. She looks 13. She could be in form 1. But as they say, looks may be deceiving. She may be 19, you know! With this petite people, (including me, haha) you’re never too sure of their age bracket. To cut a long story short, this lass looks damn young. She has this pierced nose, at least she’s brave to withstand that pain. Her hands are tiny and soft, not that I touched them. I can tell. She’s wearing student – like specs. She holds this sleek and slender phone, almost half her weight and bigger than her hands. Nothing less of a Note 4 or Galaxy S6. It could be the latest gift, from this generous mzungu, ( throws pop corns). She is chocolate in complexion, and seems like a church girl. Okay, forgive me for judging people. But, don’t you spot these ladies who look like church girls. There is a way they dress and plait their hair and wear certain shoes that can only be worn when going to church.

This girl has this mean smile that hides so much beneath. Probably covering up struggles in life and esteem issues. She has thin, beautiful teeth and cute eyes that I avoid so hard to meet. Her ears have this contour of dangling earrings. She once in a while makes deep sighs, whenever Fabregas makes a feeble kick or misses the ball. The mzungu on the hand, speaks fluent Swahili. Wonders of Nanyuki. He is short, with big eyes, chubby face and slightly bald. In fact I know him. He is an entrepreneur in this small town and flips ladies like under garments. That’s where my pain emanates from. I’m sure this guy is only interested in nailing her. This girl has her life wasted. Her ujanja (know -how) mentality will be her disservice.

I pity her parents, who maybe thinking she’s still in school studying Project Management or savoring her weekend with her girlfriends but hell not with an aged, pedophile mzungu. Its costly. Its very painful to swallow that reality. I fear for her mum whom in hindsight, boosts of a daughter who doesn’t talk much. She’s humble, obedient and beautiful. She drags along, this harmless, innocent and sweet demeanor. Well, that may be so, but underneath lies a bed of secrecy and different characters that are swapped depending on the environment and occasion. She unleashes them like a hit man getting more ammunition for his rifle.

I fear for my unborn daughter. What will she turn to? Will I be in the dark, soon after she steps to teenage life? Will I play catch up or rather switch to a stalker, and monitor all her social media movements for my entire life? Will I be a detective living a puzzled life, trying in vain to join the dots of her life. God forbid this. I hope it’ll be better. Ladies, if you must date a white, he’d rather be Brad Pitt look alike or Christiano Ronaldo wannabe in the worst scenario. Not a ‘thirsty’ octogenarian, whose only mission is to sip dry your innocence. Even if he finances your lifestyle for 10 solid years, you’ll battle a tattered conscious. Guilt will hover around you unashamedly even when you hit 45.

Its not funny to waste 10 years with an overused, tired, expired old man who only sinks further your values. And as they say, if you make your bed, you must lie in it.

To all the great MAMAs reading this; To all the MAMAs who paid the ultimate price to ensure we have a decent upbringing…HAPPY MOTHERS’ DAY. WE LOVE YOU AND THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING!!

MEN(WOMEN) AND FOOTBALL – THE LOVE AFFAIR

jesoThat women gave up on their men on matters football is a historical fact at least in Kenya. Majority of women and football never mix. They have this tendency of feeling disenfranchised. They detest your boys who always happen to poach you for an entire weekend when you should be basking with Jamali, your 2 year old son on the balcony as you train him to walk and pronounce words. They screamed and barked until they ran out of their voices. They sought the Zanzibar witch-doctor who has his address around your estate, it backfired on their faces. They tried Kilimani Mums on Facebook, who were of the opinion of buying DSTV, it didn’t work even with all the cajoling. Men don’t watch football alone. Its nonchalant. Its like imbibing a flat beer or enduring nags of a woman under the weather. You know what I mean. There is no icing on the cake nor glee and exuberance.

There is nothing that beats men gathered together, gazing on a humongous TV screen, watching the game of football. Men are competitive by nature and this thrill is best manifested around these times. Naturally, football lovers are demarcated into four types. Chelsea, Arsenal, Man U or Man City. A Liverpool’s game is only interesting to watch when they play the big four. Otherwise its a big joke for a man to proclaim to be a Liverpool die hard or anything below that. That’s a guy you shouldn’t take seriously even on matters pertaining life. Watching football is akin to getting hooked to drugs. Its addictive and controlling. It remains to be the best unchallenged invention of ‘killing time’. Thanks to football, entertainment joints laugh all the way to the bank.

Women still try to comprehend how and why men remain so loyal to this game universally. To them, its baffling how men prove to be committed. Relationships and marriages have been shattered, suicides have been committed and fiances’ dumped on the verge of a wedding all in the name of football. During the big games, some become richer while others part with their hard earned money over the multi billionaire industry of football betting. Men tremble as they take uneven sips of bitter drinks. Others fidget their chairs while some smoke and fart away. Others will draw stupor faces, their bodies ducked like gazebos in a plateau. Hearts pound with acceleration all in tandem with goosebumps as thin sweats meander to the feet. On some occasions, that man who depicts zero emotions in the house will be spotted wailing and screeching, in the name of football.

In these rooms you meet ‘football managers’ who’ll expunge your eardrums as they prattle and whine over Mourinho or Van Gaal’s silly substitution or team selection. This is when your patience comes to test. These are the same chaps who didn’t even grow up playing football. You’ll also share the same table with men with pot bellies from here to Jo’burg as well as Mwangi Fangi your mechanic, who happens to blend so easily with Sam. Sam is the tranquil and seemingly collected guy who earns a living by analysing the stock market. On a typical day, Mwangi would be on a dark, dirty apron while Sam will do fitting suits. These two chaps will have a hearty chat as they watch football. That’s football for you. Its creates networks, open ups opportunities, makes new friends and rewards you with something to tease the ladies in the room with. On the flip side, some burn bridges, they make foes as fast as they make friends.

Its funny that men will easily recall all the football incidences and trophies won by their teams but will scratch over their receding hairlines to remember the first surprise from their spouses.To you women who’ll still insist on accompanying your men to watch football even when you don’t differentiate World Cup and E.P.L, kindly learn to remain at home and give your house girl an off or rather meet your girlfriends. There is joy to a man when he checks in the house to be welcomed by warm tea or ready dinner by the wife. No pun intended.