A GATHERING OF THE BOY CHILD – PART ONE

Image result for Kenya's boy child I met Moses Njoroge in the company of a very good friend of mine for coffee early this month to brainstorm on a totally different conversation, away from the boy child issue. It happened that along the light moments, he mumbled to have been organising a forum that was to bring together male professionals of the town (Nanyuki) to a meeting meant for purely networking. I quickly interjected, asking him why it was meant for exclusively male professionals. He immediately gave a brilliant answer that hadn’t caught my mind for this long.

Men only meet in clubs for beer and to watch football. They are unlike women who have chamaas and other informal gatherings where they share and empower themselves.” 

I listened as those prudent observations penetrated deep inside my heart and to the bone marrow. They played repeatedly rhythmically for some minutes. The faster they oscillated the more naive I assumed to have been. It was a fact, we, the gender that worships ego hasn’t found it imperative to empower each other. It perhaps sounds feminine, and weak and too metrosexual for men to empower each other; isn’t? But aren’t these thoughts misleading? I tell you what! Far too many men are dying from premature deaths out of stress related illnesses which could have been solved if only we reached to each other for help and advice.

Moses was coming in to feel this void that very few notice or get bothered about. He was here to create a springboard to motivate us and a vessel to air our frustrations and worries and in the process benefit from a platform where, being listened to becomes healing in itself.

In fact the many times men go out to clubs, it is mainly about catching up and talking about biashara (business). Actually, we talk for two minutes, stick to our phones for the next one hour. We drool at the curvy lasses, drink the cold beer, laugh mildly over a funny meme shared on whatsapp and get back to our phones for a whole one more hour. That’s what we call catching up! It has nothing to do with the hard surface stuff that bothers us. We never open up, not even to our friends. As men, we are wired to soldier on kama wanaume (like gentlemen). Men are supposed to be bravery and not cowed by life challenges; we assume.

But there is more than meets the eye.

At least this is what I found out when we met last Friday. To start with, I have never been in such a forum that has men only in attendance speaking about empowerment and rewriting history. Here were male professionals from all walks of life from lawyers, teachers, fashion designers, young entrepreneurs, journalists, mentors, aspiring politicians, accountants and many others, keen to decipher and write solutions to issues regarding the contemporary boy child. And in order to empower each other, we had to take an inside – out approach. That way, we were in a position to appreciate history, table the facts, predict the future going by the statistics and come up with realistic solutions.

This is what I found out;

For most us, we are struggling with big time baggage acquired along the treacherous trajectory of progressing from boy to man. From the looks of things, we haven’t shed off stereotypes and perceptions instilled in us, since our childhood years. In any case, that kind of thinking has hardened and grown roots. For instance, if you grew in an environment where your mother was always battered by your dad; if your father was a philanderer; if he was always found in the trenches drunk and unconscious; you are more likely to end up like him. What ends up in our subconscious mind is tough to neutralise. It’s in fact worse when one is brought up in unstable family set up.

Ponder this;

Why do we have more cases of husbands being extremely brutal to their wives? Why do we have more cases of men succumbing to cheap liquor addiction? Why are men dying premature deaths from chronic illnesses? One fact seems to address these questions. Nobody along the childhood path, not even our dads, uncles nor grandfathers warned us or rather advised us that during our adult life, we will be dealing with an extremely empowered woman who knows her rights; who is financially independent and more ambitious than her mother. See, the contemporary man still has the same archaic thinking mindset he bequeathed from his dad or the men he watched while growing up from his village. Unfortunately his female counterpart has in fact embraced new ways of approaching life far different from her mum. She is dynamic, competitive, a go getter, fearless, unbowed, educated, intelligent, self-aware, socially balanced and a dreamer. She wants to buy land within the first two years of employment if not earlier through a chamaa, to drive by 28, to take a business loan by 30, to have that PHD by 33 and to quit employment by 35.

If lucky enough to find an equally organised and ambitious man, she will settle down. But don’t be fooled, it won’t matter anyway since it is nowhere near her prime priorities. The contemporary woman is not intimidated by family expectations of settling down by the time she is 28. Unlike man, who will literally stop everything including life to at least get a partner and then signal God; “we can move on now” – the woman is having none of that. Men value marriage and kids and coming home to meet a homely house with dinner prepared and kids crying or jumping over him saying “Baba umeniletea nini?” (Dad what have you brought me?). Men admire driving their family to church or other social places like weddings or shopping and being addressed as father of two charming boys. They treasure such kind of a system where they are looked up to and celebrated as the supreme beings of the family.

Unfortunately, that reality is fast fading and replaced with an alternative that is not begging for acceptance. The contemporary woman is willing to bring something to the table too. She is earning more, spending less and investing wisely.

Was man prepared for this?

Who is he blaming for his current woes?

What are the statistics insinuating?

We shall find out in the next article.

Watch out for PART TWO of A GATHERING OF THE BOY CHILD.

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WE, THE SOCIETY OF ‘APPROVALS’

The rich and the poor truly are from different realms: one has adapted to become an expert in material forfeit; the other has forfeited all they are to material, and thus is enslaved, by it.” – Justin K. McFarlane Beau.

We are the bubble that will burst soon from material enslaving and obsession with show offs. We perceive ourselves rich while in reality, we are heavily indebted humans. Not only have we shattered what is considered good but also auctioned the patience and virtual of becoming successful gradually. We are using shortcuts and loans to smell successful. We are borrowing way too much to look trendy and urbanite, naively passing the buck to our sons and daughters and their offspring. We are the people that believe in only living once by unfortunately have our priorities misplaced and swapped with the expectations of our peers. We live for the expectations of our families, family friends and for the status. We choose what to buy (not invest) to feed the imagination we have of what others expect of us. In other words; we have no time to hold candid and honest discussions with ourselves. We live for others. We live for approvals. Sadly!

You see, many of us have been lying to ourselves that we are wealthy and successful going by the lifestyle we brag of. But how are you rich, if your liabilities exceed what is rightfully yours? And what’s yours shouldn’t be necessarily what you inherited from your family. By the way, there is nothing wrong with taking bank loans, but there is something very wrong when that money is used for things which won’t matter two years from now. The thing is, we are borrowing not to invest but to finance our lifestyles. Since nobody will notice your sagging indebtedness apart from perhaps your bank, you will sink in deep s*** towing this demeanor like you own half the world and pulling no stops in social media streets selling your imaginary smooth life for all to envy. For how long? Remember, perceived friends can be a pain in the a** especially when you go broke or rather; when they stumble on the truth.

You and I should refuse to be put under any pressure by family and friends. We should vow not to care whether they approve us or not. It won’t matter because, what they seem to do is show no respect to our priorities, anyway! Look at it this way; do you go out every Friday because you have the urge to do so or to making us aware of your high end friends and fancy places where your boys and yourself, go to unwind. Do you get worried when your kids school in schools that do not meet the expectations of your friends or your occupational status? Or is it about the complexion of the girl you date? Or the engine cc of the car that you drive? Or the estate you dwell in? Or your profession? Or where you go for salon? Or is it about your not so 1 billion worth church which haven’t qualified to have church mums and dads? Dear reader; please cut the slack and start living. Drop the baggage and the blurring euphoria. Learn to choose friends, breathe life to your goals and passions, follow the basics in life and develop a relationship with money.

Speaking of money;

Many of us have been caught in the neck of woods of drowning in debt and the addiction of credit cards purely for approval. Come to think of it this way; why would one spend a staggering sh.5 million to hold a wedding that does not last a year? Practically, it means this couple rushed out, assumed much and got deluded by societal approvals. To others it’s all about the looks and the pocket size. Why? Because your family and friends put that as a top priority! Since the poor you would never contemplate shaming them, you marry looks and a bank account only to realise later your dissimilarities and approach of life are too overwhelming. Funny enough, you don’t quit but soldier own to pay the price of approval. And when push comes to shove, your hands and legs get chopped off!

There is a trap in the name of a bubble that we all fighting to be associated with. The middle class syndrome. We are grappling with all in our possessions, creating innuendos and perceptions in the streets of social media that we duly belong to this class of society. We are using financial shortcuts and bribing ourselves to this envied life. From our pricey phones to fancy apartments to where we go for shopping – we are borrowing to enjoy this life. But what’s in it. Only one thing stands out; The feel good effect. I like to call it, The Nairobi effect. By the way, to you Nairobians that seem not to speak the local dialect even when you visit up country; we are aware of which side of Nairobi you reside in. With all fairness, your up country is cleaner than where you live, so cut the slack. The tendency to pretend your heritage and background is not from the village is not only farfetched but pure disgust.

Dear imaginary middle class, I know you believe in faking it till you make it. While at it, don’t make it up with mortgages that seem to trounce your very existence. Please don’t fake it if you still owe HELB some money. Cut the slack too if you have been blacklisted by Mshwari and or have defaulted numerous bank loans. Spare us if you reside in a grabbed piece of land that houses your bungalow, financed by embezzled funds. The middle class bubble is very seductive but when a time comes for hard facts to spill; it will expose your annoying under belly. Your offspring will have it tough footing your lifestyle baggage that did little to make the life any better. Do you wish to die of curses or of Approvals? What’s in your bucket list? What’s keeps you awake you in the night? Is it your dreams or the expectations of others? Do you ever think of yourself or all you do is feed other people’s expectations?

Do your math!!

OFFICE CHARACTERS AND THE IN – HOUSE POLITICS

office set upMy Communication Skills lecturer would simply define Grapevine as the informal communication that takes place in a formal organisation set up. It’s similar to gutter press in the journalism world. This has to do with news that is not incorporated in the mainstream channels of communication. Now, depending on how grapevine is managed, it largely determines the nature of office politics. This reminds me of something. Slightly over four years ago, green and naive but hugely toying and struggling to carry the weight of unrealistic ambitions and soon after joining the job market, one of my brothers in law advised me to be careful about office politics. He indirectly warned me to avoid at all cost, to ever get caught in the crosshairs and crossroads of office politics. What he didn’t tell me is, that was easier said than done. For them that more often than not refuse to tow in the line of subtle oppression and status quo mentality, normally find themselves in the wrong side of office politics once in a while.

You probably have been a victim too, being haunted by cold wars and political machinations of the big kahunas and opinion shapers in the kingdom of your office. Normally, these characters naturally or overtime courtesy of their unrivalled skills or reputation tend to wield staggering influence which if you dare to go against, you’ll experience something close to being clobbered and roughed up to a moving car for god knows where. Your significant others will search for you in vain only to find you after a week, killing hours unwillingly in the dull and graffiti walls of Pangani cells. It won’t happen in the real sense but in the mind games and the bruising rivalry in any typical office. You’ll perhaps be sidelined and ridiculed for failing to be a sycophant of a camp that calls the shots.

This happens all over the world. In fact, office politics is a hot potato that many Managers struggle to either control or contain. From the giant blue chip multinationals in California – U.S to tiny NGOs somewhere in Africa, all seem to struggle with managing office politics.

But Why?…

This is because Office Politics is a platform where supremacy and ego’s heights are measured and tested. It’s a dark room so to speak that cartels information and dispenses it based on trust. In fact the more confidential information one has the more valuable he/she seems to be. By the way, nobody should hoodwink you that it is not similar to national politics. In fact, most offices entertain the bully-like Moses Kurias and Muthamas of this world. And just like in typical Kenyan politics, here friendship relationships never last for long. Actually, the main characters never bother to mind the so called subjects; it’s a game of numbers and changing goal posts. The one with a larger following is perceived to wield more power over the rest. But predictably, in the heat of trying to keep souls in your camp happy, a fall out and eventual spill out never fails to occur and recur every so often. When this happens, they are welcomed shoulder high by the corded opponents. Hahaha.

Exit office politics enter Office characters;

Kitchen Cabinet

They make the most trusted circle of the top management. They are very few in number say 4 to 8 or more depending on the size of the organisation. Normally, they dispense some unique skills or occupy influential positions which the management in most cases is never willing to let scot free. They brag of always being ahead of the flocks in terms of the latest updates in the company from drafts of warning letters, promotion leakages, changes of salaries, available vacancies, pending sackings and reshuffles of departmental heads and so forth. They are actively consulted and used to test the waters whenever a major decision is just about to be made. But they have to prove and exhibit a particular character; they must be extremely loyal. In other words they are expected to be sycophants who bend over to every whim, request, command and wish of the top management. Some naughty fellows will call them – The ass lickers!

Boss’s Pet

These are characters that head Kitchen cabinets. They are the ultimate – bend overs, if you may. They rubber stamp every cry or call from the top brass. They agree to everything suggested by the Management even if it is about drastically cutting their salaries. To them it’s all about wielding power at all costs. With this, they enjoy basking under the trappings of power be it enjoying expensive trips to Naivasha fully financed by company money or receiving windfall gifts every now and then. Having a liberal mind is never one of their fundamental human rights. In fact they auction it to chase the elusive power. You can call them power hungry monsters who pay the price by whatever cost even if its sleeping with the boss.

The Opposition

These are the Boniface Mwangi’s of this world. They are brilliant minds behind quiet revolutions in organisations, staff strikes and Go Slows. You’ll spot them leading demos in the streets bracing tear gases and daring to be screened live on camera never minding of the impending consequences if found guilty of organising the-never-legal strikes. These characters cannot just be fired as they are the necessary evil of a company. They are the company geniuses, creative minds and skillful lot. They are what the management labels thorn in the flesh! Woo unto you if you join this movement with no track record to show. A majority get into this camp through getting fired from the Kitchen cabinets. They are the Langat Margerers and Ababu Namwamba who in many a times bite more than they can chew. They are dare devils of the company, very intimidating and always daring to score from far distances. They so well understand the management psychology and how it is likely to react.

Project X Generation

Describing them as Party Animals might sound as an under estimation. Their social media images leave traces of hangovered characters who earn to live large and post their entire life on Instagram partying with who’s who and drinking to the most pricey champagne. They have this larger than life demeanor. They are Shaffie Werus wannabe who party 3 or 4 days a week. Red eyes and smell of alcohol is what they are known for. They take over tea and lunch breaks narrating their night out escapades and how they got home at 4am on a Thursday morning. Once in a while they get warning letters from the HR’s desk due to their extreme dressing code that has everything to do with leaving bare fodder and cleavages for anyone who cares to drool at. They also have a thing with earphones and headphones.

Mafisi Representatives

These are men (and women) who have a problem with taming their libidos. They salivate at every passing miniskirt or any exposed thigh. They brag to have slept with the highest number of office colleagues. Formed from across all ages in the payroll; they hit and run naive office interns and loosened married colleagues just for bragging rights. They have no particular taste for women. Young or old, junior or senior, fairly new or the experienced crop, from the enviable Kitchen cabinet characters to the chest thumping Opposition and the rest of them all; they turn around humans and run over without breaking a sweat. Going by their mouthwatering tales and cunning traits, they trap an overwhelming number. To them that dare not to cooperate, in most cases are normally treated with coercive threats.

The Junior Nobodies

These are souls who don’t matter to anybody. They dispense zero influence not even to themselves. They are the office people who rarely get noticed even when they fail to turn up in the office for a week. It’s even worse when they go for annual leaves; nobody ever gets hit by their absentia. They are quiet, dull men and women who speak less and perform tasks that have no substantial impact. They fit in the crowd and rarely standout in anything. They are not necessary intellects or known for anything that could excite the rest.

Gossip Dispensers

They are the undercover investigators and moral cops armed with rogue bloggers mentality. With this, they crawl and smoke out highly confidential information from its hideouts. They earn a living by making or breaking people’s careers effortlessly. They are the only section of the society that can get away with lies and concocted half- truths and happen to convince the rest to buy their story. They are soft killers at hire, if you may, who go to an extent of bribing money hungry Kitchen Cabinet characters just to get first-hand information.

Know-it-all IT Gurus

They brag of having the possession of all company passwords from protected WIFI pins to hacking cloud backup systems to tapping highly sensitive emails and phone calls. They are the same characters behind jamming LAN (Local Area Networks) if not interfering with CCTV softwares. These characters are heavily outsourced by the Opposition to furnish them with confidential information in their grip. This helps the latter to gain political mileage if not arm twisting the Management.

Now, even after this classification I’m not sure where I lie!! That said, somebody advised me that in order to safely swim across the rivers of Office Politics; is by simply minding my own business.

CONTEMPORARY KIDS AND THE OVERRATED BIRTHDAY PARTIES

Birthdays were not part of my childhood at all, for obvious reasons. They were too prestigious for our family and many akin ones in my village. In fact, the closest I came across a birthday hosted for me was when one of my sisters, fresh out of college happened to have fallen in love with a new hobby; that of baking cakes. So, my birthday and I found ourselves in the right place, at the right time, in the season when someone close to me had amassed a new skill. Predictably, she had to prove to us that she could bake and since my birthday was closing in, it was only rational to test her skills on the very day. I was actually lucky and honoured to have the village photographer attend, and document the memories to date.

29th of November was the day; should have been in 1996 or 97 there about when we still bragged of a cassette radio and listening to KBC English Service. That was in my formative years of life when closing school equaled to weeks of grazing our dad’s livestock. Grazing pastures were plenty then and life was more favourable. At least we didn’t grow listening to news of high school kids burning their schools (Apart from the unfortunate Kyaguli High School fire tragedy on March 2001 that left 63 students dead and Nyeri High School inferno in 1999 that claimed the lives of 4 prefects) or husbands turning against their wives and unleashing bloody terror on them. I will forever miss those days we listened to John Karani, Charity Karimi and the late Nzau Kalulu (RIP) of The Sundowner. The latter was today’s Jeff Koinange. The days when wearing a marvin, baggy trousers, oversized hoods and jackets was trendy. E sir was such a big deal! Rest in eternal peace, bro.

At least you now appreciate where my argument of overrated birthdays is coming from. However, that shouldn’t be construed to mean I’m against birthdays, in fact ebu invite me for one! Haha. That said, I’m sure you’ve noticed a trend that is too familiar to you and I. Of adults abusing kids birthday parties and converting them to house parties and hook up bashes. See, the kid is left to wonder, who the hell could these drunkard adults be celebrating?

Yes, your jirani will knock at your door to solicit for cutlery and utensils for his one year old son bash. As you wonder how many people could have been invited, you’ll hope your precious plates and cups won’t get broken in the melee and excitement that comes with hosting a One year old’s birthday. Well as you’ll go out to peep, you’ll meet the sight of a tent in your tiny compound and several dozens of plastic chairs and some booming music. What will be unknown to you is that in a few hours’ time, about 20 – 30 adults with hardly any kids, will arrive to celebrate this one year old son who by now will be hugely disillusioned and disturbed by this staggering number of humanity.

Soon the show will start, just short of having some local celebs in the midst going by the hype and glamorous faces all over your landlord’s compound. You won’t even manage to dash to the shop or do laundry. How now? How do you walk to the clothing lines when a big time show is happening and some booze smelling next door? There will be lighter moments though, when your eyes will dart and stubbornly stick on those urbanite ladies with cleavages all-popping and more kilometers of thighs all bare and unperturbed by your gaze. Yes, these ladies will be here to celebrate a one year old and acclimatize him with what to expect in his near future. Mind you, it’s a kid these PYT (Pretty Young Things) will have never met or heard of before, apart from a few days ago when they got wind of a bash from a groupie Whatsapp message sent out to all who care. This is how it read;

Admin: Hey ladies; Satoo kuna bash ya birthday kwa Amoo, ule wa Subaru Forester ya blue. If interested tupatane tao stage ya gari za Otiende – Langata. Please guys, 2pm don’t be late.

Sasha: Kuna alcohol

Admin: In plenty

Stella: Ni yake ama ni ya wi-fe

Anita: Does it matter?

Admin: Ni ya katoi kake kana turn 1!!!!

Jenny: Am so in …walai sikuwa na ploti ya weekend

Admin: Come ready to mingle, ma sponsor ni kibao

Carol: Count me in guyz it’s time nimepata mwingine kile kimzee cha kipara ni mdomo tu na hakina any!! 

Keshi: wololo weekend made

Tabby: Following

Annie: Nimemiss Amooo…Can’t wait, alipata ata mtoi…gai!!!!

Milly: Woisheee mningonje niko na class upto 2

Nemoo: Dressing code

Admin: As you’d wish bora utese wanaume 

The kid will be confused and feel so uncomfortable with this kind of ambiance. He won’t even have a bite of the cake. His hunger senses will have hibernated at least for as long as these souls will be here. He will do thundering cries and steal the show all for the wrong reasons. He will resist every faked attention including the pleas of his mum and dad. He will disappoint and embarrass them with more cries here and more cries there. The crowd will pause for a moment for his address of unceasing cries, restlessness and a fatigued face armed with emotional eyes pleading with them to leave. He will try to communicate that he is not party to this mockery of a so called birthday, in vain. He will be scared by the smell of cigarettes and the sight of packs of Guarana littered all over.

But who said the show will come to a stop? Not after all the juicy Whatsapp invites and promise of campus-like ladies ready to be sponsored at a small fee plus free alcohol. So, the catchy music will play even louder dwindling and burying the cries of a son of man, who will have pulled a Riek Machar stunt by now. For Kageshi and many of you who detest watching hard news on TV, well this guy was the immediate Vice President of South Sudan who fled Khartoum citing fears for his life. This has resulted to rising tension in the country thereby frustrating the peace talks between the government and the Opposition.  

The show will sneak in to the early hours of the night punctuated by erotic dancing moves, streams of alcohol that will show no signs of drying up and all the debauchery you’d imagine of, in between. Later on, the already drunken souls will fire up their pricey engines filled to capacity by these PYT ready to cruise to the After Party somewhere in town. Meanwhile the imageries of the so called birthday party will soon crawl their way to the social media to smoother egos and to trigger envy for anyone who didn’t receive an invite.

That’s a birthday for a One year old in the days of our times, today! It’ll cost the host couple an arm and a leg to hold it, all for the wrong reasons.

 

OF BARBERSHOPS AND YOUNG PEOPLE’S HUSTLE

hustle2Barbershops have come a long way since time immemorial in our lower primary school years when we used to go for a haircut for just sh.10/- .How did my barber (forgot his name) recoup his investments then? He was this calm and collected gentleman who commonly had a respectful smile and a gentle appeal, spoke less and was easy on everybody and just a likeable guy. He seemed to be a very reliable husband then and now. I happened to bump into him late last year still on the grind, trimming men’s hair and earning a living out of it. Nothing short of two and a half decades of experience. Under his watch, he has seen all sorts of voodoo hairstyles emerge and fade away, resurrect and get chocked out by more weird ones. But there are those reserved ones that hardly change and perhaps will never change normally for the formal looks. I’m sure he struggles with the younger generation’s demands where new hairstyles crop up every time the sun rises. Anyway, this chap was my barber from Standard One to my maiden years in High school where I grew new acquaintanceship and passion for longer hair. Haha. There is something about high school boys and unkempt hairs. Mine wasn’t shaggy though. Speaking of which, it is wrong for guys to have unkempt hair after high school. It has a way of seeming unbecoming and disturbing especially when one also attempts to sag his pants in all these mess.

Where was I…..

Back to the sh.10/- haircut. It made sense then. You know why? It was during the Moi era just before the economy took a beating from the Goldenberg Scandal. With a ten bob, you could go for two separate four hours movies each, complete with a taste of the humorous DJ Afro bits and wits. You could also buy half a loaf of bread if you had an appetite for eating. That was 10/- bob for you. I’m I that old? Gosh!

Barbershops have leapfrogged Salon innovations and investments over the years but not until now. Hairdressers and salon entrepreneurs have continuously pumped in money and high end facilities to the much delight of their targeted clientele. Meanwhile, barbershops have taken it slow, stubborn to change and hugely unbothered by miles taken by their sisters – Salon.

This has changed though, in the last few years. Budding young entrepreneurs who understand the dynamics of the evolving politics of men hair (Sounds awkward) have recouped handsome returns. Contemporary man is sensitive and doesn’t care if he is referred to as Metrosexual. All he cares for is his opinion and taste in a barbershop be considered and respected. And not just for the haircut, he doesn’t mind a facial, a little of head massage and a bit of rubbing his neck and shoulders. The truth of the matter is, he is willing to spend for this kind of services.

This reminds me of Shemas my veteran barber in this side of Nanyuki. Early last year he introduced the so called Facial services but funny enough, there was no lady to offer them. Being a typical kuyu, he was to do it himself. He miserably failed to convince many of us that he could do a facial on my not so friendly face. I couldn’t stomach a man doing facial on a fellow man. It’s just not right, Shemas. I’m Sorry. The whole escapade of feeling a man’s hands all over my face is disturbing and could easily make me puke. Kidding though! But you get my point? Right? Thank you.

That said, I had a chit chat with a high school comrade who is a lawyer by profession and on the side, runs a well oiled and impressive barbershop. The next time you drive to Kinoo (to buy a ka – plot or visit the in laws), pull off at Simbara Plaza and look out for Stunn Barbers. In here I’m told they revolutionise your shaving experience and refine your stunning looks. This friend by the name Stann doesn’t look a day older after 25 and unlike peers his age who only fantasize on club hopping and many nights of drinking their salos, Stann looks to be doing well in his hustle.

He has embraced social media to market his services very aggressively and going by my interview with him, he loves what he does. To him, it’s a dream accomplished. For the record, he has pumped in sh.800k for the business which offers Haircuts, Texturizing, Facial Therapy, Manicure, Pedicure, Body massage, Body scrub and lots of other services. At Stunn Barbers you can also buy a Service voucher as a gift to your loved one for all sorts of services offered here. You will also enjoy free WIFI.

And like many other contemporary barbershops, it’s not just open for men. Women troop too for massage and pedicures which is a good thing. Well invested barbershops have poached many salon-would-be-clients which shows the coming of age of the barber industry.  Okay, Stann didn’t pay me to advertise his hustle on this space but he impressed me with his quest to address expectations from men on having an amiable experience when they go for the hair cut.

I’m always dazzled when I stumble on young people doing big in their hustle and believing in their passions. And you can identify them by the footprints they leave on social media streets. The other day I walked in to an acquaintance to seek some services and gather advice on some projects coming up soon Inshallah! I was greatly encouraged by the level of optimism in his eyes and the cut of his suit. See, this was a guy who quit from a fairly doing well bank to go and pursue his dreams. I asked him why he quit while he seemed to be earning a well negotiated salary compounded by hefty pension schemes and plus other non disclosed benefits? He told me he was scared of comfort zones and the lack of fulfilling his full potentials. I got the drift. The moment you take a risk of resigning to self employment, it takes enough guts and conviction of oneself. You have to save enough to take you through for a year or so. And there you go, having done your research meticulously, you’ll enjoy the ride. Of course it will be naive to imagine you will be the cherry at the top. However, if navigated carefully the returns can be rewarding.

This brings me to another point put across by one celebrated CEO – Julius Kipng’etich in a forum I happened to have attended. That, what you should crave most for in life, is to have FREEDOM. Look, with freedom comes time to look back, examine yourself and just pursue you passions. In most of employment life whether in blue chip firms in Westlands or for casual labourers in Industrial Area; they all have one thing in common – lack of freedom. You see, earning a salary without investing it is akin to shooting yourself at the foot. It confirms you are only a lame duck burning hours in the office unfamiliar with your real self, your full potentials and what you’re curved to do. So, for the few or many of you who are your own bosses, in actual sense are laying foundations for success. I strongly believe, you can never go wrong with self employment if well researched.

Just the other day, I was telling Kageshi how most of the Top 40 under 40 men and women, are either entrepreneurs or CEOs working day in day out to chase their personal dreams and along the way, drag you and I (The employed) to help them attain their goals. But what about our goals? In my community there is an idiom that says; Ukuru uriaga wethe – Old age is financed by what you saved/invested in your youthful years.

The question is, do we ever think of life in old age, dear #TeamYOLO?