A best friend is someone you’re not only going to love all your life, they are also your biggest critic and strongest supporter. They are your late-night mentors, daylight umbrellas, and midday co-conspirators. You feel secure with them, but more importantly being vulnerable never felt as comfortable as it does when you’re with them. Best friends calm your deepest fears and tickle all your funny bones. – Sanah Rizvi

The social fabric of any society depends on the quality of the friendship culture. Urbanisation has stretched our socialization and so has it deepened the norm in individualism. Rarely do we find people engaging in estates especially in middle class and high-end residences and if they do it’s exchanging brief pleasantries and that’s it. It’s important to appreciate that human beings were designed to be social creatures. It’s highly beneficial to their wholesome health and stability. In fact, solid friendships aid in the making of better lifestyle choices, maintaining strong mental health, triggering self-assurance, self-worth, and happiness, majorly helping in reducing stress impacts, health problems and contributing immensely in one’s personal growth.

According to Dr.Bitange Ndemo an Associate Professor at University of Nairobi and former ICT Permanent Secretary, – “The Kenyan culture is such that people attach value to friendship, but their friends value them for their money or influence.” He goes on to add that, there is a strong convergence on the nature of relationships with people when one’s fortunes tend to deteriorate. This is documented in one of his popular articles titled – The day I left office my phone literally stopped ringing.

That said, do you know we have a million and one types of friendships and not all of them are beneficial. It’s important to decipher the rules of engagements and whether your interests are protected. As a matter of principle, you should never allow friends to choose you, rather it should be you who choose them. This is because friends occupy the very core space of our lives hence the need to ensure that privilege stands not to be abused.

The very common attributes of true friends include people who point out your mistakes truthfully. However, not many so-called friends grow the guts to confront you with brutal honesty. Many practice a lot of ‘Public Relations’ with you and later confide to skin you alive with their other ‘friends’. True friends tell when you are being unreasonable and yet stand with you even when they never agree with you. They help you succeed and unequivocally celebrate your success and draw immense of lessons from your failures too.

Here are some types of friendships;

Childhood friends

These are buddies that literally coined your formative world. You happened to be village mates or nursery school pals and have watched your life stem up at a cross range. They have been there at your every stage of life, from the darkest corner of circumstances to your glowing season of achievements. They sort of could write a better story of you than any other friend since they have crossed roads with a substantial period of your past and present.

Circumstantial Friends

These are friends you can’t avoid having and don’t amount to much. They are friends of your current circumstances. The moment you change towns or graduate to another stage of life your friendship sinks. They fall away never to be heard again. They could be anything from deskmates, schoolmates, estate mates, church mates and office colleagues.

Friends for validation

It’s weird but it happens. You know of people who literally force friendships just to be associated with you. It could be because of your career, influence, wealth or personality. You could be the most sort after government officer or seem to have it all working out for you – moneywise, success, careerwise and zeal of cutting deals. These friends place themselves in your life purely for selfish gains.

Friends for convenience 

These are friends you always call to bail you out. More often than not, you text them to borrow cash than to find out how they are faring. Since you have these class thing to maintain and protect, you can never solicit cash from buddies in your lane since they will judge and tarnish your name hence the need to have ‘Friends for Convenience’ purpose whom you lose nothing by engaging them for quick fixes.

Best Friends – Forever

Mostly from the opposite gender – they are there to detoxify your emotional baggage and harbor all your secrets and naughty laughters about your latest catch or issues in your relationships. These are friends you keep it ‘real’ to. You share an interesting history which rather creates a soft landing for all your vulnerabilities.

Toxic Friends

They are worse than enemies. They happen to know so much about you and have a way of rubbishing off all your small efforts and achievements by simply ‘blue-ticking’ them. They make you look bad at least most of the times and seem to cherish when your life is at a grand halt. They have this demeanor of proving to you they are doing better, from things they claim to own, to making you understand they rub shoulders with whos who in town. In other words, they breathe a larger than life lifestyle that only exists in their mind.

Spendthrift Friends

These are friends that are there to milk out all your hard earned money. They are never there when you camp at peoples’ offices to pitch proposals but somehow pop out when you have it nice and dry. The only ideas they seem to worry about is making it to Rhino Charge somewhere in the dusty deserts of Samburu, or traveling to a beach party in Nyali if not savoring to the latest joint in town or moon-walking god knows where. They are such a bad influence if tolerated for long. They are broke on ideas that would help you guys make money but when it comes to spending, they light up.

Diehard Friends

You are conjoined by a definitive story of life. You’ve waded over tough times together and been there at each other’s life milestones be it camping with you in the maternity corridors when your wife labored, at respective dowry ceremonies, weddings, graduations, or at your career highlights. These are folks you can trust with anything. They are ever available when life hiccups come calling. They are simply a call away from anything life may present. These are chaps who cover up for you. They are your right-hand men/women. They could also be former schoolmates whom you’ve not met for half a million years but keep tabs with all your progressive life landmarks.

Virtual Friends

These are friends that were born by social media. They exist virtually and are powered by data bundles. You met along the streets of social platforms and seem to share some common interests. You may never meet but hasn’t the world been made such a global village courtesy of technology!



Cross-sex friendships are based on attraction and quest for chemistry. A number of them survive devoid of lust but only for a limited period of time before one party develops a crush on the other. World over, the best selling romantic novels and movie series are based on long-time best friends falling in love. Platonic friendships are based on exuding a mutual connection without worrying of judgments, however, they travel along a very slippery path that could beat the whole purpose of the relationship. So, are platonic friendships sustainable in the long run? Do you have a friend of the opposite sex who portends a harmless and too-caring demeanor?

Would you allow your girlfriend or wife and vice versa to have an all-time best friend from the other gender? And the role of a best friend would include advising and acting as a trustee and confidant to your significant other. He or she would be narrated all your weaknesses and advise your partner accordingly on how he or she would react, including having the rights to lend a shoulder to lean on when your relationship hits a snag. In other words, you’d be reported to him or her whenever you disappoint. He or she will also tend to grasp so much of your spouse’s secrets than you’ll ever know. If that’s the case, how far should best friends go and where should you draw the line?

Something is for a fact though – Relationships that rely on third parties to iron out their issues run into a lot of troubles and vulnerabilities. As a matter of fact, couples that engage in infidelity have best friends being their first line of target. Bffs offer the very first grounds for luring couples into cheating if not putting the relationship into jeopardy. And it starts with emotional cheating before progressing to the physical one. Speaking of which, who provides the best fodder and fertile land to cheat on, than a bff who is more than ready and available to suck up all your emotional baggage? That’s where the chicken come home to roost, warming up to his/her emotional attachment which includes subtle flirting.

When you get into a long-term relationship that is likely to lead to marriage, the first agenda should be to identify all his/her bffs and run through their specific roles. Get to know the unique purpose they play and this vacuum they tend to fill. Of course, this should be done at the courtship stage in a very diplomatic way that requires a lot of delicate balancing.  The thing is, you must reign on bffs from the opposite sex no matter how good they are or assumed to be before they reign on you. It’s a question of who brinks fast and whose interests are being served. If it’s to secure your territory in the long run, it will so much depend on how you relate to your partner’s bff on the onset. If they imagine they are unchallenged or it’s business as usual, then they will gradually amass enough guts to even casually tease around your man/woman in your vicinity. You and I know too well where this can lead to. If you make your bed, so must you lie on it.

So, how do bffs come about? How do we find ourselves in these circumstances?

In my opinion, there are four avenues that provide the necessary ingredients and breeding ground for bffs to germinate, prosper and eventually shadow your introspection.

Way-back EXs

An Ex is a dangerous card if shuffled around. They are hazardous and infect like plagues hence why by all means possible, they should be completely shut off from one’s life. If that’s not the case, they have a way of making very calculated risks and scoring long balls from half the pitch. If given a chance, they have a way of warming up to bffs where they will camp for a while as they gather sufficient intelligence and devising ways to disarm and arm-twist you and finally recharge when you least expect.


Friendzone is a situationship where potential boyfriends/girlfriends are sort of locked in for god-knows how long. These are friends who, unfortunately, are not very appealing to being somebody’s partner even when they show the interest and flair of it hence given a soft landing so to speak, in the friend zone arena. There’s usually one or two traits about them that rather doesn’t convince or encourage you to jump into dating them. It could be that they neither have that charm and the wow-factor nor a substantial level of fire that is required for the relationship to bear legs. But they are good keeps for friends though. They end up being very entertaining friends, loyal and dependable since they are always ready to please you.


Familiarity is slightly different from being friendzoned in the following aspect – The person in this context could possess all the qualities of a person you could date but your connection tends to go overboard to an extent both of you develop a sibling-like kind of attachment. If it’s the dude, he sort of fails to give the aroma that comes with dating and you end up becoming too close at the wrong stage of the friendship. Or the person becomes too nice, too genuine and too available. Sometimes that alone holds back someone’s feelings. You see, to be attracted to someone, there should be that element of working hard to clinch it. When the person is too available, too willing to bend over to your terms and too submissive, it kills the magical oomph that is cognisant to keeping the two hearts dazzling and synchronized. Eventually, one can be friendzoned.  You could think of a deskmate or classmate or a girl/boy next door relationship.

Family friends

Any typical family has a tradition of cultivating and maintaining a special relationship with another family sharing the same values.  It happens that under these occasional encounters, children belonging to these two families are compelled to be friends, right from childhood all the way to adulthood and observe the requisite level of diplomacy to their counterparts. Normally, these friendships may lead to lifetime friends if not marriage. These kind of relationships are clouded by a lot of commonalities and history hence forming an ideal basis for bff friendships to blossom.

Couples should be very careful about how they navigate the whole idea of engaging third parties in their marriages/relationships to administer solutions to their marital flaws. The more one engages third parties the more they become vulnerable to infidelity. You see, cheating is cancerous and breeds very aggressively the moment third parties, especially from the opposite gender, get privy to privileged information about the struggles of a so-called best friend in a committed relationship.

More often than not, bff friendships that work around underneath marriage and stable relationship establishments, have a way of draining the enthusiasm and energy from the primary relationship hence deflating these solid relationships to empty shells that risk capsizing.




Dad & Son When a friend narrated to me how once in a while he teams up with his dad to cultivate some men talk in a bar, it took me back. It baffled and fascinated me at the same time. If my dad was alive today, would he call me at one of those lazy Saturday afternoons and be like –  “Hey, are you free, can we meet in town?” And I’d respond from the other end; “Oh sure, why not?” Why I’d be baffled is because my dad wouldn’t dare drink, smoke or act drank right in front of his children. If he was alive today and his sons having grown beards and clocking three decades, he’d perhaps be tempted to surprise us with one of those pep talks.

I’d meet him in a bar that has dignity and manners where old folks mostly retirees drink diligently listening to permeating country road music that would soothe even their bone marrow. Certainly, it would not be the same us listening to Man Not Hot lyrics as all they do is prick the ears – Pap, pap, ka-ka-ka! Skindiki screw pap-pap And a pu-pi-drrr-boom! Skya Du-du-ku-ku-pun-pun Poom-poom.  And it would be a man’s exclusive club kind of thing, not a dodgy, stuffy bar with half-naked lasses dancing exotically. By the way, such a rendezvous encounter would be next to rare to ever happen since normally the two of us would only have such talks when I visit home or during family meetings.  Anyway, back to the bar stuff. Here, the waiters would be decently dressed buttoning up their shirts to the last button and crowing it with a bow-tie and their skirts length being at the knee. This would be in sharp contrast to the usual ones we are used to, who parade their cleavages and upper thighs for whoever is interested in devouring them and wear high heals taller than their reputes. They’d also have different varieties of brandy and torts hedged along their handkerchief-long skirts to seductively convince you to sample them.

We’d sit in one of those isolated corners and delve in man to man talk as we pour down our throats some cold stuff after savouring on a fish fillet fingers meal served with tartar sauce and frozen wedged Nyandarua potatoes for late lunch. The only thing that would eavesdrop our conversation would be the cold breeze permeating through the elegant one – way glass window, doing a lot of justice to the soaring temperatures of the so-called month of love and romance.

We would dig into self-employment and how it has been like close to a year after I made the decision to quit my employment where I’d worked for 5 solid years with an assured salary and job security.  I’d make dad understand how tough the decision was but a turnaround to how I viewed life going forward. The fact that my conscious, soul, spirituality, family and body language were all for it, I was more than ready to explore the world I hadn’t, having been confined for five years doing the same thing day in day out in the same environment so to speak. He’d nod as his hands tore apart the finger-licking meal. I’ll be like; “Dad, self-employment is very very tough, challenging, risky, unpredictable but very fulfilling. This is because I found it very unfair working all my prime years for someone under his terms. I have always desired to do what I love most. Trading my skills at the highest reasonable price and having time to nurture my writing career and enough for my family. Enough to visit you and mum upcountry and initiate projects that I will have the free-will to monitor without requesting permission from my damn boss. Being flexible and relying on my hard work instead of the mercy of someone, was what was burning inside me before I quit my job.”

Dad would interject and be like; “Andrew, that was exceedingly profound of you. Since success is all about transformation. In other words, it’s an enemy of stagnation and comfort zone. It’s the continuous disruption of your comforts. You know when you are employed an 8-5 job, somebody tends to program your destiny. However, self-employment is not for the faint-hearted, it must be done at the right time when one is well prepared.”

We’d talk about the boy child and how he has been the laughing stock; receiving all the ridicule and sideshows the world has got. I’d indulge dad of how and when we lost it as poor sons of the soil. Dad would gulp his wine glass and take his time fetching for a perfect answer. “You know Andrew, we no longer have credible role models for the boys out there and gentlemen to identify with. Many dads, no longer care about legacies they are passing on to their sons. There is no mentorship at all. Look at the many forums available for women to empower themselves. We forgot about traditions and our culture. How many of your peers for instance have joined the association of Kiama kia Ma where young Gikuyu men are nurtured and comprehensively introduced to the cultures of a typical Gikuyu man and endowed with a responsibility to not only be a custodian of our heritage but to protect and abide by it and help it flourish to the rest who are not in the know. Again, conventional men have become too emotional and fluid. They are too insecure, sensitive and seeking lots of validation from social media and a world that, in fact, is exerting its energy in demasculinising them.

We’d explore on how marriage institution is being fought left, right and centre and how weak-man-syndrome has grossly contributed in tainting it. “You know your generation has an immense problem with commitment. You have no patience over anything. And again, you want it all. You can’t have your cake and eat it. You must learn to live with your wife no matter what…not unless a life is threatened. Your generation must have the balls to confront life even when the situation doesn’t favour you. You must demonstrate the character of not giving up easily,…holding on and believing it will eventually work out.  It’s important for the married to learn how to fuse their characters with those of their spouses and compromising on areas that would otherwise trigger issues.” He would quip.

“Dad, have we over glorified success and got it all wrong?” I’d ask him. “Seemingly so! Young people aren’t shy from quick stuff, instant gratification, eeeh and quick success that has no foundation nor grace.”

We’d talk about his passion for livestock keeping and how he’s carrying on with it. “Zero grazing is awesome. I’m enjoying it but it’s a bit dry now though I’ve stocked enough hay for the next 8 months and lots of nappier grass in the shamba. Interestingly, the bull rearing business is really picking up. I’m buying young ones soon after the weaning stage and reselling them at a substantial profit 2 – 3 years down the line. I have clients from as far as Isiolo and Makueni.”

Occasionally our thoughts would be lost in the moment a while longer. We’d gaze at the silhouettes of birds flying home across the sky as dusky darkness would intensify giving way to thousands of stars littered all over the place. At such a moment, it would beckon to both of us that it’s time to leave.


Ladies and gentlemen, sad to let you know we are in deep sh*t. As we speak, marriage institution in Kenya is under assassination and serious siege. In other words, it’s half frozen, its nostrils dangling in deep waters, legs upside down, wobbling for help. It has been forcibly captured and capsized by the evil, bloody spirits full of venom and where Samanthas, Slay queens, Side dishes, Strippers, Socialites, Seducers, Sponsorees, Serial Killers, Slanderers and did they say Sh*tholes…call the shots and rule with impunity in this game of musical chairs.  It’s not even a question of broken vows or dishonoured promises but who is behind strangling marriage and oiling the evil spirits that are getting into people’s heads only to unleash terror, horror, violence, bloodshed and premature deaths to the very core of society – Family. Here, we are gazed by a shocking reality pondering on what may have warranted such horrible, painful, cold, bloody and untimely deaths of precious loved ones.

Deaths that have left behind traces of gaping voids that depict a nation badly wounded and bleeding from within. Desperation, ill mental health, lack of stress management mechanisms and moral rot can only be assumed as the obvious causes of such dire calamities that have befallen today’s society. What is left behind is a community picking up the pieces and trying to make sense of these wild patterns that have rendered many orphans, single parents, divorcees, or empty shells of debris after an entire family lineage has been wiped off.

Marriage has been ransacked and tore apart by hungry carnivores in the name of Alcoholism, Cheating and Infidelity, Finances, Low libido, Mistrust and a society struggling with debauchery addiction. Speaking of finances – They say money and marriage is an age-old problem. Many married couples face tests that threaten to crumble down their marriages whenever they fail to come clean on their financial status and worth. In fact, a myriad of conflicts in marriage has been attributed to couples mistrusting one another on money issues and undisclosing how much they own. Some go to an extent of operating secret bank accounts or registering their assets with the names of their children and not their spouses. Couples that tend to show an unusual appetite for materialism desires at the expense of cultivating authentic happiness are much vulnerable to money-related conflicts regardless of how rich or poor they are.

Further, many married women are living lonely and unhappy lives due to men forsaking to honour their cardinal responsibility of providing for their families. On the other hand, legions of women too, are triggering lots of pressure to their husbands to live up to the expectations of the social class they perceive to be in. Consequently, if such men don’t honour such expectations, they are denied respect and dignity in their homes and gradually become way unpopular even to their children. Much propaganda is fed to the kids thereby poisoning their souls to abhor cold feelings towards their dads.

Marriages that have no common goals or priorities tend to weaken their financial growth and capacity. While everybody should be allowed to pursue their individual goals in life, in marriage, major decisions that affect a huge chunk of the family budget should be smoothly harmonised to avoid future conflicts. It’s a fact that, spendthrift is the number one financial cause for divorce be it in gambling, alcohol or impulse buying. While it may be smooth sailing for ordinary relationships, clearly, marriage has never been a bed of roses and as it demands disclosure and transparency for fewer conflicts to occur. Those who defy this rule find the going quite unbearable and tough.

Infidelity in marriages has contributed to many bloody separations if not leading to death. No one time hasn’t the media reported of cases of love-triangles oscillating around married people and side women. Many marriages have come to a grand halt due to cheating or realising their marriages have been rocked by secret concubines. Majority of men are very much vulnerable to keeping side women for selfish desires. Concubines use soft power strategy which usually involves massaging man’s ego and tending to depict submissive demeanour to win over them. What many men don’t realise or only do it in hindsight when it’s too late, is that concubines’ end game is to eliminate man’s wife from her territory and ending up inheriting what the wife or children would have stood to gain. Broadly, we have two types of cheaters. People who cheat because it’s in their DNA and character to cheat. These are fellows who can’t control themselves whenever an alluring skirt wearer is in their vicinity. They are controlled by lust and tend to cover up their insecurities by breeding as many cheats in their lives. Indeed, it’s a question of seeking validation and feeding their life inadequacies. The other lot of marriage cheats happen due to prolonged dissatisfaction or unresolved issues in marriage. While this is not an excuse, it’s important for couples to address issues timely instead of shelving them under the carpet where they build up only to choke them later on.

Does it bother you how many young ladies in their twenties and early thirties that find it attractive to date married men? While this is done perhaps to boost their narcissistic ego and feed their hypersexuality, many more practice it out of peer pressure for financial breakthroughs. And with all due respect to single mums, there are a number of them who chest thump on social media how they are able to provide for their kids if not playing the role of father and mum which by the way is a credit to them, BUT end up being laid by married men not once, not twice, not thrice but regularly. Woman, that’s double standards!

Clearly, we are a generation that due to its insatiable desire to live-large, exude instant gratification or clueless on coping with life’s demands and dynamism are unable to manage our stress levels. Unfortunately, we’ve left poorly lit and ill-funded mental facilities and very few number of counsellors and unaffordable psychiatrists to address the issue of depression. Surely, Mathare Mental Hospital is a drop in the ocean if we will ever successfully address stress-related deaths in the society. Mental health needs to be well funded and devolved. As a matter of fact, we need well equipped mental hospitals in every County in Kenya.

Be it as it may, we need to indulge further as a nation on the need to preserve family heritage by reclaiming it from the jaws of domestic violence and unfounded deaths. Worse still, the fact that innocent children are being killed in the melee of unresolved issues is an invitation for God’s wrath on us. Moreover, bloodshed is a direct curse. No one has the mandate to terminate another person’s life regardless of the situation.

More fundamentally, couples should take their time in dating to learn more about each other. And while it’s naive to imagine you can exhaust getting to know somebody, usually, there are red signs and no go zones traits you can observe while still dating someone. Besides, getting to know one’s family, their values and reputation is equally as important. By the way, successful marriages are not about marrying the most curvaceous woman or the tallest and richest man, it’s about investing in discipline, authentic friendship, teamwork and sacrificing for one another for the greater good of family accomplishment.



Young Family Playing With Happy Baby Son At Home

Hello Hello! first-time parents and all my readers out there passionate about kids and family stuff. Maternal Moments series is back! This time taking it further from where we paused last time. I’ll help you juggle your memory on what we covered last. If you recall, we brushed deeply on deconstructing myths and mending information gaps relating to pregnancy; The importance of choosing your delivery-hospital way in advance; And challenges that follow post -pregnancy for both parents be it – breastfeeding tips, what the mother should feed on to boost the milk levels and help the body recover quickly and efficiently, changing diapers, lulling the baby amongst many other topics.

Now, today we will cover challenges that come around in the first couple of months in parenting (2 – 5 months). At this stage, the crucial-most priority is to ensure immunisation dates and advice are followed to the letter. Parents should never afford to miss an immunisation date since the monitoring of an infant’s health progress is conducted through the scheduled dates. Above that, nothing should be of more importance than honouring these dates. Speaking of immunisation, injections are the scariest. This is because the infants are mostly very tender and delicate. At weeks 6, 10 and 14, injections are administered coupled with other oral dosages of vaccination just to uplift the infant’s immune. The next injection happens at the ninth month usually for measles otherwise in between week 15 to the 9th month, babies normally go for weight checkups while Vitamin A oral dosage is dispensed at the 6th month.

To a greater extent injections come with lots of challenges commonest of all being fever. And how do you tell an infant has fever? The recommended method is to use a thermometer. Speaking of which, all parents should endeavour to purchase a thermometer since they are never at a loss in estimating the body temperature of the baby. Usually, 37.2 degrees C. and above is an indication of a fever development and a reason for the parents to start worrying. Other ‘crude ways’ of diagnosing if a baby has fever is by placing one’s palm on the forehead or around the armpit. An experienced parent will realise if the temperature is unusually high.

There are home remedies that parents are encouraged to administer to lower the fever before they embark to the nearest hospital.  One remedy I can guarantee with my kidney is Calpol syrup. It offers reliefs from pain and fever associated with vaccination, teething, cold & flu and other childhood infections. Any unmanaged fever beyond that should be rushed to the nearest hospital. Speaking of hospitals; Parents should be extremely cautious about where they present their kids for medical attention. With all due respect to Clinical Officers, Physicians and all other Medical practitioners, if possible please identify a credible and reputable paediatrician to be handling your infant’s medical journey. Their medical history requires a specialist and consistent one for that matter. And since kids medical attention is highly sensitive and complex, you can only bet it with a paediatrician and not any other medical practitioner, not unless its an emergency that can’t wait.

During the scheduled immunisation dates you may realise the following; That your baby weight is not consistent or the injection was either administered wrongly or reacted with your baby’s skin. On matters weight – An infant’s weight is one of the major indicators of his/her health progress. I can promise you that you’ll have trouble with your MCH (Mother/Maternal Child Health) personnel if your baby is underweight or overweight. You see, once you commence the antenatal clinics you are issued with a booklet that is a record-keeping tool for the mother and child health journey up to the first 5 years of the child. In it is a graph that gives a guideline of an infant’s weight progress from the time of birth all the way to five years. The graph can easily indicate if the baby is under or overweight on a monthly basis.

It’s important to appreciate a baby is considered underweight at birth if he/she weighs less than 2.5 kilograms and overweight(obesity) if he/she has 5 or more kilograms. Underweight conditions for babies between the periods of birth to 6 months are mostly associated with the following; Poor quality of sucking either via breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, Inadequate number of feeding, Incorrect formula preparation, Poor feeding interactions (vomiting after feeding or care-giver assuming the baby is full), Poor quality mother’s milk mostly associated with low nutrition intake, Underfeeding, Underlying medical problems amongst many others. On the contrast, babies that struggle with obesity are mostly associated with feeding on formula-fed products as opposed to exclusive breastfeeding. This is because the former have a tendency of being overfed. Normally, breastfeeding is protective against obesity.  Pregnancies that had gestation diabetes are also very much likely to lead to an obese child. Another interesting fact is that parents that start weaning relatively earlier than the recommended stage of six months can lead to causing obesity to their kids or distorting their expected normal growth curve. Babies that are less active have a higher likelihood of being obese too.

On injections – An infant may develop a hard lump and redness at the injection site which means the body cannot process some or all types of the vaccine ingredients. The body may also be trying to fight the ‘toxins’ administered to it from being absorbed into the body and blood. The hard lump may disappear in a couple of days and one can massage the area with a warm hand towel to make it less severe. Most vaccine reactions fade away within 3 – 7 days otherwise one should seek medical attention beyond that.

As fast time parents, you’ll encounter so many myths about baby rashes and be made to believe they have everything to do with high temperatures and excessive body sweat. While there is rash known as sweat rash, as a parent it’s critical to demystify half-truths and realise there are over 20 types of rashes. For instance, we have rashes associated with food allergies that are resisted by the baby. This may include excessive consumption of wheat or egg products by the mother. There are rashes associated with the teething stage, Eczema which is a more long-term skin disorder requiring specialist treatment, Nappy rash, Impetigo rash, Milia rash, Newborn rash, Ringworm, Baby acne, rashes associated with woolen clothes and many more. Some skin rashes are also caused by parents who experiment with their babies on the many varieties of baby-products be it diapers, wet wipes, petroleum jelly and baby soaps. The more you try the latest or ‘cheapest’ product with your baby, the more reactive the baby skin behaves. Please note your baby is not a litmus paper to be tested on everything that is on offer. Be consistent and you’ll have less trouble. Bottom line on rashes: Visit your paediatrician after a week or so if the rashes don’t seem to disappear.

To mothers who are obsessed with appearing fit, shapely and in the ‘right size’ or what is termed as bouncing-back after pregnancy, it can have a heavy toll on the baby’s health progress. This is because they will try dieting and shelving off most of the highly nutritious foods just to meet unrealistic and unhealthy goals. While this may seem attractive to women who battle with increased weight, it comes with a tremendous negative impact on the infant’s health. You realise the baby feeds exclusively on milk at least for the first six months, hence while the mother concentrates on foods that are less likely to have high calories, quality of her breast milk is highly compromised hence leading to underweight issues to her baby. It has also been established that burning off weight too quickly may cause a woman’s fat cells to release contaminants into her breast milk.

To a great extent, dads are a no-show when it comes to the welfare of their babies. Many men are least interested and emotionally attached to their kids, which by the way weakens if not undeveloping the bond between them and their offsprings. Men have a tendency of hiding under cultural and social ethos that dictate it’s unmanly and weak to lull a baby to sleep or to assist in feeding them.  For your information, the bond between a dad and his child doesn’t happen in a fortnight nor is it magical, it is invested upon diligently day after day by taking time to being with their kids and showing interest in them.

Dear lost men, here are some of the major facts about kids brought up by dads who are close to them. Studies show that if a child’s father is affectionate, supportive, and involved, he can contribute greatly to a child’s cognitive, language, and social development, as well as academic achievement, a strong inner core resource, sense of well-being, good self-esteem, and authenticity. This is according to Dr.Gail Gross, a renown family, child development, human behaviour expert, author and educator from US. She further attests that a child’s primary relationship with his/her father can affect all of the child’s relationships from birth to death, including those with friends, lovers, and spouses. Those early patterns of interaction with a father are the very patterns that will be projected forward into all relationships…forever more: not only your child’s intrinsic idea of who he/she is as he/she relates to others, but also, the range of what your child considers acceptable and loving.

On matters maternal, we can’t really exhaust on the topics. Watch out for more in the future series. Best of luck for now!


The anger over kids not getting into university speaks to how Kenya education has become a search for papers, rather than true learning which opens many doors at many different levels. Shouldn’t we perhaps interrogate our all-roads-lead-to-university model of schooling? – Gathara – Media personality

We are such a ridiculous nation that seemingly panics and vomits its lungs out all because one Dr. Matiang’i seems to be catching up with the cunning cartels at the Ministry of Education, TSC and Mtihani House. To the extent that a whole bunch of us have been reduced to do hues and cries and daring to tame bwana CS for what they term “mass failure”, is a joke of the year. That besides opportunistic politicians in the name of MCA’s who can barely express themselves in English left to whip emotions and emancipate cheap political mileages by storming schools to eject new Principals taking office in the new stations, is only a very sad affair. Did I also overhear and watch some parents jeer new school principals in front of their children reporting to school and accusing the head-teachers of poor track records in their former schools?

The lack of tolerance experienced with the new head-teachers’ transfers is unprecedented and perhaps underlying our inherent fears of being obsessed and trapped by the Degree syndrome. We don’t really care what our children will study in those campuses neither do we bother to care if it’ll be part of their passion. All we want them to do is score As whether faked or otherwise and go study courses they genuinely never would have qualified for, only to later miserably fail in their exams if not end up peeling off to incompetent Engineers or be it clueless Doctors if not unpassionate Computer Scientists who compromised their lecturers to award them with “favourable” grades.

Eventually, our economy gets trapped by disillusioned millennials performing jobs that they don’t even grasp the basics. What a tragedy are we succumbing to? Meanwhile, we pressure our politicians to score cheap goals by skinning a poor cabinet minister only executing and implementing his job description diligently. And since we are a country that celebrates mediocrity rather amazingly, here we are bombarded by shockwaves of a reality that has been turned around and mixed around all in tandem.

I can confirm to have interacted with a legion of fresh graduates who hardly seem to grasp the basics when they knock at our offices for attachment or employment opportunities. More surprisingly, their papers sharply contradict their personas in many instances. This alone is a hell-bent ordeal waiting to break loose to much of a shame for a country celebrating over 54 years of self-rule. As a matter of fact, students who pass through diploma level before joining campus seem to exude more seriousness and determination as opposed to the rest that just join campus to take on courses that were compelled by their cluster scores and not their own volition.

Long live the days when having a degree was the epitome of high intellectualism as opposed to our contemporary times where a degree is a mere conformity to a world driven by papers faked or forged and not substance in the form of passion-driven or talent nurtured. Iron sharpens iron and so does a country like Kenya seem to antagonise the posterity of education benchmarking. Basically, we are a nation that values more, wearing of gowns from some of the so-called campuses that have zero facilities leave alone reputable lecturers and where classes rarely have quorum apart from when exams draw near.

A bit of statistics; In 2014 Kenya had 3,073 ‘clean’ As, in 2015 had 2,636 in 2016 had 141 As while in 2017 had 142 As. While you ponder on the numbers appreciate that Dr.Matiang’i let out a confession that as early as 1990’s to 2015, exam marking was complete before Christmas holidays but wouldn’t be released just yet! Not before massaging of marks in the name of trading marks and selling of grades to the highest bidder for another two months. He further alluded that exams setting was being done over a year to the exam-commencing date to give room for leaking to interested stakeholders hence why some ‘National’ schools had the guts of attaining over 80% ‘clean’ As and A-minuses and failing to register a single A or partly less than 5 A-minuses post Matiang’i era.

While some of us complained that out of 615,772 students who wrote the 2017 KCSE exam only 176, 858 scored C- and above, the script wasn’t that different in the past; Students who scored C plus and above were 165,766 and 149,719 in 2015 and 2014 respectively. That is simply the fact.

There is hope though; Part of the benefits of the new system of education Kenya launched this year of 2-6-3-3 scraps off the obsession of ‘National Exams’ which to a very high extent built the pressure of cheating in exams. Students can now specialise in their areas of interest especially in senior secondary levels which includes Art subjects which were unceremoniously removed midway in the 8-4-4 system. The new system will also be skills-oriented rather than exam oriented where students will be moulded to all rounded personas. Talents will feature dominantly alongside their academic work unlike in the 8-4-4 system which neglected talent and focused solely on exams.

Speaking of Art which conspicuously missed in the 8-4-4 system as earlier pointed out, it’s now one of the best paying employment avenues Kenya is bragging off at the moment. In fact, the next generation will owe a lot of talent breakthroughs to the growth of Art in this country. The global media seem to have realised this and is highlighting a surge of intense interest in Pan-African Art. Some of the youngest and budding employers our country has, are doing big in matters Art investment. From Online Content Creators, Musicians, Photographers, Filmmakers, Atheists, Graphic Designs, Poets, Writers, Novel publishers and Painters just to name a few. And this has nothing to do with degree papers but purely passion that is self-dependent and not necessarily dictated by degree papers.

I’m not against university education no! I’m only opposed to the ideology that its the only road to success and that having a degree in Kenya is a matter of life and death. That shouldn’t be the case. To the parents, with all due respect don’t remain fixated on the 18th century where you condition your children to take specific careers that are a soft-spot to you and not them. If you pressure your kids to take certain courses that you so like, you are only living your dreams through them which clearly is setting them up for failure.

Let me leave it here; Show me a successful person who is living a fairly happy life working in a career he or she either has no passion or talent for?






Short Hair Styles For South African Ladies Quenchsa Talk What39s On Your Head In 2015 Natural Hair Or Weave“A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life” said Coco Chanel, the French, prolific fashion creator. Celebrated hairstylists Owen Gould took it further; “Hair holds so much more energy than most of us are aware of. Some women use it as a security blanket whose purpose is to shield and protect, while others use it as a secret weapon to tease and entice.

True as it sounds, for every 5 women you spot, 1 must have cut her hair. Yes, in the day of our Lord 2017, women have brought their A game right into the man’s doorstep by taking the leap of faith in matters hair politics and thereby basking in the amazement that comes with a clean, neat and fresh hygienic hair. No pun intended to my feminist readers already wounded by blogger C Nyakundi whom I sharply disagree with, on his sentiments regarding the ‘suitable age of marriage’. That aside, from the millennial girl next door to the typical lead soloist in a non-conventional church in her early 40’s, both seem to be harbouring the same taste of a trending short hair look. That the contemporary sophisticated woman, bullishly encroaching the tomboy look so aggressively is no longer a shy attempt but a reality that is creating goosebumps to the gentlemen kingdom. A good number who are in the school of thought that deduce everything from a value-for-money point of view, are laughing all the way to the bank citing savings and the peace of not being bombarded with money-for-salon cliche. On the other hand, where the majority sit, they are offensively disturbed by the deforestation of the iconic black hair. While it’s hard to reconcile the two divides, the fact is, there has been an influx of women donning short hair which by the way is not a coincidence but a deliberate effort. That said, virtually every woman goes through a cycle of cutting down her hair at some point in her life all for various reasons.

Whether it’s to signal the end of a relationship or a new promotion at work; there is usually a direct correlation between what’s happening on women’s hair and what’s happening in their lives. And this correlation can be attested by Kageshi; she cut her hair in her second trimester of pregnancy when juggling between work, pampering her uneasy body and dealing with styling her hair every morning which clearly became too much. Moreover, I was made to understand that the baby didn’t like her mother’s hair while in the womb and so she had to cut it. And when she persistently placed the question of facing the cut, I was left with no choice but to join the bandwagon. I chose to be open-minded and took the high road of diplomacy. Boy, what did I do? I accompanied her to an estate barbershop and perched there in disbelief watching her glossy hair get trimmed and fall off her shoulders helplessly.

That aside, women who cut their hair belong to a faction of the society that believes in risk-taking, boldness and self-assurance. And with short hair, it becomes healthier, easy to maintain and very convenient. By the way, Kenya exported short hair to the heart of Miss World 2017 beauty pageant securing the top 5 position beside reigning and easily securing the Miss World Africa -2017. How beautiful can that be? Standing out at such a coveted podium where the woman’s beauty is put at the global focus and to the sharpest of scrutiny. This happened to one of our very own Magline Jeruto, with her hair off.

A lot has been documented about the woman’s beauty and the icing on the cake has been her hair. The glamour that has been sold to us of course, has been about the free-flowing, wagging, woman’s hair dropping all the way to her back. However, the contemporary woman is risking it and shaking off our conventional attitudes towards natural black hair. Is it a hit or miss? Is it enough of a stride? A majority call it modern day transformation all in the attempt of crossing the path of black hair politics.

Speaking of black hair politics, hair pundits will confirm that black hair is thicker, curlier, and often frizzier. That notwithstanding, esteem issues manufactured and instilled by the Western ideologies has unfortunately weakened it through the excessive use of ‘chemicals’. Clearly, the journey of black hair has been rather uncelebrated and rocky. As a matter of fact, the entry of weaves and wigs was a slamming game changer since their only major purpose was to camouflage the black hair as to be long and pro-west with less maintenance cost. The media has penetrated a narrative that black natural hair is no longer ‘ideal’ and in fact, that the way to go is by embracing very long, silky, wavy-flowing and mostly blonde hair. What the promoters of weaves and its cousins fail to inform their audience is that there is grave scalp damage, lack of hair growth, breakage, hair loss and weakening of the hair follicle as a result of embracing artificial hair in the long run. This, therefore, begs the question; when was the last time short, curly, kinky black hair was celebrated or promoted as equally beautiful? This question was asked by Cherly Thompson when she penned an article dubbed – Black Women and Identity: What’s Hair Got to Do With It?

Perhaps, with the influx of Kenyan women moving away from the norm, that is weaves and wigs that has taken away the beauty of black hair, and consequently ‘going natural’, be it by initially cutting it to size, is part of a long process to heal the wounds of hair colonization for the native African woman. We are at a point where black hair is relearning the process of embracing its God-given beauty and unashamedly wearing a face of optimism and showcasing to the world that it is just a matter of time black hair triumphed politics that have rocked it.

That black hair politely brags about rich authenticity which unfortunately isn’t glamorous enough to match the artificially sewed human hair fished from horses’ tails is rather a sad affair. Come to think of it, white hair is thinner, dull and weaker. It’s time the African woman, walked shoulder high rocking the Afro kinky or whatever they call it and before we fully relearn and overcome our century-old black hair politics, let’s start with embracing bob-cuts and natural short hair.