MATERNAL MOMENTS: PART 2

Happy Mashujaa Day Andreaders! Can we dig in into part 2 of Maternal Moments?

From the onset, once a pregnancy test turns positive, the next phase of life is to schedule the maiden antenatal clinic which for a matter of urgency, should be to bring along the other partner. Most tests will be done on the woman, but the most critical one if you ask me is the HIV test which is carried out to both partners. It’s important because it’s meant to safeguard the fetus while forming in the mother’s womb and for posterity purposes. Further, this session is meant to orient the couple on the pregnancy journey and of course establishing the first probable Expected Delivery Date (EDD) be it from the compass-like tool the clinician uses to the scan. Most scans are close to perfectly accurate at weeks 9 to week 22 since, beyond that, the fetus keeps growing pretty fast making it complex for the scan to capture all the organs in tandem and perfectly. My point is, don’t be surprised when at week 38 the scan suggests you are two weeks behind schedule hence throwing a spanner to all your plans. Recall, it’s perfectly normal to have more than one EDD since it’s a game of probability.

Something else, halfway through the pregnancy, the hospital where one is to deliver should be earnestly identified. And that said, there are parameters to observe when choosing a maternal hospital namely; cost, service oriented and distance. With the hard economic torrents remaining bullish to our present times, many of us find ourselves between a rock and a hard place. While you may wish to give your unborn baby a decent delivery-hospital in matters professional service, in most cases it’s pegged at a huge cost. Now, Kenyan hospitals are broadly classified into three classes; Private, mission and public hospitals. In most cases, Private hospitals score big on matters service delivery. What I mean is, that one’s patient has a very high likelihood of getting personalized and well-catered attention. However, the same Private hospitals are notorious for being sneaky and mischievous in their billing. You’ll find that there are so many charges which will cost you an arm and a leg since their darkest underbelly is manipulating bills anyway.  Hence it’s appropriate for one to be well prepared be it through a reliable insurance cover or moneywise.

Mission hospitals have shown lots of tremendous improvement on matters service delivery and besides, are not as expensive as most private hospitals. However, without a reliable cover too, be it, NHIF or employer cover or one that an individual has subscribed to, the billing can still be quite expensive. The good news with Public hospitals is that maternity is officially free at least with the Jubilee government regime. However, service delivery is highly compromised and too wanting, of course made worse by the prolonged Nurses’ strike which is over 4 months now. But do many of us have the luxury of an option? Of importance though, is to appreciate that NHIF cover is at its best currently. As long as one has a clean statement meaning they have zero defaults or penalties in their monthly premiums, one is expected to reap big especially if one’s patient is in a mission hospital. As a matter of fact, mission hospitals offering NHIF payment terms literally pay close to 98% of the maternity bills whether the patient had complications or not!

Thank God if the pregnancy is all smooth sailing, a few hiccups here and there notwithstanding. If complications come, that shouldn’t ever write off the joy of carrying a pregnancy. Count your blessings as you may know, a good number strive to conceive for years in vain. For some, they develop diabetic pregnancy caused by an increase in glucose in the body. To others, they succumb to blood pressure which if not managed well can put the life of the unborn in high risk (Preeclampsia). Some may have a history of miscarriages, bleeding from the onset, Ectopic pregnancy, Placenta Previa, Premature labor and birth and rhesus-factor incompatibilities. It’s highly advisable to seek services of a gynaecologist if experiencing some of these or more complications as early as possible in the gestation period. On a lighter note, positive energy is key as pregnancy moods are unpredictable. One day you wake up okay, the other you wake up with zero energies or moods that make you believe you should be bedridden.

As a first-time parent, there are things one tends to appreciate in the entire process of delivering a baby. That Labor is extremely tough but very much surmountable! The thing is, there are a lot of grey areas for our generation in matters labor experiences due to the disconnect in information sharing amongst ourselves and especially from our older peers brought about by cultural degradation, for lack of a better term. You’ll realize, many of us are clueless on the very basic signs of labor or if we have an idea, it’s very much fluid and unclear. From what I gathered, women go through labor very dynamically. There is never a clean script or uniformity; every woman has her own experience, in fact, different from one pregnancy to the other. Interestingly, in as much as labor is associated with crude pain, some don’t feel any pain at all, but a majority do experience havoc, confusion and anything in between.

Actually, I’m reliably told some carry their bibles and read from cover to cover all in an attempt to interrogate God what they could have done to warrant such pain. Others give their life to Jesus in the process, through confessing and taking an oath of being Christ’s followers while some take it a notch higher – They never at any juncture wish to spot their husbands walking around the labor ward or attempting to comfort them. They tend to blame them for all the ‘anguish’. The good thing is, once labor pains are concluded, everything settles down normally including the wild spirits of dissenting one’s husband’s in the open or hurling insults at them. In my community they say, a child travels from far to be delivered. By the way, men should keep off labor ward if they harbor any desires of having more babies. I tell you why; chances are, she can easily disown you upon meeting your sight in this room. Plus, it’s not fair watching your woman helplessly bite a metallic bed and kick everything in her vicinity including uprooting her weave, throwing off her phone and handbag and soliciting the baby to kindly pop out!

The following are the tell-tale signs to check out for or what can be referred to us the red signs in matters true labor stage; 1.) Be very careful when strong and regular contractions start building up. This shouldn’t be confused with false labor otherwise called Braxton Hicks contractions which normally have irregular contractions and are typically weak in strength if a woman changes position or takes a walk or rests. 2.) If her water breaks and consequently start leaking, one should rush to hospital immediately. 3.) Bloody vaginal discharge is another red sign that should alarm the person involved. 4.)  Lower back pains and nausea too should be taken seriously. More fundamentally, one should present herself to hospital if the EDD passes on with no signs as highlighted above have been experienced.

The next battleground after labor ordeal is the art of breastfeeding. Many first time mothers will attest, it’s never simple as it appears. From how to hold the baby to how to position the breast, can be challenging at first. In fact, to some, the challenge either lies in lack of milk at all, lack of sufficient milk, plenty of milk but the baby won’t breastfeed which could easily cause mastitis and nipple alignment challenges. Some of the tips in best practice when it comes to breastfeeding include; mother-infant tummies to be close together, the infant mouth to cover most of the areola (dark layout after the nipple), baby’s chin must touch the breast, the infant to have his/her mouth wide open before inserting the nipple, mother supporting the infant’s entire body, infant’s nose should be opposite the nipple and many others. Effective suckling can be determined through establishing if; Slow deep sucks and sometimes pausing while suckling (Infant’s suckling is irregular), infant’s chicks are round shape when suckling, baby releases breast when milk is fully finished, mother’s breasts feel relaxed. By the way, engorged breastfeeding can be undone through homemade ways that include massaging the breast with a warm hand towel or manually or electronically expressing the milk through a pump-milk equipment.

As an excited first time dad, you’ll be amazed by some small achievements like changing diapers, babysitting a 5 days infant which will include fathoming where to put your left and right arm (Most men will be fearful of handling an infant), composing lullaby songs and lulling the baby to sleep, helping in cleaning the infant and many other small wins like helping in massaging your woman’s breasts not boobs (mothers have breasts not boobs, and it comes with a price) when it clogs with excess milk, or taking charge in supporting her with or without a house girl. Some social media busybodies will cheapen these wins. They will joke on how superficial, contemporary husbands appear to be and how they can’t keep up with a successful career woman. Some cheap internet personas will write and lecture us in their newspaper columns on how marriage is not an achievement, but who cares; Life is all about the everyday small wins.

While at it, it will hit you that you wake up around 10am and only retire to bed not earlier than 1am after showering at 12am due to juggling from one task to the other be it cleaning the dishes, rushing to the market to get some green fodder, taking a bike to one Mr. Abdul who is a camel butcher to fetch the oxtail bone which you’ll use to make soup for your woman, to sifting the black beans (Njahe) and lentils grains(Kamande) to fermenting porridge from Mama Ngotho who is a self-made specialist in matters porridge flour for her clientele who’ll include breastfeeding mothers, pregnant women, clients battling overweight issues, underweight people, slay queens trying to tame their tummy sizes, babies with appetite issues, terminal illness patients and many others.

Finally, watching your baby fall to sleep will be the most beautiful adventure your eyes will have fallen onto in recent times. You’ll desire to stick in there and stare her breathe life occasionally making smiles in her small dreams to much of your amusement. You’ll watch this soul with a clean life sheet and zero sins apart from what Jesus died for, follow your voice with her feeble neck and almost touch the palpable delight on your face.

Enough of maternal stuff

 

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MATERNAL MOMENTS: PART 1

It’s all fun and games until labor contractions begin. By hook or crook of it, it gets evident that the chickens have come home to roost. That the day of havoc is alive and well. At this situation the baby is usually stretching off, armed with eagerness to breathe life outside the placenta. Speaking of which, the placenta is that place where everything is controlled from the atmosphere to the lack of harshness from realities like demos, teargas, cash crunch, frenemies, global warming, traffic, inflation, idle politicking, sanctions and blackmail. Besides, if hues and cries and piercing pains are anything to go by, a lot is left to be desired in the labor ward.

So, a day to the EDD your wife will confess to having craved for chips and since she cooks them so effortlessly, you’ll encourage her to let the unborn baby have what she is desiring, be it chips. And in a few, the table room will be filled with sweet aroma emanating from the kitchen where your wife and her bulging belly will be cooking for the baby and yourself, her last meal before she crosses the bridge to parenthood. Halfway the cooking, she will drop the long cooking spoon and run to you, holding her back with one arm complaining of a sharp pain. The impact of the pain will be enough to smoke out a bit of tear drops in her eyes and have her form a paranoid face. All this will happen at the backdrop of dawning labor pains that will have no clear recognition to first-timers. So anything close to pain will be enough to call a press conference and make a quick call to Eston, your cab guy. It will also be prudent to let the chips burn out in the kitchen as compared to handling the pain from your wife. Later, you’ll walk to the kitchen to serve what will have been saved from the savage of burning out. However, you’ll only manage to have some few bites courtesy of the tension building on.

Two hours later, the pains will have become more frequent at intervals of 30 – 40 minutes. By then, you’ll have consulted Doctor Google who will have it that the pains are called contractions. And that they’ll be signs of true labor if they come at a time when the EDD is expected. Upon reading that, your heart will skip with fear and excitement. The two feelings will interlock and do a Jaguar – Babu Owino fist out at your dismay. Further, Doctor Google will have it that, it will be highly important if one times the intervals of the contractions and probably, record them somewhere. The following will be the reason; For first-time mothers, true labor is placed when the spacing of the contractions is at the intervals of eight minutes while for the rest of the mothers, true labor kicks in when the contractions space in between ten minutes interval.

While you’ll gladly communicate this to your wife, she will have none of it and so will you. You’ll rather seek an interpretation from the nearest hospital in your list of options. What will follow will be you picking the small suitcase that will have ‘mother & baby items’ and place it at the doorstep as you make a call to Eston. He will not disappoint. At 11:44pm, he will have showed up at your gate. Both of you will make a brief prayer committing everything to the Lord and requesting for His protection and guidance in this uncharted path. You’ll walk out quietly, careful not to trigger any curiosity to your neighbors. In less than 10 minutes, you’ll have arrived at the hospital waiting to be attended. While at it, you’ll hear screams from the labor ward, of mothers pushing hard and cursing in equal measure. You’ll turn to your wife and pretend not to have heard the noise, just not to scare her further.

After an examination, your wife will be reordered to revert home as her cervix will have had zero opening and that the so-called pains she will be experiencing will be premature. In fact, the doc there will be like; “we need 10cm opening.” You’ll drive back home dejected, scared by what type of pains and magnitude to expect; wondering how your wife will handle them; bothered if that cervix spacing will ever be possible to attain and further agonizing if Eston will pick your call at 3:30am if the pains become intense and unbearable. No sooner you arrive home than the pains will drift closer together in intervals of 20 minutes. You’ll practically not sleep that night apart from massaging her back and persistently timing the pains and hoping hours ahead will speed up. You’ll miss daylight and all its safety.

At 5: 25am, you’ll have fully prepared and made way to the hospital again, this time not ready to revert back to the house without a kid in the arms. Luckily, she’ll be earnestly admitted and pronounced as to be experiencing true labor. She will be issued with those fluffy and oversize maternity gowns that will make her look like a Langa’ta Women’s prisoner. No pun intended. You’ll notice buds of fear placed at the corners of her eyes. You’ll try to ignore them as you whisper words of encouragement that in fact, will do little to suppress the fear in you too.  As that unfolds, her phone, as well as yours, will keep on buzzing from curious family members and friends eager to know if the baby will have popped out yet. While the calls will create more anxiety, you’ll advise your wife to switch her phone off and leave it to you, to convey the information as to when it’ll be appropriate. A friend of hers, actually twice her age will call you requesting to know if you picked a woman friend to help your wife as you embarked to the hospital. You’ll lie to her that you did so. As soon as you hang up, you’ll wonder how in the 21st-century husbands can’t drive their women to maternity wards in peace and in the company of nobody else apart from maybe their pet dog, one Poppy!

Not even your mother in law or your own mother will have the closest of information on what will be transpiring at this moment but instincts will be screaming something to their heads. While at it, you’ll stop the nurses along the way, humbly requesting to know the fate of your wife. Some will be receptive while others will be as cold as a club bouncer. The latter will have no feelings to let nor sympathize with your poor self. But there will be some who understand keeping up with a pregnant woman for nine months and overseeing all the hullabaloo and drama that comes with it, is no mean achievement. One such nurse will be Nurse – Angeline. She will have lots of things happening on her taste of hairstyle which will make her stand out anyway. Upon posing the question of the fate of your wife, you’ll notice her honest smile and reassurance even before she speaks. You’ll also notice the narrow gap between her front teeth that will make her smile more customized and memorable.

That evening, you’ll walk home to meet your house literally walking to you demanding to know how everything turned out. “Did the baby come?” the matrimonial bed will ask. “What is the gender?” the utensils will pose to you. “What is the weight of the baby?” The electronics will beg to know. The half-eaten chipos of yesternight will still be on the table mapping out what will seem to have been the most hectic 24 hours of your lifetime. Meanwhile, you’ll sit down and draft short messages conveying great news of the birth of your baby, a few hours ago, to people around you who seem to matter most. Before then, you’ll have called your mum as the first recipient of this privileged information and she will recite a gratitude prayer right on the other side of the phone conversation. She will be glad of her son, finally walking into parenthood while she is alive to witness it as it unfolds. To God be the glory.

By Day 2, your wife will have made lifetime friends from her hospital bed from the likes of Milly who despite losing a new baby born, will be a walking piece of inspiration. She will be extremely prayerful, overly kind and unbowed by the circumstances of losing a child. She will have coastal origins from her Swahili command to her plus-size demeanor. Then there will be sad stories of women who have braved marriage violence for their entire pregnancies. There will be more cold ones like of kids born with deformities and had their mothers take off leaving them at the mercy of the hospital. There will be some to extremely sympathize with; like of women who’ve endured bleeding from their fourth month of pregnancy compelling them to be hospitalized to the end of their gestation period; while others won’t deliver until their blood pressure stabilizes. Then there will be this slender, light-skinned Form two girl, admitted in the same ward with your wife. She will not have a child lying next to her. You’ll learn that she survived a rape ordeal, got impregnated in the melee and had the dignity of carrying the pregnancy to the ninth month. She delivered one and half years ago, an innocent baby boy. But why the girl will be back in the hospital is because she will have pains around her belly which in a few days ahead, will be booked in the theatre after it’s established if she has developed some tumor in her stomach, through an X-Ray process. Your wife will also have made friends with one woman who gave birth to 1.5kg underweight infant baby and got trapped in the hospital since the bill was too high for her and her family to settle. The last you had about it, it was way past sh.100,000.

Looking forward to Part 2 of Maternal Moments!!

 

I STAND WITH DJ MO

Size 8

While it’s okay to have Zari and Diamond trade jabs and wash their linen out in the open for anyone who cares to decipher, it’s extremely unfortunate for Njoki Chege to find it acceptable to buy her writing material or lack of it by dragging along DJ MO and his marriage to her bitter emptiness and strangling all the fragrance. I dare say so since it’s a proven fact in the world of psychology that people who portray and exercise unusual negative energy and vengeance are either sick, mad or empty. Call that intolerable, I call it cutting the slack! How on earth can Njoki Chege be the savior and defender of the unmarried women while all she does is emit anger, humiliate men and have a problem with harmless passers-by whose only mistake is seem to be celebrating their marriage life?

It’s in that context and a heavy heart too that I’m compelled to reply even though uninvited to the so called mess that DJ MO and his wife are castigated to, for the simple reason of MO putting his wife under a series of tests then, while dating her in order to find out if she was the right match for him. Well, that is the annoying problem that the opportunistic Njoki Chege tries to dangle and protest for? What I find most curious and fascinating is the fact that Njoki Chege accuses DJ MO and co. for the reason why so many desperate women longing for marriage are on the rise or stuck in ‘loveless marriages’. However, in her subsequent article named – I’m Wife Material and Much More, DJ MO, But will Marry When I Want; the City Girl extends her ugly obsession with the acclaimed gospel DJ where she contradicts herself by putting it clear marriage is not an achievement. So at one point is DJ MO and co. to blame for women not getting married but then again Njoki rubbishes her own argument and alludes that marriage is not an achievement. So why is Njoki Chege confusing us?

She goes further to trash DJ MO’s career as shallow, hollow and below par. To exactly quote her, “All you do is mix and match songs”. Well, Njoki would want everybody to study a doctorate degree for one to be viewed useful, important and having achieved. This notion is to be forgiven and ignored for lack of substance and due to its vagueness. Why? Because it’s not PHD degrees that define or measure success in the world of the 21st century. Dear Njoki Chege, smell the coffee and realize that success is a lot more than back to back degrees. It’s measured by one’s level of realization and attainment of excellence and fulfilling life goals. It’s the stage where one portends to outgrow oneself in every aspect of imagination. Not that I’m belittling education.

That aside, the Entertainment industry is one of those well-paying jobs in modern-day realities. Contemporary DJs are no longer pushovers or small rats. They are bigwigs and they deserve it. As a matter of fact, the Art industry and the informal sector at large is by far the largest employer and hugest contributor to the economy than white collar jobs. Sammy Muraya aka DJ MO has a compelling life story. Through diligence, hard work and fear of God, he has broken a galore of glass ceilings and earned honest income, unlike Njoki who get paid to trade jabs, destroy careers and families, exercise vengeance on a national newspaper and engineer negative energy in every article she writes, all at a free will. What’s more unfortunate than that level of impunity?

What can’t be wished away is the fact that DJ MO was highly instrumental in the revolution of the gospel industry not only in Kenya but in the East Africa hub. And by so doing, he has his name pegged in the map of Kenya as one of those locally made and successful stories this country ever produced and should be proud of. With such accolades, the likes of DJ MO normally fall victim from a majority of ladies for obvious reasons; Fame and money hence the need to warrant themselves with caution as they embark on the slippery avenue of finding a suitor for marriage. One is compelled to be smart enough not to fall on the way or rather get peeled off, out of gullibility, naivety and extortion from the cunning slay queens. And by the way, all men have their way of testing women on whether they make a wife material or not. That pedigree is not only inevitable but rational. Men have what one would call Irreducible Minimums. Every sound man has this conditions griped in their fingertips. Most men go beyond beauty since this is one attribute that is conventional and a common denominator so to speak. Hence my surprise when Njoki Chege assumes men view beauty as to be cast in stone. NO! Beauty has got to be tested and verified. Beauty should account for itself. Meaning, it should prove why it’s not just superficial! And that’s why men apply their very own and unique pyrogiriam theories to ascertain if they are on the safe side. Interestingly, women are very good in coming up with their testing analysis too. In fact, when Njoki bullishly points out she will only date men who are not intimidated by her doctorate degrees, it boils to the same concept she is accusing DJ MO of. It’s a question of speaking from both ends of the mouth.

Now, Njoki again attempts to deconstruct DJ MO’s fame by referring to his original name Sammy Muraya, as a household name back in the day that was used by the benga maestro – Sammy Muraya. That maestro musician Sammy Muraya is what many Kenyans would first think of before getting hint of DJ MO government names, is an argument that is neither here nor there. In fact, its dead on arrival since, DJ MO, chose to coin his own brand and trademark away from the Murayas in as much as they are related, to much success!

The question of whether marriage is an achievement normally emanates and tossed around by modern day slay queens in between relationships that do not seem to outlast Safaricom data bundles. What disturbs me more is that most of us went through an 8-4-4 system and yet can’t define what an achievement is. Forget the Oxford and Google’s definitions. I’m referring to what we personally view and define as success or rather achievement. For avoidance of doubt; achievement must include attributes like Sacrifice (Compromise), Integrity, Diligence, Commitment, Chastity, Vision and Focus. We all agree the above accolades suit what could entail as an achievement. In other words, they are part of the process that leads to an achievement. That is not contentious, right? Now, the above attributes still, define what marriage is. This brings me to my point; that if these attributes define what achievement and marriage is; then it’s logically right to conclude marriage is indeed an achievement. Not unless, one gets married to destroy, rob or kill people’s career and them too.

As somebody who is married, I can confirm, marriage is not for the faint-hearted. There is a lot of hard work and deliberate effort that takes place for marriage to breathe life and roll on. Be it as it may, we must look at the bigger picture at all seasons of marriage. From dull days, frustrating days, feud days, unlucky days, days when both of you seem broke, days when there is less talking, days of self-small-meetings, days when you lose arguments, days when you sound stupid to days when you compromise not because you are weak but because you look at the bigger picture and certainly appreciate that in marriage, the end justifies the means. Those who castigate marriage as not an achievement only do so to sound sophisticated while covering up for their gaping voids and emptiness in their pale lives. Moreover, if one makes a decision never to get married, they should not compel the married to apologize to them, for portraying successful marriages. This being in line of defense to DJ MO, his lovely family and everybody else who celebrates and strongly advocates for marriage; Never feel small for overwhelmingly investing positively in marriage life. Its Godly and fulfilling to this life and thereafter.

Out of provocation from the mischievously, misplaced and misleading article by one Njoki Chege, DJ MO, as a human being went out of context in responding to Njoki and somehow touched on the sensitive Single Mothers element in his response, that went ahead to raise uproar. At that juncture, I agree, that it was not the single mothers that had hurt Mo but Njoki Chege. Hence, he should have restricted himself to Njoki and not the single mothers. He, however, saved himself by apologizing to all single mothers though the damage had already been done to much amusement to columnist Njoki. My bone of contention, however, was how Kenyans reacted when Mo lost his cool as was clearly seen in his response to Njoki. My conclusion would be; only hypocrites should stand to be surprised when Christians lose their cool. The Bible has immense documentation of characters who lost their cool including Jesus Christ! So, cut the slack and deal with your surprise. I stand with DJ MO.

DR. JOHN NGORU

The only thing I share with John Ngoru is bad handwriting. But I can write and sign cheques, just in case you thought my handwriting is illegible. The thing is, it’s just bad but legible. It appears to have confidence issues and overwhelmingly dependable on my moods. Speaking of which, it bothers me how much energy and focus I apply just to write nicely. Writing a letter at a time with its own breathing and personal space is, to say the least daunting. I mean, where does the patience to write endearingly come from? In my thinking, one should write as fast as one constructs the sentence in his head. Writing shouldn’t be slower and perfect. It should have some sort of ego and shrubs of beards, especially men handwriting. What I’m I driving at? That it’s an offense for men to have cute handwriting. Back to Dr.Ngoru, our similarity can only be enforced by our handwriting and not perusing medical journals and burning the mid night oil reading bulky books that do not trigger any urge to live a happy life. That aside, I jokingly enquired from him if there is a particular handwriting doctors learn in Med school. And he confirmed not one he is aware of.

Of course, it is intimidating interviewing somebody who is not only an alumnus of the envied Nairobi University School of Medicine but a lad who was among the creme of the class. How on earth do you top in Med school? To be more precise, he was the best final year student of the University of Nairobi in the class of 2013.  You now get the drift!

I met Doctor Ngoru for the first time in the year 2004, in Nyahururu High School, both of us as Form Ones; timid and hugely over-monolised. We were classmates right from Form one to Form four. Speaking of monolisation that ranged from cleaning our uniforms in the dirty sinks, never mind without buckets, because buckets were a privilege especially for Form ones, to reverting to the dormitories after 12 am after the lethal bullies had not only retired to bed but fast asleep. It was more baffling for me in the sense that, my bucket and I departed ways right at the administration block, few minutes after my mum had stepped out of the school gate, when a face I couldn’t make up later, volunteered to assist in carrying my bucket only to melt into the crowd.

That notwithstanding, Ngoru, didn’t only top in our class, but the entire stream of over 150 boys so consistently for the four years of our high school course. And you’d think, he was such a book warmer. Certainly not. I know of fellows who studied harder and for longer hours than him. Dr.Ngoru was just an intellectual in a class of his own. He was a genius who was and is still shy to admit so. In fact, he tried to transfer school three times in high school and succeeded in getting admission to schools that were way better than Nyahururu High. Unfortunately, his parents couldn’t afford to transfer him to those schools even after being served with admission letters since they were way expensive. And so as it would appear, this didn’t thwart the efforts of Ngoru to study much harder even after fate looked grim and unrewarding.

And to put light to his childhood; Dr. John Ngoru grew up like any typical village boy then born in 1989, in a family of five siblings, as the firstborn in Kajiado District. His dad was a driver with the Ministry of Trade and Commerce based in Kajiado but sadly, lost his job controversially. What this meant is that Ngoru and his family had to relocate to their native home back in Nyandarua County. Having a jobless dad and a mother who was practicing small scale farming didn’t add up to much, in terms of family welfare. To add salt to injury, his dad had a responsibility of taking care of his parents and siblings (Ngoru’s grandparents and uncles/aunts).

What type of a kid were you? “I was a quiet kid who loved reading a lot. I moved to top the class from standard 4, where I maintained number one position from then to class 8.” Ngoru, spent his school holidays and weekends grazing his dad’s livestock in the far fields of Lake Ol Bolossat. Which brings me to the point; Andreaders should make a point of visiting Lake Ol Bolossat which for a fact, is the only lake in the former Central province. Here, you can enjoy the beach-like atmosphere and it can be very windy in the evenings. You will enjoy watching hippos from a safe distance, boat riding in the placid water body and peering at the bird life. For your information, there are very competitive villas and vacational homes with ample accommodation spaces. It is quite mesmerizing sipping your cold beer, eyes fixed on the calm lake that extends its wings to the sleepy Nyandarua Ranges.

Dr. Ngoru cleared his primary school in a local private school where he managed to garner 441 out of 500 marks, which was a massive record that fourteen years down the line, no one has managed to break it. He aimed to join Mang’u High School but that proved quite elusive. Who should we blame when one garners such impressive marks only to find oneself in a low caliber school?

What was the feeling when you ended up in a provincial rather than a national school? “Initially, it was very demoralising but I accepted my fate by 2nd term of Form One course. What pushed Ngoru to be this aggressive in his performance? “All I wanted back then was to get my folks off the poverty line.” Which tricks did he use to remain top in class all the way from Primary school to Campus? Ngoru politely dismisses the question of tricks or strategy. “Really no tricks. I was just a normal kid doing what was expected. All I can confirm is that; I rarely forget once I read something. It only has to be once.”

What were your highlights in High school? “As I said; Maintaining position One expect for once, from Form One to Four; Participating in Science Congress up to the National level; Being part of the Music Festivals group that proceeded all the way to the Provincial level; Earning favour from the school principal for being consistently the top student and for my discipline. I also participated in numerous Mathematical contests and I recall being involved in a road accident at one time coming from a contest in Nyeri High School where by the grace of God, I suffered only minor injuries.” Some of your projects that found their way to the National level include? “I fondly recall one that was about a Water pump fitted on bridges. The weight of vehicles driving over the bridge would pump the water. This particular project performed very well at the National contest. Unfortunately, I never pursued it after that. It’s one of those things I regret of.” As for me, I tried presenting a project to the Science Head of Department teacher in the safe company of my deskmate one Lucas from Kinagop who was far better than I in sciences and to our shock, the suggestion which couldn’t befit a project was easily disqualified at the school departmental level for lack of substance. Auuuch!

What’s amazing is that even after Ngoru’s parents were unable to clear his huge school fee balance after clearing Form Four in the year 2007, the school was patient enough to wait for 7 years, after Ngoru had settled in the job market whereby he settled the staggering balance. For the record, he scored an A plain (82) in his KCSE results which is a record Nyahururu High School has yet to break, ten years later. For the two years one would wait by then to join campus, he undertook a certificate course in ICT and moreover, commenced his CPA studies which he managed to clear in under two years. And as you’d expect, he scooped an award for being the top student countrywide in June 2009 exams.

Dr. Ngoru started off his Bachelor of Dental Surgery course in October 2009. By then his dad had secured a favourable job while his mum was running a small business which meant, they managed to send him some pocket money for him to survive in the city under the sun. Ngoru having participated in the 2009 census exercise, had managed to save some cash too which again helped him push along. He quickly established and acclimatized himself as a top student where he further vied and won to be the Vice – Chairman of NUDSA (Nairobi University Dental Students Association). He was also a representative of University of Nairobi Nyandarua Students Welfare Associations (UNNSWA); He wrote and published two articles in the East African Medical Journal; Represented University of Nairobi at the IADR (International Association of Dental Research) East & South African Division where he emerged top and won the Hatton award (2013) in South Africa; Represented IADR East and South African division at the global meeting in Cape Town South Africa in 2014.

As mentioned earlier, he emerged the top final year student of UON in the class of 2013 and was awashed with awards from Nairobi University, Colgate Palmolive, Dentmed and Elida Ponds Foundation. He proceeded to enroll for an internship at Kenyatta National Hospital which he completed in 2015. He was then posted to Lodwar District Hospital under the County Government of Turkana where he still works on part time basis occasionally flying from the Wilson Airport. I quizzed him about Lodwar ambiance? “It’s very hot with temperatures ranging from 35 degrees, at times going as high as 45. Lodwar is a cosmopolitan town.” From what I gathered it has no hill leave alone an anthill and happens to brag of two iconic geographical features; River Turkwel and Lake Turkana. Ngoru attests that the latter has white beaches only comparable to Diani’s water-front.

In addition, Dr. Ngoru tried his luck at the prestigious Karen Hospital where he was hired as a resident dentist.  While there, he had the rare opportunity of serving the high and mighty in the society. His clientele included former presidents, some of African First Ladies, Cabinet secretaries, Governors, Senators, Members of Parliament, Senior judges and so forth. He would later quit to launch his own state of the art dental clinic at the onset of this year. Clearly, Dr.Ngoru has no regrets for quitting to self-employment since Dental Access has grown in leaps and bounds to be a power house in matters dental health. It is located in the heart of Nairobi at Cardinal Otunga Plaza.

I indulged Dr.Ngoru on Kenyans uptake in matters dental hygiene. This is because I visited a dentist for the first time ever, this year when I battled an excruciating pain for nearly a week. For many years, one of my molars had endured a tooth decay which I toyed with for long, that it could undergo a root canal. Months ran into years and the day of havoc had finally knocked on my doorstep without bulging. The unrelenting tooth ache that was especially worse at night had coincided with my exams dates. Since it was always less severe during the day, I would reassure myself that the pain was dead and gone only to resurface from about 11 pm when retiring to bed and not let go. Not once did I sleep holding my right cheek till morning, sporadically fetching over the counter painkillers that had now been outsmarted by the sheer cold, solid and penetrative pain, leaving me with no choice but to vow that I’d visit the dentist first thing in the morning only to develop cold feet and postpone the whole mission. My fear of the dentist was all about stigma brought about by my mum when she boxed a dentist for a tooth extraction that had gone bad. It appeared the dentist was a quack who made my mum endure all the pains of extraction since she was not properly numbed.

Bwana daktari, how’s Kenyans dental hygiene? “The uptake is impressive. Gradually improving mostly in the cities and urban settings. Kenyans have realized it’s imperative to have regular check ups on matters of their dental health.”

Why do toothaches worse at night? “There are many schools of thought that include; low temperatures at night trigger tooth aches as opposed to the warm temperatures during the day. But more importantly, it’s worthy to appreciate that when one lies down, more blood rushes to the tooth exerting pressure and thereby bringing inflammatory mediators with it.”

Away from dentistry, Dr. Ngoru has managed to set up a poultry farm for his parents in Nakuru producing more than a thousand eggs in a month and about 600 broilers every two months. This is an enormous credit to him for investing in his parents with a sustainable wealth of such magnitude. Is there pressure attributed to first borns? “Yes, the pressure is palpable. Be it endeavoring to being a credible role model to the younger siblings and dealing with insurmountable expectations from the parents. Of course hailing from a typical Kenyan family, the burden of taking care of one’s parents and the younger siblings is inevitable.”

What’s your word of encouragement to the youth who’ve lost hope in life? “Two things; Whatever you do, whether by fate or choice, do it to your level best. Avoid idleness and associate yourself with people who believe in constructive ideas.”

We end it on that note congratulating Dr.Ngoru and his wife for the blessing of a bouncing baby boy to their lives. May he grow to fill the size of daktari’s shoes in matters intellectualism, humility and dignity.

 

 

SIR JAY

If you call yourself Sir (something) you better look the part. From dressing a Stephano Ricci diamond plated tie to an elegant gold wristed watch that has a heavier ego than all the new found IT cum hacking gurus and crop of wannabe lawyers trying too hard to impress on social media,..you rather be rocking a genuine burnished toe, pair of shoes. Note genuine. Boy, besides, you should never develop the guts to text me out of the woods for a soft loan that will be refunded in 48 hours. I’ll consider it highly offensive and a dire disservice to your name. And by the way, you better be dating a Taita lady and not one of those slay lasses who bombard our timelines with fruit updates and in high heels taller than their ethics. Aaah and; I prefer you be an exceptional public speaker. I mean, how would you introduce yourself as Sir Charles, with a voice that has esteem issues? Something else, you can never afford to be self-absorbed with such a coveted name. And self-absorbed includes dangling with your car keys in boardroom meetings or in those local hotels where you make the rest of us drool at your lonely success ladder like we were made from a different cut.

And, you must be an alpha male; domineering in every polite manner. Sophisticated too and sort of mysterious. Your financial freedom must evoke jealous in all corners of our taste buds. Your phone must be always engaged, striking deals on one end or quietly tossing to expensive champagnes with your boys in hotels that have rooftops. The thing is, we must struggle to keep up with your moves. Moreover, you must be a bigwig outside of social media and your presence should only be commanding if not more. However, you shouldn’t be carried away by that hype, humility must be seen and felt at your every utter. Before I forget, you must give a run to Ezra Chiloba for his fame, at least according to the ladies.

That aside, meet Sir Jay, a contemporary fashion designer, model and largely positive minded young person. You’ll assume he is reserved until you hear him speak. A combination of intellectualism, humility, buzzing optimism and visionary attitude are elements that comfortably suit him. An American height guy, overly tasteful when it comes to fashion and unapologetically metrosexual as you’ll tell from his urbanite demeanor. He stands tall on everything boy child, from mentoring to giving back. Sir Jay, is a marketing genius too and brainchild to the coveted brand – Sir Jay Suits. I met him for the first time in a forum organized last year, for Nanyuki male professionals whose objective was to shed light, empower men in us and provide solutions to the struggling boy child phenomenal. That being last year, we’ve kept tabs and recently had a Tet a Tet with him when I saw the need to feature him in my new series of exposing young people with compelling stories that can be used to mentor and inspire the rest of us.

So, grab a seat as we unravel and make sense to this smell of inspiration.

When I quizzed Sir Jay about where he grew up and how it was like, his grandma name kept resurfacing in his brief responses. His childhood was hugely dominated by his shush and thanks to her, here is a guy who attributes his life principles to have been carved from that shrewd and tough upbringing. Shrewd because grandmas back then (Not millennial shushus) didn’t entertain nonsense while bringing up their grandchildren. They were discipline masters in as much as they were tender and loving. And how was it like, in those early days of Sir Jay life?

He used to collect firewood, feed the goats and chicken and later, stroll downstream to fetch water. Thanks to the fact that, back then rivers would flow freely, unpolluted and full of life unlike the days of our Lord today, where a stream of water is not only seasonal but heavily polluted in its short span of life by our selfish acts and baggage. Why is it that grandmas are extremely passionate when it comes to taking care of their livestock? A case in point, my grandma would rather sleep hungry but ensure her goats and cows have enough supply of dairy meal and Maclik salt. She will also ensure any regular guest at her home assists in cutting some stinging nettle around her house which she puts in a big sufuria and boils the greens and later feeds them to her dear cows. You should see her cows fighting for the cooked stinging nettle, it’s like pizza to the city slay queens. You know that happy face while one takes something delicious. For men, it should be Nyama choma at Tums in Giakaja because beer is certainly not tasteful.

Sir Jay changed schools so often both at Primary and High school level. To be exact, he was in six different schools between primary through secondary school. But why? Lack of funds featured prominently in his childhood hence why apart from changing schools due to lack of school fees, was brought up by his grandma back in Muruguru, Nyeri County. Interestingly, he always emerged the cleanest boy in high school and at some point, he became the school captain due to his neatness. Arguably, almost a decade after, he has still kept this self-made ethos. In addition, he was very sporty in high school unlike me. I tried basketball but my height became the undoing. Tried football, but every lad played football and it became too competitive and congested. Attempted hockey, barely succeeded since it was too crafty. Moved to rugby but couldn’t risk my ribs. Left with no option, I gave up. But on a brighter note, I was very passionate about Art stuff hence resulting to joining Drama club, music club and predictably – Debate Club. At Form 3, I was elected the President of Debate Club. Did I love debating and gathering points for motions, oooh boy! So, back to Sir Jay; he played Football, Handball, Rugby, was in Athletics as well, Triple and Long Jump too.

He joined Nairobi Aviation for his Diploma in Mass Communication but before securing a chance, he was a casual laborer in construction sites in Nanyuki. After seven or so months of carrying heavy loads and moving around in dusty clothes without any protection gear but armed with an optimistic mindset, he juggled from one construction site to another. He built his life a brick at a time but would later move to Nairobi where he switched gears to hawking. Yes, you should remember spotting him along the streets selling everything from flash disks, scratch cards, memory cards, disks and so forth. Hoping he was not a nuisance hawker like what the celebrated Wanja Kavengi writes on Facebook. By the way, have you stumbled on her brilliant writing?

Anyway, Sir Jay was desperate to survive and raise funds for his college fees, hence why he did anything rational to steer his life forward. Incidentally, at college, he participated in a beauty pageant contest for Mr. & Miss. Aviation 2013-14. Guess what? He won! On that very minute, an eggshell was broken and a dream was validly born. Modelling became part and parcel of Sir Jay life and one of his several streams of income. After his breakthrough at Aviation, Sir Jay contested in many other pageants scooping awards left, right and center just to name a few;  Mr. & Miss Mountain Mall and Mr. World Kenya – Laikipia County where he easily won. He also strutted on many runways for instance; Kenya Fashion Week, Festivals for African Fashion and Arts (FAFA), Swahili Fashion Week, French Embassy Fashion for Charity and would later join commercial modelling. While at commercial modelling, Sir Jay featured as a cast in Safaricom ads, Guiness Made of Black, and as the main cast in Blue Moon Vodka, Crown Paints and Fresh chewing gum. He has also been involved in other adverts as a semi-featured cast like in Orange Kenya ad.

Early last year, he took a break from modelling stuff to concentrate on his other brainchild – Sir Jay suits which is a clothing line that features mainly signature suits made for the contemporary man and woman. I asked Sir Jay if he is a tailor or a designer and what’s the difference. “I’m a designer. I design, cut the fabric then the tailor does the rest. For handmade bespoke suits, I do it in tandem with my tailor.” What’s bespoke? Forgive my native upbringing where words like bespoke- suits are vocabulary names I should have used in my English composition. What a loss! “Not to worry, bespoke is a name used to describe suits that are made from scratch by the tailor, customized or rather fairly adjusted to meet a client’s typical measurements and specifications. Normally, the rest are suits designed from standard measurements. ” He points out.

Apart from suits which other products are offered under Sir Jay suits?

“We do office and wedding suits and smart casual attires. We also sell gowns as well. Just recently, we launched a new product called Sir-Jay-Lust-List which encompasses female and male inner wears from lingerie to boxers.”

You recently had an incredible event at a Nairobi hotel?

“Yes, we were launching Sir Jay Lust list as I have just mentioned. It was an invite-only event where I lined up models showcasing my latest products in the offing. There was a lot to learn for my team and me as a person about organizing events. All I can say for now is that Kenya should watch out for the next event from Sir Jay Suits because we are bringing Paris to Nairobi!”

What was the objective of the event?

“To basically broaden my brand and launch Sir Jay Lust List officially to the consumers.”

Where are you based?

“My shop is in Nairobi but also hold a very aggressive promotion on social media.” By the way, check out his Facebook page – Sir Jay Suits.

Tell me more about your clientele base

“I have clients in Canada, Frankfurt Germany, Australia, Doha – Qatar and locally in Kakamega, Kisumu and Mombasa. They are scattered all over the place.”

Where did you acquire your tailoring skills?

“Downtown Nairobi. Different tailors taught me different skills regarding cutting the fabric and designing. YouTube too has helped me greatly on my researches.”

To what extent is talent important towards one achieving his success vis a vis hard work and street smartness

“You can never wish away talent. It’s very important but again there are ethics that ride with it like integrity, honesty, patience and persistence.”

Do you visit the gym?

“Once in a while. I prefer body fitness exercises rather than building muscles.”

Where did you collect the name, Sir Jay?

“I have always been the center of attention when it comes to dressing. I got the name Sir from the streets out of respect for my style.”

Married or dating

“Dating.”

You are very passionate about the boy child.

“Extremely passionate. I have been involved in many mentorship programs attributed to the boy child. Most of these young men lose hope in life for lack of mentors. It’s my urge to every male professional to find time and mentor the young boys around them. If we all do our part, the society will have moved a step ahead in narrowing the gap between girl-boy empowerment.”

For a fact, there is a lot of imbalance in empowerment in this country. It’s time we narrowed the lenses to the very aggrieved boy child without doing any harm to the girl child who has had a fair progress. How do we strike the balance, sir?

“If we leave one part of the gender behind, we will be inviting self-defeat and danger ahead. In other words, we will be running in circus by pulling one side up and going for the other, only to find the side that was earlier on pulled up, disgruntled as we changed attention to the other.”

Basically, what you are suggesting is; we accord the boy child the attention he deserves and while doing so, not lose track of the girl child. Which specific campaigns have you participated in regard of the boy child?

“I have been involved in mentorship programs in rural schools for instance; Inooro Secondary School and Waguthiru Primary in Laikipia County. In addition, I have participated in programs in Nanyuki Children’s home, One More Day and Youth Entrepreneurship Summit. I also participate in street campaigns by Inua Society Initiative where we mentor street kids in Nairobi.  Similarly, I have been involved in Chapati Forum which again serves the less fortunate kids by mentoring and counselling them.”

We leave it on that note as I let Sir Jay catch a flight to Kampala for more business. Cheers, Sir Jay!

 

VASECTOMY

According to Elaine Lissner, founder and director of medical research at Parsemus Foundation an American NGO, “it’s unfortunate women bring millions of children to the world by sole bearing the physical responsibility but still have to bear the repercussions for preventing unplanned pregnancies and failures thereof.”

That said, do you really care about your wife? Like really, really! Can you put a price tag on your love to her? And would that mean that as a fully grown African man who went through a grave ordeal in the name of circumcision in order to qualify being called a man, can as well shelve that level of pain and seek an equally if not worse, gruelling experience just for the same love for her. I’m just imagining vasectomy is damn painful. And this can mean parting with one of your symbolic organs that proves you are a man indeed? Okay, don’t get lost. Here is a simple definition of Vasectomy – It’s a method of male contraception which involves surgical cutting and sealing of part of each vas deferens, typically as a means of sterilization. Before you put your arms up, you better appreciate that – Vas deferens is that pipe that transmits sperms from the testicles to the urethra. Now you know!

Speaking of contraceptives, President Trump caused a major scare across the globe during his campaigns when he threatened to defund Planned Parenthood, the reproductive health organisation that provides contraception to many women around the US, and dismantle the Affordable Care Act, which guarantees access to contraception. By any clear reasoning, this was a gross insult to women. That aside, women continue to battle endless side effects depending on their type of contraceptives. This may range from hormonal imbalances which is quite common, mood swings, headaches, depression, acute PMS (I will leave men to find out on this) and for extreme cases – blood clot. Mind you, it’s even worse in areas where women survive with less than a dollar a day, which means using all manner of paraphernalia to mend their dignity. Basically, all I’m trying to do, is draw men in this so called sticky conversation of CONTRACEPTION.

Back to vasectomy;

You may want to refer this as part of first world problems but while doing so make peace with the fact that, quite a number of men here in Kenya have tried their chances with vasectomy. This includes married men and those cohabiting. So, why vasectomy? When a couple feels that they are in the stage where they wouldn’t be interested in raising more kids, long-term contraception methods come into play. Basically, vasectomy is one of those methods that deter pregnancies and taken upon by men to save their women from taking pills or going for those injections, or be it IUD coils, until they check into menopause age bracket. Quite noble isn’t it?

By the way, vasectomy isn’t castration. Nothing changes when it comes to vasectomy but for the latter, one technically ceases operating, if you know what I mean. Of course, nothing is 100% guaranteed under the sun, but vasectomy promises utmost 1% surprise, that is, very slim chances of failure. I hear it is also way cheaper and safer compared to all other forms of contraceptives. Something to worry though, chances of successful vasectomy reversal decline over time. Reversals are more successful in the first 10 years after the operation.

Some of the myths around vasectomy include stigma. That the process results to demasculinizing the man and is equal to castration. Moreover, it causes men develop female features for instance, breasts, and that it results to painful sex and reduced sex drive. There is also the element of information gap that erodes all the gains in the recent past.

That said, who is ready for vasectomy?

Certainly not me. They say in Africa, fathers never count their children. How far does that truth travel or amount to? Well, studies have shown that there are more elderly men having second families across the globe than in a similar period 30 years ago. This not being a justification whatsoever, I’m just saying, men would wish to feel psychologically ‘fully intact.’ No man wants to have misgivings about his reproductive health even after hitting a century old, with no teeth to smile about, and notwithstanding, him being awash with white hair and a feeble body that has seen better days. It is that twisted.

I tend to imagine our ancestors watching over us from wherever they are and trying to grapple with any idea of us having gone nuts in matters of embracing vasectomy. Thinking out loud – they will be like; “what’s the problem with contemporary man?” And go like, “Gentlemen, we need to embark on a trip downhill and summon them. This is absurd and will get out of proportion. Let’s get there before the damage gets ahead of us.” And they will descend to somewhere in Accra city, in a fancy hotel overlooking a humongous water pool, in the leafy and serene suburbs of the city where the rich reside or frequent. They will hold a press conference or rather, (a presser – a name I got acquainted with recently on twitter from journo timelines) after meeting our crop of representatives. It won’t be funny anymore. They will press us to declare if we’ve lost our minds! Okay, while at it, Ghana seems like a very safe haven for African declarations plus it was the first African country to gain her independence, in 1957. So, in here there will be a declaration that will read: ACCRA DECLARATION 2017 – NO TO VASECTOMY

And how will our ancestors land in Accra – Ghana in 2017? Does it appear beyond human imagination? Woe unto you who’ve not watched the breathtaking series TIMELESS. You’ve seen how the trio in this movie, that is; a History professor, US Army guy and the Pilot, travel in something alike a spacecraft which they call Time Machine. They embark on trips to critical events that happened in American history way back, in order to battle and protect the ‘right history’ as was intended by nature since a group of criminals had managed to reconfigure the fate of the Free world country. Similarly, assuming our ancestors are a genius lot, they will be in Accra to save the men in us from a fate that will have been orchestrated to destroy the very core of our survival.

This shouldn’t sound harsh to women. In fact, it should worry them that, vasectomy is a permanent contraceptive, so to speak as compared to the rest of them. Hence, it’s unfair to advocate and push it down our throats when we have other suitable contraceptives that can be used by men in as much as, they can be messy and annoying at times. That said, I will through caution here; that we love our women using contraceptives and we will go to whatever length to support them and advice on what’s best for them, given a chance. What this article doesn’t mean is; that we shrug off the conversation on contraception. On the contrary, more contemporary men are receptive to this topic and are more than willing to be drawn in and participate for the greater good of a win – win situation.

Enough said. The jury is out!

 

DAD OF TWINS

Peter is a huge fan of my blog. In fact due to the amassed loyalty, I hear he is the self-appointed chairman of Andreaders in and outside of the country. It is that serious. He is one of those, when we run on each other always like, “by the way, was that storo true? The one you wrote about, last week.” If not, “Andrew, bana tumengonja sana, hujaandika kitu of late” (Andrew, we are getting impatient of your articles, its been awhile). Here he is now, on the spotlight. Pulled him over to the front line of Andreaders army and was like; dude, we can write about your twins and marriage life. He nodded yes sir. I sent him a questionnaire, which he gladly sent back armed with eagerness on how the article will turn out to be.

Dear Andreaders, here is the story of a dad and his twins.

I started off by asking Peter about the million dollar call that men from all walks of life fear most. Babe, I’m pregnant! If you want a man freeze to a statue, surprise him with something close to that statement. But that’s for the unmarried men. Nothing to worry for the married since in actual sense, they plan for this kind of responsibility so meticulously at least in most cases. And so for Peter, when his wife broke the news that she was pregnant, it didn’t turn out so much of a surprise. The surprise came through after, as you will shortly realise.

When your wife gets pregnant, of course as a man, one adjusts some routines and how we visualise life. It suddenly hits you, I will be a father soon, in a way more pronouncing than before she breaks the big news! And to Peter, how he adjusted is that he started helping on the household chores and dedicating all weekends and holidays to being with his wife. From the look of things, since they started courting, Peter, hadn’t seen the inside of his kitchen for god knows how long. And it goes without saying; when your wife gets pregnant, she automatically becomes the attention as the man staggers away to the rear of life.

Let’s talk about the first scan

“We hadn’t planned to do a scan but had to when she started feeling pains and discomfort in her lower abdomen. I immediately took her to the Sonographer early morning and we were given an appointment for 2 pm same day. I had to report to work so we agreed she would go see the Sonographer in the afternoon in the company of a good friend. She called me when she was queuing at the Sonographer’s room and I was just praying that all will turn out well. About 10 minutes later, she called. I was a bit worried this time because I didn’t know what to expect! She said “bae, imagine nimeambiwa niko na twins’’. I took a deep breath, woke up from my office seat and asked her, “what do you mean? Twins? How?’’ I thought she was kidding me! And she said, “yes, I wish you were here to listen to their heartbeats.’’ I drove to town immediately to meet her.”

I paused the question, did you expect twins?

“NO! All through, I never thought about twins! She didn’t have any history of twins from her family. Neither did my family have such a history expect for one case of two daughters for a cousin to my dad. So I would bet with my damn life that chances of getting twins were next to impossible, little did I know! Interestingly, my wife really love twins. We considered it an answered prayer.”

Top on the list on what men fear most, includes whether one will make a good dad. Whether they will make a balanced dad; funny, strict and responsible father, all at the same time. Or if they will turn out to be terrible fathers who will hardly bond with their kids; or will have kids come in the middle of their struggle with alcoholism or infidelity; or will deal with their teenage daughters as they slam doors and lock themselves in their rooms putting on earphones and leaving a resoundingly cold attitude placed on the bedroom door for dad to deal with.

Peter had this to say regarding being a father to girls.

“The best part about being a dad to girls is smashing stereotypes about perceptions regarding a cultured man. Moreover, I grew up in a family of boys only, hence this is a perfect opportunity that God has given me. I clean them whenever I get a chance, take them to doctor’s appointments and wake up in the middle of the night to attend to them. They have taught me to be soft and not so serious all the time besides making me do some silly character voices just to make them smile. More fascinating is that, they have taught me that cuddling before bedtime is mandatory for them to get a good sleep, otherwise we’ll have to deal with cries late at night. As a matter of fact, they’ve made me appreciate how important it is to be kind even when I don’t want to be. As they grow up, I want to instil in them that the sky is way below their limit. I will dare nurture them to responsible and highly independent girls who will wallow and glow with self-love and never bend over to mediocrity be it from men or the larger society.”

I have read and heard of weird pregnancy cravings and shiver to imagine what Kageshi will turn out to be in her gestation period. Will it include cravings for onions as I’m told some do and I hiding the table salt? Or will it be about strong desires for anything sour from milk to porridge? Or poor me, son of a peasant mother will be compelled to come with chocolates every evening if not rushing to my butcher Sir Kiogothe for some camel bones.

So, what was Peter’s experience with his wife’s bizarre cravings? He technically played safe with this particular query. Here is what he said; “none! I am happy that I didn’t have to wake up in the middle of the night to go buy her roasted meat.” Marriage is tricky. In most cases it is driven by what the couple prioritise; be it peace of mind, respect, faithfulness, compromise and commitment. To some, it’s driven by the number of holiday tours, cars and postings on social media on their every turn and blink. Funny enough, the latter batch never involve us when their relationship goes south, with the same gist they use in the other aspects of their lives. In the end, winners in marriage platform are those that realise money has zero shit and shouldn’t overrule rationality and chastity. So, has marriage changed some areas of Peter’s personality? “Not very much but I would say Fatherhood has changed me in that I’ve learnt to give and receive love unconditionally.” He points out.

I indulged him on what was going through their mind on the eve of the Cesarean operation. Could they touch the tension in the house when one kid didn’t kick as used to? Or could be that the fear of the operation hadn’t hit them as to whether it would turn out smooth or awful.

“I was nervous but still counting my blessings for having twins as firstborns and for a fairly smooth pregnancy journey for my wife.”

What colour were the maternity ward walls…Did the colours kindle hope or fear

“The walls were white with some beautiful wall hangings. The wall hangings played a great role in reducing my stress levels.”

Did the room have running machines or knifes or scissors or people in green attires (forgive me for asking some silly questions)…what’s there in

“No machines or knifes, just the bed, sofa, wardrobe, a table, bed-cot for the twins and a blood transfusion stand. Worthy to note is that we opted for a room in the private wing since we needed a more spacious place, conducive for recuperating and also for hosting me as well, as I wanted to partake in the process of supporting my wife by fully being available for her. ”

Was the environment around the ward pinch silent

“Sometimes silent and other times you’d hear cries from newborns in different wards. Additionally, the fact that the hospital was next to a river, we could hear monkeys chattering. Before the operation the doctor came in and asked her to get prepared for the operation. She got dressed in a green gown, prayed together and accompanied her down stairs to a room near the theatre. I helped the nurses lift her to a movable bed and pushed it to the theatre door where I kissed her forehead as she was received by another group of nurses in the theatre.”

How long was the Cesarean process

“About two hours. That was the longest wait of my life!”

What was going through his mind when the operation was taking place? Was he fidgeting or trying to read some of those decade old magazines strewn about on the waiting bay to no avail or was is it about seeking inspiration from the art evoking wall paintings?

“I was doing rounds round the hospital! I was tirelessly trying not to think that the life of my wife and kids were in the hands of the doctors. You know there is that fear of the unexpected. I thank God that the operation was successful!”

When you were called by the doctor to meet the kids for the first time, how was it

“I was excited that I was officially a father, but anxious at the same time to know their genders since the last scan hadn’t revealed the gender of one twin.”

What training did the nurses conduct to you regarding handling the babies

“I was trained how to bottle-feed them with baby formula, change nappies, bathe them including cleaning and sterilising their feeding items.”

Three months down the line, what have you learned of kids

“One is that you have to be very patient with kids, show them love and always learn to give, with no expectations of returns.”

And running a family

“It’s an honour and a privilege I don’t take for granted, having a loving family to go home to after a long day at work. I consider myself hugely blessed to work hard for people who motivate me in life. Nothing beats family!”

I hear you change diapers and clean the babies. How is the experience for you

“They say that fathers are disinterested in their babies especially when they become restless and stubborn. Well, having been there for my wife throughout the pregnancy journey up to delivery, I know the value of babies. Together with her, we bathe the twins one after the other, I also change their diapers and their clothes if they mess up.”

Tell me about the bond with your daughters…describe it

“We have a strong bond! The secret is simple, babies like attention. I maximise on the opportunity when I’m feeding them, changing their diapers or dressing them. I try mumbling and focusing on them. I make silly faces and smiles until they smile back. In essence I communicate with them.”

Is it true daughters are close to their dads…is it something you’ve noted?

“It’s too early for me to tell, but at least when I get hold of them, they somehow stop crying. This means they recognise their dad.”

What type of a daddy are you? Can you carry your kids in public places; church or malls? By the way, I once saw a man carrying his daughter in church using a baby carrier bag and couldn’t help admire his boldness. He literally stole the show from the passii at the podium. You could see the faces from ladies trying to make those aaaawwwww moments.

“Yes! In fact, for most Sunday afternoons we normally take a walk around town as we do our shopping.”

How do you balance marriage and your boys’ relationships

“Dividing that precious time amongst family and friends is not easy! It takes an extra effort on my part and that’s of my friends to keep the friendship rolling on and my marriage working.”

Do you drink less or more and why; Time constraints or a decision you have made

“I drink less. Main reason being that I want to spend more time with my family. Before marriage, I would only drink over the weekends. It has always been my policy that I don’t drink if I am working the next day.”

What’s your experience with house girls so far

“Finding a good and reliable house help is difficult since it takes a lot when it comes to raising multiples but we thank God so far we have had a lot of help from family relatives and friends.”

I hear you do cycling with your boys over the weekends. Tell me more

“I joined the cycling club early last year. It’s a club of well-organized chaps. Some of the club members represent the country in International races. We cycle to interesting places like Mt Kenya forest and Ol Pejeta Conservancy. Cycling is quickly gaining a booming reputation. When I joined the club, there were about 10 members and by close of 2016, we were about 20 dedicated members. However, I decided to go slow on cycling over weekends to dedicate that time for family.”

You are such a Subaru lover and columnist Njoki Chege would detest you for that. Tell me about it

“My favourite Subaru is a Forester SG9. It’s an all-wheel drive Station Wagon with a 2.5litre turbocharged engine. 6-speed manual transmission. Manufacturers of Subarus have mastered the art of making Subaru owners very proud! I don’t drive a Subaru but I know one day I will be able to afford one. You know I like driving behind or next to Subaru’s! Those things are pretty cool!”

Your final remarks

“Being a dad is one of the most fulfilling titles a man can ever have but it takes a lot more than just being a breadwinner. There is a lot of sacrifice involved like time invested for family which comes at a cost of losing a few if not many friends, foregoing some of the things one used to do priory and working extra hard for one’s family to have the most decent upbringing. Of importance too is that, there is a lot of learning needed so that one can be part of each and every milestone in his family uptake. It takes a lot of love too, to run a family successfully!”

Are you a young person, with a compelling story that you strongly believe should be retold to a larger audience for the sole purpose of inspiring and educating. Reach up to me on wandrewism@gmail.com