DR.STACEY, KAGESHI AND MY LIMPING LEG

FemaleDocHardly 24 hours after I published my last week’s article dubbed Of Tummies And The Struggle which I had disclosed of my ailing right foot, I found myself seated in waiting area of this hospital with white, leather sofas, staring at the humongous TV, preoccupied with lost thoughts. So much was going through my mind at this time as I hate visiting hospitals. Kageshi can attest to this. I only visit hospitals as the last resort when all the home remedies fail to work. The room was dead silent apart from the TV on low volume. My face was in pensive mood, sympathising with my leg and regretting why I ever did the exercises in the first place. Minutes before I checked in, I had a lengthy conversation with my mum who assured me everything will be okay. I would tell were it not for the distance, she badly desired to accompany me as I visited my doc. This happens so many times. My mum has never accepted I’m a grown up who has developed thick skin along the way in my close to three decades of breathing life. Talk of African Mums.

I had just walked to the receptionist who by the way was a guy. Very unusual. He pulled an artificial smile and asked my name and other personal details. Immediately my Boy-Child activism checked in considering receptionists are in most cases petite ladies. I was glad some employers are now employing people based on their capability and not gender. 10 minutes after, a brown young lady with pronounced chick bones and big round eyes and a WEAVE emerged from the Consultation Room donning the symbolic white coat. She looked 28. Don’t ask how I guessed her age. My heart skipped. I didn’t recall the last time I was treated by a female doc. Actually it had not happened before!

Back to my ailing leg. Kageshi came to mind. I smiled shyly when I rolled back thoughts about how for like 5 days before I gave in to visit the doc, she unrelentingly massaged my feet with a warm (read hot) towel to ease the pain daily. At times I would let out a deep sigh when she pressed my right foot so hard as a way of ‘curing the pain’ with the hot towel. She was like; “This is not the time to be gentle, I need to see you walking again, Love?” I felt like a 7 year old boy being nursed his feet by the mum. And by the way, the whole experience turned out to be very romantic.

So, I was called in to the Consultation Room. Dr.Stacey warmly referred me with my first name, Andrew. I was quite impressed. I get very excited when people call me by first name looking straight to my eyes. Does it happen to you too? I narrated to her my troubled story while she made notes with her sleek pen. She directed me to a high table across the wall where I had to remove my shoes. She assessed my foot, asking a million and one questions. She then asked about my profession! I told her I’m an Accountant which I promptly regretted saying so. I wish I told her I was a Writer who has a passion for telling serious stories with a humour-like touch. And she’d be like; “A Writer? Wow! That’s nice. So it pays your bills and supports your family?” And I’d be like; “Not exactly. I blend it with ‘small’ hustles here and there. I do preambles for websites and other stuff.” Her face would reserve any more questions hehe. She twirled my foot with her tender hands which had well trimmed finger nails and at some point I noticed her huge watch which commanded attention. (From men circles; ladies who don huge watches are taken more seriously because of their seeming boldness).

I wished I asked the million dollar question Biko poses to the swimming pool guys from Malindi to Kigali or the chap who pushes him in a wheel chair when he gets diagnosed with a blood clot. About their most interesting clients. I’m not sure how Dr.Stacey could have responded to such a question. Probably I could have got her off guard or maybe she would have complained of the patient becoming very intrusive. While she attended me, I ransacked her ‘office’ with my eyes from her table which had several medical journals stashed nicely, a medical dictionary, two novels next to her snazzy phone and a lip balm. There was a newspaper too. (And that’s how you judge a lady’s age). Her huge handbag was placed at the corner of the table and car keys resting beside the bag. Anyway, after the assessment of my leg she let out the bombshell. That my leg would be immobilised for two weeks. A shocked me was like, “really?” And she pitched an affirmative YES. She went ahead to wipe my feet, applied a creamy stuff and massaged my foot for 3 minutes. She then firmly tied a bandage on my ailing leg and let me off the hook wishing me quick recovery and requesting I go for follow up checkup in a week’s time. (Which is tomorrow).

What Dr.Stacey didn’t warn me about was that, the first two nights would be the longest nights I ever endured. Dealing with a heavy and uncomfortable leg was a nightmare in itself. I wasn’t able to even stretch my right foot. (Thank God for sound health). I thought of so many things during these nights. I came to a point of appreciating more, breastfeeding mothers. Waking a dozen times in the night to lull a stubborn baby and still manage to wake up early to prepare for jobo. Wow! Respect to this kind of women! Their sleep is always interrupted. That was me and my leg waking at 2:01 am to soothe it to ‘sleep’. The situation was so bad on the first day that I didn’t realise it was a Friday, a night to watch a programme I fondly like, The Trend. I slept before 9.

Dealing with kids in the neighborhood who’ve been telling me Pole (sorry) with sympathetic faces has become a norm. Not to mention tussling with a thousand questions from all the souls I meet. It has been worse when they expect me to take time in narrating a detailed account of what happened. This is so draining. Gai! When I dashed for my weekly shave, Shemas my barber laughed for a whole 10 minutes after I explained what transpired. That I was jogging in my digs and twisted my leg in the process. He couldn’t understand how one can jog inside a house. My boss was also visibly shocked. When I walked to the office last Monday morning in open-shoes with a bandage tethered in one of my legs, he looked lost until I explained. He was like; “Andrew you are too young to start messing with your legs.” My brief response was; “It happens” punctuated with a fake smile.

I salute the two incredible women; Kageshi and Dr.Stacey who came in handy when I needed a lot of reassurance. One thing I have learnt is that it’s never the same when you can’t walk normally. You get tired easily and naturally can’t do some tasks the same way again. It’s also not easier when one leg is rendered inactive. Appreciate and give thanks for good health and while at it take extra caution while exercising. It might save you a fortune.

DOWRY DAY IN EMBU

dowry D-day will finally be here. Culminating a series of family and friends meetings all for the sake of ensuring this day turns out to be a success. As I’ve said previously in this blog, as weddings are huge to ladies so are dowry occasions to men. A man who goes ahead to pay dowry, is not a small man. In actual sense, in his circle of peers, he stands to cement his territory for having ‘fully complied’ with traditions. It’s important to also appreciate; the occasion is financially draining at this day and age, coupled with a commercialised aspect in between. So any man who commits to go full throttle deserves a pat on the back.

You being Stevo’s (Stevo is the dude paying dowry) insider cum confidant, you’ll have been sneaked to this Whatsapp group of his inner circle which essentially deals with the nitty-gritty of the big day and ensuring all plans take shape. Meanwhile for Stevo, he’ll leave nothing to chance. From text messages to lengthy phone calls, a total of 200 friends, family members, colleagues, business partners, acquaintances and so forth will be invited to these endless evening meetings. Mind you only half the number or less will turn up. You’ll gather, deliberate and raise money. For young lads it’s never in vain. In fact, if you never show up in such meetings, nobody will show up when you’ll be in the same situation. Talk of Karma! But more importantly, it’s more fulfilling being part of your friend’s life achievements especially when it requires of you to support.

According to my kienyenji research, three out five ladies from Embu are paid for dowry. I’m even sure most of my readers have attended a dowry thing in Embu, meaning there is something special about Embu ladies. The jury is out. We leave it at that. So, on this day you’ll be embarking on a journey to Embu. This gets so exciting for guys living in Nairobi, for no good reason though. Putting a bunch of crazy friends in a convoy of cars, to transverse up country with all the fun that comes by, becomes too costly to miss. You’ll be cruising along Makuyu stretch, on this first Saturday of the month, nodding to some good hip hop music from the talented Khaligraph Jones. There will be heavy traffic but this will be overshadowed by smell of fresh air outside of Nairobi (pun intended). Observing humans all the way from Thika Road to Makutano Junction busy selling their wares across the highway, or far in their farms tilling, brings out tremendous patriotism within us.

You’ll make it to Embu town some minutes after noon and pull off at an agreed rendezvous. Here, you’ll finalise logistics as you sip quick tea and as you await souls from the rest of the country which then you’ll proceed as one longer convoy. It never gets this blissful. As all these unfold, you’ll quickly fall in love with Embu town. Apart from realising natives here speak with ‘heavy tongues’; you’ll savour the clean air and environment. The roads will be up to standard too with hardly any street family in the vicinity.  Before long you’ll again embark on the final part of the journey after conducting some short prayers, seeking blessings for what’s ahead.

Embu is beautiful gosh!!  From the very green forested farms, to the range of sleeping hills, to the smell of fertile and rich habitat. Rivers will be draining quietly to the lowlands as bulls pulling carts make headway to the highlands. And this will be such a big deal. Your bunch of friends will scramble to take pics of bulls pulling carts. It never happens in Nairobi you know! And funny still, not in their up country either. That work is done by donkeys. The day will be chilly but won’t erase the joy drawing from your faces. The atmosphere will be akin to Limuru Road heading to Gigiri. Birds will be chirping in this fresh ambiance with beautiful roads that meander through the calm and serene locations.

After one hour or so drive, cars ahead will start hooting noisily with their hazard lights all out screaming, “The visitors have finally arrived”. Why do Kenyans do this! hehe. Waking an entire village from car hooting. Again you’ll realise Embu people don’t fence their homesteads. At least for many. After further prodding, you’ll be reminded there is a relatively low criminal rate in Embu. In other words, Embu, Meru and Kirinyaga people have a history of strong belief in traditions of not trespassing nor pilfering. You don’t just go stealing, you’ll be made to regret.

Anyway, the turn up will be impressive going by the number of excited assemblage and variety of cars parked outside this homestead. And that’s how you judge a man. By how many friends and family members he commands….. Few minutes after, women will lead the pack in traditional songs suggesting the visitors have arrived while making their way to the gate, carrying baskets of shopping, mainly food stuff. In Africa you never visit empty handed. (This shopping is shared among the welcoming women, it’s not part of the dowry price.)

The guests will be ushered to the preserved tents and once settled will be invited to queue for buffet to calm their murmuring stomachs. Appreciate that the man paying dowry entirely foots the food budget of the day. Speaking of food, it’ll be a combination of traditional foods like Mukimo (An Agikuyu traditional meal), Nyama choma, fries, pilau, plain rice, black beans aka njahe, peas, fruits and veges. There will be sodas and mineral water too in plenty. This will be followed by family preambles conducted by this fairly young MC with a heavy accent too.

Interestingly, as this happens Stevo will be directed to a certain room to identify his wife from a group of 15 ladies divided into three groups and tied with lessos from head to toe. If he makes a mistake of identifying wrongly, he’s penalised a colossal amount. Luckily for him, he manages to identify her from her shapely hips and the fact that he had entered into a deal with her to pose in a certain way, makes things easier for him. (This is a top secret amounting to corrupting the system and punishable if discovered.)

The day becomes more eventful when Stevo and the wife change to traditional attires and are taken through more activities. The highlight turns out to be when Stevo is served porridge from a calabash but not before a series of other theatrics according to Agikuyu traditions. (The husband doesn’t just accept porridge. The wife must sooth him by polishing his shoes, combing his hair, cutting his nails etc..).Later all the guests are served this nutritious porridge as close family members from both parties make way to a highly guarded room for dowry negotiations.

This will take an hour or two before the white smoke is seen coming out of the hut, signifying a deal has been arrived. Part of the negotiations will involve Stevo’s side officially delivering items demanded by Wazees from the other end. This include five FAT goats, ten crates of soda, five crates of beer, a 90 kilogram bag of sugar, a 20 litre bucket of fresh honey, two pairs of bed sheets, a blanket for Stevo’s father in law and the icing on the cake; hefty loads of money. Meanwhile for the guests, it’ll be time to catch up, exchange pleasantries, network and move around while taking dozens of pics from the picturesque view to flood the IG later amid some good entertainment and more drinks. (Again it’s important to appreciate no matter how long the negotiations take place, the visitors aren’t supposed to spend the night in their laws homes.) The hallmark of the negotiations will result from donation of one crate of beer to the visitors as a sign of appreciation.

By now, it’ll be minutes to 7pm when you’ll power your engines back to Nairobi for the After Party where you’ll get down all night celebrating a life’s achievement.

THE CORNERED MALE SPECIES

cornered-152284_640
Do they say the fish rots from the head? Come to think of it and while at it, ask yourself how you’d describe the chairman of Maendeleo ya Wanaume and these three adjectives would surface and do justice; a tired, laid back and comic guy. Who even appointed him if he wasn’t elected? And speaking of elections, how didn’t I not have a heads up! For men to be taken seriously in this country, we need a man worth his salt at the helm. An eloquent kind of guy, with stamina to steer an array of men battling with pot-bellies and receding hairlines. Type of a man who can resuscitate our emaciated reputation and take a bullet for the millions of us who grow beards. He should be that guy who can nurture a sense of belonging in the Man’s Kingdom by challenging us to provide leadership in our families.

But more fundamentally, what is ailing the Y chromosome? Has man been overrated all this time round only to lose his oomph in the 21st century? He has weathered and left bare and naked over time. Naked in the annoying truth of high appetite for lust and alcohol. He’s been reduced to a ‘thing’ that’s wading in moral decadence. He is now disintegrating in big and small pieces at the very feet of a bewildered society. What happened to the traditional male with all his aggression and protective syndrome? It’s an open secret that members of the male species have been cornered. We’re embarrassing ourselves in the open if not tearing up the little credibility we brag of.

10 years from now, I can only hope I won’t be caught up in the cobwebs of being chauffeured in an intimidating car to the G.P.O area, to fish out hot lasses at the bus station hanging on their weekend bags and glued to their phones. God should also forbid the mere thought of flying my P.A to Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club somewhere in Nanyuki for a weekend of escapades as my lonely wife pulls duvet in our elegant mansion agonising over my behavior. The reality is, having a 20 something years old sidekick as a married man, is very fashionable nowadays.

Sampling the recent incidents that have been unfolding right in front of my TV screen only leave my conscious in a state of jeopardy. I feel ashamed even while all alone in my house. You can imagine if I had a 3 year old inquisitive son, propping those queer questions right in my face. Like, “Dad, who is Mugo wa Wairimu? What did he do?” How I’m I supposed to respond to such a question? Speaking of Mugo, is he aware that by the time a woman walks to a gynecologist, she is already unwell? Raping her while in a sedated state is too inhumane in my opinion. It shames me as man. It puts burdens to hundreds of families who ever took their family members to that clinic all because of a man who can’t contain his libido.

What of when your uncle appears on TV heavily drunk, with a disillusioned face, overgrown beards and smelling like a corpse. How does my son put up with such a close relative? I need to have an idea of how Kenyan fathers survive in their houses at 9pm while watching despicable stories unravel on the screens. Men should think twice before indulging in some of these things. We don’t live in a vacuum. We have people who look up to us. Who expect mentorship and inspiration from us. If all that is in our mind is a comprised conscience choked with evil, how will we manage to guide a whole generation pregnant with expectations and hopes?

I was taken aback few weeks ago and even shared my anger on my Facebook page andrewismme.com of this chap who found out that his wife was cheating on him. So he ambushed her and beat her mercilessly. What ignited my anger was how bystanders mostly men, gnawed their teeth in unfounded excitement while they recorded the ordeal. That was so shallow and annoying. How do you watch a woman being mishandled and all you do is display your unashamed joy? The last time I checked, men were called to be protective beings. This chap should have simply separated with the wife or report her to Njuri Ncheke.

Sadly, men of the cloth whom ideally should be busy instilling values in us are in fact outdoing each in embracing the vices. Just the other day while flip flopping TV channels I came across a story of a pastor who was wedding without having consulted his 1st wife. Such like stories have been retold to the umpteenth time. Granted that this way of life persists for some years to come; will we ever have a society? The male species has failed miserably in upholding the value system of a society. From the Ng’ang’as of this world to matatu conductors who purport to be our moral police thereby stripping women ‘badly dressed’, we have sunken and buried the male species in deep shit.

Having said that, what’s a better place to reflect, seek healing and guidance than through the bible. Ephesians 2:1-5 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved.

I’m calling on the male species family for whom I am a member, to rise to the occasion and redeem our image. For so long we’ve steered the society in the wrong direction. It’s important to appreciate men have been bestowed with heavy responsibilities and it’s unfortunate when the Animal Kingdom behaves better than many of us.

WHAT LIFE MEANS FOR A BACHELOR

Depressed-Man-The-Trent

You are 27. Sitting pretty on a six-figure salary bracket. Your colleagues have been making these jokes of how your weight gain has been directly correlated to your steady rise on the promotional ladder. Sounds true. On the side, you are servicing a car loan, doing your Masters and a proud owner of several parcels of land. You seem to be doing okay as far as career and financial muscles are concerned. You feel satisfied to have achieved quite a number of your goals, a few years shy of hitting the psychological age. 30.

What’s all the fuss about hitting 30? Well, life before and after 30 is as different as day and night. Hitting 30 without a family to show, or diapers to change (for your son or daughter) or better still, Instagram pics of you lulling your 3 months old, Baby Newton to sleep, is overwhelmingly defeating. At 30, your passi insists you must join church’s Men Association group. It’s also at 30 that you’ll succumb to your brother in law’s demands of dragging you to this chama he belongs to, that trains men who’ve come of age, cultural traditions and their role in the family. This is huge and somehow intimidating because you’ll happen to mingle and make small talks with men the age of your dad as you prepare some nyama choma in this picturesque getaway. You’ll also be expected to tell them what you’ve achieved and how your vision looks like. In other words, you’ll be groomed from a boy to a man.

Enough of 30. Your family back home is anxious, and dealing with the elephant in the room; waiting for this day that you’ll call them on a Sunday afternoon, booking a day on their calendar when you’ll finally and officially bring a wife home. On the side, you are also grappling with business partners on your side hustle who unrelentingly have not given you any peace of mind, all in the name of showing care for a brother. You recall this day, one of them drew for you a sketch of how badly you are faring. That you should have married at 25 (two years ago) so by the time you hit 45, your kids will be in college. Otherwise, as it looks now, at the age of 50, you’ll still be attending Parent’s Day meetings somewhere in Nyeri County because you believe schools in that part of the country perform very well in national examinations.

But that’s easier said than done. I mean, from your toes to your receding hairline, to every part of your body is in unison that you should be married by now. That’s not in contention. But the big question is, who is there to be married? Is it these contemporary ladies whom when you invite one for a dinner date, comes with half a dozen of her ‘girls’ pulling unashamed ear to ear smiles. A very high percentage of ladies view and judge men with financial lenses. Ladies listen; I once schooled with this guy who didn’t even complete college for lack of school fees. He was a great friend of mine and still is. In fact, we’ve shared the same circle of friends for the last 7 years. We didn’t drop him because of his financial woos then. Not that we were any rich. It’s through God’s grace that we survived. To cut a long story short, this dude married when still trying to make ends meet. God honoured his resilience and hard work. These days, he uploads pics on Facebook of his wife and him crisscrossing the country for holidays. Flying his family for 5 days at the Coast is no big deal to him!

But how many bachelors will ever be lucky as this dude? All we have are ladies living a larger than life lifestyle. Who can’t do laundry because of their manicured nails and instead, pay someone to do so as they go doing ‘facials’. The same ladies with an alcohol tolerance thrice more enduring than yours. Who show off these phones the same price to a plot of land somewhere in Nyahururu. They also suffer from impatience and are addicted to instant ‘success’ and its glorification. Bachelors are going through tougher times than their dads or grandfathers ever did. The game has turned out to be too complex, riskier and expensive over the years. The only ladies meeting your criteria are in fact inviting you to their wedding committees if it’s not the actual weddings or baby shower visits!

Back to the story, you once happened to take this hot intern for a coffee date only to regret the very thought of it. Once settled, she asked this waiter with a glowing skin and colgate teeth peeping from her suggestive smile and of eyes that literally weakened every joint of your body, if there was anything on offer apart from beverages. She ordered for red wine. You were taken aback. She tapped your arm and was like, “bring him a cold Tusker please”. You pretended to be this open-minded fellow and went on to spend almost 4k on a Monday night obviously not budgeted for. By 12 am a visibly drunk intern dashed to the washroom and an opportune moment presented itself. Your endearing waiter was standing strategically behind you. You’d smell her scent and manage to see her from the corner of your cornea. You reached to your wallet and chomwad a business card and placed it in her hands accompanied with a small tip. She gave you a face that read, I’ll be waiting for your call. The next day, your intern dropped by your office to thank you for the epic treat. She sat on your table with all her endowments, her cleavage half out, acres of thighs to graze and a long weave overshadowing her back. If only she knew how much it costed for that random date. Haha. Since she proved too expensive to maintain, the alleged affair died as fast as it had sprouted.

Interestingly, you have this relatively young, married friend who seems to have all the qualities of your imaginary wife. In fact on the few times, she has invited you for coffee, she insists on paying the bill. (When married women, be they classmates or friends invite you for coffee, it has to be strictly coffee.) She even lends you money within a short notice, when in a fix. She compliments your dressing and actually goes ahead to ask where you bought that watch that underlines your tastes. To make matters worse, she throws subtle advances at you leaving you more confused. You certainly don’t want to ruin somebody’s marriage for the very simple reason of never wanting to imagine your wife ever contemplating cheating on you. (Especially with an unmarried chap).

Every year the HR pops to your office to update your medical insurance details and goes like;”Any dependant or wife so far?” And you respond with a NO that ends up to invite a loud, awkward silence between you two as she finds her way out.

The only thing bachelors are in need of is family love and communal prayers akin to my shosh’s ‘deep prayers’ at 3 am for them to survive through this jungle of temptation, deception and remorse.

Check out my Facebook Page; andrewismme.com for regular, half serious stuff that will help you unwind and recover from a day’s harsh torrents.

STIGMA OF A SINGLE MOTHER

Mother With Children In Park She is a mother of two. Both from different fathers. A charming, shy boy with a bubbling, full of life, younger sister. For the boy, his dad passed on while he was 6 months in his mother’s womb. Very sad. He died of a short illness. It was very devastating for the mum. Attending the burial of a man she had not even introduced to her family, while pregnant. You may assume she was green and naive. She jumped into this relationship at 23. Three months later, she was pregnant. Before she even figured out what was going on, the guy was no more. Her life was doomed and shattered. Life came to a grand halt.

Her other challenge was to deal with her family which watched the unfoldings from a distance without raising eyebrows. (Be grateful for family. They mould you again, out of your broken pieces). She was lucky that her mum chose to embrace her. Very uncharacteristic of her. No interrogations nor whims of anger but acceptance of the reality. But she wouldn’t escape the typical traders of rumours, mummering from one corner of the village to the other searching for the highest bidder. She was baptised with fire, in this world of Single Mothers.

She hated life and her very existence. She felt wasted by the world and betrayed by God. She had nowhere to hide from the hungry gossip fodders. From the scornful eyes to the slandering tongues. Not even church would be left behind in unleashing ‘terror’. It’s gave her a lukewarm welcome. Friends camouflaged unusually fast, while foes resuscitated from nowhere. They came hard and eager to tear her flesh apart.

Before long, she gave life, to a crying, handsome angel. A boy who fought baggage and naysayers in equal measure. He has grown in might and knowledge every time the sun rises and sets. He is an artistic boy who loves drawing anything locomotive. He has special place for ‘objects’ that fly. Airplanes make him develop goosebumps. He treats them with awe. They trigger part of his brain that ends up to inspire him more. He is very creative with his hands. He makes technical ‘things’ so effortlessly. His mum peeps him across the window as he fondly plays football only to be overwhelmed by joy.

Then came his sister, few years down the line. A whole different scenario. All along her mum endeavored to be a staunch Christian. And in her quest for a bible-based-church, and a husband so to speak, she unfortunately stumbled on one of these rogue men who hide under the word of God, donning white, oversize suits without blemish, all along fishing and feeding His flock. You know of this so called ‘Pastors/Apostles/Bishops’ who lure young, naive girls to satisfy their dangling libido. She fell victim.

No sooner had this chap realised he had impregnated her than he took to his heels. It’s something he has done over and over again. You can’t beat him in this game. She again lost gravity of life and came down crumbling within no time. Back to square one. Back to awaken gossip fodders, traders of rumours and souls thirsty for flesh blood. Her family again embarked on making her whole again, out of her broken pieces.

Reality dawned when she was fired from her workplace when navigating through this mess. Family came in handy. She gave life to the most adorable girl. An incredible personality, who excelled in school and church. She turned to be bright than her age. Always challenging grown-ups through her wits and wisdom. Her gifts are in singing and unusual confidence. The future holds so much for her. Every new day, she becomes bolder and conspicuous. These two kids have mitigated the stigma their mum battles with. They brought blessings to a seemingly, dull home.

Now, changing lanes and zooming to you who belong to this group that reigns havoc to Single Mothers. You that change relationships like bracelets. You that have aborted a million and one times. You who go for morning-afters three times a week. You that run from one STI to the other, impregnating ladies from all walks of life. And while in the process talking ill of Single Mothers. Karma is a bitch!

This single mum has since forgiven this confused, insecure ‘pastor’ out to maim a generation. From the hit and run treacherous men to awesome chaps plucked off by death, all they leave behind are the unsung heroines. If you didn’t know, Single Mothers are the ultimate measure of a strong woman. Big up to them! I salute you phenomenal gems.

Check out my Facebook Page; andrewismme.com for regular, half serious stuff that will help you unwind and recover from a day’s harsh torrents.

HER CHARMNESS IS UNBOWED BY A LIFE’S LOATHE

Related imageShe is 21. Beautiful, intelligent, confident, charming and sweet. Her alluring face, skillfully personality and time, has concealed what she has gone through in life. A life summed by four words. Sadness, fear and denied freedom. From a distance, you may be forgiven to assume she’s one of those PYT(Pretty Young Things) from campus who oscillate around married men like they are possessed by an overwhelming evil spirit. She’s that lady who can make your tongue mumble and swallow words just from her sheer looks. She is one that exudes this image that slurs your pick up lines and leaves you at the mercy of her patience. Here’s her story;

To start with, I met her accidentally when I paid a courtesy call to a close friend. We had those shallow conversations of gathering stories here and there, flattering jokes and mild laughter. Before long, I was gone. It’s after then, that the said friend broke out her shell of a life, to me. Brenda* was born from a brewing love of two lover birds in an urban setting. She wouldn’t enjoy the privilege of having two parents for long. When she turned 3, her dear mum passed away after a short illness. That turned around her life, upside down.

Her dad has always been very industrious and an aggressive businessman but also very shrewd. He was and still depicts this no-nonsense demeanor to her family. She grew under this environment for 20 long, eventful years. Her dad would marry another woman, close to a year after Brenda’s mum passed on. Before long the foster mum was pregnant and 6 – 7 years down the line, she had 3 of her own kids. Brenda* was loathed by this mum for obvious reasons. She was not her biological kid.

She had to choose between a rock and a hard place. If it was not her foster mum hurling insults, it was her dad’s daily beatings. I’m made to understand Brenda* has been battered by her dad all her life. From the sheer rumours that she was seen with a boy in the hood or coming home late, that alone qualified for a thorough beating. Her neighbours were all familiar with her usual wails and pleads to her dad, to stop the beating. Her entire body is marked by scars from her dad’s infamous belt or nyahunyo(whip). (Which dad keeps a whip to beat her kids? Slap them or get a small cane if need be but not a whip, for heaven’s sake! That only shows how a miserable dad you are, especially when you purport to discipline selectively).

Over the years, her dad evolved to a total stranger. Daughters have needs and require attention and care than boys (no pun intended). The thing is, she pleaded with her father for money to buy sanitary pads, in vain. Her dad would silence her with the all familiar phrase; “I don’t have money”. Appreciate that the same dad sponsored her cousins to schools and gave money generously to dozens of her relatives who visited their home. Mind you also, Brenda’s* dad bought land at some point, constructed a nice house and even purchased a car. Her foster mum on the other hand was unapproachable, only using Brenda* to relieve accumulated stress from her husband.

When Brenda* was to join high school, her father made it clear that she would have to join a day school so that he would ‘monitor’ her. He was an overprotective dad, who expected her to be within a radius he could trace all her moves. With all the bad things happening to her, she developed a rebellious attitude in school. She didn’t like the school she was in, and while in Form 2, she led a strike that made her be terminated. Your guess is as good as mine, she was very happy to leave that school. Of course she had to pay the price of ‘a shaming’ her dad. That particular time, she was beaten every part of her body.

She was moved to another school and the beatings wouldn’t stop. Every time dad came home stressed, she would be in for the beating, for mistakes committed centuries ago. Her childhood and teenage life was robbed by her parents. Her foster mum made her do all the house chores and take care of her siblings. She had no time to bond with her friends if any. Their house environment was terrifying and this took a toll order on her esteem. Her siblings were not going through the same agony but devoted to be her friend.

After high school, she stayed home for a year or so and was later enrolled to a tourism college. Even at this point in life, she was not expected to be seen with a ‘boy’ anywhere near her vicinity. Otherwise this would qualify to a two day, non-stop beating. Sadly, her dad would not even buy her a phone. What for? He’d ask! Even getting money to go to the salon was still a problem. College life became very distressful for this pretty lady who had bared it all while so young.

Things would twist a bit; her mum came to like her two years ago. She became soft and a reliable friend. This cooled things a little bit. Meanwhile her dad was still the same! Hard, terrible and violent. Come January 2015, she said enough was enough. She gave up on this life and embarked on a journey to Nairobi, having fled home. She didn’t carry her clothes, because her neighbours would suspect and ring her dad. She had no money either, to survive in the city.

She’d live for a short while with a friend before moving on to another, before the first became curious to learn of her guarded story of life. She did this while looking for jobs here and there. Through her small savings and skipping lunch and sometimes sleeping hungry became routine. To calm her stress, she got hooked to smoking and imbibing hard liquor. Days moved to months until she met her (cousin who’s my friend). The friend shared this sad story and implored on me to help. We managed to get her a simple hustle that would pay her bills for the time being.

My point is; count your blessings and be very grateful to God for everything. Some wish to have, half the privileges you savor. Never take anything for granted and help wherever you can. Lastly, guys, promise to be profound daddies. One man, can change the world!

Brenda is not her real name neither is the pic used. This is a very true story.

Check out my Facebook Page; andrewismme.com for regular, half serious stuff that will help you unwind and recover from a day’s harsh torrents.

WHEN YOUR PLATONIC FRIEND WEDS!

weddingHere you are, holding a wedding invitation card from one of your most loyal friends who have stuck with you in thickest of things. Your mind decides to run her images and the vivid memories you still hold on to. She is relatively tall (considering your height) and flaunts of a firm bosom. Her stomach has always been lean and intact. She has this long, sexy legs and you’d be forgiven to imagine she plays for Malkia Stars with the likes of Wacu and Wanja. Now, to you who lives under a rock, I’m talking about volleyball ladies, the African queens, thank me later. Back to my platonic friend; she speaks English so effortlessly and ever wears a watch. There is something magical about ladies who don watches.

This invitation card will remind you where it all begun. When one evening she sent you a Whatsapp message excitedly informing you about her new boyfriend. A year or so after, again you were the first to be tale-telled the spoils of a proposal story. She called you and spoke on high pitch for 30 minutes with you hardly being allowed to interject. You were very happy for her that finally a serious chap had taken note of her beauty and declared to be willing to walk away with the bragging rights of dating this fine chiq. Months roll by and before you know her wedding beckons. This means the benevolent deposits of laughters and teasing at 10pm will drastically dwindle ushering in a new lease of life to her; Marriage.

You reminisce the good old days when you met in a class of accounting. You’ve sustained this friendship for 7 years now! She is one of those friends that were converted from potential girlfriends to something else. Those friends whom assuming you applied your naivety then of falling in love probably the remains of your heart would be floating somewhere in River Nyando. Having been crushed by hard rocks of the so called try and error relationships. In that naive stage, you took her out with your meager pocket money and when it got worse you plucked off some tuition fees. You always enjoyed these times because ladies once they gulp two to three drinks, emerge out of this closet they always hide in. The positive thing is that, since she was very bright, she made you up your game. It was never in vain since part of the friendship norms meant studying and revising together.

You recall this day you met at her hostel and decided to have a quick lunch at a nearby fast food joint (Things ladies make us do). In what was supposed to be a 45 minutes chat prolonged to past 4pm. Really! This meant you missing the very crucial class, all for a friend. Shit happens. And you think she would sympathise with you; never. She just laughed you off and escorted you having wasted your whole afternoon. Interestingly, you met this hawker who sells bras and she insisted on having a look! You felt awkward but pretended you were all fine. After ransacking while explaining to you of the different sizes as you two argued on which could or not fit her, she held this one. A faded orange (men with colours) and tells you to fix her at the back. (Haki ya ngai.) She’ll not even buy. You stroll in these serene and deserted suburb laughing about the whole experience with the hawker and his wares. Hawkers are not to be fainthearted. She buys you ice cream from this vendor and you proceed with the ebullient conversation.

Done with college and handling your first jobs meant less outings and more coffee dates. By now, your friendship had matured and feelings had been contained. In fact, each one of you had already been hooked in different relationships. The chemistry was intact and the funny thing is that you used these occasions to compare notes about love and life matters. You advised and consulted each other actively. Soon you’d relocate to a different town and that’s when this friendship took a beating. This came with less of phone calls to more of irregular Whatsapp messages. Your rendezvous was reduced to once or twice a year when your circle of buddies from college organised hook ups.

Come the wedding day, you’ll put on this grey suit, white shirt and ice it with a slender, blue tie and grace her big day as part of her brides men and give her your blessings. There is joy when your close friend advances in life successfully. Happy marriage Tracy*(Not her real name). Looking forward to sweet, munchkin, bouncing kids, few years down the line.

TO GREAT FATHERS, WE TOSS

fatherson6A father is neither an anchor to hold us back, nor a sail to to take us there, but a guiding light whose love shows us the way – Anonymous. Father’s Day couldn’t have come at worse time, at the backdrop of a trying moment for men in this country. Indeed its a time to ponder when the rain started beating us, and when zealousness and bragging rights of being a MAN hang its boots. When did society reduce fathers to mere scavengers of anything that upholds human dignity. That we are in bad books and clearly have work cut out to clean up the mess and redeem better perceptions, is an open secret. The thing is, we should be leading from the front.

Its in that note that I’m inspired by great fathers weathering the fog of a tainted image. I’m inspired by these great fathers who go about their businesses undistracted. Upholding the common good and endeavouring to even better themselves every day. Their resilience can only be compared to the Humming bird story by the legendary the Late Wangari Maathai. This unbowed bird does its best to put off fire that burns a forest which serves as home to the birds and all the wild animals. The rest of the animals stare at this hummingbird as it makes trips to and fro the nearest stream, to gulp some water, doing all it can in saving the situation. This bird is undeterred by the gazing looks from these animals wondering how material its effort would be in dousing the fire. I’m sure you know of the story. To akin dads doing the same in their lives; We toss to you.

To you dads who create time for your families away from land deals out of town; You that skip off that golf event to drive your son to the airport and happen to impact his life for 30 minutes with words of wisdom as you bid him bye; You that pay your kids school fees and family bills diligently; To you that work hard in life to ensure your children have a dignified upbringing; To you that rises early to bring something on the table later; We toss to you.

To you that instil discipline to your kids right when they start crawling; To you that make time to bond with your children and ice it with a hearty laughter; To you that teach your boys as they transform to men the aspect of delayed gratification, of saving more and spending less (You that drive before you buy ka -plot…life’s venom will catch up with you)…thank you. We need more of your youthful stories of how you ceased paying rent just when you were shy of hitting 30 with that meagre salary, managing to move in, to your mansion. Impact in us how to be patient with life and help us appreciate that instant success is never sustainable. This generation is short of such stories, we need them to save ourselves from ourselves.

To you fathers that instil in us, self drive and the habit of shunning mediocrity and dreaming big and the desire to remain committed to life goals, we toss to you. When a country’s economy gets tough and inflation sours, the worst hit are fathers since the burden of provision is biblically and traditionally bestowed in them. Withstanding that pressure and developing the know how of managing expectations is considered a virtue, losing a job notwithstanding.

Fathers handling aggressive career women and go getter entrepreneur ladies, with utmost respect, support and love; We appreciate your civil mindset. To you dads that diligently drop your kids to school; To you who sneak out at 5am to commute passengers to earn a living; We draw our inspiration from you.

My definition of greatness is found in the most ordinary and simplest of things; Like developing interest in your child’s performance in school and going through their homework; More of like sitting in a couch somewhere in a maternity room as your wife pushes hard; Or shopping together happily holding hands; Or being this man who deserves a cute look from your wife up on the balcony as she observes you play with your kids, some funny game on this manicured compound!

To you great dads that balance between yielding tough love and lending an ever available listening ear; To you chaps that play father figure roles to your relatives and friends who are single mothers ; you are simply the BEST. To dads working behind the scenes to breathe life to this name called MAN, unbowed by ridiculous shenanigans from a section of small men who prefer alcohol than family, we toss to you and celebrate you. Its through your ordinary life that you become extra ordinary. Thats what my pasi preached last Sunday! Happy Father’s Day to all the awesome dads out there and they that dare to be one.

To all my Muslim brothers and sisters, Ramadhan Kareem.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: