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Do You Miss The Old You?

Do you remember the person you were before the world forced you to be someone else?

You’re desperately wanting to get back to the person you use to be but somehow it feels unreachable.

You feel like they are too far gone. You believe you lost them completely.

You were so carefree and now you feel like you’re always on edge.

You were outspoken and now you feel like you have to hold your tongue.

You could wear anything you wanted without being criticised for it.

You could believe in what you wanted but now you’re judged for thinking differently.

Gradually, you feel like the part of you, you loved and created died… and who you are now is just an imposter.

You have to put on a fake smile, be apart of fake friendships, and be what the world wants you to be.

Before, you use to do things differently, you use to feel differently, you use to be different.

It was a gradual change. You barely noticed it until one day you said or did something and you thought to yourself, this isn’t me.

You have expectations to live up to now. You have people looking up to you. You have to be perfect and never let anyone see you fail.

Maybe someone changed you, or someone’s constant criticism or judgement changed you.

Maybe it was a relationship? Relationships do change us but in a way of where we are more ourselves than, than something we are not.

Maybe you don’t want to admit that the person you’re with has created you to be the version they wanted, and you let them because you’re so in love with them.

Know this, love does not require you to be anything other than who you are.

If you feel like you have to be someone you’re not, this isn’t love. Love frees us to be the person we know to our core.

Remember this:

There is a part of yourself that is always changing and growing.

There is also a part of yourself that you hold on to because that makes you who you are.

The person who is growing starts to see things differently than before because something in the changed.

They gained a new perspective, they gained new understanding, they changed their ideas and their thoughts, willingly. Not by the notions of others.

Growing does not mean losing the person you’ve always been. There is something deep down inside the core of who you are that only ourselves know intimately.

At times you can’t always be the person you feel down to your core. Simply, because you don’t have the means or the understanding to get there.

One day, I assure you, you will reach that potential. It doesn’t mean that part of us will ever die as we grow older, It just means we haven’t got there yet. Be patient. It will come.

Let go of anything or anyone that is not making you better, holding you back from your potential, or telling you that the person you’ve always known and loved isn’t enough.

You are free to love yourself, every detail, every flaw, everything because it makes you, you.

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NETWORKING IS OVERRATED! (Part 2)

Many people will not like this, but if I don’t write it, my conscience will not forgive me. Multi – level marketing OR what we call networking business is a strategy that some direct sales companies use to encourage their existing distributors to recruit new distributors by paying the existing distributors a percentage of their recruits’ sales; the recruits are known as a distributor’s “downline.” Yes, it exists, and works, but, now I asked why is Africa always their dumping ground?

Because they know they can always manipulate us easily, Emotional, Mentally and Physically. Because they know it is here, in Africa, where you can easily find a lot of people whose thoughts barely go an inch deeper, because that is where you find a lot of people who are lazy, where you find a lot of people who are mentally poor, Emotionally weak, or what I call mentally drenched. It’s here you will find people who are mentally inferior, emotionally incompetent with thousands lacking foresight. Here you can find people ABEL, IDEL MINDS/MEN: where you find people who can sell their future for morsels of bread; people who can sell their brothers for a dinner with a king in the palace; where people are busy all through their lives plotting on how to take over their brother’s empire instead of building their own; where you will find people who lack knowledge of sewing and reaping; people who think of now, now, now and self alone; people who are not futuristic in nature, (immediate gratification is the mantra); and some countries in the developed world are using it against us.

Interestingly enough, this developed world created this immediate gratification for the business world. Was it created for Africans because they are abusing it or they have abused it? People who cannot separate business culture and lifestyle culture. And yet, this set of people want the big lifestyle, they want the manna to fall from heaven, so as to paint the towns red, so as to intimidate their brothers by living big. We want to reap where we did not sow. In short, we want an easy life.

So some emotionally empowered country, sit all night planning on programs such as what you and I call Multi- level marketing, Networking business with a stipend to entice (us) i.e. those countries that are emotionally poor in our own way. Because the way it sells there is not the way it sells here.

Once here, you and I jump into it, thank the Creator for our leaders who indirectly have contributed in aiding us into their hands, they are now our saviours – our mini gods. Do we have another choice than to live for survival? Most of the survival of this program thrives more amongst Africans then other developed countries in the world. Even their patterns differ by countries.

Tell this company ( the so-called, Multi – level Marketing / NETWORKING companies), to pay ten dollars for the adverts and they’ll slap you with a NO!! They know that the best way of marketing is One-on-One marketing i.e. word of mouth. They also know that the coconut heads people will do it for them just as they have been doing it. They are just using our manpower.

I don’t like this. I want my people to be liberated. Let’s get over immediate gratification priorities, let’s have the habit of long term project. Let’s kill the spirit of greed. Let’s kill the spirit of jealousy, envy and wickedness. China is where it is today because it cultivated the habit of entrepreneurship. Now millions of Chinese networking businesses abound in Africa. Our Government should also stop the faceless policy that discourages people from doing things on their own. Regulatory bodies should slow down on us. Do you know if you learn one thing or the other and instead, use these resources on you (instead of multi-level marketing), then in five to ten years time, you will not be hungry? But most Africans want instant results. Let’s stop allowing all these foreign companies to use us and dump us with the promise of travel, cars and house. When you own your own business you will be able to do those things with ease.

I have studied multi-level marketing and I know their tricks. Each transaction goes straight to their country. We sell their products. We bring ready market sfor them. We are directly building and increasing their GDP. Do that for yourself and watch your country’s economy grow rapidly. If we are importing goods, let’s know it’s importation we are doing. But not using our people and manipulating our leaders who in turn, push our people into these “Networking” jobs and their tricky programs. I am still waiting penitently for an African multi-level market – I suppose it’s only a matter of time.

Networking Is Overrated (Part 1)

Some people treat me like a God; they only remember me when they have problems. It’s an awful feeling when everyone looks at you as their ATM machine. You get hundreds of texts from people out rightly asking for money, jobs, connections etc. Often, they don’t even have the courtesy to introduce themselves or even, find out how you are doing. It is their agenda first. Do people ever stop to ask themselves where the ‘money’ or how the ‘connections’ came about?

I have been a panelist in forums where listeners were trained on how to do these things. How to walk in to a CEO’s office and ask for favors. How to draft an email request to a public figure to get you things or (practically) hijack them in lifts asking for favors. I beg to disagree with these strategies and I share my thoughts challenging the moral value of such acts.

I don’t give out business cards to anyone just because they asked to have it. I don’t go to those ‘networking forums’ anymore. I no longer follow those public figures making requests or demands for undeserved favors, those that sneak backstage for a selfie, slipping business cards into briefcases, chasing public figures out the exit. If the very thought of networking makes you throw up,then you are not alone. I read an article outlining why the writer felt networking had been overrated and I thought it wise to share these insights with you here.

It’s true that networking can help you accomplish great things. But this obscures the opposite truth: accomplishing great things helps you develop a network.

Take Justin Bieber’s career: Although it took off after Usher signed him up, Justin didn’t network his way into that meeting. He taught himself to sing and play four instruments, put a handful of videos on YouTube, and a manager ended up clicking on one. Adele was discovered that way, too: She wrote and recorded a three-song demo, a friend posted it on Myspace, and a music exec heard it. Developing talent — and sharing it — catapulted them to those connections.

For entrepreneurs, too, achievement is a magnet to mentors and a beacon to backers. Spanx took off when Oprah Winfrey chose it as one of her favorite things of the year — but not because she was stalked by the company’s founder, Sara Blakely. For two and a half years, Ms. Blakely sold fax machines by day so she could build her prototype of footless pantyhose by night. She sent one from the first batch to Ms. Winfrey.

Networks help, of course. In a study of internet security start-ups, having a previous connection to an investor increased the odds of getting funded by that investor in the first year. But it was pretty much irrelevant afterward. Accomplishments were the dominant driver of who invested over time.

People often believe that if they simply meet more important people, their work will improve. But it’s remarkably hard to engage with those people unless you’ve already put something valuable out into the world. That’s what piques the curiosity of advisers and sponsors. Achievements show you have something to give, not just something to take.

Sure, you can fire off cold emails to people you respect — they’re just a click away — but you’ll be lucky if 2 percent even reply. The best way to attract a mentor is to create something worthy of the mentor’s attention. Do something interesting, and instead of having to push your way in, you’ll get pulled in. The network comes to you.

Sociologists call this the Matthew effect, from the Bible: “For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance.” If you establish a track record of achievement, advantages tend to accumulate. Who you’ll know tomorrow depends on what you contributed yesterday.

Of course, accomplishments can build your network only if other people are aware of them. You have to put your work out there. It shouldn’t be about promoting yourself, but about promoting your ideas. Tooting your own horn doesn’t help you get a job offer or a seat on the board, and when employees bend over backward to highlight their skills and accomplishments, they actually get paid less and promoted less. People find self-promotion so distasteful that they like you more when you’re praised by someone else — even if they know you’ve hired an agent to promote you.

So stop fretting about networking. Build something useful first. Don’t feel pressure to attend networking events. No one really mixes at mixers. Although we plan to meet new people, we usually end up hanging out with old friends. The best networking happens when people gather for a purpose other than networking, to learn from one another or help one another.

In life, it certainly helps to know the right people. But how hard they go to bat for you, how far they stick their necks out for you, depends on what you have to offer. Building a powerful network doesn’t require you to be an expert at networking. It just requires you to be an expert at something.

If you make great connections, they might advance your career. If you do great work, those connections will be easier to make. Let your insights and your outputs — not your business cards — do the talking.

You Don’t Have To Try So Hard

You don’t need more motivation. You don’t need to be inspired to action. You don’t need to read any more lists and posts about how you’re not doing enough.

We act as if we can read enough articles and enough little Pinterest quotes and suddenly the little switch in our brain will put us into action. But, honestly, here’s the thing that nobody really talks about when it comes to success and motivation and willpower and goals and productivity and all those little buzzwords that have come into popularity: you are as you are until you’re not. You change when you want to change. You put your ideas into action in the timing that is best. That’s just how it happens.

And what I think we all need more than anything is this: Permission to be wherever the we are when we’re there.

You’re not a robot. You can’t just conjure up motivation when you don’t have it. Sometimes you’re going through something. Sometimes life has happened. Life! Remember life? Yeah, it teaches you things and sometimes makes you go the long way around for your biggest lessons.

You don’t get to control everything. You can wake up at 5 a.m. every day until you’re tired and broken, but if the words or the painting or the ideas don’t want to come to fruition, they won’t. You can show up every day to your best intentions, but if it’s not the time, it’s just not the time. You need to give yourself permission to be a human being.

Sometimes the novel is not ready to be written because you haven’t met the inspiration for your main character yet. Sometimes you need two more years of life experience before you can make your masterpiece into something that will feel real and true and raw to other people. Sometimes you’re not falling in love because whatever you need to know about yourself is only knowable through solitude. Sometimes you haven’t met your next collaborator. Sometimes your sadness encircles you because, one day, it will be the opus upon which you build your life.

We all know this: Our experience cannot always be manipulated. Yet, we don’t act as though we know this truth. We try so hard to manipulate and control our lives, to make creativity into a game to win, to shortcut success because others say they have, to process emotions and uncertainty as if these are linear journeys.

You don’t get to game the system of your life. You just don’t. You don’t get to control every outcome and aspect as a way to never give in to the uncertainty and unpredictability of something that’s beyond what you understand. It’s the basis of presence: to show up as you are in this moment and let that be enough.

Yet, we don’t act in a way that supports this lifestyle. We fill every minute with productivity tools and read 30-point lists on how to better drive out natural, human impulse. We often forget that we are as we are until we’re not. We are the same until we’re changed. We can move that a bit further by putting into place healthy habits and to show up to our lives in a way that fosters growth, but we can’t game timing.

Timing is the one thing that we often forget to surrender to.

Things are dark until they’re not. Most of our unhappiness stems from the belief that our lives should be different than they are. We believe we have control — and our self-loathing and self-hatred comes from this idea that we should be able to change our circumstances, that we should be richer or hotter or better or happier. While self-responsibility is empowering, it can often lead to this resentment and bitterness that none of us need to be holding within us. We have to put in our best efforts and then give ourselves permission to let whatever happens to happen—and to not feel so directly and vulnerably tied to outcomes. Opportunities often don’t show up in the way we think they will.

You don’t need more motivation or inspiration to create the life you want. You need less shame around the idea that you’re not doing your best. You need to stop listening to people who are in vastly different life circumstances and life stages than you tell you that you’re just not doing or being enough. You need to let timing do what it needs to do. You need to see lessons where you see barriers. You need to understand that what’s right now becomes inspiration later. You need to see that wherever you are now is what becomes your identity later.

Sometimes we’re not yet the people we need to be in order to contain the desires we have. Sometimes we have to let ourselves evolve into the place where we can allow what we want to transpire.

Let’s just say that whatever you want, you want it enough. So much so that you’re making yourself miserable in order to achieve it. What about chilling out? Maybe your motivation isn’t the problem, but that you keep pushing a boulder up a mountain that only grows in size the more you push.

There’s a magic beyond us that works in ways we can’t understand. We can’t game it. We can’t 10-point list it. We can’t control it. We have to just let it be, to take a step back for a moment, stop beating ourselves up into oblivion, and to let the cogs turn as they will. One day, this moment will make sense. Trust that.

Give yourself permission to trust that.

‘Stop Dreaming,Wake Up & Live!

The Idiots Killed Him, Vote Wisely!

My great grandparents must have cast a spell on me when it comes to Isukuti. This traditional set of shirtless drummists and dancers wearing hats made of Leopard skin drive me crazy. They do this magic perfomances in a circle. Each member holds his drum firmly by the side like a lost rib, tilts forward just a little while standing on the toes to make it easy for them to swing while dancing. Their skinny bodies expose the countable ribs which mysteriously look like guitar strings. I have a strong feeling these form part of the instruments they play because the beautiful instrumental rhythm that results gives an impression that there could be more instruments than what meets the eyes. Even when moving, they maintain the circle. Some members act as ‘eyes’ to performers who move in a reverse manner by rubbing their butts together. It looks as if the butts Hi-Five, but since there are no five fingers, just two blocks I guess they Hi-Block each other, if you know what am saying. These performers sense directions according to pressure difference on the butts as cued by the ‘eyes’.

This is what brought me to this political rally. Watching my tribe’s men make beautiful music and dances with passion and grit. In a twist of events a certain man grabs a purse from a lady about five meters away and takes off. He disappears like a flash of lightening. I moved like Mr. Flash in real life! ‘This man should enroll for Men hundred meters Olympic competitions.’ I thought. In five seconds he was fifty meters away. This was way before the lady contemplated raising an alarm amidst the ululations! All we could see were his heels patting his shoulders as his figure grew smaller!

His victory was ephemeral. As he turned to check whether anyone pursued him, he ran straight on to a tree. He knocked it with all the zeal he used to run and fell still on the ground. He tried to get back up on his feet quickly. He couldn’t make a step. I saw him stoop down and hold his knees. Like all the weight had been transferred to his head. Nairobi being Nairobi in an instant people gathered quickly, I don’t know where they came from but there was already a crowd. People armed with stones, canes, metal and all imaginable things that one can clutch and use it to hit a thing (Not even a being).

A rain of stones fell on him. They made it rain on him. In a second he was reduced to a motionless being. There was a lot of shrieks and sharply drawn breaths. Women were tightly holding their mouths, horror written on their faces, like they had just played witness to a horrific event that would forever change their lives. I remember not wanting to look at the man who’d just been hit. I remember dreading to stare at a result of men’s unfortunate handiwork he’d turned out to be. I remember thinking, “God, don’t let this guy die, not on this bloody day!” 

When I finally get the spine to look at him my heart sunk. He looked like an archeological remain discovered in a pile of rocks. The Homo Sapien Sapien Pschophantae. Suddenly the mob runs back to the venue of the political rally. Back to ululations, dances, good music and euphoria. The waheshimiwas had arrived. They were welcomed heartily. The whole field had uniform T-shirts with all kinds of praises for the politicians. The whole arena went back to life. Indeed it was a ‘good’ day.

 

I stood rooted, unable to comprehend the flash of events that led to Mr. Flash’s splashing. I was chocked with anger. My heart bled. Could it be true that these people driven by anger about something deep down and they are just using this moment to channel it to the wrong person? Is there something more than what I saw? I felt like my whole body was being squashed by the hypocrisy of my fellow countrymen when I remembered this words by an oppressed African son, 

“It is in our nature to sacrifice small thieves and elect big thieves into power!”

 

With an average per capita income of roughly US$1 a day, sub-Saharan Africa remains the poorest region in the world. Africa’s real per capita income today is lower than in the 1970s, leaving many African countries at least as poor as they were forty years ago. With over half of the 700 million Africans living on less than a dollar a day, sub-Saharan Africa has the highest proportion of poor people in the world – some 50 per cent of the world’s poor. And while the number of the world’s population and proportion of the world’s people in extreme poverty fell after 1980, the proportion of people in sub-Saharan Africa living in abject poverty increased to almost 50 per cent. Between 1981 and 2002, the number of people in the continent living in poverty nearly doubled, leaving the average African poorer today than just two decades ago. The 2007 United Nations Human Development Report forecasted that sub-Saharan Africa would account for almost one third of world poverty in 2015, up from one fifth in 1990 (this largely due to the dramatic developmental strides being made elsewhere around the emerging world).

Life expectancy has stagnated – Africa is the only continent where life expectancy is less than sixty years; today it hovers around fifty years, and in some countries it has fallen back to what it was in the 1950s (life expectancy in Swaziland is a paltry thirty years). The decrease in life expectancy is mainly attributed to the rise of the HIV—AIDS pandemic. One in seven children across the African continent die before the age of five. These statistics are particularly worrying in that (as with many other developing regions of the world), roughly 50 per cent of Africa’s population is young – below the age of fifteen years.

Adult literacy across most African countries has plummeted below pre-1980 levels. Literacy rates, health indicators (malaria, water-borne diseases such as bilharzia and cholera) and income inequality all remain a cause for worry. And still across important indicators, the trend in Africa is not just downwards: Africa is (negatively) decoupling from the progress being made across the rest of the world. Even with African growth rates averaging 5 per cent a year over the past several years, the Africa Progress Panel pointed out in 2007 that growth is still short of the 7 per cent that needs to be sustained to make substantial inroads into poverty reduction.

On the political side, some 50 per cent of the continent remains under nondemocratic rule. According to the Polity IV database, Africa is still home to at least eleven fully autocratic regimes (Congo-Brazzaville, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, The Gambia, Mauritania, Rwanda, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda Eritrea, Gabon, The Gambia, Mauritania, Rwanda, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda and Zimbabwe). Three African heads of state (dos Santos of Angola, Obiang of Equatorial Guinea and Bongo of Gabon) have been in power since the 1970s (having ascended to power on 2 December 1967, President Bongo has recently celebrated his fortieth year in power). Five other presidents have had a lock on power since the 1980s (Compaore of Burkina Faso, Biya of Cameroon, Conte of Guinea, Museveni of Uganda and Mugabe of Zimbabwe). Since 1996, eleven countries have been embroiled in civil wars (Angola, Burundi, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sudan and Uganda). And according to the May 2008 annual Global Peace Index, out of the ten bottom countries four African states are among the least peaceful in the world (in order, Central African Republic, Chad, Sudan and Somalia) – the most of any one continent.

Why is it that Africa, alone among the continents of the world, seems to be locked into a cycle of dysfunction? Why is it that out of all the continents in the world Africa seems unable to convincingly get its foot on the economic ladder? Why in a recent survey did seven out of the top ten ‘failed states’ hail from that continent? Are Africa’s people universally more incapable? Are its leaders genetically more venal, more ruthless, more corrupt? Its policymakers more innately feckless? What is it about Africa that holds it back, that seems to render it incapable of joining the rest of the globe in the twenty-first century? It is me and you friend. We sacrifice small thieves, and elect the big thieves into power. Entrusting our goats under the ‘Noble’ leadership of Hyenas and Leopards. Then when the Leopard eats our goats, we kill our neighbors.

 

Back to Mr.Flash, the idiots killed him. We killed him. You killed him too, with your vote. Next time, Vote wisely!

 

EXTRA PAIN FOR DYING YOUNG & FOOLISH

Do you know how it feels when you stand for four hours, thinking hard and using every stint of your senses, to try and make sense of an abstruse experiment and nothing comes of it?

 

And then, after the frustrating four hours, the lab technician who has been giggling and grinning all the while, staring at his monitor with earphones across his head and a pitch black veil, walks towards you with a cluttered face like the angel of death, ‘Where are your results? ‘

 

You look at him blankly and he looks back. He sneers at you and looks at the equipment he gave you. For a moment he burst out laughing and says, ‘These pieces of equipment do not work. Find time and come back to repeat the experiment using better equipment. ‘ With that, he walks away.

 

Some people are alive just because it is illegal to kill them, I think to myself. Although it’s the thousandth time, I just never get used to the frustration it brings. Feeling hungry, defrauded emotionally and desperate, I walk sluggishly to my room and lay flat on my empty belly. All the while, my stomach is rumbling as if there is a power shortage in my body and my whole being is running on emergency power from generators in the stomach.

 

The heat got too much making me uncomfortable and a bit restless. I got up and adjusted the window. Just as I was compressing the curtains, a huge body brushed through the parallel arrangements of glass that made up the window and broke them all. I was terrified. I peeped through the curtains to see what can only be described as a lifeless human body lying on the ground. Two thirds of the head compressed into the chest. Blood gushed out of the ears and nose. A small depression on the ground formed when his head speared the ground. He had gone to the roof top of the sixth floor in the building to get high. Amidst the excitement, he tripped and fell straight down ‘six feet under’. From a ‘He’ to an ‘It’. All his friends disappeared. 

 

In my first week on campus, I received the heart breaking news that a very close friend was found dead in his room. He had been out boozing all night with friends and came back before dawn. He slept henceforth, never woke up to tell the tale of his experience. Not even to his village which had been called upon every year, to raise money for his fees ever since he lost his parents. There was speculation that he had been poisoned by a friend after they fell out over a girl who denied them both because she was seeing some filthy-rich politician. She was found dead under mysterious circumstances. She was last seen in a multi-million party at the politician’s home in the city.

 

In my second year on Campus, a lady from the neighbouring campus was found dead on the highway, minutes away from the City. Rumour has it that they were headed for a night out with her lover when an argument erupted.  Things heated up. Both of them were high; neither of them was willing to come down. He pushed her towards the busy road. She was instantly knocked dead by an oncoming over speeding vehicle. He ran away and left her lifeless body there, bleeding profusely.

 

Several months later, I woke up to see a former classmate in all news sites; WANTED! He had stabbed his ex-girlfriend to death using a kitchen knife because ‘..she led me on.’ He was later found in a dungeon attempting to commit suicide. He was one of the politest and respectful students I had ever met in my former high school. In my 4-years tenure as a prefect, I had never found him make a single mistake. Life has acerbic ways of throwing surprises to us though.

 

Last year ended with yet another tragic news. An acquaintance was found dead in his room. It is said that this was caused by an overdose of some illegal drugs. Apparently,  it wasn’t the first time that the drugs had brought him complications. Unfortunately, none of his parents or family members knew a thing about his addiction to drugs. All they knew was their gentle, polite, down to earth son, brother and role model who was beyond reproach when around family and relatives. In fact, the evening before his death, his mother had sent him money because ‘he was selected to participate in an academic trip after emerging top in his class’ as he had said. Ironically, all his colleagues in school knew a complete opposite of these traits. They knew him as a rogue, violent, abrasive drunkard who consistently received warnings for his poor performance. The sad reality for most young people.  My question is, How many more young people need to die before common sense resurrects?

 

We are angels when around family but demons at school. We are virtuous around parents but thrive on vices around temporal friends. We boast about how skillful we are at living a double life and laugh at how smart we think we are, having fooled the world. We would rather be enslaved by someone who feigns-love for us than take advice from someone who truly-loves us! We hate those who are real with us and love those who fake it all to please us. We run around social media on cheap quotes about ‘our haters’ yet our lives have nothing significant to attract self-love. We go to extremes to do stupid things to massage our frail egos. We want quick money to show ‘them’ we are indeed making it big. We get sponsors (sugar-daddies, sugar-mummies) and give our bodies in exchange for petty acquisitions. All these because we want to prove to ‘them’, that we don’t care what ‘they’ think. 

 

People would actually stop worrying about what others think of them if they realised how seldom ‘they’ actually do. Most young people poison their lives thinking they are punishing parents/brothers/sisters/friends/haters only for reality to kick it, when it is too late. Nobody really cares. When you acted all-knowing and too smart for them, everyone retreated and got busy with their own races. 

 

The tragedy of most young people is not fooling parents. It is that of fooling self and spending the rest of your time proving or disapproving inexistent beings (‘they’,’them’, ‘haters’). Nobody hates you when you are a Nobody. You are too insignificant to be hated. You are just like a kitten, chasing it’s own tail, and getting mad about it. Then finds itself in the fireplace burning to death. Its soul remains alive, grumbling with the pain of dying in oblivion. 

 

That is why I believe, there is extra pain in dying young and foolish.

Dot Com Love

“Mum, how did you and Dad manage to pull through four decades of this seemingly abtruse marriage thing?” I asked.

 

She burst out laughing heartily. Her shoulders constantly moved up and down as if she were dribbling a ball coinciding rhythmically to the high and low pitch of her voice. Probably that’s the background beat accompanying her laughter, I thought. Her chubby cheeks formed beautiful dimples as she smiled gleefully. Her perfectly round-shaped owl-like eyes meekly stared at me. Some utmost satisfaction set in as the laughter dwindled. Dumb-founded I stood there, with a stern face, waiting for the BIG SECRET.

 

“It’s easy son. When we grew up, if something broke, you’d fix it, not throw it away. We appreciated the fact that every good and beautiful thing comes through patience and hard work. Unlike in this Dot Com generation where, if you experience a slight challenge, you just put a Dot and COMmence on something/someone else.”

 

As the reality of her words pierced through my heart, I was embarrassed. I felt like a fat kid stripped naked in a stadium full of teenagers. Living in this generation which boasts about being the most knowledgeable human beings in the history of humanity and yet it is shameful that we have failed to grasp the most basic of human emotions, Love.

 

We’ve made relationships hard. We’ve continuously failed at love. Humans have suddenly become inept at making relationships last. We’ve forgotten how to love. Or worse, forgotten what love is.

 

We’re not prepared. We’re not prepared for the sacrifices, for the compromises, for the unconditional love. We’re not ready to invest all that it takes to make a relationship work. We want everything easy. We’re quitters. All it takes is a single hurdle to make us crumble to our feet. We don’t let our love grow, we let go before time.

 

It’s not love we’re looking for, only excitement and thrill in life. We want someone to watch movies and party with, not someone who understands us even in our deepest silences. We spend time together, we don’t make memories. We don’t want the boring life. We don’t want a partner for life,  just someone who can make us feel alive right now, this very instance. When the excitement fades, we discover nobody ever prepared us for the mundane. We don’t believe in the beauty of predictability because we’re too blinded by the thrill of adventure.

 

We immerse ourselves in the inconsequential of city life; leaving no space for love. We don’t have time to love, we don’t have the patience to deal with relationships. We’re busy people chasing materialistic dreams and there’s no scope to love. Relationships are nothing more than convenience.

 

We look for instant gratification in everything that we do – the things we post online, the careers we choose, and the people we fall in love with. We want the maturity in a relationship that comes with time, the emotional connect that develops over years, that sense of belonging when we barely even know the other person. Apparently, nothing’s worth our time and patience – not even love.

 

We’d rather spend an hour each with a hundred people than spend a day with one. We believe in having ‘options’. We’re “social’ people. We believe more in meeting people than in getting to know them. We are greedy. We want to have everything. We get into relationships at the slightest attraction and step out, the moment we find someone better. We don’t want to bring out the best in that one person. We want them to be perfect. We date a lot of people but rarely give any of them a real chance. We’re disappointed in everyone.

 

Technology has brought us closer, so close that it’s impossible to breathe. Our physical presence has been replaced by texts, voice messages, snapchats and video calls. We don’t feel the need to spend time together anymore. We have too much of each other already. There’s nothing left to talk about.

 

We’re a generation of ‘wanderers’ who don’t want to stay in one place for too long periods of time. Everyone is commitment phobic. We believe we’re not meant for relationships. We don’t want to settle down. Even the thought of it is scary. We cannot imagine being with one person for the rest of our lives. We walk away. We despise permanence like it’s some social evil. We like to believe we’re ‘different’ from the rest. We like to believe we don’t conform to social norms.

 

We’re a generation that calls itself ‘sexually liberated’. We can tell sex apart from love, or so we think. We’re the hook-up-break-up generation. We have sex first and then decide if we want to love someone. Sex comes easy, loyalty doesn’t. Getting laid has become the new getting drunk. You do it not because you love the other person, but because you want to feel good. It’s all the temporary fulfillment we need. Sex outside relationships isn’t taboo anymore. Relationships aren’t that simple anymore. There are open relationships, friends with benefits, causal flings, one-night stands, no strings attached – we’ve left very little exclusivity for love in our lives.

We’re the practical generation who run on logic alone. We don’t know how to love madly anymore. We wouldn’t take a flight to a far-off land just to see someone we love. We’d break up because of the long distance. We’re too sensible for love. Too sensible for our own good.

 

We’re a scared generation – scared to fall in love, scared to commit, scared to fall, scared to get hurt, scared to get our hearts broken. We don’t allow anyone in, nor do we step out and love anyone unconditionally. We lurk from behind walls we’ve created ourselves, looking for love and running away the moment we really find it. We suddenly ‘cannot handle it’. We don’t want to be vulnerable. We don’t want to bare our soul to anyone. We’re too guarded.

We don’t even value relationships anymore. We let go of the most wonderful people for ‘the other fish in the sea.’ We don’t consider them sacred anymore. Even though we promise to be together ‘Forever’ we actually mean ‘Till we meet someone better!’

 

There’s nothing we couldn’t conquer in this world, and yet, here we are ham-fisted in the game of love – the most basic of human instincts. Evolution, they call it.

You Only Live Once!

3 am in the midnight, am Skyping with a long lost friend of mine who left the country years ago to the ‘Land of milk and Honey’ (USA) to pursue her grand dreams at Stanford University. She spends a long time telling me about how much has changed in such a short time. Her perspective of life; her priorities, her desires, her pursuits and generally her dreams. It’s all giggles and jokes until she poses the question,

‘What should I expect back home Danstan?’

This question was timely. It came just as I sipped the last drop of my coffee. I felt it warm my tongue and tingle all my test buds. Engulfed with the depth of the question, the coffee sloughed down my gullet gently warming my intestines. By the time it reached my stomach, I felt a burning sensation that made me feel void and terrible. It’s when it dawned to me, indeed, even more has changed back home.

As men we are too timid to go out, work and generate hard earned resources to give us gradual wealth. We need quick cash. A betting spree has infested the nation, thus leaving our responsibilities, future and dreams to chance, hoping that someday we’ll wake up to a jackpot, buy a mansion in the leafy suburbs, buy our dream cars and party all day and night ad finitum. Meanwhile, we take the screenshots of our paltry gains and post them to our 5000+ followers on social media. Then we purchase red, yellow, green and orange sneakers with complementary shirts and a selfie stick. Together with 16 baddies, we pull resources and hire a ride to be used to solicit campus divas and naïve high school leavers. In a nutshell, we ‘YOLO’! So dear friend, make sure you spare some dollars for our dear betting sites. But if you can’t don’t worry, you can use your fancy shoes/socks/dress/trousers as security to get instant loans.

Our ladies have a different sense of direction, thinking of nothing else except how to look good, turning up every other weekend and seeking men’s attention using their ‘Sponsors’(sugar-daddys’) money. Steady posting obscene and indecent pictures on Facebook and Instagram fishing for complements and likes! A breed of girls with nothing more but a pretty bleached face and fake bodies to lust and sleep with. Dear friend, the only qualification you need is an infinix/techno phone with 53 photo-editing Applications.

Men, what will your kids inherit? Stocks? Bonds? Trust funds? Or the 90 pairs of shoes/Gucci belts you bought?

Ladies, being popular on Facebook/Instagram is like sitting at the cool table in a cafeteria in a mental hospital!

Finally, we make triumphant entry into today’s reality; big houses, small families. More degrees, less common sense. Advanced medicine, poor health. High income, less peace of mind. High IQ, less emotions. Good knowledge, less wisdom. Number of affairs, no true love. Lot of friends in Facebook, no real physical friends. More alcohol, less water. Lots of human, less humanity. Smart devices, foolish users.

Welcome home dear friend!

Dear Mama

My mama knew if she raised a king she would never be a slave. So she was always home raising her voice against any vice that courted me, not drunk in bars raising glasses and toasting to vanity. My mama told me some actions deserve Question Marks. So when politicians incited us to kill those not from my tribe she told me ’… only a FOOL won’t STOP until he puts another being into a COMMA.’

Mama taught me that ‘…before you call it a blessing make sure you didn’t sin to get it!’ She taught me honesty as the best policy and compassion as the only definition for humanity. She raised me to be a gentleman, with enough respect to regard you and still confident enough not to let you step on me.

The woman who raised me is special, not because she is just mother, but because she has a special relationship with God. So whenever mama prays extraordinary things happen. I mean, have you seen me? I am a walking miracle, her answered prayer.

My mama was absolutely compassionate. If you slept in the couch, you will wake up in bed, well tucked in. She spat on a handkerchief to wipe your face if you hadn’t washed it well. If she ever tried to remove anything that looks like dirt from your face she’d use her saliva. At times she’d even forget and try to wipe out birth mark for she wanted you to be flawless. She had special cups and plates for visitors. There were home decorations set aside for holidays like Christmas when we all had new clothes except her. Every new born baby would have a newly woven sweater. She’d buy oversize uniform with the aim of making you use it all along school as you grew older. She had a special drawer for keeping paper bags after shopping so you would use it to carry your books to school.

Some days even Superman is just Clerk Kent, that’s why I am NEVER into those fiction tales. I live with an all-time superhero, my mum is still a superwoman.  She never went to the fancy colleges, never did linguistics, but she has a doctorate in reading my mind and has mastered the art of speaking to the heart. She has touched many, not with hands but with her magical words.

My mama loves soul music, the kind we of my generation need for soul regeneration. It hurts a man to see his mother cry, it literally rips you off your humanity. I have seen my mum cry, and I felt my heart bleed molten acid. I have seen her struggle when odds were against her. I have seen people dismiss her and step on her. But hey mum, I have grown up to be a legend. I am making an empire, NOT just for myself, but mostly for you.

To all the mothers out there who keep trying to explain to their kiddos who God is, how they were born, why her sister is different and why Teacher Mary has two bumps in her chest, I celebrate you.

To all mothers out there whose backs alternate between ferrying firewood to cook for their family and carrying their babies. I celebrate you

Hail mothers who go fetching water at the pond with Toto on their backs, who toil in the smoke filled kitchens, who cover their kids in pieces from old blankets because they think Pampers is somebody’s name. I celebrate you.

Hail Women who struggle to create a family where the odds are pitted against her. Who cover the sofa sets in kitambaas otherwise meant for sweaters just so as to build a home. I celebrate you.

Hail single mums, Earth has not seen ladies as selfless as you. How you give up your lives, for that of your offspring. I celebrate you.

I raise my two hands (and both feet) to young and immature ladies who mess up and find themselves pregnant and opt to keep the babies, leaving the much preferred abortion route. You are a rare breed. How you offer to be mothers at such moments of trial is so amazing. I celebrate you.

I celebrate all mothers. Only you know how hard it is to transform a fugitive, mischievous, playful brat like me into an admirable Man Of Honor!

Man Of Honor

I drop my knees on the ground and raise a cup of porridge, making a toast for you Ketty Kakai Wanyonyi!

Happy Mothers Day!