Rude Awakening

Something different happened as I took my very ussual route to school. Right from when I stepped out of the house there was a difference in the atmosphere.  It looked like a huge disaster had happened the previous night and now disaster management was trying to clean up. In reality,the disaster had struck ages ago.
I leaned on the window of the vehicle and slowly watched the biggest hoax of the decade unfold before my eyes. To put things into perspective it’s April 2017 and in Kenya that means it’s campaign season. The time for the craziest stunts to be pulled off by aspiring political leaders. 

There were trucks on the side of the road and manual labourers busy fixing the drainage system. Blocked sewage pipes were being unclogged and pavements were being swept. Then there was the cliché stunt they pull of every five years.potholes being filled. At this rate this little county was a masterpiece of development. It’s also not hard to miss the colourful billboards no longer advertising commercial products but political figures. In all honesty I’m starting to feel like we are part of some national beauty pageant with all these carefully branding and aluring catchphrases.

We’ve all seen this act before every fifth year the country goes through peak development with so many projects under development and rising employment rates then after elections we hit a four year dry spell with the country slowly being dragged into the mud.

A passenger seated next to me made a remark on how tired he was will all this games being played.I felt a stab in my chest he had hit a sensitive spot. Citizens were basically being insulted by those they entrusted with their futures. I don’t mean to say that citizens take no fault in this situation but the leaders are to blame too. For treating us like fools like children who can be appeased with candy to forget problems.

All this damage control should have never happened in the first place. If only people opened their eyes and realised they’ve been foolish in their greed. That they spit on the hand that feeds them. Instead we have a  huge bunch of leaders who treat us like children constantly winning arguments by making faces behind our backs.

In all this gloom I left that matatu with  a smile on my face. Because another reality dawned on me. Kenyans are becoming smarter more and more people have seen the light. More children who grew up watching a failing system are coming of age and can now vote and be elected. There’s a new breed of Kenyans creeping up on this unsuspecting leaders. A lot of Kenyans asking the right questions. These are the people that give me hope that if not in this tenure then maybe in the next we will have people in power who actually stand for what the people believe in.

Woe unto those hypocritical leaders who think they will rule in this madness forever. True patriots are rising and it will be such a tragedy when their own children dissociate with them.  When they wake up one day and nobody wants to buy the fake dreams they sell. The day when they’ll realise that the true power is within the citizens they’ve so cruelly betrayed.



Blank reflections

She walked past the frame of her shower cubicle into her room. The room was still hot from the shower she had just taken and the mirrors still masked with settled steam. With her palm she wiped of part of the steam so she could see herself. She stood there for a while staring into her reflection as thoughts traced her mind. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d actually looked at herself in a mirror. All she had done is take the quick ‘does my butt look big? and do I have something in my teeth?  glance every morning before leaving the house. But not today. On this night there was something different.

She felt a sensation rise under her skin and with that she dropped her towel letting it meet the ground in a scandalous rest. Slowly she walked out of the bathroom and into her adjoining room. She could feel goosebumps rise on her skin as she moved to the cooler environment. Her mind was somewhere else…Distracted…Unbothered by the cold… Disconnected.

Finally,there she was standing in front of a full length mirror fully naked… Vulnerable and exposed. She looked into the mirror and what she saw surprised her. Her fingers weakly traced her silhouette and she found herself unable to contain the build up of intensity. She broke down into tears. She hated her reflection.

The girl in the mirror was lost. She was simply a body with no sence of identity. All she saw was an afro,a crusifix necklace,a beautiful face and tiger stripes on thick thighs. She hated that she didn’t know the girl in the mirror. She didn’t know herself. The description she’d give about herself was from external influence. Some stuff she wasn’t even sure she stood for. Her soul was crushed by the blank reflection in the mirror… 

She leaned in towards the mirror meeting her palm with that of the stranger in the other side and with a strained whisper asked ‘who are you?’

What happened to her seems to be happening more often to people today.It is ,in my opinion, the reason why so many millenials are considered rebellious. We simply wake up one day realising we don’t know who we are. We look into a mirror and the reflection is that if a stranger or in worse cases nothingness.So we go out of convention while trying to find answers.

We are brought into this world with a given identity. From gender to race and even religion. Constantly fed with information about who we are from external influences. In the end we grow up strangers to our own selves. Ignorant of our true identity.  

Since we can’t change some things like race or even ethnicity  we have to embrace such things but realise that although we are identified by them doesn’t mean they are what define us. We can’t be locked up in stereotypes of identities we’ve been given by the world. It’s time to know who you are for yourself. Follow a religion not because you were born into it but because you believe it. Wear your afro cause you want to not because it’s a trend for african women, don’t be a good wife cause you’re a woman but be one out of passion for family and if you don’t feel like family then don’t have one and be cool with that.

In my opinion the rising number of people with tattoos and piercings is a result of people trying to define their own identity.(ofcourse there’s the lot that gets tattoos on a drunken spree or as a dare that’s still okay). I think millenials are trying to create their own identity and when they find any form of answer they want to hold on to it. To brand themselves with it as a reminder of who they really are.This shows in their dressing, lifestyle,habits and actions quite radically.

I guess it’s about time we look in the mirror and ask ourselves ‘who am I?’  and make sure we can answer that question in truth. So go on do what you must but in all you do find yourself. Don’t let a stranger be your reflection.



Closing doors

‘should I leave it slightly open?’ he asked her. His hand was already on the switch. This was a routine she had never outgrown.

‘ closed or completely open please. Goodnight,’ she responded and blew him an air kiss. He caught it out it in his heart and turned the lights off.  

This ritual had kept her safe from all terrors little kids fear. The same ritual got her through the rough cramps and sour teen moments. Ofcourse she grew up and moved out and hadn’t thought about that until that fateful day.

Somewhere in her mid-twenties  after weeks of fighting her conscious she picked up her laptop and wrote an e-mail. She was tired of asking herself questions,tired of all the uncertainity exhausted by all the half closed doors in her life.

I’m no even sure how this should go. The thing  I still remember our last night together. It was quiet and even in that heat I felt cold. You didn’t hold me and I didn’t speak. You’re courtesy felt so strained and although we were on the same bed I slept alone-atleast that’s how it felt. 

So when I woke up and found you gone I wasn’t really surprised. The shock came when I reached out and you said nothing was wrong. Against my better judgement I let it be and that’s how I lost you.

So you see I’m stuck here not knowing what happened and part of me blames myself. For being too needy,being too naive,loving you so blindly. I blame myself for not seeing things were crooked earlier. I blame myself for loosing you.  What did I do that was so bad you left without a word.

It feel like ages and my mind isn’t in peace cause it’s stuck in that night when you left and didn’t completely close the door. Monsters can creep in through that space.

Where this finds you I don’t know, but know this I’m sorry for whatever it is that broke us. If you ever miss me or need me I’ll be here and I’ll still be loving you maybe even more. 

She didn’t bother re reading the mail she just sent it to all the addresses she had been given by her informant. You see her brother had left home when she was seventeen. He was her life her bestfriend and he’d just walked out of her life without warning.

Her actions afterwards might have seemed mad. She’d stalked his social media and when she could afford it she hired investigators. Her please was simple she just needed closure. The one thing that could make the sanest of us seem wild.  You see when a door isn’t really closed there’s room for monsters to lurk in. The monsters of self doubt, pity, grief,hatred and even anger. 

Without closure it’s easy to loose the best parts of ourselves. There’s nothing wrong with trying to close doors or in some situations opening them wide.After all doors were made to create a distinct barrier right?

#girl 47


It’s NOT a drill

Model:Stacy Wairimu

She sees things in flashes. Vague confusing flashes. Images of an occurrence that apparently happened but she can’t recall any part of it.  She sees herself as a third party. Like she’s watching a trailer of a series not yet released.

She sat in the examination room subconsciously responding to the nurses questions,her mind was far away. She was mostly distracted by the distinct sharp pain that was terrorising her abdomen. 

The flashes came back. She held close the few images her brain could retrieve. They were all she had. At that moment she only had three pieces of the puzzle. Such an odd retrieval ability. She could remember having that final slice of pizz…time jump and they were watching something while… having a laugh…she was waking up but her body was still asleep.

‘please come with me,’ the nurse said with a strained poker face,’ are you here with anyone?’

That question brought in a new type of pain. She felt chocked  emotionally : all the physical pain was a distant numbness. She was alone. Barely grown yet she was alone while taking such a heavy burden. The people she should be able to trust would judge her and shun her discreetly if not openly.

As she lay on, yet another, hospital equipment a new memory came up . A memory that gave her a good grip of what had happened that night. She saw herself as a stranger asleep…No blacked out…Next to his feet… all she had on was a bra and a pair of pants. She could feel that she wasn’t wearing any knickers . Right then she knew what had happened and tears streamed from her soul. She was now sure going to the hospital alone was smart.

Her mother would never understand. She would be cross and hit her with the ‘ i warned you about such things’ speech. The rest of her family would just mock her and distance themselves. Even if she was not pregnant she would still be a disgrace.

 She thought of the man she’d been with.Her had been so cold to her since that night and now she had an idea of why. Of course people would assume that he now didn’t want anything from her. They’d say he used her and went his way classic hit and run . She thought differently,he was also young as she was so maybe he was just too embarrassed about it to confront her. He could have been as confused as she was over what happened that night.  They had both been too wasted to make sober decisions.

She thought of how unforgiving life was to her.  The cruel reality  that up to this day ,with all the feminism going round ,she still couldn’t go about her sexuality in confidence.  That she couldn’t run to her mother for comfort after making such a mistake because the world would turn on her. The universe would ask her why she agreed to go out that night?why her body was so indecently attractive? why she believed in his love? Why she drank from that cup?

‘Dear do you have anyone we can call?  The doctor asked her  after explaining to her that she wasn’t pregnant but had a growth in her fallopian tube. She wanted to know if the girl had anyone to wait on her or to receive her after the procedure.

‘No I don’t. I’ll be fine’ she said. She knew she could have called her parents,or her siblings or even her friends but she thought against it. They would help her with the physical healing but her mind would still be dying and they would never help her because you see in her world you only get one chance and if an alarm went of it was definitely not a drill. 

#girl 46


Photo credits: thepotraitsguyoninstagram

Model: Stacy Wairimu

Spill it all out

Battle mode

There’s how we all plan to meet ‘the one’. It’s more often than not an act of fate  a form of star cross so intense that in that moment the world stops and all thats left is the two of you staring into each others eyes. Both your souls giving out a sigh of relief that was long overdue… Okay maybe, I’m a bit of a romantic and it doesn’t really work out that way.

I could eel myself loose control. The string holding m together was thinning out with every second.  The best image to describe what I felt is that of someone holding in a laugh. That moment in time when your body just won’t cplo-operate. Your mouth is full of air. There’s that tingling sensation coursing through your skin as your knees start to feel week. That how I felt. Basically trapped in my body seeking some form of ventilation.

This happened to me alot. I  called it the private thought syndrome. Because it’s what was going on. I’d witness something and have an opinion about it but never let it out. Well because we’ve been raised to watch our tongue. The ironic message taught to us that we should be free thinkers but be contained speakers. 

A voice in me nudged me,tempted me ,dared me to let go… It was the perfect prick and I burst out with words and emotions and all my private thoughts leaving my body in victorious glory. It was a form of freedom my soul had craved and yearned for. I felt a burden lifted from me that made me wonder why I had ever tolerated keeping to myself. I wondered how on earth I had been living my life constantly worried of people’s opinions that I never let mine out. I’d been quiet way too long.

Few months down the line the man of my dreams would tell me ‘I knew you were the one from the moment I saw you’ I would wonder what he meant and he would describe to me the day he met a human who aired their views and he would say ‘your courage drew me in like a magnet’

I’m happy I didn’t get my ‘romantic’ first meet. Happy that I found truth. That we can be free from the false courtesy of letting someone step on your shoe and you’re the one who says excuse me, the lie that it’s okay to let fear rule your life, the myth that  keeping thoughts on corruption are a taboo. 

I pride myself in the fact that the love of my life first met me giving a manager a lecture on the unprecedented bias of people in his hotel reception based on social status. 

It’s very simple…Let it out don’t hold back. know your rights, fight for what you believe in…Spill out your guts love.



It’s us now.

He walked in at five in the evening looking more tired than the previous day. He gave the room a quick scan and mumbled something incoherent before walking past them. He must have said… hi, I’ll be in the study don’t wait up …that’s what he said almost every other day so why would it be different today.
The  tension in that house had been growing for months. It had then developed into an enstrangement. At first she had tried everything to keep him close. She’d researched all methods and even tried counselling when she was convinced she was the problem. Eventually she  gave up. The war was lost. All she was doing was lining up skeletons.

She walked past the study and heard the frustrated noise from a keyboard being hit too hard. This ‘stranger’ she loved deeply had resorted to stay in that study as a fort from her. Stranger! That’s what he had become. Because they had been reduced to strangers whose only connections were a bunch of papers and genetics.

The idea of his touch brought her to tears. She longed for his touch. The type of touch that brought in comfort and sent away all doubts. Two years ago he was her bestfriend. He was the only option that really counted. When he told her she was beautiful she believed every word of it. She had put him on a throne, believing in him to a point of almost worship. She could have easily jumped of a plane if he told her she could fly.

How was it possible that the man who had made her win all the ‘my dad is better than yours’ contests was now the reason she cried herself to sleep?She was fifteen years old with a burden  she hoped he could lift of. Part of her wanted to hate him for abandoning her but she couldn’t.because she still loved him deeply. He was all she had. 

Clearly he wasn’t having dinner that night. So she packed up the food and put it in the fridge,cleared the kitchen,locked all doors, set  her alarm and jumped into bed. She thought of writing another apology letter to him. After all she was the reason why ,two years ago,the love of his life had  driven of the road to her untimely death. 

‘Mom look out!’ she had yelled. Her mother veered of the road to avoid hitting a stray dog and next thing she knew she was in a black dress watching  her mother’s body decend into a carefully dug out  rectangular hole under the ground.

A heavy form of pain rose up and she broke letting out all the pain she had held in all day in school. She cried bitterly under her blankets. So lost in her pain that she didn’t hear him come into her room (for the first time since his wife had died). He sat cautiously on  her bed and uncovered her. She was surprised by the look he had on his face. He must have been crying too but he had covered it up.

In his arms she felt safe. She knew this time her salvation was found and when he spoke his words stitched up all the wounds that had torn her soul apart.

” I’m really sorry .I took too long ; I’m here .We have to stick together cause it’s Just us now.”




Inside the  box

There’s one thing she had in common with majority of the people who attended that reunion. Her classmates and their plus ones has a certain similar strand of belief system.

“My daughter said she wants to be a giraffe when she grows up…’ Lily mentioned lightly.

“Are you serious you’re raising a unicorn brain.What did you tell her?” Somebody else asked.

“That it’s okay… That she can be anything she wants to be if she believes she can do it.” Lily responded with a laugh we all knew too well.Lily had given her daughter that response because she knew in a few years her daughters dream to become a girrafee would be replaced by a new one.

Later that night as she wore her real face after peeling of layers of contoured make up she thought of her dreams as a child. She thought of her mother’s response to them.’You can be anything you want.Dont be scared to dream‘ She thought of her response to her friends dream careers when they were six years old and how that response had changed when they were seventeen. How their childhood dreams had become the punchlines at social gatherings.

Why is it that a five year old girl who wants to be a president is praised for having a big dream but when a nineteen year old girl says it the news is received as a decorated joke? How  comes having a boyfriend who aspires to be an entrepreneur is acceptable yet the aspiring astronaut is considered code for ‘I DONT HAVE A PLAN’?

The reality is that parents are young too at some point and they have big dreams. The time travelling ambitions.  In the unfortunate cases where their dreams are not realised they become broken. They choose to settle- shift their ambitions to something ‘realistic’. When they get kids,instinctively, they try to prevent them from hurting. Crossing fingers that their kids don’t get over ambitious.

This is one of the reasons why teenagers with dreams to be artists,singers,dancers and bloggers are rarely supported. It isn’t that the parents don’t want to support them. They just don’t want them chasing a mirage.

As she looked over her two year old daughter sleeping in her crib dressed in a unicorn overall she smiled.She thought of how she’d almost fallen into that trap of loss of ambition.  How she was so close to giving up . When people had asked her to settle for what she could easily get. She imagined a life where she had settled for was was easily available. She would have never been content. She thought of how she’d been told to dream big but this statement came with a subtext of ‘DREAM INSIDE THE BOX’ she would raise her children different.

She leaned over to her little unicorn to kiss her goodnight and whispered..

“Dreams come true.Don’t be afraid to have big dreams.” 

…And she meant every word.



Undying sparks.

The two minute call she got on a Tuesday night was the  best moment of her life. She vaguely recalls the name of the caller but had resorted to calling her Joy. Joy to her was the symbol of hope. She was the answer to her prayers and a beacon of good fortune.

Picture this… You’re in a dark room and just when the darkness overwhelms you and you want to scream  a door is opened. It’s opened so wide you can see the other side and that’s where you want to go. As you start moving towards it the door is shut tight. All that’s left is the thin ray of light that seeps in from the space between the wall and the hinges. Once again you’re in darkness but this time it’s worse. Because you know where you want to go but you’re helpless in the dark.

That’s how she felt. Helpless and abit angry too. She had her dream so close yet so far beyond her reach. She had dared to dream big, dared to share her vision and the world has made her feel it’s possibility. The world has accepted her ambitions and convinced her she wasn’t insane. All that then suddenly put it away.

Joy had given her a blessing that had been wrapped up in layers of burden. She couldn’t afford the school. The thought that all her hopes would be crushed by circumstances broke her soul. She wondered if that was why so many people didn’t have ambition. Because they had tasted the distinct bitter taste of dissapointment. She wondered if maybe they had known what having a big dream meant.

Eventually thinking about the best news she’d received brought her to tears. The beautiful memory had been covered by a burden of pain. She had to pay the price of having big dreams but have a small reality. The painful reality was that she was gifted a soul with so much fire. She would fight even after her soul was all burnt out. She stuck to believing in fairytales. She  would live by the strength of the spark that created fireworks.



Perfect doesn’t exist

Nothing is truly perfect

Session 2 (the therapist) 

She thought she knew what had started her life by the bottle. If she moved back she would go to that moment when the man she devoted herself to had confessed to having an affair. He’d broken her heart and said he loved the other woman. She had kept a straight face and asked for a divorce only to cry herself to sleep after he’d left. That tragic death he received was an insult to her. He’d gotten away with breaking her heart and made her look like the villain.

She was a model human. A beautiful woman with an outstanding career and a perfect family. She had two children who were exemplary in everything they did and her favourite part was her man. The man she had fallen in love with ,crowning her success with the enviable highschool romance story. Her ambition drove her to be the best and she knew nothing less. Everything changed when he broke her heart. It was a failure she couldn’t deal with.

Have you ever thought of what a pianist would sound like playing from the bottom of the sea?  That is the only analogy that gets close to her experience. The pianist will put in all the right keys and then when she starts dropping in the sea she will loose her calm and make a few frantic moves. The audience will still be moved but few will notice the change. Soon. In an attempt to save the piece she will go wild and the result is turning completely off key. At this point the audience is aware but the pianist is not finally the pianist is tone deaf and that’s when she realises she is lost but at this point she’s at the bottom of the sea.

She believed in things going her way and not making any mistakes. That’s how she got into drinking bottles of vodka alone on her bathroom floor. The liqour comforted her. That scotch made her feel like she had courage to do it alone as she always had. So she drank and for a while she was the widow who had overcome tragedy and become an amazing mom and career woman. Then slowly she slacked and the root of all her problems came up and she knew she was lost.

You see her addiction is the equivalent of a plague to the soul. She craved for perfection. The biggest problem is; perfect doesn’t exist.



Wishing well

Can you fix me?

Session 1:

The therapist seemed kind. She walked in a sat across her and began her narration.She  started from what she thought was the begining

‘I was picking out  an outfit that would look good for a legal meeting but after a  call that lasted less than a minute I was now trying to find a funeral dress. Then the feeling came in.It was so intense I couldn’t move. I  felt as if acid was flowing through my veins. My breathing was heavy ,each breathe felt like a gasp for air and I couldn’t open my eyes because the air looked smoky. This was my slippery slope.

The thing is,  my husband had come to his mortal end. The man had met his unfortunate end one day prior to us finalising our divorce. That feeling I was having was a mixture of anger, pain,guilt and the worst was devastation. 

How was I going to tell my babies that instead of seeing their dad every weekend they wouldn’t be seeing him at all. They already blamed me for the first one.They would hate me and they were all I had. How was I going to cope with providing for them,being their dad too,being myself,working for them…

I struggled my way into the kitchen and picked the first bottle I could find. I couldn’t taste the sting of it probably because my pain was way worse. In a few minutes the feeling was gone. I found the strength to call the kids and break the news to them.

The feeling came to me more often. At that man’s funeral, on our anniversaries, when the bills came in,when my kids needed me and each time I fixed myself the same way. It was a small price to pay to keep my sanity.Eventually I got tired of getting that feeling. I had to prevent it from seeping in. I made my happy hour every hour. This was working up until it wasn’t.

The thing is being an addict is in a way like making wishes in a well. You keep throwing coins in and when that doesn’t seem enough you start throwing in notes. Eventually you realise the wishes are not coming true and instead of stopping with the wishes you feel the need to make more sacrifices. You offer the biggest sacrifice- yourself. Once inside the well you’re overwhelmed,for a while you have your fix until finally you realise you’ve been drowning.

I threw myself in the well and my life was great. I was making such progress. I could even sustain a couple of dates. I had found a system to fool everyone at work, my family, my kids and eventually myself.

I almost missed my son’s highschool graduation after passing out in my closet I knew I was drowning.Jack and Henny were not the ideal bestfriends anymore so I took my kids to their aunt’s house and drove up here. Can you fix me?

#Girl 40