Brothers and Sisters

Who is a brother or a sister? This is how far my frustrations have taken me. For close to one year now I have been asking myself who is worth calling a brother or a sister. I yet don’t know. My dictionary defines a brother as “a boy or man who has one or both of the same parents as you. : a man who is from the same group or country as you. : a male member of a religious group.” So is a sister.

Time and again I find myself disagreeing with some ideologies and gospel truths that people live by. at times I come across people who have the same stand as I while in most cases I look weird and less informed. Its just a matter of time that these very people end up agreeing with me. I often hear they say, you were right, if only I had followed your advice. I am not perfect but at least am talented enough to detect good and bad.

So, in the course of asking myself who a brother or a sister is, I made decisions. I quit groups and cut relations. Not that such steps were meant to give me answers, but I had to do that as proof that my research was eventually going to do me good. It has done me worse than denying me a chance to develop my career. Just a click of that “delete and exit” button and my life was held ransom. Yes, imprisoned by the powers and authorities of this world. By the privileges that come with holding positions and knowing people. By the very people that call themselves brothers and sisters but in the real sense are haters and traitors.

I need not talk more. It hurts. It pains to know that the very people that have been holding you dear are the very ones that are holding you hostage. They will dine and dance with you in parties yet hold midnight meetings to lay schemes on how to destroy you. They will pretend to wish you well and promise to fight for you yet fight against you. They are a true reflection of the Delilah of the bible. The very people who would deny Jesus three times without winking. The people the bible warns us against trusting. “Jeremiah 12:6 Your relatives, members of your own family– even they have betrayed you; they have raised a loud cry against you. Do not trust them, though they speak well of you.”

Yet they keep betraying us every second they live, time and again we are called upon to close our eyes and ears against their says. We are told to love them. I consider them enemies. Sheep in the clothing of a wolf. Its hard to forgive them. Yes, my bible tells me to but the human being in me does not allow that easily. That time when Luke 6: 27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,” makes no sense at all. The pain gets stronger each day you meet them and they give you that hypocritical smile and “cold” hug. Yes, they have perfected their art of hypocrisy that no one wants to believe they are the forces behind your failure and stagnation in life. Devils in the making of angels.

In the midst of this I remain hopeful. The hope that one day vengeance will be upon them. I cry hard knowing that my blood will be counted upon their heads. Yes, they feel happy and great that they have denied a helpless soul a chance they so yearned for in life. An opportunity that lies bare and void. They walk feeling great. Greatness likened to that of the angel of death. Their cases are no different from murderers; they too destroy lives and brains. They are the reason souls gradually die until the body gets weary and rests. They are killers.

“Take heed, you senseless ones among the people; you fools, when will you become wise? Does He who implanted the ear not hear? Does He who formed the eye not see? Does He who disciplines nations not punish? Does He who teaches man lack knowledge?” I rest my case.

 

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A Good Name is Better than Riches

Somehow in your walks of life you have had friends move from grass to grace, from poorest to richest, from grass thatched houses to bungalows. Miracles happen. Maybe you were part of their success story. They stuck by you when they had nothing. You shared the little you had, as little as your parents could afford to divide among the thirteen of you. It so happens that the “middle class” are more blessed with children than the rich ones. Or rather the other folks are busy chasing after money that they have little time to spend with their spouses, limiting the fruits they bear in the end.

I have always wanted to write about sticking to friends and family in richness and in poverty. Born and bred in a village, I have as story to tell of people who were once poor and now are rich. Mostly children to the old mamas I always see walking bare foot, regardless of the efforts I grew to see them put in educating their sons and daughters. True. Maybe it only happens in my village. But it’s real and happening.

“Kina obirore Okage Mbinde” A proverb from my native language that means “grow up to see what life has for you. It doesn’t necessarily hold the best things for you.” Running against the rain, I bet I was just not strong enough. At least not stronger that the wind that hurriedly carried the rain behind my back. Finally the rain drops were on me. Beating me hard on my head and back. The 20 liters “kibuyu” on my head I had managed to balance through the hill was almost falling over. The wind was so strong.

Thunderstorm and lightning. Sounds of spirits of the dead. Images of bodies moving along with the streams that formed along the paths. Thoughts of the village mad man emerging from the now deserted houses surrounded by ready to be harvested maize. The sight of the coffin of a neighbor we had recently buried. One who was thought of as a night runner? The belief that such people always chase kids who are sent to the streams and decide to play, leaving their mamas waiting for water to make them a meal before their drunken father comes home shouting. Yes, he calls out from a distance for all to scatter. When unlucky he gets home and finds doors open at the sight of no living thing. Usually his food is placed near the door as a destructor so he cannot notice the legs popping from under the bed. The life of the men you will meet in Nairobi, move in with, get up to three kids but never hear of their rural homes. They are now rich with bad names.

I was brought back to my senses when I was handed a cup of African porridge. Sour but sweet. That porridge made from a concoction that is usually well kept besides the fire place in a kimbo container that was once white but has since evolved through brown, green and now black. Her hands were shaking. Not because she is of age but because of the thoughts that cross her mind from time to time. Thoughts of the fruits of her labor that she never lived to see. Thoughts of sons and daughters she worked hard for but whom she has never lived to see. She sobs and mourns her only son whom she hears is lost in a town whose name she can no longer pronounce well. Nyorobi, that’s all she can manage to say.

I had come to shelter my head from the heavy rain drops. My clothes had now dried up and were smelling smoke. But my head was full of questions. I was a witness. Though young, I remember seeing her walk from home to home looking for kibarua so she could educate her only son. I could hear her say he was her only hope and she was ready to do all within her powers to get him educated. Now he lives in a bungalow in Nairobi as she sticks to a corner of her leaking grass thatched house to protect her from the heavy rains. She keeps waking up through the night to dry up the pools of water, a result of her leaking roof. Fear lives with her. People laugh at her through the openings of her roof. They throw stones at her and mock her. They at times come down to her sleeping body and pull her nose. She dreams from time to time.

Simon was that good example in our village. Time and again I could hear my dad tell us, why can’t you be as good as Simon? I always laughed. I never saw anything good in him, but he was good. I always thought it’s his misfortunes in life that led him into being good. I was right. He is the kind of man that could be found along the river banks looking for firewood, get to look for vegetables, rush from school to go to the posho mill. As young as I was I used to think he needed to get over that. Maybe I was used to bad boys from brothers. They could never do such things. Even the chores that were meant for them like grazing cows, it used to be a struggle. Simon never hanged around girls. Not even when we went for swimming at the river, the days we were lucky to get home from school and find all doors locked. He could then run to our homes and tell our mamas of where he had seen us and what we were doing. He behaved more of a woman than a man. But he was still good. Good to the old folks. Good to the parents who valued softness and obedience.

A decade later Simon becomes rich but loses his good name. He never shows up in the village. The furthest he goes is the now Kisii County capital city. I have run into him at least twice, which is when he is not smart enough to camouflage. At one time I met him as a fiancée to a friend. This time he had just landed from UK and he needed someone to hang around with before he could go back. His parents were dead. He had no home. He was living in a first class hotel. His sister, the only sister that was sacrificed for him to get educated, now married in a poorer family and with eight kids is also dead. She still lives but remains dead in the mind of Simon. I was also a stranger. He sought to know my name and where I came from. He even offered me one of his male friends for company. I wanted to cry.

The next time he was that investor living in USA. Men in diaspora. This time it was an office situation and I was supposed to guest attend him. I gave him the same treatment. I sought to know who he is, where he comes from and how his life was. I asked him the schools he attended and made a comment “your parents must have been rich to have given you such a good life.” To my surprise, he sheepishly smiled and gave me a head nod. I wanted to kick him with my phone. He left.

Of what good is it for him to live a lavish life while his mother, the woman that bore the pain for him to live remains suffering? Simon knows. He has no friends. He is the bad example in the village. I remember recently mama telling me, when you get richer my daughter, please don’t be like Simon. At least your village may be having a Simon, don’t be like him. I rather you keep your good name and let the riches be. If money was to taint my good name, I rather remain poor as I am and keep my name. Proverbs 22:1 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.

That’s How I choose to Remember You

I recently received a call from a friend we have not met in years, close to 10 years now. It was unexpected. I had almost forgotten about her completely, it took me time to remember her name. 10 years without communicating means we were seasonal friends. We became friends because we met and though we liked each other, be it character, looks, what we could do together and any other thing that mattered to both of us. We sure were tight.

Her call took me to a diary I had received as a gift from some guy who had also though was in love with me. I was 13, too young to be loved? Amidst not understanding why he had bought it for me on my 13th birthday, I treasured it. I kept all the notes people who crossed my life and though loved me wrote to me in this diary. All the high school girl “love” notes have been well kept in this diary. I still treasure it. From a distance his image occasionally crosses my mind. But I remember his voice very well. it was a deep alto voice. I love singing and I always thought I could one day do a “colabo” with him. That’s how far my young mind could take me. I do sing, he sung for me on my 14th birthday, a form one, over the phone. That telephone booth with a 5 shillings coin hanged up somewhere that could lie to the poor thing.

Days have since turned to months and years. I have not seen his face nor heard his voice. I link him to this friend that called because I shared his story with her. She seemed to like him. I painted him as good. I was right from primary school, full of idioms and figurative language. Had I met him before my KCPE I could have somehow fixed him in one of the compositions I wrote. I did that in my high school and my English teacher summoned me. It made little sense why she was concerned but I always had my way out. I woke up every morning to read stories, it saved me. My defense was, “madam I read that in some novel I am currently reading.”

Going through my diary was only meant to remind me her name. At least am good enough to keep memories of people who touched my life, whether positive or negative. So when am dead and gone don’t lie to my family if you were never good to me. They will catch up with you when they get to read my diaries and daily journals that I adopted when in college. Beware. She had a good record. One thing touched me about her. She once, literally wiped my tears with her handkerchief (whether it was used or unused didn’t matter at that time). I can’t tell what its state was ten years down the line.

11th of February 2004 is a day I never want to remember. I lost someone dear. May his soul rest in peace. “I just want to die. I see no sense in life again. God be kind to me and take away my soul” reads the first line of the note attached to this date. I sure wanted to die. Life never made sense to me anymore. But I moved on. 28th December 2004. She wiped my tears in some field outside a SDA church in a village in Kisii County. I was attending my cousin’s wedding when my KCPE results were out. I had passed. I was not happy. I cried. I remembered a man that had mentored my life but was not there to celebrate with me. She was an angel. She made me feel good, talking to me kindly though with little understanding of what I was going through.

Things happened and we part ways. I never had a phone by then but I was good enough to cram my mummy’s number which I had shared with her. That’s how she managed to get me. 10 years later she still echoes the same words she told me that day. She called to know what happened to my “boyfriend”. She wanted to know if I gave up on my education and got married (I once told her I was thinking of that, lolest. I was that naïve). I felt I had done her injustice. All she had for me that day was her Postal Address. I had written to her so many times in my high school days without response. It belonged to her former primary school. That’s all she had to give me that day. She knew she could soon leave to her parents. She had been staying with her aunt I our neighborhood.

Remembering or forgetting people you have met in your life is a choice. I had chosen to forget her. Remembering her and never finding her was more hurting. Every 11th day of February I read that diary but I never want to see her page. But now that she has resurfaced it’s my favorite. Her words in there are full of innocence. They touched a life. I also remember you. That day you sang to me, screamed at me, hugged me and I felt it, laughed at me. I remember you for all the good and bad things you ever did to me. Your name is written somewhere. Not in my heart. In my diaries and journals.

 

 

 

Dear Service Providers

Now this is where my disappointment with service providers has reached. I did a draft post on this in January; a time when my world seemed to have crumbled. This was a time I was torn between worlds that were so cruel to me. I could not tell good and bad apart, I could not tell love and hatred apart and further worse I was unable to tell what I wanted and from who. Right. Am so sure I am not ready to explore this further, but at least now I know what I want, from who, when and where but I just don’t know what came over the service providers have had to meet in the recent past.

To Whom It May Concern.

Dear Sir/Madam,

I write to you because I am convinced you chose to be where you are. I write to you because I know its your responsibility to treat me well. I write to you because I want your services and you have no option but to serve me. I write to you because I know I will one day come back again, and the last thing I want is a repeat of the bad treatment i received the last time i visited you. I write to you because I feel you may not be aware of the many clients you’ve lost in the past. I write to you because I feel you need to fire that secretary in your office and hire my grandmother. Yeah, you need to hire my grandmother who knows little English with which she will not harass your customers sending them away one after another. She also has no back to support those seventeen inch heels that give your dwarf secretary an American height  with which she swings her body left, right centre as she keeps us waiting to be served.I also want you to fire that gate man and hook up with uhuruto for an automated gate opener.

Its that fateful Saturday  I want to talk about. That Saturday when Safaricom decided they want to do away with postpaid services. For as long as I can remember I wanted to shift to this service. My decision was informed of the many instances I have had to dig deep into my handbag for coins to scratch my credit cards. In college life was so good. It was so good probably because I used to get all my good from one shop. The shopkeeper was my friend and he had learnt to scratch these cards for me; probably saving me from the “cancer” that comes with the coating of the credit cards.But here I was led into a world where none cares about you. A world where people have attitudes over everything they come across. A world where requesting a shop girl, yeah, a shop girl to scratch your credit card means yopu will leave the shop with your money. Story for another day.

So, amidst the rush to catch up with time, it was 1:30 and the Safaricom shop could be closed in 30 minutes. I needed to walk there as fast and maybe have to deal with a few boda bodas on my way. I walk into an ATM in town, a KCB ATM where I needed to get money to pay to Safaricom. Whatever happens on any usual day when one is not in a hurry happens and my ATM is “Swallowed”. The bank was still on and this gave me hope of getting helped in time. Little did I know.The man at the door thought I needed to leave the bank to be back on Monday. I was not sure I got what he said well. He then decided to shout back and demand for respect for his job. He had said it all anyway. Okay, I left.

At Safaricom. The spirit in me could not allow me fail to get what I wanted. Thanks to a good friend of mine I got money to spend in Safaricom. At the counter I got lots of explanations over what I am yet to understand. I t has been around 2 weeks. I know people pay 1000 shilings deposit for the 1000 postpaid service. I paid 2000 and was given 100 minutes out of the possible 900 on net. I wanted to know where they took the rest of my money but none of the people there was able to make me understand. Now that I have received a bill of 472 shillings for the past two weeks I am yet to understand where my 1000 bob went. I had enough struggles with my credit disappearing while on prepaid. Not again. A visit to them will do me good. Watch this space.

Two or so weeks ago I could not tell why I was in darkness in a compound where all houses had light. I switched my main switch and and off for as many times as my head thought I could solve my problem. I still didn’t get light. I called my landlord whop had no idea why that could happen. He said the electrician could look into it the next day. I was still in darkness. I decided to look at the “electrical corner” of the compound only to see a prepaid box named 17B; exactly the house I live in. Fine, I will buy the token and move on. No noise to be maid. That’s me talking to myself.

Why a KPLC token could take two hours to be processed is what I still don’t understand. I had to wait for so long, out there in the cold. Ask me why I did not wait from the house and I will tell you how desperately I needed that power back. Finally, I got it. Five days later and my power goes off again. To the best of my knowledge a token worth 500 shillings was enough to last me two weeks, if not more. Its not as if I spend all the time boiling githeri with power. I even don’t have a fridge in that house. Too busy to walk to KPLC offices, I decide to buy a 1000 token with the hope of getting things better. A whole night wait and no message. Thanks to Google I got the contact number. God forbid I wanted to abuse that lady but I had to hold my mouth. It had been 12 hours and I was still being asked to wait for 6 hours. The token generating machine was down. I waited.

Internet is the order of the day. I actually want to talk about Orange Telkom Kenya and i will not shy away. I have been staying and working in Kisii for close to a year now. I heard this same company provides internet in Kisii without fail. This was gospel truth to me until a day we in Kisii went 48 hours without internet. Reason? The fiber cable had katikad  somewhere between Kisumu and Kisii. I was sad. I remember a friend working in Telkom telling me there existed a direct link from Nairobi to Kisii via Narok. Where was this link these two days? Did it also break somewhere in Bomet? No. The link was and still is imaginary. Enough said. I am as disappointed in Orange Telkom Kenya as a friend of mine was when she had bought a modem from them that failed her terribly. Cheap is expensive.

This is not all that has happened to me and many of us. But I picked up on these because they are the last institutions I expect a client to complain about. I know you have been treated weirdly by those secretaries and gate men at government offices. I know you have so much to complain about Tuskys and the looks those men and women working there give you when you ask where a specific item is. They always expect you to know the arrangement. I have also not talked about hoteliers and how those waiters have perfected the art of keeping clients waiting for as long as they can bear. Leave alone how mama and baba mboga at the market will hurl insults at you because you thought their tomatoes were not as good as the next stall. Its Okay 

Enough said. Its only fair if service providers decided to embrace quality. Its services in exchange of money. They are not for free. Up your game or down your business. 

 

 ImagePhoto of teachers queuing for services outside Mwalimu Sacco in Kisii.

Photography courtesy of GusiiOnline.co.ke

I Just Started Caring

Time and again I listen to myself scream and shout of how far I don’t give a damn, how much I don’t care and how I will do this and that regardless of what people will think or say. Its a lie. I am one person who cares much about what I do. Yeah, I care because I know I have a reputation to protect, I care because I have a sober mind that knows what it wants. I care because my daddy says a good name is better than riches. I care what I do or say for a million other reasons that I may not exhaust here.

As much am trying to avoid what motivated this post but seems I can’t. My life seems to be taking another turn. Probably not as concerns what just crossed your mind. Well, am beginning to fall in love with politics. And here I just said out; loud and clear. For the few years I have lived I had blocked my heart, mind and soul from ever involving them in politics. To me, it was a bad idea to even think of politics, leave alone “wasting” my precious time in the long queues in the name of voting. Evident to this are the many years I was by passed by the voting process back in Moi. I always dismissed anyone who ever tried suggesting to me that voting was a right I was denying myself. I didn’t care anyway.

And now here I am. For the past two months I have had a series of dreams about politics. It freaks me a lot but I have to think further. In a dream I saw myself in a podium, addressing a multitude of people about a politician who purportedly was my husband. I did not go back to sleep again. I was scared. I was shaking. This scared the hell out of me, I could not and still do not understand how this can be possible. I have no record of loving politicians. So the not caring Lilian decides its just a dream and moves on.

Two days later the state worsened and I thought I could not take it in anymore. Now it was I being introduced before a multitude of men and women. It was not so clear to me where, why and when but all I know is I was the center of focus for some politics I am yet to understand. I literally laughed at myself when I woke up. I felt stupid, confused and what have you. I still did not care; it was just a dream anyway.

Princess Lilian Bonareri Yesterday Strategic planning for project 2017 — feeling wonderful.” Seated at home all alone, this is all I had in my mind to offer the thousands of people who get to see my facebook updates yesterday. How I got to this is still a mystery to me. I had even forgotten about it until a friend posted some comment over the same. I didn’t know what to say back. Of course the spirit is within so I had to argue myself away from politics “……….so many other things to think about besides politics.” I knew I was not being true to myself.

For a better part of today I spent time thinking of these dreams. I even remember quoting to a friend that I don’t wanna be associated with politics then I start minding how I walk, where and with who. She told me I was being stupid and I chose to ignore her. Seems like politics is coming my way and I may not manage avoiding this. Good. I accept and move on. So, from now henceforth I rather start caring about so much.

After giving it much thought and Google time, I decided I am fit to do politics. Though I am not fully convinced about this, at least am sure I can stomach any association with politics; something I could not do a day ago. So, whether I as an individual, politics in the form of a husband, mother, brother or child, I know I can handle it.

I will care whom I talk to and about what. I will watch my words within and without my house. I will care what I look at and how I do so. I will care what i put on to where and with whom. I will care how I treat strangers and old folks. I will care how many people I greet in a day and how I do it. I MUST care how good I am in my native language. I have started caring about my ability to do politics. I will always care who I am and who people say I am. I will care about my people. I will care about my politician.

So the next time you see me on a truck; just let me be. With love, Ms/Mrs Politician

You are just not my type

“Whichever the case, there is need for me to pass across this message. We need money. We need to expand and become international. We must be rich so we can get more ladies like her” Immediately he said these words I knew something was not right. I looked up and saw two men seated next to me. I can’t just tell for how long they had been sitting there. I was already bored even before they came in. Then I decided I was not going to listen anymore. Thanks to the trends, my now old smartphone came in handy for me. You can then be sure I was all lost on WhatsApp, doing swaps across twitter and Facebook just to ensure I missed every word he was uttering at the moment. Yes, I do that every time I know my contribution to a talk could be worse than ignoring it. I do it all the time I feel my peace is more important than pleasing somebody.

Here is a Friday night that I decide I want to let someone have the better part of my evening, not because I really wanted to but maybe because he felt he really had to. At times I play soft and let them have their way, for as long as it has no negatives to leave on me. My elderly friend whom I believe has much experience than I do made me believe in this, and surprisingly I am now on it, practicing and living it.

So here we go with an averagely grown up young man who thinks can be a suitor to this lady he once met in town and probably knows little about. It has been six months now since he started making requests for a cup of coffee, some lunch out of town and finally dinner in town (Exactly what I had been waiting for all along). I don’t meet strangers out of town. Yes, before I get to know how you behave when I tease your ego or when someone pisses you off on call you still are a stranger to me. So now you know why I never accept your offers? Make it in town for the first so many times till I get to know who you really are.

Nice that he pulled the chair for me, though he seems to have forgotten to open the car door for me to get it. He got away with it anyway, I don’t like it. I thought to myself that my evening was going to be that perfect date that I once read in a book I had borrowed and never got to finish, a romance book I have been looking for the rest of my life in vain. Seated across the table, I was anxious to listen to him. I needed to hear more of his tales. He seemed unstable; “maybe that’s his swag” some voice just crosses over my mind all the time I want to doubt his ability. Yeah, that powerful and essential ability that I can say most men lack, the ability to sustain a meaningful conversation with a lady you just met for a minute.

My hands just reached my handbag and out came my old smartphone. I could not help but do it. I was already bored and wanted to leave. I didn’t want to sit there anymore. I was tired and fed up of the whole thing. I didn’t understand why we were now four on that table. I still cannot recall at what point the whole thing turned into a business meeting. The next thing I saw were receipts and some junk of papers on the table, some awaiting some signatures while others were some old notes that were probably the central focus of the three business partners. I am not one of them. I will never be one of them. I don’t want to be one of them.

There I was, pissed off and mad at everything around me. I wanted to walk out and let it be, but then I decided I needed to act different. The reason I have something to share with you here. A few days ago I did an article that attracted so many reactions, some I managed to stomach while some I had to rubbish and move on. But then each instance with my brothers in town gives me something to write about. Something not too good. The man seated on the other end had pushed his way into having my time out for dinner, but here he was attending to whoever the friends were at the expense of my precious time that could have probably been spent somewhere constructive. I choose to let it go anyway.

Dinner had to be dinner no matter what. Courtesy of the “clients” I got myself a glass of juice and later some tasty food. So it was dinner, wasn’t it? By now my phone was already battery low. I kept pressing the power button; every click a wish that the poor thing could be smart enough to realize that I needed its company and probably “wake up”. Of course it let me down, and then I hated it because to me it was too dumb to let me down. All this time the “lucky” guy is not noticing how far I am bored. He kept moving in and out of the restaurant, leaving me behind with his three strangers who were not even friendly enough to let me know their names. I also didn’t, both of us to blame.

Dinner was done and I needed to be home early. Just like that. I don’t know what to call it. It was a dinner of its own. I doubt if the word dinner describes it all, maybe it does because I actually ate and drank. I was then dropped home and that was it. Boring as it was, plotless as it came out, clueless as it has been described. But then here comes the big question, “why did he have to plead me into what he knew he wasn’t ready for?” Was it worth it anyway? All the same my stomach was filled and I have nothing to lose about the whole thing. But I need to know why such a decent looking man could just decide to act like a goon.

Need I say more really? Maybe to all the rest out there in town. You don’t ask a girl out then spend the whole time with friends or business partners you just met in the joint. You don’t bore a lady too much that she has to stick to her chats to be lively. You don’t spot your friend with a lady and decide you want to join them for dinner. You have to plan for every second you mean to spend with a lady for you to keep the conversation. You don’t lie to yourself, choose your ladies carefully. You need to know what ladies expect when they decide to give you a minute of their time. You need to be creative to keep a relationship.

The Loss is so Fresh Dad

I sit down to think about all manner of things. I allow my heart and head to wander, worry, laugh at and enjoy all sorts of things that I see, think about and mostly remember. Yes, I remember things that I saw ages ago and think about them. I look at things when on my errands and write about them. I get to hear so much in my day; most of which I give a second thought while some I just choose to let them be.

Today has been different. I just experienced a sudden pain in my heart that I can’t avoid but talk about. A pain that came in me at the most wrong time. A time that am in a setting where I can not let my tears fall freely. My heart, body, mind and soul are all disturbed. My heart is so shaky and unstable. To me it seems that life just ceased to make sense to me. I remembered my dear dad with lots of love and feelings.

Maybe my current setting reminded me of the same. Maybe not. But all the same my heart is wearied. Yes I can afford a smile just to let them think I am okay. But ideally I need a private place where I can release my feelings. I want to cry. I want to scream. I want to do anything that can take away this pain.

None of you will understand why I am still attached to a man that part with me 10 years ago. Yeah, you can not understand my pain. You also may have the same story as mine, but trust me you still can’t relate to my story.

One thing have I always sought to know. One thing I have kept asking God. Why me? Was I meant to be the last to speak to him before he suddenly left me? Did he have to leave me all alone after such an attachment with him?

I lived with him during his last days with us. He showed me more love that he had ever in my life. He always treated me as a kid. I am his duplicate and to date all that knew him can attest to that. He had a sincere kind of touch with me. He was my best. He was my only one. My friend, my mentor, my daddy, my teacher, my pastor, my company, my source, my everything. He is all that I needed to live. All that I needed to get whatever I wanted. All that I needed to be happy. All that I needed to live another day.

And now that you are gone. What else do I have to live for? Is there need to love? Love and let my heart be attached to someone so much only for me to be hurt and heartbroken? Love passionately and spend 10 years mourning a soul that will never come back to me?

Dad. Wherever you are. Whatever you are doing. Whichever the reason that made you leave me behind. I still regard you as my everything. I still remember you and cry for you. I STILL LOVE YOU.

(Hope one day I will get enough grace to write something substantial in appreciation of the late Samuel Maisiba Makori and how much he and Mrs. Angeline Maisiba shaped my life. Mummy, in the midst of this pain and sorrow, My love falls for you. I love you so much)

A Letter to Men

I am not fond of doing straight talks. But I am forced to do this. Some people just pushed me so hard to the wall into doing this. The reason I blog. The reason I think. The reason I write. Not to say that I am out to write about people, but to be sincere and let you know that at times the things you do around me form part of my thoughts which in some day will be translated into words. Am not saying you stop behaving yourselves.

I am not here to tell you to act in a manner that will please me. Hell No! Not even my bible advocates for that. “It is dangerous to be concerned with what others think of you.” (Proverbs 29:25). I am one woman who believes what other people think about me is not my business.  “I only seek to please Him who sent me.”  (John 5:30). But all the same I am concerned with how you talk to me, relate with me, and most importantly how you request for anything from me. It has something to do with ME and it worries me a lot. Not only me, but all women that think like I do.

Now,

Dear men,

I write to you concerning your level of attraction towards me. I write to you to remind you that it’s at all no crime for you to fall in love with me. As many as may wish can keep admiring me and sending those weird messages, I forgive you for that. In any case any woman wants to be admired. Any woman wants all necks breaking when she moves around. It gives an assurance of beauty and exemplary looks.

I write to you in connection to your choice of words and diction. I need not remind you that you are a man or that I am a woman, full of expectations from any sane man that thinks are worth relating with me. Not to scare you away or set the standards so high, but just to set the bars as good as me. The more reason you almost break your necks. The more reason you take a second glance at me. That you do this already sets you in a race, puts you in a competition and tells you there is need for a win.

Most importantly I write to you to remind you that women are not second class beings. It’s true that we came after you were created, but we only came to you as a gift from God. With all that already existed God looked into your eyes and noticed so much dissatisfaction and loneliness. Not your large and huge cars, not your flowing money accounts, not herds of cows, not large and fancy buildings, not the good looking you, but just company and companionship that prompted God into giving you such a wonderful gift.

How then do you want to behave to us as though you are the gifts? Not yesterday, not today, not tomorrow. You in my life is not a gift but I am your gift, for better and for worse. That you can afford a good meal in a prestigious hotel for me doesn’t make you a gift in my life. A plate of nicely fried sukuma would still take away the hunger thoughts and put a smile on my face. It’s the very fact that you actually deem me worth your time and resources that matters; the more reason it has to stem from your heart and not your pocket.

Whether you love me for who I am or what you have seen, remember the initial fact that I am a woman, older or younger than you are.  It matters so much, it determines how you are supposed to view and treat me, not how you want to. I have always seen brothers in all men that I come across, do the same before you get yourself frustrated. Step by step we go it. Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.”(1Timothy 5:1-2)

I write to you to let you know that I am aware of what happened at the Garden of Eden. Spare me the reminder. In any case you are reminding me of how you men have decided to ignore your roles, fail the women in your lives miserably then at the top of your voices scream and yell on how they took after Eve. Tell me where Adam was when he was supposed to protect Eve from the serpent. Tell me why he left his companion to wander alone into the deep of the garden. Tell me why he did not take the walk with her. Tell me with whose company he was left while the companion was having a good time with the serpent. Tell me where you will be when your woman will be having a good time with the garden boy.

Dear men, get it right that there is no single day we will exchange roles with you. Let the manhood in you so be reflected in your words and actions that all ladies who happen to speak to you may know that you can make a husband. You don’t have to narrate to me how good you are at anything. You don’t have to buy my attention and love if you think you are the man that God intended in Adam. You don’t have to shy off from who you are to win my love. If it’s a No today it will forever be a No despite what. Take that and move on. Probably your Eve is somewhere patiently waiting for you while you have insisted on wasting time with cows and monkeys somewhere in the garden. God is waiting for you to sleep so He can get one of your ribs and get your eve ready. I am just not yours.

Finally “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favor of Jehovah.” (Proverbs 18:22). How else do you want me to tell you that marrying a woman is not a favor you are doing her? Are you not doing us injustice by even thinking so? That I have to leave my father’s house for yours, leave my parents and get enjoined with yours, leave all the good and bad things I have grown up with just for you, then you dare think you are doing me a favor? Come on! But this gives me an answer to why married men are still on the hunt for young girls that should be their daughters. They have not taken time to value the gifts and good things that they already have. They have just not realized the favor they have found.

Enough said. If God thought you better as a man than a woman, then be that man.

 

Am Only Human

I am someone’s child, born of a woman. Like any other person I breastfed.  I was not born an adult; I was a child, way back when I didn’t even know who I really was. Then when not most people could tell if I was a he or a she; kids look alike despite gender. I once never used to reason or think before doing something. I did all the dirty things kids do; I ate all the bad things a kid eats. Like any other mother my mummy had to teach me what to eat and what not to, what to say and what not to. She had to teach me how to say words, how to make steps and how to behave when visitors are around. I went through the child development stages, I experienced maturity gradually; I am only human.

Human beings don’t do everything to perfection. Right, no human being is good enough to do all things. I sing well; I have a good voice that sings anything that is a song but I am not a good story teller. I don’t know how to do straight talks, I don’t know how to explain occurrences but I will give it a try today.

It was a chilly morning and as usual I woke up and left for work. Yes, I said I left home for work. Things were not so good; at least the mood could tell. I am one person who has learnt to smile at anything, though the hard way. All was well until something happened and I could not contain my anger. Of course I do not get angry at anything, not even a rumor going round that Lilian did this and that at such and such a time. Human beings are meant to do things and that is what I am. It bothers me the least.

The strong I received some unpleasing news at almost the close of the day after having had quite a busy day. Bad news is bad no matter who delivers it and how it is done; but I wish the informant did it in another way. Maybe I could have not brushed shoulders with the people I had to deal with at that moment. Maybe I could have not remembered a story I read 10 years ago. Yeah, my mind took me ten years back when I was half a child and half an adult. Then when nothing mattered to me but the books I had to read and the strokes I had to receive just because I could not tell revolution and rotation apart. Am not sure I currently do.

I once read a story in The Winner and other Stories which I often than not find myself quoting when I feel injustice around me. “Do You Know Anybody?” The deep and intelligent interpretation and analysis a one Mr. Soku gave this story, then as my English teacher is still so fresh in my mind. Despite the many theories I have had to memorize and the many things I have had to think about, I cannot dare forget what this story entailed. All summed up in the title “Do You Know Anybody?”

On this fateful day I had to ask myself if I really knew anybody. I was and am still not sure if I really do, but my heart tells me I need not know anybody to get where I want to. At that point in time I knew my sister. Yes, she is the only person around me I seemed to know. Of course all faces looked familiar and all voices were conversant to my ears. But still I only knew one person, not anybody but somebody. She held my hand and walked me home. She talked to me in such a way that I felt I really knew her. I needed to know somebody at this point in time.

I am only human. I love. I hate. I like. I dislike. I sing, shout, scream, pray, play, laugh and cry. I scream and shout when anger overwhelms me. I have dos and don’ts. I have boundaries. I have friends and enemies. I feel annoyed. I get angry when wronged, I feel pain when hurt, I seek to understand things that concern me when am unable to comprehend. I take charge of my life so well. I control what I do and what I don’t. I question everybody I think can help me unravel some hidden things. I respect authorities but I don’t fear human beings. I grumble and chant on broad daylight. You wrong me and I tell it to you on your face. I do not keep grudges, unless I really have to help me avoid you. I just don’t keep anybody as a friend; you must be valuable to me. I do all things that a normal human being does.

For as long as we are still on earth human beings are allowed to make mistakes and correct them later. I am no exception to this right. All Kenyans are allowed to express themselves, exactly what I do when I have to. Questioning is my way of expressing my anger and dissatisfaction. Lucky enough I argue out issues when I have facts. I will not shut my mouth until I understand why. I will not fear hurting people or being disliked and stay in the dark over issues I rightfully need to understand. That is not me. That is Lilian for you; take it or leave it.

Recently I said this and I repeat in case you missed it. “There is power, so much power between a pencil graphite and a paper; whatever I don’t do I speak about, whatever I don’t speak about I write about.” This still makes me human. Allow me do all things that normal human beings do. Let me live the life that other beings live without expecting so much from me. I make mistakes just like you. I miss out on the perfection mark just like you do. I get angry and complain less than you do. Let me be human. Let me love. Let me hate. Let me cry. Let me laugh.  You need not stay close to me if you feel the I that you have to encounter is not what you want. I allow you to walk away and let me be. I am not planning to change so I can please you. No, not any time soon.

I am only human.

 

You are not different. You are not smarter.

“So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them.” Time and again I ask myself what this phrase means. I am not here to challenge what the word says but I must admit I am still struggling to understand this fact. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” So I will not question further why in all my human intelligence I keep asking myself how true this phrase is. All people were created in the image and likeness of God; people are not different.

Long before I decided to understand the diversity in humankind; as concerns character and behavior, I always thought some people are just weird. Right, some people are indeed weird but do I have to say. I never took my time to know why someone as mature as they seem to me could choose to be toddlers in action. Time and again I come across people with characters I do not comprehend. Then I decided I want to know why weird people exist and if indeed they are weird.

I remember well complaining to my friend some time back why someone could decide to say hallo to me today, hug me like we’ve not met in 20 years then pass by me like wind the next day, leaving the poor me wondering if she/he is the one I really saw. Such things happened to me more than I expected in campus, church, town and any other place I came across these unusual beings. Not once did I blame myself for having not started it off, but I am right they treated me and other people badly. Then there are these lot that is all over you “sweethearting, heartbeating, babying, darlinging and loveing” you all the way. They will scream your name from a distance and even run towards you as though your foot steps are not quick enough to catch up with their desire to fall on you like thunder. They will even hurt your neck trying to move you left right center in the name of a hearty hug. Spare me the pain. Then as soon as they are off your neck they are all over cursing you and your character. “Haka kasichana kanajifanyanga mayai sana, I could do anything to bring her down. Nkt……” How many times have you done this in a different way that you managed to justify?

Am still getting myself off the shock I had when a lady friend of mine uttered these words without blinking an eye. Then I started wondering why she had wasted my time standing by the road waiting for her as she had a chit chat with her lady friend, who to me seemed like everything she needed to breathe. I could not understand why. This is the same lady they were going out with the same night. She is the same lady who suggested to her the point of meeting for dinner before they could head to their “joint.” Its the same lady she had been talking about and how generous she was to her. I neither couldn’t understand why nor could I gather the guts to ask her. What crossed my mind is the phrase she was about to use about me the next minute. Probably telling another person she wonders why I keep following her here and there, regardless of the fact that she took so much of her time pleading me to join her for dinner. I had to find my way out. And indeed I did. Is this better than what she had said earlier?

I get into a joint in town and someone decides I will not have my good time. The man on the next table shamelessly stares at me from head to toe. I turn to my sister and request we shift tables. Our efforts are rendered unsuccessful since all tables are filled up. Full of men and women who also seem weird. Am not the patient type who will hope things will be okay with time. I opt to face another direction, away from the weird man who keeps staring. Then I receive a call from a strange person (Thanks to Truecaller am able to make a guess who the caller is). This is a friend who had requested to see me earlier in the day but could not since my day was already planned for. Its a Sunday afternoon and I had nothing much to do but have some good time with my sister in town. I was so busy doing this and was not sorry about it. I decide not to pick the call. Then the dear friend decides to walk to my table and demand to know why I had lied. A nice smile followed by a little laugh did it right for me. It was weird to him; much more than it was to me that a man could decide to fix his eyes on me.

Then here comes the people that only talk to you to their own convenience. You walk into an office and say hallo to none, look around and maybe don’t see the person you are looking for, walk up to the printer, photocopier or whatever and you are unable to operate it then you ask for my help? Hell No! You are the weird type. The worst happens when they succeed with their plans to offer themselves services. Public or private as it may be, some respect is needed for what does not belong to you, not you as a client or employee but you as a person. Enough said. Don’t tell people you are different because you are not.

So, are people weird? I will not think about this question again. I will also not try to answer it. I will just take people for who they are. I will not ask myself why they behave the way they do. So many scholars and philosophers tried to no avail. They all gave up on trying to understand why people behave the way they do. You will never understand why a decent girl will stick to a man who seems in love with another girl. You will not understand why a married woman would choose to stay in a club on the eve of a new year than be with her kids, if not her husband. You may never understand why people act the way they do. You are not different, you are not smarter.

“There are people who are generic. They make generic responses and they expect generic answers. They live inside a box and they think people who don’t fit into their box are weird. But I’ll tell you what, generic people are the weird people. They are like genetically-manipulated plants growing inside a laboratory, like indistinguishable faces, like droids. Like ignorance.” C. JoyBell C.