By Felix Ondullah,
I always felt sad when my big sisters left for school every morning. In fact I cried and my mum had to improvise a way to mitigate my ‘schooly’ issues. It felt like a hot metal being squeezed on my baby skin. Every time I was in the act, my twin sister would jump right in to showcase her untamed talent. I swear she was the ‘mama yao’ in regards to howling. If it had to come down to fancying who between us should do the wailing when the family was in distress, then ‘mama yao’ would’ve been the go-to-guy. However in this case, my mum would have chosen his only son.
Where was I?… Bingo! Nursery school came calling and that’s when I started meeting innumerable characters in this life. I vividly remember my first day of school. Oh! Sorry, ‘our’ first day at school (me and my hard -headed twin sister) because of the theatrics that followed after mommy left us hanging out to dry. My new outfit was filled with tears, you know as kids that was our forte. Things went berserk in every possible way I couldn’t have ever imagined. From my mother leaving to being separated from my twin sister(FYI she went into a difference class) to me peeing on myself. Wait, scrab that last part off. I was just messing with you, or was I? Anyway thats an anecdote for another day. As they say we die once and on all the other days we live to tell tales.
Days kept kicking in and I was receiving what I had been yearning for- going to school –and well, it didn’t go much as expected. For starters, waking up was a nightmare, a freaking burning nightmare that filled me with disgust with every freakin breaking dawn. In life there are always those sweet retentions to be hearted while there are those…Arrrrgh. Speaking of memories, I remember meeting my first school friend who reigned by the name Omondi .The guy made my nursery heydays magical. He was at the center of every single event regardless of its weight. I don’t think he would have survived in this modern age that has accommodated the likes of young Ayden (The Blog owner’s beautiful son).The boy was primitive (he’ll kill me for using this word but…) and you could tell from his cunning behavior. Omondi rose to the occasion with some kind of finesse which made him to be ‘respected’. My cool friends would call it ‘street cred’; like thats a thing. The teachers knew him. In fact everybody did. Including the seniors.If you didnt know Omondi then you probably didnt school in ‘Nursery Green’. Now just imagine building a reputation when the only thing you could say is a,e,i,o,u
The boy’s status came in handy when the need arose. There was this day I was almost given a beating by our rival nursery school neighbors. I know what you’re thinking but yeah that was also a thing back then .Back to the beating, I started calling “mum’,’mum’ even before our adversaries made their first move. Cowardly move you think right? I tell you a kid like ‘Semo’ aka goliath was not one to joke with. His reputation preceeded him but as always ‘Omosh’ as he was famously known saved my little ass. The kids in the other school were living it large .You could tell just by peeping on their school compound. They had beautiful shoes, uniform and playing equipment’s too. Just to be clear, I had nice shoes too. I had to fight with ’envious Felix’, my other cool side, all my nursery school life but he somehow always managed to remain the last Spartan standing. There was this girl I had a mad crash on and I had not even hit six years old. What a wonder. Her name was Soila- The one who made the groove ‘the groove’ when it came to the light skin ladies going to that school, that I couldn’t forget even if Nick Klaus decided to make me one of his. Wait!! Am I allowed to use ‘ladies’ to refer to nursery schools girls? To plead my case, if I was to be dragged back in time, I would have that right. Told you my ability to notice beautiful girls was on track from way back, you should have trusted me guys. Spoiler alert! She never noticed me. Do the math and apply the formula of USIU>UON based on this context.
“Hata kama shule yenyu iko na swing ntakupiga wewe, jaribu guza Felix utaona”. Oh shit. The fight pops up again. That was Omondi’s mighty threat and just like that, Semo and his ‘cool kids’ entourage took off on their heels. That was brotherly love at its best. Kids these days call it ‘bromance’,Like for real?. During the early days my mum always picked us up but that faded away with time. I was growing to be a man and I had to do some things on my own like finding my way back home while holding my twin sisters hand when the ’sasa ni saa sita’ harmony was introduced. Best time of those days I should say, 12:40 pm to be precise. The boy child struggle did not start in 2017.
A lot happened during that period of time. Some I can write but some I can just think out loud and laugh. As they say secrets are not between two or more people.
I’m seated in a 6 seater vehicle, waiting for it to fill up before it can leave for it’s final destination. We’re in town and I’m on that seat next to the window then besides me is a man, a man eating a fruit – a pawpaw. I can tell he’s enjoying it. He breaks our silence when he notices how I’m staring intently at the ‘mtura/supuu guy’ selling his delicacies.
“My dear let me tell you something, when you get a husband do not allow him to eat these things you’re looking at. He will never buy meat at home. Ever.” I break into a smile because this is someone who actually thinks I may want to get married in future and that’s funny. Not because I’m not marriage material or the fact that I’m an aspiring feminist but because he thinks that cooking is what a woman should do in marriage.
I quickly formulate a reply in my head to counter his mind set but then he comes up with yet another explanation about how in his community when a woman is married, they say that she has gone to cook. Well I’m impressed. On a normal day I’d be very eager to engage this man , a pastor, in conversation but today is not one of those days. I’m in a pensive mood and all I can manage are a few “true, aaahs and oooohs” after his statements. The guy further gives a detailed description of why he thinks mutura is sold at night(we can discuss the fillings in the colon later) and the kinds of people who mostly enjoy mutura. I used to enjoy mutura and I don’t fit that category of people who hustle at night (thieves and pick pockets) but the conversation can go on..at least to take my mind off the time I’ll get home. It’s late.
See, this pastor knows how to hold my attention throughout the journey. He even gave me a recipe on how to prepare hoof soup. The whole recipe with description from how early to go to the butchery, to the grilling of the hooves on coal to get rid of the stubborn furs to scrapping them off a little and finally slow cooking for 3 hours. He tells me the importance of this soup and it’s benefit on women who’ve just put to bed, lactating mothers and the sick. And that’s the whole point of this blog post. Workable solutions and suggestions.
In as much as I didn’t agree to most of what the main subject here said, I fell in love with his ability to identify a problem, diss it and provide a solution that could solve the problem. He told me why my man should never eat mutura because the whole family needs good nutrients, how to prepare soup and a lot of other things I haven’t written today. I met him about a week ago and I’m still thinking of the impact he left on my thought process. Like when last did I tell someone something, and gave an idea as to what they could have done better to correct it? When last did I say an article was poorly written and actually sent the writer an email criticising it and offered my advise? And I’ve been that kind of person if I can judge myself. I criticise and provide a solution. I enjoy writing to columnists and giving feedback. I love reaching out to people and leaving that uplifting corrective comment if I can.
There’s a time I watched a certain promo for a certain TV and honestly felt like the hosts would fight each other because the way they were doing it was crazy. I remember laughing so hard and sharing it on my WhatsApp stories. After the laughter died down, I sat on my own little corner and asked myself “so what after laughing and sharing Nyarinda, how have you helped.” To cut the short story short, I reached out to those concerned and opined what I had with my suggestion. The next time I watched the promos which were sent directly to my WhatsApp number, they were much more improved and better. The hosts had learned how to channel their energies into looking bubbly and cheerful without looking like they would descend fists on each other.
How do you handle criticism and offer the same? Do you do it genuinely or with the intention of hurting, mocking and/or hating those involved? Are you a person who helps in offering solutions instead of discussing it with others instead of those who could gratefully use your input? Think about that. Happy Movember!
By Felix Ondullah
It’s logically scientific that an ocean or better yet a lake is filled with various marine creatures. Some of them have initiated a way to coexist with each other while others cannot stand the sight of each other. This had really got me thinking of how they put such phenomena in play. Will Mr. Shark be like ‘Hello bro’ and without hesitation, Mr. Tilapia will embrace the greetings with a fist bump? Or maybe, just maybe – Mr. Shark will shred the poor soul to pieces (Yet to find out). Just to be clear, I am a human being not a mermaid so don’t get those ideas. Anyway, in life you meet different people who change it positively, bad news is that there are those sadists who crash the little hope you were clinging on. I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t brought to this life to have the good and bad taste that accompanies it
PS: Sauti Sol’s ‘Nerea’ is singing in the background.
My drama premiered when my mum introduced me to this bitter-sweet thing called life. In fact it started way before all thanks to my twin sister. That girl harassed me way before I saw the face of my beautiful mum – She still does. She was given the name ‘Apiyo’ which means the ‘one who came first’. I hated myself at some point in life because I was still in repudiation, I couldn’t believe that she even beat me in the birth race. How could you Apiyo? How could you? It may sound like a ruse when I say that I made a promise to myself not to ever be beaten by a girl from that day henceforth. I don’t blame you if you don’t believe me because I can’t even buy that crap. I was a few minutes old when I made that childish vow (Guess you saw what I did there…ah!). Back to the vow making, Well things didn’t turn out quite smooth like I had earlier hoped for. I swear the girls always gave me a thrashing in every aspect of life from the day I started talking/walking.
I came into this world and within a split second, I was inducted in a house full of girls. My twin sister and I jumped into the family train way after the engine had kick started. Two girls who by then six and four years old had already boarded it. They were just those beautiful small mortals that you wanted to play with. Seems like I was born with that gift of knowing the beautiful and the so called ‘not beautiful’. Coming to think of it, I am certain this typical trait was inherited .After all, my mum is quite beautiful.
It has never hit me that my parents at some point had to think of how stiff it will be to cope with two small cute babies. Yes, I was cute back then ;Nyarinda Maureen so enough with the mockery, and just to add a cherry on top, I was a mini-light skin too; on your face….hehehe! By stiff, I meant every thinkable angle ranging from Food to napkin clothes (1999 born slay queens, FYI napkins were our pampers back then) Damn! Those things really burnt my black tiny ass. Our parents should have at least tried to baby talk us on the painful magnitudes of pooping or peeing on those things. Nevertheless, my parents managed and raised us till we were old enough to start throwing those stupid insults like ‘nyanya ii’ at each other and after 4 years’ time, nursery school came calling. That’s when I really started to get the whole concept of life in blue and black. *****to be continued ******
Source: NOISY SILENCE
It’s a new month, my birthday month and we’re dangerously close to ending the year. I feel like I’ll share my own story today, a story of a dark heart and a mind that talks down at me. A mind that tells me I’m not enough, the battle I’ve fought so hard to overcome.
I got pregnant at 19 and I must admit that that was the most challenging period of my life. It was the saddest yet the happiest, the darkest but I had light at times, I’d cry all the time and I had no strength at all. My emotions were on a rollercoaster: somedays I would touch my belly and feel grateful and overwhelmed that a beautiful baby was growing in me and I would carry it to term. Somedays I’d be angry that I was expecting a baby and I’d silently wish for a miscarriage. It was so hard. Being naturally petite I expected a very tiny baby but I was excited that God gave me the most beautiful plus healthiest baby weighing 3.7kgs. That was 2014.
I was ecstatic that the baby was finally here, I felt like I had finally been relieved of a load I had mixed feelings for. I held him in my hands and shed tears of joy. But that wasn’t my state of mind a few hours later. I was back at being angry, feeling all sorts of negative feelings. The fact that I had to be taught latching the baby and every other thing didn’t make it easier. I didn’t have milk for the baby for at least 2 days. I felt sad and angry, something kept telling me that I will never make a good mom, given the first days ‘failures.’ The first time I was left alone with the baby, when the whole family had left for my late grandpa’s burial, my first attempt at bathing the baby was a disaster. He slipped out of my hands and knocked his cute head on the basin. I’ve never felt like a loser like I did on that day. I cried. A lot. After a month I told my mom that I didn’t wanna breastfeed the baby anymore. I asked her if we could get an alternative. She understood me and convinced me to nurture that little baby.
I did for 6 months!!
Something kept telling me that I will never be a good mother, that I will never take good care of my baby. And I listened to that voice.
So I’d feel guilty if I failed to play with the baby. I was extra paranoid and at some point leaving him for a few minutes I’d think that something as terrible as death would happen. I couldn’t cover him with his blankets without watching him for all the hours he slept. I had this feeling that loomed over me and made me think of the worst only.
A few years later, I think I’ve dealt with that side of my mind ruthlessly. It’s not because the baby is grown or something. I started to teach myself at about 6months post partum to speak positive things only, to think good thoughts and to free my mind of any negative thoughts. I understood my journey and where all those feelings were coming from(from the hate-love-hate relationship while pregnant) and stopped beating myself up for that.
I convinced myself that that was a trying time and I managed to pull through. I haven’t shared half of what it felt like but right now I know that it’s okay to not be okay. It was okay then for me to feel like I wouldn’t cut it as a good mom because of the perception I was viewing myself from. I learnt albeit slowly that everyone’s journey is different and what is considered good by someone else shouldn’t be my own standard or marking scheme for what should be good on my side.
I still get paranoid at times but I don’t over think it. I settle my thoughts as soon as they set in with positive ones. Now more than ever I understand the concept that you are what your mind tells you you are. To the new moms out there stay positive and don’t let paranoia rule you. Don’t take yourself on a guilt trip because you want to relax alone taking juice for an hour or two or even longer but can’t do it because you think being a great mom is about being besides your child for 24hours.
Set your own standards and live by them, take care of yourself first before taking care of your little one. The peace of mind and joy in doing that will radiate and be transmitted to everything you touch.
How are you fairing at thinking positively? How often do you think healthy? What’s your escape plan when the negative thoughts kick in?
A year is about to clock since I completed my undergraduate studies. The much I’ve been doing as I sit idle at home, I’m a stay at home mum & child, is reading more and refreshing my emails. Because I’m always waiting for the replies to the job applications I’ve sent out. Some reply while others don’t and that’s okay. I’ve come to understand.
I figured that instead of lying on the couch or bed or sitting and browsing through the internet from morning to morning I could do something to be proud of. That’s either writing or creating a body that I want & working hard to achieve it.
I started with the most obvious part, my face. Now my face is not a problematic one, it behaves so well especially if I stay away from blueband(which I love to use) and scented soaps. I’ll explain this point later on. I barely have pimples, just rashes when my skin comes to contact with it’s triggers and a lot of skin tags which I’m thinking are making my face freckled. I’ve counted at least 12 today, yes I’m not so busy. I don’t mind the skin tags because they’re my identity, they’re beautiful and if I lose them I won’t know me. The major problem about my facial skin other than it’s sensitivity is the darkening of the areas that the sun hits the most. The forehead. So I went to my Facebook and updated a status about me having two complexions.
Two things I picked out from my dearest friends were that I should stick to one moisturiser and use lemon to tone it back evenly. I did stop using coconut oil on my face as advised, guess what! I started seeing my skin get back to normal. If coconut oil is good for your face then use it, it however was the ingredient that was speeding up my darkening process albeit the smoothness it guarantees. I went back to dear old pure vaseline petroleum jelly.
The toning process: Slice your lemon in half and squeeze the juice of one on a clean surface. Dip cotton wool in it and dab the lemon drained cotton on your face and neck in circular motions. Allow it to stay for 30 minutes or until you can feel a tightening effect on the skin then wash off with warm water. Apply your moisturiser and repeat the process till you can see results. I started noticing my changes on day 3 of this treatment. The benefits of lemon are that it clears dark spots, evens out the skin tone, shrinks swellings & pimples very fast and it gives one a skin lifting glow.
This is what I went on to next after noticing clear changes on my face. My followers will agree that I can’t run. I’m petite with a weight that cannot support blood donation purposes but I cannot save my life by running. Well maybe I haven’t met an incident that will pump up the adrenaline and Kalenjin blood to speed up. The last time I ran as I tried to escape the rain I reached home, let my body lie on the floor as I panted like a dog with my tongue out to catch a breath. Or maybe I just can’t run because of the size of my mammary glands. I think a woman can run as fast as her boobs can allow, don’t ask me questions, nobody questions Robert Mugabe quotes .
I went on ahead to the internet which is a very great source of timeless information in search for the kind of workouts I could do. I downloaded a 10 minutes ab workout and dedicated myself to working out every single day. This is my 28th day since I started and there’s a lot of progress. I’ll share pictures when I feel ready to talk about my Diastasis Recti journey. Diastasis Recti is the separation of abdominal muscles & the main reason I’ve had this mummy tummy that I’m working to lose. Also I’ll talk about the exercises that can work and those that worsen the situation.
Working out constantly has made me build a character of consistency and I also feel great because the stomach is getting firmer and smaller. My mum stopped asking why the heck I’m working out because she thinks I have a good size after she noticed my not giving up. I overally feel like I can run even as I’m more stable right now. Running is a nightmare that I haven’t had a chance to get back to. I couldn’t run away from some donkeys on a leash one year ago. I hang on a very fragile post as the donkeys ran around biting each other and throwing serious kicks. My heart still beats from this encounter.
Tired from sitting idle after dropping Ed at school, I got back to reading informative pieces on the internet and any other book I could get my hands on. I’m also working on my creativity by writing several little articles for whichever audience I have be it on whatsapp or Facebook or this blog.
Honestly I only want to be at my best physically, emotionally and mentally when that job finally comes knocking. This will make me deliver the best output I can. That can be achieved by the three things I’ve been doing consistently. I hope you can find something to help you get your groove back as well. A routine that you can follow with no supervision, a routine that works for you. Be it exercise, diet or whichever passion you have.
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This week I’ve been so un/lucky with my friends. I have received a lot of dares to write about certain topics. Well they are not a lot, just two but two is a lot for someone like me who only writes when I begin feeling guilty that I haven’t. I did my first dare quickly and it will be shared by the person on his blog. The second one titles “Entre Les Draps” which is a loose translation for “Between the Sheets” is what I’m doing today. I’m using the title in French because we all know that the self proclaimed Kenyan Mombasa Raha sexologist , Gertrude Mungai had a column in the papers with the title. I’m trying to stay away from trouble. How I got myself to write about this is a story of a resilient woman who must accept a challenge if indeed she has to prove a point. The point to be proven here is that I am a writer who doesn’t target specific people in my series of posts on my social media platforms. This is also to prove that I am only a writer who can write about anything. Long sigh.
Let me veer off the path a little. A few months ago, say 8, my baby wanted a car. Not just a car but a machinery tool. These road construction heavy duty vehicles that he’d been seeing on the main Kakamega-Webuye highway which has taken years to construct. He used to sleep and wake up with it in mind. Pardon my civil engineering,I do not know the term used to refer to the said car. Anyway I made him wait for about 3 months before I got it for him on his birthday in April. He was very excited and took care of that orange beast very well, Ed washed it when it was dirty. I’d never seen him this excited while giving maintenance to a car. In August however, something I had been anticipating but not really expecting happened. Ed came home with two parts of Orange. The side that digs and the other side that lifts the mud like a crane. Wow! What! I was registering my dissatisfaction as the little man talked excitedly with the enthusiasm he received orange with about how he had two cars now.
“Ma kuja uone gari zangu mbili nimevunja”
The breakage was meticulously done.
Rest in Pieces Orange beast. You lived for 5 good months, a record no vehicle has broken since Ed’s history of owning toy cars.
I won’t talk about how my shrill voice tried shouting “Aayden unajua hiyo gari nilinunua how much kweli?” against a firm innocent voice from a handsome little boy saying “lakini sasa si Niko na gari mbili.” I did nothing. Because Orange’s life was long overdue anyway.
Back to between the sheets. That night as I slid my body in between the sheets, I reflected on the day’s events. I thought about how Ed didn’t know the meaning of how much Orange cost or any other thing for that matter. He does not know nothing about the effort I put in to get him that car. He did what he knew was right, he broke it into two to give him two vehicles. How cool and bright and full of innocence? Between the sheets I wondered how a child who’s reminded everyday about how much a gift or any other thing cost will turn out in future. This kid will probably grow into one who fears asking for something he really wants or even playing with it because if it gets spoilt he’d be reminded of how much it cost. I had a long talk with myself between the sheets and I vowed not to make such a careless remark like I did on the day Orange beast met his death. In the morning, I slid out of sheets as expected took the two pieces of the mighty Orange and threw them far away never to be seen again.
Kids do not know about the struggle, they live a happy life and have child-like intentions. Like Ed thinking breaking a car would give him two functional ones. Until the time he grows and I can make him understand that I use money to buy him stuff and that money is not picked on trees I really have no right to tell him why an item cost me two pairs of shoes. For now, I’ll cherish these not so perfect but perfect moments of his and teach him how to care for his stuff because breaking toy cars is not cool. That’s my between the sheets moment. Sorry if you expected something else.
I’m looking for a juakali car. Juakali here is a sturdy, heavily built metallic vehicle that can withstand the test of time, discovery and mischief of a growing boy child to replace Orange.