For the first time I leave an “interview” feeling like I just had an honest conversation with a soft spoken, calm and collected, clean shaven doe eyed half writer half creative employer, James. Before coming in to meet me, the only other person in sight is Ann, who has ushered me in like I deserve to be here, at the elegant RiverFront which hosts Brand Anatomy.
Do you need warm or room temp water?
Warm water please. I say as I try not to swing in my chair or seem entitled.
As she heads out to bring it, I decide to familiarise with my surroundings. There’s something about the almost blackish ceiling that I don’t quite register. The pattern suggests its the Kenyan map. I am not so convinced though so I quit trying to get it. Maybe I am struggling to see everything as a creative who is looking for all avenues to be and see things from a creative’s perspective.
Issa score. I murmur to myself after James applauds me for keeping time and apologises for keeping me waiting for 15 minutes. He offers me coffee or tea. I accept lunch. The hospitality in Brand Anatomy is unmatched.
“If I had time, I’d just copy paste from the internet too. But I need a content writer. I like authentic work.” He says. I want to say something like ‘that’s what half writers do’ but I go with ‘I don’t do that. I go all out and research then create impactful content.’ Yo, where was the word impactful when I was speaking about my capabilities? Does anyone else remember the powerful statements they were to use way after the interview ended? There’s something so genuine in his voice in the way he speaks about the disappointment he gets from copied work, his eyes mirror genuine.
We finish our conversation as I ask to see their main office. Like the meeting room, this one is elegant with the glass walls giving an illusion of space. The logo and tagline Brand Anatomy, disruptive marketing concepts are written on the walls. Twice; at the door and on the other end of the office. A white board. Two desks. A printer. A black dustbin with a java mug and serviettes on the grey carpet. It is a simplistic office with no clutter. No distractions. Maybe because you walk in with so little and come out with so much. Like how disruptive Brand Anatomy is in the advertising/marketing industry.
Has anyone of y’all seen an ad on an escalator? That is how Brand Anatomy has come out to play. This is so disruptive a concept that it literally blows your mind. Brand Anatomy is here to change the dynamics of improving brand visibility to the audience by moving from the traditional concepts of advertising on mass media to the modern escalator step branding. This concept is so disruptive it made me call TV traditional. The wave of change has reached us, brace yourself for the new, impressive strategy that Brand Anatomy will offer your brand. Look out for brands on an escalator in a mall near you. Hopefully, once you see it, you will call 0797300300 for this unique and first of its kind service in Kenya and hear this- “Hi, this is Brand Anatomy…”
I’d start this little story with “a time like this 4 years ago” but everyone knows that Mimi ni kuku ya ushago I sleep very early. Do the town kukus sleep late? Let me know city girls especially my Kalenjin bae Meg. 1461 days ago I didn’t even know what was going on with me. I woke up in the middle of the night a very restless fat elephant. (I was more than 70 kgs at the time.) I went to the kitchen, drank water, went back to my room. Went back for more water in the kitchen, went to the sitting room, back to my room, to the kitchen, then back to try sleep with my water. But there was something about the temperature in that room/house rather that my restless very pregnant elephant self couldn’t stand. I opened the door to go get some fresh air , at about 1.30am hehee. Went back to the house some minutes later and I lay down again. I was just too restless I might have woken up and spread my bed finally. Surely! I kept pacing around, just checking if everything was in order when my father called me from his room and asked if I was okay lol. I said yes but thank his instincts, the old man woke my mother up to check on me. In his words, “Enda uangalie kama Toto ako Sawa.”
My mum woke up, came to my room and asked if I was okay. I said I was and at that very moment I got this urge to go to the loo. Then mum ordered me not to go into any loo because well what happens if I push my first baby down that loo?! But I was like “aaah ,Mimi vile Niko tu hivi Mimi nikose kuingia Choo Kwa nini.” Ohlala! Ata my mum’s order wasn’t as strict as the midwife’s at the hospital. So she packed my bags and a few other items , woke my sister up. I can bet she’d just slept for 2 hours juu huyu sio kuku ya ushago and the two women of my life accompanied me, I have another sister who was in school at the time but she’s since completed high school. So we got into the taxi, my neighbour’s taxi that my father had called. Mom, me, my sister in that order and that’s when my ORDEAL started. The truth with labour though is that you forget how intense the pain is and where it bites lol immediately after that little child that will depend on you for a few months or years is pushed out to face the world. So I won’t describe the pangs of intense pain because I hardly remember anything and everyone’s experience is different.
To the REAL Business
Haya we got to the hospital at around 2am, I got booked into the maternity or delivery wing. I don’t know. Then this nurse came to check just how much I had dilated, the cervix of course. This is one gross and painful process. This was done by someone inserting them fingers down there in the vagina and measuring how many centimetres wide the birth canal has opened to bring a baby out to the world. I was at 6cm and being the wise person she was she kinda mentioned that I would fully dilate at around 6-6.30. Thankfully I didn’t have to go through the process again. Sigh! Najua madaktari hapa watasema ooh she neglected you but let’s just say during those times when I was a firm believer in God, He must have been with me. Did I mention that I was 19 years old?
These nurses kept massaging me and rubbing my back, they were 2 female ones, a male one and the chief matron came in the morning just when I was about to put to bed. Sijasema saa hiyo vile nilipewa that thing, the steel one, I can’t really remember what it was nikaambiwa sasa hiyo ndio Choo. Btw delivery is not what you see in the movies, it’s real pooping utatoka huko na haemorrhoids you’ll dread going for a long call for a very long time. When my time was almost near and I felt this URGE, it was a strong one, really strong to push whatever I was pushing I called the nurse. So she was like “bado ngoja kidogo lakini ukiskia kupupu just do it on these bed tumeweka sheets tutatoa Tu.” May all nurses be blessed you handle a lot of shit, literally. So I called my mum told her to pray for me and she kept encouraging me saying things like “Women have done this before you will manage.” Mimi nilikuwa naona Kifo ndio maana I’d asked for prayers, I must have told her to take care of the child I’ll give birth to if I don’t make it alive. Eeeh! It’s no joke! Then she left, surprisingly I was the only person delivering that day. I pushed my baby out after a lot of “Amefika, akikwama hapo atakufa, be serious please na Nguvu. push” but that baby wasn’t getting out. Though I could see it’s beautiful hair already. The next step was an episiotomy, now here they cut your vagina, poleni sina euphemism hata kidogo lol idk if they cut downwards or in what direction to increase the opening. It was done and I pushed Ed out. Nikawekwa mtoto Kwa tumbo as the umbilical cord was cut. That shit is ugly. And the baby was covered in blood, fluid sijui vitu gani, also babies don’t come out as cute as you see them in movies.
I remember asking the nurse kama ni mvulana ama a gal Bebi and she told me to keep calm. But I had seen his beautiful face and that signature forehead and complexion and muttered a thank you God in my joy because that’s all I’d been praying for. A baby who would look like my family and easily be notified as one of my mom’s or ours because what if I would have to raise him alone or with my side of the family?
Oooh so nilishonwa after the placenta was removed. I think nilidungwa anaesthesia on the lips first before the kushonwa. That was painful ata I don’t think I will ever get another baby yaani. The nurse brought my child asked me what I’d name him and was mortified, yes she was mortified by how beautiful he looked that she said “He is so beautiful unaweza dhani ni msichana.” I had gone through a whole list of names and I was sure about Aayden sasa nikasema tu anaitwa Aayden. Oooh he was a beauty, this is not to say that my little monster who terrorises me isn’t as beautiful as he was. He still is very handsome.
Nikatoka hiyo delivery room now to a depressing maternity ward where women, older ones were easily breastfeeding and carrying their bundles of joy. Mimi hapo hata I didn’t have milk for sijui 3 days straight and they kept counselling me to just try. Smh. Even after being discharged and going home I told my mum that I didn’t think I’d like to breastfeed anymore but well, long story short I did for 5 months!
Ed has grown to be an amazing kid, he brought so much sun into our lives. He still does. He brightened our days and blended as my mom’s favourite son haha! Though Bruce analeta competition because sometimes my parents confuse the names. Utaskia BruAayden when Aayden is being called. And every single day he continues to be the sweet little person who just recently learnt how to write AAYDEN with 2 As. If you don’t spell it correctly najua sio mtoto wako ndio ujue jina yake vizuri but hey, you garra upgrade. Today the child I had at 19 whom I clearly thought I wouldn’t be able to breastfeed, nurture and raise is turning 4 (and I’ll be turning 24 later in the year) is becoming a big boy. *I’m crying , Idk why.* And I’m in so much awe at what time can do to people. I have grown immensely just as he has. As a young child I didn’t even think I’d be able to complete my degree with him in school but I achieved that. And now I just want to be equipped financially so that I can offer what he wants because I’ll be over his needs. He’s an independent boy who goes to school and I do not even know if am prepared for all this growth. It’s a great thing but again I feel like I’m loosing the baby. Awwww. We are 4!!!!
I appreciate good reads, from the likes of Biko Zulu and recently I found my future addiction(or so I hope) that I didn’t even know existed, writing. Thanks to one Nyarinda Moraa a writer as well as my very good friend, who by the way is the force behind this article.
I shy away from writing. Why? My English is very basic, and who wants basic? I find pleasure in flipping the pages of my dictionary looking for synonyms of a word I got from a good article when I can’t even guess the meaning of the same word. I love when I have to note down phrases that I plan to fix in those long text messages I send when I am exasperated – if we’ve had a disagreement before, my secret is out!
I, sometimes just use words that I randomly pick from my notepad. Some, I have no idea what they mean. I most likely noted them down when I read the first article of one writer, he is now on his seventy seventh article and believe you me, has never used those words again.
My notepad might soon address me, it holds words and phrases that I have no idea I noted down. Many which I have never used. It’s tired, I tend to think. For my sake, it better use most of the words if not phrases it carries to address her highness, I hardly use most of them anyway. In fact, I know the plan is underway and I already imagined what our conversation would be like:
‘This is too much! I give up!’
…and before I can say anything the Notepad would hang and I’d be forced to restart my phone. Then when I open the Notepad, a pop-up will look me straight in the eye and whisper, ‘the app you’re trying to use has been formatted, a newer version exists on this link.’
I still don’t know what will break me more; the fact that I’d have lost something I treasure so much or the fact that after many years of carrying ‘big words’, even in its deathbed, this Notepad only used basic English!
This one I’d hold a funeral for in my backyard…a screensaver that I downloaded. I’d lock myself in my room and refuse to eat…vegetables. I’d cry though…in my heart. I’d be broken!
No one would understand why, and they’d all say, ‘Get over it, it’s just an app!’
Apart from this one anonymous girlchild who would call me via Whatsapp to offer her condolences, but such calls are always accidental, no? So I’d not pick up, and she’d end up sending a very long Whatsapp Message my way of how she tried calling me yadda yadda yadda and part of it would read:
‘…aki I feel your loss booboo, you remember on the morning of my wedding day when my left ring-finger nail broke? Aki that dream gave me sleepless nights. Same feeling imagine…’
And I’d stare at my phone and feign a smile because what’s a formatted notepad to an aspiring writer compared to a young girl’s dream of a broken ring-finger nail on her wedding day?
It’s probably time I cleared the clutter on my Notepad before it surprises me.
People have bigger problems!
It is THURSDAY, you know what happens today, right? It is a throwback edition and I had not planned on writing but it would not hurt to review who HOURS OF THE DAY is and just how much she has metamorphosized from her first article. Today as I was visiting this site, I do so when my mind is blank and I have to remind myself to be what I write lol, I noticed that my blog is wanting. Like the tag line was so full, it was like history and I changed that. The old one is in the trash. I mean the instructions were even clear that it is a tag line. Emphasis on the line part but I was there with a very impactful paragraph. I have since changed it to something I love, and one that came to me randomly in my blankness. So it is Do Not Just Open Your Eyes. Look Closely. OBSERVE! It sounds pretty cool to me and much more of a tagline now, tell me what you think. (Btw my friends are not good haha! How could you allow me to torture my people with that previous story for a tagline?)
To the Business of the Day
Let us just go to the throwback right away. I have been on this space for a good number of years and this avenue is just great for me. So let us look closely and observe what I wrote as my first post ever here in July 2O13, the post was titled HAIR. I wanted to hyperlink it but the post was too short and short. That was about 5 years ago and i was serious about blogging psst! Hahaha.
Ladies how do you feel when mosses and moulds start growing in your hair? When your hair looks like some sort of animal habitat and breeding site for lice? I do not mean to intrude but there is these crop of ladies who never change their hairstyle from day 1 of school to the last! Please save us that eyesore.
I have literally come from far, Nimetoka mbali in every sense of the word. This blank space of mine has helped me grow and when I am just as blank as I am today, I log in to see what this blank space can do for me. I can see my growth from where I am seated and I have learnt a LOT on just how to write and even using wordpress. You would think that that is common knowledge.
Share your thoughts, I am very free and happy to engage today. Have a nostalgia-filled Thursday!
This is very relatable.
I HATE LOVE
I don’t know where I went wrong,
I missed my man by the tip of my fingers,
You are my last hope in dating and love,
Of late u make me hate it sooo much.
it sounds like a world where a woman has to hurt every day,
has to do wat the man wants n wat she wants doesn’t matter.
It feels like some kind of prison…
At one time I feel am free from the new you and the old u is back
But then u just hit the nail really had and I loose you….
At times I look like a fool, I don’t know where your love lays,
Like some mother hen seems I will live scratching the ground,
For some love that seems I will never find,
I feel am a major mistake in this,
I broke it all,
View original post 69 more words
What would be your reaction if you asked someone about what he believes in and his response is “I don’t believe in anything because belief in itself has an aura of blind faith with it?” Wow? Okay? Huh? Would you lean in for more or would you get defensive already or judge even? On the first Friday of the year, I met up with an atheist, I did spend a few hours or more with him talking about atheism.
See people don’t become atheists overnight. They start by believing that there is God, because most households in Kenya raise their child/ren like that. In the case of Christians, tagging the kid along when going to church, allowing the kid to go to Sunday school, enrolling the kids in schools where church is compulsory. Growing up like this involves the kid in church and its affairs, alongside, learning Christian Religious Education (C.R.E) which lays a churchy-spiritual-religious foundation. But what happens when the kid grows up, raises some questions and even doubts the Bible, his faith in God and the existence of one omnipresent supernatural being? The person slowly becomes an atheist, without even knowing that they are one. Identifying oneself as an atheist is hard, it is a strong word, c’mon.
The Question of Calling
Well, do atheists get that calling to be atheists? Alex thinks not. He for instance became one because of the hard reality of experiences around him. It was profound for him, and he realised that everything happens because it intends to happen. Not because God has a hand in it. The fact that one can’t actually see God working for them and the person sees that God doesn’t make sense is enough basis for one to be an atheist. But most of the times, one does not know he is transforming into an atheist, unless, like Alex, finds a group of people who share the same sentiments he had and become his support group affirming his decision and answering his tough questions.
Do pastors and the clergy get this calling too as they fondly speak of? No not really. It’s just a profound desire and passion to be a pastor that manifests itself in dreams driving the person to actualise it. There’s nothing like getting a calling from anywhere.
Their “Belief” in Science
I noticed that atheists have some”faith” in Science, a lot of faith, yet my understanding of who an atheist is does not allow for faith and belief. The thing is belief carries a sense of blind faith and that is not what atheists are about. They do not believe in blind claims. They do live a realistic pragmatic life where everything that happens under the sun happens because it was meant to happen, in the sense that logical scientific explanation can be used to describe why it happened. Rain doesn’t fall because it was ordained by a super natural power to fall, it falls because the cycle allows it. Same to drought, it is conditioned by both climatic and environmental factors. Knowing truths and facts like this definitely helps one make an informed decision.
People’s Perceptions About Atheists
Wow! Most people believe that atheists are what they refer to as devil worshippers. But who’s kidding who? Atheists do not believe in any supernatural being. Not God, not Satan. Not the existence of hell nor the existence of heaven. Others even say that atheists are atheists because they want to live a carefree life without being answerable to anyone about their life choices. That is not the case, for my respondent, being an atheist is demanding of a responsible life as he understands that for example excessive drinking of alcohol impairs judgement and causes a whole load of other complications. He lives a good life that he feels will not ruin his health and well being. Therefore the people’s perceptions are just misguided and false.
Unless he feels the need to say “Hey, I’m an atheist” he doesn’t really say it because most christians are very hostile lol. It’s like they do not respect other people’s choices but people’s hostility towards him and other atheists does not scare him.
Let’s talk Christianity!
He didn’t have much to say about this because it would probably take 24 hours but we did tackle a few topics like denominations and BLIND FAITH. Why does the world have so many Christians in so many denominations who do not even agree? Why do some Christians trash a certain church immediately you mention it and believe that theirs is superior to the other? Isn’t the church supposed to be under one God and to be guided by the same biblical principles? We agreed that the Repentance and Holiness church has a mass following because the leader knows how to sell hope. Which Kenyan would not want to join a church where HIV/AIDS that has no known cure yet, can be cured through prayers?
Expressions Invoking The Name of God
Alex may have mentioned something like Oh my God, I can’t remember because this talk happened on the 5th day of the 90 days of January. He did say it and to him it is inconsequential. It’s just an expression and he never realises that he used it even. Because it’s just that, an expression. To him, Christians shouldn’t use it because the Bible is very clear on not using God’s name in vain. And he knows his Bible pretty well, it makes for a good read for him. He doesn’t remember the hymns and prayers that he learnt as a child, they have all become a distant memory.
Fear, Hope & Prayer
In the African society, choices come with consequences. The same goes for most households, you cannot even ask a burning question that will show how much you doubt in a Bible story. The threats about how lightning would strike you since you questioned God would suffice. So does he fear that his lack of belief in God would result in something? So far, so good. Nothing has ever happened to him. After all, he does not believe in superstition.
Staying hopeful is human, but what happens when the people you know claim that you don’t get breakthroughs because of your disbelief in God?
Prayer to him is just noisy mumbles that do not work, and most people waste their time praying instead of finding durable solutions to their problems. It’s like the never ending committees formed by the government to deal with matters of national importance. They never table anything worthy.
Who then are these Atheists in Kenya?
The Atheists in Kenya are a society under an umbrella body that unites all of them to advocate for the separation of religion and state in Kenya. I first heard of them when they hit the news at some point when they wanted the removal of the clause “Oh God of all creation” from the national anthem. It is comprised of both males and females of different ages, different sexual orientations, those with families or not. The Atheists in Kenya as a society does not discriminate any human being. They are a welcoming group who have monthly meetings to discuss several issues. Below is a calendar of their 2018 dates and topics.
This article couldn’t have come at a better time since the High Court in a ruling delivered by Judge Chacha Mwita at the Milimani Law Courts on 26th January, quashed the suspension of the Atheists in Kenya society’s registration, after it’s suspension by the Attorney General in April 2016.
The AIK society which advocates for a separation of religion and state in Kenya has objectives too which are:
1) To promote skeptical inquiry
2) To foster public acceptance of atheists in Kenya
3) To engage in social issues affecting its membership and the wider community
4) To advocate that ethics and morality be meaningfully based on rational and humanistic ideals and values
5) To promote & practice the open, rational, and scientific examination of the universe and our place in it….among others that I haven’t mentioned.
I am not an atheist myself but I believe that the AIK have very open minded conversations that need to be discussed urgently, that churches and other religious societies cannot even try to have. If you discuss some of the topics in their 2018 calendar then you can beg to differ with me, no?
*Alex is the Treasurer for the AIK
Better late than never. I know we are in 2018 already but I just have to slightly take you back without fetching any memories that may make you shriek based on your current tribulations (if you’re an outstanding ‘budget planner’ that is) after all its the famous month of January. December holiday was quite a month for me; my small circle of friends and my family I can say. The inner me was already shouting for freedom even before this lovely month came knocking. We (me, me and my inner-self) were glad when it finally came calling because I would be damned if it took quite longer.
I tried to calm its balls because I could literally feel what it was going through. My body, mind and soul were shouting for help. That year had been quite short and long in its different measures. For me the “long” side would take the day anyplace and anytime. At some momentarily time, I was in this little black box trying to figure my way out. I had just finished my campus studies and it was time to go out there and find something to keep me going – anything.
April was the month that I packed my small bag and came to the so called city of opportunities, Nairobi for a job internship. That didn’t come that easy even in this so called ‘city of opportunities’ and the thought of Job hunting almost made me sink in depression. If looking for an internship was this spirit-lowering, how about the prospect of looking for a job? Coming to think of it, let’s just stick to the name ‘city under the sun’ because it proved to be a tear-jerking internship applications setting.
Waking up, as always, was a nightmare because, why not? It came with these ugly troubled spirits that would haunt me during every break of dawn – Yes! Those that would move your hands to the snooze button without even peeping. I don’t know where those spirits went with time but I pity the lad who they decided to pay a courtesy visit. Thank God I overcame them with time and I was able to jump out of bed without flinching. Anyways I pledged not to take you that back, after all, December is the reason am up late writing this (also asking myself if big head Biko went through all this before he made it. Maybe one day I’ll meet him in person so I could pop that question up. Well the ‘big head’ would be scrapped-off of course dummy). The 8th day of December found me back home. I was happy. Who wouldn’t be? Home is always best no matter what but what made it most beautiful when I arrived was the presence of my 1 week old nephew. Yap! I am an uncle. Guys I am a freaking uncle! It felt freaking good- still does. I don’t know what it is about blood but I just felt this love upsurge within me when I saw it. The urge to, love, protect and care for it just intensified.
That month I made a lot of positive strides in every aspect I could possibly ask for. My graduation took place that month and it was quite a show of contentment and joy from my family, friends- who mostly I graduated with and those who made this month unforgettable:- Joy,Nyarinda,Samson, Humphrey, Marion, Patie, Fawzia just to mention a few.They made this day a memorable one. Moreover, this month would have not been a complete festive month without FIFA; go ask my friend Lasoi who was always my victim when it came down to setting the game-play record straight. Although he would protest that I am lying.
Cheers! To those who made 2017 happen..Let’s raise our glasses high and make a toast to 2018.