This challenge brought the best and worst of me. I’ve had to say NO to a few people in order to get things done. It was hard, but I had to do it. I had to finish this challenge by any means necessary. Thus, day 28 is here.
Over the course of 30 plus days (I actually started late. Its my fault) a number of bloggers have inspired me. I went through a writer’s block once or twice, okay, maybe a couple of times.
These bloggers never stopped writing. They never stopped inspiring. I found myself reading through their blogs every day.
Whew! Am on day 27, who would’ve thought? Let me be the first to say this whole challenge was an experience. I have come to terms that I can do anything if I put my time into it.
What else has this challenge taught me?
I have a procrastinating problem. I’ll say am going to do something in the next hour. That hour turns into next day and before you know it, it’s been a week. This challenge made me realize I have a procrastinating problem.
Read. More. Books. I really need to catch up on some reading. I wrote about books we should all read. They’re currently on my reading list.
Organisation is everything. Immediately I wake up am getting my content organised. This is the only way I can fight off this procrastinating problem. Can’t climb a mountain without getting my gear ready, now can I?
This challenge has taught me more about Africa. Its amazing what you can learn when you connect with other like minded people. What better way to learn about Africa than from other African bloggers.
We come across pictures every day, on the web mostly. Gone are the days we took photographs and had them in albums. These albums were like family. They documented our lives from day one. Memories long forgotten but moments captured.
I don’t own an album but I have plenty of photographs with me, tucked away somewhere safe.
You know how they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, let me tell you about one particular photograph that changed my life, for good.
There was a time I felt my life wasn’t going the way I wanted. This was a time when I had to put everything in order. My room, my home, class, relationships, I was obsessed. This wasn’t until I came across this photograph in 2016.
The woman in a flowing dress.
It was during the protests in Baton Rouge, LA, where the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling happened. Protests broke out, there was a lot chaos, people were angry. Shops broken into and people injured. It was a jungle.
Throughout the protest, the chaos and the confusion, the picture of a woman in a flowing dress went viral.
Jonathan Bachman took this picture on July 9TH 2016. “I saw this woman, and she was standing in the first lane in that road. It happened quickly, but I could tell that she wasn’t going to move, and it seemed like she was making her stand. To me it seemed like: You’re going to have to get me” he added, “It wasn’t very violent. She didn’t say anything. She didn’t resist, and the police didn’t drag her off”
How this lady was calm during a protest surprised everyone, including me. This picture spoke to me.
How? How did she just stand there unbowed? I often broke down whenever things didn’t go as planned. That’s how attached I was to order.
This picture told me its okay to let go of things. I can always find my peace in the chaos, in a storm. This thick wall of obsession with order finally started to crack. Everyday, this wall came down brick by brick.
Today I get to appreciate the chaos in my life. I let my dirty dishes stay in sink a while longer than I normally would. I get to walk around in my PJs. I let my hair breathe for weeks longer. I get to work in my garden, get my hands dirty. I let my little nephew and nieces play in the house. I watch them turn over the sofas and build a smaller house.
I let myself breathe every now and then. Thanks to this photograph.
By the way, her name is Leshia Evans. The woman in a flowing dress.
I 100% support ‘Buy Kenya, Build Kenya.’ I believe this is one way we could end unemployment among the youth. Imagine Africa if we all supported local brands in our home countries.
These are some of the brands I support. I’m sure you could learn a thing or two from them.
NRG came swinging! Many radio stations don’t even come close to NRG. Yes I said it. Within a short time they’ve managed to branch out and start another radio station. This is something other stations took years to do. This radio station is one to watch out.
Vivo Woman/ Vivo Active Wear
Wandia Gichuru, co-founder of Vivo Active wear, has grown her brand to one of the most recognized brands in Kenya. The apparel and clothing brand is Kenyan based and operating in major malls. Love for dancing and fitness gave birth to Vivo active wear. This was a time when the local scene was flooded with foreign brands.
Vivo woman is the latest addition to her brand. Targeting women who want to look good and feel comfortable. Vivo woman caters for the African woman from scarves, dresses, sweaters and cover ups. Her clothing line is surprisingly affordable with dresses going for about 3500sh (35$.)
Marini products paved way for a lot Kenyan made natural hair products. The vibrant hair industry wouldn’t be where it is today if it wasn’t for Marini. They came in at a time when majority of the products had harsh chemicals. These products were cheap but the damage they did was super expensive. Strangely enough, companies in the food industry made these products. You’d think they’ll make something worthwhile.
Michelle Ntalami, creator and co –founder of Marini Naturals, understood African hair. Her products had essential oils and were Sulfate free. Something most products were lacking. Before you knew it, other women joined in and made more natural hair products. Kenyan women now have beauty bar soaps, oils and lotions that are beneficial rather than damaging.
You know the thing about getting older is, you start to notice things. Things you wouldn’t pay much attention to. Like, how this country lets people get away with murder, rape and corruption but not being Gay. Can you believe that? You can kill but not be gay.
What is it about the LGBTQ community in Kenya that people hate so much? They’re adults and probably minding their own business. The world would be better if people weren’t concerned with what people were doing in their bedrooms.
Let’s talk about the role religion plays in Kenya. Notice how Christians are ready to quote bible verses as to why homosexuality is wrong. Then quickly turn a blind eye to pastors defiling kids. As if saying, being gay is sinful but we allow pedophilia.
I was watching Predator Pastors on TV the other day. It was about preachers who preyed on young girls. Girls as young as seven.
One story was about a lady who had sent her 9yr old daughter to the shop. On her way back, she was defiled. She ran back home and told her mum. Her mum did the right thing and immediately reported it to the police. Luckily, the girl could identify her attacker. The police went to arrest him but the congregation fought them off. Her attacker was the church’s pianist. Women with children defended a rapist with their lives. Now why would a nine year old make up something like that?
Christians claim they’re protecting their kids from homosexuality. Yes, because apparently, John, your gay neighbor will wave his magical rainbow wand and turn your son gay.
On racism, am lucky enough to have never come across racist people. I guess that’s one of the perks of living in Africa, sorrounded by Africans
Can we get a few things straight? There is no such thing as reverse racism. I’ve seen some KOT tweeps claim reverse racism in certain situations. For example, how in the hospitality industry people are likely to treat white people better than black people. Their sorry excuse was white people tip.
First, tipping is deeply rooted in slavery and Jim Crow. You should know this by now. White owned establishments hired black people as help and waiters. Despite the harsh environment, they were to be respectful and welcoming. They didn’t get a monthly salary rather, they depended on tips. Tips they might have not received. So basically, they were working for free, most of the time.
This is not reverse racism, its self hatred. Self-hatred is when black people treat white people better than other black people.
Another thing, anti-blackness is when other non-white people treat black people unfairly, so that they could get favour with white people. The idea that white people will treat others as equals due to their anti blackness is a myth. Look, anti-blackness only delays progress for everyone.
Self-hatred is the worse. You know these people will drop everything and do what white people want, without being asked.
Lastly, saying black people are racist towards white people is stupid. How do they benefit from this construct? How?
This world doesn’t need all this hate.
Now that we’ve established today’s topic, why can’t we just get along?
My country is famous for sandy beaches, great athletes, delicious tea and coffee.
My land is Kenya.
Here’s things you didn’t know about Kenya, or maybe you did…
Kenyans on Twitter
Kenya has the second highest number of twitter users in Africa. We dont recognise the first one.
We’ve had people arrested, deported and tackled most pressing issues in the country. We can make anything or anyone trend in five minutes. Trust KOT to start online wars with other countries like Nigeria and South Africa.
Did you know there’s a large Jesus statue in Kenya? It’s similar to the one in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil only smaller. A group of missionaries built it after meeting with the natives in the area. What a nice way of saying ‘We were here.’
Arguably the most recognized tribe in Kenya. Many know the Maasai community since the Tourism Board uses them to market Kenya. What people don’t know is, after death, they don’t bury their own. Instead, they leave the dead bodies in the wilderness for vultures and other animals. They’re the only tribe I know who do this.
Kenya is home to the black leopard. No, black panthers don’t exist but black jaguars do. This black leopard recently got famous after CNN shed light on it. Unfortunately to the white people who run the news outlet, a white man didn’t ‘discover’ the leopard. CNN made it look like the Kenyan conservationists who study and protect it are nothing. Shame.
Yiaku is a tribe in Kenya that migrated from Ethiopia. They joined the Maasai tribe since they were small in number. Intermarriage was allowed and thus, most children grew up learning the Mara language.
Today, only seven people from the Yiaku tribe speak their language. They’re elderly and the only people in the world who speak this dying language.
This family comedy show was a fan favourite. It had a cult following, a time when the internet and social media was unheard of. People tuned in every week not out of influence but because they loved it. Yes, am talking to everyone who watched Game of Thrones due to peer pressure. This show is a classic. Looking back at past episodes I realize why we enjoyed it so much as kids.
The show was about a dysfunctional middle class family.
In between the dark humour, their stories and watching everyone grow. This was a messed up family.
Malcom being the middle child was the only one who seemed ‘normal.’ He hated being around his family and was sometimes embarrassed to be seen with them. His mom was constantly shouting at them. His big brother bullied him and got away with it. Which is why I strongly believe mental health begins at home.
It begins with the parents.
Flash forward to the age of the internet.
Yesterday I was shocked to see a twitter video of a dad being violent to his kid. It had thousands of views, retweets and likes. In the video, the dad jokes about how he makes his child eat whenever he refuses. He tries to feed his child who shakes his head. So he reenacts the whole thing with a Mickey Mouse toy on the table. Out of nowhere he violently punches the toy several times. Then goes back to feed his child who immediately eats.
What a lot of people who agreed with him failed to notice was the traumatized child. You see, when the dad reenacts the situation the child smiles a bit. Poor kid thought the dad was just playing. Then when he punches the toy, you could see how scared the child was. So yes, the dad did finally make the child eat but it was out of fear. The saddest part of this video is hearing a woman laugh in the background. Meaning, this is quite normal for them.
Let me use this family as an example for a minute.
Two things are to come out of this. If that’s a boy, he’ll grow up controlling and violent towards women. He’s been taught by his father to use fear to get what he wants.
If that’s a girl, she’ll most likely end up in a violent relationship. Ever wondered why women find it hard to leave these situations. Well, that’s because they learnt this from home.
I look at Malcom and the anxiety he had. All the screaming and shouting from his parents really did a good one on him.
African parents are not different. Its almost like they’re cut from the same cloth. They have no idea about mental health or maybe, they choose to ignore it. Will they even acknowledge the damage they’ve done to their children? No. Most of them choose to hide behind religion.
I’ll tell you what. I’ve seen parents on the news defend their grown children using religion.
For instance, the story of a guy who sent money to his ‘girlfriend’ and had his calls ignored. Drove over four hours to where she was. Parked his car outside the premises then walked to a hardware store and bought an axe. He went back to his car and waited until she came out with her friends. He ambushed her killing her on the spot.
When this story hit the news, his parents were the first to defend him with religion. “Oh, he was such a good son who went to church every Sunday” You know, I too used to go to church, but it wasn’t for the gospel. It was the money my parents gave me as tithe. I didn’t give tithe. I kept the money and bought snacks with it. Do you know how much 50sh was worth to a child? And this happened every Sunday. I eventually stopped attending church as an adult after they changed the Wi-Fi password.
African parents think discipline is a one size fits all. Spare the rod spoil the child, but damage them mentally.
They will gladly damage a child through adulthood, then act surprised when they commit suicide or murder.
African parents believe religion is the answer to all the problems their children are facing. Depressed? Jesus is the answer. Suicidal? Jesus is the answer. Bipolar? Jesus is the answer. They’ll consult their pastor even before they talk to their children
African parents think a child has been bewitched whenever they act up.