Bloggers Who Inspired Me Through #WinterABC. Day 28/30

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.

Here they are…

The Write Edition

Ethnetic me

Hey Anci

I initially wanted to tell the world how much these bloggers influenced me, but I think its best their blogs do the talking.

They all have different styles and that’s what I admire about them.

Fellow bloggers, never stop writing. You never know who you’re inspiring.

My Views On Racism And Gay Rights. Day 24/30

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?

Can We Talk About Mental Health In African Homes? Day 22/30

Remember Malcom in the middle?

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.

Its time to accept, African parents are damaged.

Addressing The African Union. Day 15/30

I first learnt about African Union in primary school. It’s a mandatory topic for every child in Kenya so, there was no way I was going to escape it. I tried to understand its purpose to Africa. So a bunch of African leaders and their delegates fly to Ethiopia to discuss about Africa. Then what?

If given the chance to address the AU I know I’ll need a few minutes.

First, when are you making Swahili your official language? Swahili is the second most widely spoken language in Africa. Arabic is first but I believe we all know why. The AU spends so much money and time on translators when they could simply learn a language.

Rwanda dropped French for Swahili. South Africa is about to start teaching Swahili in schools. Again I ask, what’s taking so long?

Kiswahili Kitukuzwe.

Source, Kiswahili Kitukuzwe

When the Chinese government gave you free computers, what did you think was going to happen? Did the people who accepted those freebies did so before or after bribery? Nothing is ever for free; the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta taught us this.

Even after the Chinese got all the information they needed from you. Did you return their gifts or are they still in the building staying pretty?

A room full of grown men and maybe two or three women, and none of you smelled a conspiracy about to happen. I’m ashamed of you.

When will you cut the umbilical cord that’s holding you to the E.U? Will you ever make decisions for Africa without consulting your former slave masters and colonizers? It baffles me that even after our forefathers fought for their independence; we’re still taking orders from them.

Source, CNN

Can we talk about the stolen loot for a minute. Countries like Ethiopia, Senegal and Egypt are trying to get their stolen art from European museums. Don’t you think it’s a great idea to speak with one voice and empty those museums of stolen African art? We can learn so much from our ancestors through their craftsmanship. But it’s almost like we have to fly to Europe to know about Africa.

Until the AU get jealous with her people and put them first. You’ll always be the organization that meets every once in a while to waste taxpayers money.

Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.

5 Africans, Past and Present Who Inspire Me. Day 14/30

Africa is such an underrated continent when it comes to leadership. The world sees Africa as a corrupt place that can’t be saved. Truth be told, inspiring leaders do exist in Africa.

Below are five Africans who’ve inspired me in more ways than one

Esther Passaris: a leaderevolutionary

She’s a feminist, she’s a wife, she’s a mother, she’s a leader and as if that wasn’t enough, she’s confident about her sexuality. She also openly talks about sex and sexuality and has come out in support of the LGBTQ community. Esther Passaris is everything Kenyan men have tried convincing us well never become. These men still use marriage and children as weapons against young feminists. They believe the idea of a married feminist with kids doesn’t exist. Well Esther Passaris is all that plus more. Insecurity is not a good look guys.

Wangari Maathai: an activist, an environmentalist

She protected and fought for a forest from encroachment. A time when protesting was an insult to Moi’s regime. It’s not like today where anybody can get up, gather few friends and family and hit the streets to protest. Back then, few people protested against Moi and lived to tell their story. She was brave to defend that forest.

Wangari led groups of women to fight off the police and army. This attracted a lot of media attention from across the globe. The pressure was too much for the former president. He called the whole thing off. I understand he was to profit from selling the forest for hotels and apartments.

She became the first African to win a Nobel Prize. Her fearlessness saved a forest and inspired many to embrace trees.

Winnie Mandela: a revolutionary

I grew up knowing Nelson Mandela was a revolutionary man. I mean, the guy spent 27yrs in jail for his people. Had young people take arms and protest for his freedom.

As I grew older I learnt more about his life. I got to a point where I needed to know more about Winnie. What was she up to? What was it like for her for those 27 years? Well, Winnie wasn’t the kind of woman to sit down and wait for things to happen. She was out there fighting for black liberation.

Mandela divorced Winnie later after getting his freedom. Most people believe it’s because she strayed from their marriage. Truth is, they both believed in different ideologies. You see, she was more of ‘fight fire with fire’. Mandela was the opposite, more like ‘love thy neighbor.’ They were basically Killmonger and T’challa respectively.

This explains why white media never mentions Winnie. They know she was the real revolutionary.

Binyanvanga Wainaina: a writer, an activist

I never read his books until few years back when he came out of the closet. I read his story in the newspaper and how he knew he was gay at 5yrs. Can I remember what I did at 5yrs? Absolutely not! Binyavanga however, knew who he was. The world didn’t change him decades later. Sadly, he passed away at only 48 years young.

It breaks my heart that Binyavanga never fully lived his life as an openly gay person. For most of his life he was in the closet until the age of 43 when he finally came out. Being a famous African writer and founder of Kwani?, he faced a lot of backlash. That didn’t stop him from enjoying life though.

Binyavanga inspired me to live my life to the fullest, stay true to myself.

Muammar Gaddafi, believer of a United States of Africa

Depending on whom you ask Muammar Gaddafi was a force to reckon with. A leader who saw it fit for a united Africa, a self-sufficient continent with her own currency. He saw a future where Africa would no longer have to get permission from her former colonizers. Unlike the leaders before him, he had the wealth to back him up and get things done. People didn’t see or hear Muammar Gaddafi, people felt his presence. As expected, his ideology on Africa didn’t sit well with America and so they had him killed. Now look at Libya. You can’t imagine this was the same country Gaddafi built.

Am yet to understand why people fear a United Africa. What scares them about African people coming together?