Uncommonly Known Things About My Country. Day 23/30

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.

Jesus Statue

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.’

Maasai community

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.

Black Leopard

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 Language

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.

Did you know this about Kenya?

These Outdated Traditions And Cultures Need To Go. Day 19/30

I love my continent. With over three thousand tribes, Africa is a melting pot. Our music, art and dance have shaped today’s pop culture. Pop culture wouldn’t be where it is today if it wasn’t for Africa.

Like everything out there that’s good there’s a bad side to it. Although I respect my ancestors for giving us a culture, I hate some elements of it. These traditions no longer work in a connected world. We have the technology and knowledge to do better. Information is important today than it was back then.

These African traditions have no place today.

Breast Ironing

Breast ironing is the flattening of an adolescent growing breast. Hot stones are used to mutilate these girls’ breasts. These Cameroonian women believe that if a girl has a flat chest, men would not be attracted to her. They do this as way of ensuring their girls finish school without getting pregnant. This practice is brutal and horrifying to young girls. Doesn’t it make sense to do something about the men that prey on young girls? How about having the sex talk with the girls or better yet, how about using long term contraceptives?

A flat chest will not stop a girl from having sex and risking her life. Breast ironing makes no sense at all. Using traditional methods to raise children in the modern world is pure madness.

Wife inheritance

What happens after your husband passes on? You wouldn’t think of marrying your brother-in-law now would you? This is the case of many women in Western Kenya. Thanks to this way ward culture, women are forced to marry their brothers in law. Refusing to do so results in their homes burned down, chased away from the community or worse, death.

Women, have no choice but to obey. Notice how men are never ‘inherited’ by women when their wives die.

Death of children

This actually came as a shock to me when I first saw it on the news. So this lady was lucky enough to give birth to septuplets, a first in her home county. Unfortunately, according to her culture, in case of septuplets, they had to kill three of her children. Reason? They believed this would give the new mother an opportunity to comfortably breast feed two kids.

It gets weird.

The new mum believed this too!

While in the hospital she would refuse to breast feed three of her kids. The doctors and nurses had to literally make her breastfeed all her kids.

I can make a list of all the crazy things culture has done to our children. This has to stop.

Misogynist rites of passage

In an African setting it’s very important for boys to go through initiation. This is where they get to learn how to be men. They learn the ways of their people and sadly, how to be misogynist. These boys go from being innocent to acting like they own the country. They no longer do things for themselves and expect women to do it for them. Men learn toxic masculinity from other men and it usually begins on the first day of their initiation. This has to stop.

The art of silence in marriage

You know, often times modern African women are compared to their mothers. “Why can’t you be more like your mothers?” This is in relation to marriage. Men who’ve grown up in such setting don’t realize that, even though their mothers never talked to them, they talked to us. Our mothers went through a lot in their marriage, but they always had to put on a brave face for their children.

This culture sold them silence.

They believed that their marriage problems were not something worth discussing outside. So, most women went about their lives in pain.

Women are no longer staying in abusive relationships any more. The rate of divorce is at an all-time high.

It was hard picking out the five since Africa is culturally diverse. Some traditions may be done in the dark. We can only move forward if we get rid of them. Its 2019, these traditions have no place here.

Any other outdated traditions worth mentioning, let me know.

My Culture In Brief. Day 18/30

Am East African and from the Agikuyu tribe. Allow me to take you through my culture, our traditions and beliefs.

It’s a well-known fact the Kikuyus were the most documented tribe in Kenya. There’s so much you can learn online but let me tell you a few things.

Iseo58.tumblr.com

During wedding ceremonies, the couple would plant a tree together in their homestead. I feel like, this is something we should bring back to encourage people to plant trees. Imagine all the trees we could plant in a year. I mean, there’s a wedding happening every Saturday if am not wrong.

After initiation it is often a tradition to let the new man of the house to have his own home. So for most of us in the urban areas, the servants squatters is a good fit. Our culture dictates that the son can no longer live with his family and must now start his own elsewhere.

A cook out is not a cook out without slaughtering a goat. It’s an honour for the guests and it also appeases our ancestors. Too bad, African cook outs are not for vegans.

Another great addition to the cook out is traditional beer made by women. The beer has to properly ferment days before the big day. Muratina or kikuyu traditional beer is a must drink on the cook out.

Kikuyus traditionally faced Mt. Kenya during prayers. Although most of them are now Christians and partially Muslims, Mt. Kenya plays an important role in their lives. We still have Kikuyus who pray facing the mountain, including myself.

So there goes a short introduction to my culture.

5 Off Beat Places To Visit In Kenya. Day 17/30

My country is one of the best places to vacay over the holidays. (No, I didn’t get paid to say that.) It’s always sunny, so a weekend at the beach is a must. Maybe a hike is your type of thing.

Thing is, tourists tend to visit and show up in the most usual places, National parks, Malindi beaches, Mt. Kenya etc.

So I made a list of a few places worth your time. Time to hit the road.

Turkana

Lake Turkana

This county is a haven for people who love hiking. Its vast land makes it a go to place for hikers and campers. Lake Turkana also offers great sights, like islands and sandy beaches. This place is also not overcrowded offering a quiet and peaceful experience.

Samburu

Like the Maasai community, the Samburu are a semi nomadic tribe. They’re still conversant with their culture and proud of it. Samburu County boasts of exceptional sites and attractions, national parks and reserves. Lamu has the Lamu festival where they have a donkey race. In Samburu, you can participate in the Maralal international camel derby; it’s the only one in Kenya.

The best way of enjoying this county is by staying at community based lodges.

Meru

Meru National Park | Source Green Global Travl

I found out about this park in one of my trips to Meru County. I have family there so it was quite interesting to know about the park. Meru is only four hours away from Nairobi. The park is closer to town with many hotels so you’re sure to spend the weekend before heading home. This park is full of life.

The people are out of this world amazing. Ever had banana wine before? Ask around and you’ll find women making some. Give it time to get used to the taste, you

Machakos

There’s a hill in Machakos that defies the laws of gravity. Tourists actually only visit this area to put it to test.

If you want to see your drink flow up a hill, the Kituluni Hills in Machakos should be your next stop.

Kakamega

Source Safari254

Kit Mikaye in Kakamega is a tourist destination. One has to trek for few minutes from the main road to get to it. That being said, why not find your way to the Kakamega Rain forest. The only rain forest in Kenya.

The weather around this area is unpredictable. It could rain one minute, get sunny in the other. Come prepared.

This forest is a haven for many animals, birds and tree species.

The Internet In Africa: Affordability, Availability, And Accountability. 10/30

Africa is always a step behind when it comes to technology. Good news is, we’re slowly catching up with Ghana and Ethiopia leading the way.

The internet is one of those average developments we keep getting in Africa. Huawei, the new kid on the block, is already looking to get into 5G network. Sadly, I know countries in Africa that don’t even know what 4G network feels like. That’s Africa for you.

Is the internet affordable in Africa?
That depends on who you’re asking. I’m Kenyan and I can tell you straight of the bat, it’s slightly expensive. These Telco companies make it difficult for people like me. Online businesses are hard to run when data bundles have an expiry date. It’s pricey on a daily basis. I tried buying the monthly bundle and that only lasted about a week and a half.

Telco companies keep giving us data bundles promo every once in a while. But something tells me, we could be paying less and getting more data. These darn networks.

What could I say about the internet affordability in Africa?

It’s more of a luxury than a basic need. If you can afford it, well, cheers to you. Can I be able to access the internet in every corner of the continent? Yes and No. Africa lacks coverage in terms of making internet available to everyone. It’s highly concentrated in urban areas and lacking in rural. It may not be a major factor but I believe this contributes to rural to urban migration.

We’re in the age of information and leaving people behind just doesn’t sit well with me.

Who do we hold accountable if something were to happen to peoples online data?

Can we hold cellular networks accountable to anything? I doubt it. Juggling laws and how to properly use the internet is still up for debate.

Have you heard about Facebook’s data mining scandal? Well, let me tell you about Huduma Namba here in Kenya. It’s sponsored and run by MasterCard. Kenyans had to fill up a form detailing all their digital print. So yes, this is another data mining scandal about to happen.

I doubt if we’ll have our online information protected. Networks can practically do what they want without question.

The internet in Africa may not be seen as a priority. Given the chance, we could change peoples lives. We could change the world.

Featured image by ayaniart.blogspot.com

5 Apps On My Phone I Can’t Live Without Day. 7/30

What’s a blogger without apps?

A blogger without apps is like Jesus without his disciples, a tree without branches or plain white rice.

As a blogger my apps come in plenty. I have photography, social and writing apps, just to mention a few. These apps make it easier for me to connect with my followers, rant about life and keep up with the web.

So here are the 5 apps I can’t live without. Am sure you already have a couple of these on your phone too.

Honestly, It was hard deciding on the five otherwise I have a whole list

Some of my apps

WordPress

When I first started blogging, like most people, I went for blogger. It was perfect for me but as I grew, my needs grew too. WordPress became my go to app for writing down my thoughts. It’s easy to use and navigate. I highly recommend it. WordPress for life!

Canva

Want really cool pictures that pop? Canva will do that for you. This app is for people like me with zero graphic design skills. It has royalty free pictures to choose from and templates for all social media platforms. Canva is that easy-to-use design app that doesn’t require genius skills to operate.

Crowdfire

This app enables me to plan out my content. It integrates all social media platforms helping me save time. It acts as a virtual assistant. For example, it posts your content on your behalf as long as you have it on schedule. In the words of Tom Cruise, it completes me.

Anchor

This app is great for anyone looking into starting their own podcast. Even if you only want to listen to some thoughtful podcast, this is it. I don’t typically have a favourite podcast, in my case, anything goes.

Pinterest

This app isn’t only for beautiful pictures and videos. It’s an app I use for inspiration. Hundreds of thousands of bloggers pin their work every day. So, whenever I experience a writer’s block, Pinterest comes in handy. This app can also drive massive traffic to a website, try it. Be careful though, it can get pretty addictive.

Bonus:

Other apps I use on the side include Lightroom and Preview for that popping Instagram feed. Twitter for checking out the news in less than 140 characters, and Facebook for friends and family

What mobile apps rock your world?

10 Best Travel Destinations in Kenya We Absolutely Love

Thinking of travelling to a new place for a relaxing and breathtaking experience? Do you have an idea of the best places to visit in Kenya? Do you want to have the best travel experience? Below are some of the best destinations to visit in Kenya.

1. Amboseli National Park.

Crowned by Mount Kilimanjaro, the Amboseli view is out of this world breathtaking. One can be able to view the Big 5 up close. There is also over 600 species of birds making it the perfect place for anyone who enjoys birding.

Amboseli National Park • Source UGC

2. Maasai Mara

It’s famous for the spectacular wildebeest migration. The reserve has a wide variety of wild animals such as the Big 5. One can also enjoy the magnificent sight while on a hot air balloon.

Maasai Mara • Source UGC

3. Lake Nakuru

It’s the most popular lake due to an abundant of pink flamingoes. Surrounded by a national park you can enjoy a cool game drive.

Lake Nakuru National Park • Source UGC

4. Giraffe Centre

Located 5km from the Capital city, the Giraffe Centre is an ideal place to have a view of giraffes. The giraffes are used to humans and are friendly, so one can feed and bond with them.

Giraffe Centre • Source UGC

5. Mount Kenya

Love to go hiking? Mount Kenya offers a perfect hiking experience and a diversity of flora and fauna.

Mt. Kenya • Source UGC

6. Mombasa Island

It is the best place to enjoy attractive scenery, beautiful beaches and marine life. It also hosts the historic site, Fort Jesus, built by the Portuguese from 1593-1596.

Mombasa Island • Source UGC

7. Nairobi National Park

This park within the city is the only one to exist in the world. One can enjoy a variety of wildlife ranging from zebras, baboons, ostriches, rhinos among others. Best part, it’s easily accessible and only a drive away from the city.

Nairobi National Park • Source UGC

8. Bomas of Kenya

It is located 10km from Nairobi. It showcases Kenya’s diverse culture and heritage. One can enjoy traditional dances and aerobatics.

Bomas of Kenya • Source UGC

9. Nairobi Safari Walk

One can enjoy a nice walk and get a closer look at some of the animals such as lions,cheetahs,leopards,buffalo and many others.

Nairobi Safari Walk • Source UGC

10. Karura Forest

It is only a few kilometres away from the city. It covers an area of about 1000ha. One can enjoy a leafy area away from the hustle and bustle of Nairobi. One can also enjoy the serenity of the nature. Cycling and nature walks are highly encouraged.

Karura Forest • Source UGC

What’s your next travel destination?

3 Things I’d Do Without Pay

I’d catch a grenade for ya
Throw my head on a blade for ya
I’d jump in front of a train for ya

Well, there go three things I’d never do even if you paid me in Ghanaian cedes.

I’ve always wanted to feel West African currency notes in my hands. I once read that touching money calmes the nerves. Something tells me I’d find Ghanaian cedes very relaxing. Save your all girls spa day, just send me few notes, am good.

Anyway, here are three things am ready to do for free. Save your coins.

Food

I love food, and food related activities. In fact I only go to places I know there’ll be food. So in this case if it involves food am in. Like the last time researchers wanted people to volunteer to eat an avocado a day. Too bad I was in Africa because I would’ve been among the first people to sign up. Imagine the possibilities of having an avocado a day. Just thinking about it makes me tingle.

Next time, please have this kind of research in Africa. Thank you.

Children

I’m an aunty to three amazing kids. I love them like they were mine. I love babysitting and this is something I’d do for anyone without charge. Even though they’re just children there’s so much we can learn from them. As adults think we know everything until a child says or does something that’s out of this world. I learn from them as much as they learn from me.

Cleaning up the Environment

Sometimes I volunteer to plant trees as re-afforestation effort in growing back our forests. One other thing I’d do for the environment without charge is cleaning it. I don’t mind picking up plastic waste on the beach or in the city. I look at it as my responsibility for the environment.

This planet has a growing plastic problem; cleaning it without pay is something I look forward to.

What would you do for free?

Where To Buy Witch Hazel Toner In Kenya For Cheap

This little plant found its way into the skincare industry and became everyone’s favourite. I first came across Witch Hazel through Zendaya, who swears by it. She has clear, healthy skin, so who am I to doubt its effectiveness. Honestly, I can’t think of any other reason to get this toner.

What is witch hazel? Good question. Witch hazel as a plant is used in natural remedies. Its barks and leaves are commonly used in medicines. Due to its anti-inflammatory and astringent properties, Witch hazel is used to treat certain skin conditions. It soothes sensitive skin and acts as an effective toner. Thereby making witch hazel perfect for people with acne. Want healthy, flawless skin? Grab a bottle of witch hazel. It’s affordable and worth every coin.

Learning about witch hazel and dying to try it I went surfing through the web for one. I’m always online and thought it would be time saving than to go looking in beauty shops. Luckily, I found good results for both online and physical shops.

So where can I get witch hazel toner in Kenya?

Jumia

As always, this online mall practically has everything you could think of. Jumia never disappoints. I found two different bottles from the same brand. Jumia describes the first T.N Dickinson’s Witch Hazel as a gentle relief for oily, irritated, red, damaged, blemished, or inflamed skin. They had me at ‘gentle relief.’ It costs about 1800sh for a 473ml bottle.

The second bottle is a pore perfecting, 100% natural toner. It cleanses and gently removes dirt. It’s also tightens, conditions and refines pores. For 1700sh for a 473ml bottle, I say that’s a good deal.

http://www.jumia.co.ke

Sugar Punch Beauty

Another online store dedicated to making Kenyan women beautiful. Sugar Punch is Kenya’s leading make up and skincare online store. Make up, lotions and creams, serums you name it, they got it. Sugar Punch shelters Thayer’s alcohol free witch hazel at 1900sh for 12oz bottle. It has a soft rose fragrance and organic Aloe Vera.

http://www.sugarpunchbeauty.co.ke

Healthy Yu

Good thing about Healthy Yu is the fact that they have stores across Kenya. You can hardly miss a store in major cities and urban areas. They’re more centered on health and wellbeing so be sure to look around. You never know. Witch hazel in Healthy Yu comes in a pack of two. Aqua Oleum Witch Hazel and Tea tree oil because as expected, these two go together like githeri and avocado. You have the option of one or both, it’s up to you.

Western Cosmetics

This online store has to be one of my favourites. They give great advice on products before you buy and answer any questions you have. They also have a vibrant blog section where I found a lot more info. This gave me a clear direction of what I required. Interesting read.
The witch Hazel in Western Cosmetics is different from the others. In this case, witch hazel is an ingredient in the product and not the main lead. Worry not however because, Clean and Clear Advantage Acne spot Treatments contains salicylic Acid and witch hazel for rapid acne treatment. It promises to not over dry your skin and show results after one use. Clean and Clear 22ml goes for 900sh.

http://www.westerncosmetics.com

That’s it, happy shopping!

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