A little self-pride never fell anyone.
In fact it is just the loud, arrogant, senseless pride with no right that makes people fall.
Just the right amount of self-pride is a necessary requirement in the life of any successful or aspiring to be successful individual. Just enough pride to keep you inspired and reminded of your worth and your value. That much pride you need to have.
With that much pride you can learn to draw lines; boundaries and limits in the ways that people treat you. You can always have that confidence to make it clear how far they can or cannot go with you. With the right amount of self-pride, you will understand who you are, what you are worth; and with the same pride you will learn to carry yourself in a manner that will dictate the people in your life to treat you right.
When you have some pride in you, you learn to respect yourself. Because you feel you are worth of respect, especially from others! The same pride that makes you need to be respected, to be politely excused, to be treated like you matter, to be thanked and to be appreciated, and for your efforts to be acknowledged; that same pride will teach you to respect others too. It will teach you to understand that they too matter.
Self-pride can give you a voice; to fight for yourself sand for others. Because you will have the faith and confidence it takes to believe in that which is right, with some pride, you can’t just always settle for whatever that comes your way. With pride you improve your bargaining power, because you learn to understand and especially believe how much it is that you are worth.
Pride in its plain self can make you choosy, selective and even trivial, but that is only if it is baseless and clothed in arrogance.
Self-pride makes you hold expectations; high expectations. And it drives you to only involve yourself with only that kind of crowd that can meet such. Because with self-pride you get to set standards for yourself and for others too; on what is expected of them, and on how they cannot just not deliver and expect to be a part of your team.
With pride you can afford to demand for results. You will have no shame in going for more, because you will feel sure you deserve the best.
When you are proud, you cannot settle down in complacency. You can’t find comfort in the crowd, in in the majority. With pride you want to be ahead, above and way up over there! And with the right informed pride, you will always take the initiative to do whatever it is you have to do to get just where it is you want to be.
With the right amount of self-pride, you can afford to challenge yourself.
You will go and set targets for yourself and you will have the discipline to set out to meet them. Because with pride, you can’t let yourself fail or even give up. You will always have the energy to rise up and try, again and again and again. Because you will believe you are better than a failure. Because you will be too proud to let yourself down. Your pride can’t let you give up on you.
So have yourselves a fairly proud day, mates. Wont you?


Perfect? Me Thinks Not!

Perfect? Me Thinks Not!
I am not a perfectionist; because I just can’t envision, or even just imagine perfection. I don’t believe there is such a thing as perfect! The concept is just that: A notion. There is nothing real or practical about it.
The idea itself I find ridiculous. The idea of perfect, left or right, positive or negative, the idea is plain impractical!
There is nothing like a perfect plan. If it lacks loopholes it is because it must have dug deep into people’s pockets just to implement. It must be because it was tasking and demanding of time and all manner of resources. What is so perfect about that?
No one person is perfectly evil; for I hear, even Osama; yes, the self same one, even he used to write love letters to his loved ones! Love letters expressing love, care, concern…beautiful humane emotions the world couldn’t expect him to even bear! And I am not in any way trying to lighten the magnitude of this man’s brutality; I am just saying that this tiny trace of care in the man, it disqualifies him from the “perfectly evil” prick we would all love to think he was.
And there definitely is no such a thing as a ‘perfect gentleman.’ Or perfect lady. Or perfect parent! Perfect? To who? To you? According to your own parameters, the ones you have set to judge and scale such attributes, yes, they could be perfect.
But what parameters, really? The same sidelined parameters that are not at all all-inclusive…the same imperfect parameters?
Just thinking that there could be someone out there, somewhere, buying the perfection crap; someone seduced and enticed by such a concept, now excited and eager and expectant to meet someone or even the sight of a thing described as such. Just that thought leaves me nauseated. Nauseated and embarrassed for the believer, embarrassed for their naivety and greenness. It makes me think, “Mate, where do you think we are at now? In some fancy-perfect world? You think this is a fairy tale? You think you are the princess in a castle?
I feel like slapping such a person hard on the face to rouse them from this misinforming slumber of believe.
I don’t think that anything or anyone human, mortal, can be perfect in any one way; in anything.
Maybe it is because I have lived working too hard and still always coming second or lower in everything, that I now believe there is always someone out there better than me; better than everybody.
I think, with the many people out there, good, too good, even best at things they do not even know they are best in; I think it is all good to just say “Of the people from all over the world who participated in the race, he came first” instead of, “He made world champion!”
Now you could say this my disbelieve in perfect is all but my little security plot; that I am just playing safe to shield myself from…disappointments! You could be right too, just not perfectly so.
I also think that expecting the very best of people, in people; I also think that too is not such a great idea.
For man cannot be trusted to be best, to be perfect, or to even stay thus. Not even after they could be programmed to be just that.
I say it is better to trust a dog. It makes more sense to trust a dog, yes, that very same four-legged animal that barks! For from him, one can expect something close to perfect service, perfect friendship…better than man can ever offer.
Quite a bit far-fetched that one, I know. But that is just how far am set to go to get you to understand just how botched this whole ‘perfect’ concept is.
So if you find yourself not getting me perfectly, trust me it is all good. I didn’t expect you to, anyway. I don’t even get myself perfectly most of the time. So it is all good.
Have a perfect day now, wont you?

Pride with a Right

Pride with a Right
What you do; the work of your hands, those beautiful results of hard work, concentration and grand patience: the result of redoes and corrections, trials and errors and final touches; that one no one should despise. Or mess.
I read a lot; averagely so, anyway. I read widely and selectively. And I appreciate a good read, and the man, woman or child behind that read which I consider great. From a thousand-page book, to a fraction of a page article, to a single witty line. A good read turns me on; emotionally, and most often too, intellectually.
A good read does things to me. It gets me laughing; or just smiling and grinning, involuntarily…all on my own! A good read gets me thinking; which is something that not so many people or things have managed to get me to do.
I applaud creative writers; the serious and the comical minds behind words on paper and on screen. I am more into creative stuff because that shit really gets me. And I get it. Facts and figures…well… those I find a little out of my league. I do not identify with such. So when I go after them, it is always only with one intention: To get informed.
But with creative imaginative stuff, I go there just to lose myself. (Which is something I am often into: Getting lost.)I go there in search of some sort of identification too; to see if I can identify with the artist, see how much the writer sees the world my way…how much they see the world just the way it is!
Creating creative stuff from real ordinary shit that everyone knows about and sees every day; things that people know about but don’t have a way of speaking of. Either because the topics are necessarily shaming, or even controversial, but still things that people see, hear about, and even experience. Writing something that gets someone to think, “How can you even say that? It is O so true!” That is what defines an artist from a not-so-artistic person.
And that is something which, if you have it, that talent in art, the creation of stuff where none previously existed; where none could ever be imagined. That is something to embrace, in whatever field you may find yourself.
It is just like a potter and their clay.
Simple common earth we all step on; just the right person comes by and moulds it into a classic piece!
I am not bragging. I’m just saying: There are some of my pieces that I read through and my heart races. I feel a rush. A very pleasuring rush; and with excitement and anticipation, my heart races.
It is like you are a teenage kid staring right at a pair of live tits, on the exposed chest of your major crush! A chest exposed just for your sight. It gets you O so excited! And you are so eager to touch, hold and explore. It all seems too good, too beautiful to be real! Your whole body aching to be right there, on the pair, but the tension; man the tension feels so fucking good!
It is even greater when it is a product of your own conjure ups.

I love writing.
So I heard about this grammarly thing; some software or application or whatever. Well, this is where I should stop writing, pause to go find out for you exactly what this grammarly thing is; I mean, aren’t I supposed to be informing you? Still, I feel a little lazy. So I will hope you know what it is I speak about, and if you don’t, then I will hope you give enough of a hoot to go find out by yourself the proper name for this grammarly thing.
Anyway, this grammarly thing, you just pass your hard work over to it so it can correct the real and imagined grammatical errors and mistakes for you.
Sometimes it is considerate enough to serve you with options…(maybe you meant to write this, or that or the other!) Other times, though, it just goes fully plagiarist and takes on your work to make it its own, to edit, correct and rewrite according to its will; a will that most often won’t meet your own needs.
For simple little understandable typing errors, this thing can be quite helpful. But you can’t just be lazy, scribble your way through a page and hurriedly pass it onto Mr. Grammarly to clean it all up for you. Your script could come out completely transformed. The thing will change your wording, punctuation and even presentation, and consequently the entire meaning of your piece.
Maybe I am the wrong one here. Maybe that was not how it happened. Maybe it is just me who didn’t know how to use the thing. Just maybe.
Still, after I trusted this thing and it let me down bad, after then, I have learnt to do my pieces the good old way. I write by myself and I edit by myself. It is not always the best way, but it sure does feel right sometime.
Because after I used it once, this grammarly thing, I didn’t like it.
Most of my lines were sitting on loads and loads of green zigzag lines. Reason? Wordiness!
And I tried to read my sentences, see how wordy they could feel if said out loud, and I realized Not. At. All!
Someone can read all these in one breath!
And I believe that, if it can all be said in one breath, then it isn’t at all too long or too wordy.

Anyway how could the grammarly thing know that? The thing doesn’t bear any breaths to give or to hold!
I ‘wordy’ my articles a lot.

I am so wordy in fact that doing my composition writing assignments back in the day, when everybody else in class were struggling, grappling around for words with which they could hit the count, all I could be doing is pray the teacher was serious about the ‘a minimum of’ phrase in her instructions. That way I could feel safe to go and go and go, and not be penalised for going and going and going!

I wordy my articles for a reason.

First, because it will make my readers lose their breath trying to catch up with the speed of the wording… and to the next pause! After, they will most probably think it was the content that raised the rates of their heart beat. And if you read something and it affects you like that; and it raises your heart beat…that stuff must be really really good. Like good weed! Or good sex! The longer you can hold it, the greater the pleasure!
Wordiness drives the point home for me. Meaning and emotion all wrapped together to give you a fantastic read. That is what makes a reader look at the end of an article, to find the contacts of the writer, so they can comment, leave their rants and raves, for or against the topic; and their position on the topic, powered by the energy from holding their breath so long looking to reach the next pause so they can finally exhale! Waiting to exhale.
Your heart beat screaming murder, and your blood pressure shooting up a couple of levels, and your general feeling inciting, “This article’s O so good! What a great read! It left me O so breathless, I just couldn’t put it down!”
So to all you writers out there; budding, upcoming and thriving; I say you just do your thing. Do not try to copy anyone. Don’t even strive to conform to the existing styles or trends. Just do your thing! If you do your thing big enough, your thing will soon become a trend to be trended, followed and emulated. Besides the satisfaction of having a write of your on turning you on, the same writes might even cut you a niche in that green leafy habitat of renown, appreciated and celebrated writers.
I can still advise you, I mean, do I have to have been-there-done-that to be some kind of a hero?
That said; I do not encourage that you dish out low-key work, full of grammatical errors and mistakes. Some important readers find such mistakes as repulsive as puke spills on a dinner table.
So, if the only way to hit it right is to go grammarly or turnitin, then I say go on. Just make sure the grammarly and turnitin are at your service, not you at theirs. Your meaning; that sense you want to convey, do not let anyone, or anything, globally acknowledged or not, cause you to change it.
That said, do not mistake this one here for a headlight to go blog (in)sensitive, incriminating (and especially politically unsettling) shit. You will find yourself hauled behind them bars faster than you can say grammarly.
So, yeah. Have a creative spell.

Folly of Youth

Folly of Youth
“You will face the music!”
That was Mr. Deputy’s favourite threat to us students, whenever he were set on keeping us in line, and there was a chance (quite a huge one always!) of us wandering off of that line. And now that I think about it; that was the only threat he held, of course besides the “six se!” one!
We students, at least those of our class, we were not good at all staying in line. Literal lines, illiteral lines, red tapes, yellow tapes, key apple thorny fences…nothing quite worked with us.
I remember at lunch time, our cook would shriek at us, body all sweaty and voice rough and jagged from the heat and smoke: “Kuja na laini!” which translated literally means, “Come with a line.” And we would just choose to go as a crowd instead. And point out to empty space…”There, right there is the line we came with!” and we would giggle and make him really angry. The bravest among us would then remind him how his job is to just cook and serve us and not care if we came to him flying, bearing lines or drums and trumpets. God we were so evil!
Behind our pith latrines, we had a ladder we could use to scale over dangerous precarious walls to buy ourselves French leaves off Math and Physics lessons. We called the ladder a fly-over.
Mr. Deputy was too focused on repairing and filling up “panya routes” to realize we would leave the compound without having to tear down any walls or screw with any fences.
Our class was the worst of all time. We were this bunch of teenagers who thought we knew everything there ever was to know about EVERYTHING! And anyone like that, anyone that thinks that way about themselves, that someone is lethal! Lethal to self and to others. We were lethal. We were venomous; and we thought it was cool.
We gave stupid names to really good teachers; bad names to all teachers except, of course, to Mr. Deputy.
He would sure dig out the originator and give them “six se!” so we were careful what it was we chose to call him.
We decided his cliché phrases would suffice. Besides, if they made him uncomfortable, we would always tell him we were just trying to live up to him, that he is our role model.
Stuff like “On your toes!” whenever someone saw him passing by and they go on to warn for everyone else to act straight and on toes!
Or just the mere soft shout of “Six se!” which would send everyone straightening up and in order.
Mr. Deputy punished by first giving you six of the hottest cane on the bottoms. I use the word first because this was not always just it for a punishment.
First, if you were to ever touch, at whatever count, the rule was he would start right back at one.
You counted with him. As he spanked you, one after the other, you counted out loud!
I guess he wanted to be sure your mind was still in good condition, even as he scarred and burnt your bottoms up. I just guess…for really, why would anyone make a high-schooler count one to six?!
Twang; One! Twang; two! Twang; Three…all the way up to six!
But “Twang; Ouch! And a hand slides in to rub and ease on the pain, involuntarily or otherwise, and whatever number you were at, the next twang will start right back at One! Sinistery, right?
Still, we were evil. We were little demons who had big problems observing simple rules like keeping our mouths shut for five straight minutes!
I think this must be the time around which some brilliant brains in the government or somewhere up there thought it wise to ban caning in schools. For it was irrelevant! It never worked! You received “six se!” today, and tomorrow you went and did the same wrong that had gone and fetched you the six!
But “six se” wasn’t just all there was on the punishment menu.
Depending on the magnitude of a wrong committed, a rule broken or slightly bent; depending on a moral code overlooked…the “six se!” could be just about it all, or just but an appetizer to a variety of main punishment dishes Mr. Deputy loved to dish out.
From a punishment to go uproot a huge old tree stump that did no one no harm; and filling the pith up, and growing grass on the spot…so Mr. Deputy’s cattle that grazed in the school compound could have a meal (that last part we figured that out, by ourselves! We were not totally dumb you see!)
To public humiliation: Having your dirty little love letter read out loud to the entire school population…with all the grammatical mistakes and errors and the stupidity of young love highlighted for everyone to laugh at!
To a week’s suspension…without stepping on the school grounds; and when you finally come back, he will be the one checking to see if your work in all subjects is properly updated and in sync with that of others!
And to, well, permanent expulsion!
One day, during our KCSE examinations, a student lost her calculator.
As usual, since we couldn’t ‘produce the thief,’ all of us candidates we were to pay for it.
So Mr. Deputy comes by, says tomorrow we all come with eighty shillings, each of us, to buy that girl her calculator.
The bright math brains among us do a quick calculation and soon word goes round that the eighty bob, times ninety of us equals seventy two hundred shillings!
And we all swear that can buy up to seven calculators! Logical, really, but no one has the insight, or courage, or whatever else it was to take to face the man with the facts. So we let him leave then one by one, we begin to complain, bitch and swear, “Hell no! No way am paying that much for a stupid calculator I didn’t even steal!”
And it becomes a song. A chant. A silent quiet tense chant.
Of course I did go home and ask for the eighty bob.
But I got to school to hear the tense chant of “Not paying, don’t pay, if you pay… threat threat threat!” and so when the teacher came to collect the dough, and everybody was saying “I don’t have any, sir,” I too said I didn’t have any either.
So since we were acting like the fully-horned candidates we all were, Mr. Deputy decided to spare us the “six se!” and send us out of the school compound to wait for the exams, until we could hand in the eighty bob.
Early in the year, we had played hard-headed and he had threatened to call the examination council and deregister us, say we had all died! We laughed at his fury, but still we remained scared he could actually go ahead and do it, so that kept us in check. And now, now that we knew that threat was O so out of date, we decided we were not going to pay the eighty bob.
We went out and feasted on tea and mandazi from the tea shop right opposite the school gate. And soon enough, soon enough we truly didn’t have any money to pay for the little machine!
Teachers passed us by. Most didn’t care at all. They walked past us like we didn’t exist! A few engaged us, but just out of curiosity. “What had this bunch gone and done this time?”
My Math teacher, who truly believed in me, went in and paid for me and sent someone out to fetch me.
He told me he had sorted my little problem. I said thank you, but headed for the gate anyway! I had to prove to the rest I was the baddest of them all! Rebellious to hell and back.
Well, I might have gained a few stupid points with that little defiant act, but I sure did shed off quite a number of important relevant points with my teachers. Now, with each better understanding I seem to reach, with every wise spark I hit, I feel even more ashamed of myself for that day.
And so that was how we all ended up spending our examination days locked out of the school compound, to get in only after we saw the uniformed officers come to deliver our question papers, and ‘getting lost’ right after every paper.
Our revision got paralyzed. And by the time we gained the sanity to part with the eighty bob, Mr. Deputy said he didn’t need it any more. So we spent all our days revising under the sun, on thorny bushes. It wasn’t fun at all.
And that was how I found myself facing a music that was not mine to face. Dancing to a tune I couldn’t move my body to; all because I was foolish, getting easily swayed by my peers.

I Ouch! And it Feels good!

Last weekend I hang out at a park playing ball with my son. We loosened up really good and rolled on the grass and chased at each other over nothing, and we generally had fun the whole entire time! Until the next morning when I woke up with a body so sore it felt as if I had gone and had a truck roll over my thighs. And it reminded me of the pains I suffered after I had to go through that cruel punishment in netball club where coach would make me do up to a hundred frog jumps whenever he felt I were not living up to my potential; which was like all the damn time!

The next morning, when a colleague at work saw me walk like I were crippled, she asked what the matter was and I told her I were “…paying for yesterday’s fun” and she laughed and said no one should ever have to pay for such brilliant fun! Then she went on to suggest I work out, regularly, “Nothing gymmy, really, just enough stretches to make your muscles less stiff than those of a Granma’s.”

The next day she brought me this CD labeled PIRATES in red ink. I couldn’t tell what it was, by the name; I thought it was a movie or something and I got worried that this was her idea of stretching them muscles, curled up on the couch following a plot!

She just said to go watch it, do what it tells me to do.

So, the next morning, after turning on the TV only to find I were out of signal (I had put off meeting the subscription fee; hoping it would go pay itself up?), I decide, out of  curiosity, to play PIRATES, see what it is all about, at least.

The screen opens up to calm quietness, and a very airy room, all clean, colourful empty space, except for the people seated on the floor.

There are four women in tights and vests, seating on folded legs each on a work-out mat. Their feet are bare, and they have their hair all gathered up, in chignons or ponytailed. They seem like they are up for some serious physical stuff these ladies.

Before them, a fit-looking man, he too dressed for the occasion.

I scan their frames, to see if I can trace any extra lumps of fat, even on a seated position. I can’t see any.

I decide these could be models, pinned here just to tempt my faith. And I begin to feel cheated and am about to hit the eject button when the man speaks, a deep lively voice, saying hello to us all and his name is…(I don’t catch his name), welcoming us to the day’s work-out session. He informs, “We shall be focusing on the limbs. But first let’s get us all warmed up and ready.”

I like him. He is a charmer this one. I understand how it is he only got model-shape, model-size figures in his class.

Man must have a great taste!

To the audience, the trainer requests we give him a few minutes, and advises to join him to work together as a group. He says “It works by doing it, not by just watching it from over there on the couch.”

Guy’s very practical! Mmmmh! I decide I love him already.

For the beginners, he advises we follow Claire, the one at the corner, on a green mat. “She will be going at it the easier less straining way.”

I thank him for the consideration.

And so we begin with the easiest basic warm up exercises, like breathing in and breathing out, and after holding up for just a few minutes, just breathing in and breathing out, I realize I am panting like a dog in the sun!

But Mr. Charms over there keeps encouraging, in a voice so calm you’d think he were not at all a part of this strenuous physical activity. In fact, he is doing as much as he is asking of everybody. And he is speaking out too, to direct, and to encourage. And I decide I do not want to give up.

We get to “Hands akimbo, bend to the left.” I bend and I swear I can hear something break. It is so painful!

I ouch! And it feels good.

It feels good I finally got to stretching, and the more it hurts, the greater the miles I am doing at breaking the lazy!

So I ouch and it feels good.

But soon it is six, and I need to prepare to go to work.

All day I can’t wait to get back home to ‘pirates’.

And since that morning, everyday, in everything I do, I seek pain and discomfort.

I deliberately go for the most uncomfortable positions attending to the chores in the house. Because that way it will hurt; and I will feel good!

If washing clothes in a basin, I choose to place the basin on a low surface so I have to bend while doing it. And it is not just bending, not the normal usual way where I get to rest an elbow on the knee and get scrubbing. No! I force my legs to be erect and my arms too. And to have my back raised and curved and to feel my tummy literally hung on me. And with every stroke, with every single scrub of a garment between my palms, I love to feel the sag and swing of my stomach. And that pain on my calf, and on my shoulders.

And it hurts. So I ouch! And I feel good!

Just Laugh it Out!

Just Laugh it Out!

One day, long ago, Mamma fell ill and I had to move in with her sister who wasn’t anything at all like Mamma.

So one Sunday morning, we are at the river, Auntie and I, together with a whole other bunch of villagers, young and adult, they too there to do their washing.

I am all the way over there at the other end of the trees, looking for a leaving tree stump on which I can hang our washing to drip and feel lighter to carry home for spreading.

And that is when I hear Auntie yell out my name. She usually yelled; as if I was short of hearing or something. So I yell back, “Yes, Auntie!” and I get set to run right back to her, for that was just the way she liked it; to call at you, and for you to drop whatever it is you are doing, and rush to her like she were chocking and you were her only salvation!

Before I can even dash to her side, she screeches, “you get right back here this minute and tell me why you blew your nose into this towel right now! You hear me? Right now!”

She talked so fast, in sentences so long you would always wonder, “Did she seriously say all that in just one breath?!”

I didn’t blow any nose into any towel! I hadn’t blown any nose in uncle‘s brown towel, which was in fact the only towel there ever was in Auntie’s house. We didn’t have kitchen towels, and back then, I don’t even think we missed them either. Neither did we ever miss having our own body towels to use after baths. We always had the clothes we just got out of to wipe ourselves dry with. Or we could always finish showering, pull on the clean clothes over our wet skins, and by the time we get into the house from the bathroom yards away, we would be all dried up under the sun.

So I get back to Auntie, shaken and cowering, not at all ready to face her eminent wrath. She has put a break on washing and she is now standing erect, holding up the dirty dripping towel for all to see, demanding I feel it.

I can only shake my head no. NO I did not blow my nose into that towel! NO!  Please do not embarrass me like this! And my eyes tear up.

And she pushes me even harder. “Won’t you speak up, uh? Won’t you now? This is your mucus right here! Come on! Feel it!”

I burn with embarrassment. And I choke with fury! And then everything stops. The boys and the girls from my new school all gather around me, laughing at me. At this girl that blew her nose into her uncle’s brown towel. And I can feel my vision blur. Am I going blind or is it just the tears in my eyes? I can’t even hear Auntie’s poisonous spill anymore, just the blurry sight of her wild gestures and the constant move of her lips, only these go to tell me it’s not yet over. Am I going deaf or is it that her shouts just burst my ear drums? I feel numb and suffocated. And I want to disappear. Run, run, far, far!

And I do. I run. Fast as I can. I run back home. Back to Auntie’s house. And I put on my clothes, and I carry my school bag, and I embark on a long journey on foot. A long walk home. Back to my mother. Because that is just where I want to be. That is the only place I want to be. Back with Mamma.

What goes on after this is another long story on its own, for another day.

For now, I only want to say that I was petty. Back then I was petty. I must have been petty to have allowed for Auntie’s words to affect me that much.

But it has all changed. Now I try to always not lose control over people’s words, especially words that are merely lies, make-ups intended to cause me pain. I don’t give a fuck what it is people are gonna go say about me, if it is not true, if it does not warrant a summon to the courts. I do not misplace my fucks anymore. I only give fucks where they are due. I value my fucks.

But then again, I was just an eleven-year-old in a new family, in a new neighbourhood and in a new school; trying to find myself, trying to fit in. And as “That girl that blew her nose into her uncle’s brown towel” that’s just not the way I wanted to find myself. Hell that just was no way for any girl to want anyone to find them; especially not the pupils from her new school!

These days, when people say things about me, I laugh.

If they are true things about me, I laugh hard, and I enjoy it. I think, “Bitch, you really do know me well! You are right! I just can’t scrap off my schedule to fit you in just because you asked me to!”

And when they are falsehoods, make-ups intended to make me look bad, stupid stuff, shit that people go and make up about others, I laugh very hard.

And I’m thinking now, if it were today, if that long ago incident at the river were to happen today, I would laugh. I would laugh out loud and infuriate Auntie by laughing even harder. And after I’m finally calmed down from my laughter tremors, I would tell her what I think.

One: Woman, when you take too long to wash your husband’s body towel, it gets too dirty and can tend to feel a little slippery the next time you go and put it in water.

Two: when you soak a towel in all the wrong detergents, and wait a awful whole week waiting for schools to close so Nita can afford you company to go wash at the river, the towel can become slippery and slimy, and you can easily confuse the feel with that of mucus.

Three: I do not trust you to know the exact feel of MY mucus from that of EVERYBODY ELSE in your house. So Auntie dear, if there really is mucus on that towel, how about our first point of detection roots from the owner himself. I mean, why start with me now? That’s just so unfair!

And so for every person out there hurting and paining for something hurtful and painful another person went and said about them, I say, don’t cry! Laugh it out instead!

Laugh at the evil bitches. And laugh at all their misplaced creativity, because I understand for most of those things they say, those people are masters in the craft of words, weaving them into some of the most unbelievable items of sick art.

I say you laugh out at their misplaced energies. And at their misplaced priorities. Laugh out and move on.

Words never broke any bones…don’t let them break your heart.

Faith of Young

Faith of Young

Mamma did right by me. She did. She brought me up the Godly way, and she inspired me into striking a close connection with God, more that I can now believe was possible.

Until I fell.

And I did rise; it just was never the same again.

So when most Christians go and ask they be showered by the faith of the forefathers, that of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, I go to prayer and ask God to please give back to me my old faith. The faith of my childhood innocence!

I realize that faith is something after you lose it, it is not easy to just get it back again. Not in the same measure you had it before. Not in the same intensity. Not in the same purity!

And I want to have it all back! The same way I had it before.

I want to feel a close connection with Jesus just like I could as a young girl. I yearn to pray for an issue and trust that it has been taken care of, and move on to another new issue.

I want to lose the guilt in me that has become such a weighty load to my spirit, and I want to believe that I am forgiven when I go and ask God to please forgive me.

Therefore, while most people go to church looking forward to the preacher uplifting them, telling them they will prosper and that they will not remain poor; telling them they are not born to be the tails but the heads; while all these happens, I appreciate. I say, all these is great, really!

However, my dream sermon is the one on forgiveness, and a past that is past, and cleansing, and beginning anew and becoming a new creature, and starting all over again, and finally having a grip on that faith of young. That is what I look forward to when I go to church.

As a young girl in my early years of primary school, my relationship with God was so real, so close, it was just magical!

If any girl ever had a real Fairy Mother, they will totally get me here.

God was my Fairy Dad. I told him everything! And he heard me. I knew he heard me because I had enough faith to actually go ahead and ask for a sign to have him prove he actually did hear me. It was always positive. God was my teddy bear for when I would go to sleep, hugging myself and telling him “Good night God, see you tomorrow morning.”

And God was my secret. He had to be because for the many things he did for me, no one could have believed me if I were to go say, “Hey, look what God went and did for me! He just dropped me a story book from heaven!”

Who could have believed me?

But he did. He could. And even as young as I was, I never was unaware of the reality of a fuss it could all create to have God come over and perform outright miracles in the presence of everyone around me. And it felt wrong to go brag about it, so I kept it my huge little secret.

Still, I didn’t have a doubt that if I asked him to please come over to our house, fill our pots and jars with water for me, so I won’t have to go to the river, still I did not have a shred of doubt if I were to request that of Him, my God could have actually come and did it.

But I also followed his teachings: To obey, to work hard, and to not be lazy.

So if Mamma asked me to fetch water and fill everything including the spoons, I went and did that.

And maybe God did actually come to my aid and help me fill the empty vessels with water. But I never asked him to do that. I think he did, all the same, because he knew I needed help. I think so because fetching always seemed to go so fast, the pots filling up so soon when all I had to carry at one time was two five-liter cans. Even Mamma couldn’t always believe I had gone and done it all by myself. So yes, I believe God always came in and helped, even in things I didn’t explicitly seek His hand on.

And I am not saying I was perfect. But I was a good kid. I did do some wrong here and there, disobeying, answering back, and even, you know, stealing! Nothing serious though; just maybe a pinch of sugar to sweeten my mouth with while I ran to the river. A crime I already paid for, by the way: I have had a number of my teeth extracted from caviting on me and aching like crazy! (‘caviting’ isn’t actually a word. I saw that, I just chose to keep it anyway, cause it sounds…cool!)

Whenever I did any of these wrongs, I would go to God, anytime, anywhere, whatever it was I was doing, and ask him, earnestly, to forgive me. And I always believed he had. Because I could feel the peace afterwards.

I prayed a lot. Even when walking on the road. Even with my eyes open, I still prayed to God.

And he heard me. He always did. And he answered me.

Me and my God, together, it was fun! We rocked!

Now why did I go and lose that?!

And how can I ever have it all back, the same way it was, and in the same intensity? Because that is just the way I want it. To trust and to obey. With no questions at all. To be with my God, all day, every day. To have faith in him, innocently and without questions.

I loved my mother. I still do. But back then, it was even deeper. I cared for my mother just as much as a young girl could. That care and concern that you hold over your mother because you see her struggle for you and you want to help but there isn’t much you can do because you are just a child. And she keeps encouraging you to go work hard in school, get a fine education and that, ‘that way you shall have paid her.’

But I wanted to help her. Then. At that moment. In whichever way I could.

So whenever I was not being a spoilt adolescent thinking she knows everything there is to know about everything, I helped. I did what I could, that which was expected of me.

I fetched firewood and water and I swept the house clean and cut sukuma wiki on a clean log. And I helped even more by not worrying her, by not demanding of Mamma things she couldn’t get me.

Going to school, I would walk by a busy tarmacked road. And there could be several passenger vehicles passing, with the fare collectors hanging on doors with notes sticking from between their fingers.

And I’d pray to God, “Help me get fifty shillings. For the examination fees I told you about, and for my pen, it melted Lord, and had ink spill all over my school uniform. I want the money so I won’t have to ask Mamma for it.”

And a fifty shillings note would fly off the wand in the conductor’s hand, and the conductor wouldn’t even notice! And when the sudden wind stills, I would go pick it up. From where my God had gone and dropped it.

And just like that, I could have met my needs. Just like that! After leaving home for school with no pen, and believing I will have a pen to use at school, and not knowing exactly how, just believing!

If I had any cash remaining after, I could buy matches, or a piece of soap, and go keep it in a carton under Mamma’s bed where we kept our shopping. And when the next day she went under there to look for an item, she’d say, “I was sure I didn’t have any matches left! But see, there’s some!”

And I won’t say a word.

Then she would offer, “Maybe God just came and placed them in here for us.”

Then I would agree, “Maybe God did do that, Mamma.”

Still, I figured it was the same faith in her that could have her bending to pull out a carton she was sure was empty earlier to get a sachet of salt out of.

And this is why I want to get back my faith of young!