Monday, August 04, 2008


Kenyans are pretty dramatic and being away made me forget how interesting Kenyans can be: Amidst the bra clinics (I'm sceptical about these by the way); rioting high schoolers; the random guy who was being charazwad by a mob off kenyatta avenue; 300 (or more) flats that seem to have popped up everywhere; the gossiping watchmen at the gate; the weird topics on radio; Kencell changing its name yet again!; matatus trying to avoid cops; the cops themselves; the most interesting social events ; people hustling-only last week did my brother tell me that he has a friend who exports frogs!…heh! how interesting life can be! And thats what I've found out after being home for just a week. Will the 'novelty' soon wear off'?.

Anyway, despite my fears , I’m really glad to be back home, though having said that I'm currently boiling in Uganda. Everyones been asking the usual questions …what did you study?what now? are you going back?what now?are you going back? what now? ...And my answer usually remains the same…
I don’t know.

My life plan seems to have shrunk to something that covers the next 24 hours or when I've got my happy socks on , it may even extend to a week. So yeah, here's to whatever the next few months will bring...I will not panic...I will not panic!I will not Panic!

Oh, heres a few more drawings that I've done.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

These funny feelings...

I think I'm a little bit sad

either that or I'm hungry

or maybe its a little bit of both...


Tuesday, June 03, 2008


I came across this and thought I'd put it up for those amongst you who are so inclined

The African Photo Entrepreneur Programme
is specifically aimed at growing photo entrepreneurs who can compete on the global stage in terms of photo production and market savvy. Launched ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the programme will be run in South Africa in the latter half of 2008 and represents an investment of over R30,000 in each participant.

The programme is sponsored in part by the European Union through Gijima KZN, an initiative of the Department of Economic Development, and requires participants to apply to be selected. A panel of eminent judges from media, art and product markets, will ensure the standard of participants is high. Judges will be announced as they are confirmed.

Part of Africa Media Online's African Image Pipeline project, the programme includes participation in the Digital Campus, a photo assignment, and for those who carry out the assignment successfully, a further two day Global Competitiveness Masterclass.

The aim of the whole programme is to equip participants to become adept at supplying the needs of international publishing, art and product markets. It not only involves digital imaging and digital workflow skills and disciplines, but also an awareness of market demands and routes to market. Copy and paste this link into your web browser to make application and find out
more information about the programme:

All the best and I look forward to hearing from you in this regard,

David Larsen
Director - Africa Media Online
cell: +27-82-829-7959
pic sales:

Friday, May 30, 2008

I want to be busy now!

I like being busy. I like being involved.I..I...I...
Today I read this:
" 'The press of busyness is like a reaches out seeking always to lay hold of ever younger victims so that childhood or youth are scarcely allowed the quiet and the retirement in which the eternal may unfold a divine growth.' The truth is as much as we complain about it we are drawn to hurry . It makes us feel important . It keeps the adrenalin pumping. It means we don't have to look too closely at the heart or life. It keeps us from feeling our loneliness."

So now thoughts about that as well as thoughts on being a productive member of society and leading a fulfilled life are mish-mashing in my head

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

black cotton!

I have a new hairstyle!and its soooo not me.Its all funky afro diva-ish. Hence the title of my post.Black cotton!Although I like the sound of that title; It would have been my title regardless of whether I was or was not rocking this gadget on my head.Yesterday I happened on a random clip of Beyonce and they were talking about her alter ego Sasha (MPD anyone?). In keeping with my new hair, it may be appropriate to have an alter ego. I would probably name her after some 70s character, nothing like sasha, that just sounds Russian. Russians are great people I think, but its not often that they inspire 70s flava. I think I might have enjoyed living in the 70s- flower child meets funky diva meets would that work out;)
Anyway!it has been a most exciting, most frustrating week. Finished my final exams. Encountered the slew of emotions that come with finishing what seems to be such a big part of my life...sadness, fear, elation, freedom...etc. I'm trying to see what I should do with myself, which is not panning out as smoothly as I would like.
In other news, my toothbrushes just don't seem to last! Whats wrong with the stuff they're making nowadays!If I was the afro-funky-diva-queen that my hairstyle portends me to be , I would write to OralB and ask them for a refund. They say you should change your toothbrush every 3 months. Lakini mine look like fluff after 4 weeks! What am I doing wrong?Technique?After this we have to make sure that the teeth are in tip-top condition.
Yesterday I came to a realization, nothing to do with teeth...I suck at dating. In fact I think there's something genetically ingrained(note the emphasis) in my being that is opposed to the whole 2 people sitting on a table asking gentle probing questions to find out where ones interests lie, over icecream or tea or cake . It just makes me tense! i. e unless we're already friends. I'm at ease with my friends, we can talk anywhere! But there's something about prescribed dating that just rubs me the wrong way.It doesn't feel natural. But then there are not many alternatives in the way of two people getting to know one another are there?Especially as you enter the world of work. My ideal date would therefore have to be something similar to a team building project errrm...or something.
I'm a slow burner,bloomer, relationship it what you may,so give me a break.Maybe I just need to be more comfortable than most around a guy before anything else. Otherwise I'm just awkward. Anyway, on Monday I accidentally ended up on a date...ayayaya!disaster!In that respect I echo my friends sentiments...I should come with a disclaimer...mssch.
Moving on swiftly, I haven't put up a picture in a while after making all those claims in my artsy post. So here is a random abstracty one...A lollipop to anyone who can guess what it is.Shouldn't be too hard, I'm not especially skilled at the whole abstract business.It was inspired by Kibera.
Oh a few reminders: Pray for Africa, especially those places that have been bumped out of the news, I'm not saying forget about SA , pray for them too. Pray for your friends too. It makes a difference.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Just-A-Band ...If you haven't already , then you surely need to check out these guys. Amazing stuff! Kenyans doing their thing!

They've just come out with an album called Scratch to Reveal ,as you'll see on their site and blog. Buy it, buy it, buy it!
Here is a sample of their work. Enjoy!

Iwinyo Piny-Just-A-Band

Lalalala -Manjeru Produced by Just-A-Band


Maisha-Mena (Remix) Produced by Just-A-Bnad

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Today at church the speaker spoke of a trip she made to the Sinai peninsula last year. Their guide was a man called Howard. 'Oward (as he was known) is a Bedouin. Interesting.How many Bedouins are there ,out there , called Howard? He may have changed his name for their benefit though, for ease of pronunciation(or whatever). In fact quite a large number of Chinese people adopt English names on arrival in Britain, which at first I thought was weird...but thats a post for another day.
So 'Oward it was.
'Oward knew the desert not only like the back of his hand, but like a hungry mono in a kitchen after 3 months of playing beast of burden. (Mono=usually male, Kenyan, Form1 student)
He carried with him a kettle. Just a kettle, no prayer mat, no book of wise sayings, no insence , no trusty goat or stallion. As far as I know, the kettle is all that went with him as he led these people across the space.I could not help but draw on a little African romanticism as I thought of what life was like for 'Oward

...Bedouin, flowing robe, trudging in the distance, his gait strong and sure , the sands rise and fall, cover- uncover his one minute gone the next ...

About a month ago I watched a program basically about a guy who was traveling within the middle east, mostly Israel, sampling their cuisine. He also got to do a little reporting: checked out the orthodox Jews , the eastern European influences, the metropolis of Tel Aviv and the urbane who felt zero for kosher lifestyles ,the Muslim quarter, up and down to hinterlands and remote areas, to rural kibbutz's ,to people suffering the Israeli occupation or the zeal of fundamentalists....and so on it went. At some point in their filming they end up at a Bedouin household.These Bedouins owned a Datsun.
'Oward used his kettle to make infusions of certain weeds he found along the way.
Bearded Bedouin with a kettle.
I'm going to try and make that into a slogan someday.

In other news, whats with being chunky in all the wrong places...hmph!
And in even more threateningly profound news,is the question of love: how to give it, how to receive it? Theres great joy in opening up our lives to others.I know this, I know this.Yet...I tend to have a few issues in this department. Issues that generally grate against my desire to love or be loved. I've got big lessons to learn...but I know where I want to end up:)
on a similar but different note:Im getting the love munchies again...I should probably stay away from Romcom's for a while.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Africa what’s your story,

Where is your king,

Where is your glory,

A land so rich yet torn,

So filled with laughter and scorn,

Watoto wanavimbwa na hasira,

Upo enzini, huku kimya,

Teleza, teleza,

Jirani anauliwa,

We stand and heave a sigh.

I'm a witness,we're grinning,

The world is spinning, ooooh , we’re winning!

With no surprise , we shield our eyes,

No dye...

My guilt, it will suffice.

The veil is cast, a reminder of our past,

I thrust shame under a blanket of dust,

Only burning coal, those millions of souls,

Covered now them with hope we stole,

Dreams we buried, lies foretold.

I must! I must! says my cynical child,

Stand and heave my sigh.

Africa what’s your story,

Where is your king,

Where is your glory,

Who will remove the stain,

These narcotics, what shots of pain,

You raise your fist seeking revolution,

But what of your heart ,

When does it beat with resolution

Teleza, teleza,

Matatizo huongezeka.

Why stand and heave a sigh.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

come one and all...

This may be a departure from my regular content, but I just had to get the word out!
If you're a responsible driver and trying to find a way out of the terrible traffic jams in the city as well as save a little on fuel consumption...I suggest you get in touch with these guys. They're cool,professional, run a good business and are men of integrity...yes, I'm unashamedly marketing, but it is true.
If you want to be added to their mailing list email
For further information visit: or contact +254721603765 or +254721469218

Friday, April 11, 2008

Art matters...?

My sister sometimes describes me as artsy. But she's my sister, bias is encouraged. A friend of mine describes herself as and artist trapped in the mind/body of a scientist (or was it the other way round) ...
Anyway, sometimes I do wonder about being 'artistic'. You see I can spend inordinate amounts of time drawing things and writing random things (I even have a blog) . I love cloth and colour and African crafts and I love singing and designing things and looking at pictures and taking them and I can spend hours walking around Nairobi in my mind sourcing my imaginary shop...the list could go on till tomorrow! But I've never really known if I was someone who could be called to use any one of these interests for others; they were mostly just for my own entertainment.
Funny thing is, I'm surrounded by many artsy, gifted people. Obviously after spending time with them, comparisons roll in and I find myself asking God if these are really gifts or if he was giving me his own version of a 'teaser/taster' . Ill comparison sucketh , wivu ni mbaya and God is no joke!So I need to try and find out what exactly he has put into my tool box , find out how I can use the few 'almost skills' that I do have.But then again, if I followed up on every little thing that I am interested in,I'd be a basket , career, family, friends...maybe this is why our brains need more than 5 neurons. Sigh.

Anyway, I'm going to start with drawing. I've always loved to draw. Usually when I don't want to think, I draw, A little here, kidogo there, nothing too fancy. But now, its dawning on me that I might need to draw (no pun intended) on this resource a little more in the future. Which means I have to step out of my box, out of my comfort zone and just put my stuff out there in faith. Faith that I'll be refined by the criticism , encouragement etc etc or at worst, that maybe this isn't my thing.Then I'll turn around and set off towards the sunset in search of another dream.

As with most things, I tend not to finish my heres a number of the unfinished ones.Just to give you an idea of ..I dont know what of. I've used chalk , charcoal, acrylics, pencil, biro... errrm, yeah I think thats it.What I hope to now do is to really work, properly, on one piece a month which I'll put onto this my space.So feel free to comment, criticize, give ideas.
heh!As in a complete piece...God knows where I'll fit in the time. But I will

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


'In rural Madagascar access to market centers has been restricted by lack of roads , and the government has had few resources for road building or maintenance. With assistance from international donors the government has developed partnerships with local community organization and commercial road construction firms to create and maintain hundreds of kilometers of rural roads . In the Partnerships , private firms construct roads and instruct the community in their maintenance ; the government authorizes the communities to collect tolls from road users ; and the community maintains the roads with their own labour and funds from the tolls . The partnership utilizes the comparative advantages of the different parties to produce gains for all of them'

This was written around 1998...wonder how it turned out....seems like a good idea...wonder what it would take to launch such an initiative at home.....hmmm

Thursday, April 03, 2008


Everyone has their bath time routine. Where you hang your towel, where you discard your clothes, where you put your soap, how hot you like the water, how high the shower head should be, window closed, window open...and so on, and so forth right?So when you're sharing a house with 4 others, theres bound to be some turf wars. I'm currently engaged in a battle that I must win! You see, one of my house mates, she moves my sponge from where I like it; on my side of the cabinet.After which she (bless her) then proceeds to put it on the top of the cabinet where I'm pretty sure all manner of nastiness reside, seeing as it one of those forgotten places that people just never seem to clean.

She moves it, I move it back.
Because when I think about it logically, I end up asking myself, 'Why is she touching my loofah anyway!? She has no right to move it, it is my property, I have paid rent in this house and therefore I'm at liberty to place it where I want,within the inchage accorded me on my side of the shelf!' C'est tres bizarre but actually quite funny. We are sensible adults you know, but something tells me that none of us is going to bring it up. So, a luta continua ama sio?Maybe, I'm enjoying it...No.

Anyway, back to bathing.I've constructed a scale. This scale depicts the number of times people bathe in the house. On the extreme right is roomate X, who bathes twice a day.That's pretty normal. At the other extreme , is roomate Y, who bathes every two or three days (Yeah, I know).Now, I've tried stopping myself, but whenever I'm in roomates Y's presence I sniff, cause I just find it amazing. How come she doesn't smell!!

Then I wonder...and I wonder many things.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

I never realized how much I don't like writing essays!! Writing for me is more enjoyable when I don't have to bother backing up what I say. Maybe this is why I blog and bother my friends with long emails basically about nothing.
I guess sometimes what is needed is an escape from always having to prove something. This is why I'll probably never be an academic or politician (not like Kenyan politicians ever use facts) or some sort of journalist, no no. Although I did have my hopes and you never know...I was telling my friend the other day that I should become a relationship consultant...she laughed!
Anyway, so I'm reading a paper on Global civil society and theres an interesting bit about a mister known as Hegel. It is said that this dude believed war kept society healthy...

'just as the movement of the ocean prevents the corruption which would be the result of perpetual calm, so by war people escape the corruption which would be occasioned by continuous or eternal peace'


Makes you wonder how he arrived at such a statement!And which dissidents ,run with it. Makes me wonder where words and ideas that I let float around carelessly could lead me or others inconsequential as they seem.

Anyway, it is now 0013hours....

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

I'm A Woman

That word eh...
I need to vent just a little bit

Its probably no wonder that I came across the quote I mentioned in my previous post. God was trying to keep me focused.

But people keep asking me why I don't wear enough makeup;I remember with fondness the days when Vaseline on the lips was enough of a fashion statement. Other ones ask me whether I've lost weight,If I'm planning on losing weight,whether I'm on weight watchers?What about the number of times I've been told I look mature, which I usually take as a compliment until the question dawns on me, aged mature or deep mature, sijui?I'm wondering when my friends started looking like they we're on their way to a photo shoot all the time, infact some have gone all the way and even gone for the photoshoot!;wondering why that guy who was behind me in school gives a weekly commentary on the do's and don'ts of accessorizing and says that if I'm a proper woman I ought to have more bags than he does!That women around me seem to know where that shade of eyeshadow should go , while I'm struggling to guide the eyepencil around and not into my eye(ouch); that all these people seem to have resources that I don't know about cause I cant figure out how you can save and still pay for makeup, accessories,, music,books, bills .....maaaaaeeeeen!

Its giving me a complex, this pressure to conform!

Maybe I'm just not creative...but that would be a blow my ego would not willing to take right now.

So I'm strong. I refuse to care!
But the things is I do...just a little, tiny, ok maybe closer to medium, bit.

Sometimes, especially in this society, it feels like theres a grumpy judge standing over me with a small kijiti ready to rap me over the knuckles for committing my weekly fashion faux pas. Its hard being a grown up woman in this century, especially if you don't fit into the mould that society so willingly proffers. I don't feel like I do and I'm only 22. So now what?!

I fully understand that women have to make an effort and I've got nothing against looking good.They say that our generation might be the best looking yet...hahaha.
Anyway, in a way it bugs me that I've spent valuable time and space typing up a post that is basically about looks . It makes me feel so vain (Hanging head in shame, blush creeping up neck)but its just that the reason behind why we should bother, seems to escape me from time to time, especially in the face of blasts of wind, temperatures of 6 degrees and the fact that good clothes cost nothing below £10 (and sometimes thats the cost of a vest).
Theres more to life than how we look and I can only be me, but the pressure is still there, gnawing away into the hidden bits at the back of my brain.

I'm a womaaaan...W.O.M.A.N tralalalala

Friday, February 29, 2008

“Beauty connotes humanity. We call a natural object beautiful because we see that its form expresses fitness, the perfect fulfillment of function.”

Theodore Cook

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

very random

Yesterday was one of those days that took on this weird, diaphanous quality.
n't know why. Then again my imagination has the uncanny ability of coming up with the ridiculous. I've noticed it in my occasional love affair with daydreams and the many moments I've found myself battling with wishful thinking .To top it off I'm a closet romantic .Sigh. So it is safe to assume that given the routine humdrum of life that when words like diaphanous appear in my vocabulary, it will take me all of a few seconds to run with it.
Although ,
I did pause. Pause before I let my mind go, which in a way allows me to give myself a hefty pat on the back. I'm getting better at this whole self-regulation business!See over the last few months and years , as some of my favourite notions of adulthood have been errrm, reworked , I've realised the value of thought , running right alongside the value of hope. How you think, what you think, why you think...about different things.None of that self-help juju but something more along the lines affirming the dictum 'as a man thinketh , so he is'. And so I try to tweaze out the dreams that are inappropriate, the ones that are way too indulgent,too selfish , the others that down right leap ahead of Gods plans for me ; juggling and sifting through,vivid imagination or not, no matter how sweet the day dreams may be....

So today
I figured that theres no time like the present when it comes to making snap decisions about careers in showbiz, even if they're firmly fixed in the realms of my imagination. I decided to don Spielberg's hat trying to figure out how my boring day could be juiced up by playing it out in video format. I've actually once considered wearing a disguise, doing a skit and putting the video up on youtube.But then my pal refused to join in and I wasn't planning on making an embarrassing debut, solo, so the idea was benched.Maybe I'm glad that she did refuse, but you never know, I'm still considering putting it on my list, along with skydiving and renovating a house and...

The video would be low budget. Not the trashy kind of low budget, but the grainy yet authentic kind.Loads of sunshine and a soundtrack reflective of the 'cool' in me , you know, shades of blue and orange and reds and purples and lemons.The type of music that makes you feel like you can have a good cry , tears of joy and sorrow that would wash the world clean (Thats me trying to be poetic).
There I'd be, sitting on a bus on my way home, the sun a blazing orb at the horizon while I compose lyrics to my new song,aptly named 'Wema wa kutosha'.

Gawsh, I'm liking where this is going, mmmmmm

and it would have to have flashbacks!Reels of scenes from my day

The young guy on his phone.Cheery, sounding a little bit like he was trying too hard.It must have been a girl on the other end. I wasn't eavesdropping. He was loud. The hoards of mentally ill people roaming the streets of Birmingham.Maybe a few shots of myself (from my most photogenic of angles) waking up (actually scratch that ) , diggin into my fruit salad and subsequently cringing as I took my first bite .The fruits were soooo cold! Me contemplating life, school,the beast known as facebook which has produced interesting pathological behaviour in some individuals of late.My affinity for disposing light bulbs exposed .In case you were wondering , these have been blowing up at a rate of one every eh few weeks for the last month or so. The position of power points in the house just make you feel like shouting 'what!' and 'why!' and 'where!'.
So I keep tripping over my lamp...and buying light bulbs. Sijui.

But maybe I'd skip all that , go straight to the end; day would roll into night and I'd be extremely glad that God gives us second chances. With heavy lids and a heart that sometimes struggles to believe and look forward to new mornings and new mercies, I'd wonder and dream about what comes next, for me, for my country , for my relationships.....and I'd fall asleep, my tummy full of chapo's, a warm breeze lulling me to sleep, a small candle of hope flickering in its wake....

Saturday, January 19, 2008

See. Hear.Do


Kenyans are talking, texting, facebooking, emailing,blogging, writing, singing, saying....

And whats it all about; change,inspiration, despair, doubt, anger , name it.

At the end of the day, whether they realize it or not,time has been spent on the desire to be heard and you know what, its great!After all, let them who have ears listen right?

Well, I'm feeling kind of frustrated, cause I'm wondering whose being helped by all this debate? If at the end of all this we remain with just rhetoric , rhetoric unlikely to reach the ears or grasp the hearts of those whom it is a) about or b)for, then whats the point.
I'm afraid that something else will come along that really gets our gut and guess what we'll start talking, texting, blogging about something else.To reiterate someones point Kenyans , especially middle class, cosmopolitan, urban...seem to have a selective episodic memory.

See. Hear. Do.

I keep wondering whether debate amongst people of like mind will get us anywhere? If it's a safe way of saying that you tried. I wonder what value would him who is hungry, maimed , in hiding, isolated, alone, without; what value they place on what we are saying.
I know words are weapons for change, but with all my heart I believe they are not enough. Even the most prolific commentator lives in a world where he will have to put his pen down and engage with the society within which he is born and lives. I know some of you may disagree. For some , they are at a loss ,what else can they do?(Insert sigh and shrug here) Others may even say, that by writing you will inspire others to action, but I don't think we should settle.

I'm not saying that political analysis doesn't have its place but Kenya is going to need a whole lot more than that...I hope you get what I'm saying.By all means use your words to make your contribution, but also use your other gifts, your time, your food, your car, your money, your art, your business acumen, your strength, wisdom, to interact with those who are affected, hopefully directly if possible.Think about what you can do and then pray about it and then act in faith, Ama?

In other news, who knows if a music library ,physical or virtual, can work in Nairobi?

Sunday, January 06, 2008

I hope..

'humpty dumpty sat on the wall , humpty dumpty had a great fall'

Sigh... I'm not going to bother dissecting the rhyme. What I'm wondering is why it jumped into my mind when I decided to let myself think of the events of last week.I understate when I say it was not the best of weeks for some.
Its interesting though, the way some of us remain chronically hopeful. Am I one such woman?I'd like to believe that I am,although the range of emotions I experienced last week might say different. Given the realities of this life we need infusions of hope to face whatever tedium comes our way,right?

heh, being far from home is hard. Last week I wanted to be home.

Obviously some people may have thought I was a tad irrational. Ati going home when danger literally hung in the air? Others may have thought I was a melodramatic little thrill seeker, you know getting done with my mid life crisis at 22. Whatever it was ,guess what, I still wanted to be home.Being away , apart from the usual bouts of homesickness around this season(which I will not admit to suffering to;) just didn't feel right.
It felt like I was living in some parallel universe....or three. In one, people were being killed and... you know the rest of the sad story.In another people were ok as long as they stayed home or hung out in the right places .Then there was me ,far far away going ice skating for the first time and trying to read up on inane topics like globalization.
Sometimes I didn't know whether to cry or be calm or if I was being alarmist,whether I was feeling enough grief or perhaps too much, was I praying enough,worried enough or too much was just hard figuring what God wanted me to think let alone do. I felt numbish and thought that being home, may have put things in perspective just a bit. Maybe I'm wrong.

The words of the national anthem struck me more than ever today and so, yeah, I remain hopeful,tentative as it may seem. We'll get through this, by the grace of God. As for the scars,I pray we'll all play our part in helping them heal.

Many blessings this new year to you!

Oh, I must write about that ice skating event...twas one for the books!I became mildly 'aerodynamic' for the first time in my life and if that wasnt enough I couldn't keep my mouth shut as I went down; I refer here to those niggling Kenyan expressions of ours (woi, oowi, ai ai, ach...etc an exclamation mark behind every one) . Too funny!
I think my body has reached a new level of hard-oreness though, woop, woop! even though it meant I couldn't stretch for like four days...I guess thats what falling 17 times does to you huh.