Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Mr Potato: My father, my brother, my friend.


When I started to work in Mr Potato's media house , I thought things were kinda slow.
I also thought I knew everything I needed to know because:Limkokwing.

I wanted things to move faster.
But Mr Potato always said: Skill before Speed.

And so I sat and read and read and asked and experimented and banged my head on the desk when things did not work as I expected and somehow I gained the skill.
And the speed came.

The three years I worked in Mr Potato's Media Productions Inc.were the best years of my life. I didn't think it then, but in retrospect. Having someone oversee your work when they know very well you are an idiot who has no idea what they are doing, and still be able to remain calm, while holding their hand to show them what they were supposed to do, that is a human skill that I don't think I posses.

But Mr. Potato would always listen, help you find deleted files, remind you of your limits but not with an iron fist.

His office was always open You could go anytime and he would stop what he is doing and offer you a seat. And maybe you just went in to ask him if he knows whether the Turkey served at the cafeteria is broiler or kienyeji.

One day I was feeling lost and confused and wanted to just quit, you know, and he walked with me to the rooftop of the towers and explained that what I was doing was important.

I guess mercy is what he had. And empathy. He was able to put himself in the other person's circumstance and instead of condemning an action, he would endeavour to understand what lead to it.

'Is Cecilia in a bad mood today because the matatu ride was rough and someone emptied their coffee on her skirt and perhaps she then met with her crush in the lift and now it's all gone up in flames?

She will be fine by 11.55.'


It was wonderful to work under someone who knew the job like the back of his hand. Ask him anything and he would help you through the job and check on you the following week to see if you finally got it.

It also made me at ease coz I knew if I messed up he would know and rectify. Ever worked for someone who has no idea what the job is about or even how it should be done?

Six months later your are still back and forthing like there is nothing else to do in this world.

Gosh there are so many things to be done in this world and the sooner we finish one thing the faster we get started on the next one.

That was a rant from an old frustration, nothing to do with Mr Potato at all.

But knowing that the person in charge could do the job better than me eased my mind and made me want to do it well enough.

He made it so easy to report yourself when you made a mistake.
I managed to lose files quite often, and I would go and report myself easily.

Mr.Potato had a highly intelligent sense of humour which took me years to understand. But his wife would tell us when it was a joke so we could laugh at the right places

We are still solid friends.

I think the most thing I appreciate about Mr Potato is his silence, sometimes silence in someone's  presence is more further reaching than a gazillion words.
 But
I also know that he is one of the most realest person who will tell you as it is when it needs to be said.
I thank Jehovah for Mr and Mrs Potato

Sunday, February 16, 2020

This Chic : These Feelings I feel

I've always felt a wide range of emotions. I'm just beginning to understand them and give them a name.
Because of all this I some times get into tricky situations when I express a certain feeling to someone  or I interact with a person when I am feeling a certain way and they get the wrong interpretation and now I have to go and explain 
'No no I don't hate you. I just feel 'clouds' right now, it's not you it's me.'

"No no please I don't want to go out with you I just want to talk to you about plants.."
When I was probably just feeling 'ciders' for someone.
Sometimes I feel 'aeroplane mode,' and other times I feel 'Poems' for people.
I feel Poems toward a lot of people.
People who read books or draw or practice some form of art
People who are passionate about production not just consumption.
They are givers, not takers.

When I feel Poems for someone it means they will be forever in my heart. Like wild roses whose roots never die.
I will bring them out of my treasure box to admire them from time to time.


My aeroplane mode feeling is the practical side of me that decides in the morning : Whatever happens outside my soul, will no interfere with what I am inside.
No matter how many times I trip, if something good happened, I hold.onto to that like a blazing light.
It gets me through of my days

I realised a short time ago that I am one of those creations  that needs to find it's own coping mechanisms  because what is on the books was written for the greater masses who are content to go with the flow and I run against the current.
In realized people.donno what to do with me when maybe I'm feeling 'clouds' 
They May call it a mood swing and leave me alone.
Though I have two or three people who can tear right through those clouds and get me out
I think they are brave.
My clouds feeling a is dark and scary.' 
 When I feel clouds I want to be left alone because too much conversation may do two things 
Have me break into tears 
Or give you some tongue medicine which will have a bitter after taste.
This is one of my overwhelming feelings which irritate me because of how volatile it can make me.

So I go with the aeroplane mode feeling when with those who expect.me to be happy and cheerful and bubbly and positive. 
But with the brave ones, I just relax and let the emotions run.

I guess then this self awareness,  once I get to 50% might help me to balance out all these emotions.
I am grateful in spite of it.
It would be boring to just feel good or bad. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Mary mother of Hope...

My friend Mary, she is the only one that calls me Sesilia. And she is right, I have never understood why I'm called Sissilia when there is a letter e as clear as a rain drop right there.

When Mary was coming up with her marriage vows, she had to include a Sesilia allegiance clause for her husband. It went like this.

'I, Gilbert take thee Mary as my wife, and also take Sesilia your single friend as my first born daughter/ small sister or whatever it is she is,  we shall figure it as we go along but I promise she is always welcome in our home.'

And they have stayed true to that promise. Mary and Gilbert's house is my second home. I know if  I called at 10 pm and said 'I'm coming', they would both get out of bed and come to wait for me at the bus stop.

Mary has a couch. And a flowered pillow. They are mine. That is the couch I go and stretch out when the world is dark and scary and I am let alone to only lift my head to drink tea, or acknowledge the entrance of another family member.

It's on this couch that I have told some confused feelings and received some straight up telling off.
Mary will stop rolling the chapati and point at me with the Rollin pin.
'SESILIA, you think a privilege makes a man? Eh? You think a good man is defined by his station? Ebu remove that from your brain. A privilege can be stripped off in a day '
Or that time I had this man at work trying to buy me a lot of good coffee.
And I told her he is really a good man.
Mary, pointing at me with that Rolling pin again said.

'How can you even think about it! I know being single can be hard but that one thing he is missing is the most important thing!'

Mary is one of those friends who picked me out of the crowd and pulled me to her side.
She has always put me by her side.

I appreciate her for how whenever I go to her house, it's like nothing else is important. I am the important focus for the day even when her husband comes, tired from work.

He will just go and sort his bath water and food and if there is no food he will cook it and feed the daughter and will not try to interrupt our discussions with his wife.

When my married friends go into the kitchen and leave me in the sitting room with the husband I want to pull my hair out because - me I didn't come to visit this dude- unless it's Moose or Allan 😅 those I can just pick up a book and ignore them.

When I am about to leave he will call Mary and give her some money and tell her to pack some shopping from their shop.

'Gilbert said I give you this for busfare.'
She will say and if I resist she will say.
'Us we are two, you you are alone, ebu take it.'

Mary bought me that skirt, she said it would be perfect coz I'm taller.

 Another friend bought me the top. They go well together.

He said, as we were walking along a street with some vendors.
'Ciss, wait,' Then he asked the vendor to bring down the top.

I was telling him some tale so I didn't realise he was getting it for me.
'Put this on,
Perfect,
How much?'

He paid and we continued walking.

I told him I felt like a cartoon character, the sharp collar. He asked which cartoon? I said the one with a blue evil guy with a hood sense of style. I meant Mega Mind.  When I got home  and looked in the mirror it was a perfect fit.

I love people who buy me clothes. Saves me a lot of trouble please continue.

So Mary is one of my favourite people.

Her family is my family.
When I texted her that my mother had died she came within an hour.

Then her husband called.
And their tiny daughter Hope asked to speak to me.
'Cecilia Poole,, ' she said.

Mary has a very developed sense of humour. I think she is then one person who can keep me laughing for a whole afternoon. You wouldn't think it looking at her sitting submissively between her husband and child on a Sunday, but you know that quote that says humour is not derived out of joy but of sorrow?

She is able to describe bleak situations in such a funny way you feel bad but you are laughing so you laugh and say pole at the same time.

That's the best way to approach hard times I think.

She also went through a series of frogs before meeting Gilbert and no matter how many times I hear the stories, which she will tell me as a warning, whenever I mention I might have met someone but I'm not sure, which is twice a year,  they are still pretty hilarious and I just hope I never meet one of her former beaus because I  will burst out laughing.

Her story about growing up in Ukambani then coming to try eke out a life in Nairobi is just as funny and should be recorded and read over and over on some evenings.

At this point I am wondering do I gravitate more to people who have had two or three life times squeezed into one?
I possibly do, theirs is much more to see.
Their daughter loves me more than I deserve. When Mary's love runs out, times when I have taken her for granted and she decides she can do without me as well. Hope will call me to ask when she can visit and give the parents no rest until a date is arranged.
She is such a cool kid. She can dance some moves I am yet to understand which part of the body has a joint which can twist in that manner.
They named her Clean Hope.
Not uncertain Hope.
This is the real deal.

I think the reason I have been okay with not having kids of my own especially at this crucial age is because of the ones I am allowed to have access to as an aunt. Hope, Amani, Nevin, Sophia. Nevin is a kid in my flat, he calls me mama Happy and because of him the other kids now want to rush into my house when I come in and a mother will be like.

'Acha kusumbua auntie! '
And the kid will be like ' si ni rafiki yangu.' As she continues to remove her shoes so she can run in to jump up and down on my bed.
I guess it amuses them that my kitchen and by living room and bedroom are all and the same thing. It's an adventure.


That is the story of Mary. We met in 2007, I hope to try and be a worthwhile friend in the days to come.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Finding God: The Sunday my Uncle went to Church.



He didn't go willingly. He was drugged in kicking and screaming by  two women.
The two most important women in his life, his mother and his wife.

A child had been born unto him,  A male child, and he needed a baptism of water before he was old enough to  learn how to sin for himself.

So my uncle had gone for a shave on the Saturday.
He wore a conservative jacket
And his Sportsman baseball cap sat tightly on his scalp.
A man reminded him to stash it into his pocket before entering the church.

That morning after Sunday school, I hang around  to see if he would really come.
When the adult trio, wife, husband, mother and infant entered the church gate I hid. I didn't want to be sent home.

He went through it.
Standing in front of the church and asking them to accept him as a member.
The infant got his baptism
And uncle got back to his Sunday routine.
That is: milk the cows, feed the cows, take a nap, milk the cows, feed the cows, then go to the local pub for a beer.

The routine hasn't changed for the last 25 years and he is an extremely happy man. He would be happier if people didn't complain so much about the two new nyama choma and beer joints recently opened.
Njogu-inī and Mbogo-inī
What is a man supposed to do in the evening after spending a day with cows?
A man needs his beer, his politics and his roast.
Or a man needs his whiskey,  his religion and his roast
And another might need his coffee, his music and his woman

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