Friday, December 22, 2023

A Fresh Breath

 The guy who brought me gas gave me such a beautiful smile I felt like I had walked into the secret garden.

I don’t like men who smile smile a lot 

In fact I would like my order to be; a little sullen, with an overpowering sense of gray dread aura around them.

But here was in full uniform like a fireman with a smile so genuine, so sunny, like an imported orange.


I felt like I opened the gate and   Saw myself, saw something familiar.

He had followed my directions, and called me back when my airtime ran out.

I spent ten minutes trying to pay to the till. Until I finally paid him directly and he told me if I ordered from their app next time I’d get a KG of sugar.


But I don’t mind much about the sugar.


Hiyo smile ndio nataka kuona tena.


Sijui nifungulie gas hapa nje iishe niitishe tena.


How do we have in 2023,  on the outskirts of Nairobi, a Kenyan man with a beard, smiling like that?


Me the men I know always look like they want to slap someone.

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

What A Book does for you.

Signing the author's wall at Nuria Book Store

When I started thinking of publishing, I did everything but still it didn’t work out, then I attended The African Book Fair organized by Soma nami books at the McMillan Library, Nairobi in October.
I was impressed by the collection of African books on display, including many Kenyan writers I had never heard of.
The day I went, there was a book reading by
a poet writer, Sakina.
She has authored beautiful interactive books. My favourite is - The Elements of Us. And she talked about how she wrote her book when she was in a bad place mentally.
She said
‘Think about what a book can do for you.’

She mentioned that since publishing her first book, she had been invited to speak at various events in the mental health space.

——————————
I reached out to her on IG and she connected me to her editor.
I couldn’t do the book I wanted to do first - Conversations into Adulthood-
So I decided to start with the short stories collections.
That’s how Going to Buy a plot in Maaī Mahiū came to the forefront.
—————————



It’s barely a month since I got published.
What has the book done for me?
For a start, I have signed two writing contracts which have exceeded my expectations. This is in terms of, the bargaining power of a published author.
The quote I am handing out is the same quote I have been handing out for years, with the same experience and skills but so many times it gets turned down or even slashed in half.
I am grateful to Soma Nami for organizing a book focused event, not just a textbook peddling affair but a book fair for book lovers.
I am thankful to my publisher for publishing a book I am proud to show around.
I am grateful to the people who have bought my book and continue to give me feedback.
I have good friends, I know good people and this is just the beginning.
Get me on 0701030005 to BUY A COPY

Friday, December 8, 2023

My Book: Going to Buy a Plot in Maaĩ Mahiũ is on Nuria Store

 I have good news




🦋🦋🦋🦋
But first,
I’m really grateful to all of you for your inquiries, orders and prompt payment.
I’m also a little overwhelmed with responding to everyone, deliveries and after sales services.
So if you meet me on the streets and I’m a little teary eyed, it’s not sadness, they are tears of joy.
In order to ensure you get a copy of my book Going to buy a plot in Maaī Mahiū quicker,
I have created an account with Nuria Store.
You can order online 🥳🥳🥳
You can also get your copy from their Book Shop on Biashara Street, Bazaar Plaza, 11th Flr.
I must add the guards at Baazar Plaza are the coolest soldiers in all of Nairobi CBD!
Let’s go out and get a copy
💪



Text 0701030005 TO BUY THE BOOK

Thursday, December 7, 2023

My BOOK: Going to Buy a Plot in Maaĩ Mahiũ

 This has been my dream. To create a book and place it in the hands of people who tell me ‘ I think I’m excited more than you are.’




People who tell me.
‘ Holding your book in my hands makes me feel very honoured.’
People who understand that it is a matter of blood and sweat.
People who tell other people about the book and buy copies for their mother, and brother, and sister because.
‘ I know she will enjoy it.’
——————————————
I distributed the first copies of
Going to buy a Plot in Maaī Mahiū and other Stories yesterday. I faced one setback with some of the copies. They had been printed on a paper I didn’t like. My first impulse feeling was to stand on the balcony of Kimathi House and fling them out to the street.
But my friend said to me: ‘You are just a bit anxious.’
‘And hungry and sleep deprived.’
I added. I had slept at 1.00a.m responding to Book inquiries, after a day is social media live posting for the 4th Global Logistics Convention at Safaripark.
————————-
So we sat in the beauty room at Ralph’s Hairworks and sorted through the box and got ones that I felt I could send to my readers.
The publishers offered to replace the really bad grade ones. So it’s okay now.
———————-
But it became very clear about what I wanted. Why I write, and why I have decided to publish books.
————————
I am not interested in selling sensational books that end up being pirated on the streets of Nairobi.
I am interested in giving people a collector's item.
That is why I spent time and money on the cover design.
That is why I had the book proofread over and over again.
I know it cannot be perfect, but I want whoever buys my book can be proud of owning it.
They can display it on their shelf with other precious tinkles. Or on their bedside.
———————-
Since my first blog post in 2005, I have curated an audience who know what I am talking about. They are part of the first team of 25 buyers who made their pre-orders as soon as I announced I had a book coming out. These are people I could give the book to for free if I was a rich heiress from Limuru but for now, I’m grateful to all of you who have bought, and those who have told others about it.
Keep your orders coming. I’ve done personal deliveries this weekend to neighbours, friends, and family.

Text 0701030005 TO BUY THE BOOK

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Death of Boyish Feminity

 I came to age in the era of Destiny's Child, Alicia Keys, and EVE, and solidified my womanhood with Avril Lavigne guiding my style, my walk, and the company I kept. 

We were coached on how to sit by Save the Last Dance

It was a time when you could be hood and pretty

You could be dressed like whatever and still have both girls and boys crushing on you, like when Alicia sang Falling. We all fell.

And rose again to sing to -Gangsta Lovin, rapping all of EVE's parts, not having a clue what she was saying but feeling real gangsta dropping those English words like motorbike exhalations

We were cool

Until it was no longer okay to bounce, as a girl

No longer okay to wear a tie with a tee

No longer okay to wear your cargo pants and just be, without someone asking if you preferred women to men.

We learned to cross our legs when we sat,

cover our mouths when we laughed

and hang out with other women.

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Salon Stories

 Financially speaking

If you come from the lower middle class like me, it can take longer to attain a financial status that AT LEAST keeps you above the water.
No Wahota kūringa mūkūyū handū and you start earning more than barely enough for basic wants but for most of us we will live our lives tūkīihūragia tūkīonoragia.
What you can aim for is to become a player in the financial field.
That you have a good credit standing, that you have at least 12 sources of income however small and insignificant they may seem.
I always say that hair gave me financial freedom.
When I was younger I knew that a hair dresser in African can never sleep hungry. (But then I aimed for fame and recognition and look where it got me 😂😂)
In Africa,
Men and women must groom their hair because it’s not only part of the culture but it’s a societal norm, and to be accepted in society, your head and face must be up to par.
——————————————-
That said, It’s only when I got fully into the field of personal grooming services that I understood how hard that income earning can get. Yet, how fulfilling.
You have to be ready to get physically tired, sometimes to a point of feeling faint but you keep going. Because first, yes the money. The money is good na nī cash kīī mbakī.
Two, the satisfaction of assembling something beautiful with your hands.
And third, the client’s smile in the end.
All reactions:
Jamu Wairimu, Nash Kalahari and 3 others

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Middle Age: Why I want to leave civilised Society and move to the forest

My biggest concern in life is that I always to come home to a peaceful house, and a quiet, peaceful environment. It stresses me out when the balance is shaken because home is my sanctuary, and whenever this is disturbed I get unsettled. 

I have lived ina wonderful place for almost five years now bt recently my heart is getting unsettled.

A family moved in that fights everyday, they harass their children, they have a new hosuegirl every two or three weeks akikaa sana, they leave the gate open, their kids are naughty and unruly and basically, they's turned  our formerly peaceful environment into a plot 10.

The woman always has an issue with someone in the family, and now she is picking up a fight with neighbours.

One time she and her husband started screaming at a young girl,about17 years old and threatening to call the police on her. Reason- the girl had scolded their son- the son had pitched the girl's bottom.

But the girl was roho juu, she told the mother if you don't discipline your children we'll be happy to do it for you and challenged her to a fight.

Another time, the boy scratched someone's car- the parents denied it.

The one that has all of us up and arms is a recent one.


Something about a toy that was run over in the parking.

And so the mother of the child whose toy was run over went round cursing everyone that owns a car in the plot.

‘ Mnaringa huku na magari Kwani sisi hatuwezi nunua.’

(Na si ununue)

‘Hata hamna akili!’

(The problem with cowards is they like to throw words around uselessly. )

‘ Hamtutishi! Mimi niko na pesa na hata nikitaka kununua gari haiyanichukua two minutes!’

(Na siununue)

And so some of the plot members had accompanied the woman who had accidentally, and very slightly cracked the toy as she reversed, as she approached the other woman full of curses)

“ So can we have a solution? I can have the toy repaired.”

‘Unafikiria mimi sina pesa ya kuirekebisha? Kama nililipa 5000 fundi tu ndie atanishinda?’

(So unataka? Kuchapa mtu? Si useme basi tutengeneze ring ni nini mdomo mingi?)

So she finally felt silly and started talking on the phone.

And the well mannered lady told the silly woman’s child to bring the toy for repair.


Thursday, October 12, 2023

20. That Ka- age - Adult Orphans And Morgue Visits

 

I pulled out this story from my  upcoming book- Going to buy A plot in Maaĩ Mahiũ. This is too dark for a funny book. I will add it to my next book  : Conversations into Adulthood, which is also a hilarious tragedy, but expected.

And then your parents begin to fall apart. They are on daily medication and monthly clinics. When they are not needing intensive care, they have lost their memory and want you to tell them where you work for the fifth time.

You arrived an hour ago. Now you are wondering how this long weekend is going to get by.

Or they die and now, as a human adult, you are asking for the number for Ebony Meeting chambers on Tom mMboya street so you can indicate in the WhatsApp group that family and friends are meeting at 7 p.m. for funeral arrangements.

You have become so proficient at writing eulogies that it’s a bit heartbreaking.

Your friends are losing their parents as well;

You are crisscrossing the country attending funerals every month.

You have lost friends.

You have lost siblings. 

And when your heart is cracking, your boss tells you, 

‘By the way, contract yako iliisha September.’

How do you tell him, please let’s talk about this, I just lost my big sister and there is a dark cloud hanging above me now!

Or you get called for a job, after being out of work for a whole year. They want you to start tomorrow. But you are in your village in Mikindani. Na mūtirī mūracokia mibomu ya ītū ūramtaa. The mtaa chairlady has come to check if the utensils are in order and so far five out of 120 cups have broken handles, 20 spoons are missing and someone used a plastic plate to carry hot ash.

Rīu mwī hau mūgīka ithabu rīa damages.

How do you tell that admin girl that the earliest you can start work is next year, February because hata hamjajua huku kunabaki aje!

Ama you are those who “keep yourself busy”, so you plan and organize and hold back grief.

Then two months later you break down in the Super Metro on your way home and argue with the conductor for 15 minutes and people look at you and stay very busy on their phones. And you go home and realise “man! I am in pain”.

When you lose a parent it’s like a wall that shielded you falls down in one swoop. Mbu!

Unabaki hapo umejishikilia usipasuke.

You feel a cold cold shiver that doesn’t get better with time.

If one parent is alive you start to visit them more often.

 You are scared; you work harder so they don’t wear out and die too.

You worry about every single bit of their lives.

You regret the times you didn’t appreciate them enough, and you are ready to slap anyone disrespecting their parents.

‘They could be dead, you know !’ You want to scream at them.

But you have to learn self -control.

Quietly quiet your beating heart when people talk of 

‘My mum, my mom, my dad, my daddy, dadii, my bro, my, my.’

————

You come back to your house and discover a child left some graffiti on your door, with charcoal and crayons..

It shouldn’t matter but it’s the last straw.

You have to move.

You cannot stay here.

You must start your life somewhere else.

A completely different place where people don’t know that you were once happy. 

You once had parents,

And brothers,

And sisters, 

And friends,

And you keep thinking, “Aren’t we all better off dead, tumalize hii confusion!”

Ata, there are more on that side than the ones left on this side.’ My brother likes to say.

Maybe we should all be gathered up to our forefathers, mapema ndio best.

But then you realise, haiya, life is for the living.

 And if you have to drag yourself up by a forklift, you better.

You have to pick yourself up.

Again and again you get up and live.

You get up another day and dig deep inside of you for that flicker of hope.

Because pain and hope exist in parallels. 

And sadness and joy are fraternal twins.

And just when your strength is out.

You catch a moon the size of a big basket.

A faithful witness in the sky.

A reminder that in heaven, we have a Father.

And he will never die.

Revelation 7:16,17


Yesterday made  four years since I got the call that left me motherless. I tried to push it out of my head and not have an  'anniversary' but it's hard not to think about it. She was an amazing woman, and each year I appreciate just how much courage she had to continue putting one foot infront of another for 55 years. I don't think I'll make it that far. I often feel a sense of loss, but I habe to keep moving until I also breath my last. Irene Nyawira Munyeki. May you wait patiently, all the days of your compulsary rest. Until He calls out and gives  you back your life.



Efficiency, why we must learn to be.

 There are no schools that you will sign up to to learn how to be efficient. Most will teach you a profession or a skill and it's up to ...