Is it just me or is there a guy for every job you need done in Nairobi? You need a device and you’ll be referred to a guy who can get it at the best price. There’s a guy who repairs phones he has never used because he cannot afford them. He has no form of formal training but he learns fast and knows his way around devices. The tailor, designer and artist too work out of talent and practice skills not harnessed through training. I applaud these people and the city for letting them thrive!

Enough people pursue careers different from what they specialized in in school and the fact that Nairobi gives such people a chance to excel at what they are good at, even without formal training, makes me proud. Sure, education is important and the city boasts of many prestigious schools. However, there are many more ways to learn like apprenticeship and the city accommodates all. In Continue reading

Nairobi to me is about pushing the limits of creation and innovation. The limits of the imaginable are pushed and just when you think someone can’t get any more creative, they surprise you. Think of Sheng, the language in Nairobi that evolves so fast that you risk using obsolete words if you don’t keep up. Each generation brings new words to life and the innovative spirit takes a different edge. One generation produces tyres while the next makes shoes out of them. One person talks of going green and the residents see opportunities to make money from recyclable products. The impossible is truly made possible in Nairobi.

I would give a lot for a chance to experience Nairobi nights every so often. You will love and hate the days in almost equal measure but just when you think you can’t take any more of the hustles, Nairobi gives you its lovely Sunday nights. There aren’t too many people walking around and the few who are pace arm in arm. There’s almost always a breeze if it isn’t raining and it will refresh you and make you dream and evaluate your goals. It’s those deserted streets that remind you that everything is possible really; that you can find peace even in the loudest of places.

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A while back, some  friends and I went on an out of the city weekend road trip to visit the legendary Lord Egerton Castle in Nakuru. While on our way, I discovered that one of  my friends had carried her copy of Sheryl Sandberg’s  (face book COO)  recent book ‘Lean In’. Inevitably, during our three days there, I stayed up late after the others had retired to read this amazing anecdotal inspirational book that I believe every working woman needs to read.

Having worked in the corporate world for a while after graduating from college, I nodded and was thrilled to find out that I, and my friends too, could actually relate to most of the issues and challenges Sheryl encountered at  her workplace even though we are continents apart; the issues mentioned therein included lacking self confidence, not speaking up(especially when in the company of very loud and aggressive  colleagues who technically take over the meetings) and even settling for lesser pay than  the male counterparts in exactly the same job position(because women, having been raised to care for others first, find it selfish  and improper to ask for a higher pay). With each chapter I read, not only did I discover my blind spots, but also  felt better knowing exactly how I could work on my weak areas , progress in my career and even achieve an amazing   work and family balance.

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Love is neither appreciated in its complete presence
nor complete absence
but rather in its lack of presence
the black hole that no one can see
the empty slot in the shelf full of books
the clean square in a thick layer of dust
where a photograph once was
the empty vase where once stood a dead rose
Isn’t it ironic
that the ones who appreciate love the most
are those who have just lost it?

The music blared from the speakers placed at strategic parts of the street. The mild movement of the wind did little to drown the smell of liquor. Everyone was having a good time.

Adaeze had stepped away for some fresh air when the lights appeared out of the darkness. She recognized the car immediately. What was Ade doing here? Since when did he attend block parties?

He got out of the car and a woman ran up to him. Adaeze ducked so she won’t be seen. She could barely make out what he was saying to the woman but the hug spoke for itself. Even a blind man could see that was no ordinary hug. Didn’t he say he was born again?

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‘Play it fuckin loud’ – Bob Dylan

Music encapsulates all of life’s experiences. It is form of release, therapeutic. However, certain music raises more questions than answers. We’ve all been culprits of singing along to a certain song without really knowing the meaning of the lyrics. A fresh example is ‘Loliwe’ by Zahara. Quite a number are familiar with the lyrics but not its meaning. Is it our fault? I guess not, the beat was catchy and the tune soulful.

Next time you listen to a song that is in a language that you don’t understand, instead of bobbing your head to the beat, pause and find out what the lyrics to the song mean. You could be initiated into the illuminate without your knowledge. Music is a message, hear it…Listen to it.

Hot, stinging tears trickled down her face. She put her hands behind her head and scanned the small crowd that had gathered to witness her predicament. All had been well; a serene afternoon of household shopping at the local supermarket had turned into a nightmare. After two hours of shopping, Atieno walked back to her car accompanied by one of the supermarket’s attendants, only to find it missing. She was a bit startled and maybe attributed a bad memory to the absence of her car. Where could she have left it? The guard, a tall, robust and dark man, who had been manning the vicinity, walked up to her and began to explain himself. He narrated to her how a man of Asian descent facilitated the whole process of having her car towed away. He emphasized on how he unceasingly begged them to at least contact the owner of the motor vehicle. They wouldn’t listen and he was left completely helpless.

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The directive that Kenyan TV stations should screen 60% local content is a good one. The increase of local content is a welcome change. One look at our local TV stations and you quickly realize that it isn’t as local. There is an array of telenovelas and Western African content on offer both during the day and night. The local shows are limited and to be honest, a lot of the local content on some of these TV stations is in the form of news. Enter news bulletins that run for two hours and other news shows during prime time slots.

The debate on increasing local content on our televisions is not a new one. Citizen has managed to score well in that making it the most watched station in the country. K24 and KBC are not doing too badly either. The promotion of local content is a plus, however it has a drawback. Filmmakers that have tried to pitch to Citizen are usually met with the, ”That isn’t the kind of content our viewers want to watch.” Business wise it makes sense. If the viewers want shows like Papa Shirandula, that’s what you give them. So if you’re looking to pitch something a bit ‘upmarket’, Citizen will not take it. KTN are trying lately with an increase in their local programming. NTV in my opinion, are lagging behind.

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She was in the feotal position on the cold red cement floor. She faced the blood stained wall dazed. Her cheeks were stained with white tear marks; her lips were pale, dry and pursed. Her neck had reddish groove like scars. Her body was tense and she gave off a rhythmic wince. Her frock, looked like grandma’s; long sleeved and huge it was stained with patches of yellow, red and an occasional brown. Her toe nails were pale and legs looked dead and stuck in the curled up position she was in.

The lights flickered irritatingly with a distant dripping sound. About 5 metres from her in the opposite side of the room, in the pitch dark, a rat was gnawing at a human finger in a pool of fresh blood. Cockroaches scrambled up the wall. The walls had symbols drawn in blood, symbols that looked like an oriental language. One character seemed incomplete. The blood streaks off, a blood strained prolonged finger print moved from the end of the character to the bottom of the wall. And right at the bottom was where the rat gnawed at its feast.

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The sound of war bells ring of horror and death,
A melodious pattern accustomed to grief and death,
The deafening clings echo the painful cry of death,
Drowning the unpleasant hoot of the owl, a messenger of death.

The morning sun rays no longer sparkle the morning dew,
The hovering dark clouds shade a fearful hue,
The village fire’s splinters flicker whenever the cold winds blow,
And the wind’s whistle duets the bell’s dreadful tune.
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