Karma, hold.. 

Honestly Karma needs to have chills. For real.. I think her chill pills are out.. restock needed. Otherwise…

‘I think I can no longer handle men..’ 

That was me yesterday..

‘So?’ Debz asks

‘I will start playing for the other team.. I will get myself a nice girlfriend. And never introduce her anywhere. She gotta be skinny’ I say.

My friend laughed her ass out..

‘What? Am serious here girl’

Oh well, little did I know.. I would be humbled.. 

My head hurts like hell. It’s around 11 a.m. I leave with a cup to get warm water.. maybe, just may be, my headache is caused by indigestion (horrible food eaten.. always stick to your food dealer)..

Am holding my cup as I go past the organic market stand when someone calls out..

‘Winnie! Hi’ 

‘Hi’ Isay right back. Fake smile in place.

‘How are you’?’

Not in a mood for small talk.. my mind responds..

‘Good. You?’ 

I  am standing with my cup of water right there when the pretty woman goes round the stand towards me. 

Weird weird humans..

She goes for a hug.. talk of uncomfortable… she is shorter than me and most times I avoid her like a plague. The last time I talked to her, she ended up showing me her waist beads and saying she can’t bend over with people watching. 

Bad news..

The problem is when that same bad news is draped around you. Forgive me but being endowed with boobs, I prefer hugging hard chests.. another set of boobs is creepy.

I comment about my water and she lets go. Then puts her hand around my waist and starts complaining of how the organic market girl is harassing her.. while running her hand up and down my body..

In my mind am annoyed. Karma honestly.. I was kidding about skinny girls.  Please pleaseee..

Please.. 

(All women who I ain’t close with don’t pull me against you. It’s weird).

Someone tell Karma life isn’t that serious. No need to throw skinny women on my way. I’d rather you threw muscles to me.  I would appreciate. 

Droplets of kindness

‘You know, death is just.. I dunno.. I prefer if someone gets sick and lets us hope they will either make it or die.  Look at Ayeiya.. guy dies without even a goodbye. It is so very sad.. He should have survived, gone the hospital and maybe succumbed.. that prepares us,’ I say to Linet as I toy with my mug of tea.

We are in a very small hotel taking our lunch hoping time drags itself by before we get back to business.
On our table is our partner and a strange young woman who has a kid. They are talking about babies..

‘Look at how easily women with babies click easily.. ‘ Linet says and I pause to look at them. I shrug and stare at some guy who has tattoos all over his arms..

Well, not a pretty sight.
As we chat, we catch bits of the conversation between the two women.
Time rushes by and when we pay up, our partner offers to pay lunch for the woman.
We sense something and ask if we can back her up. She gladly takes us up on our offer.

As we leave, our partner shakes her head sadly
‘That woman needs fare.. she needs to get home and get good food’

‘Why?’ Linet and I ask simultaneously.

‘Well, life is full of shit. A cheating bastard who beats her up. She covers her head as a Muslim.. there’s a scar beneath that scarf. Her kid hasn’t breastfed in the last 3 days. It’s super weak and has jaundiced eyes.. I doubt if it can cry. She is weak and shaking. That’s why I started talking to her. The damn kid is maximum 3 weeks. She said she just spent her last bit of cash on food so she won’t pass out.
She can go home to her grandmother. No fare..’

‘Is she genuine?’ Linet asks

‘She can’t fake weakness or scar or kid with jaundiced eyes due to starvation’ she counters..

‘Let’s pay her a ticket and get her home’ I say and it’s a plan.

We walk in the streets of Nairobi hoping this woman is real and she will find someone who cares.
Our partner holds her bag, Linet walks on her side and I hold the light but very warm infant in my arms. I can’t help but hope that the kid grows up well. I also enjoy the respect on the roads of the ever busy Matatu drivers letting me pass and the touts wishing ‘my baby’ good health..

I can’t help smile when someone who tries pushing past me is almost beaten up.. in my arms is a life; though very fragile.

We pay her bus ticket and buy her soda for quick energy. She waves up bye with grateful eyes and we rush back to work. We are 45 minutes late.. and stink of sweat with dusty shoes..

We can’t help smiling as we think, in the little pond of kindness in this world.. we just added a droplet..

Emotions

My head hurts like crazy.. It is like am dragging my feet to get me home.. I don’t remember if I took lunch…
I groan inwardly as I approach home. I just want to keep walking. To get lost amongst people and semi dark earthen roads. Nobody could know who I am. I could get away.. I could just disappear… but who am I kidding? I don’t even know why that happens..
Well, it has been an okay day. As I watched one older guy sign my data sheet today and smile warmly at me, I suddenly missed having a father. Like a physical one..
I can’t help feel guilty at the thought of how good God has been to me..   a father.. I remind myself  of those with nobody…
But today I can’t fight that feeling.. I wish he was there to watch me grow.. shout at me, see me off to school.. I still feel that gnawing want.. being held by a father when crossing roads..
What came over me?

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.. I am almost home and the song Good father by Chris Tomlin is playing..
Still… it’s just not working today.. 😦

Swimming in the sewage

My head hurts from the sun and I think my forehead will peel off. I can’t concentrate on the headache. My stomach feels worse.. My life has been miserable and I can’t recall when I last had a decent meal..
The Nairobi people are always in a rush and all I think of now is that if someone bumps on me, I will just fall. My energy is failing me.. I blink back tears.. I have been doing that a lot lately..

I walk towards the market hoping that shopping will lighten my mood..  My mind is half blank and the other is praying that nobody touches me.. I don’t even have my phone.. just in case someone snatches it.. I have no energy to run or scream.

Towards the market.. the sewage pipes have been broken by road construction guys.. I really want to throw up badly.. my stomach fails me.. I am determined to get to the market and there is a congested way there.. it is safe from the sewage but the pickpockets thrive there..
I can imagine myself falling all the  way to where the sewage drains into Nairobi river.. I can imagine myself drowning..
It is disgusting..
I dare to look into the Nairobi River ..  I realize maybe, I might survive a fall..
Right there, are street kids swimming in the same river that the freaking sewage is draining into..
I want to throw up.. or throw up and cry…
I get past the sewer safely and walk towards the market sicker than I left home..
I wish I could pay swimming pool for all those kids.. 😦

When my ex shows up with someone hotter

Okay… from that statement you can deduce am not an ugly person, but trust me sometimes karma is a bad bitch or at times, we get served for ditching someone.

I love it when a guy who dumped me ( darn it!! I hate every part of that statement) shows up with a girl who I look at and think he either dated me because I was out of his league and he wanted to show he can make it or he went crazy after we part ways. That time the  crap about the beauty inside doesn’t apply. I can even introduce the guy and his girl to friends.

So today am walking in town alone and feeling really cold. Then someone who looks like one of my exs with this hot mama clinging on his hand. Damn!! I almost changed path but then I decided to stick with the fact that am beautiful in the inside and no matter how hot she was, I dated him first. I put on a brave face and decided I might even say hi.

The gods love me. It wasn’t my ex. Just some guy. Then I realized, one day I might walk in town and meet one of the guys I have dated with a hot girl. What then will be my reaction? I have come up with the list of qualities of the woman who might make me jealous

If she is totally hot and manages to be courteous
If hot and has a heart for the homeless
If hot and can walk with street kids and buy them food or share with no qualms
Then I will feel threatened because I am hot and can do two of the above.
( courtesy is two way. If you dont show me any, you ain’t getting any either)

always winnie

Avoiding the stalkers

I have to confess that I am becoming paranoid. I have started taking notice of people I see when I turn. If you have read my past posts you know I was being watched by a strange guy and to make it worse when I went out to eat with a guy I had fallen for away from school, guess who showed up.. that same guy who used to stalk me or follow me.. whatever he did. All I know is that I don’t want to meet him alone or anywhere near me.

So when someone else mentioned seeing me severally in the library, I decided stalkers have a thing for me.. I know how crazy that sounds. I went to a psychology site and checked out why people attract stalkers. The first thing that came up was fear.. well my friends think overconfidence will kill me. So I cancel that. The next thing is a spouse or an ex.. and I don’t have a crazy ex. Unless they became crazy afterwards..

Something catches my eye though in all those useless answers.. something like projection.. when someone likens you to someone that hurt them, they wanted.. someone in their past. So they are simply going to do to you whatever they would have done to that person. I remember my friend Debbie saying I got that face people think they have seen before. Maybe I look like too many people.. maybe stalkers have seen me before.. I decide I will be changing my Library sitting positions, will go to different sports clubs, will take different routes to the bus station blah blah blah.. 
So as I walk past Tuskys Pioneer supermarket, an older guy smiles at me and I nod past him. He talks anyway

Are you from school or work??

I turn. He catches up with me and I have to say

School.

Do you want to go for tea? Coffee? Can I go with you??

Wtf!!! I walk fast. He quickens his pace.. I turn and he smiles.
Time to shop.. I immediately get into Nakumatt Moi Avenue supermarket. I can almost touch the disappointment on his face. He looks creepier that way. I think paranoia is taking over me.

always winnie

Temptations

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‘ 42% of girls in Africa get married before they turn 18. Educating women up to secondary level would lead to reduction in this by 75%… UNESCO institute of statistics approximates that around…..’

My mind goes blank and my fingers don’t want to type any more. The Main Campus library is freezing and I can’t feel my toes and my whole body feels dumb. I want to finish up on this topic though and take it to my supervisor and if she rejects it, I might as well as kill her and the university will be forced to give me another one.

I drape my white scarf well around my neck and I am grateful to my brother for buying such a warm brown sweater and placing it somewhere I could easily take it from. I rub my hands together and they feel a bit warmer.

‘ In Kenya, only 60%of those who complete primary school are enrolled in secondary school. However, only 41% attend school…
I look at the pdf I am getting information from strangely. It reads ‘ Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya has a population of approximately 3 million people. 60%of these people live in slums which are characterised by a high level of poverty such that those living in it can’t afford to pay for secondary education. Only 12% of the young men in slums have been to school as compared to…… ‘

I curse under my breath. What the heck?? I want the statistics for Kenya as a country not those of Nairobi and it’s stupid slums!!!  I rub my hands again and key in ‘ education in Kenya pdf’ on the google homepage. It loads for a few minutes and trust it to give me ‘ error ‘ feedback.

I want to cry but then I think my tears are also frozen in my eyes. My stomach rumbles and I remember I have been sitting in the library for four hours and I have to get something to eat. I switch off my laptop, pick up my wallet, tag and phone and walk out of the library. My ass could have mumbled ‘ thank you ‘ just that it didn’t talk.

I pick my bag and pack my stuff and walk out. It’s warm outside and all I want is to get my shoes off and let my toes enjoy the warmth. Just that I don’t have time. I pull my phone out of my bag and call Debbie

Hey

Hey!! Uko? ( where are you?)

GW Third floor

Okay.. nakuja ( I am coming)

I head for the Gandhi Wing. That’s where the lecturer offices are and I have to see my supervisor. Before I get into gw, I have to go through guards and a check up due to the insecurity cases in the country and also show my student’s identification. My stomach rumbles loudly and the guard smiles at me as I get past her into the old elevator which immediately claims it is overloaded. I step out. Maybe I have gained weight.. I will just take the stairs.

Debbie is as usual her jovial self. We chat about the project and she laughs when I tell her if my supervisor takes me back on the topic am working on, I am quitting before graduation.

You are stupid Winnie. We always have the option of coming here and taking other units instead of specializing. I could take communication.

And I could take maths. I reply in a much less hopeful tone.

‘ fuck!! Just stick to your project ‘ she says and pats me on the back as if she is my mother.

Well, she is right though I don’t want to agree with her. My mind divorced mathematics in second year of campus after taking a unit in advanced calculus. The unit was okay but the lecturer who taught it was too learned to teach undergraduates. All I understood in that class was

The integral of x dx..

Nothing more. I never got to even know the answer. When the results came out, I scored a D in advanced calculus and a C in real analysis and topology. My mind went to court and successfully acquired a divorce.

We laugh at our problems and even pass by the Sociology department to inquire if we could pick other units. The secretary here is nice. She smiles and shakes her head and we leave complaining. I can imagine her smiling behind us.

We walk by GW408 and I knock turning meek and serious immediately. It’s time for business.
When there is no answer I turn the knob and the door is locked. The supervisor isn’t in. Maybe she is just lucky. Her death got postponed.

It’s time to walk to the bus station and the time is around 3 p.m.. I complain about my hunger issues and Debbie who is on diet offers to buy fruits in town. We have to share though because I am broke and the money I have on me is being saved for printing my project and bus fare to town. We walk looking for a fruit parlor discussing the rains that flooded the city on on Tuesday night and laugh at the idea of some people who got stuck in traffic jam for more than six hours.

We finally find one on Koinange street. We simply look at the prices and walk out. We could qualify for ‘ TWO BROKE GIRLS’ auditions.  The guy at the parlor tries to call us back and we ignore him like we were deaf.

Walking past Sanford fast foods and into Tom Mboya street, the bakers inn products are beckoning and pleading with us like
‘ eat me.. eat me…’ and none of us can resist the temptation. We want to taste everything especially the Swiss roll but economy is in recession. So we settle for cookies and some puff cookies.

They taste heavenly and I have managed to get Debbie to cheat on her diet.
I don’t get why you are even dieting. Your once great ass now looks like a China one (please let no Chinese take offense ).

She gets her share of cookies when am already done eating my puff cookie. A few minutes pass as we argue on who got more and then

Ah.. shit!!

What?? She asks concerned

My stomach hurts like hell.

I stoop and hold on my stomach and we walk past Archives and as we part ways, Debbie hugs me and tells me
‘ pole mama. Don’t think because you got sick I will walk you to railways. But nahope haujapata cholera.’
( sorry madam. Don’t think coz you got sick I will walk you to the bus station (railways). But I hope you haven’t caught cholera)

I clutch my stomach and give her a shove. I think of the few people who have passed away due to the cholera outbreak and hit myself on the head. I walk slowly towards railways. 
It starts drizzling.

always winnie

I believe

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I have always made mistakes and sometimes questioned God as supreme deity on His way of answering prayers or listening. At such times, I am losing it and whatever I am going through pushes me between a rock and a hard place. At times, I have asked for one thing from God and gotten the exact opposite. I simply don’t understand.

I however do not question his existence because I know and I feel it that he is in existence just that I am not familiar with His ways. My growing up, I have known only one father, that is God.
I recall when my bio dad crossed over the pastor made this prayer that stuck into my mind and still is my mind
‘ God, these are young kids and this is a young woman, we as human beings will cry with them today and then go home to our families. We will forget them but you cannot forget them. You know their pain and needs. Your word says you are father to the fatherless, I humbly request you to stand in the gap. Don’t let them go hungry for they are your children. Watch over them and walk with them ‘

I believed in that prayer and I still do because soon after that, my mum got into a depression and stayed in it for about five years. Then when everything went wrong, all I could do was remind God of that prayer.
I completed primary school (elementary) and got to secondary school. My dad’s brother stood for my dad and took up the responsibility of paying for all the expenses and I felt like I had a father until one close relative kept reminding me that he  wasn’t my father. Then, I knew I just had one father who I wouldn’t fight for with anybody; God.

When I needed something, I learned to ask with my head bowed. I gave thanks though not always and did get much from God. His love for me is limitless. Even when I am away, he draws me closer.

I do believe and I have the advantage of having a father who other fathers get whatever they want from.
I believe

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When I cry on the pillows

Today is my relaxing day after sitting two exams yesterday and ending up dead beat. It’s also my resting day because no offers on lunch or supper so am just going to spend the day in bed, take no shower and not brush my teeth.

This won’t happen though because as soon as the sun peeks, my very stupid friend calls me up and wants someone to vent to and bless my heart, I am the unlucky soul who have to listen. So she comes up despite my attempt to convince her that am feeling terrible. I get off, brush my teeth and stick to the no shower plan.

Let me tell me about myself, people think I am a good listener but trust me, I am not. When need be, I let my mind drift and let someone vent hoping they don’t expect me to say anything. Today, I am not worried about getting my mind something to think about because I already have much bothering me already. I have a certain guy in my mind, I have an exam that I did yesterday and hoping I don’t flog plus I also have that stupid project that I have to submit before I graduate. None of those are good thoughts including the guy.

My friend is here and I have to listen to her go on about her relationship issues and in my mind am thinking she is lucky she has something to whine about when I only meet.. well, shall we say morons? Not all though.

I am listening to her today because she apparently needs me to hear her out and I tell her I don’t think she really loves the guy because she isn’t crying. She gives me that look that have me jumping out of my skin and says unlike me, she has emotions.

Wait.. when did we start talking about me here?? I do have emotions only that I might not remember when I cried in public. I don’t find it necessary to evoke pity from people because that’s all crying publicly does.. evoke pity and sympathy when in most situations that I cry in, I don’t need pity. All I need is a kick on the butt or a shove to get me back to reality, unless it’s a death scenario.

That’s where my pillows come in. They will never pity me. They just lie on my bed emotionless and say nothing. That’s the ideal crying companion because they will never tell or sympathize with me when in reality, the truth is, the relationship you crying over isn’t worth it. My pillows do absorb my tears and when I feel better, I wash my face reach out for my little piece of mirror and remind myself I am the best and whoever doesn’t realize that is dumb.

When I cry on my pillows, people label me emotionless when am around them, while am just glad I have a pillow.

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Coast day one

Easter is here and in Kenya we aren’t in the mood of it since all parents did was go to city mortuary to identify the bodies of their children killed in the Garissa attack. 

My faculty though had already organized a trip for the volleyball team and captains in other sports so we traveled to the coast region of Kenya. The idea of traveling to this area freaked me out and my cousin made it worse by asking if it was safe. I actually don’t know how safe it is, since there are lots of differences between the Nairobi people like myself and the coast people. One, they speak pure Swahili which the Nairobi people have taken pleasure in corrupting. Our Swahili is pathetic. It’s like slang. The coast dwellers take advantage of that and they insult us every time we talk to them. 
Second is religion. Coastal areas are full of Muslims while most of the Nairobi people are Christians.

Those are the few differences, but I decided to take the risk anyway. We spent around eight hours on the road and when we got here we were so tired. We booked rooms, showered and my friend and I went out to sample the area foods. Everyone from here knows we don’t belong especially when I open my mouth to ask for anything. Trying to buy shoes had the price hiked  by almost three hundred percent and we just left.
We wanted to sample street fish and when we asked if it was fresh, the vendor gave us a harsh tongue lash and ended up calling us ‘ people from the dry land’ which is considered a very big insult.

By the time we are getting to our rooms, we have made two enemies and three friends. We met a great guy who directed us in simple Swahili where to get food. We also met a woman who was selling street food and learned that such joints are known as ‘ mama ntilie ‘ translated as ‘woman serve me’.

We are ready to retire but then Lydiah wants something to eat and I also want to go to the supermarket to buy some milk. We are joined by another friend Faith. As we walk in what we consider a safe small town, my friends are chatting in what’s app, and I not having any messages, am trying to convince them that we should go to the beach tomorrow night.

Suddenly some guy snatches Lydia’s phone and she screams ‘ mwizi ‘ (translated to thief) and runs after him. We could have out ran the guy if Faith and I; who are sports people, had understood what was happening. In like one second, I stood there then splintered after the guy just that I went to the other side of the minivans hoping that the guy would bump into me now that he was running from Lydia. I actually saw the guy disappear in a dark street and wondering what had just happened, I went to find Lydia who is already in another commotion surrounded by guys who look high on something. I know I have to get her out of there but I can’t open my mouth since my Swahili is darn corrupt and she has better chances of getting herself out of trouble. Some guy advances towards her and I am sure he will beat her up with Faith standing helplessly at the side. I do what I do best. Put on a serious face and put on that administration police walk my dad always did. I gather all my courage, go past a few guys who are actually intimidated by my size and height and pull my girl away. They hurl insults at me but I hold my head high and hold my friend tighter ready to drag her along with me if they run after us. In my heart I am sad I convinced my friend to go to coast with me since she got the Coastal accent.

Day two is up tomorrow and I hope it’s a better experience.

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