August 7, 2012 § 2 Comments
The minute we got off the train at the Greenwich station, I was in love. There was no denying it – butterflies in my stomach, smiling at nothing in particular like a fool, the rhythm in my step – I was taken. I’ve always been better at immersing myself completely in a new environment while on my own, so at the very first chance I got, I was wandering down the street solo.
Ahead I could see about three people wearing red ‘Feed the Children’ shirts standing on different corners of the street. I almost instinctively quickened my step so as to pass by the nearest as fast as possible with the minimum amount of eye contact possible. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for feeding ‘the children’, but do you honestly expect me to believe that a few randoms in one of the largest cities in the world are somehow better equipped to ‘feed’ these children than I am? Please. Plus everyone knows the money from these big organisations never actually trickles down to the actual people in need anyway! Hmph!
So caught up was I in my internal self-righteous tirade that it barely struck me that the smile Mr. Red Tee was flashing at me was warmer than the standard issue ‘charity organisation’ smile. He was attractive enough for my eyes to linger just a second longer than they should have, giving him the opening he must have been waiting for all along. I prepared myself to endure yet another unwanted tiresome monologue with a sigh.
“Can I try on your sunglasses?”
It was an odd enough request that I automatically handed them over, my brain working overtime to try figure out exactly what angle he was trying to use to bait me. He put them on and struck a pose, before beginning to dance a little while singing a few lines
“…loving you is killing meee, when I know it should be thrilling me…”
That was it, I was sold. No one sings Aloe Blacc and dances in the middle of the street on a random afternoon without stealing my heart. It’s a mathematical impossibility. At that point he could have asked me for a house for these alleged hungry children and I would have gladly taken out a mortgage to support him.
And just like that, a friendship was formed. It’s strange how miles and miles away from home, two strangers can bond over what seem like the most insignificant things. In what seemed like hours but realistically could only have been about 20 minutes, we discussed everything from where we were from – me, Kenya; him, the Netherlands – to our musical preferences, to the books we were currently reading. But that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? What we all came to Lancaster for? It was a reminder of what we’ve always known but sometimes forget – our differences are usually limited to our geographic origins. Other than that, we’re really all the same beneath the surface, we just need the opportunity to meet and we’re set – in a few minutes someone can change from a threatening stranger to a cute friend who asks to try on our sunglasses. It’s really as simple as that.
Cute boys, books, music and sunshine? Like I said, it was definitely love. Ahhh London, good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow…
June 26, 2012 § Leave a Comment
On the Sunday of 10th June 2012, the country woke up to news of a helicopter crash in a nondescript forest called Kibiku near Ngong. A dramatic start to a week that would prove very eventful and illustrative of Kenya’s compulsive selective amnesia. The television networks scrapped the Sunday gospel music shows and maintained a constant flow of information. A minister, his assistant, their bodyguards and two pilots had perished en route to a small town in rural Kenya.
April 2, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Ee Mungu nguvu yetu
Ilete baraka kwetu
Haki iwe ngao na mlinzi
Na tukae na undugu, amani na uhuru
Raha tupate na ustawi
Amkeni ndugu zetu
Tufanye sote bidii
Nasi tujitoe kwa nguvu
Nchi yetu ya Kenya tunayoipenda
Tuwe tayari kuilinda
Na tujenge taifa letu
Ee, ndio wajibu wetu
Kenya istahili heshima
Tuungane mikono pamoja kazini
Kila siku tuwe na shukrani
I just wrote all that from memory. From memory and from thinking about the words of our National Anthem. Today, 28 Feb, is the day we're all supposed to stand as Kenyans at 1pm and sing our anthem, loud and proud, regardless of location, or the task at hand, or who we have around us. It's a simple assignment – just stand and sing. So why will so many of us ignore it??
I have a lot to say about my country. Both good and bad. But it has always been, and will always be, one of my top priorities. Unfortunately, I also have a lot to say about myself. Both good and bad. And while I am extremely patriotic to my country (without being blind to its flaws), I am also extremely apathetic.
So come 1pm today, will I stand and sing? Show my loyalty towards my country? And prove to myself that our generation really CAN change things?
Or will I sit on my ass, note the time and then just let it pass? Disappointing both myself and Kenya?
I actually don't know yet.
O God of all creation
Bless this our land and nation
Justice be our shield and defender
May we dwell in unity, peace and liberty
Plenty be found within our borders
Let one and all arise
With hearts both strong and true
Service be our earnest endeavour
And our homeland of Kenya, heritage of splendour
Firm may we stand to defend
Let all with one accord
In common bond unite
Build this our nation together
And the glory of Kenya, the fruit of our labour
Fill every heart with thanksgiving
December 3, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Forgive me, please. And just try to understand a bit.
Here’s the link to my tumblr as I attempt to get my writing back on track: Nothing… Everything
May 6, 2011 § Leave a Comment