Posted in African literature, book review, challenge, culture, my library, reading

Changes: A Love Story

“Guilt is born in the same hour with pleasure, like anything in this universe and its enemy.”

At first i thought it was going to be a love story that brought changes to it but nada! The book focuses on 3 women Esi, Opokuya and Fusena and their spouses Oko, Kubi and Ali respectively. Esi is a career oriented woman who has no time for her hubby nor her daughter. Due to her busy schedule she hates been married, been a wife where a woman submits and the only way out is when Oko “rapes”her that she files for a divorce. Freedom, maybe! She falls in love with Ali who on the other hand doesn’t value the Muslim norms (marry a virgin who is a muslim) but introduces her to the family as his second wife but still isn’t getting enough from this marriage too. Fusena, does not get the opportunity to advance her career (children and hubby disagrees since he is rich) while Ali has his way to his education desires. However, Fusena’s shop business is the talk of town as she manages it quit well. Opokuya, a nurse by profession has 4 children, manages her home well enough but Kubi cheats on her frequently (add Esi to his list).
The overall review is that Ama brings out elements of motherhood, marriage, friendship, independence, money and culture in the female autonomy where CHANGE bypasses the old traditions. “It is a record of changing circumstances of women’s lives in contemporary Africa…..constructs a psychological blueprint for female portraiture.” The conversations between women in this book shows a lot of social change and from it, can truly say it is what happens in today’s era. Quite an interesting read that leaves one with lots of questions

Posted in African literature, book review, challenge, inspiration, my library, reading

Born A Crime

This failed to be in my list of memoirs (i literally refused to put it in that folder). Reason being he is too funny and unlike other serious biographies that has got a certain order of events this was one hilarious childhood book read. No wonder he is a comedian. So why born a crime? In a nation where apartheid ruled and two different colors of people could not mingle, his coming to being was illegal/ crime that saw him get bullied, hide while other children played and even get smuggled to see his father who was from Switzerland. Thank his mother’s christian ways that made them attend 3 different churches every Sunday where he got to mingle with various races that challenged his thinking.
Growing up he had it pretty rough but he managed to maneuver by learning all languages in SA that made conversations much easier while reducing racism at the same time. Trevor’s mum was a hyper woman who breached laws where possible to achieve her goals that saw her even work as a secretary in various government offices. Through it, she was able to provide a good upbringing to Noah until Abel became his stepfather and hell broke loose. (Drunk, violent, non-provider, shot Noah’s mum but she survived).
Noah takes a reader through his childhood in an exciting way but he does not dwell onto his success as a comedian or how he even got there. All we know is that he was a good DJ who used to burn CDs and sell out to buses that saw him go out to DJ at parties, and open shop at the hood where he made it big then a radio station took him in and before we know it he was conquering all. His jokes were his way to get along with ladies as he believed he was ugly and not good enough to date but boy, did he screw up so much!

Posted in book review, challenge, disability, my library, reading

Me Before You

Lemme get this straight…why does everyone cry after reading this book? I never cried! Am i that inhuman? No. Well i watch many Indian films on Zee Cinema and Star Gold that the right to die was once captured on Guzaarish a 2010 film where Hrithik Roshan (Ethan) was a dancer until his friend planned an accident that saw him paralyzed and he requested for Ethanesia to end his miserable life….(story for another day).
Back to basics, Lou a 26yo too comfortable, ever chatty, stressed, weird lady loses her job at her cafe when the owner shuts it down. In a quest to find another she gets employed as a carer at the Traynor’s where their son Will is a quadriplegic- as a result of a motorbike accident. With no skills nor education on handling a disabled person she is in for a 6months contract but what she doesn’t know is that this is the duration he has given his family to bond with before he goes to Dignitas. Lou’s work is to make him change his mind.
When the cat is finally out of the bag, Treena, Lou’s sister helps her come up with activities that might help cheer up Will and at the same time researches on how to deal with the mind of a quad. Nathan, Will’s doc is stunned by Will’s recent behavior when he finally talks too much, goes out for outings but at the back of his mind he surely knows nothing can be done to reverse his death wish. During the months allocated, Lou becomes a transformed lady who gets out of her comfort zone and achieves things she would not have thanks to Will’s pushing demeanor (I love this guy). On the other hand, Will becomes a happy fellow who only goes to vacay with Lou to make her happy but not to live longer.
A girl struck in love ends her 7yo relationship with Patrick (i was really waiting for it to end) and focuses on making Will’s life worthwhile. She even chats with the quads group online where she gets tips from, money not been a problem for the Traynor’s gets him equipment to make communication easier and their sarcasm gets better by the day. During her last days of work when she thinks she can convince him to change his mind, they have a huge argument that makes her regret of her efforts. In a quest to fulfill his last wish she sets off to see him before his death…*sob.
She is in for another shock as Will’s will has her as a benefactor and sets out to achieve her lifetime goals.
Lou’s character in the book already names her carer since she has been taking care of her family through her meager income till her father gets a job with the Traynor’s as a castle repair man. The Traynor’s on the hand depend on Will’s death for life to at least get back to normal (his dad can marry the redhead), Georgina-sister can live peacefully without forcing she cares. As for me i now know how to handle a quad and even got ideas going around my head.
Now can i watch the movie and see if tears will flow? Moreover, read the second book: Me After You.
Question: Would you support one ending their life?
Posted in challenge, communication, economy, energy, finance, humour, Lifestyle

Ask Wanjiku

via Daily Prompt: Survive

Wanjiku is knocking….

Pardon me but Wanjiku is the suitable name they came up with when they wanted to refer to the common Mwananchi (i). The mastermind behind the coining is not known but who cares Wanjiku reigns! Inflation has been pinching and emptying my pockets at the same time in the name of living. Unfortunately, it decided to pick up during the cold weather when everyone complains of this or that.

My love for food as you already know though never showcases itself in the outer being usually gets higher in the cold season. Reproduction was my favorite biology segment so am not going to dwell on the metabolism part since am no teacher. Anyway, it is during this season that my worst meal that I loath to cook, Ugali (ii), becomes the wanted. It just satisfies the belly and makes you warmer in case there are no shoulders to rub you throughout. Problem is I hate buying the various maize flour brands that make one shift to a cock, hostess and kick off the market at the same time as they never cook to the desired taste no matter the amount of heat and time geared upon. Am the posho mill fanatic that awaits the maize harvesting season and grinds maize to flour making it a win-win game as i get “makore (iii).”This is actually the best Ugali more so when cooked using a jiko (iv) and not gas (how many times will i tell people this? My Western peeps enlighten this ones) and makes me go gugugaga. Drought has made this nearly impossible since no harvest was made and now the Ksh190 packet of flour is skyrocketing screaming “stick to your chapatis. (v)”

Funny enough the government subsidized the prices after a ship docked the country with tons of maize causing controversies as some said it was from Mexico and the rest from South Africa. Talk of another unresolved scandal! The prices came down to Ksh90 for a packet of maize flour and one could say the world was coming to an end as shoppers flocked their favorite outlets for purchases.

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The GOK Ksh90 subsidy pack

But you couldn’t keep the entire stock to yourself as managers warned shoppers with the “do not pick more than 2 packets” notice. Then the flour went out of stock and we back to square one. Sigh.

Morning breakfasts got better with my usual traditional meals of sweet potatoes and arrow-roots not deleting my brown bread  till I upgraded to cornflakes and Weetabix’s that needed milk.

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testing my middle middle class upgrade

This crossover was me testing the middle middle class if such a thing exists since it is not just the elite who take this stuff. At first I was disappointed by the number of flakes in a pack yet expensive for who? Milk was not an issue since the Ksh25 small pack or the Ksh30 ‘straight outta cow’ from my regular mama kiosk was always trickling in. I was getting accustomed to strong tea (water mixed with tea leaves) and my fake cocoa that was made of hot water and cocoa as I started my hustling journey till I also upgraded to milk drinks. Then the worst happened. Milk also hit the roof! Now I think I should just sit down and be humble as I trace my humble beginnings that never were a bother. Goodbye cereals, hello…..

I almost went berserk when my mum told me the monthly electricity bill was Ksh 3,000. I mean since I have lived in that house we have never paid such a hefty bill. This was a first. She lamented how the KPLC providers never come to do their readings and end up with estimates. So keen to confirm that indeed it was true, I went to my Facebook where I love hitting inboxes of companies that I got issues with. I read the current meter bill , gave them the account number and voilà we were chatting till they confirmed the dreaded. My mum started blaming us on how our gadgets were consuming electricity, how we would boil water using the jiko blah blah and all I could say was ” we rarely here.” Last month the KPLC guy just came in time when I was around but not to do his meter reading but cut us off! Yes we had neither received the bill nor the famous SMS.  Luckily, the entire neighborhood was going to get the cut since no one had received their bills. For the first time in history, I the never no bribe lady did it. There was no way my vacay would be ruined by electricity and who was going to pay the reconnection fee? Me? No. That settled I inquired why the high cost and not that we owned a factory in the house! Drought, no water he assured me. Then as if to test my patience he added that the next bill would also be high!Lucky are the tokens in the urban areas that all signal red as if danger awaits an entire building.

Yes I hate sugar. In fact I joined the Granny’s club way back as I enjoy sipping my tea sugar free. The hike in sugar is not affecting me at all that is the ONLY thing am at peace with and y’all freaking over it should join my club.

All this hullabaloo brought in the external factors debate. We blamed drought, the government that others decided to take the situation as their campaign mantra but did we really blame ourselves? No since no one wants to accept reality. Truth is our sugar is the most expensive in the world yet we got sugar companies that go under now and then. Can’t these people make sugar cheap for us? We continue to depend on rain fed agriculture no matter how many times the weather man warns us. Year in year out, drought happens at the same time, same months but do we really learn? No, we wait for drought to kick in, wait for relief food, wait for media expose then come up with a campaign to help drought affected populations. Then the cycle continues. We see big chinks of uncultivated lands as we tour the country that have turned into forests. This are not bushes but fertile lands belonging to some inhuman humans who would rather see a forest than food. We run to the city leaving our lands to be cultivated by God knows who. Then we rant hunger yet your land that could have helped gap this food insecurity is barely clothed. We see how desert countries like Dubai are food secure but we would rather exploit their aquarium malls and desert rides rather than imitate them.

The rains are here but how prepared are we? Shall the hashtag #WanjikuDecides be the trending topic come 2months time? Wanjiku has cried, cursed and lost it. Jumping into the Wanjiku bandwagon is not me. Am a survivor, I will survive this turmoil.

(i)Citizen

(ii)Dish made of maize flour

(iii)Chicken feed made out of maize cobs

(iv)Type of stove that uses charcoal

(v)Unleavened flatbread made of wheat flour. Roti/roshi

Posted in book review, challenge, children, humour, inspiration, Kenyan Literature, love, my library, reading, short stories

Are you a dare-devil?

There lived a very beautiful princess who wanted to get married. From all walks of life came the princes, rich and poor men, handsome and ugly men to try their luck. However, they were not aware of what was in store for them as the princess wanted a brave, wise, courageous and good man for her hand in marriage. She put a test on them where each was to drink hot boiling water but none of them was bold enough for the test.

Hare heard what was happening and his long unnoticed admiration towards the princess gave him the confidence that he would pass. He alerted his family and friends who accompanied him to the palace. He lifted the pot, walked towards his family and friends where they discouraged him with the death talk. They all thought he was stupid and he should let the princess be. Luckily, he never bought their dismay and took sips of the hot water slowly then in gulps and when he was almost done, princess told him to stop so that she could have her share.

The king was a feared man and this made the hare and his mob run away though the king ordered his guards to fetch the entire family. Princess loved the hare for his wisdom, brevity, courageousness and goodness. They got married and lived happily ever after.

 

Moral Lessons:

  1. Always go for what you want with the needed strength and brevity.
  2. Never listen to negative comments or discouraging naysayers.
  3. Risks are worth taking.