Dear African Parents

Good evening.

I understand I’ll have to keep this brief and precise lest my family tracks me down and takes me to church for my ‘insolence’.

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I simply wanted to state and inquire whether my fellow African offspring can relate to some of these ludicrous habits African parents seem to pass on to each other for our supposed ‘greater good.’

For any parent reading this, kindly don’t skip a line, this is to save you from any heinous decision you might make that will only push your child further away from you.

Privacy is IMPORTANT to every individual. There’s no such excuse as “he is hiding something from me” or “she could be doing the wrong thing”. Do not read your child’s journal, or go through their messages because you eradicate the notion of ‘safe space’ for the person. Sadly this transcends parenthood to relationships too. How hard is it not to snoop? Halafu swiping left or right when someone shows you a photo on their phone. Stay in your lane and let people breathe.

African parents, why are y’all so self conscious on how our actions may reflect your parenting skills such that you also readily label some of our experiences as ‘phases’ and choose to act mute to avoid the situation as though the silence expels the problem? They don’t seem to know that depression is a real thing or homosexuality has a funny way of lurking in one’s DNA. Sure, it’s not legal in Kenya, but the world is already mean enough, why make it a harsher place? They are ready to take one to church and pull all-nighters if need be to remove those demons.

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And lastly, we see through the bullshit.

We know when things aren’t working out for you, we know when you had a bad day, as we get older we know how you also fail as humans and parents, so give us the freedom to make our own choices and pick ourselves up. African parents know how to throw insults that one rarely recovers from and are quite unnecessary. African parents can destroy your self esteem while thinking they are building it.

But all in all, mad respect to the folks who beat you up and still manage to ask you why in hell you are crying. Cheers to the mad childhood, and to my friends who are now parents, don’t forget yourselves!

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The Human Flaw

It’s quite scary.

How easy it is to leave.

Being alone is less,

But a less toxic less. 

You never know what’s

entirely good until

you’ve handled entirely

bad. 

Entirely good has its

bad days too.

Mother failed to see

the ultimate flaw.

She failed to see that

he would always retreat

into “alone-ness” 

whenever threatened. 

She is a force he still cannot

Handle. Too brave and kind.

She outshines his light.

So he sought familiarity in the 

arms of a woman who was lesser

than he, because she couldn’t judge

the man he chose to be. 

He could’ve grown, 

but he loved his comfort,

in being unreprimanded 

that he left before he was asked.

How do I know?

I am his child.

Clarity prevails as one grows.

I guess I’ve seen,

many a man like him. 

To remove an adult 

from a child’s heart pedestal 

is to strip love bare

and provide no aid

For the bleeding wound. 

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May this generation produce a better batch of parents.

Bisexual, friend or foe?

IMG_0145Hi there!

Yes it’s me, yes I still write. I know it’s been a minute, and no I’m not here to talk about Ian Duncan. You know, the author of the latest piece based on USIU students generalizing all of us simply cause he couldn’t keep up with an accent and secretly wished he never ordered that Tusker instead of a cocktail. Like ‘Omagaaar’.

I’m done Duncan.

I’m actually here for some real talk.

On Tuesday, some light teasing over my appearance from a male friend (supposedly bisexual, or just thinks saying he’s gay earns him a few points on the popularity scale) got me feeling uncomfortable.

He picked a bad day to  continue his unnecessary teasing and eventually evoked my wrath. So long story short he’s deleted my number and will currently argue with anyone who takes my side. (Anyone wanna fight for me? Or just wanna have fun with him? I’ll send you his number)

Now this bi boy isn’t even the problem. It’s the feeling of entitlement to objectify my body because he’s male and a ‘friend’. Are people aware that even platonic friendships have lines that shouldn’t be crossed? We’re grown enough for me not to have to be explaining to you why I don’t like you making references to my breasts. You shouldn’t even have to do so to begin with.

Kindly learn that when someone says no, they mean it.

No, don’t hug me when I stretch out my hand for you to shake.

No, don’t kiss my cheeks, forehead, boy, do I have a sticker written kissing booth on me?

Girls, don’t be pressing your boobs up to his chest if he ain’t asking or stretched out to hug you. Just don’t. Personal space… sound familiar?

Bottom line is, RESPECT.

Uni is a place you make friends for life. Don’t struggle to keep a friend you are always gonna doubt and double check just because you’ve been friends for a long time. If they leave, let them. Kindly hold the door for them and give them a ‘bon voyage’ gift bag too.

So Duncan, does this make sense ama you also read in accents??

As someone I admire would say; Peace love and empathy. ❤️

Don’t worry Kiambi, just this one time.

The Glitch That Is

Conversations these days:

Old friend: Renee, hi!

Me: Sup fam, how’s it going?

Old friend: I’m good. It’s been a minute, why the silence?

Me: I’ve been busy no lie, but the same can be said for you. What’s happening?

Old friend: I’ve been hustling here and there. Working part time and hanging out with our friends. I’m in Nai some weekends, we should link up.

Me: Sure thing, next time you come through just let me know! How often do you come? I wouldn’t want you to come when I’ve got exams cause then I won’t see you.

Old friend: I’ll plan and let you know. But in all honesty I think I have the right to say I’m busier than you. Kwani how does uni take up most of your time?

*I mentally go quiet for two seconds and try think of a less offensive response than I had intended to reply with*

Me: Haha! I wish you knew. I’ve got classes and some extracurricular activities take up my time.

Old friend: extracurricular? Ati now clubs take up your time in uni?

*Inhale, count to ten, exhale at this point*

Me: yeh! Some of these clubs are serious man. You get dope deals and some sexy cv if you work for one.

Old friend: psht, that’s why I’m working. At this rate I don’t think I’ll even join uni.

Me: whatever makes you happy fam.

Old friend: Now what kind of response is that? Ever since you moved, you’ve really changed btw.

*What the two face flying fuck? At this point I stop replying and go keep up with the ‘change’ that is occurring as though it is laced with blasphemy*

Old friend: Renee, you went quiet on me.

Me: Lol, I did tell you I get busy.

Old friend: nah, your old friends just aren’t good enough for you anymore.

Me: How have you come to that conclusion all on your own?

*Note the sarcasm*

Old friend: I see your posts and the new friends you keep fawning over. You’ve forgotten the ones who’ve been there for you.

*Tries not to mentally slap this human and give up on this conversation.*

Me: If I’ve forgotten you then how come we’re still talking?

Old friend: We only talk because I look for you.

Me: And the times I call you?

Old friend: Bottom line is, this distance is your fault.

Me: …

*I mentally move to Mars and hope I find an alien species that will take me in as their own and love me forever.*

Me: Okay then babe, I’ll try harder and up my game at our conversations okay?

Old friend: Now you will only do it because I complained and it won’t be real. So what’s the point? SMH

Me: First of all your sorry ass has been stuck there too long you don’t know what the outside of high school looks like… (Wait, delete Renee, delete this)

Me: (2nd try) bitch come again? They why in heaven would you even bring this up and was I this immature too? (Again Renee, delete, delete!)

Me: Fam, mad respect and all, but if you honestly feel like this is a problem, the aim is to work at it to make things better. I’m still the same old friend and I’ll still be here if you want to talk and meet up. But if you don’t then be real, we’re to grown for me to try keep up with these blame games.

*Yes Renee! This is a valid enough answer, it’s not hate speech so you won’t go to jail, good Job!*

Old friend: Aki Renee, mimi! That’s all you have to say? Kumbe she was right when she said you’ve changed and have an attitude now. You’ll look for me again, ngoja tu!

Me: Sleep well babe. :*

*Smiles, I’ve lost a friend, but gained freedom*

 

Point is, when did we decide change is a bad thing? What good is there in the constant hues of monochrome found in the systematic cycles we have developed? Why would you hate me for making my own choices and loving something else from what multitudes of people pretend to like? Why would you force me to be like you? Why do you force normalcy and shun uniqueness?

Learn to let go and see what stays. Don’t fight what you can’t control. Love fiercely because this all ends. Live and let live.

Live and let live.

Renee out.

 

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I’ve found you

IMG_20160528_161031I can’t understand why I still keep this withered rose barely hidden amongst my stationery on my bookshelf. When every once or twice a week, as I reach out for a pen, my fingers graze the rose and I’m forced to pick it up, smelling the sharp residue of your memory in the crisp petals. I can’t explain why I’ve used this rose as a bookmark whenever I leave home.

I figured its because you gave it to me on Valentine’s day and I scoffed at the action because I couldn’t let it mean something; as I do with almost everything good that comes my way. I didn’t give my mind room to acknowledge a small likeness behind our conversations and smiles, behind the action movies and the cockiness.

I guess its because I grew used to accepting love that is beneath me. Listen, it was still love, just not the best possible version it could be, and somehow always seemed lesser than what I was giving to the other. But you had a look in your eyes that made me shield my heart, making me say goodbye before you could say hello.

Do forgive my rambling; I’m only trying to find out why this bloody rose means so much to me. I’m trying to decipher each and every syllable in this story, one that I would pass on to Shakespeare for him to maybe write a play that I would understand better. If Picasso worked with pixels I would frame a photo of us and diligently seek his interpretation.

When you walked towards me holding that rose, you eradicated the preconceived notions I had of you meant to keep you at bay. I told myself there is nothing that sets you apart from the rest. I told myself you are simply another sad, lonely boy seeking a temporary connection.

But now when I think of you, I think of writing something beautiful. I try and think of many ways to tell you just how lovely you are, and sometimes the paper stays blank, which couldn’t possibly be better in my opinion. You cannot be explicitly captured in the words I write or the photos I take. You are an entity somehow ahead and behind of time itself.

This rose blends in so easily on my shelf; you really have to look to spot it. This rose is a reminder of time passed and present. It is a blend of us, so simply put if you blink you’ll miss it. I think I know now… After all this rambling, I know. This rose is important because it feels like home.

Because you are my home.

A Letter from a Fatherless Daughter to her Future Son

You are precious, you are my unspoken box of loving whispers uttered in thanks to God for you. You need to know you are enough! More than enough for me. Sadly this won’t be the case with the rest of the world.

There will be unnecessary expectations you might feel the need to adhere to. There will be people who won’t understand you, and of course there will be those who hate you. Some will only like you for what you’ve got, and others for how you look.

My love, let me tell you all this when my heart is still vibrant. When it can still fall, break and fix itself in a heartbeat. Let me tell you this when I still know what it feels like to be young and stupid.

I’ll need you to do one difficult task for me. I’ll need you to love. First love yourself because I will love you with every fiber of my being and you deserve no less from yourself. I need you to learn how to give and receive love.

Be bold, yet humble. Be forgiving and kind, be passionate! Don’t willingly be cuffed to the status quo, and wrapped up in folds of who society expects you to be. Defy the ordinary and find satisfaction in being yourself.

Girls are advised everyday on which kind of boys to love, I guess I need you to know that a girl needs to work to get you too. She needs to take time to study you and learn to love your demons because they are part of you. Be terrified of ‘settling’ for things lesser than you deserve.

It won’t always go right, and you will fail. It’s how you get back up that counts.

I’ll be here.

Bless.

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Random Revival

Before you came my way,

I didn’t know I needed you.

I was so busy catching and

Accepting fires aimed at me.

I let myself be flung off buildings

And through dimensions of

Pain and confusion.

So finding you…

You are a conundrum

Of old wishful thinking

That has become reality

And left me shook.

You brought back to life

My childish desires

Of a happily ever after

And fulfilled promises.

You’ve given love to a

Broken heart that’s loved

One too many times with

No love in return.

You don’t even see it,

Do you?

I didn’t expect you to,

You exist for me and that’s

Enough.

So I’ll try something.

I’m going to love you with

All these broken shards I

Have collected through the

Years.

I’m going to give you all I have

To give until I have no more.

This one time I’ll let myself love

Until its second nature.

You worry about the end

Game, but to feel this much

Is a blessing in itself that

I’m willing to deal with

Anything.

You awoke my Inner Arson

And she lights the fire in my heart

Which bleeds for no one but

You.

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