Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Senior year

As I type this I am on the verge of having an emotional breakdown. I am always the first person to be on an influencer's case when they stop putting out content abruptly; when I just started getting into Anita Nkatha it just so happened to be around the time that she was approaching her third and final year of uni', at some point she went ghost on her channel which had me reverting to watching her older videos. A few months after, she came back on to her channel, explaining the whirlwind that was her senior year. Now, another one of my favourite Youtuber's, Tara Efobi has gone ghost as well. I can almost bet my life on the fact that senior year is taking it's  toll and she may be back with a couple of videos the moment the festive season is in full swing.

Where am I going with this? For a minute now I didn't believe that senior year would be as tough as pretty much the whole world has been painting it out to be. Let me tell you, I was dead wrong. Today the reality of it has hit me and hit me hard.

Yes, I am neck deep in assignments even as my university remains closed indefinitely. Nearly every unit I am taking this semester, there is a paper or group assignment due. I had this grand scheme of things where this break would be the very definition of productive. I started off strong. Each morning last week I would wake up and work on a bit of an Insurance Law assignment and wouldn't you know it,by Friday that was one thing off my checklist.

And then it happened, that pesky draft proposal deadline. Friday to Sunday saw all my energy heavily directed in that direction and nothing else. Out of precaution and being, there's no better way of putting this, fed up, I submitted it on Saturday. My supervisor got back to me on Friday with prescribed changes he would have liked to be made to my proposal, yet, your girl sent the draft proposal over a week ago from Friday. The expectation I bet was to be on lock down between Friday and Sunday at 5 p.m., just slaving away at a paper that is worth just under 50% of the whole grade and fitting all the  intricacies of life somewhere in there. Is it just me or is that just a little bit insane? This is a genuine question, I am checking  on myself, just to make sure I haven't gone bananas.

One course of action I have taken as at now, closing my email tab. At this point it's just an anxiety trigger. Each email I hope is a response from my supervisor answering a couple of the concerns I raised, and each inbox notification is yet another tease.

There was a throbbing ache somewhere in my face, I had on one of those headaches at my centre forehead and a looming deadline for a research paper outline which is the source of my emotions just being up in the air. Of course, I am at work so all these emotions can only be manifested on the inside. I have also chosen to cope by watching a couple of Youtube videos, a brief get away or procrastination, you call it.

Resorting to Google how a legal research paper outline is done or at least even a sample of it, has been a dead end to say the very least. Now, I am in the process of texting friends and even that is not looking up from where I am standing. The deadline is tomorrow, I might as well guess my way through and see where that takes me, I'd rather warrant a load of corrections other than not submit at all.

Other than that, I think I will get back on track with my grand plan of getting all my other work done instead of keeping a steady pace on a project that only seems to be on the same spot or worse, going backwards. Surely, I have got to have something to show from this unexpected "vacay". 

The woes of public universities.

Have a good one!  

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Google Business Intern Application Experience...Hardly

For some reason I always feel the need to recap the weekend like a few hours of Monday blurs the memory of the days prior and this post is no different. Except, is it?

So the better part of  Saturday evening was spent bumming on the couch, t.v in the background as white noise. I stole an occasional quick glance at the t.v, catching a  glimpse of the latest season of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, WAGS, The Middle and a movie, Cool Runnings. Okay, so maybe, it wasn't just white noise.

 I spent a greater chunk of my time reading and re-reading a job description for the Google Business Intern position.I am not particularly sure where the uncertainty stemmed from. Come to think of it, that is a straight up lie, it's Google, known for hiring Ivy League alum and then there's me, just another individual who likes to dream big, think of the unthinkable, go beyond borders.

This may sound utterly ridiculous but at some point while watching KUWTK I knew for sure that I was destined for the  good life. I am fully aware that this is consumerism at its best but hear me out, who wouldn't like to jet set between destinations on a whim, own a private jet because of the convenience,, know people, have people know them, have a walk-in pantry, home gym heck, I'll take a gym membership for starters and a home with a view. If wanting the finer things in life is wrong then I don't want to be right!

Once the episode ended and I was back to reality,the irony, is when I realized it's not so much about the material things, the fame and the status that comes with it. I am a self proclaimed homebody, jet setting as thrilling as it sounds would largely take away from this. For me all these things are just a representation of success, my shallow representation of success, but success nonetheless. Although the line is thin and blurred, it's the success I crave, not so much the privilege that comes with it like having whole restaurants closed down to exclusively serve me and my posse.

The more I scrolled and re-read the same information over and over again, the more daunting it became, the more real it became.

 I got wind of the internship through the MyNetwork, Daily Nation pull-out a local Kenyan daily. The truth is, I was frantically looking through it to see if there was any word on the content creator position I had applied for a few weeks ago. Ridiculous, I am sure,but come on, you apply for the same position thrice; once last year and twice this year, get no feedback whatsoever, besides letting the desperation mount, child, imma give it room to spill over. I always give a quick skim through their careers section and when all my hopes were dashed after my little search, that was the page I turned to.

Yesterday, I took the plunge. I did my research finding resumes that have made the Google cut in the past, taking notes from here to Timbuktu all in an effort to be the very embodiment of a Googler. The first agenda on the table was formatting my resume to fit in to one page.That took me a cool four hours, I say cool but mark my words there was nothing cool about it. It took half an episode of Churchill Show, one episode of the new season of KUWTK, a couple of sitcoms, some movie with Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence bits of it at least and a good chunk of a Femi Kuti documentary and then Eureka! a one page resume was born.

The thoroughness and hard work that went into this one is one for the books. After the upload came the basic info., no big deal there and then, there it was, transcript request. There is no sugar coating this, I am not a star student, never have been and anytime a job application process requests for this just makes me more aware of how true this is.Whatever happened to the "grades shouldn't define you" battalion, oh  yeah, that's right, they just marched past carrying the star students along with them.

The lesson here, if you take a way anything let it be never, ever get a grade you have to explain and just to clarify if you are making Bs and anything above that you are in the all clear my friend. I am at that point in my life where I would give anything for a do-over. If we are being honest, it all started with this work-study situation, for a while I tried to find the perfect balance and in the process my grades suffered a great deal. The damage is done and there really is no option but to soldier on.

A little piece of my Google Business Intern dream died when that transcript request popped up but I had to or should I say have to keep the fire burning.

Crunching my resume down to one page as I previously mentioned was no easy fete as I had already mentioned but these American kids, they are quite the force. Valedictorian, programming languages, members of philanthropic organizations, and besides just being a member of their clubs/societies/organizations and what not, some of them are presidents, others founders of clubs that attracted up to 200+students, all this while holding leadership positions of multiple student organizations. If you thought I was done, think again. Besides their load of coursework, they have projects they are working on out of their own initiative on the side and don't get me started on their awards and accolades; scholarships worth thousands of dollars is the order of the day.

Compared to them I am nothing, but the little I had, which I really never thought to be little until  I started going through their resumes, still went on.

During the course of the day I went through my newest prized possession, my resume, my one-page resume. Only, I realized I left out something crucial  and had a  typo, well, of sorts. Of course I am not going to rat myself out here lest someone actually follows the link to this website that was so obviously placed smack dab in the center header.

Let me save you the trouble and say it, it's all downhill from here.

Next course of action, go home, make the necessary corrections, mope around for a while, you know just marinate in my feelings a while and pray for a miracle. Of course, when these things happen I always figure that there is a reason behind it. There must be. Maybe it's not the right fit for me or this is God's special way of letting me know that there is an underlying issue that I am refusing to acknowledge and getting away from it is not the answer or this is just my wake-up call to proof read my work a thousand times over. You can bet your bottom dollar that I will spend days, weeks, months even trying to figure out the why.

Is it crazy that I am still hopeful?

Follow the link to apply if you dare, at least one of us should get it.

Have a good one!

Friday, 13 October 2017

The Return of TRL

I was just having a pretty basic Friday until I logged on to my blogger account and apparently the TRL/106 and Park article I put out this week is quite the hit. It was also unintentionally timed to come out exactly a week after its premier. What are the odds?



Let's just say since the last TRL episode aired nearly a decade ago, a lot has changed. Obviously they've got different hosts and  on first impression I have gotta tell you, I am not impressed. You read that right.

 The guy, I guess he realizes this is  an opportunity of a lifetime and he is milking it dry, if we are going to be honest I think he is doing a little bit too much. Back in the day I used to associate male hosts with a sense of suave, I am sorry I have to do this but I will have to draw comparisons; Terrence J from 106 and Park embodied that and so did homegrown talent, MTV Kenya VJ Emukule Ekirapa, might I say that he was awfully easy on the eyes. Damn, I miss him.

The girl, she is too focused on being cute with her thigh highs, hoodie and sleek little pony. For female hosts, I always drew from them an ultra cool vibe, sure the looks,clothes, hair extensions,nails and make up were a big help but do I have to say it? We are in the 21st century and women still have to prove that they are just as equal as men, if you are successful at this you end up being given just about the same respect as your male counterpart and sometimes the level of respect you enjoy even surpasses his. For a hot minute, we couldn't even say Terrence J without saying Rocsi as a suffix, until he went along and built a name for himself post 106 and Park. Please understand TRL defined generations at some point and judging by the first episode, maybe it was the premiere jitters that were taking a toll, but she has got to step it up.

Of course, MTV did what nearly every other network is doing...bringing internet stars on to prime time television. Apparently the assumption here is, once their viewers get wind that their favorite Youtube star, Viner, Musical.lly star is going to be on a show, they are counting their chickens before they hatch, see they come as a package, with their fans. Even before the show airs, they are already assured of above average ratings. I have never been a big believer in this new approach to television. I am also a seeing-is-believing type of girl, give me the stats, show me some consistency, even some projected consistency, then you'll have me.

They managed to rope in Liza Koshy who I happen to be a huge fan off. Her puns are a gift from the most high. As for being a co-host, that's up in the air. It's a whole different environment I have to get used to her in and I can already tell, it's going to be a totally different Liza up there. In as much as I am okay with that, I 'm really not.

Did I mention that I am having to watch clips of TRL on Youtube? Let me be honest I do not know if it's airing internationally which would mean I would be able to catch it on MTV Base. If it isn't airing, well this is just one of those things that have changed. Before Kenya saw the digital transmission age, digital television was a luxury. Plainly put, the average Joe was not going to fork out a couple thousand shillings to get access to pay t.v. when it was available free. My access to TRL was at my high flying cousins' place whom we used to spend ages at over the weekends. This was before MTV went ahead to create MTV Africa and what not. In the event that it will only air in the US and probably neighbouring Canada, there is a problem. Producers, just go back to the drawing board and figure that out. But I could be wrong, maybe they did do their homework and it just turns out no one beyond the land of the free would even so much as throw a glance in the TRL direction.

Predictably, they reached out to the Migos. For a literal second there, the crowd was hype, phones were out, of course you have gotta flex for the 'gram and snappers. As their performance continued, that crowd was just not feeling it. The one person who was about it just so happened to be black, was the only one with hands up in the air, jumping up and down. I have never been to a hip hop concert, but from the vlogs I watch courtesy of Amber Martin people know the lyrics word for word and let's not even get into the level of hype. These guys were just standing there. Ah,  a classic case of the culture divide.

The line-up also included Ed Sheeran and the rambunctious DJ Khaled who of course had to tag along... you guessed it, Asahd. Is it me or does this line up just not gel? Not Asahd though, it's safe to say we all have a soft spot for the youngest mogul in the game.

So what could have been done different?

The episode aired after the Las Vegas shooting, they had a fifty-something second long clip acknowledging the incident. This is just one of the reasons why, TRL needs to bring the heat. In no way shape or form am I insinuating that they should they have made the show about the shooting but there is more they could have done. A moment of silence in Time Square would have been a start. I realize a lot of networks are treading on dangerous grounds if they so much as even mention the phrase, 'gun control' so, what if TRL took a stand against 'gun violence'. TRL thrives on live performances and with live performances come concert goers. This would have been a statement that shows TRL is bringing everything and the kitchen sink,while paying much needed homage to all involved in the shooting from the live performers to the victims.

If it was my line up, I was thinking more along the lines of Lil Chano, Khalid, Logic, Major Lazer, Dua Lipa. Yes, the feminine touch is nearly negligible but give me a break, brainstorming on this without a team behind me is more of the challenge than I thought.

What's  done is done. I hate to say it, but I don't see a long shelf life for this edition of TRL.

Have a good one!

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Wanting it bad

Every few days I spend hours and hours just scrolling through the Teen Vogue website, thinking to myself, asking myself rather if I am good enough, can my writing skills be up there, will I ever scroll through and just below the title of a new article see my name in subtle small print.

Can I just say that ever since Elaine Welteroth had the Teen Vogue editor torch passed down to her, the content on there is far from bubble gum. It's no longer purely traditional teen content; boys, pop music, which lip gloss is sure to give you the most shimmer. Of course, these are the articles that give the magazine a light touch but she has done something that no Teen Vogue editor has ever done; besides being the first black Teen Vogue editor,(can I get an Amen for it's about time) she is talking about topical issues. She was more than vocal about who she was supporting in the US presidential election and in the aftermath, she doesn't shy away from asking cover stars where they were when the announcement was made and their sentiments about it, case in point Amandla Stenberg. Her team of writers does a fantastic job digging for that unique flare which in my opinion, for the past few years is non existent in a lot of editorials. You can only imagine the excitement I felt when I saw an article about one Mr. Jacob Banks whose voice is, stellar, I mean he gives you straight goose pimples, neck hairs standing on edge, the  whole shabang. I haven't felt this way about an artiste since Hozier.

Then there was this one article about this Congo born artiste who is just about a piece of living art himself, he had body art on his face, just a few months prior he was on the Colors, is a runway model and when he started talking about the Congo La Sape, I was sold, sold and did I say sold?

Clearly with pieces like this you can see how little old me can begin to feel just the least bit insecure about what I put out.

I started this blog with the intention of making it big like Biko and ThisIsEss. With every article I put out I was sure I was a step closer. I would post a whopping three times a week. I had conveniently started the blog during the break after I finished my one year diploma program, you better believe I had nothing but time on my hands and I basked in the glory of this advantage. I thought I was doing it right. First, I wrote poetry. For some reason I thought it would be terribly appealing to write just like Biko did, for the record those posts did not sound or read anything like his but believe me when I say I knew I was on my way.

At some point I even considered becoming a style blogger, not fashion but style just like Sharon.It was all the rage back then when I was super into ourstylekenya now justjoykendi, ThisIsEss. I figured, if they can do it surely, I can. Feeding off of how trendy it was at the time that was only bound to translate to more hits on my little web space. This was desperation at its optimum. Thankfully, we will never know.

Then, I read Stephen King's On Writing, wrote a review about it here and even shared some quotes on it.For a time I lived and breathed by that book. I was reading more to improve my writing and planning my posts. At some point, things were looking ever so good I even had scheduled posts. Saying it out loud, it almost sounds as if I am talking about an alternate universe.

When back-to-school came round, I was not going to allow even that to come in my way, I was on a trajectory and no hell or high water would come in my way. Quite frankly, my content was pretty bomb. This was a college blog, I mean it still is but back then I drew a whole lot of my inspo from the 'Tube which for some reason was all about tips and tricks about this that and the other. Desperate to start my own channel and without a single piece of equipment I figured why not put the content that I would put on my channel on here? Classic example of meeting myself half way.  I would even go the extra mile and  promo content on Pinterest and Google+ the only social media I wasn't self conscious sharing my posts on.

Eventually life caught up with me, turns out I underestimated how different it would be to juggle school, work and anything I did outside these two worlds. Regardless,I was still trying to keep my hobby? interest? passion? alive.

This is how I know that this writing thing is a thing, my thing, I can't shake it off. It' not a phase, at least I don't think it is.

Two months ago, is when I had my light bulb moment what Oprah has since dubbed,the aha-moment. Even though  I use the excuse that life caught up with me, did it? In retrospect,  I had to readjust in my life when it came to balancing this new world of school and work; whether it was laundry day, the days I have to do the dinner dishes, when and how I do school work I managed to fix it according to this new normal of mine. Yet, the greatest disservice I did to myself most of last year was put most of my writing on the back burner.Most, because, the i-don't-know-when-to-quit person in me wouldn't budge. I had and still have tonnes of papers with handwritten articles that would never see the light of a  screen's backlight.Each one, I thought would be different, this one was surely going to make the cut and make it on to the blog. Some did, most didn't.

Determined, I regrouped.  I binned this notion that I had to write it down on paper then type it out on screen. Besides being time consuming, it was a major buzzkill. So far, so good. Agree?

Now that I am back on the bandwagon and have been for a hot minute now I feel awfully entitled to a job in print media. And there have been signs; ads in the newspapers twice and on the internet all looking for writers in my demographic, collegiates. As the ads continue to roll I heed to their call. It feels like I have sent thousands of applications, my sent box would beg to differ, thousands is a tad on the higher side.

However, what set me off was my morning's daily devotion. So, Hezekiah was terminally ill when God sent Isaiah to tell him it was the end of the road, after crying hysterically he turned to the wall and cried out to God.Just like that, God added 15 years to his life. Besides, thinking that 15 years is a pretty precise amount of time, I have cried out to God and the response hasn't been as snappy as Hezekiah's. Given, I am no prophet neither have I served God unconditionally but still I deserve something, a response at least.

In the Christian world, there are three answers to your prayer; yes, no, wait. Maybe no responses isn't a no but just a wait. In the job market, no response means just that, no. I question myself constantly, is it my CV? Do I need a writing portfolio? How do I create a writing portfolio? Or am I after all not all that and the bag of chips that I have always thought myself to be? Is this God's subtle way of telling me this is not his plan for me? Get my grades up and then the blessings will come pouring down? More questions, yet, no answers.

Maybe I should put myself out there, but, no offense folks gratitude and appreciation  from y'all though heartily appreciated, will not get me the print job I want so bad. For a bunch of people it has but for me, three years this blog is about to clock and nada! I could just do it for the heck of it, see where it takes me, that could be the route intended while I am here yapping my mouth over a job in print. You know what maybe I will flood your timelines, well flood is pushing it, but a link for starters on Pinterest and Twitter could be a humble beginning and when I get a smart phone, posting the link in my bio and an Instastory just to get the word out.

For now, I will probably go harder on my applications with little tweaks here and there, seeing how those work for me, fighting the good fight on this blog right here and might I just say that it's been a pretty enjoyable ride so far and just keep doing the darned thing.It's all sure to pay off, whether in kind or in bills.

Have a good one!      

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Why TRL and 106 & Park need to make a comeback

It is completely ironic that while I write this I have been struck by the urge to listen to Fela Kuti, you would think something a little more wavy would be appropriate to set the mood.

 I watch a lot of black entertainment, so naturally, I spend a huge chunk of my time on BET. In three years, I am yet to miss a BET Awards, not because of the hype surrounding it especially when the The Shade Room are sharing second by second updates on the night it all goes down, although that does play a very important role. I do think however there is a richness that comes with the culture  which is often pronounced, amplified even, during these award shows be it BET Awards, Soul Train Awards, BET Honours, Black Girls Rock  and especially BET Honours which you have to take notice of.

For a few weeks though I can't help but feel there is a gap. Remember MTV's TRL and 106 and Park? I was in my tweens when these shows were all the rage. This was back then, the only way to come as close to the biggest artistes as one could possibly could. No Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Periscope just old school face to face, with the highlight being a live performance of either their freshest single just out of the studio or their hardest hitting chart banger. I remember TRL was filmed in NYC in a space that had huge windows for walls overlooking Time Square, depending
who was rumoured to be appearing on the show besides the studio audience there were hopeful fans in Time Square often braving the blistering winter or sweltering heat. The camera would get a swift shot of these guys jumping up and down, smiling and waving frantically when the show would cut to commercial or was wrapping up. My tween self thought, if that is what it meant to be a teenager I couldn't wait a couple years more.

These was the epitome of live television back then. 

I will be the first to admit that at some point this appeal lost its pizzaz, TRL was the first to throw in the towel and a few years later 106 & Park closed shop. My opinion, this was just about the right time to put a lid on it. It was the dawn of social media, if there  was a tweef going on you could follow it live, not missing a single detail, TMZ was on the case before it was even a case and most importantly I didn't have to wait until 4.00 pm or whatever time these shows aired to get the ultimate scoop, by then it was old news.

Now, the internet is understood. When a cryptic post is shared, we still have questions, a 24 hour story is no longer enough not even an Instagram live suffices because you know these Hollywood  folk, they have mad skills when it comes to dodging hot topics that have them involved in one way or another.

Plus, I don't know about you but there is also a better understanding of the culture. The moment anything happens you have people speaking out, most importantly you have teenagers speaking out. There is nothing too risque or taboo, if it's on the table you'll have tongues wagging either way and if it is, that just means you've taken a dive into the deep end which always means more hits, more likes, more trends and ultimately more staying power. What network would say no to that?

There is a generation missing out on a whole lot, like seeing Yara Shahidi talk about her freshman college experience in Harvard and on being  a freshman in the same campus as Malia Obama; are they friends, do they meet in the caf, have a couple of common classes, Amandla Stenberg talking about cultural appropriation and don't cash crop my cornrows live, have Migos all of them; Quavo, Offset, Takeoff do a little something because that always seems to turn into gold, have Joey Badass talk about Black Lives Matter and his album because that album is the truth, Wizkid on how  it is to be an African artiste taking over the world or Chance the Rapper and his benefit concerts wouldn't that have been something to see Chance lead people to the polls live or have Logic debut his 1-800 song .

When you want to go hard, go hard and talk about gun control, homophobia, Black Lives Matter, the relevance of African artistes in BET Awards if they do not get the time of day during these shows...mhmm  I am going there, racial discrimination when it comes to the Grammys and the Emmys, why is it only now that black women and men are getting the recognition they have long deserved now and the importance of registering to vote with the relevance of voting, the stigma that comes along with your HIV status, healthcare and birth control anything and everything is game .

All I hear on daytime television is how you do not want your children growing up in the world that is today, growing up in fear of attending live concerts or afraid of being themselves. The unfortunate fact is the world outside all our front doors knows no sympathy. It takes people apart for something as stupid as the colour of your skin, the curl pattern of your hair, your body weight, religious belief, mental situation and the list of outrageous physical attributes you have no control over still goes on.

Talking about a new single or album that's dropped is cool so is talking about a viral sensation. That's what these shows could be, but now  more than ever there is so much more.  There is a wokeness that comes with this generation of teens that needs to be amplified beyond what it is. Debrah Lee, BET 106 & Park are you game? TRL  are you?

Have a good one!  

   

Monday, 9 October 2017

Do I really want it that bad?

Have you ever wondered why for some people everything comes so easy, so natural and then there's you rather, then, there's me. Yes, guys, we are just going to dive straight into it, bitterness and jealousy in tow.

Aren't you guys glad that this blog has taken the course it has? I am no longer debutantly stiff serving a Stepford wife demeanor complete with a pearl necklace wringing my neck. Now, although late to the party, being unfiltered is so much easier ,in fact, therapeutic.

Any who, social media. I have always thought it to be vain, narcissistic and I am pretty vocal about that. But deep, deep, deep inside, I just want to be considered an influencer but most importantly I want the lax and the perks that come with it,  all of it. A lot of the influencers I consider to be the top dogs had quite the head start. Facebook. By the time I was signing up for it in August of 2011, everyone else was already on to the next one; Twitter and what not, using lingo like "What's your Twitter handle?" like they were to good for username.  By the time I was joining Instagram, they were already in the hundreds when it came to the number of followers they had. I just clocked 300 the other day and have been bouncing around 298-305 for a minute now. It sounds vain and shallow. There is really no better way of putting it. One of my legitimate worries when it comes to this thing called life is my social media. Ah, the troubles of a millenial.

But the reason why this social media thing is doing my head in dates back to the beginning of this year, to be exact Christmas Day 2016. Two years before I was really getting into this natural hair thing, not so much for the fad it was, mostly for the functionality. I was discovering that black women were doing their hair on their own straight down to box braids, Havana twists, weaves it was the dawn of a. new world. The major selling point, putting a cap on the never ending trips to the salon letting this sista save a coin. You know me, I'm as frugal as they come, I jumped on the bandwagon so fast. A few months into it, I was making moves, executing Youtube tutorials on my tresses. My hairstyles didn't go unnoticed I would get complements left, right and centre. At the time there weren't too many natural hair influencers on the Kenyan scene as they are now.  I would say our Naptural85 was hands down our Kurly Kichana. I thought one was enough especially when my cousin suggested I should take up blogging my hair journey and boy was I wrong. You know what's worse though? The sting of a lost opportunity years later.

Back to Christmas Day 2016, this marked the beginning of Eddiesfro. I didn't still don't have a fancy camera or bourgeoisie products like the legit natural hair movers and shakers. I thought I had a killer bantu knot out which I had slaved away at for most of Christmas Eve. After taking a bunch of selfies which were never going to see the light of day, I jumped in both feet no looking back and wouldn't you believe that the first post on my account was reposted on Kenya's premier natural hair product line Marini Naturals. It was at that moment that I knew I was the new naturalista on the block. I was expecting all sorts of things; followers, likes stacked up to the ceiling, freebies, reposts, a feature on 4chairchicks and any other natural hair page you can think off. 10 months in,and all of it has happened except of course for the freebies. It's happened alright, just not at the rate I want it.

Just under a month ago, one of the co-founders of the Instagram account taking Nairobi by storm and whom I happened to got to high school with,  started their Instagram account, LocLife. And in just under a month homegirl last I checked had 800+ followers, I don't even want to think about what that translates to in likes and they are already collaborating with Marini Naturals. Let me repeat it in case you didn't follow this is all in under a month's work.

I took a long hard look at myself to figure out why I wasn't raking it up like she is. For one, Loclife is an investment. They have proper head shots, I have self-timed selfies. One of them is already considered a social media personality, I think we already have established that I am a far cry from that. They have a Youtube channel, I have just been asked severally if I had plans to go that route eventually, for the record the answer is I don't know. At a glance it doesn't look like it but they are putting in the work and I guess in return it is handsomely paying off.

So, yeah, I want it all but I could really care less about putting in the same amount of work and dedication they are. Therefore, the big question is do I really want it that bad?

When I got into it, I was in it for all the wrong reasons. I was out here looking to bump Sheila Ndinda out of her natural hair high chair and make myself queen. I figured out real soon that that was not going to happen. Doing it or anything matter for notice or to gain a level of popularity can only get you so far. Only recently did I start doing it as a hobby, as genuine fun and interest which took quite the load off. It's no longer about the  number of followers or likes, reposts or features. Don't get me wrong if the numbers sky rocket I will definitely not be mad at that. As self entitled as I am, I figure I will only enjoy the success they have if and only if I am truly deserving. God's timing, will and that.

The lesson here, I am really good at jumping to conclusions, assuming everything comes easy yet these people are putting in the work, no doubt. I am also good at being self entitled. Basing a whole lot on commitment and consistency forgetting the secret ingredient, hard work. I may also be absolutely terrified of getting out of my comfort zone which is what hard work here would mean; photo shoots, outfit changes, bigger audiences. I am beyond sure this would bare fruitful results but would I really go the whole nine yards getting a photographer, scouting a location, spending a pretty penny, having a couple of outfit changes, overcoming a case of camera shyness all in the name of a number of likes? No thanks, I'll settle for my camera phone (once I get it) and maybe add a smidgen of variety here and there posting a sappy quote, a flat lay because Lord knows I am into those, a Boomerang and abuse Instastories.

Now that I think about it, yes, I have been wanting it bad. Just not exactly what they have. I am just out here looking for a cheap thrill.

Have a good one!

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Strike 1, Strike 2, Strike 3...

You're out! That's what I would  really like to tell my university.



Strike one. It had something to do with SONU during April of last year. We were literally days from our final exams of the semester. Literal days. I could smell the four month holiday, feel it even. I could also sense how unprepared I was for my exams but that is beside the point. 4 weeks, 31 days off schedule threw us off big time . For one this was my second year of university, and my holiday wouldn't be the norm of 4 months all to myself, no way, this time I had judicial attachment  which you can read about the first half here. That schedule was thrown out the window. There were God knows how many groups doing attachment at different shifts. Some people were lucky enough to go for the program for 8 weeks in a row, others like myself, went four weeks had a four week break then went back for  another four weeks and others went for 8 weeks alright. The last 8 weeks of our holiday. They were put to work up until the last Friday before we opened for the new school year. They still had the judicial attachment assignment they had to get to. On top of dealing with the third year of university they had that assignment lurking in the background.

Strike 2. This was the whole first quarter of this year, 2017. Yes, a whole first quarter, 4 months. This time it was UASU, something about better pay. When you're in a small campus like myself your lecturers don't exactly down their tools and sing the tone deaf, 'Solidarity forever'. For a hot minute my lecturers were going out on a limb for us, teaching despite the notice put out by the union. Word got to UASU officials what was happening in our neck of the woods and it wasn't long before they rolled up. They made it clear that they weren't monkeying around when they told their members to down their tools. And that was the end of our lectures as we knew them, for a while at least.

Strike 3. UASU yet again. Better pay. Again. This one lasted only for two weeks, thankfully. Get this though, we went back to our usual programming only to break for elections for a record four weeks. So, a month of learning went down the drain just like that.

If I was say in my first year of uni and I would have gone through all of that, I would have dipped ages ago. I have already heard of a couple who have opted for that route already,I am here to affirm to you grasshopper, if ever you had a doubt whether you are doing the right thing take it from a fourth year who is on a whole other level of fed up,you are doing the right thing.

I would have really loved to stop at Strike 3 but University of Nairobi just had to outdo itself. On Tuesday it was closed indefinitely. There is a whole story around the circumstances that led to this situation. The long and short of it, a former student leader now turned Member of Parliament  was arrested and promptly re-arrested which caused his die hard followers to protest. Apparently the protests were getting out of hand so police descended on campus to 'deal' with the situation. The images of their response to the protest surfaced on social media, wouldn't you know it? And let's just say people were outraged.

Life would have moved on swiftly in my opinion if it wasn't for the Inspector General's interview on a local TV station. Excuse me while I rant about the importance of public relations especially in the public sector. It's no secret that some things the government does are kept away from the public eye, in this respect, I think it is important to remember that this tends to be for our safety. In as much as I disagree with this view, these are facts. Obviously, people will still ask questions. My opinion, the answers are there. It is quite the task keeping these under wraps which is why I think it would be paramount if government officials were coached on answers to give when such questions come up in such interviews or have a list of questions allowed or disallowed when it comes to media interviews or both. I want transparency as much as the next guy but when it costs people lives, health and education imma pass on that one.

You know what they say, all that is in darkness must come to light. Sure enough the Inspector General was exposing the people who ratted on the protesters, the reveal set the ball rolling into the mess that it is  now.

Folks,I am tired, I just want to graduate. The plan now is to just get ahead of all  the work I have been drowning in. I am already waking up at 7 a.m everyday the next step would be to actually do something with all these valuable time I have in my hands like my proposal and four units worth of group assignments.

Wish me luck!

Have a good one!