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! 

   

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Let's talk about the D word

Get your minds out of the gutter, I'm talking about death.

This is one of those things I am doing to avoid what I really should  be doing, my proposal. It's due tomorrow. Yet, I'm seated here under flourescent lighting on my swivel chair giving of the impression that all is well in Eddiesville. I  am pretty sure I have said it before and saying it one more time wouldn't make this semester hurt any less or go any faster but, can fourth year just end already?

Anyway if you haven't caught on by now, the week before last I lost somebody very near and dear to me, my aunt.Yesterday was among the first funeral meetings which I was in attendance. My family on my Dad's side has had a rough couple of years. It's been nine years of one death after the other. First it was my grandfather, then my aunt, then my uncle, another  one of my aunts and then my grandmother which was more of a celebration of life as opposed to mourning her demise. It was at this meeting that the topic of death was  brought up being the elephant in the room.

Financially, death is expensive. Isn't that ironic? Your remains take the most humble of abodes but the expense is through the roof. Of course, the topic of life insurance had to pop up which as young as I am is worth a thought, but for Ksh. 3600 a month or was it a year? It may remain just that, a thought. But now that I think about it, 3600/- per year isn't to steep an amount if it is per year.

So that's  just the financial bit. What about the emotional bit. Writing a eulogy by no means sounds fun. I doubt that it was ever in my aunt's wildest dreams  that she'd be eulogizing her youngest sister. No less, two sisters and one younger brother.Would it be narcisstic to eulogize yourself? I don't think so, sending someone down memory lane only for them to remember that you are no more, that must hurt.

I guess the expected trajectory that y'all are expecting me to take is sit down and write my own eulogy. I would if it was a spur of the moment thing, if it was an assignment in a Life Skills class(this should really be considered as Life Skills coursework), if I didn't have all these deadlines that I have, if I didn't have all these lame excuses, you've got to admit there isn't much to document of 22 years and of course if I was brave enough to master enough courage and write about me in the past tense.

As if  that's not enough to think about, do I want to be buried, cremated and there are a couple of pretty innovative pricey options out there that involve freezing your remains to subzero temparatures, vibrating the frozen mass until it breaks down to ash of some sort, which I thought was rather cool...get it? That's a dad joke right there if I ever knew one. A few years ago when Mexican soaps were all the rage I remember one that aired on local television about some sappy love story, aren't they all? The damsel in distress, her distress was that she was a terminally ill cancer patient. Her final wish was to be cremated because she feared it would be too lonely 6 feet under in a casket. I think this particular soap opera ended with her ashes being scattered in the sea.

Then came Days of Our Lives. Somebody faked her own death can't remember who for the life of me. Either way, somebody knew that this death was a fake and came up with the brilliant idea to wait for it...cremate her. That episode I kid you not ended with the casket on the cremation machine conveyor belt, the temperatures rising higher and higher and eventually the person kicking,screaming and crying bloody murder. Can somebody find out if Days of Our Lives was nominated for an Emmy or something, I watched these episodes when I was barely in my tweens yet they are influencing some pretty heavy decisions.

What if the Grim Reaper pays me a visit in a land that is not my own. Death knows no convenience after all. It would probably be cheaper to comeback in an urn more dignifying even. Or should I come back in a coffin or a  body bag. What if there is the mother of all turbulence in the air up there and my body is just being flung all over the place landing with a thud with the luggage and other cargo,or the doors of my coffin just so happen to fling open what do they do to keep those doors tightly shut anyway? It's outrageous and veers dangerously towards  the worst case scenario but these are the harsh realities.

If I get married, if because this single life is giving of a very strong here-to-stay vibe, would I be comfortable being buried in land of my husband's people? There really wouldn't be much of an option because city cemeteries are full up  I guess you've gotta settle for the country.

You would think that after all these questions yours truly would have some hard, affirmative answers but its just sent me into an anxiety of some sort. Until I'm at a stable place emotion-wise I think for now it will just have to remain food for thought.

Have a good one! 

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Skrrt

The other day I was watching Naptural85 vlogs. Her and her sister both have little tikes who are nearly the same age. So, they can share all types of things; clothes,  toys. The convenience is mind blowing. Rumour has it that the Kardashians are hopped up in the same boat Khloe, Kylie and Kim are all preggers. I am not looking to be a momma anytime soon, but, I did float the idea to my sister, wouldn't having kiddos at the same time be a dream? As soon as she saw the twinkle of excitement in my eye, she shut that idea down so fast.

Anyway today I heard one of those mornings where I would typically be coming at you with a rant. I don't know maybe this is the birth of a new me. I doubt it. The intention was to get up at 5 a.m, it has been for the past few weeks, little update, I am managing to get up at 6 a.m. That's a good enough start for me. My 5 a.m alarm went off, you can guess what happened next, I switched that bad boy off. Wednesday nights are usually the eve of my free-day from school, I tend to get over-excited with my midweek weekend being used to binge watch a truck load of Youtube videos.

On my Recommended was Daniel Caesar on The Late Late Show with James Corden, I don't know about you but I can't bring myself to say no to Daniel Caesar especially a live performance. Mr. Eazi on the same show was next. Look, I haven't seen him perform Leg Over live, he started off with a winning Fela/Femi Kuti vibe that I couldn't resist and Leg Over is a jam, surely I had to pay homage somehow. One thing led to another I was hitting replay on Chronixx's Skankin Sweet, Roots and Chalice, Jamaica. Long story short I had a late night consequently having an early morning was out of the question.

I finally bring myself to wake up at 7 a.m. I get to my skin care routine, brush my teeth and I begin running the water for my bath. I am fully in the routine of things so then I flip up my laptop with  the intention of hitting replay on last night's tunes. Turns out the wi-fi had other plans. It was down for a good, three hours give or take. Most of my supposed-to-be-productive morning was spent perched on the  best seat in the house being on hold for my internet service provider, repeatedly pressing 3 for internet connection. Of course, I kept myself pre-occupied watching re-runs of New Girl which never gets old and the 10 years of Keeping Up with the Kardashians special.

By the time the wifi was up, I was over the day. All the progress I intended to make on my school work went down the drain. However, I am not mad at it, not at all.

It's almost as if this was meant to be the case. The water for my bath wasn't hot enough, it was that uncomfortable luke warm which when you splash on your body is just plain cold. Besides that, the water wasn't even pumping right. I woke up really dizzy with excruciating pain on the right side of my head topped off with some nausea.,that threw me off big time.  No need to panic,I have gotten this situation checked out before but looks like I may have to go back to the hospital yet again. Calling service providers is always a pain but this time it literally felt like I was on hold for an entire eternity. The power went out at one point as well. It just maybe my productive was never meant to be.

In place of this super productive morning that I intended to have, I had a good laugh watching New Girl and a hearty chat with my soon to be brother-in-law who swang round to grab a few things. I even got round to sending an email which I had been putting off for the longest time. Surprisingly, I got round to doing a lot of things that I've been strategically avoiding; folding laundry, taking my ripped pants that clouded my thoughts for most of last week to the tailor, bringing my carpet and shoes back in to my room after giving them a much needed thorough wash this past weekend.

More than that, in my last post I had mentioned that I was done procrastinating, well, at least pushing things to the weekend to get them done then. Today you know what I did, I got all my bank stuff sorted and bought a book that I have been on quite the hunt for, leaving my weekend wide open for schoolwork, schoolwork and more schoolwork. Can fourth year just end?

This day can be one of two things; the universe conspiring to give me a much needed break or this was just one heckuva excuse not to get things done. I have a confession, everything that I was unable to do this morning, mostly schoolwork, was meant to be done  this afternoon at my desk at work. All I've done is watch a whole lot of Wendy Williams, catch up on some vlogs and wasted a good chunk of my time watching Buzzfeed videos. These just may be the early symptoms of Senioritis.



I'm hoping I just needed to skrrrt skrrrt for a minute there.

 Have a good one! 


Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Excuses and self discipline

I just think it's funny how, three weeks ago when the Kenyan Supreme Court ruling came out how a large majority of the international community were commending the Kenyan nation on such an exemplary judicial move on the nullification, but once 10 hours of a  judgement was read that tune changed. In case you've been living under a rock Kenya is the third country in the world, first in Africa to nullify a general election. Anyway, that's just my random thought of the day.

How was your weekend? Mine was pretty productive until I made the daunting realization that I am quite the pro at perpetually putting things off. One word for that whole statement is procrastination. I guess it's fair that I just put it out there that it's not a daunting realization. Saturday, was when it was very in my face. My intention was to go to the bank to get some things in check, after work which according to the schedule and my wishful thinking would end at 11.45. I was beyond sure that by 12.30 at the latest I would be out of this joint. Needless to say, that did not happen. I still remained hopeful. I got there at 1only to find there doors shut, even the usual lingering of their lone watchman who  is there a few minutes after closing time was amiss.

In my head, I was dead set that come rain or sunshine next week, my plans would go according to plan. A few hours later is when it dawned on me, it's nothing but in plain sight unreasonable to wait a whole seven days to do something that can be done three days later. Now that reality had hit me harder than roadkill, I purposed to take care of things this Thursday. A funny thing happened though, this afternoon my 2 o'clock class was cancelled. Being a Monday I was in no mood to spend it in the bank but another Adulting 101 lesson, just because you don't want to do something doesn't change the fact that it has to be done. That in mind, I put my big girl pants on after lunch and took several seats at the banking hall.

That's affirmative action at its best if I do say so myself. The ultimate dream would have been getting everything done this afternoon but even though I have to go back Thursday, I'll take it.

Did I mention that in the amount of time I hadn't gone back, the bank changed its weekend banking hours, the person working on my account was long gone and the last activity in the account I was going to check up on was on the 5th of September, twenty days later, nearly a whole three weeks, borderline a month was wasted by me, laying low, waiting for the problem to solve itself.



Mastering the art of procrastination goes hand in hand with the art of making excuses. Take for instance, Sunday morning. The intention was to be up by 5 a.m to confront my pile of laundry the only way how; with a good scrub and a rub-a-dub-dub. My alarm went off. Cue excuse numero uno;  I was up late the night before taking down my twists, I was also heavily distracted while doing so watching Queen Sugar and what not. I negotiated with myself to reset my alarm for 6 a.m, I don't even think I heard that one go off. At 7 a.m, I was ready to get up and show my laundry whose boss, turns out my dad was up preparing for his business trip down to the coast. He was in the bathroom, I was in bed. Surely if I just waited for him while in the confines of the warmth of my bed, my ears would peak at the slightest indication of his exit and I would be up ready to carpe whatever diem was left. You guessed it,that didn't happen.

I got up alright, a whole hour later to the sound of him closing the front door and entering his cab. If you thought that threw me off, I switched on the TV which was pretty much the beginning of the end. There was a Fresh Prince of Bel-Air marathon on Comedy Central which if I didn't follow up with the Black-ish marathons a few channels down would have been a travesty, no? As if that wasn't enough my sister made a killer breakfast; pancakes and a banana-strawberry yoghurt smoothie. One flip through the channels was yet another wrong move that morning, they were airing Martin and I just had to, you understand?

Around 11 a.m., was when I had the realization that the day was practically over yet I was still perched on the living room couch not even thinking about my massive to-do list. It took me 7 hours to do everything;laundry, hair (including prepooing and deep conditioning) and mopping down my room. If I woke up at 5 a.m to do everything I would have probably been done by midday and had the rest of the day to bum all I want. Maybe even get some schoolwork in.

How is it only five years ago, I could wake up not at 4 a.m, not 5 a.m but 3 a.m and crack on at my books. In fact I'd beeline for them. Nothing could distract me. If I had purposed to do something, then that's what would have been done.  Flash forward five years later, I'm an utter mess, not an ounce of self-discipline left in me. Of course the motivation back then was my high school grades would make or break me, now, eh? Grades, who need them?Laundry who cares for clean clothes? Do I really need to wash my hair today? The amount of self-coaxing I do on myself is insane.

The most crucial lesson I've learnt  is to stop putting stuff off especially all the way to the weekend. If I plan to have even a spec of rest, I might as well act now on anything that needs work.   

Have a good one!

Monday, 25 September 2017

Why you need an Emergency Fund

I just think if you're going to wear camou please do it right, especially if you're wearing it from head to toe. Maybe start off by wearing it in the same shade. I am no fashion or style blogger but that is just my random thought of the day.

The post before last, I was out here giving y'all, well somebody, 'financial advice' but the most important thing I forgot to put in was a disclaimer. I hate to state the obvious, but , I am not a financial expert. What's more embarrassing though, my financial decisions are heavily influenced by how bad I would like to leave my job. The moment I will be brave enough to call it quits, all my financial decisions are going to be my safety nets, at least I think they are. Only, that time will tell if it ever comes.

Otherwise, picture this, you've suddenly been taken ill or been robbed of your laptop maybe even had an unexpected death in the family, you're fridge is on it's last run and if we are being honest is only just now serving as a fancy storage unit. All these are unexpected events. So what now? If adulting has taught me one thing, it's prioritizing. Unfortunately, this has also served as a legitimate excuse to procrastinate at least in my world.


Yet another valuable lesson that comes with adulting is, ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away. You can't just sweep your problems under a rag,dust your hands off and proceed like nothing ever happened. The unfortunate truth, you have to step up to the plate and do something about it.

All the problems I stated up there still have something else in common. They all need money to be solved. What if I told you that you wouldn't need to break your bank to get you out of this pickle, would you believe me?



Little story time for you, if you're a natural you probably know of Mahogany Curls. Her affiliate channel Lewis Love and Family is where her husband Jovahn and she, Jess vlog about their daily life. They have two kids, Junior and Belle. A few months ago, Belle fell pretty sick. She's only a year and a few months old but she's been through it, she had tubes coming in and out of her , pumped up on meds and the worst of it saw her put in a medically induced coma. Watching that vlog was quite the roller coaster I can hardly imagine actually going through it. The good news is, Belle pulled through but the even better news, Jovahn has had for a few years a sort of emergency fund. He is quite the financial expert if you ask me.

What I picked up from that vlog though was that they were not digging into their accounts to nurse Belle back to health, but for a long time he had been putting some money aside, you know, for a rainy day. It just so happened his rainy day was more than just a drizzle. I consider myself to be a part of the family, if you watch the vlogs you'll understand that I am not on a super-fan tip, but really just appreciate them and their content. They started a family pretty young and are a military family which I understand, is not the wealthiest. That got me thinking, he has been stacking up these funds for a long time probably without fail, so when "disaster" hit, they were more than ready.

Medical bills add up to quite a lot.Belle was in and out of the I.C.U and the H.D.U. They also had to stay in a hotel near the hospital. Expenses, expenses and more expenses, at least that's what I see. When Jovahn spoke about it in the vlog and how he was handling it all, that was enough to give me a shove in the right direction.

From this post you know I am in  an 'emergency' of my own; my tablet going AWOL on me . This wouldn't be such a big deal if I had a smart phone, except I don't. I have been committed to brick phones and only brick phones for the past 2 years. There is a simplicity that comes with them;from the price, it's basic functions, not being a moving target for thieves in the city. My tablet did everything it didn't and this was the perfect set-up. Now, let's just say since its untimely demise I am having to rely on friends to update me on all things school related. They are not my personal assistants so I am not going to blame them or anyone else for missing yesterday's group meeting or any more to come. Yes, friends, it has come to that.

It's time to take affirmative action and set up my emergency fund. Next year I plan to set up another bank account probably with a different bank altogether. I'm thinking the CBA Loop account, purely because the ad' they put out this year was pure fire.Call it shallow, it is. From next year this is meant to be my emergency fund.

How about this year though? I'll have to do the very thing I'm warning you guys against, dig into my main account to get me afloat. This post is taking a direction I didn't intend it to but as they saying goes all that is hidden must come to light.

 I haven't had an emergency fund, ever. I always thought they were  meant for 'serious' emergencies; being laid off, fired, cut off by your parents, what the movies paint out to be emergencies. By all means they are meant for that and so much more, even the small stuff. I have ignored my problems way too much and way too long and look where that has landed me, in more problems. This is me doing something about it.
 

Have a good one!

    




Thursday, 21 September 2017

Night

It's pretty hard writing this. I'm not particularly sure why I'm even forcing myself to do this. For closure maybe.

Death is so cruel. It turns your world completely upside down but the worst part is, life is the complete opposite, it just keeps moving, stopping for no one. Today, that makes me so angry.

You were my number 2 cheerleader when I almost got into ALA, of course dad takes first place when I thought I was the change that Africa needs. Maybe even the best thing since Madiba.

You opened your home to Sakii, Mom, Dad and I giving us one of the best Christmases ever down south,

The black forest cake we had for breakfast and you even let Dad watch his cartoons,

 You came through with the festivities, from the food, to the party and the friends you helped us make while we were there.


And what about the time you asked if you could bring me back some McDonalds but I couldn't say yes because Mom kept giving me 'the look' and the jeans you gave me because they couldn't fit you,

Post-visit, you always asked when we'd go back.

When Dad has a business trip coming your way, you always came through with the gifts and always asked if we 1. liked them 2. if they fit. We all know it's all about how it looks on, never about it fitting right

Now, what if he comes back with the wrong-sized clothes?

Who will be among the top 10 participants on the family Whatsapp group? Top 2 is already taken by Mom and Dad

I can hardly bring myself to think about Christopher. He just turned 11 and to have this happen to him. I'm sure he is a strong young man but out of all of us he could have used you a little longer.

In a few months he'll have to mark the first Christmas without you, that just cuts me up inside

All his ever known is Jozi, I can't imagine him anywhere else. Pretty sure Zoro will hold it down but what if we never see him again?What if he'll never know us beyond knowing you?

We both know,  I don't call the shots in this family but I know whatever decision is made it will be for the best  and in your honour

Now whose going to be on Chris about making his bed the "right" way or tell us about him being the best in his Afrikaans class?

I feel so selfish now, having bawled my eyes out for you and I'm twice his age, I wish I so much as thought about him, said a prayer for him even 

 I'll  keep him in my prayers, everyday, no matter which way

It wasn't meant to go down like this. You're the youngest. This isn't the order we were prepared for.

I needed to buy black flats but not wear to a funeral, no less yours 

I remain angry, I don't understand. I mean we were never 'traditionally' close but you still meant a tonne to me 

I didn't want the last time I see you to be in a casket, I didn't want the first time back home in two years for me to be for a funeral, your funeral

You weren't supposed to come back like this

It has never been this quiet at home, even though you're presence was miles away your absence is making a mark

You'll be in good hands; Babu and Dani are up there so is Sport, Mama Pipi and Taabu

I'm worried for Dad, please look after him while you're up there

Us, we have each other,

Rest easy Aunt Night.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

I'm making money, now what

I don't know about you but I definitely feel some type of way when I see a guy carry his girl's handbag. Yes, it's 2017, you can't label anything because everything is gender fluid but if you and me are in it, I'm carrying my own purse. For some dudes, I guess it's their version of a grand gesture but nah fam, my purse, my problem. However, if I'm carrying more than a purse? Get to carrying. That was my icebreaker of the day. On to why we are here today.

Let's talk about money. You either have it, or you don't. Just so you know, the universe does not care if you're on either end of the spectrum. Unexpected situations call for unexpected measures, most times an unexpected dent on the financial end. It's called an emergency folks and I feel like I have been in a bunch of these sticky situations.

Now that I think about it, those weren't even problems. They were more like speed bumps. I was broke, could barely afford lunch so if class happened to end at midday you wouldn't find me or my growling tummy hanging around campus, I'd make a beeline for home, read, free food. Back when I was in a college with a dress code, times were rough. On the flip side, with my limited options, getting dressed in the morning was pretty easy but when my clothes started to wear out, I don't even remember what I did. The solutions were easy then, I didn't have the money to do something about the situation so I would move on as if my life wasn't in shambles.

The irony is I am a step up, I'm not even going to downplay it, I am several steps up from where I was financially just a few years ago, can I get an Amen? Here is the ironic part though, even when I'm in a pickle now, I still get a little bit flustered on how I am supposed to deal. Now that I've said that out loud it seems to me that I did not have a plan and  I still don't have one and you know what they say, failure to plan is planning to fail.

This post was inspired by Joanna Kinuthia who is one of my  favourite Kenyan Youtubers and a rising star in her own right. In her most recent vlog, the girl seems to have drawn up quite a mean plan when it comes to this thing called money. Expenses first, loans second, savings third only then can everything else make guest appearances on your budget that month.

Here is a little expose on yours truly; all of last year all my money would go into my current account. I was saving in that account, spending from that account, goal setting based on that account and planning around that account. If I ever so much as spent even a shilling more I would run into a panic thinking that my financial life would crumble right before my very eyes.

My first six months of employment I enjoyed only a fraction of my pay. Then,  it clicked. My expenses can't even fill half a page. I am not paying rent, utility bills, student loans, other loans, car payments, insurance payments, tuition or maintenance fees. Just so you follow, that is what I am not paying. I may be the very epitome of living life like it's golden. All I do is sit pretty and pay security and the trash service every other month, contribute to my table banking and put money aside for my bus fair every month   and every few months shop for stationery and toiletries. Everything else is, pretty much, no man's land, where anything and everything goes.

Last year is when I came to this eye-opening discovery and went a little crazy spending wise. I mean my expenses barely scrape the surface so why not? Before I dug myself into a financial hole I pumped the brakes and figured that maybe, just maybe, putting all my eggs in one basket wasn't the brightest of ideas.

Earlier this year was when I made the decision to get my finances in order. I resolved to set up a savings account and invest in the money markets. It was only last month that my grand scheme of things were put to work and I will admit that it is still a work in progress; trying to figure out how to  make an account-to-account transfer and what not.

The lessons I learnt though:

Your first paycheck is not a license to go on a spending spree. Neither is your second or third. Live life like you were before. Spoil yourself here and there but everything in moderation. When you have quite the amount stacked up, though, start making the plans. Six months in is a good time frame to work with fastening your financial belt.

Have a separate savings account from the get go. Why? Most banks don't allow you to touch that for at least six months and if you do, be prepared to dig deeper into your pocket to pay off the penalty charge.

Don't just let your money sit there. Now that's just pointless. Banking, it already earns you a certain interest rate, so do that. Be in a merry-go-round or two, contribute then wait your turn. Of course, be in one with people of reputable character. You don't want to be in one with the guy who defers on payment every single month or the guy who just ups and leaves, get a couple of A1 day-ones and its only up from there. Invest in stock and bonds, with these things though it's more about having your change in all these venues doing something. The dividends are negligible sometimes none but interest in bonds that's something, 0.5% every three months. I can assure you that that is pretty solid. When you hit a rough patch sell your shares and if the stock market is doing well, you'll probably be going off having made a profit. This move was majorly inspired by Hove himself and these lyrics from The Story of O.J off the 4.44 album, sorry, platinum album:

Disclaimer: I may be singing a different tune if my stock does badly or interest on bonds is not paid out so until then use your discretion on this one.

My next few posts I hope to write on having an emergency fund, setting up more than one bank account  and my 2018 financial plans. These could be one post or a couple, depends on how the words will flow. But keeping with the purist school of thought, they are probably going to be a couple.

Until then though, do something worthwhile with your money today, no excuses.

Have a good one! 



Tuesday, 19 September 2017

How do you deal?

It is no secret that yesterday I had one of the worst days in the history of bad days. You can read all about that here. I was beyond ready to be Negative Nancy for the rest of the week, this may be me making a classic rookie mistake of speaking to soon but if today is anything to go by, I think I'll survive.

I am pretty hang up on the group presentation, still. How do I put this? The last two semesters have been pretty bad. And when I say last two semesters I mean my whole third year of university, the transcript looks horrible. Through out this whole college thing I have never been one to scrape through a unit. I make mostly Bs, sometimes Cs the occasional A. Somehow though, I've thrown some Ds on my transcript. There are units close to impossible to pass in my school so you kind of go in expecting a D. Who am I kidding? Sometimes you even pray for a D. The other units, let's just say I haven't been your model collegiate and a slack here, a half-assed assignment there, you can guess where I'm going with this . Now in my last year, any sign of an impending D is the smoke signal to pull myself up by my bootstraps.

It may be safe to say that I'm a little down in the dumps, though not really. Somewhere along the lines constant disappointment has either numbed the feeling or I've just gotten the hang of things. This is not a place you want to be; where reality hits and you have no option but to settle. That last statement there is one for the underclassmen. I will get into this in a separate post though.

So I'm in this little rut (or not), how do I move on, get over it, basically what do I do about it?

For one, be in your feelings for just a little while. At one point in time I was convinced that bad things were happening to me because I just so happened to have a rotten attitude. The obvious solution was to turn over a new leaf and be  Positive Polly. Except, that's not how it works.There are all these other things like the wear and tear of a pair of pants you love, silly mistakes, genuine mistakes, accidents, people, people and their actions. Believe it or not, your not your own Calamity Jane or John. It's not all or always you, that's why you're allowed to feel sad, angry, disappointed but only for a little while.

Adapt. So your favorite pants just ripped down the middle, change. You took the wrong bus and now you have to walk in the blistering sun all the way to your original stop, get off the bus and walk. You had a lousy group presentation and now the prospects of getting a D are pretty high up there, study.I say, allow yourself to be just a little bit salty in this whole adaptation process especially if you have to take immediate action. Ask yourself this, we all hate kids throwing tantrums in the supermarket right? But they vent out there frustration there and then, hours later it's like it never  happened. Let it out now instead of bottling up for later because when that lid comes off...

Take a step back. However you let out your frustration, do that. It's obvious, for me I write/blog and the moment I hit that publish button, it takes quite the load off. Maybe you go for a run, sleep, binge watch a series, read a book, play a video game or whatever you guys call them nowadays; do something to let off some steam. Otherwise, you may just end up taking the cup for douche of the year taking out your frustrations on everybody else.

Vent/talk. Mini-story time for y'all. So yesterday I go into my sisters room, of course I find her curled up watching 'Narcos,' aaah, the life of a freelancer and the moment I said, "You wouldn't believe the day I had," she put it on pause. That  meant a lot. I then went on and on telling her about the awful day that was which she gave her, I kid you not, undivided attention and more than that she even offered advise. Maybe I didn't have a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day after all.

Create a vibe. I changed into my pajamas when I came home from work, need I mention that they were my favourite pair of pajama bottoms. I turned on my fairy lights which mellowed down the mood perfect for turning in for the night. Since, I was pretty determined for yesterday's post to go up when it did, I got out my laptop and played some Underground Charisma in the background as I worked.

This channel is totally slept on, for now, in a good way. They have the perfect mix of everything, chill, jazz, trippy trap, old hip hop beats, feel good vibes in a nutshell. But this one did it for me yesterday. Brasstracks are my new obsession as of last evening and is it just me or can you hear Chance the Rapper jumping on this beat or what? Perfect combination to distance myself from the day that was.

Pray. I tend to say a lazy prayer every night. You know the one, you're already in your covers and no praying is going on especially if your dog tired, and slipping in and out of sleep as you say it. Yesterday was no exception, I don't know what I prayed for yesterday but judging from today something must have gotten through to the Big Man upstairs.

That being said,

Have a good one! 

P.S. turns out this channel isn't as slept on as I had thought, they just changed their logo and their thumbnails aesthetic.



    

Monday, 18 September 2017

Can it get any worse?

I think out of 365 days, on this 18th day of September, this one may very well go down as the worst of 2017. Let me begin from the disappointing news that  yet another morning has passed and I have been unsuccessful in waking up at 5 a.m. But I think the worst part is, for the past two days I have literally just lay there; I have not so much as switched on the lights, done a light stretch to get my limbs going even the thought of making my bed doesn't cross my mind. I simply just lay there after my alarm goes off, contemplating God knows what and end up convincing myself to go back to sleep.

The reason I am so hard on myself is I honestly have no excuse or reason to be in bed past 5 a.m but have every reason to be awake catching up with my life as it just seems to be flying past. Group assignments and the unit from hell, Research Paper are doing my head in. Then, there's work which just between us, I can't deal.I can't deal with both. Something has got to go. I mean it's obvious which one has to, but the mind,body and soul want one thing yet the financial situation wants another. You see my not so little predicament?

Anyhow, I managed to wake up at my usual 7 a.m. well, 6.57. But that's beside the point. I get dressed and proceed to do some schoolwork regardless of the fact that one hour is barely enough to get anything done. The plan was to put my proposal in order,  I come to the daunting realization that I had missed, to be fair, a  small part of what was going to put this paper to bed. That completely threw me off, this was the beginning of everything just spiraling out of control.

My favourite Ralph-Lauren navy blue pants ripped right down the middle leaving me with a gaping hole right around the crotch area. It's not much of a problem but those pants gave me that Monday morning Umph! I needed. I then had to settle for another pair of blue pants with an ill-fit around the lower hip area. For a long time I used to be the person who would be all about the silver lining, but that was a lot more fake it, a lot less make it. I have been basically living a lie and today I choose to be a sourpuss, I just want my Ralph-Lauren pants!

Just when I thought I had put a cap on Monday Blues I made yet another mistake. I got on the wrong matatu to school, so I had to walk for what seems like a mile in the scorching Nairobi sun for that matter since of course I wouldn't be alighting at my usual stop. I had the right shoes on or whatever but I deserve better.

While I was walking in a huff, my phone also dropped, go figure. Thank goodness I don't have any of these fancy-shmancy smart phones because I have a feeling I would be in tears over a cracked screen,right about now. For a minute, well twenty, but whose counting? my brick phone refused to register my sim card. I inserted and re-inserted that SIM goodness knows how many times, until I realized I was the problem. I had been inserting it the wrong way round all along. Yes, again, not a big deal I could have easily gotten that sim replaced if all else failed but I'm gonna mope and nothing and no one will stop me.

The cherry on top though, the group presentation from hell. If we are going to be honest we deserved the slack  we got. It's fourth year after all. The lesson however that I took away from this, which has taken a full academic year to sink in, no lecturer expects you to regurgitate what they already know, research above and beyond the Andes Mountains, be thorough to the core in your written and oral presentations. That message has been delivered loud and clear to my mind, before it was just hangin' out between my ears.

I was going to be real petty and say what somebody said/did to me this evening post-presentation but 5 years of being a collegiate, 5 years? I'm practically a senior citizen in this game, I'm tired folks, I really am. 2017 I made a point of affirming to myself that one time is enough to cross me, once that line is crossed, it's cancelled, it never happened but perhaps most importantly you're cancelled, you never happened. That is exactly how I feel about that "situation".

I had to look past that real quick and scurry my sorry self to work, sit behind my desk, smile and make pleasantries to everybody that walked in and out of the door and move on from the pretty crappy day, well mostly the "situation"  that was. Yeah, little girl, that's what grown women do.

I would be lying if I said that I am not on the verge of tears and calling it quits especially when I think about that class presentation and how I am destined for either a D or to work my head off in the hopes of scraping through that unit.

A lot more has happened because a bad day isn't just made up of a bad moments but more than that. The system at work was hella slow which I wasn't completely mad at as that meant a lot less work for me this evening but a lot more tomorrow.

Is it just a bad day or the beginning of a bad week and things yet to come?

Have a good one!

(at least one of us should)   
  

Friday, 15 September 2017

Why can't I wake up at 5 a.m?

For the past two weeks I have been faithfully setting my alarm for 5 a.m. And each time I'm hopeful that this time it is going to be different, I'm going to get out of my bed, for real this time and have a day that begins at 5 a.m, like the CEOs and the COOs, the movers and shakers we all crave to be. They tell us time and time again, how success does not come easy, we've gotta work for it.This folk, they do not get up at 5 a.m, they are at their desks by 5 a.m. They do not know of this foreign term, traffic, they just cruise by while us weaklings are still wrapped in our comforters getting the last few hours of sleep we can. It's truly embarrassing that in my twenties getting up at 3 or 4 a.m is not even a thought but for people well into their sunset years it happens to be second nature.

Yet, come morning,  every time that alarm goes off, I sprint for dear life across my bed to turn it off as if its going off is a capital offense. I mean sometimes my conscience has me turning off the alarm and standing around in my jammies in the dark, only the corridor light on and contemplating, 'Is it worth it?'' Is it though?' What's a few more hours of sleep? And a second later I return to the warmth that in the past few hours I've come to know so well.

I already consider myself an early riser.  I cannot sleep past 7 a.m. For a girl who would wake up at 11 am and leave the house for work at midday, I've made quite the 360, if I do say so myself. If you think about it, by midday, there is no more carpe diem. The day has been caught and there is no rewind button. This was the mentality I used to get out of sleeping well past 7 a.m, this and a video from CindyrellaOG. The fact that what I considered only a few hours, added up to whole days I mean in the long run it probably added up to a month maybe even a month and a half of just sleeping valuable time away. That should scare even the bravest of souls.

Waking up at 7 a.m came extremely easy. I set the alarm and I was up. But how is a meagre two-hour difference kicking my behind?

It is possible that there is some truth behind, early bed early to rise, but when I get home from work between 10 and 10.30 p.m there is no early to bed. I'll be honest, I have been known to indulge in a reality show episode or two, my way of taking a load off. So, again, there is no 'early to bed'.

I definitely feel like I've tried it all, yeah, two weeks into it, this is impatience at its finest. My alarm sits relatively far from me all in an effort to get my body physically out of bed, confronting the realities of life head on, no sugar coating, whatsoever. Even that does not seem to work. I'd let in some natural light like I do at 7 a.m but at 5 a.m, that's not happening. I'd crack open a window but again at 5 a.m that's quite a tall order.

Maybe I just need a routine; hit the lights when my alarm goes off, go for a run ok... jog, maybe a walk then. That will most definetely get the feel-good endorphins going, the blood flowing and the body alert, alive, awake ...8-4-4 kids you know I have to put this in there, enthusiastic. I can almost feel that fresh as a daisy vibe. Probably, take a bath, do my devotional and maybe, just maybe hit the books with some good music going. Heck, maybe even plan some content for this space right here. The world would be my oyster at this point.

I hate to report the obvious but it is much easier said, even written, than done. It's not a life and death situation if I don't get there but oh, the possibilities if I do. Another week, another try is all I can say.
Until then,

Have a good one!  
  

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Things are looking up

Survival is a priority at this point. In a span of 4 days, 4 days my friend out of 6 units 5 already have group assignments. It is insane and I have not seen the half of it. But you know what? Despite it all there is a silver lining. I thought I would have the supervisor from hell but I serve a living God. It is pretty weird putting God and hell in the same sentence. Anyway, I digress.

Turns out I was looking at the wrong list all along. The gag is, it was originally sent on Whatsapp and with all my not-so-good luck with all items electronic I am not on Whatsapp and as of Saturday my last hope of a mobile device, my tablet went kaput. Allow me to fill you in,

Saturday, myself and the tablet shared quite the goodbye. I pressed the start button. Nothing. Then the on button. Still nothing. Then the on button and the volume up button, just a blank screen. After a few hours of feeling sorry for myself and accepting the money I had spent on the darned thing had all gone down the train, I flipped back on its cover and put it far away in the depths of my bottom shelf never to be seen again. I am one with the fact that it is all gone and I will have to fork out quite the amount to buy myself a smartphone. For now I am oblivious of all things social media, especially the little obsession I had with Instagram.Isn't it poetic though, that a few weeks prior I was weaning myself off the good old 'gram and now the universe did the honours of taking it away from me cold turkey?

Fast forward to Monday, I intended to seize the day by all means. Sunday evening, I lay out my outfit of the day which would be a royal blue v-neck shirt, some plain black jeans/jeggings and one of my favorite black coats with a subtle blue lining and of course slip-ons. A hapless attempt of wanting to be taken seriously.

The intention was to get to school bright and early, 8 a.m to be precise. This plan also involved having my concept paper in hand. I was going to walk into his office with my idea of a power suit on, shove my concept paper in his hands and we were going to talk because I needed insight and insight I would get. The concept paper was never ready, something happened between Sunday afternoon and Monday morning which is just code for I took the  afternoon siesta of a lifetime. End of story.

If that wasn't enough I was barely able to get to school at the "ungodly" hour of 8 a.m, collegiates, you feel me? And by the time I rocked up at 10, courage in tow and knocked at his door, some guy, one of his interns I presume, tells me he is in Mombasa. Only, a few hours later I see the supposed guy who was meant to be on the sandy shores of Mombasa prancing around on campus grounds. In my efforts to get through to him, you know just being a studious scholar and that, I turn on stealth mode and follow him to his office. A few feet from his office door, maybe three, four steps tops, I say, "Excuse me, Mr X" and the response... when I finally get in his office I have to stand a one minute lecture on why I shouldn't be talking to people everywhere besides in their offices because, "...out there people are thinking about other things." Did I mention his whole office goes quiet and his intern team are just staring at me while I take all of this in?

You know what if you are a teacher, a lecturer, a professor, a facilitator basically the torch on bestowing knowledge on others is in your possession, this is for you. Lending a listening ear in a dignified manner does not make you any less of a person.. if anything the fact that a lowly student feels like they can approach you, if no one has told you this before, you are doing something right.


Okay, maybe I am overreacting. Actually, no, the cherry on top? He slid me some prized advice that I should email. Except I emailed at 3 p.m on Friday and I am  still waiting for someone to get back to me. No shade but the excuse I was met with was that we work Monday to Friday, aren't Monday mornings for responding to emails that were sent throughout the weekend? Yet they ask what is it with the public sector 

But, not anymore folks, turns out I was looking at the wrong list all along and I am happy to report that negativity made a stage left exit and I can go back to life as I know it, stress free. Well relatively.

Good riddance and,

Have a good one!