15 Things Every Kenyan Should do

Published February 18, 2014 by anniespice

kenya01

  1. De-clutter. I don’t know why we cling to stuff – furniture, clothes, books etc. These things actually do depreciate and make you sick because they accumulate dust and make it so hard to clean. Just give them away or burn them. If you have lost or put on weight, if your children are grown, there is no use keeping the clothes. If you finished school 10 years ago, why do you still have high school books and magazines which you haven’t looked at for the last 9 years?
  2. Take a ride in a matatu and walk more. I used to live in South B and it would take me 1 hour  to walk home from work. Same amount of time it would take to drive the same distance thanks to traffic. It’s sad that some people get so snobbish when they have a car that they think taking a matatu or walking is below them – no wonder parking fees in the city was increased. Get a good pair of flats or comfortable walking shoes and walk. It really doesn’t matter what people think. It will save you some money, and some pounds too.
  3.  “Walk downtown” – buy the hawkers wares, take in surroundings, go to Luthuli avenue where there are ladies sell skin lightening creams and see how people scramble to make a living – c’mon, just live and learn a thing or two. Every town has it downtown.
  4. Save for and take a vacation – just for fun. It’s sad that we work so hard and never reward ourselves. How often do we spend money on other people and forget ourselves?  A vacation doesn’t have to be expensive, just something different from your normal routine. Drop the kids at grandma and be sure to have fun. Shop for grandma as well and reward her.
  5. Go hiking, visit and get to know places of interest. Uhuru park, KICC, Safari walk,  Ngong hills, Mt Longonot,  Mt. Kenya, Hellsgate, 14 falls, Lake Victoria, Wasini Island, to mention a few. Get a few like-minded individuals and explore. I found so much serenity at kilifi and its little beaches.
  6. Teach kids to say please and thank you. I don’t know about you but life is pretty tough out here. Most of my generations of parents are bringing up their little ones with a silver spoon in their mouth. We need to teach this kids that things don’t come easy. Mum and dad have to work hard to get money to afford to buy stuff.
  7. Appreciate our nannies more (the good ones). And someone should open a school and train some of them. Given the large numbers, that industry should be regulated, where references are checked etc.
  8. Know how to cook ugali and yummy sukuma wiki. If you think not knowing how to cook ugali is swag, you probably need to move to Pluto. That planet that faded.
  9. Go to gikomba, toi, daraja mbili(in kisii) or any other second hand market (shop vintage). You can really get some nice stuff over there!- no kidding.
  10. Learn and speak proper Swahili- not with a twang. Learn and speak your mother tongue. Yea, I know, the official language is English, but it takes a lot of skill to speak language. If you can speak 3 or 4 languages, you are truly gifted. Our cultures are so rich and amazing. Our languages so rich and expressive. It’s so sad that they are dying because people feel that they don’t sound sophisticated when they speak their mother tongue. Seriously?
  11. Own a pair of boots for the rain – who said boots are shady? Struggling in the rain with a pair of wet heels just isn’t funny. Save your shoes the pain.
  12. Obey traffic rules, stop bribing cops and the “kujuana mentality” If only people were a bit more considerate, half of our traffic woes will be gone- I learnt the hard way.
  13. Eat healthy- read more about food and visit the market – eat more greens and grains. Life should be about growth. Refine your eating habits. At the rate cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and other life threatening diseases are increasing, you would be damned if you don’t.
  14. Keep the culture. This ish of aping western culture is so lame. I visited Namanga sometime last year and was awed at how respectful the kids there are, you meet a kid on the street and as long as you are older, they will be like … “shikamoo”. It was a bit strange at first but I loved it.
  15. Promote local talent. Go for live events, nurture our children’s talents. It’s time we realized that life is more than books and being no.1 in class.

Please feel free to add on to this list.

Are you ever late?

Published February 9, 2014 by anniespice

Being late is rude and disrespectful no matter how you look at it. Maybe it’s the way I was brought up, but I have always tried to be on time for everything, even though grew up in a city renowned for its traffic snarl-ups. I’ve come to understand more and more that being on time is not just about time management. If you’re a chronically late person, it can carry behind it a lot of other issues — disrespect, dishonesty, creating chaos, self-centeredness, to name a few — and it bothers other people more than you realize.

The point is this… if you respect a person, you do your best to be on time to anything that you have a time set for with them. This is of course assuming no disasters, etc. To constantly be late, you are more or less saying, either consciously or unconsciously that “I am more important than you are and anything I want to do must be more important than keeping a meeting/date/etc with you.” So, in many cases, someone is putting everything else on hold because they are expecting you to show up at any moment, when you still might be 15 or 45 minutes away. You can help alleviate this a bit by calling way ahead and letting them know you’ll be late. It won’t get you there on time, but at least it gives them the possibility of putting that time to good use.

The most important reason to be on time is, simply, honesty. “Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’” (Matthew 5:37) If you tell people you’ll be somewhere at a certain time, to be late is to break your word. It’s understandable if your travel plan was reasonable and something unusual made you late. Things happen. But if you don’t make a reasonable effort to get somewhere when you said you would, then you are not being true to your word. This is often part of a bigger pattern of cutting corners, of finessing the system, of self-seeking behavior. We gain self-esteem and the esteem of others by taking estimable actions, like honoring our word. Like being on time.

And when you are late, please take responsibility. Don’t apologize profusely and wait for people to tell you it’s OK. It’s not OK and they don’t need to tell you it is. And don’t say, “Oh, man, you wouldn’t believe the traffic/etc.”, simply say, “Sorry I’m late.” Making excuses further not only draws attention to  yourself as seeking pity, but is disrespectful, and if you are dealing with anyone who is like me, makes them more irritable.

You may also enjoy reading this: http://www.financialsamurai.com/punctuality-breeds-credibility-tardiness-flakers/

Friend-Zone = Danger-Zone

Published November 4, 2013 by anniespice

Platonic relationships. No kind of relationship generates as much debate and raised eyebrows as the “we are just friends” kind. When people see Adam and Eve together, almost everyone assumes they are an item. It’s funny that they too perceive the friend-zone differently. Usually, if not in 99% of all cases, there is often some sexual intent tucked at the back of the mind of one of them, waiting for the opportune time to come out. I used to believe in the friend-zone when I was young and naive, until this happened:

HIM
We met at my gym.It was early morning, I had just finished my workout and was headed to work.
She was the most gorgeous woman I had laid my eyes on.
Conversation with her was pretty easy and we seemed to have hit it off from the moment we met.
She had a curvy beautiful body, succulent lips, a kind heart and a beautiful personality.
We happened to be headed in the same direction – thank God, and as we walked, each to their workplace, we chat about how hard it was keep fit and trim in this age and time.
I knew I had to see her again. We exchanged numbers, she wanted someone to psyche her up to come to the gym, but I must admit, my motives were purely selfish. Needless to say, she never came to the gym again, she had no time. I called her after a week to find out what happened and she told me she was too busy to fit the gym into her schedule. We both worked in Downtown and I would occasionally meet her for lunch or we would have coffee on the weekends.

I was at a point where I was ready to settle down, my business was doing well – I had met a beautiful, smart lady whom I really liked and would have loved to take it to the next level with her. Hopefully, she would grow to love me and we would take it from there.

My greatest concern was that while she worked for a blue chip company, I was a hairdresser and entrepreneur – I owned my own beauty and hair salon. Would she love me for who I was, or would she prefer to marry  or be seen with one of those very educated men dressed to the nines everyday in well cut suits?

I saw her quite often the first few months then things went downhill, I didn’t see her as often anymore. It’s not that I didn’t want to, she just seemed so busy. I would see her at least one a month or so… when she was available. I remember, at one point, I missed her so much, I went to her place of work just to see her face – that’s how much I liked her. I had to suppress my ego just to walk there as that was admitting to her and to the world that I was love-struck. Thankfully, I met her at her office reception, and my sorrows were cured.

HER
He was one of the most handsome men I had ever seen. I was attracted to him for sure. My friends and I called him eye-candy. When I met him at the gym that morning, I marveled at his physique. As I got to know him, I realized he had a lovely personality. I remember that he would often join us – my friends and I-  for lunch and he seemed to blend in so well, no matter their age or background. He was kind and caring – a real gentleman for sure.

I believe in being in a relationship with a guy with whom you speak the same language. The same language means that you are at par on most aspects of life – foremost for me would be in religious , social and cultural beliefs. I love eye candy, no doubt, but what good would that do you when you are together and have nothing to talk about?

So from the beginning, I blocked out any romantic feelings. On that day he came to my office just to say hello, I was a little taken aback, as I had innocently thought that we were at the friendship zone. I had to find out what his vision for our friendship was. He made it very clear, he was interested in me. I stupidly thought that I could see him less often and still maintain him as a friend. Looking back, it was the equivalent of an ostrich burying its head in the sand thinking trouble will go away.  I got really busy at work, and with my school work, I saw him less frequently – say once a month. He would text occasionally to check on me.

One day, I was out with the girls, he was out with the boys, and we happened to be at the same place. I remember him pinning me down to have that conversation that I had been avoiding all along. He wanted to know where he stands with me, if there is a chance that we could be an item.

HIM
That evening, when I saw her, she looked ravishing. I just had to know where I stand with her.
I was afraid of rejection, but I had to know all the same. I think I had spent enough time with her for her to truly get to know me and to know that I was just more than a hairdresser/entrepreneur. I was that and more. Anyhow, I was so disappointed when she said no, my whole world stopped! I had spent months thinking about her, calculating, dreaming. I liked her too much. We could not be friends anymore. Friend-zone was out of the question.

HER

I was pretty straightforward. I did not give him any explanations at that point- I doubt he cared to listen. He unfortunately concluded that it was all because I worked for a blue chip company and that I was not comfortable with his social status. How wrong he was!! You see I don’t believe in changing someone or someone changing for me. If you are not where you should be or where I would like you to be, then why bother. What are the chances that a grown man would be willing to alter, say his religious beliefs for a woman? and even if he does, will he do that for her or for the person it matters to the most? How do you explain to someone that you are not compatible spiritually, socially or culturally? They say you don’t change a man, unless he is in his diapers – I am a firm believer in those words. Since that fateful evening, I have never seen my friend again. I used to be a believer in platonic relationships, not anymore. He wanted nothing to do with me – he wouldn’t even look at me. I hurt my friend. It was so sudden, it was so tragic. Sometimes I miss him. But I understand his pain. I hope he found peace.  I hope he found what he was looking for. But I learnt the hard truth, Friend-zone is danger-zone.

Am not saying this is gospel truth, but its advice I am willing to live by.

Ladies – It never works. If you think he is just a friend, you are mistaken. If you are not ready or willing or available to be in a relationship with him, keep off. If you are interested in him, and he doesn’t express interest soon, you are most likely going to end up with a broken heart. Tread carefully.

Gentlemen – Let her know early in advance if you are interested in her. She probably is happier with you as a friend. You can always tell when a lady is interested in you. She gets touchy, she wants to talk to you all the time. If she is keeping off, just know she has realized you have feelings for her and she is trying to be kind to you, or she is hoping to save the friendship. If she is touchy with you or if she is calling or texting you all the time, she may be interested in you, if you are not available, make it clear or just escape from the friend-zone.