Round the corner sat a little child, watching over his fragile mother.I could tell she was broken on the inside and could see she was tattered on the outside.
The little boy walked up to me, “Excuse me miss,a penny for a fella?” He asked as he pulled on my pants at my ankle.
I looked into his eyes:
They were like peanut-sized rugby balls, sucked into their sockets. Yet the tears that flooded made them crystal clear.
I felt I could tell his life story but couldn’t tell it to the end.
“I want to buy mommy an air ticket so she can go up there. That’s where the best doctor is.” He said pointing to the sky.
For a moment my heart stopped…
Right here was a kid ready to do everything possible to achieve the impossible. Yet I was walking home mumbling about how I didn’t want to make ugali cause it had been my previous night’s dinner.
“Come, come see mommy!” He reached for my hand.
His fingers were skinny,dirty and nails so disfigured. Don’t get me wrong, my freshly done French manicure was not the reason why I couldn’t take his hand, if anything I was scared I’d break his brittle noodle-like fingers.
“Let’s go toto,” I said to him in a tone way lower than my usual one.
We walked down the dark alley and rounded to the corner where his mother lay on a cardboard mattress. I went down on my knees right next to her and placed my hand on her head.
She woke up in shock; “Max! Max! Where’s my Max?” That’s all she said on seeing my unfamiliar face.
“Mommy I brought a visitor,” little Max said to his mother.
She heaved a sigh of relief and I could see the anguish on her face slowly fade away. She struggled to sit up and I did not hesitate to help her out.
“My name is Muthoni, your son asked me for assistance ma’am,” I tried to make conversation.
“I’m Achieng’,” she replied with yet another struggle.
Max did not want his mother to speak much, he was scared each word made her weaker than before.
I let her lie down and sat there listening to little Max.
It was heading to 8:00p.m, I’d been there for almost an hour and very unaware indeed.
“Did you know that mommy can go on her own and watch over me from up there? She’ll come back when she’s better. Then we can get a house, I can get a daddy,a puppy and more little ones like me.”
The seven year old was a dreamer, or was it his ignorant age? I honestly don’t know but it seemed to capture hundred percent of my undivided attention.
“Miss you don’t have to stay you can go home. I don’t need that penny anymore, you listened to me, noone ever does. They just drop pennies and go. Some shove me to the side and say; ‘Stupid child!’ Others say; ‘Poor child!’and walk away. But you are the first to listen. When I take mommy up there I’ll tell the Man to change your dinner.”
I looked at him in shock but could afford a smile. He was listening to me mumble before!
“Max, let’s go get some supper for you and mom.” I muttered as I held out my hand to him once I was on my feet again. Little did I know that this was the beginning of an unbreakable bond.
He kissed his mother on the cheek and said, “Mommy I’ll be back with something you haven’t seen in weeks. I love you.”
We walked down the street to a nearby restaurant and I let him pick the food he wanted. As we walked out he said, “Goodbye Miss, may the angels get you home safe.” He hugged me tight and for the first time a stranger made me feel more loved than I ever did.
I watched him run back to his mother as a tear escaped my eye.
I would see him the next day,and the next and the next and this would become a habit so regular.
“I need a heartbreak to write,” she thought to herself.
So she let him in,
She let him touch her fragile soul with the words she wanted so desperately to hear
Words so tender yet so strong.
She let him run his fingers down the creases of her imperfections
Creases she had all covered up even from herself.
She let him give her a new life to love
A life for two; a life where she did not remember what it felt like to be alone,
But alone is what she should have been all along.
He came and he left.
She fell and she felt.
She knew she was falling and he knew she was feeling but none wanted to face the fact
None wanted to be in touch
None wanted to be true
So they let it grow into something that could never be, just like you and me.
It was all getting heavy and nothing was steady
But he did not care and all she did was stare
She couldn’t lift the weight so she stayed in that state
Nothing felt right not even a fight
She wanted to let him go but needed to feel his stay
So she let him dance in her head
She let him run around in her heart
And jump the tight ropes of her veins
She let him do what he came to do without question
And that was it.
He came and he left.
She fell and she felt.
Then all she had was memories and the aftertaste.
She was the calm waters and he just had to be the storm to make her rage
She was the gay sky and he had to play the dark clouds
She knew karma was real and it just had to send him in
She thought he would do the impossible and love every inch of her
He thought he could do the obvious and pretend he loved nothing less
And so they did what they desired the most
But that was just it.
He came and he left.
She fell and she felt.
Now all that’s still living is the aftertaste.
I know it’s been a while but I’m slowly getting my vibe back. Here’s one for the road. Thanks for being patient with me.
Don’t forget to like, comment and share. I’d really appreciate. Bless up.
Youth in Fashion…Yes, I do know that you would expect the you the youth to embrace fashion the most but after spending time with a few of them, I realised that fashion has a much deeper meaning to most than I thought. I have to share this with you, I honestly cannot keep such beautiful revelations to myself so here goes.
First of all I must say I had lots of fun interacting with these underrated individuals and I mainly wrote this article to show you that you can make it I the fashion industry no matter how young you may be. I basically wanted to find out what fashion meant to some icons I have grown to love so far. So, first I got to chill with one of my all-time favourites, Foi Wambui, a 20 year old journalism student at USIU. Besides being a student, she is also a YouTuber, model, actor and radio host. She is one person whom I have had deep conversations with and got to learn that her journey was not as smooth as it may seem, and maybe someday she will let me share it with you. What does fashion mean to Foi? Well, she had this to say, “To me, fashion is self-expression. At first glance you can have an idea of who a person is by how they dress. Fashion is also art. To put together different pieces of clothing items and bring out an outfit that speaks volumes is creativity in itself. I guess the biggest breakthrough for me in fashion is that I stopped following trends and letting my personality lead me to what I should wear.” She is a simple young girl making such great moves in the fashion industry that it would shock you. She recently got featured in two copies of the Standard newspaper and I must say I was so proud of her that I could not help but share it with and everyone that I could. In case you would like to check out this inspirational being you could find her on Instagram @foi_wambui_ and her YouTube Foi Wambui.
Thereafter, I got to interact with 2017/2018’s Miss USIU, Akual Chan, a 20 year old student and model. To be honest I was so amazed by her words that I copy pasted them right from her lips. She said, “The modelling industry in Kenya is a rather interesting one. Filled with brilliant minds however, it is not the easiest to deal with. Most at times modelling is reduced to a couple of walks on the runway and good pictures in front of the camera. Which, unfortunately, is contributing to the unrealistic images that choose to circulate. In my opinion I believe modelling is an art. One that needs a level of discipline and cooperation, between the model and the client. The main idea is to bring out an image that works to fulfill the client’s concept or imagination. That is where the challenge begins, having to stand in front of the camera and working to recreate a mental image is difficult don’t you think? The journey to becoming a model has been and is still a rough ride. I honestly cannot state how exactly I started because I to do not understand it myself. The simplest way to put it would be a referral. Honestly I lived in disbelief up to my first shoot day, where it finally downed on me that I would be having a shoot. The interesting thing about all this is that every day is an interesting one. The more we learn how to work around certain circumstances the more exciting it becomes. One thing for sure is that modelling is something I would never regret doing. I have worked with different people and through them I have learned so much. A message to the aspiring models would be to do perfect research on the modelling industry. That makes it easier for you to know where exactly you would like to place yourself. If you do not know how to go about it locate a model that you find fit and ask them for advice. Depending on how serious you would like to take it, make sure the people you are working with are not asking for any unusual favour in return. Do not be too desperate because the industry can eat you up and spit you out like a piece of gum. Collaborate with different creatives and do not restrict yourself to the usual however, as I had stated let it not be in the cost of your dignity. In the beginning if you are not comfortable with it let it go. One thing that models need to know is that you will not always be picked and that is not wrong. Different clients are looking for something specific and that’s how it works. On my side, I would say that my journey is still in progress and that is okay. All in all one thing is certain and that is that impossible is just a word. If you have a dream, do not let the world tell you otherwise. Find the right people and you can make it come to pass!” There and then, I was inspired, I felt like there was nothing that I could not do and I am entirely grateful to this beautiful human. Her Instagram: @__qual_chan
I even got to experience some talk time with a young designer. Anai Alith, a South Sudanese who has been living in Kenya for the past 13 years, is the brains behind the recently emerged and growing Nairobi Connect and she gave me a history of her journey to date. I was careful not to omit anything as each and every detail was crucial. In her interesting narration she said, “Fashion to me is the instrument through which I express the thoughts or feelings I don’t get to say out loud. I first started making clothes for myself when I was 12 years old. You know, the clothes my parents couldn’t get for me because of one reason or another. So I would customize my existing clothes into whatever I had wanted. Then in high school, I started dressing myself. I can’t even remember buying clothes then. I would then make different designs, which made impressions on my friends and family. Soon I was dressing my mum and the word spread to my aunties and community. I got better in making clothes and also in imagining things that I could do to make them much better. Then in 2014, I had already made a collection without realizing it. Then one time when I was home in Juba an idea came to me and I thought of having a Juba Fashion Week and so with a few phone calls and meetings, Juba Fashion Week came to be. Since then, it’s been happening and I thought, what if I did something similar in Nairobi since I am more in Nairobi than Juba anyways. And that’s how Nairobi Connect came to be. A platform that gives equal and fair opportunity to designers, photographers, makeup artists and other related creatives. I believe it is fair and equal because the Kenyan fashion industry has curtails and everything works through connections. This deprives the upcoming talents of the chance to be recognized for their effort. And of course, I have had difficulties, it’s hard for people to believe and support you in a society where everyone is using the other as a ladder to achieve their goals. My family first thought it was a waste of time and a distraction from my education. Friends see the potential and hence just don’t want to support because at some point, they want to be the ones doing all I do. Even if I am not a big deal at the moment, they know I can be a big deal in the future and it spikes jealousy sometimes. However, I’m thankful and grateful to God for all the failures I have been through and for removing masks on the faces of people who were working against me and for always revealing new opportunities and the right people to work with. It’s amazing how good He is to me. I look forward to new connections and success. Nairobi Connect. #LetsConnectNairobi. “Her Instagram handle is @king_anai and pass by @nairobi.connect
If you think that is all, let me blow your mind some more darling! Meet Treasa Mbeka, better known as Didi. She is a 22 year old student at USIU whose major is International Business Administration with a concentration in marketing and a minor in Journalism focusing on public relations. She is fashion and lifestyle writer at Standard Group Media. She is also a YouTuber with her own channel called SincerelyDidi blogger and behind the blog sincerelydidi.com where she talks about what she loves, fashion and lifestyle. For her, SincerelyDidi is a fashion and lifestyle blog that allows her to show her ardor to fashion, natural hair, grow as a writer and style journalist as well as share her thoughts while inspiring other young women to be themselves, be true and be beautiful while they’re at it. She aspires to be the best that she can be, share her sparkle by influencing young men and women in Kenya to be bold and loud when it comes to expressing their style because fashion isn’t just dressing up but a form of self-expression, revealing people’s inner feelings that are really close to the heart of the soul. I asked her to describe her style and she boldly replied, “I would describe my style as simple with a touch of vintage and urban culture! I love wearing clothes that are timeless and comfortable for me!” Didi is one of the youngsters in the fashion industry who has made a great impact on encouraging us to take risks and I never miss to watch each and every one of her vlogs on her channel. You should check it out and find her on Instagram @mbeka_
I am not at all sexist neither did I forget about the male species, on the contrary, here is where I paid most of my attention considering I am currently volunteering under two amazing male creatives whom I shall definitely share stories about soon. I caught up with Garrey Brent Mahuro better known as ‘the Suit Maestro,’ a very close friend of mine who at the age of 22 and studying at Technical University of Kenya still finds time to design some amazing suits. Besides that, he is also a model and deep writer. He had this to say, “Fashion is my art. I seek to be understood before I open up my mind for public consumption. My clothes, my prints, my patterns and my fabrics are my message to the letters to the world.” He has had a couple of challenges with unsure clients who make a deal but do not want to pay up or withdraw later on. The problem with the Kenyan fashion industry is that it only seeks to recognise professionals but not support the amateurs despite their effort and growth. You can find him on Instagram @thesuitmaestro and check out the collaborations he has had so far.
I also got to talk to an upcoming creative by the name OwinoChrispine Odongo. He is a 20 year old student at Buru Buru Institute of Fine Art (BIFA) where he gets to explore his love for fashion freely. He has done some projects in fashion sketching, clothe and accessory making. He says his main challenge would be the fact that he has not yet been able to purchase a sewing machine and with that he does not get too many clients and even ends up losing some. On seeing his designs, people see potential but he is unable to deliver much due to his lack of a machine though I feel he is going to make something of himself soon enough. You could get him on Instagram @_.chrispo._
Last but definitely not least, how do all designers thrive without a photographer? Meet Mark Arnold Wanjohi, the 21 year old photographer who is currently working with Nairobi Connect. He is a student at University of Nairobi who started off as a freelance photographer. To him, fashion is a journey of self-reflection, an outward expression of your inner self, an art of which each person has a different perspective about. The biggest challenges he faced were recognition mostly and learning photography via YouTube as such because local photographers in the neighbourhood are not easily available for teaching but he managed to attend some classes at @canoncna (Instagram) and learnt quite a number of things. Despite these challenges he has had breakthroughs that keep him going some of which he shared. He said he has achieved a third of his bucket list by gaining recognition as one of Kenya’s upcoming fashion photographers, shot a wedding at Windsor Hotel in collaboration with Glorious Photography Pictures, done baby bump shoots, covered a funeral and most importantly, his images are now being used to advertise Nairobi Connect which is being sponsored by Safaricom. I personally have gotten the chance to be in front of his camera and I must say, he is fun to work with and delivers much more than a client can imagine. I look forward to working with him again. Take a peep at his work on Instagram @arnold.artes and @wanjohi.ports
With all these I believe that it is indeed important to support our very own no matter how far they may seem to be from success. The platform for youth in the fashion industry especially in Kenya should be widened giving them a chance to share what they have. They should also be trained on how to explore their talent and grow further. There is a place for youth in fashion so let us give it to them. I hope to see you at Nairobi Railways Museum for the 4th Edition of Fashion Couture Affair. It’s an ‘All White Edition’ so start shopping! We are supporting youth in fashion so let’s save the date! 28th July 2018. DM me (@akinyi_711) for more details.
-BY AKINYI VALERIE.
Been a while but I’m still finding my niche fam. I had to write an article for FCA and here was my first attempt. Kindly share your honest views with me and share the article as well. I appreciate those who still keep it real and stick around. God bless!🙏🏾❤ And please do save the date! 28th July 2018! Dm (@akinyi_711) for more details!
It’s a genuine question which most of us give not so genuine answers to.
I’m going to be a little too honest on this one so brace yourselves for a deep journey into my life. Well not so deep but deep.
So, the other day my wife and I were talking and I happened to be a little emotionally unstable. I told her everything going on with someone I lovebut can’t have,I‘m hoping you understand that. She asked me why I couldn’t just take in the pain and be courageous enough just to leave, you know, like walk away and heal on my own. She did not really put it that way, in fact she said, “Love yourself a bit more.”
I don’t think any words have ever travelled so deep into my soul like these did, well apart from those depressing lyrics I listen to when I’m depressed, don’t ask why I do that though.
Anyway, my answer to that question was, well irrational if I may say. I replied:
And now I want to give a genuine answer to her question and it is, “I don’t really know anymore.” You know back then I used to think young love was fake, those things you only see in movies, just to create an interesting story line. So when I fell in love, I was in denial. I thought my heart and brain were probably playing tricks on me and it took time before I could admit it, sometimes I wished I did not, either way what’s done is done.
Like I said, ‘in love with one I can’t have,’ I’m sure you’re wondering why? Story short, it’s a love triangle. So letting go was really my only option cause it was clear I was ruining some equation but guess what, I gave it a shot anyway, for a while though till it hit me whatever was going on wasn’t real. I mean, being a third party is not healthy. So I started to drift a little further from him without really telling him why but it did not work out so well. The feelings never faded, in fact, they got stronger each day and I got emotionally weaker as they did.
So I hang on, I hang on cause I could not imagine how it would feel not to. Because I felt like feeling the pain was worth more than feeling nothing at all. Because I could not imagine waking up to one less important person in my life. I hang on till it hit me, “Can you imagine how she feels knowing you came into his life?” Like I said, ruined a perfect equation…
I knew the only way they could go back to being the way the were, or rather close to that cause I’m sure it could not happen, was if I left. But I was not going anywhere. I wanted to keep hurting as long as I’d have at least a friend in him. Yeah my wife mentioned that part too at some point. She even said it in a voice note, “I never knew you were the type not to care about someone else’s feelings but it’s your choice, just love yourself enough to know it’s wrong then decide.”
I’ll leave it at that.
That sounded like a pointless story right? But let me get to my point now.
I asked, “Do you love yourself?”
What does loving yourself even mean?
It means a lot more than you and I think.
Loving yourself means, looking forward to the adventure of a new day, whether good or bad.
It means letting go of your haunting past.
It means walking away from a toxic relationship.
Dropping those fake friends that give you temporary happiness
It means taking care of your hair, eating right, loving your body and maybe fix what you feel ain’t right, exercise.
Loving yourself means loving your whole being, emotionally and physically.
So, do I love myself?
I honestly don’t know but what I do know is, I want to.
I want to love myself enough to walk away from all this.
Enough to find happiness in my solitude.
Enough to let someone else be happy at the expense of my own happiness.
Enough to pour out more love than I do to others without wanting any in return.
Right now I’m living on one of my own quotes:
“It’s okay, everything takes time but nothing lasts forever.”
~Akinyi Valerie. ♤
I’m learning to let go and let God. Not as easy as it sounds but we’re getting somewhere.
Maybe the fact that things don’t seem to be working in my favour at the moment depresses me.
Maybe I’m sad because 2018 is not what I expected it to be so far.
Maybe I feel like I don’t want to love anyone else again yet I’m too young to feel that way and it hurts.
Maybe I wish I could go back and time and keep my feelings to myself.
Maybe this or that or any other significant and insignifact thoughts run through my mind about how horrible a person I have been a couple of times.
But, I still love me enough to rebuild what I tore down and that starts today.
Dear Reader, Hello there… all I can say is, this is true and I hope it inspires you too. I know, it’s a little too personal but sometimes I’m an open book.
Not the kind that makes me fold my arms when people applaud your success,
But the one that makes me want to celebrate before they do.
I’m full of sheer jealosy;
The one that eats me up when someone tells you you’re pretty,
Because I feel like only I have the right to do so.
I’m full of immeasurable jealousy;
Not the one that makes me frown at your happines,
But the one that kills me when I realise I had nothing to do with your smile.
I’m full of immense jealousy;
The kind that makes me envy your progress,
Because then I might just be nothing but your past.
I’m jealous of your shoes,
They get to walk every step with you.
Im jealous of your clothes,
They get to stay so close to your body.
I’m jealous of your scent,
It will always be attatched to your presence.
I’m jealous of the moments you spend under the covers,
They give you the warmth that I lack the chance to offer.
I’m jealous of your glass of wine,
It gets to touch your lips.
Darling, I’m jealous of my heart, it gets to feel this way.
Sometimes I just get jealous of the people around me when someone else values them cause I feel like only I have the right to show them what they are worth.
I want to write down my problems, put them in a bin, wait for the garbage track to pass by so they can be sent over to the incinerator and burnt to ashes.
Then maybe they’d be gone forever.
I want to write down my mistakes, put them in a time machine and send them back to my past.
Then maybe I’d never repeat a thing.
I want to write down my pain, fill up my bath tub, soak it then send it down the drain.
Then maybe it’d never hurt me again.
I want to write down my disappointments, put them on the road and one by one tyres go over them as cars pass.
Then maybe they will never haunt me again.
I want to write down my plans, stick them to my brain permanently as I live each day.
Then maybe I would stay focussed.
I want to write down my joys you know, that which makes me happy and read them every morning when I wake up.
Then maybe I’d get through each day without the negatives getting to me.
I want to write down my hopes, put them in a bottle, place it in the ocean so that they get to someone else.
Then maybe I could get some help.
I want to write down my dreams, my prayers, my expectations, what makes me happy, what breaks me down, what I want in life, what I want gone, the love of my life, his pain as well, the trials of life and the tribulations as well. I want to put them down on paper, on a letter that says, “Dear God,” and send it to heaven.
Then maybe I will feel like everything will fall into place in due time and I can take things as they come.
But until then, I put everything down, pen and paper, and keep it to myself.
Then maybe some day I could share it with the world.
Hello there! Thank you for passing by. It’s been a while I know but I’m trying to get back on track. Here’s something I wrote at around 5:00a.m this morning…I know my sleeping pattern has been shakey.
Anyway… anyone willing to write a piece with me hit me up soon. You can DM @akinyi_711. There’s so much I wanna do this year and I pray I succeed and for your plans to honey.
Thanks for the support and may God keep blessings keep bestowed upon you.
Do you ever scroll through Instagram couples and make virtual cutouts in your head?
Or google yourself some ‘couple goals’ and wish they’d use your picture instead?
Do you ever look at them walk down the street, holding hands and wish you’d slide yours in?
Or go to the movies alone just to watch them for a while?
Because I do…
Do you ever listen to words he says to her at the airport before he leaves for days?
Or what she replies when she knows she’ll miss him for weeks?
Do you long for the gifts he buys when they’ve been together for months?
Or the life they are building over the years?
Because I do…
Do you wish someone could hold your hand so tightly when you want to cross the road and it’s not because you’re scared?
Or long for a kiss on the forehead before you leave the house but not from mom or dad?
Do you ever need a cuddle just for the whole night?
Or intimate touches until you can’t feel no more?
Because I do…
Do you ever want the pain?
Or never anticipate the thrill?
Do you ever imagine the hurt?
Or fail to think of the joy?
Do you feel the adrenaline rush in your veins when you think of him saying your name in all the right and wrong ways?
Or in your head, dance to his heart beat’s rhythm for all the right and wrong reasons?
Because I do…
Do you crave a love so deep it could drive a nail through your heart, change your whole being and make them call you insane? Because I do…
Hello there! This was written at 6:00a.m today, another one of those ‘write as I go’ kind of things. I hope you like it.
You know what to do, read, like, comment and share.
Let’s start off the year with some love. I appreciate. ❤
“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” ~ Gustave Flaubert.
Unfortunately, the year 2017 has not been one of the best for me. This is so considering I have only achieved barely a quarter of my year’s expectations but oh well, better luck next year I guess.
The highlight of my year must be the activities towards the end. They did not really start well with the passing of my beloved grandmother, may her soul rest in peace, but this was the beginning of a little family adventure.
My family had spent about 3 weeks in the village after my grandma’s funeral and I joined them on the fourth in Bungoma, Western Kenya. My so-called adventure started with my lone travel from Nairobi to where they were. Honestly, I felt so achieved. We spent four days together before leaving for Ugenya, Nyanza where we spent a night at my father’s home.
On Saturday morning, we started our trip with a drive to Kisumu where my father had a meeting to attend. He dropped us off at Nakumatt Mega and went on ahead with his schedule. We set out in search of accommodation for the night before he got back and as he had suggested, we passed by The Vic, Kisumu which was just in the compound.
This is a very beautiful hotel I must say. Probably lacking in a nature-filled environment but the interior and exterior design was well organised. From the valet parking, you could tell it was not just a one-stop highway motel. The service right at the reception desk was a welcome of its own. And the interior decor, “Oh my!” It was simply amazing.
We took a seat at the waiting lounge, comfortable beyond words, before getting a chance to tour the rooms. I wish I got you pictures of these luxurious rooms but I guess you’ll have to pass by their websitehttp://www.thevichotelkisumu.com/to view them.
To be honest I wanted to spend more than just a night here but we didn’t come prepared with ‘heavy pockets’ so we had to save that thought for another day. Anyway, if you’d like to have a luxurious experience at the heart of Kisumu City, whether business wise or just a vacay, this is the place to go. As they say, “Elegance specifically crafted with the business & leisure travellers in mind…” Oh! I got to have a taste of their chips masala and if I may say, this was the best I’ve had outside Mombasa!
So we didn’t spend the night here and opted to go to seek a more ‘pocket-friendly’ option by sleeping at Jumuia Hotel, Kisumu ://www.resortjumuia.com/index.php/pages/2015-02-02-15-01-12/jumuia-guest-house-kisumu. It’s a lower cost, comfortable hotel opposite Tuskys, Kisumu. That evening we went across to Tuskys for a car wash and a cup of tea and caught a glance of the famous Kenyan comedian Eric Omondi having a snack at a table right behind me.
Jumuia, definitely has some good cooks and service but not a place to stay for too long.
We had an early Sunday morning breakfast before leaving for a burial in Kendu Bay. We were here for about 4-5 hours and then left for Rusinga Island. Drove across the bridge from Kendu to Rusinga.
We arrived at around 4:30p.m and immediately checked into Blue Ridge Hotel, Rusinga http://rusingablueridge.com/ . I have to admit, we were very exhausted! This particular hotel is special since it is located where you can have a beautiful view of the Lake Victoria. It is relatively new and owned by one of my father’s ambitious friends. These are the kind of people that actually motivate you to try out new business ventures.
Although Blue Ridge may lack a swimming pool, it has a beautiful environment to enjoy and cosy beds. Once in a while you could go down to the restaurant and relax on a couple of video games, take a walk around the little but serene compound or just have a seat in the garden and chill on a few drinks as you enjoy live performances from a Congolese band.
The one thing that did not quite give a good impression was the customer service but I am sure that is something they will work on in due time.
After a cosy night here, we woke up bright and early to go on a little tour. We visited the Tom Mboya Mausoleum which was about 20-25km away from the hotel. Here I got a taste of rich Kenyan history and to be honest, I think I would like to dig deeper. We were privileged to have Paul Ndiege, Tom’s half-brother, as our tour guide. Tom’s father had 5 wives and Paul was from the last while Tom was born of the first. I got to learn the culture of the Suba people as well as the heroic works of Tom before his assassination.
Thereafter, Paul offered to take us to Rusinga Lodge http://www.rusinga.com/ which was not so far for a little more exposure of the beauty on the Island.
This was the one for me out of all the hotels I’d been to. ‘Expensive’ is an understatement for their rates but trust me, they are more than just worth it. The jetty stretching out into Lake Victoria, simply enhances the enchantment of the lodge, not to mention the amazing cottages we got a glimpse of.
This is definitely a gateway place on my bucket list!! It is very pricey but the activities you can do are so many. They include sunset fishing, boat rides and kayak races, swimming, strolling along the beach, sitting by the pier, nature photography, enjoying the serene environment among others. I really suggest you click on that link, take a look at the charges and save! Save! Save! For this place. The catch is,honey they don’t have rooms, just cottages so you’ll have to rally a couple of friends or family for this. This could be a good thing I mean, share the costs and bond with them.
After having a few drinks, taking pictures and touring, it was time to leave. We really appreciated the great service by the staff here. We set out to Migori. Well at least that was our intended destination before the unfortunate event of a double puncture in the middle of nowhere. Not entirely nowhere but we knew no-one here and we were still very far from the town area.
I think local dialect came in quite handy here when my father flagged down a man on a bicycle with a simple Luo and asked for assistance. Oh, you should know that Rusinga does not have matatus for public service vehicles(P.S.Vs) and in stead they use proboxes. The ‘good Samaritan’ left and came back in one of the P.S.Vs with a driver. We intended to have the car pulled to Mbita Town, where we would find a Petrol station or get the tyres to the station for repair but efforts seemed fruitless after almost an hour of struggling.
I took a shot at changing the tyres as well but realised that would not pull through for me. They decided to head to the town with my father and get the expert. My mother, and I, put a kikoi in the shade and my sisters sat waiting patiently.
While we waited, a lady passed by carrying a pot of water from the lake on her head. She shared a kind smile and greeting, invited us over to her house for a comfortable seat but we had to decline since our luggage was in the car and it would not be safe to leave it unattended. She disappeared into her little hut and I sat with my sisters. Father soon came back with ‘salvation’ and coincidentally the lady walked out with a wooden chair for my mother to sit on.
For the record, I think the people of Rusinga breathe in an air of sheer kindness! This task took quite some time and the scorching sun took over most of the shade around. We were stuck there from around 11:30p.m to 4:00p.m, sipping on some juice and munching on some biscuits thanks to mother. After hours of agony it was finally fixed. The road we had driven through was not a smooth one at all and the sharp stones and nails had brutally driven themselves into the tyres resulting in more than six holes that caused the flat tyres. My parents gave tokens of appreciation to those who helped us before we went off to Migori.
The place we were headed to was about 10km from the border of Kenya and Tanzania so you can imagine the journey that lay ahead. My father seems to have a fetish for land and we were going to see two pieces he bought but we arrived close to dark. We got to his friend’s home, had some tea and walked to one of them. By the time we went back it was dark and had to see the other on Tuesday morning. We spent the night at Florence Hotel, Migori after a heavy traditional meal at his friend’s place.
The next morning we moved closer to the border with a quantity surveyor to look at a piece of land he had bought but had not seen. We got to a point where we had to park the car and walk deep into the woods and through a swampy area. An adventure indeed! This one ended right at the banks of a flowing riverand was occupied by a beautiful natural forest.
We circled the area for a while before heading back to the car and embarking on our journey back to Mombasa. It would be long and tiresome and I was not really looking forward to it. We drove through Kisii, the land of bananas and could not help but buy some for the road. We were on the road for hours, mom and dad switching positions, each taking turns as drivers, stopping once in a while to use the washroom and restock snacks but the journey seemed long. We got to Narok at around 7:00p.m and nobody wanted to navigate the treacherous road of Maimahiu in the dark so we opted to spend the night at Maragateaway Hotel & Resort, Narok which was just basic. The one thing I liked here other than the service was the food but I honestly could not wait to get back home the next day!!!
Out final stretch to Mombasa was finally here and although it took us the whole day, we were thankful for a safe journey.
Despite the Rusinga incident, this was a great experience and I would love to have another random local tour next year.
Hello there, I know it has been quite a while but I’m slowly coming back. I tried to give a review of the one thing I loved this December and though it’s not that good, I’m sure there are many more trips to come that I will bring out quite well.
I absolutely love adventures and I’m hoping to get some money as well as partners to go on some really cool ones soon. Praying on it. I’m working on more pieces coming next year and hoping to be a little more frequent. This year I’ve been a serious victim of procrastination and I hope not to carry that vice into 2018, amen? Haha
Anyway, you know what to do, support a writer: read, like, comment, share. I’d really appreciate your comments because this is out of my comfort zone and I wanna learn how to perfect it. And also trip offers can come through, I would love to travel quite a bit in 2018. Sorry I could not get enough pictures so you’ll have to link in the sites but next time I’ll be sure to do so.
I appreciate those who have been a part of aqeenyi.wordpress.comthis year and hope to have you in the years to come as I grow.
May the Lord keep blessing you abundantly and may you achieve way more than you intend to in 2018. ❤
Do you ever just count your blessings? Without even taking a look at the negative side at all?
These are questions we would probably just give blank or one-word answers to without a second thought. Well, at least I’m brave enough to say that I would.
I would, a few days ago I would, but not today.
Well you see yesterday my mother and I stopped by Tuskys Bandari to pick up a few things. At least that was all we were meant to do before she got engrossed in looking at other items that she did not necessarily plan to buy. To be honest, this really pissed me off as I was exhausted so I decided to let her be. I told her she would find me outside once she was done.
My first choice was to take a seat in the car which was parked in the scorching heat and wait impatiently for her; the second was to get a snack or drink and seat at one of the tables outside that have umbrellas. At that point, sparing some cash for a drink seemed more than just reasonable.
I quickly grabbed a Coke, paid at the counter and went outside. I sat at a table next to the rails just by where people passed as they walked in and out of the supermarket. Once in a while, my elbow seemed to get pushed aside,both accidentally and intentionally but I was deep in thought about everything and nothing at all.
I had gazed into the empty space right in front of me and travelled to an entirely different universe for about 5 minutes when my reverie was interrupted by the screeching of an old and rusty wheelchair.
“He was here! Finally! It was about time.” I thought to myself and a smile slowly planted itself on my rested face.
I am sure that most of you who go to Tuskys Bandari have seen him a couple of times. To be honest, I do not know his name but I call him Babu.Not because he is old but out of nothing short of respect.
This man seems to have some elements or rather symptoms of autism. He is, for lack of a better word, crippled and confined to a wheelchair. He also appeared to struggle with coordinating most of his body movements.
Almost everyday, his caretaker pushes the man to his spot right outside the supermarket. It is from here that he quietly seeks aid, mostly financial, from passers-by, saying nothing but “Asante” to those who contribute. My mother always seemed to give what she could to this man. This was contrary to all the other beggars she always ignored on the streets. I had always wanted to hold a conversation with him and this seemed to be my only chance.
Once his caretaker had left, I leaned against the rails, smiled at him and said, “Shikamoo Babu.” I did so in the most respectful tone that I could use.
(I am about to share a Kiswahili dialogue with the hope that you will all understand.)
“Marahaba mwanangu,” he replied in a voice that proved a struggle in speech. “Naomba uniwie, ningependa kuzungumza nawe kwa muda mfupi tu,” I requested to converse with him and all he did was try to smile and nod.
At this point our talk was being interrupted now and then by shoppers walking in and out but I did not really mind.
The truth was, I only had one question for him and I asked it, I asked him what kept him going. I really wanted to know why he would not stop coming to that spot and he gave it a one-minute thought before answering.
With a smile in his face he said, “Mwanangu, ni hamu ya kuonyeshwa mapenzi, kupeana shukran na kueneza baraka za Mungu zinazonileta hapa. Aliponiweka katika kiti hiki, nilitokwa na matumaini lakini ninapokumbuka kuwa bado mimi nipo hai hapa duniani, ni baraka kwangu. Pesa ninazopata hapa ninazitumia katika biashara ya kutengeneza poti, kwa matibabu na kusaidia wengine kama mimi wasiojiweza au watoto mitaani. Wengine wao hawakubarikiwa na mapenzi ambayo watu hunionyesha hata kidogo. Ndiposa sichoki kuendelea na maisha. Kisha, napenda kusema asante. (he giggled a little at this point.) Alafu…”
Just as his words were sinking in, someone tapped my shoulder. She just had to be done now huh? Tough luck! Here was my mother and Babu seemed to recognise this generous soul. He shared a smile which she reciprocated without a doubt.
As we left, she put some cash into his little wallet and left him a loaf of bread. “Asante mama na ubarikiwe,” he said. “Mwanangu, usisahau kushukuru,” that was directed to me.
Honestly, I was in awe and a little teary as well. I was silent for a really long while as I tried to digest it all. I sat in the car, deep in thought as I processed exactly what I had gained from that short conversation that I had always wanted to have.
Babu was crippled, kind of underdeveloped for his age, poor and lonely but he still thanked God for a number of things. He was grateful for the love he received from total strangers and this gave him the psych to see another day. He barely had a proper roof over his head but still wholeheartedly shared what he got. He gave his caretaker money to run a pot making business that would at least put a meal a day on their table and cater for some of their basic needs.
Then here I am, sulking and cursing over little failures and bad days. Not appreciating everything else I have but dwelling on what I don’t. This experience opened up my mind, heart and soul to a lot.
Then today I felt a little of how he does. Well, I mean about the love he appreciates. All these birthday messages that came through also came with deeper meaning. I mean even total strangers thought about appreciating the kindness I show others. My goal in life is to make people feel loved. Most of the time I do it without realising it, I give what I have and that is even if it means sacrificing my privileges. Babu taught me never to stop but to do it more often than I do now. The main lesson I learn from him was just to appreciate and appreciate and appreciate!
Again I ask, do you ever just count your blessings?
Well hello there? It has definitely been long but here is a piece to keep you thinking. A little outside my comfort zone, I mean writing in a different dialect but if you don’t understand…don’t hesitate to ask…you know my DM is always accessible…Instagram: @akinyi_711
This was written on 30th October regardless of when it will be posted. Today, I turned 19, there is so much that has gone down in my life, both good and bad. I tend to share a of positive vibes but personally dwell on the negatives. Honestly, I was not psyched for my birthday but my family just unknowingly made me realise how much I should appreciate life. Plus this experience. All I’m saying is, BE THANKFUL…BE GRATEFUL. Even for the little things, APPRECIATE. And always BREATHE KINDNESS.
Sorry I couldn’t get relatable pictures to flow with 😢
I’m working on another piece already so stay tuned.❤