The man she never knew


Ada married young. Her husband, seven years her senior treated her like a child. She loved him at any rate and set about building a family with Davis.  The fifth in a family of eight, Ada relived her middle child experiences and vowed to make her voice heard and eventually make something of herself. In contrast, her husband, Davis, a bright, young doctor relished the prospects of his career and worked long hours to secure his future. He was a third-born, who usurped the place of his elder twin siblings. There was never a moment to lose in his life.

Ada trained as a teacher and loved her training of future teachers.  She rose bright and early, spoiling her husband daiky, with a western diet of bacon, sausage and eggs.  Life in their newly independent nation offered choice, right down to diet and Ada made sure they could keep up with new trends.  She stitched her own clothes, while encouraging him to buy the best in the shops.  He dressed like a dandy on weekends,  looking more like a narcissistic model.  Not to be left behind, Ada took the trouble to hot-comb her hair every Friday afternoon and press her best dresses for the weekend.

Within their first giddy year of marriage, they became pregnant.  Davis was none too impressed but suppressed his angst, while he kissed and hugged his bubbly wife.  His concern  for his work hours and the time commitment a child would need. Ada, oblivious to his true feelings, planned, chatted animatedly and prepared for the baby.  Davis eventually cooled to the idea and hoped for a boy.  Ada secretly hoped for a girl.

Soon, his long hours and the strain of waiting up for Davis began to show.  He had never carried keys and believed it to be a wife’s duty to welcome him home all hours, then warm up his supper, serving him and waiting on him as he ate.  She smiled her way through it the first few times, eager to please but teetering on the brink of serious concern.  Her own father and his, had cared enough to keep and carry house keys in their time, in spite of the cultural practices of the day.  She fretted over this, unwilling to hold a frank discussion about their marriage, to keep the peace. Davis revelled in her over-submissive attitude and gradually shifted to a more conservative position in their marriage.  He loved the power to do so and worked harder to maintain his dominance at home.

As the months went by, Ada saw less of her friends, choosing to handle her worries alone. She withdrew from her vivacious, bright and cheerful co-trainers, eating her cares away.  Her slender figure, now much enlarged, shocked her husband, who chose to keep away from her in silent disgust.  She began to cry herself to sleep. Davis spoke to her, reassuring her daily, that all new mothers dealth with frequent worry and anxiety.  The more he spoke, the greater her fears became.

When her water broke, one Saturday afternoon, Ada found herself alone at home, with Davis unreachable at the hospital. She calmly called a taxi and asked her neighbour to accompany her. Davis failed her calls and Ada busied herself with getting to the hospital, assuming he had a medical emergency. Martha, her neighbour soothed and encouraged Ada to remain calm and soon arrived at the hospital, closest to home, a good thirty kilometres away.   She had the baby within the hour, with Martha at her side.

Davis had taken the day off, to watch a football match on the other side of town and had neglected to tell Ada.  He sensed something had happened but eased back into the gregarious company of his friends he rarely saw. After the match, they went out for roast meat and some beers. Davis unwound in the camaraderie and arrived home late into the night.  Martha, the neighbour, heard him knock at his own door, and rushed out to hand him his house keys. He took them without so much as a thank you, lumbered in and promptly passed out on the bed.

He woke up at 10 in the morning, just as Martha knocked on their door, informing him that his wife had their baby and she herself was on her way to visit. He raised one hand to his throbbing head, slurred his thanks, rubbed his eyes and rolled back into bed, falling asleep once more.

Davis woke up with a start, just after 2 in the afternoon, after a vivid dream about his wife and baby. He rolled out of bed, unsteady on his feet, as he hunted for the telephone. He called a friend, unsure of hjs sobriety, pleading anxiously for a lift to the hospital. He cried as he tried to make sense of how callous his actions were, fearing the hurt he would cause his wife.

Ada heard the nurses whispering and wondering where her doctor-husband could be, after placing calls to his place of work and their home half the night. She cooed over her very sleepy baby, kissing her at every turn, willing herself to ignore the gossip. The nurses in turn, treated her with pity, now certain this young mother and child had been abandoned.

Davis arrived at the maternity ward flustered,  half running and half walking in. His friend cackled all the way to the door of the ward, at his expense, when finally, Davis hissed at him, ordering to him stop and wait outside. The nurses at the station, appalled at the sight, exchanged glances and watched the scene unfold. Davis paused at the door, recollected himself, then strode in, head held up, flowers wilting in his hand.

Ada looked up from the baby and teared. Davis leaned forward to kiss her head,  his arms around her, shoulders slumped as he teared up as well.  They cried for a few minutes and the baby girl moved, seeking to feed. Ada raised her, to meet her father.  Davis’s eyes widened in wonder and amazement, as he picked up the precious bundle of love.  Ada began to cry.  Davis kissed their daughter, speaking gently to welcome her into the world. She cried because of the questions she silently raised these last few months.  She cried in anger at the stranger she married. She cried for their baby, their future uncertain. Davis broke down, telling Ada wahat had transpired. She, in turn listened, forgiving all, willing herself to re-build their connection.  Tensions cast aside, they chatted amicably for the next hour, resolute about their future, silently differing questioning and wondering what the next phase will bring.

Kenya’s Golden Jubilee!


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Kenya turns 50 today!  Which way now? We have been very fortunate to have peace and relative stability.  As we turn fifty, we ask what comes next.  This question elicits numerous questions and even more answers. What do Kenyans want? We want a  healthy, more open and greater transparency in the economy, so that we can grow our incomes.  We want security for all – one standard for every Kenyan and get out of the rut that once politicians feel safe, then we all are.  We want access to healthcare and proper sanitation.  We need power generation that does not depend or exist at the dictates of a power supply monopoly.  On that note, did we not pass an anti-monopoly law at least 15 years ago?

Other things desperately seek include support for agriculture. so that we deal with practical and visionary planning, away from the pipe-dream that is our Vision 2030.  We are not asking for old-school methods such as the promotion of increased fertilizers and pesticides.  We already employ banned pesticides such as Furadan, which literally wipe out every level of the food chain.  We prefer to step away from the doctrine of GMOs, as we all know the crop devastation and harm that is caused by them in countries that pursued that route.  With the decline of agriculture, the farmers who are the backbone of our country are impoverished and our society as a whole.  We hope to see innovation and new ideals put to use to raise the bar; not fads or commercial gimmicks, but visionary planning and merit at work.

Kenya is in need of leaders, bold enough to build and stand for a meritocracy.  We would cherish leaders who listen to their people  and promote the liberty of a common conscience, to dismantle the current castle-building that defends all the wrong (and utterly selfish) values.  We are in need of a nation that will rise on its strengths, as opposed to the personal alliances of the few that distance the majority.

We must kill corruption and take a bold step with legal measures for the culprits.  We need to teach the up-and-coming generations the honorable way to live and burn the ‘maps’ with the short cuts.  We must find a way to make bribery and corruption pointless, by providing the very services the populace pay for via our rigorous taxation systems.

We need a press that aspires to speak out for the people and ask challenge our leadership on matters of the day and represent Kenya as a whole, not the interests, whims and wrangles of political leadership.  We are in dire need of a media diet-change to healthy, deep and meaningful discussions on our national agenda, not the running of rumour mills.

We are in need of a country that applauds women for their role in society and one that is progressive, so as to catch up and even lead our regional neighbours in the affairs and roles of women, in politics and all areas.  My prayer is that we move away from the segregation of men and women to include and build a nation that represents every race, colour, creed and sex.  No more hypocricy or social inequality.  No hiding behind misnomers.  Time to face the reality of where we are in the world and how we can secure a brighter future for all.

I am going to pray for this nation, starting with our leaders.  We can no longer have the blind leading the blind.  Pray that we as the people can hold our leaders accountable, rejecting half-measures and pushing forward with a bold agenda to clean up our act, to make Kenya one of the best places to live and work. Leadership is the key.  A healthy value system is the core. Prayer has the power to drive us to change.  An honest and heartfelt pursuit of God will spur us in the right direction.  Pray with me for this beautiful land and people, as we strive for a better 50 years ahead!

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Remembering Nelson Mandela – Africa’s finest hero!


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As a student in the United Kingdom during the 1980s, the “Free Nelson Mandela” song  inspired hope for Africans and the world, still wrestling with racism, segregation and its the despair it breeds on all who partake of it.  We boycotted Barclays Bank, Reebok and South African fruit exports across Africa and the momentum picked up among high schools, colleges and universities in the United Kingdom.  Africa’s star was rising; as was a pride of being black and African.

We are a continent dogged with war and woes, rarely instigated from within but as dominions of European nations, aligning ourselves to their interests with apparent abandon.  Nelson Mandela’s quiet, dignified demeanor to apartheid’s oppression showed the world that Africans had turned the corner.  Black consciousness without violence aroused a renaissance that rippled and tide to the present day.  We can thank Mandela for his incredibly powerful humility in leadership, without greed and a paranoid need for self-preservation!

The South African product boycotts came to an end and a new South Africa was born in 1994. Nelson Mandela became the country’s first black president, ushering in a dignified and visionary leadership that changed the world. In March 1994, as I boarded a flight to South Africa to attend a work conference. I fought the nerves and anxiety of visiting a nation with the very oppression I campaigned against as a student in England.  My boss, a white Kenyan, reassured me with kind but firm words, ‘Not to worry, once we get there, we will stick together!”  I smiled and picked up my hand luggage and strode onto the plane with a smile and a lion’s heart beating in my chest, in sheer anticipation.  Our visit was a huge success, with ample time for personal visits to family friends and shopping.  We returned to Kenya, assured of South Africa’s new Rainbow status, encouraged and inspired!

Nelson Mandela gave us lessons in leadership, in times of change and turmoil, which resonate with the whole world at a time when economies and political systems fall far short of expectations. Change is inevitable and for the most part, beyond our control.  Like Mandela, Africa need to sight the wave, catch and surf as best we can!  Madiba, Tata!  You inspire us to be better people.  If only we would live simply and aspire for the greater good, without personal agendas as our first priority.  We have a library of great lessons from Nelson Mandela.   We have a great future if we learn from our past.  We have an even greater future, if we learn from great leaders.  We thank God for Mandela’s life lessons!  Fare thee well, Madiba!

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Saluting Madiba


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The true greatness of a man shines through his humility, commitment and sense of purpose.  We live in a world where glamour and riches are the main aspirations of younger generation; the glimmer of recognition and the apparent reward that brings are presumed to be true happiness. So what happens when a man, who simply chose non-violence and strategic leadership comes along and changes our perception?  The world stops, we stare, quietly question and admire this new line of humanity, bowled over by his appeal.Image

Mr. Nelson Mandela, you inspired a nation and a continent, to turn us all into a rainbow nation, after years of racial stuggles across every nation.  We thank God for you.  Your simple statements opened our eyes and hearts to simple truths of our existence – poverty, HIV/AIDS and racial divides as some our real enemies. 

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It is a great honour to have heard you speaj, visit your nation and rejoice with your people at the birth of the Rainbow Nation.  We thank God for you and pray for your nation’s continued strong path.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In The Flow


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The Christmas season promises lots of shiny things. We get overwhelmed with stuff. It gets awkward when we fill our lives with stuff that has no capacity to love us back. Imediately after the festivities, we wonder is this it? So we crank up iur hopes and begin fresh plans and ideas for the next Christmas! The cycle begins again!

Cycles are the best way the human mind functions, or so society tells us. Speaking of cycles, the last cycle I read in the Bible tells us about the Israelites infamous crossing in their exodus from Egypt. An 11-day crossing turned into a 40-year circuit filled with complaining, reminiscent tales about the food in Egypt (garlic, leeks and onions?!) and a disregard for the wonder of living in God’s awesome company! This crowd witnessed numerius miracles, including God’s favour and sustenance in manna raining down over them, the Ten Commandments and God’s wrath at their disbodience.

The current Christmas celebration traditions started in England in 1843, with the publication of Charles Dickens’  ‘A Christmas Carol.’ The concept of gift giving as published, extended from children to adults. Within a few years and with the marketing of products during the Industrial Revolution, Christmas evolved into a commercial sales season of the year. Toys appeared in stores before Christmas, as manufactured items, with a promise to fulfill the recipients dreams. Christmas has become such a commercial event in our calendars that malls the world over build lavish lighting and tree displays, complete with a Santa and a stockpile of gifts for children.

In contrast, the Bible’s Christmas story introduces us to a Saviour born into a simple, humble, dark, smelly and very true-to-life world. No rosy pictures spring to mind as we think of His birth in a cave, to be revealed to the world from a manger. Yet we can visualize Christ gurgling, gigling, calm, peaceful and content to come into a very turbulent world and redeem His creation! (Read: us).

I love Christmas and the glint it puts jn our eyes. What I strive to, is to present the true purpose of Christmas and how the Light of the World came to us and what that means. My heart asks – are we truly thankful for the bitth of our Saviour, acknowledging Him as the reason for the season or are we building lofty dreams and going in circles? What would Jesus Christ have us to believe and what is the Holy Spirit pointing you to?

How will I know?


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Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ.

Making life decisions can drive us to anxiety, fear and nerves. The end of the year is a time many of us reflect on our year and a time for making life decisions and  new year resolutions. God’s Word asks us to ‘be anxious for nothing’. Easier said than done! It is a good thing that we can take God at His word.

A friend ssked me, ‘how do I know God’plan for me?’ A good question. We shared and another friend led us to Romans 8:28: ‘And wd know that in all things God eorks for the good  of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. ‘

We can put our minds at peace, as the Great Creator of all life holds us in the palm of His hands, guiding our steps, moulding our characters,  ministering to our spirits, growing us in strength, wisdom and courage. Astounded by God’s love, we fall and rise up throuvh life’s curveballs.  You are loved more than you know, by God, who will never let your foot slip!

Psalm 55: 22
Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you, He will never let the righteous fall.

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