Run Away

“Now that I could not go back I was not sure, after all, that I wished to go forward. It was a miserable sensation.”
-Anna Freeman

“Run away with me,” he said.
“What about…,” she cut herself short. Too many confusing thoughts were racing through her mind.
“Don’t put too much thought into it”, he said. “Just run away with me.” The implore in his voice was apparent.

                                      * * *
Nashipai had to get up early that dull Tuesday morning. It was cold outside. She had no choice. Actually no one had a choice.

According to the Maasai culture, the women and girls had to wake up at the crack of dawn (pardon the cliche) to milk the cows.

Mt. Kilimanjaro was clearly visible at this time. Narumoru village located on the outskirts of Oloitokitok was just a walking distance to the Tanzanian border with Kenya. It was really hard to appreciate the sheer majesty of the mountain with the nail biting cold sending shivers down your spine. You have to concentrate your frozen fingers not to miss the empukuri and spill the milk.

At around eight that morning Teiya, her father, was outside his manyatta. The sun was slowly coming out. He lightly leaned on his walking stick. He was an imposing figure. He keenly watched his sons, they were all out watching as the cattle were led from their enclosure. Culture dictated it. All the boys were expected to be out. They observed rather than merely watch. Through it they were taught to pick out any animal that might have fallen ill during the night. They had no choice. Or was their father really watching them? Could it be he was marvelling at the number of his cattle, hence his material wealth. No one knew for sure. There were talks of him being a tyrant but those were always hushed.

The boys after breakfast went out to graze the livestock. Nashipai and her sisters were left carrying out various chores around the homestead. They had to go fetch firewood later on in the day with her younger sister, Seiyan. She had mixed feelings about it.

It was not like she had any reason not to want to go to fetch firewood. Aside from the risks. They had to walk to the forest located at the border. At other times they were forced to go as far as across the border. Now, it was all fun and adventurous. They passed through migombani. The name originated from the many banana plantations in the area. It was also equally notorious for harboring a huge number of drinking dens. You would find men and women all seated together enjoying their brews. Scenes like those could never happen in their community. Those were Chagas from neighboring Tanzania. They had to be on high alert when they got to the forest. It was illegal, and the forestry guys were known to be ruthless. There was also that other reason.

Had they made too much noise? By the time they heard the sound of crackling wood it was too late. The forestry guys had snuck up on them and they had nowhere to go. Phew! Korir was among those doing the patrols. That other reason.

Korir was the forestry guy she had met some few weeks back. He was a nice man that one. He let them do their business so long as he got the opportunity to chat up Nashipai. He seemed to have taken an instant liking to her. He had on his signature red slippers. She was confused. At her age she was not sure of what she felt. There was some joy. Beyond that, she could not fathom what was happening to her. The hollow feeling in her stomach was like nothing she had experienced before other than when fear gripped her. But it was not fear she felt. Her skin was burning. It was like a fire had been lit inside her and was radiating the heat through her skin. Oh Lord, what is happening to me? Am I falling sick? Could it be that? No. No. She tried her best to tame her rogue thoughts.

Lately, he seemed to be getting serious. It was like he was courting her. He also had some crazy ideas. They talked for sometime. Seiyan watched from a distance. Then he blatantly said it and caught her completely off guard.

“Run away with me.”

That was thirty-two years ago.

                                          * * *
  “Mum…mum, see what dad bought me,” Claire is shouting. She is happily dancing around.

Nashipai watches as her last born daughter struggles to catch the wind with her new kite. She is seating outside their newly built house. She is in full view of their farm. It is the rainy season and the landscape is covered in a lush of green. They were going to have a bumper harvest. Korir is on the other end of the farm. He seems to be fixing something. Exactly what she does not put too much thought into it.

“Head over to your father,” Nashipai says. “Let him show you how to properly fly that thing.”

Watching her go, she cannot help but think to herself. Was I right to run away to my happily ever after?

This is the present.

Teiya Oloilole

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Crack of Hope

“Because what’s worse than knowing you want something, besides knowing you can never have it?”
-James Patterson

“Five raised to the power of two…,” the teacher said.

The clack of the chalk on the blackboard irritates Ng’enoh. He adjusts uncomfortably in his rickety chair.

**********
He stares blankly trying to pinpoint the crack on the wall that let in the sun. It is still dark outside. According to his watch it is 4 o’clock in the morning. He considers going back to sleep but the goat skin doesn’t hold a promise of any comfort. He decides against it. The night runners have not even finished their rounds. This thought assures him of some company out on the road. Why do they run? What are they running towards? Why does anyone run? Are they running from something? We all running away from our miseries in one way or another. Right?

Today, he has to catch the bus. He does not have a particular destination. Any will be just fine. Can I possibly get away? And go where? Any place that is not here? He rummages through his thoughts trying to see if among the rubble lay a solution to their current predicament. He has missed a button. He mutters a curse under his breath.

He is the first born in a family of six, three girls and three boys. The perfect symmetry. We don’t choose our families. What if we could? Blemishes. The snoring of his little brother brings him back to the present. He feels his way in the dark trying to find his only pair of shoes. Theirs was a dysfunctional family.

Bomet is unusually cold in July. Baby making weather they called it. The biting cold has numbed even his feet. His worn out shirt with a torn collar is still wet in some parts. The sweater he has on is only a formality it does not serve any purpose. He quickly walks through the dark almost breaking out in a sprint. Faint lights approaching from a distance gives him a glimmer of hope. He wants to stand right in the middle of the road. He starts to frantically wave the bus to stop.

“Dad I need money for my school fees.”
“Chukua hii majani chai, kwa saa ii sina pesa,” the old man says leaning down through the driver’s window. The black paper bag hangs in the air for a second. Hesitation. He considers walking away. The anger boiling inside him has completely paralysed him.

He stands on the side of the road confused. The red lights fading in the horizon cuts a piercing ache through his heart. He tastes blood on his tongue. He can feel the pounding of his heart. He considers tearing the paper and scattering the tea leaves to the wind. The thought of his mum stops him. She had sat distraught by the fireside as the tea boiled on the fire. They didn’t have something to eat. The sugarless tea on the fire would have to suffice to get them through the night. The future seemed nothing but bleak. The hopelessness written on her face was unmistakable. She had held back her tears. Rage.

**********
Why can’t they just find a way to fend for themselves? Do I have to do everything? He looks back through his side mirror at the fading figure of his firstborn son. He shifts to a higher gear and accelerates. That large tract of land that I left them with let them do some farming. He wants to reach out and feel the one thousand shilling note sitting pretty in his pocket. His second wife will surely prepare a delicious meal tonight. He smiles to himself.

**********
He hates Maths. There is nothing worse than trying to focus in the afternoon. The classroom is hot. He clenches his fist to try fight off the hunger. There is no rumbling. An empty stomach full of air. The minyoo in his stomach must surely also be on the verge of emaciation. They are probably frantically looking for a way out. Where do they go? There is no excrement. His lunch box is gathering dust at the back of his desk lost among his books.

He tries to focus on the lesson. He wants power. The power to change his past. To undo his present. Rewrite his future.

Teiya Oloilole

An Open Letter to the Damsels… (The Epistles #10)

“There is nothing like the truth, there is what you think, what the other person thinks and what the world remembers.”
-Unknown

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Dear Damsels,

Ssshhh…I have a secret to tell you (I hear you girls love secrets). It is from the deepest and darkest parts of my soul. Henna. Yes that one. Ever had something confuse you? You can’t really make up your mind. That is my predicament on henna done on nails. At the start, when newly done it is exceptional. Then time happens. The fading starts. Something about that process bugs me. Who is with me on this one? Anyone? Compare it to love (you could substitute it with interest. I hear some of you are non-believers. Whatever tickles your fancy). Sends chills down my spine just thinking about it. You?

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Atrocities. The world is full of them. Friends with benefits. Is that a frown? The scum in the society coined that word. Did I hear an Amen? Can I address it now? Is that a yes? Either way, according to the urban dictionary they define it as, ” Two friends who have a sexual relationship without being emotionally involved. Typically two good friends who have casual sex without a monogamous relationship or any kind of commitment.” Yeaaayy!!! No. Someone asking for me to be lynched?

From a guy’s point of view. It is an agreement made between two consenting adults devoid of feelings or attachments. I recently asked a friend of his opinion on the matter. This is what he told me, “Teiya think of Fwbs this way, I go borrowing salt from a neighbour, I am in no way obligated to serve them the food once it is ready.” (Hahahaa…that definition cracked my ribs. No. We are not laughing? You don’t find it funny? Someone has already volunteered a lighter. Pardon my manners).

Let us be done with this guy. Leave him be with his obnoxious mindset. Wait up. Please don’t go. Please. What kind of human would I be if I didn’t go seeking a girl’s opinion (hear it from the horse’s mouth). I posed to her the question. Why do girls give in to this fwb thing? (kindly, put some gusto into the next lines. That fire in your belly should be present. If it is your kind of thing, get on your feet and preach). A girl will like a guy. The guy will seem not to be interested in anything past friendship. So when the suggestion for fwbs comes along she grabs it. Why? Because the girl still has hope that in some strange way this will make the guy fall for her (there was a sparkle in her eyes. This baffled me).

Ladies, men are creatures apart (I hear in some quarters they are spat on and referred to as dogs). After extensive soul searching I found the reason why men love the concept. Imagine living in a rental house without having to pay the rent, the electricity and water bill(tough economic times. Even the government can’t finance its own budget). Is that a smile? No. A frown. Disgust even? My darlings we did not write the rules. We simply follow them. Is that fair enough?

In conclusion, apparently sex has to have a meaning to you. You just don’t do it for no apparent reason. Sorry ladies but the sentiment is not mutual. You cannot use sex to make a man fall for you. Sad state of affairs. Anyone still want to lynch me?

Regards,
Teiya Oloilole.

Teiya Oloilole

3 Life Lessons I Learned from a 3 year-old.

“The great mystery of the world is not where we come from but where we are going.”
-Unknown.

Nakuru. If you are already thinking about a party (I see you. Yes you. Seriously, how many times must this statement be repeated, ‘don’t drink and drive!’). Unfortunately, I was not there for a party. Official business (makes me feel old). I met this amazing lady, Rachel, she even promised to join the blogosphere soon (be sure I will inform you of it. The more, the merrier. Right? Besides, diversity would solve a lot of world problems *wink*).

Gilgil. One word I think would come in handy when describing the place is ‘The Army.’ They literally fill the town (there is even a whole area named ‘Sierra Leone’ after some war the army fought there). I met this little princess, Lucy (funny how all kids are royalty). On first encounter you would be pardoned for thinking she is a quiet being. I hear ladies do about 7,000 words a day, she easily does that in just one night. She is the perfect example of a chatterbox that you don’t want to smother to silence.

Who knew a three year-old could teach on life? Who even knows about half of the things that happen in this life? She taught me three life lessons :

1. It is never that serious.
One minute she will be happy and grinning. The next minute she is crying and wailing with tears rolling down her cheeks. You will make her cry and in between the tears she will still give you a grin. Think of life in that way. There are happy moments. Then there are the sad times. Both don’t last forever.

2. If life gives you a lemon…  
She scours the whole house for anything she can use to play with. When she comes across something she can use, you never hear her complain that it is not suited for what she intended to use it for. She makes it work. In life strive to make whatever is handed to you work. Make lemonade (but I find that ending to be somewhat socialist. How about if given a lemon, plant the seeds and start a plantation, and sell the lemons for a profit. Capitalist mindset).

3. Life is messed up, but in the end it’s still worth it.
She laughs. She cries. She walks. She crawls. She jumps on tables. She speaks in gibberish. At the end of the day thinking back if given another chance I would not have it any other way. Life can be a bitch (sorry for the explicit word). Today, it is smiling on you. Tomorrow, it gives you a cold shoulder. You wake up each day uncertain of what life has in store for you. In the end, if given a second chance, a big chunk of your life you would not do it any different. 

The best part. She will be all over the place like she is possessed. Five minutes on her mother’s lap she is out cold. Sleeping beauty. Reminded me of knockouts. This week the world lost one of the greatest to ever live. #R.I.P Ali.

Teiya Oloilole

An Open Letter to All Parents… (The Epistles #9)

It takes a village to raise a child.
-African proverb.

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Dear Parents,

You know those things that you just can’t let go of? They keep nagging away at your conscience. Why an open letter? Because, some may not like what I have to say (plus, I want people to rant *evil grin*). The reason for the letter? A discussion (some will call it an argument. It is all about perspective) with my mom. You heard right. At the end, I realized that someone had to serve it to the parents really cold.

I see the guns already drawn. If I am going to get shot could I at least get a second to plead my case? Landmines. You have heard of them. Right? Explosives ready to go off. A bad situation just waiting to turn worse. We are sitting ducks. That is why I seem to have taken issue with parents. Just to clear the air. This is not a personal attack on any particular parent. Actually, my issue is with parenting (kindly get your dictionary. Heck! A man about to be killed cannot possibly be expected to do all the work). Who are you? What authority do you have to address us parents? Who gave you the right? You think I don’t know that you will question my credibility. I am speaking from the position of being someone’s child and on top of that from my post To New Beginnings you can clearly fathom that I am a new uncle. Let us call it a situation of the wearer of the shoe knows where it pinches most.

Allow me to jump right into it. The sex talk. I told you I was going to be blunt. It is almost non-existent, either it is not being done at all or it is being done wrongly. Why is this? It seems that no one really wants to take it upon themselves to do it. We have all witnessed the blame games. The parents at home claim that it is the work of the teachers to teach the kids on these things. The teachers in turn are like why can’t the church do it? The church quickly hides behind religious ideologies that limit their scope on the issue. Back and forth the blame is thrown. Funny thing all these groups of people in one way or the other are parents. 

What should be done? Who will save the situation? I also have questions. Something surely needs to change. Gamblers. I think little by little without their knowledge parents have been sucked into this gambling menace. Why? How? You ask. Conduct a survey. Get people to answer a questionnaire. I am willing to bet that the findings will show that most parents are gambling with their kids’ lives when it comes to this issue. They send them out to the world (having taught them zilch) praying and hoping that the kid learns whatever it is on their own and betting that they don’t fall into any pitfalls. Gambling on another level I tell you. At the end of the day if the kid survives the parents are stoked like they just won the lottery.

I am not a parent. How am I to blame? The self-righteous trying to absolve themselves. The times have changed. Things are not how they used to be before. The really clever ones have already seen the twist I want to bring and they are already mounting a defence. I get it. Today, it’s not like before when kids were literally raised by the whole community. You were caught by a senior on the wrong and they administered punishment there and then with paternity and maternity being a non-issue. Don’t get comfortable. Just because things are different I don’t think parenting stopped being a societal responsibility. Adopt to the change and get back to carrying out your duty.

To my second issue. Recently, parents were up in arms. A news report apparently painted the picture that they were to blame for the rising numbers of abortions. How are we to blame? They are beyond themselves in disbelief. First of all, parents nobody said the blame falls squarely on you but a big chunk of it does. How? Why? Your personal views on early pregnancies to start with. The society’s views. Have you felt the stigma out there? Now, for a second put yourself in their shoes (pardon me I know am asking too much of you). Do you feel like you have much of a choice? In some unseen way I feel that you force their hands into taking action (‘it is outright murder!’ Mom said. ‘That is debatable,’ was all I could come up with. A debate for another day for sure).

Are you in anyway trying to justify immorality? Remember the gun wielders? They really want to be done with me. I am not justifying anything. I accept that sometimes we can be stupid. We engage in acts (that some were left to discover on their own) that for the most part land us in a mess. Hold up. So I find myself in the mess. Maji yamemwagika na hayazoleki. If I had an assurance of redemption (currently, there is not even a glimmer) don’t you think things would be different? No one is perfect. Most of us have come this far due to second chances that were afforded to us.

Enigma. Growing up there is this statement that was peddled around, ‘This is not the right time.’ Lately it seems it is never the right time. To get into a relationship. To start a family. To get into marriage. To chase after your dreams. To start living the life you want. When is the right time? Anyone with the answer kindly tell us.

In conclusion, I will echo my earlier point that parenting is a societal responsibility. Anyone still want to pull that trigger? Cheers.

Regards,
Teiya Oloilole.

Teiya Oloilole

The Mystery Hidden behind the Black Covering

***This post is fourth in a series. Kindly, work your way backwards (by clicking on the link) to get the who gist of the Rayya Series.

“Being confused is how you know there is something there”
-Unknown.

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‘Boss nunua credit na vitabu…’

The voice calling out for a plea to buy disrupts my thoughts. I hesitate. The feeling of the sun on my face is too sweet, and besides I am in no mood to buy anything. I slowly turn to look at the hawker. He is holding his merchandise in both hands. On seeing that he has caught my attention he continues.

‘Nina mpaka Jicho Pevu ya jana.’

He says this proudly, a sly grin plastered on his face. He stretches the hand that has the DVDs through the open matatu door. He inches forward. Expectation now written on his face.

Damn these guys are good. A show that just aired yesterday and they are already peddling it on the streets less than 24 hours later. Talk of grabbing the bull by the horns. Truly, opportunities only come once. I shake my head slightly to show my disinterest. As he turns and walks away, I cannot help but slightly smile in admiration to (We all have to get by one way or another). The hustle is real in the streets of Nairobi.

**********
Which is the right side of the bed to wake up on? Anyone? For me the answer to that question was not important. My day was on the right track even before I got out of bed. Why? An early morning text.

Michael I will be seeing you later in the day. Love.

Forget the almost commanding tone. I didn’t even need to check the sender. When she calls me love, how my lucky stars are aligned is the least of my worries. I was beyond stoked (let me not even bore with cliches).  

**********
‘At some point we will have to make sacrifices,’ she said trying hard not to smile.

Confusion. The brown complexion of her well rounded face had already hit me. Then there was the mystery of what lay hidden underneath the black hijab with white floral patterns. This only served to make things worse. Her smile revealed a perfect set of white teeth. I can’t help but stare. The sheer beauty of her smile can stop heartbeats (forget the skipped ones). Her lower lip is a light shade of red. She does this thing where she bites her lower lip for the tiniest of moments as she talks and laughs (the most sinister of thoughts crosses my mind). I try to look away.

I have been observing her for a while now. The stripes on her buibui have me following them with my eyes. They flow all the way down to her feet. What could be worse than to give an explorer a treasure map? Could they possibly resist the temptation? There is a certain grace with which she grabs her buibui with as she walks to prevent it from touching the ground. Makes me want to shout from rooftops.

‘Rayya, you are more than a dream come true for me,’ I play with the words in my head, trying to make out how they would sound when said out loud. I will hold her in my arms and look straight into her eyes as I lightly utter the words. Foolish man. The rational part of me comes to my rescue. What do you stand to lose? You will never know until you have done it. The turmoil has me even more confused (truly there is good and evil in all of us).

I clench my fist to stop myself. Deep within I go all the way back to the beginning of time. To Adam and Eve. They must have had some real resolve. For those few hours or days they went past the tree with the forbidden fruit without touching it. To also think that it stood right there at the middle of the garden. Too bad the devil happened. Maybe today I would not be in this predicament if they had stood their ground. We all have been told of the sweetness of the forbidden fruit (had someone else told them of this before the serpent? Surely, even cities under siege don’t fall in a single day).

Fleeting thoughts. One moment, I am fine in this messed up (for lack of a better term) situation we have found ourselves in. Some unknown person(s) seated somewhere saw it fit to decide on my behalf on matters of the heart. Who did they consult? I do not remember being asked for my input. Or did hearts go rogue a long time ago? Did they see a need to tame them before the world was filled with true love? Or what was their logic?

The next moment, I want to experience passion like in the movies. Word is that it is the ultimate expression of love. Or is it now? Does it really happen in real life? I heard coordination can be a challenge. Life is an unscripted film after all.

So what if the world will not approve of the two of you? I suddenly don’t know which part of me is talking. I feel like I am ready for any consequence. What if they treat you like an outcast? A lost soul? The rational part in me mounting a defence. I will be ready for whatever. Even if they banish me to wander the world without ever belonging. People lose themselves just to find themselves.

**********
‘I have to go now.’

The words echo in my mind. I always want her to stay just a while longer. Standing there it had been painful to watch her leave.

I adjust my earphones. I close my eyes and try to fight this awful feeling that it was the last time I was seeing you. It was like some forces of nature were conspiring to ensure we do not end up together. Is this a conspiracy? Or is it a sign of impending doom?

Where am I headed to? What is my destination? I am not sure anymore. A light tap on my window wakes me up from my reverie. Another hawker. Damn, why can’t they just leave me in peace? Among other things he is selling torches. Could it be that all is not lost? That torch will surely come in handy during the dark times.

The illicit bond is growing stronger.

Teiya Oloilole

To New Beginnings… (The Epistles #8)

” And they say that it is difficult to know when a writer falls in love, why, maybe it’s because we always express something to our readers.”
-Salma K. Abdulatif

Dear Nemama,

One millisecond…One second…One minute…One hour…One day. Let me start with congratulations for making it to the world. The journey has been long and there are some who were not fortunate enough to make it. How do you like in this new world? Is it what you expected? Is there anything that has fallen short of your expectations? Apologies in advance are due. For what? If your first breaths in this world you found them stale. There are these heartless humans going around destroying the environment for everyone. Hearts of stone those ones. They have no love like the one you are currently getting. You will just have to bear with us.

Telling stories is my passion. I will get right into it with introductions. In the beginning you had no first name. Actually, none of us is born with a name. Yours was a somewhat funny scenario. Your dad all he cared about beside the joy of you was that you were going to get his name and his mother’s name (one day I’ll tell you of boys and their mothers). Where was my mum? You ask. Well, she was beyond herself. She had you and nothing else mattered (I also hear there is no greater joy than that of a new mother). If you were nameless that was the least of her worries. One day it will make sense.

Luckily, all was not lost. Your aunt and I came to the rescue. We worked our magic. We ensured you got a first name that suits you. Are names that important? Depends. Some of us our names are everything. Our works are pegged to our names. Did you notice the plurals? Your aunt and I come as a package. Simply put the two of us together make one (they call us twins).

Your grandpa is one of the coolest people you will ever come across (the rest of the picture you will form for yourself when you meet). Grandma on the other hand is everything mothers are supposed to be and more. I feel that even the word love falls short when describing her. You are named after her. To put it literally in more ways than one it will be her legacy that you will be carrying on with.

It is a new age this one you have been born into. Heck! You are a new born. What is new? I don’t really know or probably it is just that someone said so. There must be something new, right? You still insist. The other day I noticed something peculiar in the house. A digital thermometer. Apparently to monitor your temperature. Back in the day the back of our mothers hands were enough. They did not need figures to know whether our body temperatures were okay.

It is also a digital age. What is that you ask? The age of the internet. Almost everyone is online these days. This piece right here is going online after it is done. Why? Word on the street is that the internet never forgets. Then there is Google. Some say the world runs on fuel, I say it runs on Google. Everything is on Google these days. I mean everything. Today, you could raise yourself using it. There is also social media. Another realm altogether. Forget how right now everyone wants to hold you in their arms. That kind of thing does not cut it when you consider social media. On Facebook and Twitter and, the likes it is all about likes and followers. Some have called it the devil’s handiwork. To others it is the next best thing after the invention of the wheel (One man’s meat, another man’s poison).

Allow me to iron out some issues. One day you will have questions. Some will have ready answers. Others. Where did I come from? You will ask. Watch out for the irony. It will be all about imagery. The nice ones will tell you kids are bought from a supermarket. This big shop with kids lining the shelves all crying their hearts out to get noticed. The mean ones will tell you of pet shops. Little kids in glass cages all distraught waiting for their day. It is not like we want to lie to you. We just cannot fathom how your young minds will take truth. Allow me to elaborate. Growing up you will notice your mother use a knife in the kitchen. You will know it only as cutlery used in the preparation of meals. Now imagine the horror when you learn that the same knife can also be used as a murder weapon. Some necessary evils I tell.

Stories. There will be those of foxes and hyenas, and ogres. They devour whole communities. Tear people from limb to limb. Make broth out of others. You will marvel at this stories. Then you will grow up and learn that they were presentations of real people. Heartless souls. We are in dire need of saviours. The ones we have right now are just wolves in sheep’s clothing. They only want to get their turn to eat. Right now, we will even do with a hero.

In conclusion, I will tell you of your late aunt. A dime piece she would have grown up to be. She had one dimple on her left cheek. The two of you would have been great friends. Pardon the presumption.

May you grow up and actually and truly live.

Regards,
Teiya Oloilole.   

Teiya Oloilole

RENS Book Club (Sharing the love #2)

On the second round of sharing the love at Rens’ book club, Kelvin and I will do a personal dance for each member. This is to illustrate that the club is more than just books. Each one of them is special in their own way.

The Cake Of Friendship

Preheat the oven of love
With plenty of secrets and hugs

Mix in giggles and laughs
That make your sides split in half

Bake with the love and care
And all the things you both should share

Decorate with the frosting of trust
This is really a must

Enjoy the cake do not eat it fast
Just like your new friendship make it last.

~Michelle Flores~

 

WACERA KIEHA.

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She is a student at Nairobi University, a fashion blogger and the “feminist” (though she is undecided on the whole issue) in the group. We call her Cera. We appreciate her for the audacity to dream the book club. Her warm nature makes her a perfect target to be roasted, which we enjoy but you can never win. She is that good. Her fashion blog page is: –Cera Kieha

CHRISTINE NYAMBURA

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We call her Tina. She is an unpublished African contemporary writer. She carries the title of the roaster. (Not coffee though). She has several drafts of her creativeness in her house awaiting consumption and others have not been put on paper. (We shall wait for the first publish Tina). She is an accountant by profession.

MWAURA JO SEPH.

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Notice how Joseph is written. We call him Mwaura. He is one man who has been able to professionalize his writing skills. He is a brilliant mind, and he happens to have been Cera’s peer teacher when she was in high school. “Chop a knuckle mwaura”. You can find Mwaura’s works here: Mwaura Mswati

 

WANJIKU WA KANJA.

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Yes, a unique name like that. This lady is bright reloaded. They say, sarcastic people have a higher IQ, yes its true with Kanja. She warmed into our hearts swiftly and we called her the club’s “Cartoon”. Kanja asks the hard questions when we are debating. A proof that “why not” is important in an education system where the teacher’s locution has always been the law.

DAVID KENE

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This man is the groups quota master. The moderator, the disciplinary master, the critic and the man with a second opinion. His importance cannot be understated. He coordinates reviews, critics writers work in the club to become better and brings us in line when we get lost. As a man with a second opinion he did the noble task of teaching us the fine art of book reviews when we were still learning how to walk. Proof of why “second opinion” is so important.

LAURA WAMBI

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We call her Wamby. She is a blogger who doesn’t stammer. Her mantra is “it needs to be said? Well let’s say it” Sugar coating is for the birds for her. She comes across as a deep thinker. Here is how she describes herself “Treat me like a joke and I will leave you like it’s funny”. Her blog is Lauramauteur

TEIYA OLOILOLE.

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You can call him pink lips. (His words). Ladies in the club love the name Teiya for some reason. He keeps repeating to them that he is a man not a girl, well, let’s blame the name. Teiya is a writer, and a brilliant mind. He may call himself a budding writer but we dispute, He is that good. He is also the brains behind coming up with this post.  His writers room is here-: Teiya Oloilole

MILLICENT WAITHIRA.

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A.K.A Miss Mathira. This lady has culturalism in her system. A staunch advocator of traditions and a voice to what ails her community in Mathira. Community service is what she lives for. Ever wondered how independence war was won? Millicent is the lady to ask. She knows more about Kenyan history than some of our political leaders.

VINNY OTIENO.

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We call him Thuol. A name that he very much treasures. He is a spoken word master and a student at University of Nairobi. His talent in spoken word cannot be exaggerated. The club is really blessed to have him. Once in a while we get performances, for free of course because that is how we grind. His blog is here: Thuol

 

SALMA ABDULATIFF YUSUF.

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We call her Salu, Salma, Master Chef or Mrs Karanja. She has several names just like her many titles. She is a student at Moi university and the editor in chief of the university’s magazine. Salma is a poet on the theme of love. She writes love on the purest form there can be: Her poem lounge is Salma Abdulatif Yusuf

She is also a writer and her corner is Salummy

She is not married. Mrs Karanja title is witticism on a beautiful level. We suspect she has other titles, one of them being a great cook. But until we taste her food, lets simply call her Master. Chef can take a chill pill.

 

KELVIN KARANJA.

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If you ask him to describe himself he will tell you he is a coffee enthusiast but personally I like to refer to him as ‘a coffee addict.’ He lights up when you mention coffee (that is how bad it is). He compares coffee to a girl that can never say no to a boy. He is a poet when the coffee gets to his head. You cannot come up with a sentence with his name and leave out coffee.

His poem lounge isKelvin Karanja

And his coffee conversation goes on here: Nairobi Caffeine

MIKE

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He is the newest kid on the block. Mike welcome to the club. We are getting to know him. We have discovered that he is also a writer. His writing style is awesome. To attest, check out his work here:Thesputnik

CLEMENT ONGERA.

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Clement is a farmer, a reader, a web developer and generally an IT person. He is rather suspiciously missing in action. He is what we can call “a silent consumer”. When passionate enough, he participates in book reviews. Clement is the biggest fan of e-books.

ERIC MBUGUA.

“In a world where everyone is exposed, the coolest thing you can do is maintain your mystery”.  Said anonymous.

Yes. That’s how little we know about Eric. He reviews though. As the man without a face, he is a true asset.

**********************************************************************

RENS book club, our parting shot will be in form of a quote-:

“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It then bursts into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.”
– Albert Schweitzer

For us, the purpose of this post can only be described as follows-:

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”
– Anais Nin

Cheers to RENS Book Club.

RENS Book Club (Sharing the Love)

 

‘Reading gives us somewhere to go when we have to stay where we are’

-Mason Cooley

What is love? What is friendship? How do you express love? Do you believe that…

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Yes love has a face. Kelvin and I decided to share our love for the RENS book club. A club that has shown us the face of love. The book club was formed three and a half months ago when the lovely Cera Kieha came up with the idea of bringing together book lovers (who we shall profile later in another post). The objectives of the book club are :

  1. R – Reading
  2. E – Exchanging books
  3. N – Networking
  4. S – Sharing Experiences.

Recently, we came together for a picnic as an opportunity for members to meet for what the club calls ‘Books, Nature, and Wine Picnic.’ We will tell the story of the day through the pictures below :

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Every picnic starts with shopping for books. … well, window shopping comes close.

 

 

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Arriving; there were some two guys at the back who didn’t know how to picnic.  (David and Soi)

 

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Christine got a special greeting from Vinny. (Now that’s how you greet a lady).

 

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When you are out in nature you do what you have to survive (traditional wine opening).

 

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And the wine was finally opened. Kev busy dictating who gets to go first.

 

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A tongue selfie moment.

 

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Kev had some explaining to do.

 

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Vinny did his best to drive his point home.

 

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Christine was more than fascinated with what Kev was saying.

 

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‘I fell in love with you in advance,’ Vinny said. Milly burst out laughing.

 

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I finally sat down to gobble down a drink (I am in the black T-shirt).

 

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A selfie moment.

 

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The debate got so heated. No one was willing to take it seated down.

 

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As it is said even a perfect day can end in rain.

 

The day was perfectly spent, we had fun (at some point we had to establish whether some members were under the influence *wink* #Wine). The heated debates on various topics and the company of each other was awesome. Not every member of the club managed to avail themselves, however, we shall salute them individually on the next post.

What is love? You are still wondering. For us, as RENS members that is our own definition of love and the face we give it.

 

 

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