Bad Neighborhood Between The Ears


We are born, and the first thing we do is cry. There are many explanations as to why babies cry but for the sake of this piece, I think its like a premonition of the life ahead. The growing up bit. It is the uncertainty of what lays ahead. Many may think bad experiences are the worst thing as you grow up but I think not. It is the MIND. The more you grow; you allow so many things into the mind. Others are just shoved and while the remainder is just the ability of the mind to recognize and harbor stuff. To quote Chester Bennington in one of his interviews, “this place in between my ears, is a bad neighborhood. I can’t be here by myself.” He continues and says that, “when am in it, I just wanna get out.”

This is very familiar to many of us, to me. It does not have to be suicidal but there are so many thoughts that I elevate. The saddest part is that for everything I have kept on thinking for a long time, I cannot stop thinking about it right now. When you are out, meeting people, working or at school, everything is so fine. It is like things stop and you are in the moment. I remember reading the Saturday Monthly pull out, Superstrikers, and when Makena was in the Zone, he was a magician in the pitch. The same zone is highlighted by Ronaldinho in his players Tribune article, a Letter to my younger self. In the zone, you feel liberation, power, support and ability to do much more than you can imagine. In the zone, you are so happy and successful. The zone exists in life too. When you are in it, the bad neighborhood between your ears does not exist. You are just you doing your thing.

However, the zone is not eternal. For some, its ends because it has lived its time. For others, something or someone triggers you into reality. When my zone outlives its course, I think I am usually prepared for the next course. It might hit me hard but I always manage with mostly withdrawing from public, lots of worship music and literary talking to God throughout the day. In a PSV, at work, along the streets, just everywhere. I don’t stop. I don’t lament at all but I keep on reminding him how great he is and how grateful I am for everything he has done for me. I also keep on submitting. I don’t fight. I let him take the wheel. There are instances though when the zone has been cut short by someone or a situation. These are the moments I just can’t stop crying. If it’s an event, I most likely will avoid it or the rest of my life ( that’s why I stopped watching Single Ladies. I got news of losing some people very close to me when I was watching season 1 & 2 respectively). If it is somebody, I would rather have us talk about it which will include lots of tears. If not, in a few minutes, I will have cut contacts forever and if we ever talked again, things WILL never be the same again (I lost a friend because I knew she was pregnant without her telling me  and treated her special. She got so mad. I still laugh over this). I sometimes look back at the various situations and I cant say the number of times I have asked God t give me a deeper understanding of such. I still do and pray that one day, I will get it.

Times out of the zone come with so many things that if not careful, you might push a little too hard that it will hurt. There is mood swings, loss/increase of appetite, shopping sprees, extended hours of sleep and total withdrawal from public. That is fine. I think mother monster is Insomnia. That thing is the biggest, saddest BITCH ever. You close your eyes but the mind is working overtime. You think everything you don’t want to. Somehow, the mind will only stop when you start thinking of the way out. It kind of calms down. It is usually the shortest way out that works magic. Always, I have NEVER let me think about death. The experience at different morgues has taught me that death is not pretty. My own life experience with death has taught me that it is never a choice out. I have learned to think about sports bikes and houses by the beach. The thought of traversing Africa on an off-road bike for months then coming home to a house with gigantic windows by the beach. It is  a dream that keeps me sane and alive. It awakens the the desire in me to go out and be a better version of myself.

I know this may sound petty to some people but listening is very good. Whenever you meet someone, listen more, and then do it a bit more. Ask questions why they make some statements, show interest and they will be receptive to open up. We (am not exempted) make judgments about people yet if we listened a bit more, we would have treated them differently. We would have understood them, we would have helped them. I tell my friends that I live for good hugs and cuddles. I know for a fact that if someone trusts you in their space, they don’t have to be good at hugging or best at cuddling, it just comes naturally. You can feel their soul into it.

This is to everyone out there with the bad neighborhood, find something that will always give you a reason to submit and look forward to tomorrow. I found God and the bikes.



Madam Stoolie

I’m sick and tired of hearing all about my life
From other bitches with all of your lies
Wrapped up so tight, so maybe you should shut your mouth, shut your mouth
Shut your fucking mouth

-Kesha Rose Sebert

One sunny morning, I cannot really  remember if it was sunny but I want to assume it was sunny. I am certain though it is the day I met you and knew that you were special. I knew we had unsaid connection that would grow into a bond that would last forever. Though we had bumped into each other over few years, that day was different. You easily opened up about you. I had never had such intense conversation with you and that definitely got me hooked. You are not only a good listener but also very candid with your pieces of advise. I liked that.

I hold back a lot and would take ages for me to open up but things were different with you. It took a very short period of time for me to trust with you with a lot. It was vice versa so there was no cause of alarm. Everyday I promised myself that I would speak less of me but you gave me every reason to want to tell you more just as you did. I fell in love with what we had,  I believed you more and more. I became comfortable and careless with what I thought only belonged to the selected few. I thought that was the best thing that had happened to me in the recent past. I made my biggest mistake yet, I trusted you .

One day, I stay up late at the office . I am going through whatsapp and your friend who has only a “hi “ kind of relationship with me asks me a very private question. I am taken aback. I know only three people know about it. Me, you and God. I stop, my world stops, it spins. I sit down and for almost an hour, I am repeatedly saying “OMG”. The security guard is concerned and when he cant take in anymore, he asks what the matter is. I come back to reality and realize that I am actually crying. I feel the pain in my chest. I am suddenly craving sugar and I feel like talking to no one. The two years I have known you seem eternity and right now am not sure I know you any more. On my way home, I reread the message over and over again. I am tempted to call you but something, that I appreciate now stops me.

Two days later, I have been able to recollect myself and get more details of the much you have shared. I simply cannot get myself to even look at you. I hear your voice and suddenly I am suffocating. You are in my space so I cannot avoid you. You make me pain in a way I thought I could not over betrayed loyalty. You killed part of me. The trust being.  I reminiscence all that we have shared and just how much the your secretes meant to me. How I always avoided talking about you with my friends lest I end up saying something I should not. I loved you like a big sister I don’t have. I trusted you like I trust my optician and gynae ( They are like my foster parents 😉 😉). But here, I was so broken that at times, the bile in mouth was so real. I was so hurt that to date, I cannot bring myself to ask you why you did it. And that is almost a year later.Maybe you had your reasons. But looking back, I should have seen the signs. All the tale-a-tell signs were there. When you said somethings about some of your friends that I thought were too deep to share. I should have known. I ought to have known that it is who you are. With a straight face and deep gaze as you told on your friends, you would tell on me.

I have had some of my very important friendships betrayed and I think yours is among those top of my list. Maybe I thought age comes with a bit of sworn allegiance, but I was very wrong. I thought it comes with defending sisterhood. I thought friendships at some age means defending what you share and keeping promises. I thought friendship comes with responsibility.

One day, when I can no longer feel the pain when I see you. When I stop seeing malice written all over your face, when I stop hating the biggest betrayer in you. That day when I stop smelling sinister motive like your body spray, when I see more to the fake smile, when I read in between the lines and lines of lies you share. That day when I finally know that you know what responsibility friendship carries, I will then tell you how much you meant to me love. I will tell you what pain you caused what I thought was sisterhood. I will tell you to tell your kids that it is best to respect friendships.

Until then, I see you, I feel pain. I see you and feel disgusted. I see you and wish you would have sieved what to share. I regret knowing you because the cost that came with our friendship was and is still too much to bear.



I Cannot Be Your Lover

Friends are supposed to be just friends. Not friend with or friends for. No. Friendship should just be pure and with no expectations like a give and take situation. However, there comes a time when you have this friend you feel like you cannot be *just* friends anymore. It can be frustrating especially for a girl. Men will say it but rarely will we. I wrote the tit-bits below with an intention of sending to my friend. I never did, but I know he suspects it might have been something bad that either of us did that costed our friendship. If you read this, and you think you know it is you, I am sorry.

Few years back when we met as acquaintances, I hardly knew we would fast be friends. You were so reserved to the extent that I knew we would never be friends. Though I knew I would see you more often because of the situations that made us meet, I knew you were one of the friends who liked it very formal. I respected that. As much as you made me tone down being hyper just to match your energy, at least talked less when you were around because you hardly ever maintained a long chat which was very formal. As time went by, we grew to talk more. You were so sweet and considerate. Held my hand through a bit of my growing up. You made me comfortable and showed me the other good side of life I had not experienced. Where people talk in low voices and don’t have to maintain eye contact. Cannot lie you brought the best in me, you made me alive in a sober way.

With time, we finally became what people would call friends. You did not hide much, opened a bit by bit. You prodded but never pushed for me to speak. With time, I realized just how much I always looked forward to the talks. You were and still are a very nice person. It scared the hell out of me. You were a healing shell and I admired your baby steps and the resilience to overcome. You were a considerate dreamer. I really liked you for that. The more we talked, the more I realized what a good human being you are. I looked forward to the moments. I looked forward to the talks. I looked forward to your eyes. I searched your face every day to see your eyes, which I think I managed twice or three times.

I admired how bold you were when tackling life. You were not afraid to crawl amidst the dash or stop when need arose. For you, it only mattered that you went forward. I was used to some friends who had bits of what you stood for but for the first time, you were like four of them in one.

But you tripped; you fell in love and said it …….

I was not a young girl not to know what was coming. I suspected but I think I took for granted. I thought it would not come so soon. But then it came. My world stopped for a bit. I played with our feelings and it was so painful to see us get hurt. I will never forget the first time you maintained the gaze. It broke my heart into a million pieces. I will NEVER forget that. The rage, hate and brokenness. I will never forget what you said to me.
“Doris, we cannot be friends, I want you more than that. You won’t convince me otherwise”

That evening I went to bed but could not sleep, sat at the balcony until 3:00am crying. I don’t know why I cried but I knew you were not the man I wanted I wanted in my life. I never wanted a man who always told me yes. I did not want a man who controlled me (yes you did even without words). I never wanted to see you as my partner because you made me so vulnerable. You challenged me and I am so glad for that. But every day I saw you, I always wanted you to accept me as a good girl. I did not want you to know my weaknesses but always ended up sharing almost everything.

I ask myself if I led you on, to some extent, I did. I always fell in your embraces like my life depended on it. The kiss I stole in the dark was because I did not want you to see my eyes sparkle. Dragging each other to church was the most beautiful thing in our friendship. There are sermons I just stared at you praying and hoped that you prayed for me too. But still, my heart would not love you as lovers are to. I am so grateful for everything.

However, I am so sorry. I know we can never be friends again. You put that so clear. I miss you. But nothing has changed. To date, I still cannot let my heart accept you as a lover. I am so sorry for leading you on. I am sorry for making you sad. I am not sorry for the happiness you brought me. I am not sorry about the kiss, I liked it. I am not sorry for the times we were there for each other. I will never be sorry that I met you. In fact, I really thank God I did. I really wish we were still friends as much as I know that will never be.

Good Is Not Enough

“Well done Doris!”

“Good work young lady “

“Cool stuff!”

The above responses is what I will most of the time get when I have an accomplished a task, come up with a new idea or assisted someone to accomplish a task. The remarks are not bad, they are okay. They make me realize that my work has been appreciated. That makes me happy.

However, each time I go to bed, I review my day and ask myself if okay is okay. If being good is enough. If the good is only that; good yet I could have done better. What is that one thing that will stand out?

I like Simon Cowell of America Got Talent because of his continuous remarks to excellent individuals during auditions. He will always say, “there are very good singers everywhere but it’s only a performance that will make people remember you.” I like him for being brutally honest on that. What extra do you have on the good? What will you be remembered for? Let people stand on their feet to concur that it was excellent. Let your performance make people live the moment.

The extra doesn’t not come easy though. It needs so much effort that at times you may feel that you are being too hard on yourself. It may require sleepless nights, super early mornings, foregoes and sacrifices. Extra will require being nice and a *bitch* when the situation calls for it . Extra calls for taking the lead and not waiting for things to happen. Extra means work, a lot of the darn hard and smart work.

There are instances I have looked at my life and felt very miserable. I would want to have it easy. I would want not to “strain”. I pray for 100% accomplishment without draining to a point of closing my eyes even on the toilet set. But then I realize that am not that person.

I once lost a friend for giving up my seat for her. True story! I knew she needed the seat and if you live in Nairobi you might know how chaotic it can be during rush hours. So I struggle to secure her a seat close to the front and I gladly take the back seat. This simple one, which I would do again for any of my friends so in touch with their feminine side, cost me a friendship. I am glad it did. Through that, I realized that not everyone deserves to be treated nice even when you want to be that extra nice friends. When looking for extra, some of the sacrifices you have to make is letting go of those who don’t share your vision. It is okay. Let them go.

There are boundaries when searching for extra that, at times, those who are already good at it may take advantage of you. They will identify how desperately you need the extra and will use it to manipulate you so that they achieve their own. Be on the alert; learn to create e the boundaries. In my case, it mostly comes so late. I only realize this especially when my work has been plagiarized. There are instances when someone has sent me a report shared during a forum, praising the presenter, only for me to realize that it’s my work, word for word. It feels good to know that it was excellent but hurts that no one will ever know the work you put into it to achieve it . In such a situation, be creative and protect your extra the best way you know how ( you might need to consult a technical guy on this) . This will help you always have your work as your work because extra isn’t easy so no easy for someone else lusting it .

Let’s have an extra full August.


Friendship Part 5: @Joanzoya


I met her roughly 11 years 9 months ago . A classmate for four years . We were not friends as what I think high school friendship meant . We were basically classmates for three years . During the final year we somehow started talking more , mainly because of novels and the common subjects we took . Initially she struck me as a very fragile introvert who barely spoke . I used to imagine as little (miniature should be the right word maybe)as I was, she probably was the only other person I thought I would bully .

She was and still is fragile looking ( how looks deceive!) . There is one thing that stood out for her though , being calm/collective . Many guys in my class ; apart from the normal SUPER QUIET gang ( Scholastica and the friends 😉 ) , we were loud, very loud . It was a class full of ladies with strong personalities that then I thought was pride and maybe a show off and a dash of arrogance ( how I now value being in part of K stream and all the energy that came with it) . I used to wish that I could be that collected and I still wish I can because restlessness is kinda my 5th name . Maybe she is one of the friends I can write a book on .  And of course she is a great cook ( You are one of the few guys served me fillet and wished I had a bigger stomach)

Joan Mero ( actually that tittle is her twitter and IG handle ), here are the few things I have learned from you

Pic Courtesy : Kabatini


  1. I can actually shut up – Lol ! yes I am a chatterbox and loud, really loud. Yes you talk but only when asked to . I used to talk a lot and sometimes barely remember what I said ( this is still a lot of work in progress). This I learned by watching you in high school.
  2. To value friendship – For this you win. Of all my friends , I have never seen someone with such a big circle of friends but makes each one feel special . Dear, that is one gigantic heart you have .
  3. Work hard and smart – I am very proud of you . I get encouraged every time I see you grow out of sheer sweat ( though I need to know if you still sometimes cant hold laughter in interview rooms) . What makes me more proud is the hand holding you do even to strangers whether in your industry or not .That hand holding part is another work in progress but glad it gets easier every day
  4. My dreams for a flat stomach are valid . Yes they are . I try , fail , try , fail then I imagine you running and hiking and I wake up and try again
  5. This is not a lesson but a wish . In my next life , I wanna have your taste on music . Here is a confession from your TL stalker who basically tries to learn new chords every day however super very extremely I dont know what else, poor I am .

This , Jo, is to you for being a friend with a very great future . To a friendship without lies . To a no sugar coating friendship with just a little of ogling chaired by her majesty Tina ( please dont skin me until the next Ramadhan or at least we get a spot near the gym so that I can chair) . Here is to a better 2016 na sijui kama hii baby fever imekufikia , inakuja na ubaya . Love you gal and wish you Gods blessings in all  you do and for the great love you have shown us and the sacrifice you have made for all us who call you a daughter,sister, friend, wife ( see ) , colleague etc, I pray that the verse below will be your portion; your cup shall overflow.

Luke 6:38

Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure,pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.

Friendship Part3 : Lisa


When we fist met in 2009, she probably was among the people i knew i would hardly make friends with let alone share life with . Quite a tall and then reserved lady . Lydia but I learned to call her Lisa . A six year most intense journey I have had with any of my friends .

Being a fashion lover with a keen eye in modelling landed her as one of the contestants for the Miss Mass pageant, a move that did not augur well with what I thought was good. I grew up believing that to be a model, one had be be of loose morals and dress almost naked. This, I thought, was the last discouragement I needed for my efforts of trying to have a friendship (so was with the winner ,Beth, I thought).

In 2010, we started being close, from the classwork perspective . Especially after the first attachment . Late 2011, we somehow started to bond and shared quite a lot . A apart from Alice ( fellow choir member lol)  , Janet (hehehe! )  and Cate ( olalala! Miss you dear ) , the only other person i freely opened to was Lisa .

Pic courtesy of style Leniency

Luckily we landed the same job in 2012 and finally moved in together in 2013 May . We have laughed, cried , encouraged , discouraged ( No denim dear , riswaaa! ) and most of all grew together . No, were and still are not experiencing an ideal friendship but one thing we learned was to be there for each other, through thick and thin.

She taught me color ( clothes and nail polish ) , color blocking and heels . She taught me how to shop . She is one beautiful girl but has never let her beauty derail her from what she wants . She is one strong woman but human ( I got super scared the first day i saw her cry , I almost recommended a doc ) . I like her appetite but wonder why she doesn’t add calories as fast as i do (sob sob) .

Her laughter with my late bro was something I will never forget . How on earth they loved some weird music , sijui . And they would chat for hours on end . Lisa and my sister can go on “raundi mwenda” ; I dont think I have ever had a proper one with Siz . Those are the little joys ( but very big to me) that had made me appreciate her even more.

This here is to you girl, to the first rent we paid,to the days when we had to beg the Landlord to give us more days , to the days when we celebrated after beating the rent deadline . This is a toast to your mum for standing with my family ( one that she hardly knew ) when we needed her most . This is a toast to the days when we had only had each other for support . This is a celebration to the milestones we have made . This is a toast to the growth and the many dreams ahead , its an acknowledgement for our imperfections but choosing to see beyond them . This is to for sticking by me at my worst ( am quite a piece of work !!!) .

This is a piece that embraces the days we barely had enough to plan for the next meal and those days we had quite enough to afford an extra one and many more I cannot capture . I may never tell you how much I love you ( you know I suck big time at it) but I do .

I love you Lisa .