Monthly Archives: March 2016

The Agony of the Grass- Part 2

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A young couple I knew tried so hard to have a child, two years in the marriage they had not yielded anything, and there were no signs either. Grapevine was all over since everyone was ‘concerned’. According to the African tradition, a child in the family after a year of marriage is a sign of fertility and pride to the father. Finally, the lady was pregnant, but she later lost it during childbirth. The pain was immense, known only to the parents.

Waiting for this gift, planning and then having to lose it all over again without a chance of smiling at it. What would have been, what could have been all lost in the wind. The wind of death, carrying away a ray of possibilities.

Later on, the young lady was blessed again with the fruit of the womb. Hope was lit in the house and after nine months a very beautiful young girl was born. The father was proud, holding his joy in His arms. He made promises to the innocent angel in His arms. Promising to be a better man, carry out his actions with caution, provide for her not only financially but the provision of a safe home as well. Additionally, he promised to fight her foes and anyone who would hurt her.

If you are a parent, you understand this case, because probably you went through the same moment as the father and daughter here shared. The parents’ aim is to protect a child and give the young soul a better future. Yet, along the way we lose this focus due to our misgivings. Though the young man promised all these to his daughter, he lost his focus. He did not become the better man he had so promised. During the time he and the wife had baby issues, he got involved with other women. Lo, and behold the promise to the daughter was forgotten after a few months and he went back to his misgivings. You guessed right- The better man promise was more aimed at stopping his cheating habits.

Many of us forget the promise we made for our children, the hope we had for them and the protection we have to offer. We wallow in our issues forgetting the most important being among us. The child. A child undergoes agony, instability and pain when we as parents fight our battles in their presence.

Our traditional focus on the family is uprooted, hence, our family issues affecting the child. And when I talk of traditional I don’t mean the barbaric practices of domestic violence and a woman is there to be seen and not to be heard. I speak of the importance of the family. Where a man was respected, and a woman was loved. A man’s word was carried with gravity because he understood his roles in the house and adhered to them.

Whether you are a Functionalist, Marxist or Feminist on the area of family, we should all focus on the young one in the household. We wonder why our children are focused on same-sex marriages, why they are not responsible fathers or mothers, why they want to change their gender, it’s because they are lacking role models. If we as parents take the first step towards being the best at our responsibilities, these children will grow up saying I want to be like daddy, I want to be like mummy.

The family is the cornerstone of every society and the offspring replace its personnel overtime. Hence, it’s a legacy being left behind. We all leave a mark in the society, whether you are the likes of Professor Maathai or not. You leave a mark through your children. You might not be able to win a Nobel prize in the recognition of the whole world, but are you winning the Nobel prize in your house? Are you leaving a mark in your home?

Your children, are they proud of you. Would they want to be just like you when they grow up or despise you for the harm you did not only to your spouse but them as well? As parents, work together to give your child a better future. When you are together in marriage work on it having your children as motivation. If you are separated, ensure you create time and provide for that child as well. Don’t be a deadbeat dad or mum (if there is such a thing). You might not be in good terms with the mother of the child or the father, but that does not make you estranged to the child.

Let the child know you and they will be aware that a parent remains a parent and offers their responsibilities no matter the circumstances. If we want responsible children, we have to act responsibly. My mum once told me that respect doesn’t flow from downwards to upwards unlike many think, but vice versa. If you show a child respect, they will respect you because they know that is what is expected. But when you disrespect them yes they will fear you because they can’t fight you but they will never respect you.

It’s time for fathers to take the lead as being the head of the house and mothers as coworkers and helpers of their husband to protect these young ones that have a greater future awaiting. This bright future lies in the hands of the parents, having the responsibility of giving the child a stable home to accomplish their dreams.

 

Praying Mum

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I had this two friends who would always say how they wouldn’t be around if it were not for their mama’s prayers. They would reminisce over their shortcomings and say that it was their mum’s prayers keeping them alive. The thought of them arriving home safe and sound after a wild night, made them thank God for their mothers.

It used to be humorous as we conversed on it but later when I pondered on the issue, I realized it was true. Growing up I was brought up in a Catholic family and church was everything. Even later after both my mum and me fell away from family tradition and joined the Protestant, prayer and church were always part of the family. I can remember the many instances that I would be woken up by mum’s silent prayers in the wee hours of the night. Aside from the time shared together, those were the moments I treasured the most because I knew God had to take good care of me because mama was in the prayer room. It also assured me of her love for her children.

In the Bible, Hannah was an intercessor. She prayed BEFORE Samuel was born and she prayed AFTER Samuel was born. In verse 10 of chapter 1 of Samuel we read: “She prayed unto the Lord,” and then in verse 12 we read: “And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the Lord.” Then after the birth of Samuel, we have the prophetic prayer of Hannah in chapter 2 verses 1 through 10. Note again the words of verse 1: “And Hannah prayed.” Here was a mother who recognized that her greatest ministry was prayer.

A mother can make the greatest impact on her child or children’s lives through prayer. Praying earnestly, regularly and passionately for your child makes a difference in their lives. …The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (James 5:16). The affection of a mother towards a child makes her prayers effectual.
For this child I prayed; and the LORD has given me my petition which I asked of him… 1 Samuel 1:27-28.

I know for a fact that the prayers of a mother are effectual. My mother once told me that she never wanted another baby boy and when she knew I was conceived she prayed day and night that I would be a girl, and God heard her. She always bragged how I was her answered prayer. Even when the ‘grandmothers’ tell-tale signs proved she would have another boy.’

I don’t remember the many words in my mum’s prayers for me, but I remember her last words of blessings to me. I know for a fact that the far I have reached is due to those prayers. Every wish that she had for me are being fulfilled one by one to my utter amazement. The pits (predicaments) that I have fallen into haven’t lasted for long because God has always been there to pull me out, and I believe they are the prayers of my mother. I shine every day because of those prayers. Moving from one level of glory to the next due to those prayers. I take comfort in every situation because I know God doesn’t break His covenant, and He will fulfill my mama’s prayers.

The prayer of a mother lasts for eternity from generation to generation. It matters what names you call your children even in times of anger. It matters what words you mutter to God in times of silence. Am not a parent, but I get heated up and very annoyed when I hear parents call their children abusive names in times of anger. What you call your child is what will form in the mind and what he/she will grow to become.

No one is a perfect parent, and am not saying I was raised by one either, God knows how much wrong stuff went on… but the little things that you do to make up for the imperfections matters a lot. The perfect gift you can give to a child is not too many toys or the best vacations, but a touch of affection will go a long way. I remember my mum not because I was a spoilt brat in riches but because I was spoilt in affection. Damn! I remember how my relatives used to complain about how much love I was given.

A parent’s prayer moves mountains and puts God on the judgement throne for years to come. Remember how God remembered Isaac because of Abraham. Blessing him wherever he went to the surprise of his enemies (Genesis 26:18-25) Whether you will be here to behold it or not God is faithful to your prayers for your children. He delivers His promise throughout the generations.

This article, I dedicate it today to my beautiful mum GRHS, who would have been 52 years today. Were it not for her prayers and blessings to me I wouldn’t have made it here. I grow stronger and stronger in Glory due to her blessings and prayers that she made to God for me.

If you have been praying for your child, do continue, if you haven’t its a high time you start. Cover your kids in the morning with prayers. Let them be under the protection and the wings of God. Let God guide them and lead them during the day so that they won’t be lost in the whirlwind or fall prey to the hand of the enemy. You will see how much change will reflect in their lives.

Enhancing the Brain

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Have you ever been in a circumstance where you wanted so much to indulge in a conversation that was at its peak, and you were just clueless because though the words were coming up your throat you didn’t quite know how to express them. The people around you seem up to speed with the current events, and though you were well versed in the matter, you didn’t want to make a fool of yourself.

Imagine this scenario; you are with your date and his or her co-workers, the conversation gets heated up but though you are aware of what they are talking about you really can’t seem to join in the fun. You are scared of shaming yourself because your English is not quite poised to join in. You imagine having ‘typos’ in your conversation and a good argument that would have driven the message home is left hanging, actually leaving you looking like the clueless individual in the room or Casper the ghost.

Many of us find reading a complete waste of time, and the furthest we can go is a fascinating article in a magazine, and we leave it at that. Recently after following Abbie Lu’s blog, cafebookbean.com, I noticed I haven’t been much of a reader except my school work and that wasn’t enough. A lecturer asked a question, and I was giving the answer and was torn between which language I was supposed to use. Obviously, I was to use English, but it wasn’t coming out right. Then I knew something had to be done. I looked for those E-books I had downloaded and spend a couple of shillings adding my stock of books.

I remember starting reading story books just a few months into kindergarten, and it became my niche. Having a teacher for mom made it better because she invested on my need for more story books. I remember my best days were spent in the national library which was quarter an hour walk from our home.

Reading not only perfects our language and our skill of communication but also rejuvenates our spirit. When you read a fiction book, it stimulates your mind, makes your imagination run wild. Your emotions get engaged and give you the ability to imagine the circumstance to be something real.

Studies have shown that reading increases the size of your brain. Reading has been linked with changes in your brain. The changes are mainly in the language area of the brain and will improve your vocabulary, spatial awareness and ability to communicate. These skills are beneficial to anyone, even those who do not love reading.

The emotions in a book also develop your brain. Losing yourself in a book gives you the opportunity to be a part of the story, and feel the pain and other emotions the characters go through. In turn, this allows your brain to become more aware of how things affect people in the real world. This engagement will improve your ability to emphasize with other people and see when they need your help. Reading a variety of books also helps you know how to deal with different individuals under different circumstances. Additionally, it also helps you know how to compose yourself in diverse circumstances.

Any reading is beneficial to the brain but reading a physical book as opposed to an electronic book does provide a complete experience and more opportunities for your mind to improve physically and mentally. It is equally important to pick a genre that you enjoy because this is the only way you’ll find reading a pleasurable activity.

Either way, whatever you are comfortable with, just create a reading culture, and you will see the benefits that come with it.

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The She Power

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Does she harness power over all?

She loves, loving when she receives it not. Loves dearly with the whole of her heart. She loves the unlovable, bearing all in a relationship in the name of love. Loving her children who at times are ungrateful to show it back. A woman is one strong person who loves at all times and in weird circumstances. She sticks around in a compromising relationship for the love she has for her children.

She is patient, patiently going through the discomfort of holding humanity for nine months. Patient with her children, throughout the midnight infant cries, the teenage rampage and throughout adult life. She is still a caring mum despite our age. Patient with her lover’s rampage, praying that one day he would change.

A woman endures and takes in a lot, she makes wrong decisions at times but picks herself up after disappointment. She cries, tears of joy and that of sadness. In tears of sadness, she doesn’t let herself go but exhibits her strength at the end of it.

We expect her to be a five-star chef, friend, lover, mother, Victoria Secret model, professional, provider, among others. She takes not only her responsibility but that of a man as well when the need arises and circumstances demand of her. In her house, she is a career woman, a nanny and a psychologist at the same time.

She picks up the pieces when we are heartbroken. Mends our heart in time of despair. She counsels you during heart breaks, life-threatening circumstances and life changing situations. She is a shoulder to cry on, a friend and a confidant.

Yearning for pity but not expecting any to do her dues. She carries her responsibilities with pride and joy. Taking pleasure in others fulfillment, forsaking her dreams and ambitions. She acts as a cheerleader, a coach and a voice of reason to her loved ones in the course of their dreams.

She is taken for granted, judged, betrayed, abused emotionally and at times physically, given little consideration, fewer opportunities but she carries herself with dignity. Seeing her actions through the eyes of others, thus taking precaution on her moves. She has a face to maintain in the eyes of society.

The woman is one being to admire, she harness power in all. Withstanding circumstances that a feeble person cannot. She takes care of so many duties with less appreciation or none at all.

It might be late, but I thought it wise to still celebrate women around the world. Appreciate the ones around you because they have earned it.

The Agony of the Grass– Part one

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In the olden days, as a child, one would long for Christmas or school holidays when you would go to the rural homes to see the grandparents. The thought of Guka and Cucu, Babu and Nyanya, or Kwaro and Dani… or however you refer to them in your mother tongue, gave you a merry heart. That is if you were not privileged to see them so often as some of us.

I remember growing up, my grandparents’ home was a walking distance. Going to the rural homes was not a choice. You know those life and death situations, yeah you guessed right, only death situations would make us go there. My grandfather had a strict rule that none of his offspring especially grandchildren would set foot in the rural area unless need be and the need was burial circumstance. Lest the old woman in the village would throw things in our tummies. I used to have vivid imaginations of how a Coca-Cola bottle would find its way into my little stomach, and I would have to go under a serious ritual surgery. The thought of it hard my stomach churn.

Either way, we all looked forward to spending time with our grandfather and grandmother. When I think of our generation, I wonder who they will visit during the school holidays. The term grandparents’ home visit lies in the vocabulary of the past. The many divorces, cohabitation and separations have robbed our society of the very root of our upbringing.

There is an old Swahili saying that says “fahali wawili wakipigana Nyasi huumia” In the very essence meaning when the mighty people are in a battle it is the little people who suffer. When two adults are at it, it’s the little children in the house that suffer.

When parents are fighting, throwing words, violently abusing one another it’s the children who suffer. When I see parents physically fighting, I think of the children. I grew up in a neighbourhood where I saw people getting married at a tender age, and they would physically fight, left right and centre. The only two couples who didn’t fight were mature, and the age gap between the man and the woman was, at least, ten years. It made me hate young marriages. The fights tormented my mind, and they were not even in my household. I can imagine what children who see their parents fight go through.

The agony these children go through is tremendous. When one has a child, you think of how you would protect it from anyone who tries to hurt them. Imagine this; you might be the very person your child needs protection from. A parent natures a kid to grow up to be a sound creation. We have a responsibility to give our children the sound home they need. A brighter future. A brighter future doesn’t mean money and fancy gifts but a comfortable home where our child can grow in soundness.

The recent cases of husbands killing wives and women slashing the ‘manhood’ of the husband have been on a rampage and brings the question, what future will our children have? Is this the example we want to set for our children? Can we stop for a second and look at the child. Give them a better future. Remember the first time you held your first daughter or son. The thoughts that crossed your mind was to be a better, man, woman, father or mother.

Muse upon those thoughts and give your child a better future. Give them a chance to take their children, your grandchildren to come and see the grandparents. Knit together as a family. Let them joy in the customs of a tradition that goes down memory lane. The joy of seeing grandparents and not separate grandparents.

The Mercies of God

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We’ve all heard stories of houses burnt down to ashes, children dying, buildings coming down and wealth lost in the tragic event. Surely, as they say, fire is a good servant but a bad master. Ready to deliver all you need at your command but when in charge, it devours everything you love in the shortest amount of time.

I can still remember vividly the first incidence of fire I witnessed. Our neighbours plot burnt down to ashes killing one individual on Valentine’s Day. Nothing to be recovered but only the ashes. The tears that filled the eyes of the people was immense. Heartbreaking and soul crashing, the event was.

For days, people cried of the many things they had lost, and the mother of the son cried of her lost “Mzungu” because the boy was very brown. Behind was left a young widow with two dependants. The moment was heart breaking.

All these memories make me view God in a new light. He ought to be praised at the moments he rescues as from misfortunes as such. Makes one feel humbled at moments of grace He offers us.

“But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.” Titus 3:4-5

Have you ever been utterly amazed, just moved to tears because of the hand of God? How can He be this good, when you don’t deserve it? You know you don’t deserve it, but His Grace, …but His Grace. It’s been sufficient in ways you can’t imagine.

I always stand amazed at His works. His wondrous works in my life make it impossible not to talk about His goodness. In as far away as I may fall and fail to keep His word, He draws me back to His love. Makes it impossible not to offer a love letter back to Him.

So, I had a Law of Evidence Continuous Assessment Test in the morning. The subject was giving me a headache; this law units normally do before I sit down for the exam. Then afterwards, I wonder what the fuss was all about.

I also had an assignment to deliver which was long overdue. I was late by a week, and there was some bit I had not completed, so they were all stressing me out. So I rushed things in the morning, half asleep due to the sleep deprivation, half exhausted and my mind was not thinking straight. When I went out the door ready to lock the house in my mind, I was like I had forgotten to do something. So I went back into the house.

Normally when I do this, I go back and check the sockets make sure the power is switched off and everything else is unplugged. This time, I only remembered about my books and the assignment of which I picked from the bed. Rushed out not thinking about the power.

So six hours later am getting back to the house, and the first thing am noticing is the power is on. Going to check on the iron box, am noticing it’s still plugged in the extension, it’s lying flat on the sheets, and the socket is on. Am thinking Nah! The iron box can’t be fully plugged in the extension. Touching the iron box, it’s as hot as hell, completely plugged in the extension, the sheets where it was, was veeeery hot.

Utterly confused I disconnect the iron box then switch off the power. At this moment, I know I must be dreaming. Then am like, the logical explanation is that the lights must have been off at some point. KPLC’s inconsistency on the electricity last week must have paid off today. Then I convince myself the lights must have been back just a few minutes before I got home.

Out of curiosity, I decide to ask my neighbour who confirms the lights have been on since morning, and it never went off. Then am tongue tied. Usually, things take a longer time in my mind for me to comprehend them. You can hail insults at me, and I will look at you like you are singing a love song then later is when it sinks in and am wondering what he/she drank in his or her tea.

I say thank you a number of times to God, but it hasn’t still sunk in. So like an hour later is when the thing is sinking in, and I cannot fathom the love of God in my life. Then tears start rolling down my cheeks and am like, surely God is watching over me, and He is fulfilling my mum’s prayers before she went to be with Him.

Yes, I know God loves me, and you should hear me brag about it whenever am faced with a challenge or just telling someone. You would think that God loves me alone when I know he loves us equally. But moments like this just break me, and I still wonder what I deserved for Him to be this good.

Ponder upon the little kinds of stuff that God has done for you and you will be surprised how great they are!!!

You can also share with us.

Cheers.

Homeless to Harvard

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Someone once found me in tears, I mean I couldn’t help myself. She was shocked ready to comfort me, only to burst out in laughter after telling her the reason for my tears. She couldn’t believe I was crying because of a movie. Has anyone ever watched HOMELESS TO HARVARD? You will end up like me. In tears and it’s not all tears of sadness, and no good ending but the end will also send tear drops lingering on your eyelids.

If you are a lover of books sit down with a good mug of coffee and read BREAKING NIGHT: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival and her Journey from Homeless to Harvard. But if you’d better sit down with a bowl of popcorn, watch Homeless to Harvard. This true story will leave you inspired with an urge to achieve more. It kinda gave me the inspiration to apply for my school admission after a long time of procrastination and seeing all odds against me. Voila! almost finishing my second year. Seemed bumpy at first wondering where I’d get aaaall that fee, but I thank God I’ve never lacked nor missed an exam.

Lizzy Murray experienced homelessness at age 15, persevering through many challenging personal circumstances. She finished high school in two years while living on the streets of New York City. In 2009, she earned her undergraduate degree in psychology from Harvard. This is a story of one young woman’s indomitable spirit to survive and prevail, against all odds.

Growing up in the Bronx with drug-addicted parents, Liz Murray dropped out of school and was homeless by the age of 15. Neglected, she and her sister were forced to steal food to survive. They ate ice cubes because it felt like eating and split a tube of toothpaste between them for dinner.’

The two girls turned up to school dirty and riddled with lice. Liz was so bullied as a result, that she began skipping classes, eventually ceasing to attend at all.

Both of her parents were hippies. She learned as a young child how dependent her parents were on drugs and recalls how at age three or four, she watched her parents administer the substances daily.

The parents stole her birthday money and even sold the family television to score another hit.

When Liz was 15, she learned that her mother was HIV-positive, and had AIDS. She died shortly after, and when her father got evicted for failing to pay the rent, the family was homeless. While her father, who also died of AIDS in 2006, found a place at a shelter, and her sister moved to a friend’s sofa, Liz slept on Subway trains and park benches. Liz was one of those people on the streets you walk away from on sight.

But at 17, she made the decision to turn her life around. Seeing her mother die without fulfilling her dreams motivated her to seek her dreams otherwise it might never be. Just like her mother who kept on saying she would fix her life one day, and she never did, she would end up the same way. She completed four years of high school in two, gaining the support of a teacher who spotted her determination and potential.

As a reward for their efforts, her mentor took his top ten students to visit the prestigious Harvard University. Inspired, she decided that it was within her capabilities to attend, and after winning a New York Times scholarship, she graduated successfully.

Liz now works as an inspirational speaker, and talks to teenagers about resisting the temptations of drugs, and not letting hardship hold you back. She has given speeches alongside Tony Blair, Mikhail Gorbachev, and the Dalai Lama, and was given a Chutzpah Award by Oprah Winfrey.

This is a testimony of how life can have its twists and turns but if we stick it out, it doesn’t matter where we came from or what we’ve been through because at the end of the day where we are heading is all that matters. Most of all we have a huge part to play in our destinies.