Monday, September 25, 2017

Kanges of Nairobi

'Yo mathree za two three Westi, two three za Jeri, Jerusa na Outer, fourty six Hurli, Kile Ongwaro, Mogaka piga left hapo nakucheki. Forty four Kahawa na Githurai, Wano tuko pamoja for life, Fifty eight Buru ongeza mahewa man.Thirty three Emba, number eleven south B south C, Omosh weka matuta.Number eight Kibich, nineteen Koma na namba nne, namba tisa: Eastleigh Calif mzima, Gitonga na mwasa see you.Number fifteen, l-gt punguza mahewa makarao wako kwa horizon. Mathree za Gandoch, one ten Athi River,asanteni kwa kumfikisha Waire safe one love'-Neccesary Noize's Kenyan Girl Kenyan Boy 

Matatus are a big part of the Nairobi 'culture'  so much so that if one visited Nairobi and didn't get in one would they even be able to say they have had the true Nairobbery experience?. It's like visiting Coasto and not going to the beach.I assume there are people who will visit a coastal town for the food and cultural experience and will be really happy without the beach,same way there are guys who visit live in this city and have never used a matatu. Matatus have a bad reputation; LOUD music,you could get robbed in one if you aren't too careful,notorious for changing their final destination, if you get in one and they find out their route is at standstill, passengers are given refunds of their bus fare and told to find ways of getting to their final destination.I have seen it all with matatus but the worst thing that could happen is the matatu hitting/scratching another car in traffic: This one time a matatu I was in scratched the vehicle of a female motorist and I remembered this Biko Zulu story and chuckled because the lady acted exactly as Biko described.

It's not all negatives though for matatus as a means of transport: you can read in a matatu,even have mini book clubs with other readers if you are lucky, like this one time I sat next to a girl reading Elif Shafak's 40 rules of love and we had such a good discussion on the book because I read it late last year and she was just about to finish it, catch up on sleep (I never thought I will be one of these people) but sometimes in the evenings I actually sleep in a mat what makes it work? my stage is always 'mwisho wa gari' otherwise I would get lost on most days, listen to really loud music to drown your thoughts because who can think in loud music?  and there are days your thoughts are the scariest place to be. The thing that makes matatus winners in public transport is they are really pocket friendly as a means of transport, waaaaaaaay cheaper and safer than boda-bodas and we are for saving our coins right?

A day at the office-somedays I think they have it really nice: travel, music and meeting new people all day,every day
With Matatus comes makangas.There is no code that guides how they behave and they are very diverse therefore it is safe to say are no two makangas that are alike.These are the types of kanges I have encountered, are they still called kanges? or are they now called konkodis :-) :-). Seriously though if your sheng is upto date what is new name of makangas.

 The Flirty Kange

Beauty is very relative and what one finds beautiful might be different for different people but for the flirty Kange all girls/women are beautiful.They have learnt that women love being called beautiful and they are a business,therefore to attract more women they call each and every female mrembo.Does this work? all I am saying is I once got on a matatu that took a considerably longer route because the Kange had these really neat dreadlocks and he charmed me by calling me a mrembo after a crazy ass long day 😝😝.

Woe on young female motorists they flirt with them endlessly in the jam.''Ahh Mrembo,mbona hivi? pia mimi naweza kuwa sponsor mbona unanilenga?'' and sentences along these lines.

The Kind Kange

Every morning I see a lot of children on matatus, the person who brings them to the bus-stop hands them over to the Makanga,some of these children are really young and would therefore need someone to help them get off the matatu,what do you know, the Kanges take the role of care-taker to many children and they show so much kindness towards these kids.The winner of the kind kange for me has to be this one Kange: There was this one time a disabled lady who is a beggar was helped into the matatu by someone she had paid to carry her(really sad) and I saw everyone look at her with pity but nobody did anything..............when it came to paying, the Kange totally refused to take her money as in TOTALLY even after she shoved it in his hands, he gave it back and looked out the window so that she doesn't talk to him.

The Political Kange

We have been in political campaign mode for an extremely long period of time and if ever you didn't know what small talk to make with a stranger just ask 'hii story ya IEBC unaonaje?"and depending on wether they are NASA or Jubilee you will hear their thoughts and to avoid issues just say good things about the side they are leaning towards-clever right? No? because how can you hide you opinion? sometimes there are more important things than your opinion.In this case the only place where your opinion really matters is the ballot box, outside that peace is more important.

The political kange feels strongly about the side they support and everyone in the mat is their audience.They are varied and each of the political parties have some that support them,the more vocals one though are definitely the supporters of Baba, these people do not hide their allegiance.

 The Angry Kange

This is the opposite of the flirty kange and calls all women mama(women hate being called mama,why,I do not know), shouts at you if you say give him 500 bob and the fare is 30 bob.Who they hate the most is policemen,the vile things they say when they see traffic police!! If the police heard, they will spend weeks in jail for sure.One time this angry kange told a lady who had issues with her knees and was slow getting off: 'Ni uzee nini?' that lady attacked him verbally and made our day that day 😆😆.

The Female Kange

Why is this a category on it's own, you ask? because what a man can do a woman can do better right? and if performance in national exams is anything to go by, girls will run this country in a few short years. The job of a makanga is a hard job and the women who are doing it must have a story, like how they have tried so many things,failed and this is their last resort. I could be wrong though,maybe it's a lucrative industry and they wanted in. Women Kanges I have seen so far are no nonsense and do not smile at all.Which I think is a defense mechanism for them.Maybe there are smiley ones out there it's just that I haven't seen them yet.

The honorary kanges 

This is anyone who uses 111 matatus.111s do not act like normal matatus that stop at bus stops and allow passengers to get on.No, they speed by and you have to find a way to get on without hurting yourself and each day so many of us get on and thank God that we did not hurt ourselves.The more you do it,the easier it gets.I can now easily shadow as a Kange thanks to the 111s.

Which kind of kange have I left out? we can all be honorary kanges, get on a 111 at Railways just once and your matatu experience will be 85%.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Dakar Chronicles

Most of the things I want out of life in a picture.

It’s July already!!!  Where does the time go, I can’t be the only person who still thinks we are in February and gets silently shocked each time I have to date a document or anything in July 2017. It’s a lie what people say that time flies when you are having fun, because this year hasn’t been fun at all.It's been busy, steep learning curve, some bad decisions,a lot of tears/sadness, learning to listen more as opposed to talking a lot,because surprise surprise people actually do know more( a lot more) than you do. Yet here I am thinking the first half of this year has swished past me.I wonder what people who are actually having a good year think.

Early this year, in what ironically seems like a life time ago I went to Dakar on a work trip. Dakar is mostly nothing like Nairobi because it's way less congested and is coastal. If these two cities were female Nairobi would be the loud flashy girl that everybody loves to hate and Dakar will be the classy girl, who knows it's all in the subtle details like wearing pastels as opposed to Nairobi that will in it's flashiness be a representative of 'yaliyo ndwele sipite' county.
Dakar in all it's pastel glory
Where else do horses pull carts,if horses could talk to each other the ones in Dakar would cry when they heard how those in Nairobi are treated like royalty

Dakar in all it's classiness has matatus that are so shady and years behind Nairobi matatus.
What should one do each time they visit a new place; meet someone new (in my case visit new places), eat something new and buy something new. 

Meet someone new (visit new places)

I didn’t actively try to meet new people and even if I had there is the big thing that is language barrier as the people of Dakar speak French, therefore even if I had decided to go out of my comfort zone and talk more to people, it wouldn’t have been possible because each time I spoke to anyone to ask for directions or something like that, their standard answer was always-No English or English very little. Word of advise to any lady who might be going to Dakar,the men be fine!!!!! The true embodiment of tall,dark,handsome and sculpted.So if you are on the hunt or anything brush up on your French, at-least words like 'oh you are so handsome' or 'you are like the best coffee:tall,dark and strong' or 'so, tell me; how does it feel to look so great' and any other line that might work (ha ha ha).

The African renaissance monument
This is the tallest statue in Africa that has some history behind it's construction and the one that I found funniest is that the first time it was completed the lady in the statue had a much shorter skirt and there was an uproar by the community and so she was given a longer skirt 😱😀😀

The way up to the museum
The view of Dakar town,when one is half-way the stairs to the renaissance museum
Showing solidarity with the lady in the statue

Dakar’s Grand Mosque

The grand mosque has to be the most beautiful mosque I have ever seen.It's so beautiful that I don't have words to describe it.

I lost all my grand mosque pictures and got this from the internet but best believe it's a very beautiful mosque.

 Goree Island.

Goree is an Island, that is a 20 minutes ferry ride from Dakar.It's has a dark past in that it was the Island that was the slave market.Goree has a couple of museums in it and I was lucky enough to visit two of those, the famous slave house and IFAN historical museum.I learnt a little about slave trade; so slave traders would identify a village that had a lot of strong people in it and then in the middle of the night when everyone was asleep they would come, many of them and attack said village and take everyone they considered 'good enough',then they would chain them together and take them to Goree and sell them in an open air market.Also the biggest shocker some slave traders came under the disguise of religion aka spreading christianity.

Goree is such a pretty Island,the colours, food joints by the sea and just the coastal vibe there will have you considering starting a curio/tie-dye shop to make a living and to never go back home.
Beautiful Goree
The local administration's office that I initially thought was a museum.
The museum's compound
A slave boat.That iron rod at the back was used by slave traders to 'hang' slaves, their arms were put in those ring like things.

The Atlantic Ocean 

I know, the ocean doesn't count for much but since I have been lucky enough to see and live by the Indian Ocean(hello Eyl,Mogadishu and Bosasso), the red sea(hello Berbera), it seems fitting to talk about this 'accomplishment' here.What do you know, all ocean water is salty.the biggest difference I noticed is that the Atlantic ocean in Dakar is surfers' heaven, how do I know this? the number of people I saw surfing!! so so many and even small children that I thought the waves would carry.Also the shore is the firmest ever!

Water so clear :-)

Surfers going home after a fun day with the waves
Sea-side eateries
Eat something new.
ha ha ha
One of the things that was very clear to me as I was going to Dakar was that I was going to eat and eat and eat.Funniest thing happened to me,French is Dakar's most spoken language and it goes without saying that menu's in restaurant will be in French and how would I have known that they call fish poisson in French.We all know my love for cake so I figured I will balance things out and eat a salad and poisson.I am sure the waiter at the hotel thought greedy woman when I made my order.I basically had ordered two huge plates of food and ended up not eating the poisson.At the time I thought poisson meant cakes because my mind was playing games with me; since cakes are 'bad' food they must be called poisson in French.

I made sure to always eat foods that I was unfamiliar with and I ate so much that I came home 10 kgs heavier(I think). Bissap juice is what I loved the most,because I had never had hibsicus juice before and it's just oh so perfect, also that it's made by boiling dry hibiscus blew my mind because all the juices I know are made by blending or juicing the fruits.

Jebuje-the Senegalese national dish.
Bissap-aka my West-African love

Buy something new

One of the best ways to remember places you have been to, is to purchase items from said places that will always remind you of them.These can be anything because different people value different things.What did I get from Dakar? plenty of kitenge that I learnt is called wax in Dakar and that there are so many kinds, the differentiating factor being quality and how the fabric was made,also that lace is huge in West Africa and costs much more than vitenges.

The HLM market in Dakar

Kitenge heaven-so much to choose from.

Lace!!! who knew lace as a fabric can be this huge.

 Dakar is one beautiful city!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

#curlyhair-10 things I have learnt since going natural

The belief out there is that all cushites have good hair and by good hair I mean soft, long silky,straight locks, there are those who have such hair but a good number have kinky/curly hair (mostly curly). I naturally thought I had 'good hair' because lineage right? but a certain salonist broke all my hair bliss by saying 'you should consider texturizing your hair, it is kinky', I remember thinking get-out of here! What do you mean kinky?, because if you have any Somali friends you know that kinky hair is called jareer and it's not looked upon favourably especially on a female's head. Lots of online hair research reveals that I have curly hair that is type 3 C with medium porosity and is really good hair in the naturalista world.My online hair research also tells me no hair is better than the other and the definition of good hair is very subjective.

The beginning; a hair story

Salonist in chief; just one of the many tasks that  mothers do.
For the longest time my mum was my chief salonist, she washed my hair, oiled and plaited it.This worked great until I joined  high school, a boarding school far away from home and she couldn't stay with me.I was very unfamiliar with hair and the hard-work of taking care of it, most of my school mates however were quite the experts! some had permed hair and could STYLE their hair into beehives,do fringes,had rollers and knew how to use them, they knew what treating their hair and growth meant. Meanwhile me and my little hair skills/knowledge had the biggest struggle each morning getting my hair into a neat enough pony tail.In due time I learnt that the school allowed students to have two corn-rows, made a friend who could plait hair-Betsy Gatwiri(aka my high-school shero),she oiled and  plaited my hair every Saturday evening, in return I would also oil her hair, a good symbiotic relationship if you ask me.All through high-school I was the chubby girl in corn-rows.

After high school came campus and there is where I realized hair is truly a thing!!!! My room-mates went to the salon every other weekend,changed hair-styles so often even when the previous hair-style was still neat(why??). You are the average of the five people you spend most of your time with and all the people around me were really big on hair and in no time at all I relaxed my hair. The ease that comes with permed hair; no drama combing it,your hair suddenly is the soft, silky, straight locks you have been dreaming about, yaani, if you could, you would stand infront of a mirror combing it all day. Pure bliss. This happiness is mostly short lived as chemical treated hair comes with its rules; your hair shouldn't come into contact with water, after every two weeks you must go for  'hair treatment',pink lotion is your friend and other such rules.As a newbie to chemical treated hair I did not take any of these rules seriously and  a lot of my hair fell out. I am always in my hijab and so I decided who needs hair anyway and cut all of it off and was bald!!

I don't remember much of my bald days because soon after shaving my hair off I started growing it back, the struggle! Growing hair is not a joke. I would braid my hair and half the braids would fall off, eventually my hair grew back and because bad habits are hard to shake, I relaxed my hair again. To make matters worse I coloured my hair blonde. For  quite a bit of time, I had this beautiful blond relaxed hair that I so loved. Taking care of coloured relaxed hair is not easy especially for one like me who likes low maintenance hair. I would comb my hair and there would be so much shedding, because I had become an 'expert' in hair I bought so much anti-breakage/strengthening hair products and used them religiously but none worked.

To prevent 'unnecessary' shedding I decided to stop combing my hair, I would still wash and treat it but I did not comb it.My hair had other plans though as I was slowly becoming a Mau-Mau as in I had UGLY 'dreadlocks'.The easier thing would have been to shave my hair off but I knew the struggle of growing hair too well and so I did the obvious and combed my 'dreadlocks' out.

Curls run the world; a natural hair journey

After my 'dreadlocks' I spent a lot of time researching how to grow hair back, in the course of this I came across many natural hair blogs. I found out that relaxers are called 'creamy crack' and are to be avoided(ha ha ha). Seeing all the hair bloggers and their hair that looked so good I decided to embrace my curls, understand them, love them and take care of them.

Sharon Mundia is my go to girl for all things beauty, when I made the decision to go natural, I went to her blog and read reviews of products that she uses on her hair and went out and bought those that she highly recommended(the irony! of this because she has permed hair). The long and short of it; at that time she felt ORS range of products worked really well,online reviews said the same thing and therefore I got them(the deep conditioner,leave-in and hair mayonnaise). I have used them since and so far so good.

One year and 10 months is a lot of time and this is what I have learnt so far.

1. The ends are most fragile.

You know when you have relaxed hair and the growth is the hardest to take care of as it's new hair,well with natural hair it's the opposite,you should take more care of the ends of your hair as they are the oldest hair and are therefore more prone to breakage,also for you to see any growth you have to ensure the ends are healthy and not breaking because that's how you retain length and long hair is something we all want.

2. It’s not the products, its your regimen.

There is the misconception that natural hair is cheaper to maintain than relaxed which is such a big lie because for you to have a healthy natural mane you will need to use some products; shampoos, conditioners,deep conditioners,protein treatments,different kinds of oils(coconut,olive,castor,almond..............). These products should be silicon free, sulphate free and as organic as possible and most of them aren't exactly cheap. It's also very easy to fall into the trap of buying too many products because each natural hair blog you read talks of different products and sometimes very highly of said products.

The products will not do the work for you,if you buy them and rarely use them, yes good products are important but if you do not have a good hair care regimen or have one and aren't sticking to it, all the expensive products in this world would do very little for you.

The good thing with natural hair is that it loves natural home-made treatments and if one is on a budget they could use items from their kitchen and make treatments like avocado treatments,egg treatments and yoghurt treatments.

Key is deciding on a regimen, being realistic when doing this and sticking to the regimen come rain or shine.

3. Moisture/ LOC

The main thing that will help you to grow your hair is moisture because if your hair is properly moisturized, it's soft and when you comb it,it does not fall out hence length retention.

I have found that the Liquid Oil Cream(LOC) method of moisturizing hair works best for me. I use water as my liquid, coconut oil as my oil and whipped shea butter as my cream.Using this method what you do is first you apply water on your hair enough to wet it but just enough so that its not dripping wet, then you apply coconut oil and finally the whipped shea butter.There are other methods of moisturizing hair that are out there, find out which one works best for your hair and use it.

4. Satin/silk scarfs

I cannot over-emphasis the importance of ensuring that your hair is well moisturized and ensuring your hair stays moisturized for as long as possible.One of the ways to keep your hair moisturised for longer is to invest( 100-200 bob investment :-) :-)) in silk/satin scarfs that you would tie on you head when going to bed.The usual old stockings and kitambaas made out of cotton that most of us use contribute greatly to de-moisturizing hair because they tend to absorb a lot of the oils from your hair.

5. Water is your best-friend

Who would have thought water is good for your hair? because we grew up knowing your hair shouldn't come into contact with water unless you are washing it.Natural hair loves water as moisture really is water and in the natural hair world moisturized hair is healthy hair and healthy hair rules.

 6. Heat is your 'enemy'

Heat here means; hair dryer,blow dryer and flat iron ( these are the only ones I know off). To explain why heat is your enemy; would you use any sort of heat on your skin to straighten it, I am guessing the answer is no, because, we all know heat will cause a lot of damage to the skin.This is the same for hair, using heat on it might make it look really nice in the short term but the long term effects aren't good.Ditch all your blow-dryers and flat irons and get wide tooth combs.

7. Wide-tooth combs

Natural hair is prone to tangling and if you aren't too careful when de-tangling,you will end up loosing a lot of hair, which is a bad thing, good news is that this can be avoided/minimized. Wide tooth combs are a naturalistas close companion.Also as much as possible always try and use your fingers to detangle your hair first.

8. Protective styles, tight buns and over-manipulation of hair.

Natural hair grows best when you leave it alone, that's why you see people with dreadlocks having really long hair.When I first went natural I was so eager to manage my hair that I would comb and plait my hair ( I learnt how to do this) each night before going to bed and would then in the morning un-do the braids and comb my hair into a tight bun.I used to do the tight buns because I have a lot of hair on my head and this was my way of containing it.

Then as I read more and more natural hair blogs I learnt that what I was doing was over-manipulation and was doing more harm than good to my hair. I went on YT and  taught myself how to do flat twists and two strand twists and now I mostly have two strand twists on as they look better under a hijab.

Talking of hijabs, one of the commonest hairstyles to have under it is a juu-juu,which is a form of tight bun and because I am always in a hijab, I always had a juu-juu/mosodo.I found out this is harmful for my edges and so now I am mainly in loose buns to protect them edges.

9. Read reviews before buying products and buy the smallest at first to test them.

To save money before buying any product, do some research on it, because then you would see what other people who have used it think about it. A lot of the times if loads of people are giving it negative reviews then chances are you would also not like it.When trying out new products buy the smallest one first, if you like it, you will buy more and if not then you wouldn't have spent too much on it.

10. Hair goals

It's good to have hair goals because they will help you stick to your regimen because sometimes one can get really lazy and goals always act as a wake-up call.Different people have different goals-length goals,moisture goals and healthy hair goals.Decide on what you want to work towards and do your best to achieve this.

If you have read this far,I must say you are truly awesome :-). What hair tips/products/tricks have worked for you? Share :-) :-)

Friday, May 5, 2017

Shhh! Meeting in progress

Story of my life
'African time' is real  but more-so in this town I live in, we have embraced the concept and taken it to new levels, because people do not get impatient when others are late to a meeting or an event, we have come-up with things to do as we wait for the late-comers to show up; people carry their computers so as to not waste time,spend time on their phones and others like me come sit and stare into space/walls waiting for the meeting/events to start.

Is it just me or does everyone else love/prefer meetings that have food, no? people want time-saving, efficient meetings,well I want all that also, but a cup of tea has never hurt anyone, call me greedy but the meetings I love the most are the ones that have food, that's why I fondly remember PA committee meetings because, they were always mostly held at the student's mess and we would have tea and chaps(free tea and chaps), when tea and chapatis at the mess were such a luxury.

A while back I wrote this post about meetings and I figure 3 years is enough time for an update :-) and reading the post I thought, wait, what! why am I still note-taker instead of being legend 😀😀😀.

Types of people who attend Garowe meetings.

The I rather be at the office ones

These are the people who start their computers as soon as they are seated and actually work,how do you know they are working? they have no ear-phones on,they do not ask for the wi-fi's password and when you look at their faces they actually look absorbed into what -ever it is their are looking at on their computers.

cause of a lot sleepless nights and tears sometimes.
The meetings that has the most of these people are those that require people to make presentations and because apparently I am not the only person who sometimes doesn't fully read invites to meetings a lot of these people only realise the meeting requires a presentation two minutes before they come in and there is no way the truth will work, so what do they do? pray they are last in the list of presenters and work on their presentation while every-one talks/presents.

The I will catch-up with all my friends/on-line accounts I love.

Worse than the 'I would rather be at the office ones' are those who come with sole intention of catching up with their friends and all the on-line accounts they follow, as soon as they walk in the first thing they ask for is the wi-fi password and they will spend 90% of their time scrolling through their phones.What kind of disrespect is this! I understand those who are catching up on work because God knows sometimes deadlines!!! but scrolling through your phone, yaani, if I had power I will have this people to kneel down and raise their hands up high as punishment.

The Unprepared

A lot of times meeting invites are sent to the head of office right? and sometimes said person is too busy and would only tell you about it, 10 minutes to the meeting time and when you look at the agenda, you see agency updates; time allocated 15 minutes per agency and this when panic hits you (at-least sometimes I panic because 15 minutes is a lot of time). My to go to plan always is to write everything down and think about what I want to say and arrive 'early' and refine my list at the meeting venue because people are always late.

But there are people who actually come and say I have no update but would have the relevant person send you the updates! and I am sure every else thinks then why did you come, oh wait we know why? the all important attendance sheet.

The Over-prepared folks aka the Dr Sheldon Lee Coopers

These people I have grown to love,because listening to them is a joy,no stammers,no missing information,they throw in a story................I think they practiced everything the previous evening and when it is time to talk about way forward, you would think they are some text-book and most of them are the people who will put their phones away and listen to every one else.

The ones who come to settle fights/shame their 'enemies'

Sometimes there are those who come to shame their 'enemies', what I don't know is wether it is intentional or it is as a result of comments made by either of them but they sure make my heart laugh because I am weird weird person.

One fight I remember because it was so unexpected is there was this one time someone was giving updates for the agency they work for and they say something like and we are targeting 50 villages(which is a lot of villages) and this other person goes 'what do you mean 50 villages,you guys are targeting 10 households per village and then you come here and talk about 50 villages!!

The 'Field staff'

:-) :-)
There are these people who tend to think they are more 'field' than anyone else and 99% of the time they are the unprepared folk and so before saying 'I will tell the relevant person to send updates' they tell the story of village X, and normally their village of choice is a far to reach village that chances are nobody can argue with what they talk about and they say things like 'and then the village elder told me we are tired of all these white paper (questionnaires)', when will help come' or 'and the village elder said that he fears these shallow wells will turn into the grave of his community.

I will tell you why I think this is fiction(but I could be wrong),village elders are some of the most optimistic people you will meet.You ask them things like what will happen if the rains fail and they tell you we trust Allah's providence and these are people who have lost so much,so I figure them talking about shallow wells being graves can be a twisted truth but what do I know

The big boys

Who are the big-boys? you ask, I will tell how to identify them; they always have some item on, with their logos (caps,note-books,staff ID neck strap), if they are invited to a meeting,the meeting does not start before they arrive,good thing is they are relatively good time-keepers, a lot of people want to network with them and when they give their updates,no one even thinks to ask them questions like, what do you mean you drought response is planned to reach 500,000HHs because we all know they call the shots and can/will reach whatever big numbers they say.What they think of us and our small numbers is what I would love to know.And if they host a meeting they are snack and tea kings/queens 💪💪.

The Somali Nationalists 

They give their updates in Somali, speak Somali all through, woe unto the people who struggle with Somali if they are the meeting chair because they will chair the meeting in Somali and it's not that they can't speak English, they just prefer to speak their national language.These people I low-key do not like them.I however love love the education cluster lead because she is the best kind of nationalist, who was a teacher before the civil war and always tells this story about the day the civil war broke and she was in class teaching and how sad she is education as a sector is not considered life-saving, because of which, two generation of Somalis do not have an education.

The Talk early and talk often ones(Lean In)

In addition to note-taker I think I fall into this category. All the female at the work-place books I have read give one piece of advice consistently; during meetings, talk early and talk often and I am officially practicing what I have been reading but I am wise enough to know when to keep quite and listen.

I am thinking people are attending better and more fun meetings than the ones I go to,so what kind of attendees come for those meetings? I would love to know. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

The future is female (7 reasons why you should watch Jane the Virgin)

Jane,her grandmother and her mother.

To the future of this project and to the fearless women in film who are dying to have their voices heard, so our new series shies away from stereotypes, we make it a point that the women are portrayed as strong, smart and three dimensional characters-Gina Rodriguez aka Jane the Virgin

It’s by sheer coincidence that I stumbled upon Jane the virgin, I was watching Anita Nkatha's sister tag and one of the shows they said they enjoyed watching was Jane the virgin amongst others and I made a mental note to watch it and boy am I glad that I did begin watching it, such an excellent telenovella, if you do not believe me then the awards that this show has won should convince you of how epic it is. Not only has the lead actress won many awards, the show’s writers have also won awards,the show's narrator has won awards..................... see only awesomeness in this show.

The show in summary; Jane Villanueva (who, you guessed it, is a virgin) is accidentally artificially inseminated with the sperm of a (very handsome) hotel owner, Rafael Solano, during a routine checkup.The show revolves around this story line and the families of Jane and Rafael. Usually, TV shows are quick to glamorize motherhood in a way that doesn't feel too familiar or authentic to the women who are actually living these scenarios. But as someone with so many friends/family who are new/first time mums I will say the characters in this show feel like they could be your friend/someone you know — or hell, even you.

If my small pitch hasn’t convinced you yet, then read on and I hope the two minutes it takes you to read this will have you convinced that it is simply something you must(notice the use of the word must) get on with.

Easy to relate to.

Xiomara(Jane's mum),Jane,her son Mateo and Abuela(Jane's grandmother)

Michael: 'Get a book and read it, so you know what you are talking about and wait for the right moment, when she doesn’t know and her mum doesn’t know, even Abuela is stumped that’s when you come in with the save.'

Rafael: Is everything ok?

Xiomara: We don’t know he is nursing every thirty minutes.

Rafael: Maybe he is cluster feeding, cluster feeding is when a baby feeds close together at certain times of the day and it’s a sign the mother's milk is coming in.

Jane: My milk is coming in!!!!!!…….oh my God! my milk is coming in.

When Jane finally gets her baby, the show becomes real, yes it’s a telenovella so it’s bound to have its exaggerations but so much of it is what a first time mother will go through.

Case in point with all the campaigns going on about breast milk and colostrum being pure gold does it come as any surprise that all new mums will want to exclusively breast feed their kids and sometimes ( a lot of times) most new mums do not produce enough milk and the babies do not have enough and are always crying.Yet these same mums will literally fight you if you suggest they give their child infant's formula,what do you know, same thing happens in the show :-) :-).

If you want to see people who are just like you and have conversations and worries you would totally have or normally have then JTV will bring you loads of entertainment.

Not letting motherhood hijack your goals
Jane gets her letter of acceptance into graduate school-3 weeks after she gets her baby and she has to start immediately
Jane: I have enough to worry about, with all this going back to school stuff.

Xiomara: Lots of people have to leave this early.

Jane: But that’s just it, I don’t have to, it’s an option.

Xiomara: Right, and an option you are lucky to have, right ma?

Abuela: I didn’t have the opportunities that you have,  that is why I am so proud of all you are doing with your life.

Jane the virgin explores the challenges of mother-hood and especially for the mothers who do not want to miss any of their child milestones like their first blink (ha ha ha), their first steps, their first words and so on. Yet these mothers have to work or in the case of Jane go back to school to take her graduate course on creative writing.The support her mother and grandmother show her is out of this world,they take turns to baby-sit her son and I know it's not that much but her grandmother always brings her snacks/food as she is writing for school and is always asking how her story/thesis is going and sometimes makes contributions to the story's plot.

JTV's message on mother-hood and goals; motherhood is the greatest job any woman will ever have because you have been entrusted with lives/a life and tasked to nurture and mold them into responsible adults.The choice each mother makes should be based on what is right for her and not societal expectations.


Viola Davis and Gina Rodriguez.
'I made a decision and I chose art,so my parents,my father, God bless him,he said to me when I told him about my decision,well you want to be an actress, you have to go to acting school,me I am a chemical engineer am I self-taught and so I went to acting school'-Nana Mensah

See the way we all think that anyone who is a creative, just has the talent and never went to school to learn how to become an artist,well I have come to learn there is no way you can be great at anything based on talent alone, you have to go to school to learn for example Warsan Shire has a degree in creative writing,Viola Davis went to Julliard(the world's leading performing arts school) and Gina Rodriguez went to NYU and earned a degree in performing arts.

In JTV they show Jane pursue her dream of becoming a writer by attending writing school,going for writer's retreats and workshops.The message here I think is you cannot be a self-taught creative in whatever field,talent is important but training in your chosen field is what will make you stand out.

Hemingway’s lost suitcase

Mateo crawling(obviously)

Jane is a writer right? and she spends time, a lot of time writing from home and this has it's hazards because she has a small child and so one day as she is writing Mateo crawls and pulls the cord of her laptop which inturn pulls her computer leading to a lot of orange juice pouring on her computer and as expected her computer dies!!!! but will JTV be a telenovella if this didn't happen when she had a very important deadline the next day and there is no way for her to recover her documents,it wouldn't be trust me because telenovella= drama.

So Jane after going through all the phases of panic and stress, goes to school the next day and tells her professor the orange juice drama and he tells her this story; Ernest Hemingway was in Switzerland, on assignment and he met an editor who was very impressed with his work and wanted to see more of it and he therefore calls his wife to bring all his work.The wife packs all of his writing in a suitcase to take to him as per his request. While waiting for the train to travel to Switzerland, she went to buy a bottle of water, she left the suitcase unattended on the train while she did so, when she came back, it was gone!!! and all of Hemingway's work was lost.It's after this that he wrote all his stories and even won a Nobel prize in literature.

The reason he told her this story is so that she does not waste time trying to re-create her old stories but that she should instead write a new one for the assignment, which she did and her new story was far much better than all her old ones.

Detective Michael Cordero Junior

If all the serious side of the show does not interest you, then Detective Michael Cordero Junior should,I know I am such a sentimental person but if any Michaels' exist out there the girls/women who have them are very very lucky,why you ask? he risks his job (and his life) to protect Jane, her son, her mother, her grandmother, and her father without blinking an eye, he takes an interest in what Jane likes,cheers her on and is basically just perfect :-) :-)

Marriage and it not being an achievement per-se.

Jane on her wedding day :-)

Professor Marlene Donaldson(Jane's super-feminist advisor): These are tiny, I feel like I am locking you into the patriarchy by doing this ,Ok,go and hey congratulations!!!!

Jane: Smiling(thinking she is talking about her wedding)

Professor Marlene Donaldson(Jane's super-feminist advisor): On your new thesis being approved.

Jane has this super-feminist advisor in school and they are constantly fighting because she 'hates' Jane's writing as Jane is a romance writer(ha ha ha) and the proffesor thinks it's a waste of time to write about romance/love. She introduces Jane to the bechdel test which her writing did not always pass and therefore she had to do many many re-writes of each of the stories she submitted.

Jane had to do her final presentation on her wedding day, 79 minutes before the start time of her wedding ceremony to be exact,so she carried her dress to school and changed in the bathroom and guess who walks in and helps her tie the buttons on her dress ! your guess is right people,her professor who thinks marriage and men in general are over-rated.

One of the strongest messages that the show passes across is that women are kick-ass at raising their own kids,pursuing their goals,being there for their friends and family and generally just as capable if not more than men.

Family traditions.

Mateo's baptism
Each family has it's tradition and the Villanueva family is no different.For example Jane's grandmother has a baptism outfit that she made for Jane's mum,then Jane wore it on her baptism day,Mateo wore it on his baptism day and I am thinking his kids will also wear the same outfit in the future.

The outfit has nothing on this small speech that Abuela wrote for her peoples to read on the baptism's of their children.

Abuela's speech which is also the Villanueva clan baptism speech for their children; 'My precious child, there are things I hope for you and your life, May you be bold, may you be brave, may you be loving and joyful and kind, may you carry with you the vitality and spirit of the generations before you, whatever you dream for your life, may you summon the strength to follow that dream, may you always let you faith be stronger than your fear, may you never forget, through all of life’s adventures, every moment of every day, that I walk beside you, cheering you on, hoping for you, praying for you, loving you and may you one day, love your own child as deeply as I love you'.

I don't watch much TV so I wouldn't say I have a list of shows I can recommend that are not already really popular but just in case, shows I love; Empire,How to get away with murder,Suits and the Originals.What shows are you loving and why?