Friday, September 21, 2018

We Should All Be Feminists-Book Review

We Should All Be Feminists-Book Review
Feminist-A person who believes in the social,political and economic equality of the sexes.
We live in a world that is unjust and sexist.Men have an unfair advantage both at home and in the  workplace.Increasingly women are taking up jobs with the same, if not more responsibilities than men but still they are expected and thought to be less competent.There are a lot of misconception about women industry leaders.Women that have worked hard to break glass ceilings in their respective fields.Society often questions-how she got there? she is there because of gender balance? did she use her bottom power to get there,does she know someone powerful?. Rarely would society acknowledge that a woman could use her knowledge,intelligence and stellar performance to grow in her career.They would know this but would still want to know,so alifanyaje ndiyo akapata hiyo corner office?

We Should All Be Feminists seeks to enlighten people on why it would be really good if all of us believed in and fought for the social,political and economic equality of both women and men.This book is great as it shows ways in which the society is unfair to one gender and in some instances gives suggestions on how this can be solved.

Things Chimamanda covered in this book that I particularly loved;

On cooking and cleaning as female roles.

One  of the biggest fights I have at home is why I am the one expected to always cook and clean.This I have realized is a loosing battle I am fighting.Why? you ask, because in my very traditional home setting women have always cooked and cleaned,it is our role.I don't mind doing these tasks but what irks me is that if I don't do them no one else can do them.

'What if, in raising children, we focus on ability instead of gender? What if we focus on interest instead of gender? What if the parents, from the beginning, taught both children to cook Indomie? Cooking, by the way, is a useful and practical life skill for a boy to have—I’ve never thought it made much sense to leave such a crucial thing—the ability to nourish oneself—in the hands of others'-We Should All be Feminists.

Parents with young children have it within their power to change this.Teach your boys to cook and clean please 😊😊.The women of the future are counting on you guys..

On socialization of children

Chimamanda is definitely focusing on the future as a solution to all inequalities that exist today.I think she realizes that changing things now is very hard.Both in this book and in Dear Ijeawele,or A Feminist Manifesto in fifteen suggestions she passes messages on raising children,where they are no boy or girl roles and things that a boy or girl can or can't do.

In secondary school, a boy and a girl go out, both of them teenagers with meager pocket money. Yet the boy is expected to pay the bills, always, to prove his masculinity. (And we wonder why boys are more likely to steal money from their parents.) What if both boys and girls were raised not to link masculinity and money? What if their attitude was not “the boy has to pay,” but rather, “whoever has more should pay.” Of course, because of their historical advantage, it is mostly men who will have more today. But if we start raising children differently, then in fifty years, in a hundred years, boys will no longer have the pressure of proving their masculinity by material means-We Should All be Feminists.

On culture and the subordination of women

Some people will say a woman is subordinate to men because it’s our culture. But culture is constantly changing. I have beautiful twin nieces who are fifteen. If they had been born a hundred years ago, they would have been taken away and killed. Because a hundred years ago, Igbo culture considered the birth of twins to be an evil omen. Today that practice is unimaginable to all Igbo people.What is the point of culture? Culture functions ultimately to ensure the preservation and continuity of a people-We Should All be Feminists.

Women are still greatly disadvantaged despite all the hardwork,those before us have put in to ensure we have a sit at the table.It is high time the society reliases that a lot has changed,women aren't subordinates of men and something has to give.Mostly the male ego 😆😅😅.

On men and their perceptions of feminism.

Some men feel threatened by the idea of feminism. This comes, I think, from the insecurity triggered by how boys are brought up, how their sense of self-worth is diminished if they are not “naturally” in charge as men.Other men might respond by saying: Okay, this is interesting, but I don’t think like that. I don’t even think about gender.Maybe not.And that is part of the problem. That many men do not actively think about gender or notice gender-We should all be Feminists.

For equality to be achieved and for problems around gender to be solved both women and men need to work together.I have friends who think anything gender should be spoken of and handled by women and that it is very insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

If you are a man and are in situations where women are treated unfairly because they are female,it your duty to speak up.This way men also support this cause and before we know we will all live in a world where there are no problems with gender.Where boys and girls can be what they really want and pursue their dreams irrespective of their gender.Where women will not be expected to aspire to marriage while still young to fulfill societal expectations.Yet men are expected to make it financially before even thinking of marriage.Where there will be no female specific roles and male specific roles and maybe where the only difference between men and women would be their biological differences and nothing else.

My verdict on this book

I would highly recommend this book because it's a great book,easy to read and TINY so one can easily complete it in one sitting.I also think it's best to read this book  together with Dear Ijeawele,or A Feminist Manifesto in fifteen suggestions.These books have messages that build on each other and are great books on feminism.

I want an equal world but still want the men to pay for everything 😅😅, then I will have no problem doing all the house chores.What are your thoughts on feminism? I would love to know.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Haller Park- A Mini Forest By The Beach

Haller Park
Karibu Haller Park.
Mombasa is known for it's beaches,its food,its peoples' hospitality,their Swahili and how slow paced the city can be.That is why a visit to Haller Park was a very pleasant surprise for me. It is an award winning park that is a product of Bamburi cement company's efforts to convert barren landscape of disused limestone quarries into a vibrant and diverse ecosystem of forest, grasslands and ponds.Currently it plays host to a variety of wildlife including hippos, giraffes, buffaloes,antelopes, a tortoise,monkeys and birds.The diversity of vegetation in the park is out of this world,from mangroves, palms, majestic indigenous shade trees to coastal forests.Visiting it you will have a hard time believing that it's a man made park on land that was once barren and just a few metres away from the beach.

Things to do while at Haller Park include;

Feeding the giraffes

Things to do at Haller Park Mombasa
I must say,I am quite the expert in giraffe feeding 😊
Feeding giraffes is not for the faint hearted especially the first time.They have long tongues and use them to scoop their food.Once you get over your fear of their tongue and their proximity then it becomes a very fun thing to do.At Haller Park giraffe feeding hours are between 11 AM to 12 PM therefore if you plan to do this better arrive early.

One can still see the giraffes through out the day.They make  for very good photographs so if you are late and unable to feed them take loads of pictures of them and with them.

Appreciate the beautiful views

Things to do at Haller Park Mombasa
Monkeys chilling in their beautiful home.
Things to do at Haller Park Mombasa
Such beauty,makes one think how nice it would be to walk here or in similar places every day.

If you love forests,lush green forests,Haller Park will make you so so happy.It's huge with many kinds of trees.All so green and so healthy that I couldn't help but wonder how much water is used to keep it like this.The air is so clean, cool,crisp and refreshing during the day,at night not so much I guess.Plants exhale oxygen during the day and carbon dioxide at night.This might result in differences in how clean,cool and crisp the air in the park is at different times of the day.

See Wildlife

Things to do at Haller Park Mombasa
The tortoise and his fans 😄😄.
Wildlife at Haller Park Mombasa
A mother and her child hang out.
The park has a lot of animals and birds to see.All one needs is a lot of time,patience and a bit of luck and they will be able to see loads of them.When I visited I had only an hour so lets just say I rushed through the park but I saw monkeys,antelopes,giraffes and a tortoise.Now imagine if I spent  three hours there,I would have an experience similar to one who visited the Maasai Mara 😅😅. The more time one spends in the park the higher their chances of seeing a bigger variety of wildlife.

Appreciate water bodies

Haller Park Mombasa
Look at the reflection of the blue skies in the water.

Haller Park Mombasa
The water bodies here will blow your mind,they act as mirror where you see the sky and the trees.They were my favourite in the park.

If you are in Mombasa and are looking to do something besides the beach and Swahili food I highly recommend a visit to Haller Park.They charge KES 500 for entry and KES 150 for the giraffe feed.I think this is pricey but good thing is you can spend as much time as you want exploring the park and the money goes towards maintaining it.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Types of people in a Matatu

South c, South b, 111, 23, Westie, Kangemi, Na doni, namba nane baby.Ain’t no city like ma city oh no no no, Na-Nairobi, They can’t do it like we do it in the 254, Na- Nairobi,Ma hustler Na madem supuu,Kawangware to Buruburu,I love ma city oh yes I do, Na, Na Na-Nairobi-Mayonde feat Stone Jiwee's Nairobi
I mostly take matatus to and from work and for most of my errands.Therefore I am quite the expert on all matters matatu for two routes in the city that is the number 11 and 46 routes.Which matatus are quite,which are cheapest, those that always go to the destination irrespective of the situation on the road and the many different routes that could be used to get from point A to B.

In matatus rarely do you speak to the person that sits next to you.It shocks me just how much I never remember about all the people I sit next on matatus.This also means they don't remember me and therefore if you ever worried about what people thought of you, just know they aren't thinking of you at all unless you are pretty special to them.

Countless matatu rides and here are the kinds of people I have encountered;

The Reader

These are those people who as soon as they settle in,they start reading, mostly e-books on their phones.Some I even see reading in the morning around 6.30 AM! whilst I am struggling with thoughts on how to accomplish the most at work. Yaani they have me questioning my life choices especially on how I spend time. I am very envious of morning readers, they must have their lives in order for them to be chasing their reading goals at the start of the day.Sometimes I think they must be students who have an exam and are therefore doing some last minute reading.

The Eater

The Naivas cafes always come through,the winner though is their bakery.This obviously isn't me but someone who agrees with me on this matter.The Naivas Bakery chocolate chip cupcakes are so bomb!!!.
These are the worst to have as a seat mate especially if you are hungry.They fill the matatu with the aroma of their food making every one salivate because mostly they are always on the evening bus.At that time all of us are hungry hence why this can be a small torture.Increasingly though I see people having yoghurt,maize and crisps.These foods have no aroma, which is great for the rest of us.Most of the eaters on matatus are women, I wonder why.

The Friends/Family

I also want a friend who will carry me on a shot ten minute trip because she can't see me suffer 😅😅
These are people who get on a matatu and are very clear that no one else knows them.They therefore catch up on gossip.They let all of us in on their stories,world and schemes.Most of these conversations I don't remember but there is one that I don't think I will forget anytime soon.This man was planning how he will ensure one of his workmates suffers and he had a detailed evil plan on how to do this.

Please don't discuss your secrets or evil plans on a matatu even if you speak your mother tongue chances are there are people who speak it and maybe even know the people you are talking about.

The  Gentlemen

On Wednesday last week it rained unexpectedly at around 4.30 PM the worst possible time for it to rain.Normally there are no queues on the bus stop for the number 11 matatus.Rains however change a lot of things and one of them is each time it rains matatus disappear from the stage. This means that when one shows up people have to push and shove and usually it's the strongest or most strategic that get in.

These two sister who were together decided one will push her way in,get two seats and then her  sister will get in when all the struggle has finished.This plan looks like a good plan only that there was a huge fight over the seat her sister reserved for her.A lady had pushed her way in only to find the only available seat reserved and she refused to understand how someone will stand outside comfortably and get a seat yet she didn't.So she forcefully sat on the reserved seat.

The sister who had a reserved seat was an angry woman she came in and SHOUTED insults and made the ride home very entertaining for me. The other lady wasn't moved she even got a book out and started reading 😅😅. The angry sister wouldn't let it go she started bending so as to maintain eye contact with the person who stole her seat. Eventually a guy stood up and let her sit because he is a gentleman and couldn't stand seeing two grown women fight over a matatu seat.The traffic jam on this day was the worst and he stood for maybe an hour before alighting.I wonder the stories he told when he got home that day or maybe he lives alone and went home thinking thank God I have no woman in my life.

The Friendly Stranger

I was once the friendly stranger and will start conversations with people I didn't know.Conversation on Kenya,how the country is doing,politics and stuff in the news.Now I am scared of such people. This is what Nairobi does to you it teaches you to fear and to be wary of strangers.These are very few and rarely do I encounter them.What I love the most though is those people who say hi to you as they seat next to you and nothing more.

The Musician

These are always young people,those still in college.They sing along to their favourite songs if they are played on the matatu and do it loudly without a care.Ahhhhhh to be young and carefree.

Do you use Matatus often,are you any of these kinds of people? what other kinds of people have you encountered.I am a mix of all these but mostly I am the reader.I get on a matatu in the evenings and on most days chase my reading goals,some days I stare outside and sometimes I sleep!! I know,yes I am one of those.