29 Oct

Here’s to the crazy ones.

The misfits.

The rebels.

The troublemakers.

The round pegs in the square holes.

The ones who see things differently.

They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo.

You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.

About the only thing you can’t do, is ignore them.

Because they change things.

They push the human race forward.

And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.

Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world…

Are the ones who do…..

#WMHDKE 2012

29 Oct

I was having a conversation the other day with one of my closest friends, about the World Mental Health Day Kenya 2012 event that happened on 13th of October.

My dear friend, who was invested in organizing the event, was feeling a bit discouraged, that the event didn’t have a huge turnout, and as a result, she didn’t think it had made an impact.

I looked at her as she spoke, and I couldn’t help wondering how my friend, my confidant, my mentor, who was always right about so many things, could be so wrong about this.

My friend, #WMHDKE 2012 was a success.

My friend, #WMHDKE 2012 had far greater impact than you would imagine.

My friend, #WMHDKE 2012 got people to do the unspeakable, to speak about mental health.

When it comes to mental health, it takes just one word.

One wrong word could send you spiraling into depression just as fast as one right word could help you fight out of depression.

One word could make you feel like you’re not meant to be just as one word could make you believe that you are who you’re meant to be.

One word could label you crazy and one word could embrace you as different.

One word could resign you to the noose and one word could inspire your faith in another day.

One word could draw the line between life and death in a mind.

One word. That’s all it takes to save a life.

I should know. I’ve been there.

My friend, you may not know this, but you have saved my life more than once with your words.

Now think about all the words that people were inspired to say through #WMHDKE 2012, and imagine how many lives you may have saved.

#WMDHKE 2012 was never about the people who showed up to the Railway club on 13th October.

#WMHDKE 2012 was about the people who heard the mental health message and acknowledged it somehow.

#WMHDKE 2012. Keep talking.


17 May

Insomniacs see weird things. No. Not LSD trip weird. Quirky weird.

When you’re lying in bed contemplating inducing sleep by concussion, you inevitably end up staring at the mundane things around you and find yourself noticing fascinating details everywhere that few people capture as they breeze by life.

Insomnia is cool that way.

But that’s not the point.

Today I was lying in bed staring aimlessly at my bedside stand watching little sugar ants trotting along on it. They were probably so energetic because they had slept all night and were rested and refreshed.

One little ant in particular caught my eye, and I followed its journey.

It scampered determinedly from the cap of my bedside candle and made a beeline (antline?) straight for a glass of juice half full of juice next to me.

(Ed note: The glass half full vs half empty metaphor means nothing to me unless the glass in question contains some exquisite mellow red wine. So don’t label me optimistic… But that doesn’t mean I’m pessimistic)

Back to our ant.

I’d begun growing fond of him so I’d given him a loving pet name. Antieasid.

Antieasid to me represented a go getter at their best.

Ambitious, goal oriented, focused, motivated and hardworking.

He struggled up the glass all the way to the rim and with the goal in sight went straight into the juice.

Now THAT, is the definition of hitting the MOTHERLOAD. I think it would be the ant world equivalent of swimming in gold. Awesome, right?

But then I started contemplating his options.

He’d either try taking it all in then bloat to death one milliliter in.

Or he’d splash in his fortune until he got tired and drowned.

Or having tasted wondrous pleasures, he’d climb out and live to tell the tale to his grandchildren.

Antieasid made me question…

Is heading for the motherload brave or just plain stupid?


25 Feb

Yeah, I said it. Be focused! Okay, I typed it… But I typed it in CAPS, embellished with exclamation marks and did all this while perched on my chair at an angle exuding a distinct air of authority. And as an ADHD’er, for me to claim any authority on matters of focus, y’all be sure I this is grave business.

Let me explain myself…. *Stand back people, Loco has an opinion and she’s not afraid to use it*

Earlier today I had an unsavory Barclays Bank experience. The long and short of  it: As it turns out, an account holder with Barclays Bank of Kenya cannot transact in Tanzania without an ATM card. I wont get into that discussion here, catch the highlights on my twitterfeed if you must.

The discussion on the Barclays issue eventually ended up in an offline conversation with one right honorable Mr. Bankelele (Esq, Infamous) of  the top rated corporate blog bankelele.blogspot.com. In retrospect, I cringe in embarrassment just thinking of the fervor with which I engaged Banks on the topic of delivery of service by institutions. I’m so unschooled in the intracacies of business I can only how much of a twat I must have come off as. But Banks in his infinite patience was very gentle with me. He heard me out, nodded where appropriate and volleyed all my crazed ranting in the most calm fashion. Yeah, he’s a superstar like that.

Anyway, after our chat, I got to thinking about industry in Africa. For the purposes of this post, I’ll narrow down to the the service industry in East Africa, specifically retail. I’ll get right into it with a short illustration. Assume  you’re in Dar es salaam, staying at the New Africa Hotel. In this assumption, you run out of shower gel on Saturday at about 4pm and you dash out to get some. Within a radius of about 2km, there’s a very high probability that you’d find only 2 stores open to get this. Now, this is smack dab in the middle of Dar, within that same radius, there’s about 10 – 15 stores. If in the assumption you needed something pharmaceutical, my friend, you’d be screwed. None of the 5 or 6 pharmacies in the area are open on Saturday at that hour!

Now, if these stores were open, one thing is for sure, they wouldn’t lack traffic. Woolworths across the street for instance: Say they were open for business on a Saturday afternoon, the costs theyd incur on Staff, utilities and whatever else wouldn’t total to anything above 200,000Tsh. Last time I was at woolies I spent almost double that in one fell swoop all by my lonesome. Cost recovered. If their clientele profile comprises of higher LSM individuals, a lot of them working in fast paced corporates, it stands to reason that their store traffic would actually be notable at this time. But they’re not open for business.

What am I getting at? The illustration I’ve given can be scaled, reworked, skewed and replicated in many ways against the broader cross section of the service industry in East Africa. Efficiency in delivery, customer relationship management even basic consideration of consumer needs, is largely wanting and that’s a fact. My intention is not to undermine in any way where we are coming from and where we’re headed. But that notwithstanding, if most service providers put in just a little effort, there would be notable improvements in basic efficiencies and subsequent increments in (I think) in industry revenues. I’m no economist, but take the woolies example, however marginal, and multiply by the number of retail outlets out there, throw in the telcos, perhaps a couple of banks here and there, then ruminate on the effect that would have on the economy from that level.

So yeah, I’ll say it again, perhaps what we need is to #BEFOCUSED just a little more.

Disclaimer: I’ve made a helluva lot of assumptions in this post. As I said, my conversance in business affairs is peasant at best. I may be way off base on the whole economic theorization, but what I know for damn sure is that a whole lot of people like me would be a lot less frustrated if the service industry just delivered better.

Unsolicited Pseudo-Intellectual Rambling

25 Feb

I am in possession of a train of thought that is decidedly a runaway train.

Take for instance, my current preoccupation: I am seated in a hotel room, semi-delirious as a result of a sleep deprived stupor catalyzed by insomnia. Despite this, and for reasons beyond my comprehension, I’ve been engaged, for the past half hour, in an attempt to steer my thought train on a track of deliberation on strategic process in advertising. True to its errant nature however, my train of thought has veered itself merrily off course.

My ruminations have digressed into a contemplation of application of strategy in anthropocentrism. Following that train of thought, I find myself toying with an extrapolation of behavioral predispositions based on the assumption of human homogeneity.

If I were to link my conjecture (perhaps misguidedly) to a variation of the agenda setting theory, devolved to apply to basic human interactions as opposed to media and the masses, here is what I come up with:

Motivation breeds purpose. Purpose nurtures intent. Intent defines thought. Ergo, if you understand a persons motivators you should be able to decipher their thoughts and consequently, predict their next move.

However, it’s no good just knowing a person’s next move. In similar fashion to owning a car but lacking the ability to drive it,  it is only when you can manipulate the person’s next move  that can you control the individual in their entirety.

I am no authority on chess, but if I’m not mistaken, this is one of the basic stratagems of the game, isn’t it?

Consider this: The best lie told is that which the pawn discovers for themselves as a truth…

I can’t even claim that there is a point to my drivel. In my defense, I pointed out earlier on in this post that it is quite possible that I may be in a state of delirium right now.

But just so you don’t feel cheated of your buck worth of time for slogging through this balderdash, here’s a moral for the books…

Err… Don’t drink and drive.

Oh, and urm… Stay away from drugs and stuff.

Fables, Truth And The Absence Of Absolutes

16 Feb

A story has been told, of a girl. A girl, unique as every other, average as every other. We shall call her Loco.

The story tells us how this girl, when she was younger, sometimes used to find herself awake in the middle of the night. She’d scoot over to her window, draw the curtains back just a tiny bit, and peek outside into the night. She’d look up at the stars and marvel at their beauty. Or stare into the inky darkness, when it was starless, and be drawn into the black fluidity, painting into it wondrous dreams.

The story further unfolds to tell how young Loco, at the first indication of illness; a fleeting headache, a sting, a queasy stomach… would be cast into glee, imagining the opportunity illness presented, for her to get out of the dull routine of childlife, and spend a day at home with all sorts of freedom to abuse.

The girl in our story, as with all young girls, grew older, because life, even in all its complexity, gives no choice in matters of growing old.

And in the story, Loco, still a girl, but with more years to show on her resume of life, still found herself awake in the middle of the night sometimes. And she’d still scoot over to her window, draw the curtains back a bit and peek outside in the night. And she’d sit there, not marvelling, but frozen in terror. The light of the stars now cast shadows in the dark, each an intruder. The inky black of the night was now alive, not with  wondrous dreams, but with ghouls breaking down the door to get her.

And this girl in the story, just an older young Loco, would, as most humans do, sometimes, feel ill; the occasional cough, the blush of a fever, a whirl in her tummy… But this no longer brought with it glee, or the hope for freedom. There was only the chill of fear, the premonition of doom at the thought of what illness might bring.

It’s a funny kind of sad, this story, because, the fear that grips our girl, reminds her, that life is too short, too fleeting not to be savored. And it’s a sad kind of funny, that this same fear, holds our girl back from relishing each moment in the story of her life.

If only she remembered not to forget that she doesn’t need to be reminded, just like the young girl in our story.

As far as stories go, this is not a fairytale, so the author cannot guarantee that our Loco lived happily ever after. The end.

Of Pip And I…

18 Jul

Ah, Freya North has a scary ability to write out my life. I hate her for it but how can I not love her for this?

“You do NOT fear your OWN ability to COMMIT. Just think about your unwavering dedication to your career, your notion of sisterhood and friendship. You are tireless. That is why we all lean on you. Because you are totally committed to the lot of us. You do not have a “fear of commitment” that’s just an easy way out of all of this.

What you have dearest one, is a deep seated and totally understandable fear of OTHER people’s commitment to YOU. I totally wholeheartedly agree, you’ve never been in love. Until Zac, you’ve chosen chaps whom you’ve simply liked but who have loved you. so when it’s over, it hasn’t hurt you. Why have you done this, over all these years? I’ll tell you why, because what YOU actually fear is being left by someone YOU love.

Your fear of COMMITMENT centres solely on another’s commitment to YOU”

Yeah, everytime I read this I feel like Freya is standing over me wagging her finger my way and tut tutting. This woman needs to stop giving me hard hitting lectures in her books! Alright I gerrit already!

Take Time…

23 Jun

They say ‘Life imitates art’ or is it ‘Art imitates life’? Anyway, regardless, this is evidenced every now and then. There are so many times when I, for example, find that a song will speak EXACTLY to what’s going on in my life. Word for word. It’s creepy.

I just watched Ledisi’s ‘Take Time’. She sat, observed me, read my mind, psychoanalyzed me, and then wrote that song. I wanted to quote some of the lyrics, but I can’t. Because each word she sings, each pause she takes and scat she does is an illustration of what’s happening with me and what I need to do. So in case you have been wondering what I have been up to (which I’m sure you haven’t), here’s a status update.

Ledisi _ Take Time

Take time, to get away
Free your mind, and fly away
Take time to get away
Free your mind, and fly away

Ooh, sometime the days get so long
A cup of coffee just to keep you strong
In rush hour and you’re late,
There’s nothing to do, but sit and wait
So many things are on your mind, yeah
The start of your day, keeps passing you by,
Oh you wanna find a place to escape,
It’s your life, you gotta do whatever it takes, yeah

Take some time, to, free your mind, oh yeah
Ooh, oh oooh yeah
Sometime the days get so long, long,
Though sometime it seems, everything is wrong, yeah
Endless hours, you’re working so hard, yeah
In your fancy suit, exchanging business cards
So much pressure, need to run and hide, yeah
Get tired of the days, passing you by, ooh,
You wanna find a place to escape, it’s your life
You gotta do whatever it takes, yeah

Take some time, to get away
Free your mind, and fly away, oh yeah
Everything’s gonna be alright when you do it yeah,
Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh yeah

Take time, let go, let go
Take time, yeah, it’s alright, take time, take time
Yeah yea, take a minute breathe yeah, just let go and
Leave it there, you gotta breathe a minute, take a minute
Breathe a minute, yeah, yeah, yeah, just relax and let it
Go, it’s alright if you should know, breathe a minute, take
A minute, breathe a minute, ooh yeah, take a minute, breathe
A minute, take a minute, come on, oh come on, take a minute,
Breathe a minute, take some time, and love yourself!!


Take your time, to get away, yeah
Free your mind and fly away, just get away
Everything’s gonna be alright, everything’s gonna work out fine, when
You do it, when you do it, yeah
Take time (scat) oh yeah, yeah yeah (scat)


21 Feb

Okay not really, but I’ll be back soon. For now, I’m unrepentantly copy pasting this brilliant piece I bumped into during one of my irregular interweb trolling rounds. A piece from love, lolita. I personally think it’s abso-flippin-lutely genius… (well maybe that’s because I’m half a bottle of Pinot Grigio down and a whole lot seems to be genius literature, meh!)

Be that as it may, do enjoy folks! (And by folks here, I mean my 0.0867 readers remaining – judging by my confuddlingly erratic update intervals here *le sigh*)

Be good to
my inner and outer body
Be kind to

Devotion to
small things
Lost balance
I seek to tilt scales
Back to transcendence
To living in the moment
To erasing guilt
To being honest
To remember my beginnings
To be better
To always try
To energize

My self and purpose questioned
I drowned in the moment
Loathing every second
I dwelled in the moment
And owned self pity
Felt eaten whole
He was my only salva vida

Now, I can save my own life
By living by striving by stirring up
What brought me joy when I needed rescue
My mantras
My praying
My poetry
My sacred time and words
My ability to create whole cloth where nothing existed before

So I redevote myself
To me 
Mi espiritu,
Mi alma,
Mi creatividad,
Mi intuicion,
Mi destino

With my salvation by my side
(always a comforting and constant presence)
I reinforces what the inner me always knew: 
you bring your blessings to you, 
you change landscapes, 
you craft dreams, 
you bounce back, 
you weave words that become scripture. 
You ...


That’s it for now….. until my next absurdly mundane post.

The story of the straw and the camel’s back.

3 Jan


Hang on to your bloomers folks, this is a long one. It’s got chapters; you might want to take that potty break now.


Breaking: (v) def ~ the process of taming a wild horse.


“…we always said we’d resist and indeed we desisted…”

Imani misquoted.


“Ladies and gentlemen, public service address: I just might make it home by 7.30pm! 7.30! *this day gets weirder and weirder*”

I tweeted on my way home from my first workday in 2011.

You see I usually self flagellate for no apparent reason by working quite late on a daily basis. Today was different; I had been forcibly evicted from the office early and was headed home. So it was a weird occurrence, but it felt good.

Unusual for Nairobi, there was only a light flow of traffic out of town, up Langata road, which trickled into the bottle neck just before the bomas causing slight traffic that crept along slowly up the hill towards the magadi road turn off. Indeed, a weird occurrence for a road that usually sees a maddening standstill jam daily from Barracks at that hour.


And then the madness began.

“Seeing matatu driver’s bumper riding ambulances just to get ahead DISGUSTS me to the very core of my being. Utter fuckery!!”

I tweeted as a patient bearing ambulance, sirens blazing, rushed to save a life, and tailgating it, causing all sorts of mayhem in its wake, an errant matatu bulldozed at full speed. Bile welled up in the depths of my bowels.

You see it made no sense to me, that one human being would recklessly endanger his 14 passengers, trying to save a couple of minutes by bumper hugging another human being who was trying to save the life of his one charge.

You’ll have to bear with me, but I’m the type that gets incensed by nonsensical overlapping on the road.


“And so the friggin matatu crashes while at it!! Fuck you dude, you’re everything that is wrong with humanity!! NKTEST!”

I tweeted as we caught up with the same matatu 5 minutes later.

The tosser had gotten into a fender bender with an oncoming motorist while in pursuit of idiocy.It was nothing serious, divinity had intervened and no one was hurt. The bile rose up to the base of my throat.

Venting on twitter, I shared my frustrations with @egovanego and @madnjomz.

“Ok Loco… calm down luv.”

@Archermishale intervened, advice that I was about to heed, but then surprise surprise, WTF of WTFville, IT HAPPENED AGAIN!!!! Same script different cast!


“Just saw it again!! The fuck?! I’m not giving myself ulcers over this, won’t even be sad about it. I’m done giving a shit.”

I replied to Archer.

And just like that I was done caring, done feeling. You might have to bear with me again, I’m the type that gets affected by 50% of what I think is rotten with the world, and the only reason the other 50% doesn’t affect me is because I don’t know what it is yet.

I want to remain an idealist, a humanist even, but by Jude I can’t. I won’t. It will be the death of me. So you may now call me disillusioned, jaded even. I need to become a drone, a bot even. Report to work, slave away mindlessly till the end of the day, trudge home unfeelingly alongside the masses and repeat sequence until numbness is achieved.


I may not be wild and in need of taming, I may only bear a fleeting resemblance to a horse, but you could say I’ve been broken.


Check with me tomorrow, I just might give a fuck again.