Sandlady the junkie.

Hi!My name is Sandlady and am a drug junkie. Admitting my predicament publicly like this makes me feel so contaminated, like Nairobi river or the local sewage. Just like the other junkies I insist I have not done it intentionally and I am not sure I can quit.

A few years ago, after fourth form, I stayed with my uncle for quite some time before joining college. This is what used to happen those days, you either went upcountry to stay with your grandparents, visited an aunt or uncle as you figured out what to do after high school. Now while staying with my uncle I would see him taking pills almost every single day, I think five days in a week. I felt sorry for him, having to take medicine every day didnt sound like something anyone enjoyed. But I could see he had no choice, it was either that or he would not sleep.

I joined college, on your way out of Nairobi heading to Ruiru, Kenyatta University to be precise. If you have read my other pieces youll realise that I dont like disclosong my higher learning information. Compared to Mombasa where i grew up, Nairobi is pretty cold most of the time but KU(Kenyatta University-Main Campus) proved to be even colder. It is while pursuing higher learning that I found myself into drugs. I started light, taking a mild tablet say once a month or once a week.

During what we called Summer classes, which is really ironic since its the coldest period of the year, the situation would worsen even as I kept warm through out. I increased my dosage and changed drugs. But because money was scarce as solely on pocket money sent to me by my parents my intake was in check.

Fast forward to the present and I can not say it has gotten any better. I have a good job and am able to afford the best drugs for oral and inhaling. This is what allergies has turned me into, an anti-histamine junkie. I know most anti-histamine drugs in Kenya, from piriton, cezine, aerius, montana, zyncet, cetrizine and celastamine amongst many others. Some are the real deal while others are generic, in fact I get loyalty discounts whenever I go to buy in most chemists.

You are probably wondering why I can’t do without medication while the simple solution is to keep off the triggers. Believe me I really try but first to tell what exactly are my triggers, dust, smoke, perfumes, paraffin and most fuels. My reaction is a sneeze-a-thon out of this world, I can out-sneeze most people I know. My sneeze is so loud you would think my skinny self was going to crack in the next minute. To avoid smoke and paraffin I use gas, and it was the first thing I ever did for my parents, buying a gas cooker.

My main challenge lies in where I work and where I stay, a total dilemma, as both seem to be almost permanent, at least in the near future. I am a cashier, which means in the course of duty I receive cash from customers from all walks of life. From the office executives to mama mboga, from the petrol stations to the hardware dealers, from the Somali livestock trader to the Giriama charcoal dealers without discrimination. All these come bundled with dust and different scents that trigger my allergens. Most often I will be fine till the end of day when I arrive home and the sneeze kicks in while at times it’s instant. At home another challenge awaits, dust from the dusty road just next to my house. When I bought into the idea of getting the ideal corner house I had not taken into account how dry Mombasa is and that it gets dusty. To make matters worse construction of the estate is ongoing which means lorries carrying construction materials are always on the move throwing in dust at me and mine. So you see either way am doomed.

I have been in a complicated relationship with my doctor,an ENT specialist, whom I see when things get awry like yesterday. In fact after always being prescribed anti-histamines and anti-biotics i decided to seek professional help and I do not regret it. It is at this point that I learnt that all this time i had been treating the symptoms instead of dealing with the cause, I realised I had allergy issues. She,the ENT specialist, advised me to try to keep off the triggers and where a mask at work, she also prescribes some medication plus a nasal spray which I must say is a life saver. A puff and am as good as new, though I suppose this is how smokers feel at their first puff. About the mask, hmm I have been rather reluctant to put it on throughout because of stares and questions from clients. I always feel they’ll be offended, that I find their hard earned money smelly and not worth me touching it while others having asked me if am allergic to money.

So now I have resorted to accepting my smelly druggy self since even the mildest of perfumes doesn’t augur well with my nostrils it seems and wearing masks like I work in some factory and not a bank. I also never miss a tablet of celastamine and a nasal spray as I travel since I cannot control what other people do. My friends having experienced firsthand what i go through will double check and will endure the heat for fear that using the fan will cause me harm, which is the risk they run. I have learnt to love citrus fruits and you will see me buying oranges and ‘chenza’ whenever they are in season. I don’t take milk in my tea as am told dairy products increase…., instead I love black tea. I prefer lemon tea but am afraid of its slimming effect as am already skinny and slimming will reduce me to a walking stick. Honey, ginger and lemon concoction are my go-to home remedy.

Now I appreciate my uncle’s life better and I know it’s genetical, something I hope not to pass on to Sandbaby. In the meantime, Sandbaby keeps praying for me to get well and stop getting sick every now and again.

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Sandlady Dates Mzungu

The other day I went out on a date with my long time admirer, Hans. As you have already guessed, Hans is a foreigner, a “Mzungu” to be precise. I hope that doesnt sound racism from your point of view, i just found it necessary to point out. I have known him for close to seven years, which is before I even got Sandbaby. I am expextedly late for the date but he accepts my apology and says what is a few mijutes when hes been waiting for this chance for years. I smile for lack of a better reply, because really how do you beat that?

When i arrived at our designated meeting point, Kahamas (My choice of course) I find one of the waitresses at the entrance sort of waiting for me. I say sort of because just as I was going to call him to know where hes seated the waitress called to me. Hed told her hes waiting for his date and as such would not be making any orders until her(my) arrival. As Hans stood to usher me to my seat I felt like everyone was staring at us. And it reminded me why this whole idea was a mistake, going out with a mzungu was so cliche for my kind, skinny women(sb, skinny bitches) and all sorts of conclusiins would have been drawn by the time I sat down. The fact that Hans is not exactly young doesnt help my case but further vindicates me.

We place our orders and get into a conversation, getting to know each other, something I dont enjoy about new dates. The half-hearted smiles, the withheld smart retorts and the false sense of understanding doesn’t appeal to me anymore. I am at point in my life where I’d prefer being disappointed on the first date, get the real deal from the onset. But for Hans, I play along because it’s the politest and right thing to do.

The good thing about dating at the age of 30 is that you can actually ask blunt questions without flinching. This is exactly how I get to learn that Hans, who’s older than my late father, has never been married and has no child. He tells me that he was busy looking for money and taking care of his sickly parents and did not make time to start a family. Unlike here, it is common for Germans to seek financial stability before going into marriage and starting a family. Being the doubting Thomas that we women are, I ask him if he’s maybe met someone in Kenya in the few years he’s been here. At this question, he despairs and laments that as a Mzungu it is next to impossible to meet a lady who’s genuinely interested in him. He further narrates how he’s seen and heard of fellow Mzungus who’ve been swindled of their hard earned money. Worse still they have been dumped and their passports either destroyed or hidden.

I take a breather from this conversation to enjoy the live band playing and nod acknowledgements to some of my acquaintances. At this moment I sort of wish I had selected a more exclusive restaurant but then again I was going for what I could afford and safe in case of any eventuality. The stares and the smiles am getting are laced with mischief and accusation. Like they are telling me, welcome aboard, you have finally seen the light. While another pair silently asks how and why am going that way. I don’t blame any of them because it is a common scene to see a skinny girl with a Mzungu old enough to be her grandfather in the name of a sponsor or benefactor. I digress but it is what it is. I am grateful that apart from acquaintances I meet no friend here because then I would have wished for the ground to open up and swallow me.

Back to my date, Hans is rich and like any other rich person, controversy beckons. His caretaker who happens to be a woman is suing for half of his property in Kenya alleging they were married in a customary wedding. He’s denied these allegations and I can tell he’s really stressed by these turn of events. He tells me that he regrets why he ever offered to assist this lady who’s proving to be a wolf in a sheep’s skin. Well it is matter that is in our courts and since it is causing him so much grief we drop the topic.

He asks me about my daughter and I show him lots of photos of Sandbaby. I can see his face clouded with emotions and I gather we have seen enough of my beautiful girl. I ask him how he spends his time in Kenya while around. He tells me that every morning he goes for a run with his babies, his dogs who he loves so much. He goes with them all the way to Pirates, the public beach, stays there for about two hours then takes a Bajaj back home. Once a week he goes for live band and on another day he goes for massage.

The night progresses very well and I feel we can be friends with Hans. I had unfairly judged him because of his race and colour. Despite the language barrier, he speaks a bit of English, he is a really good conversationalist and has a lot of wisdom to pass on. So don’t be surprised seeing me with a Mzungu or going for language classes.

Agency Banking is Here to stay.

In the recent past we have seen more and more Kenyan owned banks embracing agency banking. Mobile banking is a service provided by financial institutions in cooperation with mobile phone operators. It allows customers with busy lives to conveniently do their banking using their phones anytime. It is about getting banking services to the unbanked, those who do not have bank access or bank accounts, and those who are at the bottom of the economic pyramid, often living in remote areas.

Agency Banking is governed and licensed by the Central Bank of Kenya as provided for in the Prudential Guidelines which clearly states that an institution may carry out banking services through an agent. The agent may be an entity running a commercial or non-commercial activity. This therefore means banks may engage varied businesses including, but not limited to , hardwares, mobile money agents, wholesalers and more.

Without a doubt you have noticed non-bank officers in the banking halls offering banking services like cash withdrawals, cash deposits, bill payments and account opening . These are agents that have been authorised and licensed by the banks to carry out banking services on the banks’ behalf.

On 2nd August 2017, the Daily Nation reported that Equity Bank had announced its plans to shut down 11ATM machines and instead invest more on their agency banking network. Equity Bank as a matter of fact pointed out that it is cheaper for them to engage the services of an agent than to maintain an ATM. Going by the financial results of the two key players in agency banking, KCB Bank and Equity Bank, you can not ignore that truly the future of banking is tied to agency banking. This is because of the non-funded income they are earning from agency banking. It would also be important to acknowledge that banks have gone on a retrenching spree coupled with closure of some branches as a reaction to the recent interest capping enforced by the Central Bank of Kenya.

Agency banking can be accessed through the use of either a phone or a PDQ machine at an agent. To use it through the phone a customer will need to first register for mobile banking with his bank to enable him initiate transactions while the agent is able to initiate cash deposits from his phone without the customer being registered. For withdrawals the customer will produce his card, which the agent will insert on the PDQ machine, then the customer will key in his pin just like he would do on the ATM machine.

Going my argument above it is clear that agency banking is a business that is not short termed. So how do you become an agent or what do you to become an agent? I have outlined the basic requirements for your perusal as sourced from both KCB Bank and Equity Bank who are the market leaders in agency banking:-

  • An existing business at the same location for about 6months.
  • Valid business permits for the business i.e KRA PIN, Certificate of incorporation etc.
  • Certificate of good conduct to vouch for your moral standing
  • Current bank statements for the last 6months
  • Credit Reference Bureau Report
  • National ID of the applicant
  • Sufficient cashflow to sustain the business
  • Strategic location.

Armed with the above requirements you can now approach any of the banks offering agency banking to fill in application to become an agent. Once your application is approved you will be required to open at least two accounts by the bank, a float and a commission account. The float account acts as the contra account(mirror account if you like) for the transactions that you will be performing while the commission account is precisely what the names suggests, an account for the commission collected for every transaction. At this point it is important to inform you that you need not have an account with the bank beforehand to be their agent, a certified bank statement from any other will suffice. Minimum float requirement is atmost Kshs. 20,000.00.

Is it a lucrative business?Is it worth it? This is the question any business minded individual will ask themselves. The answer solely depends on you. Just like M-Pesa agency banking relies heavily on volumes, the more transactions you do the more the commission with the minimum commission per transaction being KShs.10.00. While most agents agree that the smaller banks pay better commissions they also admit that the bigger banks have more traffic. The top three busiest agency counters in no partivular order are KCB Bank, Equity Bank and Family Bank.

As an agent you need to be reliable and consistent by ensuring that customers get the services they need everytime. It is discouraging for you to always say you have no float whenever a customer wants to transact. Always ensure you have float by replenishing the float account, have cash to pay customers doing withdrawals. Again like M-Pesa withdrawals lead to an increase to float and attract higher commissions while deposits reduces your float.

Excellent customer experience coupled with professionalism and integrity will guarantee repeat visits and customer loyalty. This in turn has a spill effect of ensuring you get customer referrals. Some rogue agents have been reported and closed down because of cash suppression spoiling the reputation of agency banking. Having at least three or more agencies at the same shop will work to your advantage. Another thing is to make sure you can access mobile banking through both the mobile and the PDQ machine.

I believe I have tackled most questions that most people have on agency banking but am open to questions, suggestions and corrections on the comments or to my email: andiegos12@gmail.com

Akinyi, the Banker.

The Power of Three

Two is company while three is a crowd, or so it’s always been said. I tend to think that three is a powerful number that we tend to overlook. Even our African forefathers knew this when they designed the fireplace to be in the form of three stones. Presently even our modern jikos and modern cook stoves borrow heavily on that.

Looking back from the time I was a child to now I realise that I have always been in a threesome kind of friendship. No, I do not mean the gutter mind kind of threesome as you would like to think though I know that would have been a more interesting tale to tell. Maybe one day I’ll write about that as well, who knows. As I was saying, before I got caught up in your naughty thoughts, I almost always find myself in a triangular kind of friendship.

It’s not something I consciously go out to embed myself onto. On the contrary it’s such a natural phenomenon that we all find ourselves into. Just think about it, look at your circle of close friends, you will find the triangle bond. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses that they bring to the table. I am tempted to use mathematical illustrations so kindly bear with me.

While there are about seven types of triangles I will use only three to illustrate what this analogy is about. There is the equilateral triangle which has equal sides and angles. The right angle triangle has one angle being a right angle, that is to say it is 90 degrees. The other triangle am interested in is the Isosceles triangle that has two sides being equal in size and angles as well.

Just like triangles the threesome friendship can be categorised in different groups. I have attached the above photo that I picked from Google to help you from having a migraine from the mention of mathematics. An equilateral friendship is where the three friends give as much as they receive. Their level of emotional, social and intellectual intelligence are at par, the friends will reach at the same conclusion whether individually or collectively. They have an equal chance in decision making and will seek each other’s opinion to reach an amicable decision.

In an isosceles friendship, one friend always stands out, either socially, emotionally or intellectually. The other two tend to have similar opinions in most matters and the third friend always feels as a third wheel. For this friend to get her way she must put in a lot of effort to sway one of the other two. It also implies that at any one time two friends will always be on one side and at no one time will the opinions be the same.

The right angled friendship is a friendship that is based on one of the three friends being superior in most areas and therefore almost always has the final say. Sometimes it’s about the friend who keeps giving or taking from the friendship. There are friends who at all times suck from the friendship and may even be draining like a tick.

Now that we are done with the boring illustration maybe you want to practically look at your chain of friendships. As for myself I can tell you for a fact that I probably have one or two non-triangular friendships. Otherwise I exist in triangles, in some am a silent follower, in another am thrown into the limelight of leadership while in others am among equals. I definitely enjoy being part of the triangles because I can’t imagine having only one friend. Okay so maybe I can have one very close friend but not the only one.

Let me tell you why I wouldn’t give up my triangles for other kinds of friendships. There’s this girl I know and she tells me she has no friend. When I asked her why, I realised she had put all her eggs in one basket. Friends aren’t angels my dear, and are entitled to mood swings and making mistakes. So apparently she stopped keeping friends because her one “most” trusted friend had betrayed her. Of course am curious to find out how she was betrayed but that will be too nosey of me. All said I do tend to think she’s miserable, as a woman you need a girl to gossip with, another one you can be a kid with and another you can be with when you feel like letting your hair down. In fact the third force is important to restore sense and sanity to the group. If these ladies were three, the third one would have found a way to bridge the gap.

I remember back in high school, my friends, Grace and Maureen had had a tiff, and weren’t talking to each other. At the same time we needed to go watch a play and no one was willing to go alone. The two of them picked me at my place and I was the centrepiece for the better part of the time. Had to make small talk with both without seeming to favor anyone until we picked Dorina, my twin at the time. She and I were assigned the duty of being the voice of reason and this meant we broke into twos. See this is why three becomes very handy, and not a crowd in a bad way.

I know men get annoyed whenever they are trying to hit on a girl who always seems to have her crowd in tow. In such a case you shouldn’t feel intimidated because the other girls have specific roles to play. There’s the one party girl who’s the life of the trio, without her the group is boring and the other girls would be better off staying at home. There’s the polite one, she doesn’t talk as much and when she does it’s about deep stuff like politics et cetera. She may seem to be enjoying the drinks but in truth she’s the group’s guard. She will try to stay sober at all costs and gather what you are all about. Of course there’ll be the girl you are hitting on who you will not figure since today she’s assigned the sweet girl role. As girls we wear these roles as the need arises.

Even the creators of the cartoon series “Powerpuff Girls” knew this and exploited this bond. Some of the best music bands were made of trios, Destinys Child, Spice Girls, The Supreme, TLC and many more. Find a triangle that complements you and build a strong bond. Because many a times one of the three breaks away the friendship of the other two will most definitely suffer.

The Big Chop. Why women cut their beloved hair.

The other day I was talking to two friends and was trying to complement one of them, Judy, on how good she was looking in her new hair cut. Adelaide, the other friend, quickly cut me off,”Don’t listen to her. This one had long hair and just chopped it off. Who does that?” Then turning to me she asked, “Why did you really cut your hair?”

I smiled, you know that kind of smile you pull when you can’t truly answer a question. The smile that says I-can’t-get-into-that-right-now. But I did tell her to get over it, to move on since I had shaved my hair more four years ago and most of the people I now called colleagues could not imagine or believe I could keep let alone grow long hair.

You see, I went to a catholic primary school and the only hairstyle allowed was short and neat hair. I therefore got to start keeping my hair in high school. If you met me either in college or afterwards I would have sworn against all odds that I would never shave my hair. I was so sure that nothing and no one could convince me to let go of my beautiful long hair that i had nurtured to more than shoulder length.

That was until 2012, when fate would have me reconsider my hard stance. Most people think that women cut their hair at the spur of the moment. I’ll have you know that this is not the case, we actually spend a lot of time antagonising on the pros and cons of shaving. It is not an event my friend, its a process of thoughts, emotions and logic.

“A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life”~~~Coco Chanel

When a woman cuts her hair, it’s seldomly because of trends or the fact that short hair will flatter her. No, instead it marks a turning point in her life since it mostly involves something very emotional, unpleasant and most often than not will involve the man in her life. It is also true that the same woman will grow back her hair, healthier and voluminous as she grows into a new relationship and finds happiness. It therefore follows that women will cut their hair in times of strife and stress.

Consider this for a moment, how does hair and emotions relate? The simple answer is that hair represents the feminity and beauty of a woman. It also informs how a woman thinks of herself among other women,how she feels about herself. For doesn’t it say in the Bible that if a woman has long hair its glory to her? Even the woman you think is not beautiful will spend time and money to attain beautiful hair. Women all over the world invest time and money on the hair, in terms of products used and time taken to be styled. We spend on shampoos, conditioners, dyes and all sorts of hair accessories to attract attention from men. This is exactly why for a woman cutting her hair should come as a warning.

It may be explained as cutting off men, recoiling from being attractive, trying to camouflage oneself. Believing that you will become incognito and disappear from the face of the world. It may not be a conscious decision to do so and one may only come to realise it later on deep analysis.

A woman may also cut her hair in her attempt to reach out to her lover. The chop is a hint that something is not going so well in the relationship and a cry for attention. If you are sensible you will look beyond the hair cut and prod for more. If in luck you may be able to turn around your relationship. Rarely will you find women cutting their hair because it was falling of anyway or had suffered damage from over processing and the like. The first time I cut my hair it was because of two reasons. For one I thought if I cut my hair I would be less attractive and therefore command less attention from the menfolk. By extension I expected to afford my Person some reassurance of not being hit on by competition. I loathed long hair, blaming it for my misfortune not realising that my dear Person was insecure for his own reasons. It is true that a woman will withstand a lot of pain and abuse in a relationship but the minute she makes up her mind to walk away there’s no stopping her. This is how I chopped my hair, to signify a new beginning. As an African i should have buried that hair as a symbol of my new journey.

The other reason, that now seems unreal, was the lack of proper hairdressers in my new neighbourhood combined with my new calling of motherhood. When you are a working mother balancing between the self and motherhood can be tricky and most often you let yourself go. At the same time the convenience of short hair can be quite addictive, I should know because I always find myself at the barbershop.

As much as short hair is becoming trendy, what with having people like our very own Lupita Nyong’o donning it, as a man or a mother do not ignore that hair cut. At the very least she’ll be happy that you noticed her.

Adam And Eve

Having grown up in a environment where marriage is forever, for better for worse, I cannot help it but to advocate for reconciliation, most of the time. I know this may sound unbelievable to some of you who think they know me. I hold marriage sacred, after all it is the oldest institution ordained by God Himself.

Gen 2:18 And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”

I don’t know how to tell people to walk away from a marriage, not without listening to both sides of the stories. No one is a saint, no one is perfect and we must therefore be more accommodative in marriage. You can’t treat marriage as casually as you treat dating, God put a lot of thought in getting Adam a helper, Adam had to give up his rib for Eve. It was definitely no small matter. I do have strong opinions on how men should treat women and vice versa but in marriage I do cut both parties some slack.

I am not a marriage counsellor neither am I trying to play one, I am simply sharing my thoughts. I probably should declare that am single, but not searching, am currently in a complicated relationship with myself. This is exactly why am usually hesitant to point a finger at the institution. It is purely by God’s grace that people sometimes seek my opinion in matters relationship and marriage.

More than a year ago a friend’s marriage came to an end. I could not believe when she told me that she was quitting her marriage, parting ways with a man she once could not live without. It threw a dark cloud in my fairy world of happily ever after. It was saddening, it broke my heart so so much especially after getting the details. For such a young girl she had dealt with so much in her marriage and this educated me on two things. Marriage is an eye opener and takes a lot of work from both spouses on a daily basis. I can not say or divulge details of her marriage because I haven’t asked for consent to share her story. Instead I’ll share from my childhood friends and hope to tie them all up and draw some lessons.

Leah is married to her first love, the new way, where we get babies and move in together and get on with life. In a span of three years she has had three children, between them and her job she’s let herself go and literally has had no time for a social life. Last year in December she heard or learnt that her husband, Pete, was cheating on her. Now my friend knows how to throw tantrums and feats, and on this day she poured her rage on Pete’s phone by smashing it on the wall. Believe me when they said hell has no fury like a woman scorned they were not kidding. I know Leah and honestly Pete was lucky it wasn’t his flat screen smart television. I heard about this incident but overlooked it as a small matter. In February this year Leah’s mum called me telling me I needed to make time and visit her. When an elder makes a request like this you treat it as an order. It shows that they trust you to do their bidding and are humble to bring themselves to your level.

The couple is now well into making it work because of the following things that I shared with them.

Why? It is very important to go back to why you got together. Why did you pick that one person when you could have so many others? Over a cup of coffee I asked Pete why he had picked Leah. And does he still have the same feelings for her? He prophesied his love for his wife and with this I knew we could overcome this current situation.

The come-we-stay syndrome is a disease ailing the marriage institution. Those who’ve had church weddings, you were taken through several counselling sessions to prepare into your new role as wife or husband. And with that you have mentors or best couples who walk with you in your marriage journey. Apart from just walking the aisle with you on your wedding day, these are your encyclopedia and first aiders. Unfortunately a lot of young are approaching marriage very casually deceiving themselves that they can solve their problems by themselves.

This brings me to another issue, ask and listen. I booked an appointment with Pete so we could talk about their separation, and he created the time. Before we embarked on the matter I apologized for poking my nose into their business and gave him the chance to walk away. I must say I was impressed. Pete despite being older than myself wasn’t going to despise me on any grounds many older married folks do. Asking for help is never a sign of weakness.
Another element that usually accompanies come-we-stays are children. The truth is that most of relationships are based on unplanned parenthood. Once we find ourselves in parenting we move in together and start a family. We forget about our individuality and focus on raising the children leading to the partners drifting apart. I shared with Pete the importance of taking time away from the children to reignite the fire between her and Leah. I also reminded Leah that while it was true motherhood had it’s impact on her physique she didn’t have to let herself go completely.

Accept and own your shortcomings to make it easy to resolve them if possible. Pete was very open with him. He was the problem, it was true he had been caught but he wanted to make things right. As a man it is your duty to protect your wife from finding out that you are cheating on her, this shows respect. Don’t go leaving trails everywhere of your indecent behavior for her to clean up unless you just don’t care about your relationship in which case you should just end the relationship.

The most important advice that I gave to Leah was to go back on her knees and pray. It doesn’t matter how many times other people intervene in your marriage God has all the answers. Talk to God, seek to understand His will and let Him into your marriage. Pray for your husband and pray as a couple. Recently I learnt that Pete and Leah have found a church they can both be members of and I was elated to say the least.

The grace of God is always sufficient and in Him there’s peace. The Bible has all the answers about marriage, from submission to love, respect and obedience.

For the singles stop eyeing someone else’s spouse. It is not right, it is sinsful. Don’t let the devil use you to bring down that home.

Mat 19:6 “So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

The Truth

It is said that the truth will set you free, but does this apply at all times and circumstances? Is it always right to say the truth no matter what? Sometimes I feel the truth is overrated even though am one person who abhors people who aren’t truthful.

But have you ever told someone something and regretted?Despite it being the truth?

Well I have done this so many times and I always end up hurting myself and others. Wishing I could shut my mouth and walk away for the moment to pass. Unfortunately once you’ve blurted out what you had to say you can’t take back your words, and you have to live with it. This is why I don’t think it’s always appropriate to tell the truth, this is purely my opinion. Before you open your lips you need to take into account the audience to whom you are directing the information to.

For instance, a lady you work with or you like walks in with a new hairstyle. The proper thing to do is to acknowledge that she has a new look whether you think it’s whack or hot. There’s a friend of mine, a dude of course, he never comments on my look or any other female colleague until the end of the day, and even then he’ll only support what everyone else has said. I asked him why. Apparently sometime back he happened to have teased a girl by asking what she had worn on her head. He thought it was a joke but that’s how they became enemies. Also there’s no way I would tell my boss that, that thing she keeps wearing is soo shady instead I allow her to throw me shade, because she’s the Boss. Got it???

It is acceptable to shield loved ones from the truth sometimes. OK so maybe most of the time. It is upto you to know how much info you are going to share. Are they emotionally able to handle the truth? The most sensitive of truths are those related to couples and parents. Do not expect your truth to be received with open arms, if anything you may end up causing more harm to an already bad situation.

I have friends I can tell things to about their better halves and I won’t have to worry about. But most of the time you’ll be branded bitter, envious, devil’s advocate , the list is endless. The easy way out is always to look the other way and let them believe in their form of reality. Maybe, when the time is right and they have found out things by themselves you can come clean but not always. And in my defense, I will say this, we shall overcome. We have come too far to let things spill because of a silly step out, after all man is to err.

Methinks for a truth to set you free you must first feel and know you are not free. If you are in denial the truth will do you no good at all until you accept that what you know could be lies. Furthermore if am comfortable in my world why would I want to know the truth? Especially if I know the truth will not make any difference in my situation.

Parents are very trusting of the children, and my daughter is fond of telling her aunties that there’s nothing I’ll do to her even if they tell on her. Now, while this is not true because my daughter is just playing with their minds, most of the time I tend to take my daughter’s side for the simple reason that she’s mine. As parents we try so hard to gain our children’s trust that we are afraid to probe their truths. In so doing we start building an unhealthy fortress around us and by the time the truth hits home the ship is long gone.

Still there are truths that don’t add value. Like telling me that am skinny, or thin or something like that. I already know that am skinny, am already struggling with it, in fact me and skinny are in a love hate relationship. One time am a Skinny Bitch(SB) and another moment am a victim of SBS(Skinny bitch syndrome). Am sure it’s the same with my sisters on the extreme end of thickness, instead just flatter us. I like this friend of mine who liked to call me model figure, that would light my face up as a young girl.

I believe in half truths and truths that will build a person, a relationship or a business. If it’s purpose is to bring someone down or depress then I’d rather hold my peace. Another thing you don’t just blurt out the truth, you need to learn the art of framing. Choose your words carefully, pick the right time and place.

Someone tell Sandbaby.

I feel like crying or locking myself in, in a soundproof room right about now. Actually, I should have done that yesterday but just like today I cannot do that. Am not depressed or stressed, am just a tired working mother.

I don’t know what has happened at the office but there is no single day that we leave early. It makes no sense really that I always leave the office at say 6.00 or thereabouts to go home which is about an hour away. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining about that, it’s an observation. I know some of you probably stay at work till late in the night, because you have work to do, which makes a lot of sense. Now that’s the difference between you and me, I spend an extra hour or hours in the office doing almost nothing really. This is an issue am struggling to sort out with both my peers and my superiors.

So back to why I feel like shouting . The other night I didn’t sleep well, I was unwell. In fact my not so close friend insomnia passed by and I had to pick a book and read. Had a coughing bout and a blocked nose with no medication, an accidental this was. I finally dozed off at about 4.00 in the morning. No sooner had I closed my eyes did Sandbaby wake up to go to poop. Those of you who have a child or children know that this may well be followed by fetching drinking water or silly hunger pangs. Then we went to sleep. I swear I hadn’t even closed my eyes (that’s my story) when I heard my sister wake me up. I felt so cheated, like how? Kwani how many hours does a night have? I dragged myself and my daughter out of bed. Rushed through my routine like Lazy Mary from the nursery rhyme ,dragged from bed. I went to work grudgingly and I was actually worrying that I might doze off on duty.

Today being a Saturday, I had hoped to indulge myself and sneak an extra hour of sleep as compensation for last night and indeed I was on course. The weather at the coast is so conducive, very cold by our standards, at about 23-25°c. I was all cuddled in my bedding with my alarm on snooze mode.  Until she woke me up. Yes, you guessed right. Sandbaby woke me up so she could go to the toilet. Then she brought her homework to bed so we could go through it. All this time am thinking, “I want to sleep. I need to sleep. Why can’t you sleep like other children?”  

I wished somebody could tell this little girl that it was only Saturday and her homework was due Monday. Which means she can show it to mummy either Saturday night or any other time on Sunday but not this morning.  I wished she could sleep in a bit late because days are coming when she will need to wake up at 4.00am in the morning. Of course it is adorable and even admirable that she wakes up thinking of her unfinished homework, but at 5.00am on Saturday? Lord have mercy on me and do send someone to talk to Sandbaby.