Archive for April, 2011

While You Were Away…

Posted: April 24, 2011 in Off the cuff

While you were away…

I turned 1…mother kept photos…chubby little angel with the sunken eyes…

She sat peacefully staring into blank space, while I babbled and played with her blouse.

While you were away…

I turned 11…mother kept photos…shy lanky girl with the spaced-out teeth…

She combed my hair backwards…ironed the dress with the little bow and sat me on the couch. Lessons in being a lady…head up straight…swallow all the pain and smile.

While you were away…

I turned 16…got kicked out of high school for acting out…

Mother kept photos…self-conscious young woman with an attitude, a passion for written word, a dream bigger than herself, and an anger that bubbled silently under.

While you were away…

I turned 18…liked the boy with the nervous smile, the sweaty palms, the best Math student at his school.

Mother kept photos…slim, tall woman with the permanent ponytail, and sweaters in all colors.

While you were away…

I turned 21…fell in like with an older man…a social rebel, he loved me and then he didn’t. I fed off his sense of rebellion, his defiance of everything proper, his ragged nature…

Mother kept photos…an elegant, well poised woman, with glossed lips, processed hair and low-cut blouse.

While you were away…

I turned 24…struggled to relate to men, I saw you in them…at least I imagined you in them.

Mother kept photos…a grown-up woman, well-educated woman, a flirt but deep within lived in fear and longing…of something beautiful, something stable…

While you were away…

I turned 26…and wrote a letter…a passionate appeal to God, to keep you safe…to lead me to you…

If only just so I can hand you this letter…this attempt to understand your journey, to reconcile with the ghosts from past days…to see who mother says I take after, who’s blood flows in my veins…who’s occupied my thoughts for 26 years…the last chapter in this book I struggle to complete.

While you were away…I called no other, Daddy.

Advertisements

If you haven’t already heard because you stayed too long in that cave o’ yours or you’re just not “with it”…Nairobi Tweet Up #3 happened yesterday, Sunday 17, 2011 at the Mercury Lounge, ABC Place Westlands. And it was AWESOME!!

It’s always a pleasure getting together with interesting tweeps in an afternoon of shared ideas, shared bitings (thanks @simonsema for the fish sweets!), shared joy and laughter. Worth noting and something that’s absolutely beautiful are the friendships and partnerships that have been fostered through this monthly get-together. And yesterday was no exception. I had the opportunity to meet a number of newbies to the family:

@Sirlliciously Alison Ngibuini, a Producer who blogs here 

@vancemuriu Evans Muriu C.E.O | Entrepreneur | Accountant | Business analyst, Strategist and conceptualization |Project Manager | Thinker | Writer. Find him here.

@Just_sham_it Shamit Patel who describes himself as just a guy who loves to write and who hopes to change the world someday. He blogs here 

Shamit’s dad:-)

@mikemunyi  Michael Munyi An advertising professional based in Nairobi

@Nafterli Naftali Thaithi God fearing, Teetotaler & a not so fun adrenaline Junkie…hehe… who speaks his mind. Find him here

@fabmush Joan Mumo  A wedding planner based in Nairobi. She came with me, had fun and hasn’t stopped talking about it!

Add that to the usual suspects @LucyKims, @Navraj, @hugocious, @EdGicovi, @ayumyum @kenyanmathree/@EdwinKuria, @ahmedsalims, host @davidmuriithi and yours truly…you get a full house of brilliant minds, creatives, business buffs, social activists, writers, energetic self-starters ready to take on the world!

The Nairobi TweetUp Family

Unfortunately the instigator and the brains behind NairobiTweetUp ParasGudka (@TheParasGudka) could not make it as he is currently in India. Am sure he would have loved to be there and blog posts like this and photos like the ones by @davidmuriithi serve to paint a picture of just how successful the tweetup was and his dream of bringing people together lives on. (Cue the chant “For he is a Jolly good fellow” hereJ)

The most interesting thing about the tweetup this time round was the speeches. And who better to bring the house down and bring us (well, me at least) to the brink of tears than Ahmed Salims (@ahmedsalims) and KirstyMcLullich (@VisionAfrica). Themed around Social activism, entrepreneurship and NGOs, the tweetup inspired action rather than mere talk.

Ahmed Salims started off by taking as down his memory lane, narrating how he first became an entrepreneur. This is one passionate guy and his humble background reflects a lot in the way he handles business and generally his source of inspiration. The founder of FluidTees, a contemporary brand of top design t-shirts in Kenya, emphasized on owning what you do, speaking passionately about it and running with your dream. I liked how he has taken advantage of social media to market his ideas and in effect reach more and more people. It’s not just the business of making money; it’s doing what you love and making a difference while you are at it. Join the rest of Nairobi in looking cool by ordering your personalized tee here

Next came Kirsty McLullich, a full time volunteer with Vision Africa. She is based in Nairobi and pretty much handles the Communications for the NGO keeping everyone abreast on their activities on Facebook and Twitter. Hers was a story of inspiration, calling to serve and making a difference however small. Just listening to her tell the stories of some of the kids her organization is assisting made me tear. Often we take life for granted and for just a second I saw life through those kids eyes and I was moved…moved to action. You see, it’s not enough to want change; you gotta be part of it. The NGO world face a lot of challenges and help in whatever form is always welcome. Check out Vision Africa to make your contribution today. Amazing how much information flow is useful in getting word out but when such information is always negative then there’s a problem. Read Kirsty’s blog post on how  you can be a good news ambassador telling the wonderful stories that make a difference in the lives of others.

In the end I learnt to keep going…do what I do responsibly and make a difference in someone’s life. And just as Kirsty was taking her seat, there was already amazing response to help out the kids she supports. Help from within the tweetup family and also from a well-wisher who just happened to be at the Lounge enjoying a drink. This help was in the form of cash and brilliant ideas about initiatives to bring a smile to the faces of the lovely kids Vision Africa supports. As Kirsty put it, be the Hero in your own story!

The Nairobi Tweet Up get-together has turned out to be a great forum to exchange ideas, have fun and inspire each other to grow. The lessons were plenty, friendships were forged and best of all we left feeling inspired to be the change we wanted to see. See you all in a month!

Fashion meets Georgia

Posted: April 14, 2011 in My other life

I have toyed with the idea of getting into modeling full-time ever since I was 15 and Oluchi was crowned winner of Nokia Face of Africa. I would see myself following in her footsteps and winning the title for Kenya, traveling far and wide, gracing runways from Milan to NewYork to Paris…fashion photographers kissing my hand in their theatrical fashion, their cameras loving every moment captured. And I would be famous. My face would be on every fashion magazine cover. How awesome!

Fast-forward to 2011 and am nowhere near Naomi Campbell. But in my own special way and with the help of certain brilliant Kenyan photographers, I may just live a tiny bit of that dream. Evening of Tuesday 12, April my friend Michelle and I went for a photo shoot that our newly-acquired friend hmurimi called us for. I call him hmurimi and you gotta admit it sounds cool! That’s his twitter handle:-)

Hiuhu Murimi aka @hmurimi and a group of his photographer friends have come together in support of each other and just to try out new tricks in photography while at the same time learning and having fun networking. On this day, they were trying out fashion photography and yours truly had the opportunity to model alongside Michelle Ayuma (@ayumyum on Twitter).

The shoot location was at Kuona Trust Art Centre and appropriately so as it provided a raggedy, artistic and raw background; perfect for the kind of attire we wore. Enough respect to one @Kayndeto, the stylist for the day/evening. I absolutely admired her sense of calmness; we had a few glitches with the outfits. She is absolutely talented as you can see from the pics.

The photographers are still sorting out the pics but i managed to squeeze one out of Ephraim Muchemi (@efi_m on Twitter). I find this pic interesting, like am floating in mist!

Georgia

Yours truly floating in mist. Photo by: Ephraim Muchemi

Photo by:Mutua Matheka (@Truthslinger)

Photo by: Mutua Matheka (@Truthslinger)

Photo by: Mutua Matheka (@Truthslinger)

I met a bunch of other awesome photographers most of whom I know by their Twitter names!

Mutua Matheka aka @Truthslinger, Mwangi Kirubi aka @Mwarv, Profkatts, Naomi Katetei aka @nkatetei, Steven Kitoto aka @stevekitots, David Sikobe aka @skubi, Berytah, nyingez and am so sure I forget others. They were just so many!

I’ll upload more pics as they are made available to me so do come back for that:-) And watch this space, yours truly intends to model more often:-)