Angel and Baby: A Short Story (PART I)

She was born on a Friday, at noon. The sun was high and the heat intense, strange for the time of year. With her fists clenched, eyes shut and tiny body wound tighter than the coil of a spring, she came into the world fighting. Even in the womb, after her mother’s three previous miscarriages,…

Growth

“Bloom where you’re planted.” Sounds like an easy enough thing to do, but depending on your situation, growth can be an extremely painful process and a difficult choice to make. Losing people and jobs, leaving places dear to your heart and contending with fading memories of happier times has a way of changing you. I’m…

To Thine Own Self

I love old school music. Old school films. Old school art. In fact, I’m entirely convinced I was born in the wrong era. Large, bustling cities don’t appeal to me. I feel stifled in concrete jungles. I like calmer, slower-paced places.  Rolling hills, beaches as far as the eye can see and rushing water. Picturesque…

Stronger

I wanted to run. Run for the faraway hills. Leave it all behind me and start afresh someplace new. I wanted to be blind. Close my eyes to all the things my soul already knew and ignore the truths that pierced my heart. I wanted to be numb. Numb to the pain that started in…

Muse

Colours and lines. Love and heartache. Emotions and passion. Incandescent joy and devastating sorrow. Life is a wonderful tapestry, beautiful in all its changing seasons, And you are my favourite muse.   Rivers ebbing and flowing: we, growing and flourishing. Deep roots giving rise to well-nourished leaves. First, green as the rebirth of life after…

Something To Cry About

Motherhood is a marvel. African motherhood should be studied as a stand-alone subject in the hallowed halls of science and psychology. At one point or another, I and all my friends have sworn to be nothing like our mothers. But often, as we congregate to get the low-down on the progress of each other’s lives…

Stillness

It’s hard to be alone. Difficult to take in the quiet. Even after all these years, she’s still shaken to her core every time she become starkly aware of the emptiness. What is louder: thunder or thought? Silence screams, calling forth buried memories from long-forgotten days. Has it always been this way? When did the…

Water

Ebb and flow. Let go. Leaving behind the old and embracing the new; coursing through all that lives and breathes. Constructive and destructive, quenching and drowning. Infinite power and ageless beauty, raging on after all else is gone. The trickle of the stream and the roar of the ocean unified in one majestic being. To…

Kintsukuroi

Broken once and broken again. Each time pieced back together in a breathtakingly beautiful way. You are not as you once were, nor will you ever be again. Each crack, chip, uneven edge and fault line is carefully crafting your own fingerprint. Why do we strive for perfection? What is to be gained from being…

I was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya. As a child, I remember disliking it immensely. It’s loud, bursting with crowds and bustling with activity, and for an introverted little girl, it was all too much. Today, as an adult, I find that my hometown is finally growing on me.  I spent the better part…

Girl

Her smile shines like a hundred African suns, her skin glows like polished amber; her aura captivates all that it touches. Her graceful stride reveals a quiet strength, her rich, dark almond eyes invite you to delve into the depths of her soul. The gentle curves of her lips tell the story of many a…

Soul Searching

Woman. Black. Strong. Strong black woman. What does that even mean? I never fully understood you. Not when I was little, anyway. I didn’t see things the way you did; a full spectrum of colour. I saw only black and white. When you disciplined me, I accepted it, as it was my duty to do….

Taboo

Mid-twenties, and truth be told, you’re in the middle of nowhere. You’re supposed to make it. Have it all figured out. The job, the home, the education, the soulmate, the picture perfect life. But the messy, dark shadow on the other side of that frame is what no one talks about. Uneasy lies the head…

I’ll Drink To That

Here’s to the plans that will never come to be and the memories we never made. And all the blissful conversations in the dead of night about what life would be like in the days we didn’t know we wouldn’t see. Here’s to the white-hot, bittersweet pain that will slice through my heart everytime someone…

And Then He Called Out To Me

Where you are standing now is not where you will always be. Say it again with me. Sometimes life is like a wave, ebbing and flowing, back and forth. Like a cycle, a carousel that keeps on turning. I was trapped in that cycle, seeing neither end nor beginning and no way out. And then…

There Is Nothing New Under The Sun

When my mother first said those words to me in the prime of my adolescence, I thought, “What a cynical, narrow world view”. Fast-forward some ten years later, and the roles have reversed: now I’m watching other kids look at me with the same dim understanding of life that I once had. The more things…

Efua’s Song

My heart cannot speak to you the way that it once did. It beats for you still, and always will, but the sound is distant and fainter. I miss the way that it danced to a vibrant rhythm, I’m fighting to get it back again. But it’s drowning in an ocean of emotion; and it’s…

The Things They Never Told Me

Being a woman is hard. I’m not in any way belittling the male experience, but damn, this female sh%# is tough. Throw in being black in the middle of Africa and the struggle gets even more real. The more I grow in age and understanding, the greater my respect for my mother and the other…

Where The Wild Things Are

It’s the birds that chirp in the morning. It’s the sun that insists on shining even though there’s little to feel sunny about. It’s the glimmer of hope that awakens in her heart every morning, only to be crushed by aching reality. It’s the war she constantly wages with herself; trying to rise above the…

Mama Africa

All the world is Madness and Chaos. A fire is raging; and the flames thirst for what little humanity we have left. Like torrents of floods it sweeps over our lands, drinking up whatever little streams of hope it finds. It grows too large to be contained, too fierce to be restrained; and so we…

Redemption Song

It isn’t like the other times. It’s raw and it’s rough, it’s tears that constantly dance on the lids of your eyes and words that are permanently caught at the base of your throat. Or maybe the pit of your stomach. Who knows which is which anymore? It’s sleepless nights that blend into bleak mornings;…

Pro-Grace

Why does life happen the way it does? Why is it my place to make peace with what I do not comprehend? Why do the bad things happen to the good people? And where does faith fit in with all of it? I did everything right. I read my Bible and I prayed. I went…

The River Between

She couldn’t figure out how she wanted to look. Bright colours played up bold patterns and thick braids laden with beads fell over half her face like a dark sheet. And yet the girl in the mirror didn’t look or feel authentic. She was almost forcibly ethnic, like a collage put together by one who…

Eternal Sunshine of the Joyful Soul

I love colour. Bright, bold patterns and uncompromising hues. Maybe it’s my innately African nature refusing to be completely swallowed up by the jaws of dull civility. Maybe it’s the fact that my style is the unique expression of who I am. Either way, I have never been able to understand why anyone would choose…

The Road Less Travelled

When I first started this blog, the goal was to let people into the life of a growing Christian and 21st century African girl. To share the story of what it’s like to walk a mile in my shoes, told with some humour and heartache, some memories and dreams, but most importantly, dispelling the myth…

The Silver Linings Playbook

Yes, the title is the name of a movie. Also, life hands you lemons. And sometimes there isn’t enough water to make lemonade. Deal with it. Or throw the pips at someone else, like those elderly uncouth men in every African village (Disclaimer: the views expressed here only reflect the author’s sentiments at the time….

The Dance That I Did

How do you make it so easy for my soul to hear the music it had once forgotten? For my feet to remember the steps to the dance that I once did? It’s like an overgrown footpath to a place of childhood escape rediscovered in adult years; like a song from long ago. I play…

Winter’s Bone

I remember the daisies. Delicate and beautiful, swaying in the summer sun. Fields upon fields of them. Their sweet scent still hangs in the air around me; I carry it with me wherever I go. The hours we whiled away in those fields, the stories we told, the games we played! Summer days rolled into summer…

The Dreamer and The Realist

She studied the reflection that looked back at her in the mirror. High cheekbones. Soulful eyes the rich colour of dark chocolate with a steady, direct gaze that made her seem far wiser than her youthful years. A small mouth with full lips that gave her a rather stern appearance when set together. A stubborn…

The Art of Knowing

Life is a funny thing. I’m not sure how many people actually stop to consider the hilarity of it all. You are just one of approximately 7 billion organisms of your species, Homo sapiens, on one of 8 (or 9, depending on how long ago you were educated) rotating spheres that orbit a hot, glowing…

It Is Not What You Call Me

When I was born, my father gave me a name. Not that it matters much what he called me, because for all the years that I have carried the name, people have mercilessly butchered it’s pronunciation and produced an array of confounding spellings of it. So what, pray, is the problem with my name? Four…

Ode to the Girl I Left Behind

Sometimes I think of you, and wonder where to begin. What do I say to make you believe that you’re enough, just as you are? How do I show you that all the things that give you sleepless nights turned out just fine? You are always so needlessly hard on yourself, almost to the point…

The Stubborn Girl’s Guide to Taking Instruction & Correction

If it wasn’t already apparent, then let me just state, for the record, that I’m not very good at being told what to do. In fact, the line between stubbornness and pettiness is very easily blurred for me. It also hasn’t helped that I’ve spent the better part of my life being proficient at and…

Faith Like A Mustard Seed….

Over the weekend, I ran into one of my primary school teachers at a music event and she remarked about how sad it was to see how much I’d changed. I wasn’t sure how to feel about that at first. One wonders whether to receive such comments as compliments or admonishments. As I narrated the…

A Man Like My Father

“In sickness and in health”. It’s a statement usually blindly uttered by two people who find themselves thrust into the spotlight in front of their loved ones. Weddings in the African context are always a huge spectacle: colourful and vibrant, full of pomp and splendour. Both families turn out the very best their wallets can…

A New Year’s Resolution Planning Guide for the Semi-Adult

I’m convinced that I was an islander or at least a sea-sider in some previous life. The beach is truly my happy place. But seeing as most of my family members don’t exactly share my views, I’m sadly being forced to consider the very real prospect of not seeing any beaches any time soon.  In…

The Spiritual Fortitude of an African Firstborn

Let’s be honest, life as a firstborn is rough everywhere. So at the risk of sounding exceedingly biased, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that perhaps it’s toughest in an African context. Because, of course, I am an African firstborn. In most of our cultures, after the mothers, grandmothers and aunts,…

Social Media Burn-Out

Basically, social media is our society’s lifeline. Everyone’s life is chronicled on Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat and a whole host of other sites (I’ll refrain from trying to name anymore in case my age starts to show). It’s the quickest and easiest way to know where people are and what they’re up to. There’s zero privacy,…