avoid crossing roads and grow eyes at the back of your head

Life in western.

Jubilee Babies : Sacrificed For The Hustle.

Have a read and share as well.

MzaziMkenya

NTv have had a provocative feature called Jubilee Babies. It was an eye opener and it really was a well done piece of journalism. This was journalism at its finest. I must admit was difficult to watch. The feature basically followed three women in different stages of early motherhood. It started off with three women in their final stages of pregnancy and followed them through the first year of motherhood.

Important to note, is that two fathers were present in their babies lives and one father was off and then on.

We get to see three babies who cut across the socio-economic spread of the average Kenyan. One baby is born to a homeless mother. Another, born to a mother living in the slums. The third baby, was born to a working middle class mother.

The more I watched the Jubilee Babies feature, the more my heart bled. The more…

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I am Busy… Says My Two Year Old!

New experiences call for a new home.

MzaziMkenya

My daughter is almost two years. Her vocabulary is expanding and our conversations are sometimes very amusing.

ME: Baby, please get me my phone.

Baby: NO! I am busy!

ME: Busy doing what?

Baby: I am watching Barney and friends!

I always thought that kids were our ticket into the wonderful of laziness. I thought I finally had an errand person. Well, looks like I was wrong. It got me thinking about other assumptions that I have made and turned out to be wrong.

Baby Sitting.

First, I was corrected. When you are a father, you don’t baby sit. You PARENT!

Secondly, how hard can it possibly be to sit and mind a 2 year old? I mean, don’t they all just eat and sleep?

Well, breaking news…they don’t just eat and sleep. As a matter of fact, they will do everything except eat and sleep. Even when sleepy, they…

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Joys And Pains

Something for the fathers out there!

MzaziMkenya

A man’s life is always changed by a few words. It is the reaction to these words that define your future.

“Where is this going?”

“I do”

and the one that gets the most reactions;

“Babe, I am pregnant” common variations of this phrase include, but are not limited to; “I am pregnant” “Oh my Goodness, I am pregnant”, “I missed my periods” “We are pregnant” and perhaps the most scary… “You are going to become a parent”.

Now, lets not mistake siring a child and filling the earth with parenthood. Trust me, its a whole lot tougher than that.

Being a father is not about positing pictures facebook, twitter and Instagram. Its about a whole lot more than that. its not about getting likes and Retweets. Its about a connection far more deeper than that. Its about joys and pains all wrapped into one tiny human being, for whom…

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Meet My Boss

“Working hard to get my fill,
Everybody wants a thrill
Payin’ anything to roll the dice,
Just one more time
Some will win, some will lose
Some were born to sing the blues
Oh, the movie never ends
It goes on and on and on and on


Don’t stop believin’
Hold on to the feelin’
Streetlights people

Don’t stop believin’
Hold on
Streetlight people

Don’t stop believin’
Hold on to the feelin’
Streetlights people”

 

Don’t Stop Believing – Journey

 

Been a while since I was here. Being a father does take some getting used to and I guess I am adjusting to being one.

Every day I wake up and to be honest, I am winging parenthood. Nothing prepares you for parenthood. All manuals out there are a great idea, but they are just that, a great idea. I can tell you that every singke is a learning experience and every single day, I am faced with a new challenge and I have to wing it!

My life has been exciting the last few years. Very exciting. I now have three bosses. All of them have changed my life and I believe for the better, the last few years. It hasn’t been easy and maybe it gets easier…maybe.

Boss Number One… (boss of the bosses)

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The Mrs!

Well, she really is my rock. She means the world to me. she has taught me how to be responsible, how to change diapers, how to relate and just how to be a better man. If knowledge of color is a standard, then I much better. Who knew I would one day identify mauve, fuschia and even burgundy. You learn something new every day.

Boss Number Two… (The Baus)

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Babies do change your life. Babies do take over your life. My television experience used to be about the News, and soccer. Nowadays, my program line-up includes “Barney and Friends”. For those that don’t know… Barney is a purple dinosaur who speaks funny but The Baus just can’t get enough of her.

Soon, she just may get to be a baus of another baus…if you know what I mean.

Today, I introduce you to a different boss. I am passionate about this boss as well. She is someone for whom I have an ever growing passion.

Boss Number Three… (100,000 bosses)

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She toils her fields with a passion. She never gives up. She doesn’t know what term means. With her jembe, she changes her future. With every drop of sweat, with every sink of the jembe, my boss is changing her future and that of her family.

Meet my boss. She is a One Acre Fund farmer. Every day, I get up and I serve her. I serve her with passion and dedication. I serve my boss with conviction. I may be a small cog in the wheels turning One Acre Fund, but as I serve my boss along with 100,000 other bosses, I know that I am a part of providing a solution.

One Acre Fund, is a social enterprise based in Bungoma, Western Kenya. We do not offer hand outs. We instead offer a hand up. Every day, as an organization, we look to serve My Boss and 100,000 of my other bosses with dignity and with dedication. with every single rising of the sun, we know that our bosses are already in the fields. Every single day, we know that we have to work harder than our bosses, because to serve my boss well, I need to work harder.

What does One Acre Fund provide? What do we do different?

We give farmers input bundles. The bundle consists of fertilizer, seed and technical support over the course of a season. We support the farmer to achieve her dreams. We do our best to innovate and come up with ways to better the livelihoods of our farmers. To reach more farmers, we innovate and we go out to the fields we reach more farmers. With One Acre Fund, no farmer will ever have to grapple with hunger. No farmer will ever have to worry about seed quality or seed cost.

I am surrounded by many good bosses. All of them make my life complete. With every passing day, I find new purpose. I have fulfilment and I have life and for that, I am grateful to God.

The boss of bosses has made some amazing dinner…let me place the baus on her feeding chair and away from Barney and Friends. Your turn, tell me about your boss!

One Year Ago

 

A couple years of up all night and a few thousand diapers later 
That mistake he thought he made covers up the refrigerator 
Oh yeah…he loves that little girl. 

Momma’s waiting to tuck her in 
As she stumbles up those stairs 
She smiles back at him dragging that teddy bear 
Sleep tight, blue eyes and bouncing curls 

He smiles 
There goes my life 
There goes my future my everything 
I love you, daddy goodnight 
There goes my life

There Goes My Life – Kenny Chesney

One year, eight months ago, I was tossing and turning. I was wondering what to say. How do you respond to the words; “Babe, I think I’m pregnant”. Well, the movies say you jump out of bed and do like ten somersaults and then live happily ever after. Well, reaility is very different!

One year ago, I was giving back massages (I perfected the art in one very long evening that I should start a massage parlor), walking up and down maternity wing corridors and wondering if all is okay.

One year, five months ago, I was being sent back and forth, between home and the supermarket. Reason? Yoghurt! Now, I was never sent for five or six. Nope, it was Yoghurt on demand. Imagine yourself all comfy in the couch, and next thing, you are sent for a particular flavor and brand of yoghurt! Uchumi and I became good friends! I knew when all branches opened and closed and I knew the fastest teller!

One year, four months ago, I was banned from getting into bed ‘smelling like a stove’ (the endearing term used to described my pack a day habit) and smelling like a brewery (the not so endearing term used to describe my Friday boys’ club after breath).

One year, three months ago, I was beginning to adjust to a life that was going to be, half of me and half of her. Basically, our lives would never be the same again. We would from hereon, need to prioritize a third person.

One year, two months ago, I was answering questions like “Do I look fat?” or… “How long does it take to shed off baby weight?” Word of advice to my fellow fathers, YOUR answers to those questions are never right. I suggest that when asked that question, please drop your phone, or even throw yourself on the floor. Do what you must, but by all means necessary, avoid answering that question.

One year, eight months ago, I was busy doing research. Yes, I was on Google. And it let me down! Everything I Googled led me back to the same answer: HORMONES! For every question I put forward on Google hoping for that magical answer, all I got was, “Hang in there and grow a pair! It’s her hormones dummy!”. You think I lie? Well, I dare you. Google something from a man’s perspective and that’s all you will get!

“Not yet, but it should be soon…” That was one year and two days ago. I had mastered that answer because that’s what every caller wanted to know. What happened to calls that offered a beer or three. What happened to asking where I am at? I should have known that my world had changed. It was no longer about me. It was no longer about me. It was no longer about the two of us. It was now all about our permanent visitor. She that had not come yet, was already a priority, not just to me, not just to her… but to all those around.

Eleven months ago, I was busy on the isles at Uchumi scrolling through a shopping list. I quickly enlisted of a fellow customer to help me figure out exactly was required. I had been sent to get diapers and I got to the baby section and I discovered diapers have NUMBERS! So, at this point, we are at number  1.

Eight months ago, I got home from a super market run and I got home smile on my face and baby stuff in my hands. “You brought the wrong size of diapers”. Smile quickly vanishes, pocket dented and another supermarket run on the go. Lesson learnt! Babies grow fast. And I mean super-fast! We were now on number 3.

Six months ago, we were weaning! Now… this you must understand is a process. The Mrs. would prepare baby food in a sanitized environment, and it would take about an hour to get everything just right! And then the moment of truth would come and…  a sniff and a lick later, she wants nothing to do with that food! Baby milk would follow the same pattern. I must have bought about five different varieties until I struck gold! I soon discovered that “Cow and Gate” formula is to babies, what “Mara Moja” is to those that partake of alternative beverages. Cow and Gate it was.

Five months ago, we developed a system. One that was idiot proof! I was to be sent for items in the supermarket based on COLOUR! I somehow kept buying all the wrong stuff. I once got emailed a list that had pictures! Yes, it was that bad. This numbers thing just doesn’t work for men.

Nine months ago, we did our research. Getting a baby to sleep all night. How hard can it be? I mean, we possibly had about ten methods that are GUARANTEED to work. It’s just that easy! Breaking news. It isn’t ‘that easy’! The problem starts when you think she has fallen asleep in your arms and as you are putting her down…at that moment, she wakes up. Now, you need to understand that baby waking up, is not like an adult waking up. When a baby wakes, its eyes all open and ready to play. Basically, it’s back to scratch. No mention of challenges of  getting her to sleep through the night . Letting her cry herself to sleep,filling her with food, being as silent as possible, ensuring that she sleeps very little during the day….

Everything about maternity, paternity and parenthood is an art. No science to it. It takes practice. It takes patience and it takes courage. Holding her down for her jabs, well that hurts me more than it hurts her. Figuring out what foods she likes. That’s an art. Accepting that after spending time getting her food ready only for her to have a sniff and say no… that hurts the Mrs. More than it hurts me, but hurts all the same.

One day ago, I was holding a lovely one year old, whose smiles melt the very core of me and whose laughter is so infectious; it makes everything else feel trivial. She now has eight teeth (and can now bite). Whenever she waddles up to me, her tiny hands stretched out, her face glowing and her little teeth showing, I can’t help but smile. She means everything because she is everything.

Gubernato-what?

“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our minds.
Have no fear for atomic energy,
‘Cause none of them can stop the time.
How long shall they kill our prophets,
While we stand aside and look? Ooh!
Some say it’s just a part of it:
We’ve got to fullfil the book.

Won’t you help to sing
This songs of freedom-
‘Cause all I ever have:
Redemption songs;
Redemption songs;
Redemption songs.”

 

Redemption Songs- Bob Marley.

 

First, I would like to ask…. What the hell is this Gubernato-whatever nonsense that we keep talking about? When did it become difficult to just call it “Governatorial Race”… Or “Governor’s Race…” or even “Race to be Governor”? This reminds me of the reasons why I hate math. The fact that I was never any good at it aside, but I hated math when first, math decided to never mature and solve its own problems, two; regardless of the number of ‘x’s I found, they never seemed to be enough. Nobody ever asked me to for example, find ‘r’ or, hey.. I think the letter W, is a pretty decent find. The other reason I hated math, was when some ‘highly unclever’ fellow, decided to replace numbers with letters. You don’t believe me? Well, lets solve this problem together…

 

Let then number of Mangos be X and the number of pineapples are Y… If we add Z number of oranges, what do we get? My answer, is W Fruit salad. Logic right? However, some mathematician is busy trying to conjure up some insane formula and methodology to solve the darn problem. Frustrated much?

 

Back to my ‘Gubernato-whatever’ rant… When did we complicate our lives? Last I checked, its only the Kalenjin, who were allowed to shrub by replacing ‘V’ with the letter ‘P’ or ‘B’. Case in point; “Padrig and Pinicent are blaying with a Pall’…(Patrick and Vincent are playing with a ball) Now even the town folk are replacing ‘V’ with ‘B’… Case in point.. Governor..’Guberna-whatever’. 

 

Away from phonetics and such. This is the time when we all become seasoned political analysts. We all suddenly have this urge to analyse,diagnose,remdy and offer the best political advise. aI am writing this hoping to be called by Julie on Sunday and I can offer my two cents worth of analysis to all and sundry! If you have Larry Madowo’s Number, tell him I am now an ‘Actual Expert’ and I can be in studio as well! Being the political pundit/heavy-weight/analyst,veteran loud mouth, I have an expert commentary on the Guberna-… that one race!

 

Jimnah Mbaru is now in the race to become NAIROBI GOVERNOR! He has affirmed himself to be on the ballot come March the 4th 2013. We already had two main candidates, Waititu a.k.a ‘Baba Yao’ a.k.a YT2 and Kidero who I hereby call R2D2.. (The man deserves a cool a.k.a as well).

 

Let me tell you a story;

 

3 monkeys were in a new forest. They didn’t know the spread of the land and so they were jumping  around from tree to tree, generally doing what they do best; monkey business, and as this was virgin territory, they were starving, each in desperate need of just one banana. It is recommended that monkeys have at least one banana every five days! On day five, they stumbled upon a loot. The three monkeys stumbled upon two bananas. Now, if they shared this banana equally, then no monkey would be live. None of them was willing to forego his share of the banana as that would mean certain death.

 

One monkey however, had a plan. His plan was ingenious. He knew that should it come to a fight, the two other monkeys, were bigger and more agile than he was, and so, he would come out the worse if it came to that. He decided to commit the ultimate crime. He took the two bananas, ripe as they were, and handed them over to his opponents. He then took up position in a corner and gave a timid and defeated look to his bigger rivals. The two monkeys now in possession of a full banana each, decided not to be cruel to a fellow monkey. They had come too far together. What did they do? Well, they each cut their bananas in half and each handed over half to the timid looking monkey in the corner. They both felt sympathetic to this weak monkey in the corner. This silly looking, timid monkey ended up with a full banana in the process as the other two each ended up with half! No prizes for guessing who won that contest!

 

Back to the Nairobi Gubernatorial (I finally got it.. that was hard) race… no prizes for who will be Governor (Can I say Gubernor?) come March the 5th 2013 and let’s just say, two monkeys will regret ever underestimating the cunning ability of a certain YT2!

 

Now go to your corner and weep!