The Uuuhs and Aaarghs of my life

Finding Her Voice

Let her gather among sisters.
Dropping her cape at the door.
Here, she can be in her natural element.

Soft, vulnerable, open and beautifully feminine.

Her feelings, welcome
Her thoughts, unlimited.
Her laugh, as loud as she wants.
Her words, healing.

She’s a young African woman.
Finding herself.
Finding her voice.
One story at a time.

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Love is Risky

When it comes to real love, “Conviction and Convenience don’t live on the same block,” as Lisa Nichols would say.

See, when you love someone, you actually give them permission to break your heart.
Are you willing to love, still?

When you love someone, it unearths some deep wounds you never thought you had.
Are you willing to love, still?

When you love someone, it pushes you to be vulnerable with someone with things that literally scare you.
Are you willing to love, still?

When you love someone, you wire your mind to see relationship challenges as opportunities for new lessons as building blocks.
Are you willing to love, still?

When you love someone, you heal by practice. Dangerously loving someone new or anew, without knowing if they’ll stay for life.
Are you willing to love, still?

When you love someone, you hurt in places that dig deep, to build new depths of imperfections from which you could love.
Are you willing to love, still?

You could fly.
You could land on a soft place.
You could fall rock bottom.

But your heart will always grow stronger in it’s capacity to love deeper and fearlessly.

Are you willing to love, still?

Ayuma

I remember being taught sex education (how to have sex) at age 14 in class by three male teachers – Mr. Ngugi, Mr. Njoroge and Mr. Waweru.

Not even one female teacher.

As an A-student and a super geek with a dream career in the world of science, every detail mattered. And so I asked all sorts of questions just as the boys did, but even the teachers made me feel awkward for asking too many questions as a girl.

At some point, I wondered why I was the only girl in class asking questions. Even fellow A-student girls didn’t raise their hands.
Yet the boys kept asking all sorts of questions: “How many ‘holes’ do girls have?” “What happens during sex?” “How do you wear a condom?”

And while in the name of science I needed to know facts, I still had questions to ask that I didn’t think the male teachers could answer:
“Does it hurt?” “When do I know I’m ready?” “What if I’m not, ready? Can I say No?” “Do they know that my body hurts sometimes?”

Looking back, I realise that while the teachers did their best to educate us about sex, it still wasn’t enough. It wasn’t holistic.
And as a girl, I didn’t have a safe space to honestly ask questions about sex.

Soon after, a rape culture began in school, where boys would chase after girls and force themselves. They would pinch, press onto, and grab girls’ body parts. They would penetrate the girls using their fingers. And they would do it in groups.

One boy appointed himself as a referee. As soon as a teacher left class, he called out so the boys could start grabbing onto girls.
The only thing that saved me was that I was not popular and my body had only been developing vertically – height vs curves.

With time, the girls started enjoying it. It made them feel like the boys liked them.
The school caught up too late when they organised a separate platform for girls to talk about sex.

The women teachers who run the platform were strangers to us all girls. The same women who thought we were spoilt, ratchet, and over privileged. How could a girl ask them about sex or even report being harassed?

And so the hypermasculine boys and hyperfeminine girls went on with a new sex culture that was built upon sex education in class.

Today, I saw a news update that 50% of new HIV infections in Kenya are among youth between 15-24 years old.
I’m not surprised by this data, to be honest.

+ Not when school kids are exclusively being taught how to have sex (sex education), and then reactively being taught about sexuality when crisis occurs.

+ Not when girls are still shamed for talking about or even showing interest in sex.

+ Not when women are still being blamed for being raped or sexually harassed.

+ Not when parents expect teachers to introduce their own kids to the world of sex.

+ Not when boys in Mosques are being molested by Imams, girls in Churches are being raped by Pastors, alter boys in Cathedrals are being sodomised by Priests, teenage girls are labelled sluts by older church ladies.

I believe a powerful answer lies in learning from our traditional African sexuality approach (way before the rot and rape of colonization).

We taught sexuality, not just sex.
We taught respecting the human body, emotion, mind, soul, and voice.

Our women could walk half naked, and the men would have self control.
They respected the mother in the woman.
Our men could fight great battles in war, and the women would allow them to cry, to grieve, and show emotion.
Our youth had age sets and age groups where they would journey through life with accountability partners.

But most importantly, there existed active safe spaces for youth to talk about sex without feeling ashamed, isolated, judged or misinformed.

Sex was not taboo, it was a lifestyle.
Sex wasn’t shamed, it was celebrated.
Sex wasn’t a dirty ungodly word, it was a beautiful gift created by God for humankind to enjoy.

Friends, it’s about time we changed the story and conversation about sex.
Let’s talk about sex in a holistic fashion.

Only then can we rediscover the beauty of sex by it’s original design.

Too Woman to Love?


As I write this, my heart is broken.

Broken for I’ve recently recovered from a season where my heart was broken.

Broken as I now to witness yet another good woman’s heart break.

Break with grief after her beloved and family suddenly woke up blind to call her a “bad mother.”

Bad mother? What does that even mean? 

Mean to a woman who carried this child in her womb for 9 months. 

Months of pain, uncertainty, sacrifice, love and hope.

Hope that her baby would be welcomed into a safe haven of love.

Love that has now turned bitter, selfish and cold.

Cold as the prison cell she had to live in, 2 weeks away from her baby.

Her baby who’s now kept away from her embrace.

Embrace that she’s now fighting for in court.

Court that seems to traditionally see her on the losing side.

Side that’s not black, immigrant, nor minority.

Minority because her legal fees are out of this world.

World that would let a mother with a grieving womb fight for the baby she grew in it. 

It is unacceptable.

Unacceptable, yet here we are.

Are you willing to help get back her baby by holding her hand? 

Her hand that desperately longs to hold her baby again.

Again, are you willing?
Donate now to her GoFundMe campaign!

Link: https://www.gofundme.com/help-me-get-ami-back

Cooking is not a gender role but a life skill!

Over the past 3 months I’ve had the opportunity to share the same house with different people who’re travelling in and out of the country. As a long-term Airbnb resident, I get the joy of interacting with different people and learning from their stories. Yay! 🙂 

However, one of the observations I’ve made is how oftentimes male housemates struggle with food and nutrition. 
For example: 

There’s a Kenyan guy who depended on Festive bread and tea for every meal. And occasionally he’d buy pizza from Pizza Inn. FOR A WHOLE MONTH!!!
There’s also an African-American guy who actually asked me to help him make a cup of coffee. COFFEE!!!
There’s a Ugandan guy who always waited for his girlfriend to prepare his food so that he could eat. EVEN AT MIDNIGHT!!! 
Friends, this is the danger of gender roles!

It robs a human being of their capacity to be self reliant. And one can’t surely depend on another for their own food and nutrition. It’s dangerous and anaemic.
However, not all of the guys have been like that.

My good friends, 2 Japanese guys, often used to cook really well and we’d even exchange recipes and ingredients. They even gifted me with a little coffee maker when they left. ❤
My new Kenyan-Tanzanian housemate who upon arrival dropped his bags and went to buy food. He’s staying with his son and is already preparing some food for both of them, along with a serving of good whisky.
And an Indian guy who was often in the kitchen, preparing meals for his wife and himself. His wife barely entered the kitchen for she was unwell. And I saw that he really loved preparing food for her. I’m sure his acts of intimacy rewarded him in the end 😉 

Ladies, you know what I mean? When someone takes their time first. God bless such men, we need and value them!
So let’s kick out this nonsense of gender roles and see each other through the God-given lens of purpose roles. If you see the world that way, suddenly you see the magic of being human. 
We can really do anything.

Anything!!!


So there I was, standing at a reception table at a golf club helping prominent golfers lock down their tee time.

A powerful man walked by, reserved his tee time but didn’t leave. He stood there looking at me, and as soon as our eyes met, I knew exactly what he wanted.


He held my hand, suggesting that I should not leave but accompany him.

Even as an ordinary girl, I knew I already had this powerful man with just one look.

Of course I had major financial challenges, and knew he could easily sort that out in a flash.

I got to understand the high pressure in such a circumstance.

And I can never judge those who don’t have the strength to think morally.

Because around us were rich folk who knew the power of their pockets – morals aside.


I chose to decline and respectfully asked for my hand back.

I chose to push through with what I decently earned every day, even with hole in my favorite pair of flat shoes.

I chose to preserve a part of me that money can’t buy.

I chose to protect my inner power as a woman – influence – which only gets richer with time and tested character.


Woman, you’ve always got options around you. 

And I won’t judge you if along the way you let your crown slide off.

But here and now, you can make daily choices that shape your future.

Your future is not in yesterday or tomorrow, but within you.

God installed it within you, and you were born with it inside you.

As you move forward, choose wisely in a way that feeds your influence.

Remember, your purpose is your wealth in life. 

Live it to the fullest, and guard it jealously.


You are phenomenal, and I’m passing by to say that you are totally worth it. ❤ 


Love & Sunshine,

Ayuma.

Let me begin by saying that if you’re a people-person like myself, please don’t travel to the Kenyan coast alone. 

If you’re a solitary being like my big sister Susan, you just might enjoy it alone as long as you find a great and private place way out of town like African House Resort where we stayed in Malindi (http://www.booking.com/Share-2KvXT8

Because…

First of all, people approached my friend saying how, “It’s wrong for women to travel like this alone.” And by “like-this” the bloke meant financially independent. He enthused that we should ALLOW men to take us to such nice places. I shan’t even comment. Abeg!

Secondly, it’s like these hotels only cater for couples. You can easily get overwhelmed. Those swan towel things on the bed with love-heart flowers. Mood music by Lionel Richie, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston… those deep emotional ones that drain your soul.

And not to forget how the other guests are mostly couples. 

And then on the only novel you’ve carried to read, the next chapter is about romance… Yes, even those Christian ones about the story of Queen Esther, and the classical Ruth and Boaz. 

Please, don’t do that to yourself.
You might end up doing something STUPID like contacting that Ex who’s just waiting for an excuse to crawl back into your life.

Don’t do it woman!

But that was me last time I travelled alone to the coast on a work assignment as a travel magazine writer.

Now I’m wiser.

Planned this year to travel with a friend and we totally had so much fun as single, financially able, and God-fearing women. 

And we influenced our experience so much that the hotel manager (whom we now call Uncle John) literally called us yesterday to say that the hotel staff miss us so much because we were like their flowers. 

My heart was full!!! 🙂 
But here’s the juice.

So my friend and I kept talking about the frolics we experienced in our businesses this year as we swam in the Africa-shaped pool.

We kept planning our laps saying, “Let’s swim from Egypt to South Africa” 

Ha! So much fun.

And little did we know that nearby was a room for a well-respected Kenyan lawyer who’d been attending a conference by the Law Society of Kenya. 

When we finally met each other, she commented on our conversations saying they were so refreshing and that she can relate since we’re right where she was back in her 30s. #CareerGoals
Meanwhile, this whole time they’d been a 30-something year old European guy also swimming in the pool, but in the North Africa side. He’d smile every time we talked, but he literally said not a word.

His parents had been drinking tea or “something strong” nearby at their room patio.

Maybe he was afraid of engaging in a black-woman-circle conversation in front of his parents? 

Hmmm… Interracial connections can be tough though.

And so he kept doing this every day, swimming only when we decided to swim. But neither of us were going to make it easy for him by saying hello first.
But an opportunity presented itself.

As the lawyer and my friend talked, I completely forgot the guy was in the pool and started doing a backstroke to Egypt. But as soon as the ladies saw me, they warned me to stop because I was going to crash into him. 

My friend later on laughed saying that he’d been standing there with a smile on his face just waiting for me to crash into him. 

Maybe it was his chance to finally talk to us in front of his parents with a reason?

Hmmm… we’ll never know.
And still, he kept swimming, smiling, and timing us, but just never gathered the courage to start a genuine conversation with beautiful bold black women just a swim away.
Then came the moment I later went on Instagram to share a photo journal of my trip. 

And the strange private messages from guys came along, “Hae” “But why are you still single?” “Hi” 

And I looked up into the heavens with my hands stretched high and said, “Fix it Jesus!” 

Because I literally can’t entertain empty, demeaning, and shallow conversations like these. 
And I just wondered, Where Are The Gentlemen? 

Those who can gather the courage to respectfully approach women despite what family, social, racial, cultural and religious norms say.

Those who can engage women in deep, meaningful, challenging conversations with growth and not sex being the objective.

Those who can say, “Hello” followed by words that speak life into a woman, not waste her time.
I know Jesus is snapping His fingers to this and will sort me out accordingly.

Jesus is fixing it y’all!
To fellow single women out there, remember to use your singlehood as a platform for growth. Mostly, the kind of growth that helps you learn about yourself and invest in yourself; What do you REALLY want and need out of this life?

Challenge yourself to go out there and get it unapologetically, without settling for less.
#Remember: Talk is always cheap. Watch out for consistent actions, those don’t lie. And I say this after learning from my own share of expensive mistakes that robbed me of my time, investment, confidence, love, and grace as a woman.
The joy of singlehood is the Time to learn, grow, and commit to your standards.

And what better standards than God’s best for you?

You are worth it woman!
Love & Sunshine,

Ayuma.

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