The Uuuhs and Aaarghs of my life

Archive for the ‘Rude shock’ Category

Kenya, we need to talk!

#KenyanLivesMatter

Dear Kenyans,

Did you sleep last night?

I didn’t. 

I couldn’t.

Not when in a distance, a neighborhood was forced awake all night with riots.

Not when police helicopters flew over my roof.

Not when gunshots poked through my sweet dreams, awakening me into a live nightmare.
Somehow, I fell asleep in the morning.

And I woke up to a stomach full of acid.

Loss of appetite (haven’t eaten since I woke up).

And a broken heart.
How on earth did we get here again?

How did we allow politics make us look at our neighbours differently? 

How could we bring chaos to our neighborhoods while the politicians we support go back to safe and secure homes?
I’m so tired.

I’m tired of being tired and scared every election season.

This needs to stop.
I’ve prayed and kept my peace.

I’ve voted wisely for leaders who promise great change.

I’ve been a good Kenyan.

It still seems not to be enough.
So what now?

We really need to figure ourselves out and make a decision about what we really want.

ALL the leaders we choose mirror our current values and priorities.

So why are we shocked when a police gun no longer protects us but is aimed at us?

When a 10-year-old girl standing at a balcony loses her life from a stray bullet?

When a journalist tries to capture and report to us a real story on the ground and gets arrested?
Kenyans, we need to talk.

We seriously need to sort ourselves out.

But as we painfully become aware of our mess…

We can at least try to be peaceful and see that we really do matter.

Our Kenyan Lives Matter.
Love, 

Ayuma.

🇰🇪❤

Enough. 

For the last 4 days, a stranger has been calling and texting me using multiple numbers. He knows my name and it’s scary! 

It all began with a, “Please help me, I’m homeless” message. It soon graduated to a, “May God forgive you for ignoring me” message. Today I woke up to “Why??? I love you, I’m not giving up” message. Truecaller confirms that it’s been 35 calls and 23 text messages.

After calling the police hotline to report, the officer advised me to visit a police station and make a report and get an OB number. 

Yesterday, I visited a police station and as soon as I stated my case, the male officer didn’t even look at me and pointed me to a chair using a pen. I sat down and waited. 
When a female officer walked in, she asked me to state my case and immediately referred me to another male officer to help me make a report. It seemed she was the only one making things happen at the police station. 

But as soon as she left to handle another matter, the male officer laughed and said he didn’t know what to report about my case. He read through my messages and abandoned my phone at the reception, as soon as another male officer came though with a request for a spare tire. 
Luckily, another female officer walked in and immediately attended to my case. 

As she recorded my statement and handed over my phone… her male colleagues distracted her with kicks in her shin, spanking her bottom, and another even forced a hug on her. I could see that she was uncomfortable but afraid to tell them to stop.

Walking out of the police station reception, I saw a group of policemen in civilian clothing silently staring at me in a way that made me feel like bolting away. 

All I felt was a deep sense of shame and betrayal as a Kenyan woman. 
Because it seems that our women are seen as objects, and not whole worthy human beings who deserve respect. 

#RespectOurWomen

Where is Boni?

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Boni* is a street boy whom I met a year ago.
I enjoyed a chat with him as we walked towards a nearby grocery market to buy some bananas for him and friends.
I remember him sharing that despite being a street boy, he will, “Never give up!”
The boys used to stay and nap under some trees along Ngong Road. The trees were their homes.
After an early meeting today at iHub Nairobi, I walked past the same trees that are now chopped, burnt to ashes, abandoned.
No longer tall and green.
No longer a home.
“Where is Boni?” I thought.
But the lonely air responded with heartbreaking silence.

Rivers or Dams? Pick one!

 

Berta Caceres 2015 Goldman Environmental Award Recipient

Berta Caceres stands at the Gualcarque River in the Rio Blanco region of western Honduras where she, COPINH (the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras) and the people of Rio Blanco have maintained a two year struggle to halt construction on the Agua Zarca Hydroelectric project, that poses grave threats to local environment, river and indigenous Lenca people from the region. Source: goldmanprize.org

 

As we chase after modern knowledge, skills & lifestyles, are we loosing ourselves?

We are all indigenous to somewhere on this earth.

We all came from somewhere!

Our human identity isn’t in fashion brands, fast cars, academic achievements, air mileage and fancy houses.

Our identity depends on real connections with humanity, not things.

Berta Cáceres has taught us an expensive lesson – to protect our identity or allow our footprints to vanish from existence.

This International Women’s Day 2016, I celebrate Berta’s courage as a female warrior who fought for equality, environmental conservation, protection of her indigenous culture and peace!

Visit goldmanprize.org for more about Berta Cáceres!

#IWD2016

 

 

Flag of All Flags!

Flag of all flags is love.

Flag of all flags is love.

FLAG OF ALL FLAGS: It’s heartbreaking to watch people fight on social media about something that should actually bring us together as humankind.
“Why haven’t you changed your profile picture to support France?” “Why haven’t you changed your profile picture to support Lebanon?” “Why haven’t you changed your profile picture to support Syrian refugees?” “Why haven’t you changed your profile picture to support…?”

If you’re like me, you might have already picked up on the real purpose of the virtual flags: Love for humanity.
But by choosing to isolate and attack each other because of Facebook flags, we’re choosing that which the terrorists are promoting? Fear, the mother of terrorism.

Fear makes us believe that we are more different than we are similar.
Fear makes us violent with our words, thoughts, intentions, and actions.
Fear makes us strip people of their power of choice.
Fear makes us foolish enough to be inhuman.

So whether or not you choose to use a Facebook flag, the biggest question we have to ask ourselves is, “So what next?”
So what next, after the terrorist attacks?
So what next, after we change our profile pictures?
So what next, after fear knocks at our doors?

Instead of fighting over Facebook flags, why not focus on what really matters? Sharing love with humanity.
How do we do this? It’s in the everyday simple things like smiling with a stranger. Sharing your meal with a homeless child. Offering a friend your shoulder to cry on. Affirming what’s good in someone instead of magnifying the faults.

As we start the new week, I encourage you to observe the world around you and spot opportunities in which you could directly respond to fear with love.
We are all superheroes if you think about it. We fight in the background with acts of courage that save the world from further decay.
This is how slowly, we get to change the world one act of love at a time.

Love & Sunshine

#StrippingShame in Kenya

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Stop Violence against Women

Dear World Citizen,

I am not sure about you but I can’t escape the feeling of disgust and fear every time I leave my home nowadays.

I don’t drive but use public transportation quite a lot to go about my errands. This means that I’ve got to walk a lot in public.

However, never have I felt so paranoid in my life when in public! As I walk in the market, at the bus stop, inside the matatu (public transportation mini van), along the street at the city centre… almost everywhere.

Why? Because there are men everywhere. Recently, perverted men have been attacking little girls, women and even grannies in broad daylight!!!

Every day, I realise that yet another woman has been attacked by men, even a police man. As she tried to board a public bus, as she sold food in the streets, as she went about her day along a public path, as she sat in a matatu.

Worse is that our local authorities wait until a violated woman personally reports an incident as perverts are allowed to walk free just because they are men.

I don’t wish for my country to be like India where rape cases increased by about 500% in a decade simply because no one cared to discipline young men who viewed women as objects.

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Real Cause of Rape

The attacks on women in Nairobi are not about dress codes or the length of a woman’s skirt. Perverts who are young non-empowered men are releasing their frustrations by attacking women because they KNOW they can get away with it.

Neither the President of Kenya nor the First Lady have addressed this issue yet… they do have a daughter. Don’t other people’s daughters, wives, sisters, mothers and grandmothers matter just like their own?

Kenyans have recently marched in the streets of Nairobi to protest against the  attacks.
Social media campaigns like #MyDressMyChoice continue as the public reports and condemn the attacks.
TV exposés and debates have been done by journalists and still continue.
Yet still, the most effective way to correct this situation remains dormant – Kenyan legislature and executive!

Female members of parliament have issued press statements. Others have even offered their own money to reward those who expose the offenders. Still, their voices remain clouded by silent male MPs – some who think that it’s the women’s fault.

Surely, what can we do to end this?
You and I are the public in the public.
We are the ones in danger!

What are some of the things we could do as the public to ensure that perverts and attackers don’t get to run our city?

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A safer world for women and girls

No matter the risk of sounding like a delusional woman, I still pray and hope that my country will become a safer place for women and girls to live in.

For now, the battle against violence against women and girls continues. In our individual capacities, wherever we may be around the world, let our purple ribbons wrap and protect women in our societies.

Ayuma.

Courage

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I can confidently say that I am not the same woman I was two months ago.
Why so?

Well… fear checked in big-time! I woke up one day and imagined myself as a 50-year-old woman. Judging from the attitude I had in life I predicted the kind of situation I would be in. Let’s just say that it didn’t look good at all. It was pitiful to picture myself as the woman I had imagined.

Snapping back to reality was the best feeling ever! I realised just how much I could still do to end up at a better place than I had seen myself in. There was suddenly an opportunity to work on my attitude and realise that the change begins with me and in my mind.

The best thing is that suddenly I don’t fear much in life as I used to. The greatest lesson I’ve learnt is that instead of focusing on fear of the uncertain future, it is much better to focus on the possibility of great things that lie ahead in my life.

So be kind to yourself. Don’t leave any room for fear, open wide your life to the possibilities of a positive future.

Courage is a state mind!

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