The Uuuhs and Aaarghs of my life

Posts tagged ‘2014’

Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year - 2015

The year 2015 is at bay and just a few hours to go!

Thank you for gracing my blog with your valuable readership, following, shares, comments and likes.

I wish you lots of love, success and sunshine in the year 2015!

Blessings,
Ayuma.

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#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.

Equality begins at Home!

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Female offspring are not second best

Recently, there was a news report in Kenya about a man who welcomed his newborn son at the hospital with a convoy of limousines.

I was thrilled that a father would go to such great lengths to celebrate the arrival of his newborn son. After a while, I wondered if the man could have done the same were the newborn child a girl.

Like a thorn, the answer pierced my thoughts to realise that in Africa, the norm is that a son is valued more than a girl.

This took me back to a time when a friend told me, “The African girl is broken even before she leaves her father’s roof…She leaves knowing that she is second best.”

Having shared my thoughts about this reflection on social media, only one person commented; a man. He agreed and said that our African culture has unfortunately caused us to see the boy child as more valuable.

So what happens when I one day give birth to a beautiful baby girl?

Should I throw a small party because she isn’t worth a higher cost for celebration?

Should I tell my husband, “Sorry, we’ll try again?”

Should I tell her that when she sets out into the world she’ll have to be grateful for at least being number two?

Should I pat her back and tell her that she could try marrying a wealthy man instead?

My personal answer is, “Not if I am her mother!”

I might not be a world famous woman but I do believe in the power of purpose.
My purpose in this life is not to be second best but to be the best in fulfilling my individual purpose.
It might not attract global paparazzi to stalk me nor make people want to know which dress or perfume I recently wore.
But one thing is for sure, I shall leave a positive mark in my capacity!

This is the philosophy that I would teach my baby girl.

I would not teach her to do better, I would teach her to do things differently.

I would remind her not to fight with or hate boys, I would remind her to appreciate others’ efforts but compete with her personal vision.

I would tell her not to feel bad when people sigh and say, “She is just a girl.” I would tell her to smile and say, “Thank God I am a girl!”

Most importantly, I would not shy away from celebrating my daughter.

This is because God must have had a darn good reason to go back to His drawing board and design a woman. Surely, the world is a much better place with girls in it. The works needs girls!

No single child in this world should ever grow up feeling second best. All children are equally special and equally able to transform this world into a much better place than they found it.

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Blog Action Day 2014

This is my special celebration to girls all over the world as we commemorate Blog Action Day 2014.

Remember, equality and all the good things begin at home ^_^

Love and Sunshine,
Ayuma.

Why Hate on Kenyan Women?

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I am not one to pick a bone with an attention seeking Twitter handle but this… I had to say.

A Kenyan bloke who is known for controversial posts on Twitter (with a specialty of hating on Kenyan women) thought it best to compliment Lupita Nyong’o by first saying that she has got tiny boobs and that she looks like a man but in the end says that she won an Oscar. Then he diverted his attention to the light-skinned Kenyan women with big boobs and big bottoms and asked what do they have to offer.

To be honest, I felt like I could vomit. But I just sat down and pondered about his comments:
It took me back to my childhood when small Kenyan boys would label me “AIDS” just because I was a tall skinny girl who looked nothing like what society deemed to be a beautiful girl.

It took me back to my teenage life in church when the boys would only talk to the girls whose breasts had poofed-up. No matter how much they read the Bible which states that God created all things beautiful, it didn’t meet the practical.

It took me to my freshman year when in whispers, the boys would refer to me as ‘the slim one with a butt’ and thought it would be a complement. Because the African culture celebrates curvy women with big breasts and especially big buttocks.

So what happens to the dark, slim, small-chested and small-bummed woman like me?
Does this make me flawed in the eyes of African men?
OR
Is there something that the young African men misinterpreted as beauty from their African forefathers?

But then, I thought about a compliment a friend gave me yesterday and it warmed my heart. This kind European who has lived amongst Kenyans looked at me and said, “Here in Kenya, many men love big bums. In Europe, many men are fascinated by big boobs. But you are perfect, you are beautiful just the way you are!”

I was silenced, and in that moment I felt a flicker of hope light up in me. That there are men who are capable of separating themselves from culture and see things for what they really are.

That there are men out there who would speak about women with respect regardless of who’s watching or listening.
That there are men who respect all women because their mothers, daughters and sisters are women too.

This is the hope that kept me from reacting in anger.

I remembered the Sudanese boy who gave me a golden ring in primary school because he thought I was beautiful. He didn’t care that other boys called me “AIDS”.
I remembered the American boy that I used to talk to after church. He thought that I was really cool to talk to regardless of how I looked as a teen.
I remembered the Ethiopian guy who stopped me to tell me that I had lovely eyes and hair as I went about my shopping.
And of course the warm complement by my European friend.

This comforted me that regardless of the evident brainwash about a woman’s beauty here in Kenya, the beauty in me is still VALID in other cultures.

To all the Kenyan men who think that Kenyan ladies are nothing but: ugly, needy, gold diggers, nagging, bad mothers, cheap, pathetic wives, career robots, pieces of ass and boobs.
Sorry that we are not good enough even when the rest of the world thinks otherwise.

PS: I love being a slim African woman with mild curves. I feel beautiful, sexy and healthy!

Peace, Love and Respect,
Ayuma

Gagging Death with Second Chances

Amy was tired. She was tired of a marriage gone wrong. The pain crept through her nerves; from her curled toes to the hot coffee mug trapped between her hands. She sat in silence at the dinner table. The ticking clock on the wall echoed further into the living room. The fearful tapping of her finger onto the mug came to a stop when the minute hand hit midnight. She broke into tears which streamed down her face and into the mug.

Richard had for the third time slept out during their wedding anniversary. For the third time, Amy thought, her husband chose his mistress over her during their special day. He had tried to hide the affair for three years but she knew it from the first day he came home with a mask on his face. A mask of a man she knew not; a man who knew how to tell a lie straight to her face. And so she put her mug in the kitchen sink, turned off the lights and headed to bed.

Suddenly, she woke up to a struggle for breath as a masked man gagged her mouth as his partner tied up her arms and legs. The man placed a cloth over her nose and the next thing she felt was the cold burn of a metallic chair. Amy had been kidnapped. Blindfolded, she struggled to free her arms and legs but all her efforts were in vain. She panted and puffed some more until all she could do was cry.

Neither of the two men spoke to her. They just kept walking round the room which scared her even more. But as soon as they removed the muffle over her mouth she cried, “Please let me go! Please let me go!” All she heard in return was silence. The two men never said a thing. Hopelessness started sinking in as soon as it hit her that the only person who would notice that she was missing was her husband. The thought of Richard in the arms of his mistress at such a time made her feel even closer to death. She had been dying slowly for the last three years.

The day she wanted to tell Richard that she had cervical cancer was the day he came home with a mask on his face and a hint of cheap perfume on his shirt. She was dying alone for three years. She thought about the many times she had tried to get pregnant. How it pained her when her family members pressured her. How it made her feel less of a woman that she was not able to give Richard a child. Perhaps that is what made him start an affair, she thought. Slowly, her marriage had suffered another type of cancer that ate into their love.

Suddenly, Amy gave in to the worst; death. Her loud cried for freedom turned into death wishes. She knew not who the two men were, but she told them to get on with it and just kill her.

“I’ve got nothing else to lose so just kill me.”

“I have been dying from cancer for the last three years.”

“My husband has for the last three years spent our wedding anniversary in the arms of his mistress.”

“I am infertile and cannot do the one thing a woman is supposed to do.”

“Just kill me now and kill me quick.”

Suddenly, one man took off the blindfolds and freed her arms and legs. Kneeling right before her in a room full of friends and family members was Richard. His idea of a wedding anniversary surprise for Amy had taken a different turn. He was crying and the look on his face was that of a broken soul. One lady rushed across the room in tears and left the house. Everyone else had a mix of grief, anger, fear and shock painted over their faces.

“Please forgive me Amy… Please forgive me!” Richard wept in the silence that had filled the room. The look on Amy’s face was that of shock and frustration. She had emotionally and physically signed a death wish; she was ready to die. Looking at the room full of people made her feel as if she were looking at a certain chapter of her past that she had long forgotten. She zoned back in and Richard had stopped crying. He stood up, walked towards her and went on his knees before her. He held onto her hands and noticed how pale and skinny they had become. She was shaking as if she had seen a ghost. A ghost indeed! The mask on Richard’s face was gone and he looked at her with the innocence he had in his eyes the day he asked her to be his wife. He said:

“I broke my promise to love and protect you.”

“I broke my promise to be faithful to you.”

“I broke my promise to stand by you for better or for worse.”

“This is the worse and before you is a man full of broken promises.”

“I won’t stop you if you choose to leave me. But if there is some little hope in you that I can be a better man, I am begging you to give me a second chance.”

Amy pulled away her hands and cried. She was not sure about what was happening. She was not sure that she could trust again, not Richard. The other people in the room had already disappeared from their thoughts; the focus was only on the two.

“Just one more chance Amy… Just one more chance,” Richard pleaded. Then Amy wiped away her tears and held his hands. “I guess two years are enough for a second chance,” Amy said with a soft smile warming up her face. Richard rose from his knees in astonishment and kissed her as he did on their wedding day.

Suddenly, cheerfulness from family and friends coated and helped them sail away into a perfect second chance.

True love thrives in forgiveness and truth, enough to selflessly give way to second chances even with two more years left to live.

Yours truly,

Ayuma.

To New Beginnings in 2014

Today, a friend shared with me a story about a rite of passage carried out by one of the Native-American communities. Boys who have become of age would take-on the tradition by journeying to the center of a thick forest and camp there overnight. An additional challenge to the task is for each boy to go through the whole process while blind-folded. Some of the young men would spend the night in the forest, afraid and feeling unprotected. But at the end of the challenge, the blind folds would be removed and the first person the boy would see is his father. The boy would realize that his father was always there watching and guarding him with bow and arrow. This is the best story to hear as I plan to close this year’s chapter.

The year 2013 has been one rich cocktail of happenings; good and bad, happy and sad, wins and losses, learning and teaching and of course… the dramatic world of the unknown. As many ushered in 2013 with gilts and glam, cheer and beer… I began the year crying in my room because I had had the worst year ever in 2012. Who could have known that a year which began so ominously bad could have ended in such a peaceful and beautiful way?

Death snatched dear ones from me and I could do nothing else but just thank God for the time I had with them. I had to deal with depression early in the year and after healing I managed to draw my friends out of it. So many of us seemed to be suffering from the cruel fate of Murphy’s Law but now we all smile having tasted the sweet fruit of victory over our challenges. I think our tough times shape us into better people and I am glad to have seen the better side of all that I had gone through.

Right now, my life seems like a mess but I trust in God who sees the whole picture.

Right now, I am scared about half the things I am to face or that I pursue but I will do it anyway.

Right now, all I have is faith in God and a vision of the woman I want to be this coming year.

My duty is not to worry, but to carry-on with the task entrusted to me by God.

And so this coming year, I plan to obey dear God and trust that He will be me always:

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” ~Joshua 1:9

Live. Love. Learn.

Here’s to a fabulous 2014 dear ones!

Yours Truly,

Ayuma.

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