The Uuuhs and Aaarghs of my life

Posts tagged ‘Confidence’

Open Journal: Singlehood is a Platform for Growth

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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Modelling meets Charity!

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When a good friend tagged me onto a Facebook post about a call for models for an upcoming charity swim marathon, the first thing that crossed my mind was, “When was the last time I put on a bikini?”

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But when reason settled in, I realised that I was just trying to look for a reason to shy away from wearing a bikini. But when I later accepted the Facebook event invite by Evgeniya, the event planner, I was struck by inspiration.

Evgeniya posted photos of talent auditions at a place called Huruma which some consider to be a slum area in Nairobi. The children looked so happy and I could not resist smiling as I scanned through the photos.

I had no plans for the weekend and this was a chance for me to be part of an amazing charity event that involved children… I was sold and ready to walk that runway to make the day as great as intended.

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But if there was something I did not understand, it would be what a Rotary club is all about. To be honest, I always thought it was one of those old clubs full of old and retired expatriates who play Bingo during vacations on a fancy yatch. I know… I have watched too many movies starring old people 🙂 This is why it was surprising to know that there was a Rotary Club in Nairobi. I thought, “There aren’t any docking stations in Nairobi!”

Sad… I know. Later on, I did my research and found out that Rotary International is a global village of neighbours, friends, and community leaders. They team up to create initiatives that promote positive change and resilience in various communities around the world. So far, the village comprises of about 2.2million members. Nairobi’s Rotary Club is currently headed by David Hastie (President: 2013-2014).

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So what made this year’s Rotary Swimarathon special?

Well, it is because of the unfortunate return of Polio in Northern Kenya. Since 1985, Rotary has led the battle against Polio and the club wanted to support the End Polio Now immunization campaign. This also led to the teaming up with the Nairobi Swimmers Association (NASA) to bring together swimmers on Sunday, 23rd February 2014 to swim non stop between 3 and 4pm. The swim marathon happened at the same time globally! 🙂

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To add to the fun, there was an inspired serving of entertainment by Sanchat Trust Restart groups which included an amazing choir, break dancers, sensational salsa dancers and lovely little models doing the catwalk. These talented groups of young people had travelled from Gilgil to showcase their great talent and to appreciate the Nairobi Rotary Club for their support.

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To add some icing on the cake, there was a spicy catwalk by professional Nairobi models showcasing Mohamed Bana’s Kikoy swimwear collection and gowns for auction.

It had been long since I last strut on the runway but I had so much fun with the models that it all came naturally. None of the models asked for payment as we all understood that it was for charity and we all enjoyed and cheered-on the little ones as they did their catwalk.

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So where did all the money go to?

A third of the proceeds from the event went to supporting the End Polio Now campaign, another third went to Nairobi Swimmers Association (NASA).

The remaining third went to supporting Rotary charities in Kenya, including:
1. Eye camps for free cataract operations in rural populations.
2. Energy saving jikos (traditional stoves) for schools who provide free lunches to students.
3. Sanitary and water schemes for slums and schools.
4. Providing bed kits to primary school children, in partnership with Sleeping Children.

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At the end of the day, I felt so blessed to have been part of such an inspired event. Some members of the public had
paid an entry fee of Ksh. 1,000 and students above 18years had bought tickets worth Ksh. 500 to be part of the event.

A feeling of warmth and fulfilment runs through me when I remember the little ones from Gilgil modelling and the young drummers from Huruma who were our musical guide as we spiced up the runway with Mohamed’s tasty fashion designs.

Pots of joy!

If you fancy Mohamed Bana’s designs, you can reach his fashion store through mobile: +254739632804

Check out more event photos here.

With Love,
Ayuma.

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