The Uuuhs and Aaarghs of my life

Posts tagged ‘Future’

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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Going against the grain

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“I can’t remember the last party I attended as a young man…” This was an interesting confession during a chat last week with Bob Collymore who is Safaricom Limited’s CEO.

I had always thought that meeting someone as successful as Bob Collymore would leave me feeling so small yet hopeful that I could one day become just as great. This was not the case.

Instead, I was humbled, inspired and reassured that I have been on the right track towards my success. See, it was a Friday afternoon and instead of going home to get ready for a fun girls’ night out, I was at the Seed of Hope Centre where I volunteer as a mentor for young boys and girls.
I hadn’t noticed this until he said, “You could be anywhere else but you chose to be here…” He explained that it was a sacrifice not many young people would be willing to make.

What followed was a motivation to go against the grain and invest in people because that is what matters most in life.

At the end of the day, when we look back and what we see is anything but the betterment of people’s lives, we not only fail ourselves but humanity.

He told me this knowing that I am a young Kenyan who is currently unemployed but who has got a passion for mentoring young people. He saw gold where many saw a struggling person.

Now if this doesn’t show how a successful mind works, then I don’t know what does.

What is more important than the beginning and the achievement of success is the journey towards success. Embrace it!

Every moment in life counts

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A butterfly has got a lifespan of about 2weeks to 2months.

Still she floats in the air, flying joyfully and warming many hearts.
The fact that her life is too short doesn’t hinder her from capturing many people with her beauty.

She flaps her delicate wings, from flower to flower, blind to the uncertainty of another tomorrow. She lives in the now of today.

Every moment in life is precious and another chance to shine with all beauty that already exists in you.

Don’t let the pains, problems, or the unknown turn the beauty of your life into grey.

The Pain that Heals

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Ever heard someone share a personal story that you totally identified with and learned from?

Today, I asked myself about the confidence it must take for such people to open their hearts in public about a painful moment in their lives – for the sake of empowering others.

Furthermore, I asked myself what would happen to me if these people suddenly stopped reaching out to me though their personal stories. How then would I get practical lessons on how to face life?

A friend recently enlightened me when she said that to be a true mentor and touch lives I must be prepared to be vulnerable. This type of vulnerability is not about being emotional or mushy. It deals with deliberately sharing your life stories – truths, hurts, victories, challenging lessons – with people so that they may identify with you as a real human being and learn from what you did wrong or what you did right.

Many of us have gone through hills and valleys in the journey of life. But why is it always easier to share about the good things? Is it because they paint us better, is it easier, is it less damaging to our reputations?

Why is it that we cannot share about the very same things we need help with?

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Her Heart to Yours

Emma* who is a mother of three went through a bad marriage for 10years. After a lovely Sunday afternoon spent with her kids in church and at the pizza place, she would go home to a mouthful of mockery from her drunken husband. He would call her a whore and that going to church would not help her cover up her filthy acts. He had been unfaithful to her and had slowly started shifting the guilt towards her which triggered obsession. But this only became worse with time when her husband beat up their children suspecting that they might have not been his. The little one who was only 7-years-old was hit so hard that he lost consciousness. Emma spent the night in hospital waiting for her son to recover. This is when she picked us her phone and made the call she had always avoided for years. She called up her mother who had always had her suspicion about James from the day she met him. Her mother had always tried calling her even after her rushed wedding but she never answered. She was filled with guilt having realised that her mother had been right about James after all. Her mother promised to be at the hospital by morning. Emma prayed all night until her mother arrived. Emma was able to rescue her children from an abusive father and from the dangers of an abusive and broken marriage. Now, a happily married mother of four Emma realises that if she did not take that bold step to leave her husband, she would be in double jeopardy since her ex-husband was found dead in his house after refusing to resolve an outstanding bill at a local pub. During her trying times, she remembered feeling helpless even at church because everyone else seemed so perfect. No ladies talked about their challenging times; just how happy they are and how their children are doing well. Emma now purposes to talk to young ladies who are thinking about marriage and those who are newly wedded. She opens her home to them so that they can share their challenges and successes. She has learnt that the best way to touch people’s lives is by sharing the hurts and challenges and the lessons she learned from it all. Because of this, many ladies who had faced and overcome marital wars started opening up about the challenges faced in marriages even with young ladies who had often been misled by media and other women about the real face of marriage.

*Emma is not a real name.

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This may seem like just another story about a woman who faced a tough time and is now living a better life. But just think about it, how many people don’t get to see the other side and heal? How many have that one person they can call up and help them though a rough patch in life?

One thing I have come to learn from my interactions with relatives, friends, neighbours and total strangers is that there are so many hurt people in this world. There is so much of it that people prefer to think that they are facing their own unique type of hurt. The truth of the matter is that hurt is hurt – it steals, it kills and it destroys when we don’t learn from it and get stuck in it.

But finding that one ray of hope to see and even pursue the life beyond hurt is what makes us a unique creation as the human race. It all starts with a step, and it begins with you.

How can you make yourself more available to receive help or to help another person?

How willing are you to learn from other people’s experiences?

How willing are you to share, teach and train people having achieved a handy experience?

What are you waiting for? Go right ahead and do it!

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The human race does not break because of what we give (or don’t give) materially but because of what we say (or not say), what we show (or not show) or what we learn and not share.

Open your heart and share a pain that heals and empowers lives. It was and has never been in vain!

 

Yours Truly,

Ayuma.

 

Scars into Stars – A Lifestyle of Mentorship!

A Lifestyle of Mentorship

A Lifestyle of Mentorship

 

My failed businesses had a purpose after all! Recently, I learned the positive side to all of my failed business projects in the past.

My mother once looked at me as I cried, one failed business followed by another. I had done my research right. I had prepared a super business strategy; I had already contacted some business mentors. Yet still, my businesses did not pick up and failed in the end. I truly learned the art of trial and error with an extra baggage of frustration.

But today, my mother’s words, “My dear child, don’t worry, one day all these things will make sense.”

That ‘one day’ was today!

I met a young man on my way home who camped outside in the cold selling some warm snacks for passers-by. I was intrigued by his determination and the fact that he was the only vendor within vicinity who was actually standing up, waiting for customers. Other vendors had wrapped themselves in warm things as they curled themselves on their chairs waiting for clients.

I’ve got the blood of a marketer so I simply gave-in to the young man for his commendable appeal. What I had planned to be a one-stop trip to buy a roasted smokie with kachumbari led to a deep conversation about business.

He said that he never got the chance to finish school but he’s using what he’s got to earn a decent living. In the freezing cold weather he smiled with excitement over his small business and said that he would like to try out new products. Other vendors had taken up his idea and he needed to beat the competition.

As he spoke, I remembered all of my struggles; all the capital I had invested, burning the midnight oil doing research and coming up with a business strategy, prayers galore and making my family members guinea pigs for business experiments

I could not leave this young man without fueling his passion for his business.

And so I spoke, and asked him questions, provided him with examples and gave him ideas on how to expand his business. He was amazed that a stranger would take time to motivate him!

Well, at the time my business was failing flat on the floor… my friends had no idea about why I needed to make it work so bad, my mentors suddenly went A-WALL, my family honestly just needed a break.

Then I finally learned my lesson today: my business failed not because my attitude or plans were wrong. They simply failed because of that extra push to greatness that I lacked from someone who believed in me.

I know not if I’ll ever meet the young man again, but one thing is for sure – I made sure that by the time I left that young man, he didn’t have questions but ideas to put into action. After purchasing the snacks that he sold, I am glad that he was more determined than I had found him.

~Even if we suffer through challenges, the least we can do is carry the lessons we learn though it all and use them to inspire another person.

This is the true spirit of mentorship!

Yours Truly,
Ayuma.

Storymoja Hay Festival 2013 (19th - 22nd September)

Storymoja Hay Festival 2013 (19th – 22nd September)

 

UPCOMING HAY FESTIVAL!!!

The Storymoja Hay Festival is on September 19 – 22, 2013. Mark the Date. You will definitely leave the festival thinking in a whole new way! Imagine the World OR Waza Dunia

Follow Storymoja Hay Festival on Facebook and on @SMHayFest on Twitter for updates on tickets, travel & accomodation, guest authors, pre-fest events and event programming. see also our official website.

 

HISTORY OF STORY MOJA:

Storymoja Hay Festival is a collaboration between Kenyan publishers Storymoja and Hay Festival UK to create a platform for showcasing great literature, poetry and ideas in the country’s capital, Nairobi.
Out of the various editions organized by Hay Festival UK the Storymoja Hay Festival is the only one in Africa. It is arguably the biggest literary event in East and Central Africa. It is held annually in Nairobi and features internationally renowned creative minds.
Founded in 2008 The Storymoja Hay Festival is a four day celebration of our stories and our culture through storytelling, books, live discussion forums, workshops, debates, live performances, competitions, mchongoano and music.
The Storymoja Hay Festival has grown from 500 visitors the first year, to over 5000 attendees in 2012
We have enjoyed the support of over 50 partners over the last four years, including HIVOS, US Embassy, British Council, Dutch Embassy, National Museums of Kenya, Kenya ICT Board, Google, Alexander Forbes, Oxfam,

Kenya’s No.1 Monster

Kenya at 50 years!

Kenya at 50 years!

 

Was there a memo that I missed on the day I was born?

Did a particular group of people sign a contract that I did not?

Why am I forced to feel like I am less of a Kenyan?

Growing up in Kenya has taught me that of all monsters, there is one that many have failed to conquer. It comes in the form of a friend but often changes face as it thrives in conflict. There were times I found myself surrounded by fiends who I had long known as friends.

“Where did my friends go to?” I asked, but often fell on deaf ears as if it were meant to be an unanswered question.

Tribalism is Kenya’s No.1 monster, created by an external force yet fuelled by our very own!

It robs us of everything we fight for, everything we hope for, everything represented by our national values – peace, love and unity!

A childhood friend once told me that we could no longer be friends after her father found out where my parents “came from.” I was heart-broken and thought that I had done something wrong to her that crippled our friendship.

My parents have always been liberal and thought it best to teach me to approach life with an independent type of thinking, unswayed by stereotypes. They knew that unlike their past, there was a chance for me to grow up knowing that people are their character and not their tribal clusters.

“Who does he think he is? Just because he is from Tribe X he thinks he can get away with anything?” I never understood why my teachers would avoid explaining this question to me. It often flew across the school environment like a spark from a wild fire.

“Why did the pastor preach in a language that doesn’t represent the entire flock?” I never understood why church folk avoided addressing this question. I often heard it escape from conversations after Sunday service.

“These are the only tomatoes we’ve got left! Who are you to demand fresh ones?” I never understood why the neighbourhood shopkeeper always shouted at me. She always sold fresh produce to a particular group of people, just not me.

“Usiniletee mathe! Lipa gari ama ushuke” (Woman don’t try me. Pay or step out). I never understood why the matatu conductor hurled this comment to my mother. She was forced to pay more fare yet some individuals paid less.

These are some of the issues I battled with for years as I grew up. But I have found a solution, and it begins with me!

I am so blessed to have parents who allowed me to grow up as an independent thinker. So much so that during the most recent general elections in March 4th, 2013, our household had a mix of candidates to support. We had fun analysing each presidential candidate while maintaining our respect for the individual choices we made. I believe that this was unlike many others, attested by the brutal conversations I watched going viral on Social media. It was sad that even relationships came to an end because of the monster.

In my home, tribalism is illegal! In my home, people’s characters are more important than affluence and political anarchy.

And though this is a slow process in battling the vicious monster, I shall carry-on the liberal tradition that my parents have taught me to my little ones – should God bless me with children in future. Despite the ugliness of the monster that stares at me every day, I shall hold on to the almost hazy dream that our forefathers desired for our nation. I may not know what made them thirst so much for that future, I may not know what their yoke felt like, but I know that there’s no way I’m going to look away from the blessing they gave us. It’s ours to cherish!

To those who are tired of the stink of tribalism in our country. To those who are strong enough to accept that the monster exists. To those who are tired of the hush hush reproach of the monster, this is our chance to shout and say, “No more!”

“Those who are able to see beyond the shadows and lies of their culture will never be understood, let alone believed, by the masses.” ~Plato

The giants that play in the monster’s field may not even care what we do and laugh at our efforts… But I promise you, we shall conquer! Our children are the progeny of the Kenyan dream. Let’s ensure that with our sweat and blood, they’ll get to enjoy every bit of it.

Here’s to a great year of jubilee/ freedom/ revolution as our country Kenya showers us with her golden dust during her 50th year of independence.

God bless Kenya!

Yours Truly,

Ayuma.

The Storymoja Hay Festival is on September 19 – 22, 2013 at the National Museums of Kenya. Follow @SMHayFest on Twitter, and Storymoja Hay Festival on Facebook for updates on guest authors, events, pre-fest events and tickets.

Kenyans Marching-on!!!

Indeed, this month has been one packed with loads of activity, anxiety, drama, but most of all hope for my country Kenya.

So much has happened and today marks a historic day as the Supreme Court is set to make a verdict on the election petitions. My hope, my prayer is that my countrymen shall maintain peace and respect the new constitution we voted-in by respecting the ruling of the law.

Enjoy the few days left this month and see you on the other side in April!!!

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For some positive meditation:

KENYA’S NATIONAL ANTHEM

O God of all creation
Bless this our land and nation
Justice be our shield and defender
May we dwell in unity
Peace and liberty
Plenty be found within our borders.

Let one and all arise
With hearts both strong and true
Service be our earnest endeavour
And our homeland of Kenya
Heritage of splendour
Firm may we stand to defend.

Let all with one accord
In common bond united
Build this our nation together
And the glory of Kenya
The fruit of our labour
Fill every heart with thanksgiving.

Let’s keep the peace!

Yours Truly,

Ayuma.

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