The Uuuhs and Aaarghs of my life

Posts tagged ‘People’

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

 

 

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Breakfast Club for coffee-lovers in Nairobi!

Breakfast Club for young coffee-loving Entrepreneurs in Nairobi. / Kahawa Culture 2015.

Breakfast Club for young coffee-loving Entrepreneurs in Nairobi / Kahawa Culture 2015

Are you a young coffee lover in Nairobi looking for a coffee community of fun, like-minded and interesting humans like yourself?

This is your chance to join a new Breakfast Club in town that connects young entrepreneurs through inspiring organic interactions and the love of coffee.

We welcome you to join us for the Kahawa Culture Breakfast Club Launch on 25th March 2015 at Nairobi Garage (Piedmont Plaza, Ngong Rd) from 7am to 8.30am. This is a great opportunity to enrich your networks while enjoying your favourite beverage in the world – coffee!

Only 50 spots are available so be sure to book your Eventbrite ticket then re-confirm your attendance via kahawaculture@gmail.com before your spot is gone.

Food and beverages will be available at the venue.

Note: The event programme will begin at 7am sharp.

Can’t wait to meet you and share a kahawa with you…

People. Coffee. Community.

Why Speak Nice over the Grave?

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Why do we celebrate people when they die instead of doing so when they are still with us?

How about we:

Shower people with flowers and not their graves.

Shed tears of joy because they are still here, not tears of sadness because they are no more.

Say all the good to them when their ears and hearts are still active, not when their senses have been arrested.

Speak nice things about them instead of petty gossip, before our words mean nothing when we speak nice over their graves.

Don’t be a follower of the dead and gone, they won’t get the chance to hear, smile and feel loved following your support.

Celebrate people when they are still alive!

We need more heart power!

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I wish that all the money in the world turned into hearts!
Then we would have people working so hard to win people’s hearts.

We would pay our bills through the quality and quantity of the hearts we touch.

We would toss our hearts into the fountain of life wishing for our dreams to come true.

We would fight to protect our hearts and those of others.

It wouldn’t be about petty banknotes and coins.

It would be about the real quality of our hearts practically influencing the world around us.

For life is all about love, not money and the things it buys.

We need more heart power!

Love and Sunshine,
Ayuma.

‘Beautiful People’ ~ A new category on Diary of Ayuma

Today, I finally met an amazing pineapple vendor in Nairobi. His name is Jimmy. I had always spotted him and his wheelbarrow of sweet pineapples at a spot along a regular route I use on my way to work.

I rushed in the scorching sun just to purchase one of Jimmy’s mouth-watering pineapple slices. But I did not find him at his usual spot. When I asked the other vendors selling boiled maize and peanuts at the spot, they said that he usually leaves at 2pm.

Luckily, the vendors directed me to the Green Belt Movement headquarters which was established by Kenya’s late Nobel Laureate Prof. Wangari Mathaai who fought to protect the environment.

Jimmy’s pineapple slices are quite popular with the staff members at Green Belt but they did not chomp down all of the fruity slices. Phew!

I asked him how much one slice costs and he told me that a slice costs Ksh.20 which is about USD $0.23. He sold one to me but I had to have more. And so I told him to prepare a full pineapple for me and he told me that a full pineapple costs Ksh. 160 which is about USD $2.

Watching him peel the pineapple so carefully with different techniques, knives and in a sanitary environment displayed just how much Jimmy loved his job. He peeled the pineapple as if he were creating a piece of art… as a creative, I would boldly say that he was.

Jimmy wrapped the pineapple in a clear bag that made my mouth water even more. To protect others from some fruity temptation, he hid it in a black paper bag for me to carry home. I was so happy and I gladly paid him without bargaining which is a typical Nairobian behavior.

Later that afternoon, I spotted Jimmy with his wheelbarrow of pineapples at a parking lot of a popular church. He had pushed the wheelbarrow for quite a long distance from where I had left him. Somehow, I was filled with such pride to have met someone so driven, talented and strangely passionate about pineapples like Jimmy.

There are so many more amazing people out there just like Jimmy who never get the mention in the news, on the radio or in the many memes people share on social media. But these great people do exist. And it is such an honour for me to introduce these beautiful people doing great things everyday.

So if you are ever in the city of Nairobi in Kenya at a place called Adams Arcade, please give Jimmy a call through +254728040439 for a tropical splash of sweet pineapple for your enjoyment.

Great personalities like Jimmy are the inspiration behind my new blog category entitled ‘Beautiful People’.
Lookout for my first post as I reintroduce myself to you with the new format for all posts under the new category. Enjoy!

With Love,
Ayuma.

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,

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