An Open Letter To You…cc Jimmy Gathu

My name is Mama John. I know there is no need for me to introduce myself to you since Jimmy Gathu did that already. And the couch potato that Kenyans are, I already feel like a celeb. What with all the viewing I receive. I know it’s only a few minutes long, just in the middle of your favorite program or at meals time, but you just can’t miss me. You can’t.
How can you? I’m usually half dressed, stealthily sneaking from my bed of sin which you may or may not have had a taste of. There is no need to get into details, the guilt on my face tells it all. I really don’t like the way Jimmy sneaks up on me, as do all of you. What with all the judgmental looks on your faces. But I want to tell you something you don’t know, and Jimmy doesn’t either. If he does, he never mentions it.

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Paying for harassment..!

Some things are really dreadful. Like walking in a cemetery at night, or having someone pull out your nails, or meeting a slug at the door on a rainy evening, or a frog…eeew!

But of late, I have added other things to the list, and the problem is, i’m paying for some of them. Top of the list is riding in a matatu, especially in Nairobi. This has become such a torture i’m thinking of going Dutch — cycling to work. problem is, I can’t cycle!

So I have to endure torturous rides from town in this unnecessarily loud buses. The music is obnoxious, obscene and the emphasis is put by extra big speakers (I actually never seem to see them).

Don’t get me wrong, I love music. But only if I can regulate what kind and how loud it should be.  Yet I have to pay for music that I wouldn’t be caught dead listening to! And as if harassing my spirit is not enough, they actually have to burst my eardrums while at it.

The 30 minutes or so that I travel in these buses are the longest time of my life. I think i’m going to buy a commuter bus. I will name it P&Q — Peace and Quiet. It will offer the most serene ride any Nairobian has ever had, they will always be waiting for me. I don’t know when I will do that, so if someone can borrow the idea before me, be my guest.

And now, the salon. This is the place where women are turned into expensive baboons. Throw down the stones ladies, I didn’t come up with that one. Most of the time when I finally walk out of that salon, I keep wondering, “is it pain worth it?”

Maybe the heads that turn are meant to give me satisfaction, but I still don’t get why all the pulling and tugging. Every Hair dresser that comes within three inches of your hair should be forced to produce a certificate of good conduct. I think some of the pulling and tagging and roasting is really unnecessary.

We pay so expensively to be in these salons, so a little tenderness will be in order, thank you very much!  There are many places where we pay, and highly so for pure harassment, but these two top the list. I officially stop hating on Vitz, I need one Pronto! Peace and Quiet in a Vitz is way better than harassment in these buses.


Of Christians and Wounded Soldiers

Picture this: A christian girl, the fire breathing, tongue speaking, demon chasing type. she is the very epitome of morality and chastity. She is an excellent leader, therefore a Youth Group Secretary or something like that.

She is also the no nonsense type, so no non-fire breathing brother comes within 10 meters radius of her space. But as Kiswahili would put it, pwagu hupata pwaguzi. So this Brother comes along, and our poor thing has her moment of weakness. As fate would have it, she gets pregnant and we can all see what she has been up to. Never mind this was her first time, and she greatly regrets it.

What does the typical Christian ‘family ‘ do? I’ve seen such a scenario before, and the family-hood seemed to have ended here. The Christian army seems to be the only one that abandons it’s wounded soldiers. And at a time when they need us most.

Classic 105 is arguably the most listened to radio today. Despite the many things that people may say about Maina and King’ang’i, if the many calls we hear are anything to go by, these people do have audience. And so I have been wondering, since Maina doesn’t really offer any advice, why do people keep calling in?

Could it be that all that the hurting people need is a listening ear? Maybe all they want is someone to sit there and see the brokenness through the tears and not drag them through a rocky guilt- path yet they are already too repentant.

Mariam* was such a soldier. She had been through it all:  teenage pregnancy, single parenthood, loneliness, heck, she even had the t-shirt! When we met, all she wanted was a friend. But she had a funny way of showing it. She’d just say, “It’s a long story.”  Lucky for me, I had all the time in the world.

So we became friends, and I listened to her, and I walked with her through the murky waters of breaking ungodly, unworthy relationships (and earned myself a few enemies in the process). Finally, this once shy, hurting girl who cried herself to sleep every other night healed. She became this bright beauty who would scale a wall, literally. I don’t get the credit. God did it. But He used me.

So, Christians, have we come to the same place where Paul was warning us against? That place where we can’t solve our problems and those of our fellow Christians and the world at large until we have to let the ungodly take over?

Could we stop killing our fallen soldiers and walk with them the painful, slow steps to recovery and full health. Believe me, no one who has tasted the goodness of the Lord wants to be estranged from Him. It hurts, there is always the desire to get the joy of salvation back, whatever else they may want you to believe. So, make the journey easier, lend a hand.

I doff my cap off for people like Pastor Phillip Kitoto. He’s a gift to the church at this time when promiscuity is glorified and marriages don’t last 30 seconds. But he needs you, and me to take care of our wounded soldiers.

Do we really need sex to sell?

fresh fri8

There is this advert on TV that has got everyone talking. Most of them seem quite angered by it,  at least the ones in my circle are. It’s the Fresh Fry advert. The bone of contention is that the advert is too sensual. I’m still trying to get the relationship between sensuality and frying my meat!

Many things may be relative but sex is not. We know it when we see it. And I know we have heard the argument that it sells, but honestly, do we need to sell sex so as to sell everything else?

Car adverts are not complete without a 3/4 naked girl posing alongside it, complete with pouting lips and endless legs. The same goes for body lotions and energy drinks and …the list is endless.

But I don’t solely blame the advertisers, maybe that is what we have become. Our minds have become so impure that nothing else seems to grab our attention. If it doesn’t make the hormones rage when I see it, then maybe it’s not worth my time(and money).

So now, the commercials in between the programs have become worse than the programs themselves. There were times when one would just wait for the commercial break to come so as to ease the moment in the middle of a not-so-family-viewing-friendly program. Today, we change channels when the commercials air, though it really doesn’t help since these things air at the same time in different channels.

I don’t know really what the idea was, but it was a very bad one. We are not all sex-crazy. We still buy Chloride Exide battery, Bamburi Cement and Safaricom Lines even though their adverts are not sensual. I still love and buy Cocacola, Tily, Delmonte juice and even Ribena.

An advert just needs to be beautiful. Many times I have stopped what i’m doing to watch Safaricom and Cocacola adverts. They are melodious, catchy; even patriotic. Even the Tusker adverts are way better. We would forgive KBL if they did sensual ones, the assumption would be they were all drunk. Even Femiplan are way decent, yet they advertise sex. In a way…

This is a call to all the Marketing Managers and Advertisers. Think outside the sensual box. It really is a small one if you want all of us to fit in. Get creative, go musical, do comedies if you have to. And unless you are advertising condoms, leave sensuality where it belongs. Away from our screens!

For Happy and for Holy

Marriage is forever…

I love reading the popular cartoon on Daily Nation — Andy Capp. One thing I’ve never understood though, is why Flo has stuck with the loser for that long. The guy is a lazy drunk, I don’t think he deserves the motherly,hardworking Flo.

But then again, I’m a child of the 21st century and we have little patience for losers, regardless of whether those losers are our very own husbands and children. And so we keep ‘moving on’ and anybody in our lives who doesn’t move with us will watch our fast moving backs as we zoom past them. No wonder marriages nowadays don’t last.

I would love to meet Flo. I know she once said that if there was one person she wouldn’t invite to her wedding were she to do it again, it would be Andy. Keeping him out of her hand bag is a full time job for Flo, but pray tell me, dear Flo, why do you put up with him?

I think Flo values her marriage to Andy and she has decided to stick through it despite Andy’s never changing behavior. She teaches me that marriage is forever. Whether it be a bed of roses or of thorns, you stick there.

I have never seen them fight, so I guess Flo’s attitude works well for them. She doesn’t scold Andy when he shows up at three AM with no shoes and dripping wet (he always falls into the canal in his drunken stupor). Her attitude ensures that Andy comes home every night.

We have a lot to learn from her in this ‘panga puff girls’ generation. one wrong step and the poor guy will have so many stitches on his face he’ll look like a rugby ball. Not dear Flo. She still opens the door for Andy, who rarely remembers his door anyway.

When it comes to ‘for better for worse’ I give it to Flo. I hope all women with husbands like Andy or a little better (I refuse to believe anyone is worse than Andy), will learn a thing or two from Flo and save their marriage and their men.

I hope to read of Andy’s change one day, Flo can only put up with so much;but if that day never comes, I pray that Flo will receive the Resilience Award. She is one Iron lady. But, pray, tell me, Flo, are you happy?

Happy. That is the buzz word these days. If you are happy, you stay, if you aren’t, you run. Supposing God didn’t constitute marriage to make us happy, but to make us holy?

Maybe we just can’t be happy all the time but if our spouses can help us edge more to holiness, we will understand why Flo puts up with Andy. Maybe God wants us to be holy, and in being Holy, we are happy.