The Hip Mom

I am a single Mom.Not by choice.If I had my way,I would have my children brought up in a nice,cosy family set up where Mum and Dad and kids live happily ever after.Fact or fiction?For ages, single parents have been blamed for a lot of things that go wrong in society.Children brought up by single mothers are said to be culprits in almost every wrong done.Crime rate goes up..oh yeah blame it on the kids down the street with no known father.They must be the ones!A husband with a roving eye winks at the single mother next door,by all means, knock down her door with a group of chama women and tell her in no uncertain terms to lay off your darling ‘hubbies’.Being single automatically labels you as the husband snatcher because clearly you ain’t got no man of your own, you gotta be desperate..huh?
Reminds me of an incident few months ago which I shared with a couple of my girlfriends and we had a good laugh about it..but after it had annoyed me to no end.So I love cooking and my pal Yvonne, her Mom and I were actually thinking of setting up an outside catering thingy.We’d been doing a few stints here and there and we’d get referrals to friends.So those who know me, know I am well endowed(*whispers conspiratorially* I am still investigating my ethnicity *wink*) and so we get these stints, do them really well and the mamas are happy..or so we think.So one day they just stop.Yvonne’s Mom wonders what’s going on and since they are her pals and she knows for a fact they still have functions that they should be asking us to cook for.So she asks around and one Mama pulls her aside and tells her,
“Mama Yvonne, these Mamas are afraid.”
“Afraid?Of what?exclaims Mama Yvonne
Afraid of that partner of yours with the big hips.”she whispers in her ear
“Wha…what???Why?How?What did she do? This is very puzzling indeed!”
“Its not what she did,but what she MIGHT do,”comes the reply
Mama Yvonne is now getting rather pissed off.
“Could you just tell me what in God’s name you are talking about?”
The lady coughs and looks away,embarrassed.
“Well,she IS single and the rest of the ladies agreed that she is a threat.She keeps coming round to our houses,our husbands are bound to see her and we are done for.We can’t compete with those hips…you are a woman,you know how it is…” she stops talking when she sees the look on Mama Yvonne’s face.
And thus the mystery was solved!I was livid is to understate it a bit.


I have a raging temper and do not suffer fools gladly.I wanted to find that Mama, give her a piece of my mind and then some, then tell her to relay a message..”Y’all can go jump off the nearest cliff” and throw in a quote from Mark Twain for good measure(Ok I am just being vain)”Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please” Haha anyway…
Bless Yvonne and her Mum,because clearly I am not a very level headed person when angry and after I calmed down, it was actually really funny that a bunch of Mamas could be so insecure as to try and shield their husbands from what they termed as ‘temptation.’And so I wondered,why blame me for something I have no control over?I cannot control how I look,neither can I control their husbands from looking..and neither can they…not unless they blind the poor men or at best, imprison them, so the only recourse they have?Blame those darn single women!Darn them to hell!accuse them of every wrong that happens in your marriage.Blame her for being the MWK(Mpango wa Kando aka concubine aka kept woman) Blame her for taking better(in which case better is relative) care of your husband and spending his money better!By all means blame her for your receding hairline,your expanding waistline, your cholesterol level.Blame that single woman for just about every ill in the society.Heck, blame her even for global warming and poverty while at it! Don’t apportion blame to your angelic husband at all.He of: “It wasn’t my fault,she seduced me,” or “The devil tempted me”Go on ahead and take him to church for deliverance, but you need to also pray for yours while at it- deliverance from being an egotistical,bigot who needs a wake up call to reality.

The reality is, that man you are trying so hard to smother and ‘protect’ may one day decide to take off and abandon you and your kids,or worst case scenario..he may die and leave you a widow.That technically makes you single.What was that again you said about single women? Methinks today’s society is too judgmental and as Confucius, the famous Chinese Philosopher said “It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve; and bad things are very easy to get.”Little wonder then,people love hating on others,but methinks people hate what they do not understand.
Many women stay in abusive marriages for the sake of appearances,preferring to bring up children in less than ideal circumstances for the sake of putting up a united front,yet in the cover of darkness and behind closed doors they are suffering and crying bitterly.Their kids grow up traumatised and almost by default, the boys most often than not grow into abusers and the girls get abused in their relationships.This is not always the case though and I have great respect for single parents,majority being women,but we have the occasional fathers bringing up their kids singlehandedly and I applaud them.I have two girls,not so bad because I can relate with their issues.The biggest problems for me as a single mother bringing up a son are: how do I bring up my son to be a man to be reckoned with?I can teach him to respect women and every other conceivable thing about life,but how do I teach him to be a man?How do I teach him about things I have no idea about?


When he asks abut girls and sex when he is of age,what do I know about those things from a man’s perspective?I may read about them, but can never fully grasp the true meaning because I can never experience them,and the same goes to that single father raising a daughter.We cannot control what our kids do when they fly the coop.We can only impart our knowledge and instill good values and pray that what you taught them is enough for them to survive out there, and for single parents its especially hard.We are harder on our kids and push them more.I have to be both the father and mother so I have to up my game.I had a rough time with my girls,but I am proud to say I did it!I have been judge,jury executioner,friend and foe.We have laughed,cried and danced.I am the hip mom (pun definitely not intended)who allows them to experiment within reason,teaches them to follow their heart and we are happy with things as they are. Kudos to all single parents out there.The journey is long and the road narrow,but in the face of insurmountable odds,we forge ahead and do what needs to be done.And for those ostracizing us for being single,some are single by choice, others through no fault of their own.Spare a thought for that woman struggling to bring up four kids because her husband decided he no longer has time for them,spare a thought for that Dad struggling to dress his girl for school because the house help fled or does not want to work for a single man.In the wise words of Mahatma Gandhi “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” The task must be achieved! Aluta continua!

“Your children are not your children,they are the sons & daughter’s of life’s longing for itself.They come through you but not from you..and though they are with you yet they belong not to you.You may give them your love but not your thoughts,for they have their own thoughts.You may house their bodies but not their souls,For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,which you cannot visit,not even in your dreams…” Khalil Gibran


Jaded: ramblings of a muse

I have said time and again that I am a hopeless romantic.I believe in love,yet I am cynical about it at the same time- oxymoron of the year!I believe in soul mates,in the premise that everyone has someone out there, just waiting to be discovered.Sometimes I wonder too if I am not being silly and overly optimistic..maybe a tad naive to believe in things that only sound beautiful in theory,stuff that love stories and poetry are made of.
There are things that we all look for in a partner but most people are unrealistic as they come, and in the end wind up alone,or with the wrong partner,and most stay in relationships or marriages for all the wrong reasons. Financial security,kids,and many varied reasons.This begs the question, how many people are out there living a lie?Smiling on the outside, broken and miserable on the inside-lacking the courage to end the facade?Is it as simple as it sounds?Only the wearer of the shoe knows where it pinches most and for the people who actually walk away, it is a nightmare.No one understands, and why would anyone?It comes across as selfish and vain, but is it really?The human mind can only take so much and at some point it’ll buckle under the weight of the lies and pretense.All it takes is one small thing and everything comes down like a house of cards.”Tibi Ipsi dic verum”- To thine own self be true.”
Enough said.

When I was 18,I got married to a man I thought was my dream come true…I mean,what did I really know at 18 about life?I was fresh out of school,naive and impressionable.They say at 4 years,children have all the questions, and at 18,they have all the answers!I had met my Prince charming, and were definitely gonna ride together into the sunset no matter what anyone said about it.Thing about me is,I absolutely hate rules.I hate being confined into one place and told I can’t do this or the other, and so I eloped and got hitched to my prince charming,why?Because they all said I couldn’t. Yihaaaaaa!Right? Wrong!Everything that could go wrong, did.As I started discovering myself, serious conflicts arose.I was in love with the idea of being in love,influenced by love stories of happily ever after and this man was 7,almost 8 years older than me, so he clearly knew what he wanted in life.10 years later?Divorced.Do I have any regrets?None at all,I have just grown up and become jaded about marriage and love…and yet still dare to hope that this soul mate notion is not just a mirage,it can become reality.

Almost a year ago I met someone.He was, and still is my soul mate.A male version of myself,a hell lot more intelligent though! Just the way I like them.I am attracted by intelligence,a superb sense of humour. They call people like us sapiosexual-people who are attracted by intelligence,which is a good thing,but is severely limiting sometimes.The human brain is the largest sex organ and basically, our sexuality is rooted in our childhood events,especially how we related to our opposite sex parent.I had a great relationship with my Dad, and he loved books…and so after the foolish marriage venture and I discovered what I really liked.I discovered I love intelligent men who love to read!Go figure!So anyway,I meet this man and we have almost everything in common.He is an introvert of sorts and I am ‘extrovertish'(will explain the ish in a bit)…but we clicked right from the word go and I discover we share the same taste in music,most books..he loves autobiographies and I hate them..loves politics and I hate it..but bottom line,he gets me.Understands all my weird thoughts,my constant craving for solitude-this explains the ish in extrovert.Extroverts love being the centre of attention and adore being among people.I am one chatty Cathy,but I crave solitude and love my own company,nothing a good book and some nice music can’t cure.

And so here we are,almost a year later and I am feeling a bit jaded.Questioning my beliefs and a lot of the things I believe in.Wondering whether love does exist or at best, what it is.Is it the chemistry that exists between two people,the heart flutters when you see them,the severe twisting pangs of jealousy when another woman/man so much as looks at him/her,the longing to spend time with the other person,the feelings of inadequacy when you look at your flaws and failings..just what is love?Is there anything you can ever do, or is there any particular way to love someone? James Ingram soulfully asks…”How do you keep the music playing?How do you make it last?How do you keep the song from fading too fast?How do you lose yourself to someone and never lose your way?How do you not run out of new things to say?And since we know we are always changing,how can it be the same?”
The worst and best thing about being a sapio is the fact that you are not able to date non readers-crippling and limiting.We associate reading with intelligence, which is not necessarily true.There are many people out there who are not readers but are highly intelligent, and the best part about it is you learn not to compromise on your standards,and as with everything else, pros and cons exist.We are at a cross road,not sure which direction to go.We acknowledge we hit a 90% match..but is it enough?We have to consider other factors like family…we are left feeling torn between.Where do our loyalties lie?With each other?Our children?Our parents?Do you throw caution to the wind and pray things fall neatly into place? Is there a right or wrong way?

The truth is I do not have the answers,no one does.Some people come into our lives for a season and a purpose,the best we can do is live for the moment, but also seizing those moments- “Carpe diem quam minimum credula postero” simply..seize the day, trusting as little as possible in tomorrow, for tomorrow is not promised.DO I regret anything?Regret falling in love,regret that there is a possibility we may not have a future together?I have realised that the answer is an emphatic NO!I have lived,I have loved.They say better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all.I am okay with that.I have gained a life long friend in him, which is more important, having a friend you can always count on,one who will get your weird moods and will listen, not judging because he too, is just like you.

And so I remain shaken, but not completely stirred.


Of heartbreaks and lost loves…..

I have not written for a while.Not because I have nothing to write about,but because I let ‘life’ get in the way.I read a lot less too-reason?I tell myself or rather convince myself as consolation that life gets in the way,but what is it really?Most of the time it is just complacency,and the internet-yes,Facebook,Yahoo,Google…I have become lazy,am appalled to admit,and have joined the Internet craze bandwagon which needs to stop.

Internet dating has become the in thing.You meet someone online and start chatting-very easy considering over the internet,you can be anyone and anything you want to be.You can be charming,funny,post photo shopped photos that portray you as the supermodel you always dreamed of being.The possibilities are endless.Reminds me of someone who ‘dated’ a man who told her he lived in a gated community,and she later found out she was chatting up a criminal within the confines of a jail!

Some people are very good in the written word,and can blow you away when they write,but make very poor conversationalists,and so they hide behind their computer screens and ‘date’ people who are more often than not in a different country-so they never have to meet..There is Skype,but even that can be manipulated.Then there are those who are very vocal online and off line,they leave you impressed with their writing skills and if you do get to meet,are quite as charming,the quintessential gentlemen.

A few years ago I met and fell prey to such a guy.I’ll call him Ethan for this story’s sake.Oh boy,was this guy smooth or what?We ‘met’ on a mutual friend’s wall.I was impressed by his good English.He was well educated,handsome(with dimples,and those who know me,know am a sucker for dimples)…eloquent,suave…a perfect gentleman who still believed in chivalry…I thought I’d found THE one.You can tell a lot about someone by the way they write,the books they read,their Facebook posts,and I was smitten.We started off with playful banter on mutual friends posts,took it to private messages via Facebook-took it a step further and exchanged phone numbers.He had a great sense of humour and we spent hours chatting via texts,until he introduced me to  little known application(then)-Whatsapp.I shudder to imagine the time I spent hunched over my phone,till sometimes 3 am!I was like a teenager in love..we talked for hours when he called.I had fallen hook,line and sinker.

By the time I came to a realisation that I was living in a bubble and this man was just stringing me a long,it took a while and it was almost too late.I had started to question his movements.I realised that I knew almost nothing about this man.I sat down with a mutual friend and the things we discovered,am still trying to come to terms with.He was too secretive,always claimed to be busy,travelling and a myriad other excuses.Ethan was just not the man I thought he was…and to cut a long story short,I discovered he was a con man and fed off other peoples’ hard earned cash.

I was devastated,which is understating it a lot.I still feel betrayed up to date.It still smarts,but only because I was so naive as to get caught up in a lie.I am thankful for a lot of things,most of all because my intuition got the better of my emotions.After I found out what he was,I confronted Ethan and he tried playing the victim,denied with righteous indignation and proceeded to cut off all ties.Blocked me on Facebook,changed all his numbers-he had 3,and that was it.Never heard from him again.I have since grown very wary of Facebook ‘dating’ 

My advise,be yourself,it’s all that you can, and ever can be.For guys,never chase a lady you do not intend to catch.I got lucky before it went too far,some poor girl might not be so fortunate.Be Real.Stay Real….



I think I am a very nostalgic person by nature.Sometimes I think I prefer living in the past than the present.Some will say am stuck in the past,sort of like a modern day Peter Pan who grows up,yet doesn’t grow up.. Nostalgia..\nä-ˈstal-jə: “A bittersweet longing for things, persons, or situations of the past”-Something that has become more and more of an occurrence as I grow older and long for the ‘good old days.’In the 19th and 20th centuries,nostalgia was considered to be,and I quote, a ‘neurological disease of essentially demonic cause.” It was considered a disorder until it was found to be common around the world. I have always associated smells and songs to certain events in my life- olfactive memory .A certain smell can bring up a flood of memories,conjure up past events and make me feel nostalgic.And déjà vu,oh my!It’s creepy how one day you just wake up and spend the whole day feeling, ‘I’ve done this before,I’ve had this conversation again’ kinda feeling. I had a fantastic childhood.Life was good.Everything was as it was supposed to be,no complications.The outdoor was our canvas,we created new things,came up with new games.We went out there as early as seven or eight.And we played like our lives depended on it.Our mothers were not worried,they knew eventually hunger,thirst-and darkness would bring the children home to roost. 

I’m sure I was the naughtiest child alive in my day.I thrived on adventure and the danger it posed.We went fishing with my brother (although we caught a few tadpoles before we could differentiate!)we went berry hunting on the banks of River Chania.The black berry ,(or is it raspberry?We call them ‘ndare’ in our mother tongue) plant is a climber,and the sweetest,juiciest berries almost always were at the top of some tree branch that precariously hung over the river.We would climb up and crawl to pick the berries,not thinking the danger we were exposed to.If that branch gave way,I shudder to imagine what would have happened.One,I could not swim(I still can’t-hydrophobia,and that’s a story for another day) and the boys who did,could not save their cats if they fell in,even if their lives depended on it.Two,the river was -and still is infested by crocodiles and hippos!We were always up to no good,everyday we devised new ways of  getting into some mischief.

Boredom was a foreign language,T.V was only watched form 4pm, so we had a whole day to while away before the station was opened. Somehow,even with all the mischief, I still found time to read.Either way I HAD to read.My Dad (R.I.P) demanded we read two books every week.Woe unto you if you borrowed the books from the library and did not read them!You had to read them,and answer questions from the said books.Needless to say,Kibanch- my elder bro and partner in crime only read comics.While I was busy reading Famous Five,Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys(I think I now know where I got the adventuring spirit! I can’t believe it!I’ve just had my aha! moment..years later!) Sorry -moving on…Dad was hard bent on insisting Kibanch reads ‘sensible’ books but to no avail.We were different as night and day.He was an artist who invented stuff and designed all kinds of things.(Like the time he built an aquarium.He was obsessed,waking up in the middle of the night to check if it was leaking!) He was and still is,the family comedian.He has a way of making everyone around him laugh.He could really draw,thus I think his attraction to the comic books- Asterix, Tintin,Dennis the Menace and a myriad of others.I guess Dad finally realised he was never going to win and decided to be just content with the fact that,at least he was reading something,even if he did not approve!And so our lives were.My elder sister Sue and myself were more of the kind of readers he wanted,so he was content to just let us be.

Dad passed on 13 years this year.I miss him so.He never disappointed,did all that a father is supposed to.I feel sad that my son will never know his Grandpa,but he left a legacy that hopefully we can pass on to our kids.Mom is still going strong and we wish her many more years to come.She is the glue that held us together after Dad’s death,always staying strong.We fondly remember the good old days when we go home to visit..home brings back the memories-all good,not even one bad one surfaces cos honestly there is none.We bring out the old and dog eared albums and leaf through them,every photograph with a memory of it’s own.As we listen to Jim Reeves,Skeeter Davis,Charley Pride,all the music that he loved and we grew up listening to,we all can’t help but think wistfully of days gone by.We let the feelings wash over us,of the pain of losing him,the joy of having had him with us for the time we did.We allow ourselves to just feel the nostalgia.


Things that make you go hmmm….

A lot has been said,and will continue to be said about love.And I keep wondering,what is this love they talk about?It is told of love ever lasting and happily ever after..a knight in shining armour that is supposed to come and sweep me off my feet and ride off with me into the sunset…ahem,sorry to burst his bubble if he’s out there,or reading this.One,am an African woman,with flesh in all the right places,filled out to perfection(well,almost,but what the heck,I love me as I am…),so sweeping me off my feet better not be literal.Two,knight?OK,forget the armour part,most(sorry guys,not that I love any of you any less) are just idiots in tin foil- oh back to my point..knights were and have always been associated with chivalry,something that is sadly lacking in most men.Opening doors,holding seats for the ladies and pouring drinks?History.A guy will call to take you out,you dress to kill and to thrill…you are on a high,expecting romance at it’s best.First,he doesn’t pick you up-dudes,you do not have to own a car to pick her up.Go by her place,leave together…and for Pete’s sake dress like a man going on a date,not an ex convict with trousers sagged so low you have to waddle like a duck so the trousers don’t fall off.Neatness is paramount if you want to keep the girl and get that second and third date.

A real gentleman is sensitive to a fault.DO NOT,I repeat,DO NOT-I hope I’m shouting loud enough,take her to your neighbourhood pub.If you have some money,dude,good for ya,make it work for you.Take her to a nice restaurant,dinner,wine, the works.Now,if you ain’t got no money,then boy,you gotta let your imagination work for you.Look for simple fun things to do,and no,am not going to do the thinking for you,so I won’t even suggest what you can do.DO NOT,under any circumstance,fiddle with your phone while she is busy waxing lyrical about how this has got to be the happiest day of her life…why am I even telling you guys this?Oh I know,common sense ain’t common!

Ladies,ladies ladies….there is a whole lot of stuff I could tell you.Number one being,act like a lady.Two-please do not down a whole bottle of wine just because it tastes better than the local brew you are used to!Do not embarrass yourself if you want a second,third,fourth-oh alright,if you want marriage(can’t believe I said that out loud) and kids.Three and four,refer to one above.Do not for the love of God start talking of marriage on day one.Trust me,he will run so fast you’ll only see the dust…Now,I have completely gone off topic,but some things have to be said.So,where was I?Oh,I was talking about love..Supposedly when you meet ‘The One,’you will know.I wonder how you know,cos definitely I haven’t met him yet-and I wonder if I will.If he is out there,then he better be A LOT of things.I read a lot of fairy tales and romance novels when I was a kid,but someone ought to tell young girls that love is not,”smoldering eyes and fire in the loins’ kinda thing.I think,and this is just me,that love is what is left when you take away the romance.If you still love that person,even with his noisy chewing and smelly socks-and her with her incessant talking and the soaps-yes the soaps,then you’ve got something going.Someone who you can be yourself with,who shares most interests-books,music,you laugh at the same  jokes-and you can literally finish each others sentences..then maybe,just maybe you have found love.So,whilst I wait for my Romeo,I will just watch from the sidelines and if I go out with you and we don’t click,it’s nothing personal.I have long learnt that I live my life on my terms,and no one is responsible for my happiness.And so,to quote Aaron Neville’s song,”somewhere somebody’s waiting,longing,somewhere somebody,is waiting for me….”These for me,are the things that make me go hmmmm….



I have always wanted to write.No,scrap that.The order is,I have always loved writing,and I have always wanted to write.When I was in form one,my friend Judy and I swore on everything that was sacred to us that we’d be authors,even if we died trying.That was the highlight of reading Pace Setters,Sweet Vally High,Mills and Boon,Temptations,and now that we were in High school,Danielle Steele and Sidney Sheldon.We at the height of our naivety-and creativity, thought a novel took one week to pen.We were on the right track though,our passion for the idea was endearing,the only problem we had no vision,only a mission.So the idea died a noble death,but like the Phoenix,might rise from it’s ashes,for the ember is there,it just needs to be fanned.

  Writing is just putting thoughts on paper.Simple,right?For some reason,I start out with a brilliant idea,if it’s a story all the characters are vivid,then I sit to write,and my mind goes blank.This is a call to all the writers out there…is this what they call a pre-writer’s block?Or is it that I do not try hard enough?Or is it that I have not fanned the embers hard enough?Or is it that am just not meant to write?I concur with the former,unless someone comes up with concrete evidence of the latter.So here I am,with my own blog,and if am to publish it, it needs to have readable content that makes some sense to the people out there who stumble upon it.How much is enough?How much is too much,or too little?Is there a limit to the amount of words I can write?Can I even find those words?Should I write in an ordered manner or is it permissible to just rant,rave and wax lyrical about this,the other,or even nothing at all?

  “Cowards die many times before their death.The valiant only taste of  death but once.” The famous words of Shakespeare in Julius Caesar…and so this gets me thinking.The worst I can do is be that coward that fears death.If I do not get out there,write whatever is on my mind,my dream will have died a million times over by the time I die,so I figure the best I can do is just write.Be it gibberish,but keep on writing,maybe,just maybe one day the gibberish may make sense.I read blogs and go all wow on them,and I think,Lord this person really write!Am henceforth venturing,going all out into this uncharted territory.All criticism is welcome,negative and positive-after all,ANY critic is better than none! Time to chase my dreams and stop being complacent.The time is now.Nothing can ever stop an idea whose time has come.