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Youth Safari - BTS

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My heydays in primary school are memorable for the numerous trips we took around Nairobi, Naivasha, Nakuru, Great Rift Valley et al, we were  on a search for wildlife and picturesque Kenyan spots.
Then, the Wildlife Clubs of Kenya and local schools collaborated to ensure that we appreciated the great outdoors. On the eve of the trips I would be wide awake, parents would wake up at the break of dawn to get us ready – missing the bus was not an option.
School fees, embroidery fees, cooking lessons fees (when 844 was 844) …. were not as important as school trip fees. Missing the school trip was enough to send any child to early depression. Personally, I would pout for a week and go on hunger strike.  It’s over a decade since I was in primary school. I remember vividly going to snake park and discovering that I had ophidiophobia.  I was never going to watch Anaconda or any other movie with slithering reptiles at the cinema. You should see me trying to watch such movies at home, it’s like I’…

Lion Lights - A film by Joan Kabugu

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7 Billion People - Choose 1

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1920 is the year Karen Blixen's husband requested for a divorce, things used to be civil then.

But I digress, that's not the story for today.....

Across the ridge, men are excited, already making merry. Pots of over-fermented brew and mursik are being brought out. Women are adorned in traditional jewelry practicing dances and singing in bad exaggerated pitch. The sisal skirts are being sown on the go. Nothing like a good party, out in the Nandi hills it's a small world.

'Chebet' said in staccato in proper Kalenjin dialect - one and only daughter of the chieftain, a special bean in the pod - she has been found. A few full moons ago the elders met Chebet's father with good news - a Nandi  hunter had spotted his huntress.

Dusk is approaching fast. The golden sun dips in the plains. Chebet is being oiled, dressed and pampered, like the Kipsigis queen she is, once done, they carry her, up high in celebratory spirit. She is adorned in African necklaces, anklets and …

Love brewed in a 1970 pot

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A lamp light shines.
It’s a cold night somewhere in Limuru, fog gathering together as if it has sinister motives. We are all round a fire waiting for a hot meal - living in a small village in Limuru has it’s perks. Auntie is cooking yam, banana, potatoes, cabbage and traditional bitter vegetables all mixed in one pot. Mumbi her eldest daughter and my cousin is restless, she eats only a portion of her food, keeps the rest for breakfast. The fire of young love brews in her soul.

“Kafura – the cows need water, I’ll help you” Mumbi makes me finish my food in a hurry. Before I finish the last yam she pulls me to the cowshed – it’s our little hide out most evenings before we sleep, where we share some girl talk. We fill the giant saucepan with water and leaves it for the cows. It’s Friday night and she’s got some action lined up.
"You are so boring, come on - let's go" 
“How do we get there again? It’s already so dark?’ the darkness taunts me. Ever since I was mummy’s little munch…

Bus Ride

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Ride or Die

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“Women are their worst enemies”How wrong can one statement be? 

I remember the first time I met Martha. It was at our local church,  a temporary structure where we had only a tent over our heads. After four harambees in two years we had bought a plot where like David we felt convicted to build a church. She was new. I noticed it from the way she looked at the congregants during offering time as they came to the front to drop something in the offering basket. 
It was clear that her previous church had the offering basket go round instead. When it was her turn she walked meekly to the front, holding her offering tightly, feeling a dozen strange eyes on her.
I was the oldest member of the choir, a golden girl. From my vantage point at the altar where we sat I saw past her colourful faded tie and dye kitenge andthrough her soul, I saw the pain, the anger and the hopelessness. Our eyes met and I afforded her a smile. She stared back blankly then looked away. We sang the last song of the day &…

How to Find a 'Sebo' aka Husband

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Recently a close friend of mine got a Ugandan help and the respect she was privy to beguiled her. Boundaries however were being crossed when the lovely girl started kneeling for her husband. To close for comfort...

Which takes me to my Ugandan round trip, from Nairobi to Kampala to Gulu to Moyo and back. My second extended stay saw me enjoy proper Ugandan food, culture and lovely people. Disclaimer - I wasn’t really looking for a sebo, but the deep insight might come in handy. Sebo is Luganda for Mister. Doesn’t every missus need a mister?

If you know which hills and valleys to explore, Uganda – to the North or South can be a surreal experience.  Banana plantations are not the only thing in the offing when you get on navigator mode. Farther from Kampala, you discover new territories, a richness of the land full of food crops and cash crops, colourful modern huts bring you back to the place that is the true definition of the Pearl of Africa, pastures here are greener. 

Similarly, the gras…