RIP Hugh

The first time I heard and saw Hugh Masekela was on Graceland the African concert by Paul Simon which in my opinion it is one of the best albums of all time. We must have watched it a thousand times. He was not only a great jazz musician but one who used his talent to resist the apartheid movement and other injustices around the world. We lost a great one. RIP Hugh.

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prompts-dominant

The Truth Teller

Wanjiru frowned and walked away sulkily from the kitchen. Once again she had received a tongue lashing from her mother. ‘You need to watch that sharp mouth of yours’ she had said. ‘How will find a husband?’ Eh?’ she had continued. Then she went on to remind her that sharp tongued women did not make good wives. She did not argue with her mother for she knew how that always ended. Instead she ventured over to her grandmother who sat on the veranda chewing tobacco. ‘You know, she’s wrong’ her grandmother said to her as she sat on the ground next to her. ‘Don’t bend the truth to make others happy. It never serves you or them in the end’ she said. ‘I wouldn’t forgive you if you ended up with that little twit.’ Wanjiru had spurned the attention of the village chief’s obnoxious only son in front of his friends. When she told her grandmother how he had scurried back to his father’s compound and locked himself inside the chicken coop, they both laughed uncontrollably.

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prompts-candid

Getting Uncomfortable

This morning I watched a clip about the three women bobsled team that is representing Nigeria in the Winter Olympics this year. They were braving the cold while running through a park covered in snow. As former track and field athletes this is a completely unknown territory. In spite of all the challenges they have faced so far the opportunity to make a showing in the games for their country is a great one. They say that they want to inspire others to venture out and try new things. Seun Aigun one of the team members puts it this way ‘Fear is really just another opportunity to learn.’

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The Runner

For many being Kenyan is synonymous with being a runner. So as you can imagine I have been asked more times than I can remember if I run. I almost believed the hype myself when three years ago I decided that I must run at least one marathon in my life. On my first training day I reached deep and run a whole five minutes on the treadmill before my legs and lungs almost gave up. I trained on and off for a few months and then run what was to be my first of many short races that would build up to a marathon. I even recruited my sister to run a 10K race with me. When I received my medal for finishing that race I was ecstatic. It now hangs proudly from my temperature control box in my living room. Now when they ask me if I run, I say yes.

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prompts-agile

Walls and Study Halls

The idea of spending hours absorbing and memorizing information for the sole purpose of testing still makes me shudder. I got my start very early in my teen years when I was admitted to a boarding school whose sole purpose was to produce the university candidates with highest scores in the national exam. Wake, study, eat, study, learn, eat, learn, study, you get the point. It was a study bootcamp. There was very little time for recreation of any sort and it was so regimented. The desired results were achieved. Our school was always in the top three. Most of us went on to the top universities locally and around the world and excelled in our chosen fields. But there was a price to pay for this. We missed out on other important things, those that cannot be learned from behind walls and in study halls. We have spent our lives so far trying catch up.

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prompts- study

Say Hello and Carry On

My co-worker came back to work today. He was expected back a week ago but a late night text on new year’s eve informed me that he would not be doing so because his younger brother had suddenly passed away early that morning. I was heart broken.  I knew how close they were. I had just  arrived that morning after spending a week with my family. What an awful way to end the year. It definitely dampened any excitement for the new year’s festivities. I have been thinking about it intermittently since then wondering what I would say when I saw him. But this is not about me. So there he sits across the room like he has done everyday before. He masks his grief  for he must carry on. I would like to give him a hug and let me know I too agree that it’s so unfair. But instead I smile and say hello as I always do.

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