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Inspiration

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I was seated with a friend; a lady thirty years older than me (By the way, having older friends is one of the secrets to better growth no joke) and during our conversation about my career journey, I blurted out my thoughts aloud with a sulky face, “I don’t even know what I’m doing with my life.” She looked at me with an astonished face, “Do you even know how lucky you are that you got to start your dream journey so early?!”

So she went on to tell me her own personal story on how she quit her job after working there for 19 long years to pursue her goals. It was a crazy move because she was getting really good pay but decided to let it all go so she can do something she is passionate about. I just sat there with WOW written all over my face because she wasn’t someone you’d think struggled that much to be where she is. You know, the kind of people with a high intelligence, great network, wonderful resume, a name and an identity that makes her very respected. And it just marveled me so much because it just confirmed to me what I’ve always thought; that when you see someone you look up to and consider successful, do know they also had to sweat their way up to where they are.

Sometimes, I am sure of what I’m doing, I’m sure it is the right thing, I’m sure this is what I want until someone just comes out of nowhere to remind me what the society expects. So the narrow path the society expects you to follow is Primary school-Secondary school-University-Get a job-Get married-Do your masters-Have children etc etc and this path isn’t always fixed like this. Sometimes one thing comes before another. Like some get married before university, some do masters before they have children and all that. But then in the end, it is all about this common steps of life people expect you to do in life such that when you step out of the ‘system’, something is very wrong with you. It doesn’t make sense why you’d choose the far and wide path yet everyone else is taking the long and narrow one.

Anyway, as we went on with our conversation, my friend said, “Let me tell you something someone I consider my mentor told me when I informed her I am quitting my job. She said to me, ‘My girl, people will laugh at you. They will think you are crazy. They will say a lot of things, but just go for it. Go after what you are passionate about. THE MONEY WILL COME. Slowly, you’ll start getting clients and you will be fine.” So now I’m telling you the same thing. The money will come. It may be a long-term sacrifice and struggle but I believe you will break it through sooner or later in shaa Allah…”

What I’ve learnt is that the criticisms will never stop. You will remain a mystery because people just don’t understand what you are doing. You will make a lot of sacrifices. You will be BROKE. Did I say BROKE? Yes, you will come face to face with poverty. You will question your choices over and over again because those who took the long, narrow path are succeeding and leading good, comfortable lives. Your friends and age mates are already fulfilling their life ‘expectations’ while you are still trying to figure out who to approach to help you with this new project you want to do or who you can borrow some cash from so you can implement this other new idea. And people will think, ‘This one is always trying a new idea’. It will become hilarious for everyone, sometimes including you. You will be tempted to just settle for anything that comes your way and say, ‘At least I tried.’ Please don’t. You didn’t come this far to quit now. Not this time. Not in ever.

After that conversation, the phrase ‘The money will come’ kept ringing in my mind. Not because the money is the main objective of going after my dreams, but because it would mean I have finally reached the level of being the achiever I want to be. And I wanted to share this with you because I know I am not alone. The free spirits amongst us who are hungry to lead exceptional lives. So here I am telling it to you, ‘All these sacrifices you are making now? They will pay off. Everything will fall into place if you keep walking. Look at the horizon; the long-term benefit not what is just ahead of you. And yes…the money will come! In shaa Allah. And i’m leaving this with you so you can pass it forward to anyone who needs to hear it.

Dare to be different. Be unique, be brilliant. And keep praying. Someday, you will be real proud of yourself and your journey.

A toast to all the go-getters!

Almost a week after the publication of ‘Unbroken Wings’, a friend texted me. We were basically internet friends; a fellow blogger and writer and we hadn’t met before. So she congratulated me for my first published book and then went on and said how she wants to be like me someday. After a pause she went on, ‘Life has been so rough. Today I sat in our office toilet crying for like half an hour. It was the only place to run to lol. Part of why I didn’t text earlier…and then the other part is like gosh girl. Look at people publishing books…’ I just listened to her and in my heart I was like, ‘Aww honey…but that isn’t the whole story!’ And I think of how many times we look up to people we assume have succeeded in life, and adore them a lot it tends to make us feel less capable or worthless? I know the feeling…

My first serious attempt to write was in class seven when daily nation had a writing competition of a saga for children. Every week I would take up the challenge but I would just take it to my English teacher to go through it. I went on doing so whilst he directed me and corrected me until one day I said to myself, ‘Until when will I just write for my teacher. Why not submit to the Daily Nation and see how that turns out?’ I did. I never really had any expectations because I was not really one of the best writers in my class. I had the most amazing English teacher who really encouraged us to be storytellers. He would always read the best compositions in class but I wasn’t really one of them. I was somewhere close there but still NOT there. So he would casually mention how my composition was good or sometimes really good but I don’t remember him reading my work in front of the class ever. Yet I still did it continuously, adamantly and persistently.

So my dad delivered my submission at the daily nation offices and a week later, my name was on the newspaper. I wasn’t the winner but they had acknowledged me amongst the youngest writers with strongest submissions. That elated me in ways I can’t define. I was just 12 by then but I decided that this is it. This is what I want to do for the rest of my life (after chemistry and biology shattered my dreams of being a pediatrician 😀 ).

Going into secondary school, I would write every.single.day like a maniac who could only survive by letting those ink drops fill the paper with words. I started writing my first short story, then my second short story then my third poetry collection. I was always writing. Classmates coming by everyday to my desk so that they can read the next paragraph of my story. Soon my friends would have to book to read first before anyone else because the readers were becoming many and it soon spread out to other classes. And despite all that, every time I would take part in a writing competition, I would go to the notice board, scroll down through the names one by one. My name would never be there. My heart would shatter and sometimes I would just sit down and let it sink in, cry, wonder…but why…’If my work was liked by my friends and colleagues, what was I doing wrong?’ I never found out.

I spent those years up and down trying to find publishers for my short stories. I was young and naive. I wouldn’t know who to go to or who to trust. Yet I still tried. Approaching publishers before they disappeared with no word ever again. So I just opted to bring in my friends to help me critique and edit my work. I was always changing, correcting, perfecting; too busy in the editorial club. One time while I was the editor in chief of the editorial club, I met my English teacher who also happened to be my class teacher, on the corridor. She asked me what I was working on and I said some school articles and she said, ‘If you’d put that kind of energy in your studies, you’d be very far in your performance.’ Now, I wasn’t a poor performer. I was an average student who almost worshiped the staff room from the number of visits to make inquiries. But I also knew what I wanted. I wanted to make an impact and my pen was my biggest tool I wasn’t going to give up on, any time soon.

During my final year, our editorial club patron literally had to beg for me to get the ‘Best Writer Award’ because they had entirely left it out. And when that was granted, my assistant was so pissed off and confronted me because ‘her work was better than mine and she deserved it more than I did.’ I went to take that award with a lump in my throat and my heart so heavy. I wasn’t even sure I deserved it.

After high school, everyone wanted me to do something else. ‘Do teaching, do business, do accounts…’ no one really cared that this was the path I had chosen. Having been raised in a county that barely appreciated talent especially writing and who weren’t avid readers, I struggled to block all the negativity being thrown at me (I am glad this is quickly changing now; has been for a while actually.) Yet I still went on to do Journalism and mass communication and managed to come out with First class. During my university years, I was always either making calls, or sending emails or discussing with teachers on how to create a career out of my writing talent. My job application letters to newspapers never got a response for a long while, at one time three of my classmates found me at the library writing another application letter so one of them said, ‘You’re always writing application letters. We are going to finish uni, get jobs and you’d still be writing those letters.’ They all laughed. It was supposed to be a joke so I just smiled. And don’t get me wrong, these were very close friends who helped me a lot before and even after this conversation. But then many people thought it was pointless trying too hard. My university colleagues were enjoying their youth while all they ever saw me do is write and send applications.

Well I did finally land an internship at Coast This Week paper which later on became my job for a year or so…before the paper died. Well it’s a long story but many MANY times after that, I got contracts and I was told I wasn’t good enough. Not creative enough. My work being rejected. My applications being rejected. Not winning competitions etc

It was only after nine years of trying to get my work out there that Unbroken Wings got published. I have been so familiar to failure, to being jobless, to getting soo close to success yet still not succeeding, to being clueless on how to move ahead for too long.

I made sure to meet this lovely writer and we talked for long hours and days. She is very talented this is not even a courteous gesture. Her writings are deep soul food I honestly believe she is a better writer than I am. I wanted her to know that everyone has their own journey. I might have reached here because I started way earlier but everyone gets to their destination in a different way, in a different timeline. Some get lucky and are recognized immediately for their work. Some get lucky, have some connections and make their way easy up there. Some have to struggle and others have to struggle more than others. Don’t look at someone’s achievements. Look at their journey. Ask for their untold stories. Talk to them of their failures and achievements. Yet still, never compare yourself to how far someone seems to have reached.

The truth, this is just the tip of an iceberg. I am not yet where I want to be. I am still struggling to be who I want to be. I wouldn’t have made it here if it weren’t for Allah then the many people along the way who gave me abundant support and love, I can’t thank them enough. As Paulo Coelho says, ‘And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it’.

I really hope whoever wishes to be like me becomes better than me. I hope God grants you the will, the ease and the strength to soldier on in whatever your goals and dreams are. Not necessarily writers only. All the best in your way up there 🙂

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That aside, as I continue to curve my niche and pursue my goals, I have decided to start doing writing skills training for the Coastal population. Should I promise you it’s going to be educative and fun? You bet! In shaa Allah and the fee is very reasonable too! Check the poster below to have an idea about it.

P.S Jack Ma’s said: I told my son: You don’t need to be in the top three in your class, being in the middle is fine, so long as your grades aren’t too bad. Only this kind of a person (a middle of the road student) has enough free time yo learn other skills…) Now students/workers don’t get me wrong. Work hard in whatever you need to but all i’m saying here, don’t let what keeps your heart alive, die…Go after your dreams!!

Please do share the poster as much as you can and don’t forget to subscribe 🙂 Thanks in advance!

Photo Courtesy: https://pixabay.com/

I am running. Both literally and metaphorically. It’s two minutes to time and it is raining heavily. I don’t want to be late, I hate being late so I jog faster letting my sweat mix freely with the rain drops. It doesn’t bother me; the rain that is. I let it flow on me like it would wash away all the grief within, perhaps then many more people wouldn’t mind the rain. Or me. I have been running away from my life too; wanting so desperately to detach myself from it. So that’s why I am here, knocking restlessly at my therapist’s door…This right here is not a love story. It is a story of love.

My therapist opens the door for me before settling on her king-size chair. She checks her watch and smiles. ‘Never late,’ she says. I smile back. ‘I’m proud,’ I chuckle.
‘How have you been since our last session?’ she asks, gesturing me to sit down at another king-sized chair opposite her.
‘Umm,not sure yet.’
‘Understandably, this is just the second session. Don’t worry we will work it through together.’
I nod lamely.
‘So I want us to pick up from where we left last time. You told me you’ve been running. You told me you’ve been struggling. Is that correct?’
‘Correct.’
‘So tell me, how would you describe your life in three words?’

The question catches me off guard. My life? In three words? That would be like measuring the ocean by one droplet. I stare into nothingness for a while, scratching my head.
‘I’d say…overwhelming…confusing…’
‘Aha and?’
I remain silent. How would I describe this third feeling. The one that bites you irregardless of whether it is 2 a.m. or 2 p.m. This feeling that makes one feel like they are drowning.
‘Sad.’
‘Sad?’
‘Yes sad. I think Sad is probably my real first name.’

She looks into my eyes. Are therapists psychic too? Or why else would she stare at me like she’s reading something from the veins behind my eye sockets?


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‘Alright let’s go back to the running. What are you running from?’
‘People, situations, connections…people mostly’
‘Why would you run away from people?’
I feel a burn and some wetness falling on my cheeks.
‘Because people leave. All the time. They come into your life and give you hope and make you a big part of their lives. They make you happy…so you invest on them. But I invest too much on them. Too much such that whenever one of them leaves, a part of me is gone forever…’

I stop to cry. She sits there silently, watching me in scrutiny. She hands me a tissue.
‘I’m listening,’ she reassures.
‘I think I’ve loved people more than they ever deserved and now…and now, I have nothing left within me. It is empty in here. And every time I make a new friendship, a new connection, a new acquaintance, I am already preparing my safe exit plan before they plan theirs. I’m being too cautious I can’t breathe freely. I am building high walls I can’t see the sunshine. I am running…from everyone and everything…”

I take another tissue and blow my nose. She is still quiet. I hope she is not pitying me. Then she interrupts my thoughts.
‘Do you think that is the way to live?’
‘I know its not…’
‘Have you perhaps thought of how many beautiful people, moments, events you are probably missing on by caging yourself in this darkness?’

The darkness is familiar. Sometimes it is the safe place you can always return to; that cage, that high wall.


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I am running. Both literally and metaphorically. This time it is on my way back home. It has stopped raining. I see my home ahead but I decide to take a corner. I let the sweat wet my shirt as I listen to my own heavy breathing. This is not a love story. It is a story of love given and never returned. Shared but never to last.

‘How were you ever going to be happy if you gave all the love within you and left nothing for yourself?’ she had asked me. And I remained silent because self-love was unrelatable. ‘You need to find yourself first. Love yourself first before anything or anyone else. It should be YOU first. Always.’

I let the words sink in. It gives me a good feeling. Makes me anticipate the next session. I stop on my tracks, bend down to hold my knees as I breathe. Running, the literal one, is not bad after all.


 

It is 3:47 a.m. I am lying in a twist such that my upper body is facing a different direction from my lower part. Yogis would call that the supine twist. I am staring at the shadow of the circling fan on the right wall. I am gazing into the nothingness; blank space. It reminds me of my own brain; tabula rasa. A clean slate. Back to square one. I pick up my phone and reply some messages. In the morning, one would ask, ‘But what keeps you awake at 3:47?’ Uncertainty… This part of my life is called, uncertainty.

I have been here before; this uncertainty phase. It always finds a way to catch up with me. But maybe this is what makes my life interesting. The uncertainty. The not knowing of where you are headed to or even what you want. It reminds me of this famous gif on uncertainty. I smile.

My boss had said, ‘We are caging this bird. We need to let her fly and grow her own wings’ referring to me. This is the only permanent workplace I have worked for nine months. If it was a marriage, I would be having a baby. But I don’t have a baby. It was a comfortable place, perhaps too comfortable for me to have any baby by the end of it all. Then the other day, just on an impulse, I walked in to my boss and said, “I feel confined. I need to grow.” I am not good with confined spaces. Must be the claustrophobia. But I can’t really say I just acted on a whim, I had thought about it for almost two months yet it still feels like a reckless move. My manager sat me down for that ‘goodbye pep talk’ and I asked, ‘so how long do I have?’ She said, ‘One week.’

One week. I remember when it got to the seventh month, I thought to myself, ‘wow…am I really doing this?’


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‘I have no plan.’ I was talking to myself more than I was, to her.
‘I absolutely have no plan.’ And suddenly, I could feel the heat at the pit of my stomach. For the first time I was terrified of my action. How was I going to learn how to start flying within a week without leading myself to starvation? Uncertainty.

It is also just two days ago that I realized my side business was an NGO in disguise. We were doing charity instead of business. I need to go back to the drawing board…this means back to square one. Did I just throw away my last straw keeping me afloat on a stormy night? I curl up in my bed. Uncertainty.

A mentor recently told me, ‘You are already successful, you just haven’t realized it yet.’ And I said, ‘There’s something i’m looking for that I haven’t found. I don’t know what it is but when I find it i’ll recognize it. I still lack utmost satisfaction in me.’ Then he said, ‘That’s where our different definitions of success comes in. Everyone has their own.’


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I now lie flat staring at the ceiling. I am not sure whether I am abnormal, too ambitious or simply living an illusion.A friend told me, ‘You can’t just make an abrupt decision. You need a contingency plan.’ But a contingency plan never existed in my dictionary. So ironic for an over-thinker I know but then not having a plan always pushed me to the edge. So the plan has always been ‘not having a plan’ and i’d just spend hours over-thinking my lack of a plan. Nonetheless, this made me explore all fields I could get myself into. It seems like an adventure and I love adventures. There’s the thrill and excitement that comes with it every time I tried something new. It’s terrifying. So terrifying. The uncertainty. Not knowing where life is pushing you into.

Sigh. Perhaps i’m in the wrong planet or perhaps i’m taking longer strides than my legs can stretch?

I have known failure far too many times to not know the feeling of uncertainty that comes with it. But I never regretted any impulsive action I ever took. Like the times I cancelled contracts just because my clients or bosses were crushing my self-esteem . Who does that really? But my peace of mind is my priority and I just decided i’ll stick to that even when i’m starving to death. If you can trust me with your vision then you might as well trust my abilities. Or the times I started new courses without really thinking ahead or even whether I had the time and resources to do it. My best friend says I’m becoming a risk taker. Risk taker sounds good. I’ll gladly take the title.


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I’m uncertain of what i’m doing, or what I want or where i’m headed to. I just know I have big dreams and goals bigger than myself. I am back at the starting point and doing this all over again but what’s the worse that could happen? Me staring at the ceiling at 3:47 a.m. Not so bad. This too shall pass.

I am still staring at the white ceiling and for a moment, I assume the wall is life. And I say, ‘Surprise Me.’ Life has never disappointed with surprises and the electric shocks that awaken us. But so does God. He never disappoints. My eyes are getting heavier now. I slowly drift back to slumber land. I still have one more week to plan my new adventure…

I still haven’t found what i’m looking for…


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Photo Courtesy: http://allswalls.com

I came across this meme the other day, it was actually a tweet of someone asking something like, “What motivates you to live?” and someone replies, “Suicide is haraam.” And you know it sounds funny but we all know there is so much truth and pain behind most of the memes. Maybe it is because they are quite relatable and you think, “Oh, at least i’m not the only miserable one.” so we just laugh it off even when are writhing in pain deep inside.

I am not sure how things got to the state we are in right now, the current generation that is. I, for one, know that several people would attempt suicide hadn’t it been illegal and an abomination in almost all cultures and religions. At this instance, many have thought of suicide, some have contemplated it, some have attempted it and some went ahead and committed it. What is so wrong about us? Is it that we are too soft or is it that we are just impatient beings who want bliss on a silver platter.

From what I always hear about the previous generations, our parents and grandparents went through a whole lot of hardship too. They would walk for hours to get education, they too suffered due to unemployment, from forced marriages, from ugly divorces, from death of parents and what not…They too suffered but it is important to note that they survived and that suicide was almost unheard of except for the abnormal or mentally ill patients or in very rare cases, the normal people. Were their hearts made from harder and metallic content different from what we are? Or are we simply the spoilt generation?… I am still trying to figure this out yet on the other hand, I do have an idea of where this springs from.

Before I go on. Wait, did you see where that famous vlogger, lady X, had lunch yesterday? Breathtaking right?!! Such a beautiful place and the food looked so delicious! After that she went for a spa…you know, those self-love stuffs we keep talking about. And Mr Y, that instagrammer with 20k followers posted this epic image of himself. He wasn’t doing anything really, but he looks so savage just how he ‘lives’ you know. Its like some people are paid for just existing. Ah, but that’s not even the who we should be talking about. There’s this fashionista who was showcasing her new wardrobe, I almost cried at how gorgeous the artistic prints are. But she is too pretty herself you know, we have to give her the due credit. My God, where are these young people getting all this money to just enjoy life? I mean, I have a job and I earn a salary yet I can’t even afford to be as happy. Sigh. Never mind. Where were we before talking about these seemingly perfect humans?

Aha. Suicide. Have you ever contemplated it? Do you feel miserable because your age mates seem to have everything figured out so well? Your age mates are going for adventures, they are getting married to these ‘perfect humans like themselves’, they are having cute babies, they go to the beach…and you? What do you do? probably nothing compared to what they do right? And that ends up messing you all the time isn’t it? Like why can’t I have any of that? Don’t I deserve it? I know for sure, if suicide wasn’t haraam, many would have tried it.


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I think the current generation, my generation, are living in a complete illusion. We are soo engrossed in portraying how our lives are okay, no, in fact, we are more than okay. We are doing too good. We want our ‘haters’ to know that we are doing quite fine even when our haters are probably just people prettier than us or perhaps more successful. We want to be fancied, to be famous, to be noticed everywhere we go. We want to be able to afford any hotel in town and so we do anything to afford that. We want to be savage, to be envied and be seen like hot chocolate. But we all know in reality what goes down in our lives don’t we? We know what we show off and all that ‘awww thank you boo’, is a lot of pretense, sadness and pain. We pressure ourselves a lot and use so much of our energy in proving that we matter, meanwhile, losing the shreds of true peace and happiness within us. For the rest who are not obsessed with being ‘somebody’, we get carried away with what we hear and see about our friends, or these very happy couples and all these famous young people and we push ourselves way too hard to at least lead a ‘good life’ like theirs.

The truth is, what we see online is not even half the truth about what our lives or anyone’s life is about. There are so many fake smiles, fake laughter and fake lives plastered up on our walls to show the world we are doing great. But in reality, everyone is struggling. Each and every human being is struggling in some way. They may not show it but before obsessing over someone’s seemingly perfect life, always keep that in mind. And I know this has been said so many times even with the celebrities themselves, but maybe we should remind one another more often.

Keep in mind that each one of us has their own special journey, their own timeline and their own milestones. Concentrate on yourself, your special self and your special journey. Be patient and love yourself. So if you are thinking of suicide, or contemplate it from time to time, do know that the world is bigger than your struggles. You shall overcome them and you will be happy by God’s will. Life has never been a straight line. No one has gone through misery throoouughout and no one has ever been entirely happy forever. There are ups and downs, so with every low remember that your high is not so far away. Be kind to one another, you never know who needs it. And always remember that when God made suicide illegal, it was because He knew he created you with enough strength within you to tackle your battles. Have faith please and pray a lot.


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I know there are a lot other factors that contribute to the increment of suicidal attempts, but I thought to discuss about this first. If your struggles are overwhelming you way too much, please seek help. Please don’t feel ashamed to be helped. If you need a counselor, email me at info@lubnah.me.ke, i’ll link you to one. You never have to go through the storms alone.

To end this, i’ll just drop this forward I received this morning. It was written by one lovely counsellor:

“In the counseling session last night, the sister, after committing 100% to starting her journey of healing and self-care took a step back and asked very sorrowfully,

“But Sr. Bela, what about the years and years of damage, isn’t it going to effect my future?”

So, after taking her through a few more therapeutic processes to answer this question, I added – the example of a man who faced years and years of damage.

He was thrown into the well by his own brothers. Wasn’t it enough to inculcate fear in him and make him lose trust in relationships? Damage. He was sold in a market. Wasn’t it enough to ruin his confidence and sabotage his self-esteem? Damage. He was invited to do an immoral act by a woman. Wasn’t it enough to make him lose his chastity? Damage. He was imprisoned for many years. Wasn’t it enough to give him the liberty of playing victim for the rest of his life? Damage.

But what happened as a result of all these damages?

He stood confidently in the court of a King convincing the king to make him – what we can understand as – a Finance Minister. The years of damage made him – PURE GOLD.

Our beloved – Yusuf A.S.

After years of trauma upon trauma, he emerged the victor.

Lesson: Your past only does to you what you allow it to do. This is the reason Prophets never dwelt on their past and remained persistently positive – came what may.

The damages and trauma come in our lives to

1- erase our sins
2- elevate our ranks
3- teach us what happiness and an easy life could never teach us.
4- make us PURE GOLD.

Take lesson. Learn. Implement and move on.

The victor inside you is waiting for it’s awakening.” – Bela Khan.

If suicide wasn’t haraam, I hope you’d be strong enough you still wouldn’t try it.


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Read part 1 at: http://lubnah.me.ke/my-other-half/

Photo Courtesy: Salem_Beliegraphy

It’s been exactly…wait, lemme count…from February 10th, 2015 to date; 11th of May 2017, how many days are those? 1,2,3…Ah too bad I am terrible with math. Anyway, it’s been all those many days since I first wrote to you. Ages right? I knowww! I almost forgot you ‘somehow exist’. Lol, i’m kidding. *silly grin* I’ve mostly been pursuing my dreams; both the daydreams and the literal ones 😀 But I’ve been planning to get back to you..and *drums rolling* here I am!

There’s just been something in my mind lately and I thought of talking it to you. By the way, talking to you almost seems like monologue or like me talking to the wall or some ghost in the room because your existence at the moment is delusional but we can always talk about that when you become a reality right? in shaa Allah 😉

So back to our topic, oh wait, speech alert: This is going to be a long monologue :p

A friend of mine posted this a few days ago:
{“The thing about hitting rock bottom is that the only way to go is up.” I’m having a slight problem with this statement. Okay yeah sure maybe, but what if rock bottom is as wide as the Sahara and before you go up you’re gonna spend a heck of a long time moving sideways? Some people hit rock bottom, and stay rock bottom, and move sideways for the rest of their lives. How miserable.} Those are the ramblings of an insomniac and well what do you expect from an insomniac than a critical out-of-the-world thinking?! But then ever since I came across this, I’ve been thinking about it a lot.

For a matter of fact, I do know several people who hit rock bottom, stayed there for as long as the memory lane can go down and died just right there; at the bottom. Now for a perfectionist and an empath with anxiety, hitting the rock bottom is beyond normal. It is a norm. And as much as it scares me that I might stay down there forever, it scares me more that I might never live up to the expectations of coming right back up.

You know, there are just some days you can’t really be the hero or someone anymore and you just need to survive. And survival is what all of us are working for. But also, survival has always been for the fittest, and sometimes, being in the least bit fit let alone being the fittest is totally out of the dictionary. There are days you wake up you can barely breathe, your heart is heavy, all aspects of failure are rubbing on your face but mostly, its like sand paper being scrubbed on your fragile beaten-up heart. They say the scrub only makes you shine brighter but in the meanwhile, it hurts, and it will hurt a lot more.

What I got to learn is that you can never really be prepared enough to face anything or armed enough for a war. They’ll always be a lesson to be learnt in between the cracks of your heart. You can protect yourself all you can but the day you let down your guard for one single second is the day world war 3 happens; when all hell breaks loose and when you have to fight for your own survival. This kind of reminds me the story of Nabii Musa and Firaun. See how God downplays the best twists?! Firaun demands all male children to be killed after being foretold that a boy will be born and takeover his kingdom. But when his wife Asiya (R.A.A) picks Nabii Musa (A.S) from the river, she is able to convince Firaun that the boy could be beneficial and a son to them. Yet he turns out to be the one to takeover the kingdom. He protected himself from every boy he considered a threat, yet he welcomed the threat with his own two hands. Yes…fate. You can do all you want in this world; you can build walls around yourself, you can be vigilant and firm, you can be superman for all you wish, yet if you are meant to hit the rock bottom, you’ll just go right down there; for as many times as it’s written for you. But the thing is, everyone hits rock bottom, and the real test is how everyone finds their own way to get back up or stay below forever. People will put the blame on you for taking up the wrong choices, for making mistakes, for not working hard enough…yet they forget, it only happens for a reason.


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I’m still finding my way up and i’ll tell you this, it’s tough and really rough. Plus being a millennial only makes it harder. Sometimes I feel I was born in the wrong Century for not relating to my peers. They say i’m an old soul. And when you are an introvert you just have no option but to turn to books and tv, to get out of your world. Some friends the other day were joking that people like us, ‘the outcasts’ should start a group and call it ‘chama cha wanyonge’ 😀 😀 Idiots! or I know someone else who would call it ‘chama cha washokaji’ Not wachokaji, WASHOKAJI. Hilarious how the world views us; the introverts, the artists, the weird, the empaths…right? But maybe i’ll one day really start the group, but of course with a fancy name dah! Or maybe it could be a movement, and we could help people move from rock bottom 😀 Or maybe that’s where i’ll meet you who knows 😛

I’m not sure if you really do exist or maybe you don’t. They say soulmates don’t always occur in this life, maybe in the next…but if you don’t, I have a plan B of going to live up the cave. I would say I will be with my 60 cats like its always the assumption with people but pets scare me (The introverts will disown me for this). So maybe I will be with my scarier dolls like Chucky from Child’s play or Annabelle from The Conjuring filling up the entire house. Plus I got this brilliant idea from a meme of writing it on the wall outside: COME SEE MY DOLLS..and that’s how the horror movie begins *silly grin*

Well, I said what I needed to say. Thank you for being a wonderful listener. Plus please do remember to pray for me; to rise like the phoenix from the ashes. Ameen? I really don’t want to stay rock bottom, who wants anyway?!

P.S. You are the hope i’m waiting for 🙂

Until God decides our fate, take care.


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Photo Courtesy: https://olsenartnews.files.wordpress.com

We all know ‘those days’. We all have them, we all bump into them, we all have to deal with them. Those tough rough days. Those days when everything comes crashing on you like an avalanche, when your shadow overcasts you, when the sun is less brighter, when the storm is too harsh too rough. When those days come, I want you to know, it’s going to be alright.

It just doesn’t seem alright at the moment. You are about to give up. Nothing is working out. Too much to think about. A lot of stress eating up your head. You wanna quit. You just wanna lay in bed…for eternity…and just stare at the fan move in circles. You feel like you are about to drown. The water is pulling you down. You are losing yourself to the storm. Letting yourself go…into darkness…eyes closed…NOTHING.

It’s too dark in there. It’s like your soul is separating from your body; slow death. You feel yourself detach from yourself. You wanna cry. You wanna scream. Yet you wanna stop all that noise in your head. You want the silence. You need the quiet. You yearn for the solace. But you have to stand up to get to that. You will have to pull yourself from drowning. Stand up from the mud and dust yourself off. You will need to try see the positive side of it all. It’s always there. There is nothing like an entire dark day or dark hole or a dark trap. There’s always a positive thing for you. Find that now. As much as the cave is too dark, light up your own fire, the bats will hover around you for a while but you will have to shake them off. Keep moving, holding the fire on one hand and move further into the dark cave…you will see light on the end of the tunnel. I promise you you will.


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It’s too much for you now, but it won’t be tomorrow. Things will straighten up. Your plans may have failed but you can always come up with other ones. Your wishes may have crashed but there’s always something else in store for you. It’s there. It’s coming. Just hold on a little bit more. Keep walking. The fire is still in your hand. Use it to look at the beauty of the cave; how amusing and amazing that place can still be despite the situation. Have faith that God won’t and will never abandon you. Keep anticipating your arrival at the destination; getting to the light at the end of the tunnel. However slow your steps are, you still will get there. I can see the light getting closer, can you??

When those days come, do know that it’s going to be better. That YOU are going to get better. That someday, you will remember these dark days, smile and thank God for the lessons. When those days come, don’t fall apart; STAND TALL.

Photo Courtesy: Unknown

The only thing I constantly dream and anticipate of my future, is to be a mother. Not just any kind of a mother; a very dedicated one. I live for that. And I hope that God makes it come true. Ameen. I don’t know what it feels like to lose a child or to be in marriage and await for children, but I can only imagine and pray that God doesn’t test me with that and to grant those who are still having faith and praying for a miracle, a good offspring.

This is a rather special post for me because here, I narrate two different stories of two different individuals who lost their children. This gave me a heart ache but I do realize the need for people to hear other people’s stories; to appreciate their own journeys and to be patient in whatever they are going through. It is not going to be an easy read. Take heart and know that if you are/were in this same journey, you are never alone.

***A PREVIOUS NARRATION BY A DAD WHO LOST HIS FOUR UNBORN BABIES***

“Not many have the courage to speak about their disappointments in life, it hurts to lose people you love but it hurts more to lose people you expect and they don’t materialize. As we celebrate my 29th birthday, so do we celebrate the lose of our four unborn kids that never even had a chance to have a breadth of life through miscarriages. It’s the most devastating and disappointing event that has ever met our lives, and the worst of it all, the doctors can’t explain the cause of the miscarriages even after spending chunks of bills for tests and medication.

Recently, Mark Zuckerberg posted his experience with miscarriages and now expecting a baby girl, this is reassuring that there’s calm after storm. The comments and replies the post received were amazing, I came to learn that as I find it difficult having lost four babies, many other families have lost more than ten before they finally got a baby or more thereafter. And the least pleasing fact is that a huge number of couples have not even had the experience of the miscarriage itself let alone having a baby and passes on after successful birth.

Allah SW provides to His subjects what they need and not what they want, for what they want may not be beneficial to them or rather harmful in their lives and religion. For as much as we don’t know is in store for us by destiny, we shouldn’t stop trying and exploring available halaal ways of finding solutions to this problem. Allah has given mankind brains and resources to find solutions for such medical conditions, and the best of the mankind are those that are patient and those who depend on Allah for their lives and their hereafter.

The miscarriages issue has come with it many disappointing and devastating events. Young couples divorcing, wrangles in families and lack of happiness in homes. Yet the problem may be a medical condition that is treatable or may be chromosomal that is not, but in the long run, couples must remember it’s Allah SW who decides who gets what and when and in what form, so it’s not upon you to question the deity. The best of your response should be to thank and remember Allah SW during all moments. Allah tests His subjects both in hardship and pleasure, so the have are no better than the have not. Children come with responsibilities, so for the one who have, it’s also a great challenge for them too since the responsibility comes even harder for who they become is a reflection of what their parents are!. Lastly, as I pay tributes to the gone babies of ours, we missed you though we never had the chance to hold you in our arms, perhaps the right time hasn’t come. Or may be, better babies are yet to come. We shall always remember you and cherish the feeling of your few weeks with us. You gave us a lot of hope and joy but Allah Has the better plans for them and the many that have gone before and after you.”

***A NARRATION BY A MOTHER WHO LOST HER SON***

“Two months into my marriage, I was already pregnant. There was excitement in the house. It’s every woman’s dream; any couple’s dream and mine was finally going to come true. I was happy and counting down of the nine months began. Then one day we went out with my husband to a hotel at Diani and I hit myself at the abdomen with the swimming pool slide. The complications started right after that. My abdomen started aching and all the hospitals I went to, I was told nothing is wrong, the baby was fine but I should have bed rest. My scans were clear too.

By then I had already resigned from my workplace so as to take care of my health. Nonetheless, I got better and I applied for another job of which I was accepted. On the same day that I reported to work, I started feeling unwell and had to ask for permission to go see the doctor. By the time I got to the ferry, all I was seeing was black. I went and held a pole nearby to support myself as I tried to regain my strength. Two ladies came to me and asked if everything was okay. When they noticed I was pregnant and helpless, each of them held one arm and helped me board the ferry. I was still feeling nauseated and I started throwing up. The two ladies noticed I was vomiting red they thought it was blood although it was because I was from eating watermelons. That worried them and a nurse came to their rescue. I couldn’t clarify it wasn’t blood because I could barely open my mouth. So the lady nurse came to us and decided to carry me. Since they considered it an emergency case, the ferry immediately left to take me to the other side where my husband was waiting for me.

After the three ladies got me to my husband, I went for check-up, the doctor insisted that this time round I should have a bed rest for one whole month. As such, my husband had to go to my new workplace and inform them that I can’t make it.

My grandma decided to take me with her, to ease it for my husband since he has to go to work. But then one day, the pain revisited my body, this time more painful than ever. Nearby, there was a mid-wife so we went to her and she gave me a massage. I was told that the baby was leaning on my abdomen and thus the pain. But the massage was like adding charcoal to the fire. I had to be rushed to the nearest hospital which was Coast General and was told that my baby’s path was already open. I was about to give birth. At six months.

The nurses injected me and prepared me for birth. It was going to be a pre-mature birth and chances of survival was 50-50. But we were hopeful and I had faith. All my relatives were told to wait outside the ward. I still had some time before I could give birth, so the nurse left me alone. But then the bone-breaking pain came and I was confused. It was my first time, with absolutely no idea how things work. I just pulled off my hijab, kept it under my thighs and started pushing and pushing…extreme pain, sweat…then black…

“Ah! She has given birth already!” I could hear the nurses calling out from afar. “Ma’am, ma’am…do you know that you have already given birth?’

I didn’t know,but I just nodded. I checked the time, it was almost 1 hour 45 minutes later since I started giving birth and lost my consciousness. There was frantic movement for some time. Then cleaning me up, then cutting of the umbilical cord. One nurse then came to me, ‘Ma’am, you gave birth to a baby boy…but i’m sorry, he passed…Do you want to see him?”

I said no. I requested for my family instead. My aunt who raised me came in with my mother in law. They found me crying. I could now feel the emptiness in me; in my heart, in my stomach.

“Have you seen your son?” My aunt asked as she went on consoling me. When I said no, she insisted I should, “This is your son and you are never going to see him again. So take heart and hold him and kiss him. Be strong.”

And I bid farewell to my son; my only child, my only flesh. For a long time, I was never going to forget that moment.

Almost two weeks after giving birth, the abdomen pain struck again. It was too painful. I went to see my gynecologist and after yet another scan, they noticed a leakage, though they couldn’t tell where it was from until I was operated on. The assumption was that it was bacterial infection from the post-birth. So the next morning, first thing I was taken for the surgery. After being cut, is when my gyno, another general doctor and a nurse realized that my appendix had ruptured. There was a lot of pus inside and the baby had been drinking that. But my situation freaked them out. They had never handled such a case so they called another fellow doctor who directed them what to do. When they were done, four hours later, they called in for another nurse to take me to my room and they disappeared through the back door.

My family followed me to the room with worry, but the doctors were nowhere to be seen. One hour later is when my gyno appeared. Upon being asked where he was he said, “In my entire 20 years in this career, i’ve never seen such a thing and i’ve never had such a surgery.” They had removed 3 liters of pus from the leakage and some pus was still left. While I was about to leave the hospital, my nurse asked to have a private word with me and said, “My dear, if you ever feel the need to cry, then cry. No one should tell you you have to be strong. Let it out. Scream, shout, do whatever will make you feel better but don’t let it eat you up inside.” And that was it. Weeks after that I was still going to the hospital to have some more pus removed. You can’t imagine the pain. Both the physical and mostly the emotional torment.

Months later, I went for my final check-up and I met my gyno and he said, “Has anyone ever told you that God is great? That was a very risky operation, I have never been that scared in my life. I never even imagined you’d get up and be well again…Your baby saved you. He was drinking the pus which was poisonous all along. Hadn’t you given birth to him, we wouldn’t have known of the leakage…” He then quickly summoned for the other doctor who had operated on me to come into the office.

“You remember this lady?” My gyno asked his fellow doctor.
“How can I forget this girl…” Looking at me, “When we did your operation, I asked doctor here, can I just cry for this girl? I went home that evening and told my children, ‘before you sleep, there is a special patient at my hospital, we have to pray for her condition. You are a very strong lady!”I just nodded with a smile.

It was such a rough time. For months after that, I cried. I had a difficult time whenever i’d see relatives and friends with their children. My husband and I had to move to a different house to avoid the questions and the despair. For years after that we were still praying and hoping for another baby…but nothing happened. It got to a point I told my husband he can marry another woman if he willed. I was broken. But he was supportive and still is. I remember when I told him about marrying another woman he said, “Say audhubillah. Go take ablution and pray two rakaats to your Lord…” It’s been five years since we got married. We still don’t have a child. It may be a hard test but as my husband always reminds me, “God doesn’t give you except what you can handle…and maybe, He is preventing some harm into our lives by all this.” When you ask my husband about our gone son he would say, “I did not only have a son, but an angel who saved the life of my wife and gave up his own. He was our hero!”

I have faith in God and I still pray for what is best for us. Yet I have this beautiful memory of my son for I gave birth to him, I felt him and I experienced labour pain.”

****

All I know about this life is that it wasn’t meant to be heaven. You will be tested; in one way or another. He will give you wealth but test you with lack of health. He will give you children but test you with a difficult spouse. He will give you health but with lack of children. He will give you wealth but you will be tested with early death of parents. Everyone, and I mean, EVERYONE, is fighting some kind of battle. Even those happy people you see spending money and acting all classy like they got it all…they also have something missing in their lives. It’s pretty much difficult for everyone in this life, but we need to pass these tests. We need to believe that God knows what is best for us, He knows the answers to your questions, He knows why He gave you this instead of that…We need to be patient and strong. We need to have faith that God only gives us what we can absolutely conquer. So whatever you are going through right now, soldier on.

I pray that Allah grants children to all those who’ve been waiting; a good, pious, healthy offspring that will be close to Allah. May Allah grant you higher reward for your patience and grant you strength in all stages of life. Ameen!

Photo Courtesy: https://c1.staticflickr.com

Tell me your dreams,
Tell me what makes you tick.
Tell me what makes you stay awake late at night,
Tell me what takes you to cloud nine and what makes the stars shine a bit brighter.
Tell me your dreams…I will show you people who’ve mastered the art of dreaming

Perhaps the best thing about my career is meeting new people. But then this is quite ironic for an introvert because meeting people is such a struggle for me. I have to contemplate the whole thing a million times before I finally make up my mind to meet the person i’m to meet. Yet when I think of it, coming out of my shell and my comfort zone has rarely ever made me regret. All I ever had to do was filter their objectives, my objectives, their agenda, my agenda and for those I did eventually meet, I learnt a lot. My perspective has really changed a great deal from listening to people, to their stories, to their dreams…oh, their dreams, you see the spark in their eyes as they tell you their goals and it is just amazing. I met such a lady yesterday and not even my words, can explain the enthusiasm in her voice as she narrates her dreams.

Amina Yusuf is the typical Nairobi Muslim lady; learned, focused, super-ambitious, determined and brave. While she was leading a comfortable life in Nairobi with her three children and husband, in her own home, with a good career, she decided to leave it all to come to Mombasa. The main aim of the migration was to get her children into tahfidhul qur’an and give her children an ideal childhood in Islamic neighbourhood. Upon arriving here, she joined madrasa for one year and up’d her education. It was while she was in madrasa that she noticed how the girl child in the neighbourhood were being left behind; uneducated, child labour, poverty issues, family issues, neglected orphans…and she decided she must make a move.

Without over-thinking, she decided to start an education centre by the name Al Reyhan girls education centre with the little amount she had. She went for shopping and started buying the basic necessities she would need for herself and the girls. She had a special target on which girls she needed to join her centre so she would personally move from one house to another, interacting with family members, befriending them without anyone knowing her intention. It was only after weighing each family’s situation is when she’d recruit the girls; orphaned girls, neglected girls, girls from very needy families who can’t afford to take their children to school, girls who live with their old grandparents with no one to take care of their education needs…until the number of girls got to 97, 52 of which are boarders.

The school system is such that, the entire morning the girls are taught tahfidh and basic Islamic knowledge then in the afternoon, they have the secular subjects. Amina wasn’t going to let her girls feel any less than fellow girls in academies. She would fish for money in her own ways and buy them books, stationary, colours, pads for the older girls, she’d cover the books herself, ensure they eat good food with a fruit at least each day and meat once a week. She’d take them to outings occasionally, give them pep talks, go play with them at the beach early mornings, interact with them and at these times, she says, is when you get to know of the deepest secrets of the children.

 

“I want to mould and shape these girls into ambitious educated women. I want it that some day, the girls at my centre can have quality education such that there is no difference between them and the students at Light Academy. I even told my thirteen year old daughter about my dream and my goal; that if I die like right now, I want her to continue with my legacy because this is the legacy I want to leave behind,” Amina says.

“It’s been tough for us here. I run this place entirely by myself and by God’s grace. Sometimes I push family and friends to chip in but otherwise we have no other way of income. I have rented these two buildings; each having three rooms. I stay in one of the rooms with my three children too. We currently just have three beds, the rest we just lay mattresses in this one room and the girls sleep here. It gets too hot and stuffy sometimes, but what can we do…we need to survive here until we get a bigger place.”

One room being her own and for her three children, the other two being classrooms in one house. The other house which also has three rooms; one belongs to the caretaker and teachers who help around, the other room contains the three beds while the last room is the classroom during morning hours and the place to sleep in the night. I can’t even come to think of how these 52 girls fit into the two tiny rooms.

“We’ve had pretty bad days too. We once had a tv, we had to sell it at some point. There was a time we were all locked inside the house because we had really delayed with rent. The agents wouldn’t let us out. I had to frantically start calling friends and family for help, but alhamdulilah some good group of friends managed to raise the amount in good time and saved us. And sometimes, we have good Samaritans coming by to greet us or bring us some things; sometimes it is university student groups, sometimes just individuals or charity groups. We really appreciate it but then sometimes we have nowhere to store the things. Like someone may bring two cartons of milk and we have no freezer to store. Sometimes I go to neighbours and leave a few in different homes but then it gets to a point I feel burdened to ask that from them anymore. I can’t keep doing that forever. Sometimes people don’t say they are fed up but you can feel it yourself that you can’t ask for favours everyday. So I end up sharing it to the day scholars too so that the milk doesn’t spoil. Or sometimes someone brings a goat, we slaughter and have a feast for lunch and dinner, but since I fear that what remains may get bad, I choose the most needy of families and give them it.”

With all this, Amina still strives to make her centre better and greater.
“As much as I use 8-4-4 system to teach the girls, I decided to give them extra life skills that would help them when they grow up. We have cooking classes at least once a month, tailoring classes, sometimes we make juice, sometimes I come with my small laptop and show them how to use. We have very limited resources but with such a fast developing world, I wouldn’t want them to remain unaware of what is happening around them. I teach them how to be as ladies; the etiquette and manners. I discourage them from going outside past maghrib times (sunset) and sometimes parents come to complain why i’m making the girls be disobedient by refusing to go outside past sunset but I tell them about matters of time and how we need to protect them. I also teach them about women in Islam; the history and of modern world (like Yasmin Mogahed) because if European girls are empowered why not do that for ourselves too? So I give them history lessons of how Muslim women impacted the society. We even have our library we call it ‘maktabatul Aisha’ (Aisha’s library) since she is one of the most educated women in history. We call our sports section ‘Nusaiba’ since she was a brave warrior during the prophet’s time. We call our accounts section ‘khazinatu Khadija’ for she was a successful business woman. And the point of all this is for them to realize the power and importance of a woman in the society. They too can become these women.”

In both two buildings, only three rooms are used for studies. One is the class for toddlers and KG 1. The other room is for KG 2, 3 and class 1. The third room has class 2 to class 6. Every teacher hurdled in a corner with her numbered girls. It is hectic no doubt. Imagine having three teachers teaching different classes, all in the same room. And here, it is like ‘whatever will be will be’. They teach regardless of the limited space to comfortably talk to the girls or for them to bend down to take some notes.

“It’s been 9 months now and I thank God that we have survived until now. Sometimes I sit with these girls and just talk to them. I ask them what they want to become when they grow up and you’d hear one say, ‘I want to get married’. When you ask her ‘why so?’ She says, ‘My family already planned for me to get married to my cousin.’ And this is just a thirteen year old girl. She has no focus, no goals whatsoever because she, the girl child, wasn’t given the knowledge to understand what she is capable of. We have very young children nowadays, as young as 3 who will tell you that they want to be a doctor or a pilot or a teacher. Why then would some girls have such goals in life at such tender ages while other lack any goal at all?”

As we move around and Amina shows me the students of each class, I notice a big girl at KG 3. Immediately Amina says this is class one, I see her quickly sink down and bow her head not to be seen. She is ashamed, I notice.
“What’s her story?”
“Long story. She lives with her step-mum who’s been mistreating her. Sometimes she comes here and slaps her for maybe some minor she hasn’t done or something like that. She’s been neglected, with no education…and she’s been working as a house girl. I didn’t even know that that was her step-mum until lately. Currently, i’m trying to transfer her into our boarding here, so she can study well with a peace of mind. She is just 13 but talk to her and she sounds like 35. She speaks like an adult…”
“That’s what tough life does to you…”
“And there are more of these girls. They need help. They need somewhere safe to go to. There is this young girl here, she’s just four years old but she’s seen a lot. Her mother is a divorcee and a drug addict, she uses bogizi. The young girl has both asthma and sinus. She keeps getting the attacks regularly but the mother is never around or very high…so she stays here with me at boarding. All I want is for her and others like her to have a good life…But I can’t take any more here. I don’t have space for more. We need a bigger place and reach out to more girls.”

Most of the girls come from families with very huge baggage. 60% of the girls are orphans, 30% are needy, 10% are abled. The 10% are the only ones who pay fees which is 1700/= per month. But it is more than worth it because Amina feeds them and provide stationary for them too. We even have break time tea twice a week and porridge three times. Because the aim here isn’t business, it’s to give the students a chance like other children have. So from what the abled students pay is what helps in paying teachers and catering for other needs. By ‘abled’ we don’t mean ABLED. We just mean students who are a bit better than the rest.

I look at Amina and say to myself, ‘This human being right her; she is making a difference.’ I look at her eyes sparkle as she talks of how much she wants to do for the girls, of the sighs between her sentences like she is desperate to reach her goal, of the endless ‘Thank God’…I look at her and marvel. We have made idols and role models from people on social media who do nothing other than make noise, have aimless posts, put up many photos of themselves then call them ‘influential people’. But how did they really influence us? In what did they influence us? Was it ever something meaningful? I doubt. Then there are people like Amina, who’ve sacrificed their good peaceful lives where they could live happily without a worry just to make a difference and bring change in other people’s lives. These are the unsung heroes. The very few who do something great not so as to look great but to create some other great thing. And here now I call for your help to help Amina achieve her dream…

On the 2nd of April, Amina is organizing for a fundraiser food bazaar. She is calling for people to assist her in any way possible. You may donate some food that will be sold, or you may sell your own food on that day then share the profit, or you may just volunteer to help around making the event successful or even come sell any of your other businesses and agree on how to share the profit. The aim of the fundraising is to get money to buy a freezer which is quite necessary for them right now. But there are so many other needs for them.
The girls at boarding sometimes are to go home and they refuse with the say, “Ustadha, at home I can’t have pads. I will just be told to use a piece of clothe.”
So yes, these girls come from very desperate situations you don’t want to imagine. They also need a bigger space/home of their own to move to because that is what will ease a huge burden of rent and congestion. Donate with whatever you can. Volunteer. Or even share this post as widely as possible. Let us make her dream come true. Let us make a difference in these children’s’ lives. The event is also going to a fun day at the same time i.e. a food bazaar plus fun day for children. Entrance is free. Kindly avail yourselves and make this work in shaa Allah.

If you want to assist in any way and would like to talk to Amina, here’s her contact:0797641346/0733341574. God bless you!!

Special thanks to my best friend, Husna, for supporting me in all my projects. God bless your soul always 🙂

Tell me your dreams, I will show you people who have mastered the art of dreaming

Because kindness is our only sword to save humanity, here are 13 tiny tales on random acts of kindness…

1. “One evening I was home and was going through my contacts. I saw the name of a woman who used to come at our place for help I just asked myself “You can help this woman by sending a small amount maybe she needs it now.” I did send her some money and I called her to say hi and tell her that I sent something for her. Imagine I couldn’t believe that amount could mean so much to her. She told me her baby was sick and they had nothing to eat at home. That night I cried so much coz of happiness.And I was crying that day coz i got the chance to make someone happy😥😥😥😥😥😥❤ it means the world to see someone happy and crying because of you…”

2. “This one day it was ramadhan… 3 kids came asking for food but there wasn’t anything…so mama wanted to give them food but only a small amount had remained and wouldn’t be enough for all three. Plus he had kept the food aside for my young nephew. My nephew was there so he told mum “I’ll eat with them but right now I am not even hungry. When they come again just give them the food I will fast.”

3. “Back in my madrasa days, there was this ustadh of ours who used to walk from likoni to kibokoni to teach us. He wasn’t well off compared to other teachers but he was the most sweet and helpful of them all. He used to care for us, motivate us,teach us about good morals. So I used to put my break time money in his pocket without him knowing.I did it for weeks I guess unfortunately he caught me one day and asked me, “why you doing this?” I just said “you need it more than I do ustadh.” He just told me you don’t have to do that. You need to eat so that you can grow. He is one of my heroes…

4. “When I was young I had a homeless kid as my best friend. I used to share food with him, play with him, i used to take him home and shower. We didn’t have much back then but I used to share my plate with him. Whenever I go to school I used to take anjera to him under the masjid stairs where he used to live. I used to cry every evening when my mum calls me back home because I loved him and I felt helpless at that time. He was my friend and I couldn’t do anything for him. One day he just got lost.It broke my heart.I mean I don’t know where he went. He wasn’t there under the masjid stairs… We used to dream together. When I came from Madrasa he used to wait for me downstairs then we’d go to the beach just to swim and chill and talk. He wanted to be a pilot and i wanted to own the plane.”

5. “There is that time a classmate was stressing over school fees. He missed out on bursary that term and if he didn’t come up with 10k he couldn’t do the exams. I had 1k in my pocket. You know what I did? That evening when everyone was going home I stood in front them at the gate and pleaded for their help. I was so nervous but everyone was helpful. We managed to come up with 10k. It was amazing.”

6. “I had a close friend; a bit younger than me, but I liked her and considered her like my baby sister… we’d talk quite often. Then came a time we just drifted apart and I couldn’t get to her. She had changed her number I guess. So many moths later, I came to understand of the reason why she’d cut me off (which was actually something beyond both of us). I really cried that day because it was not worth it. I was hurt but then I decided I won’t let my ego take charge. I was going to do something for her which in turn would give me peace in both my heart and soul. I tracked down her new number and sent her an anonymous gift via another friend and we made sure it could never link back to me. Alongside the gift, I wrote a few tiny notes, just motivational ones on life and all for her. Another friend of mine told me of how she had met her on that same day she received the gift and how much she had really cried and said, “she needed to hear those words”. A few days after I sent the gift, she contacted me. I was worried she had found out that I was the one who had sent the gift but that was not the case. She said she had dreamt of me and that I’ve been in her mind lately. So we talked a bit. She contacted me a few days later and we had a longer conversation. She wanted us to be friends like before…and that’s when I mentioned that the gift was from me…I swear her reaction was priceless” (Below is the second party’s version)

7. “It is normal to feel down, lost, unwanted and rejected…well that’s what I was feeling for couple of days until this day when I got a call from some place that I had a parcel.I couldn’t make it that moment so it was a later thing .I went to pick it up.It was a gift from someone I didn’t know who that time, a pair of shoes and pieces of notes that meant world to me. I couldn’t help it, curiosity was at maximum, I read the notes and opened the gift inside the matatu. I cried all the way, I was touched.I was so much thankful, in one way or the other I didn’t expect it from the actual sender,because of some broken issues but there, Alhamdulilah I was really consoled.”

8. “So I was going to Eastleigh with some friends of mine. When we got into the mat, we noticed, every time young school children would come into the mat, they would walk straight to a post to stand and hold on tight. And we started asking each other why they were just standing around the matatu..so I called one of them over and asked why he was standing, and he said he has no fare. And I was shocked. The Eastleigh conductors let kids get on the matatus to get home free of charge, provided they stand though. Although this was nice of them, they didn’t really sit well considering how rough these “manyangas” get driven. Standing in one as an adult is a struggle in itself. So I told all the kids to sit and I would pay for them.When they were getting off, one of them said thank you to me and I honestly felt so nice…”

9. “So two years ago, I lost my scholarship. You can imagine, it was a stressful and depressing moment of my life. It was not just about losing my scholarship but also failing in my studies. It brought a lot of doubts in my head. I could not tell people at home and I seriously had no idea what to do. During those trying moments, four of the many friends I have were really there for me. They put up with my awful moods, my attitude… they encouraged me and help stand up again. I was financially disable and because I did not had the courage to tell people at home what was happening, they took it upon themselves to make sure I have my basic needs, got pocket money and I was having fun. At the same time, one of them held a harambee for my fees for that semester, $750 anonymously. And when I last got the courage to talk to my family about it, they were there and made sure I was okay. If it were not for them, I would have killed myself or worse, stop pursuing my dreams. But they believed in me, and found ways to make me believe in me. I can’t repay them for that and what they continue to do for me to date; but Allah is the Just…am sure He will pay them Justly, thus I pray for that.”

10. “My mother has always been my biggest inspiration to kindness (and maybe this is why parents should really take note on what their children pick from them)…She has done a lot (may Allah reward her with jannah) but one story still touches my heart deeply. A long time ago, we had a male house help. My mother helped him revert to Islam and taught him about Islam. So after some years working with us, his sister dies, leaving two orphans; young boys. So everyday, the house help would come home with them because they didn’t have someone to take care of them except their old grandma. My mum enrolled them into madrasa and after classes he would sit and teach them or let them play around. A time came, the house help left without notice or goodbye. Maybe for greener pastures. But so, the two boys were used to coming home so they’d still come. My mum never told them not to come again since their uncle had done a mistake. She went on to teach them and taking them to madrasa and in the evening they’d go to their grandma. Years later, the house help came back and apologized. He said, “Everywhere I go, I realize there is no human like you. I kept talking about how good you are to all my bosses until they wanted to know who you are. I can never forget how you took care of my nephews despite me leaving without any communication. And if there is any person I can predict paradise for them then it’s you…” To date, the house help still comes back home. He goes to work in other places but he always found his way back home. Oh yeah, and he still has the mashaf (qur’an) mum gave him when he first converted. And he repeats this too many times, “Mum, I can never forget your kindness…”

11. “One day, just after sunset, a boy went out to buy some groceries for his mum. That day’s order though could only be found at the grocery stores near the boarding stage, a fairly distant place. It was on a weekend so most of the grocery shops were closed and the ones that weren’t, we’re out of stock.
“Great. Just great” he thought to himself

After a fruitless search, he was left with a final try that he’d give up after. It was a sizable grocer that stood on the edge of the road a few minutes in from the stage. It was next to a charcoal supply shop characterized by the mixture of finely and pebble sized charcoal spread over that whole section of the road. The grocery’s light illuminated it’s front side just enough to see the set of rigid bricks meant to be the stairs.

As he got closer to the shop, he saw a white figure amidst the sea of ground charcoal. It was curled up into a small shape. People were barely missing their footing on it. A Boda Boda then rode passed it almost running it over. It was a kitten. He walked for the shop and threw his eyes at it once more. It was scared, eyes wide open with fear, frozen, as he watched it exist motionless among the numerous feet and exclamations of passersby and the horns of speedy motorbikes
He walked to the shop. A relief for they had the last batch of his order. He bought in smiles. He also bought a batch of Omena. He took his change and walked back to the kitten. He opened a bag and poured almost all of it just at the edge of the road, called the kitten in that common tongue noise and watched as the life flow back into it, as the fear in its eyes being replaced with wonder, slowly it moved towards the pile of raw fish and pounced at it with gratifying hunger.
He smiled thinking what the kitten must have been thinking at that moment. He fed every cat he saw on his way back that night and left just enough of the batch for those cats that always find their way to their compound. They ate gracefully as well..”

12. “There was this one time I was going to Nairobi just for a day to get some of my things at a friend’s house. But it turned out that he was in Mombasa so I couldn’t stay at his place (he was living at his aunt’s in Nairobi). So he told his other friend (who is also my friend) to receive me. So he calls me and says he’d be my host. I arrive in Nairobi at some minutes past 5 in the morning. It’s cold. And he comes with a taxi. We greet each other and ask how we’ve been (it was a while since I last saw him). Anyway, he’s like “you know, I won’t take you to my room. Let’s go to a hotel.” I was like “okay!😄” and the taxi drops us off at Eastleigh where we start walking around looking for a hotel. It was still dark and we are alone so I was slightly apprehensive.

All of the hotels were fully booked, I was kinda bummed out coz I was becoming tired and dragging that luggage was becoming a pain. But we finally found a room, it was just from being checked out and we had to wait for 20 minutes for it to be cleaned out for us. But it was kinda expensive (for a student). My friend had to pay 5k for one night. So I was kinda worried and said “dude are you sure? If it’s gonna inconvenience you it’s okay we can just stay at your messy room” And he said, “I’m doing this for the sake of Allah. I believe that if I spend it on others in a good way, He’ll give me more in return” Naturally I was touched by this, so I agreed and made a silent prayer for him that he succeeds in this life and the next. We spent the day roaming around town while he treated me to lunch. It was a really good day, and I promised myself that I would never forget his kindness and that I would repay him somehow in the future. The hotel is called regent hotel or something. It was really really nice. The room had dstv and all that. Plus it was big; Double bed room. Weh I felt like a prince. I keep remembering him. Still haven’t come round to making it up to him. But I pray for him well.”

13. “There was a time at my workplace, an old man came by to have his phone checked for repair. So I usually work upstairs and it was only by chance I came down and saw him standing; confused. He was really old, frail and weak. So I asked him what he needed and he said he wanted his phone repaired soonest, that he needed it immediately if possible because he was sick and some relatives kept sending him some money to help him around. I took the phone and handed it to the one in charge, who agreed to check it out immediately. After the phone was repaired, I took it to the old man who was really relieved. I then gave him 1k and told him, “I hope this helps you…” The man was really really grateful. He said lots of prayers for me then left and I thought that was the end of the story.

The next day, he came to the office again, but since I was upstairs and didn’t know my name, he couldn’t find me. He tried asking about me but my workmates didn’t understand whom he was talking about. The following day he came once again and my workmate decided to ask me if I knew the old man. Going downstairs, it was him. He said he came to thank me once again. That from the money I gave him he got to book a ticket to Kisumu, back to his family. He asked for my number and promised to send me omena and unga from there. He then said, “Because of what you’ve done i’ll become a Muslim.”I just thought it was a by the way but when he got there he did call me to say he arrived safely. After a few days he called again just to greet me. Then on another day, his son was the one who called to say that his father was in hospital and had requested to talk to me. We talked and his voice seemed so frail and weak.

A few days later, fajr time I received a call from his son; the old man had passed away. But he had left a message for me. That he wants to be buried in a plain white cloth without the coffin (sanda). I asked his son, “Had he converted to Islam?” He said, “There was a time he requested that we bring a sheikh to him, so there is that probability.” I decided to ask the son to go to the nearest mosque and let me talk to the imam, of which I did and we had arrangements that he is buried in Islam. Even after his death, his family members called, thanked me and still wanted to send me the omena and unga as promised by the old man but I didn’t see the need so I rejected politely. Nonetheless, I really hope that the man did indeed die a Muslim…”

Dear You…If you can’t find any good in this world, then be the one to do it. It doesn’t have to be ‘Mahatma Gandhi’ or ‘Maria Theresa’ big, it just has to be sincere. Do good to people. Try everyday. Make it a habit. A routine. Be kind. Be kind again and again. Making a difference in just one life is invaluable so never underestimate the effect of your actions and words.

Great appreciation to those who sent in their tales. God bless you…

You are welcome to comment any other stories of kindness below here 😉