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The kind of lives we lead nowadays is quite sickening, disgusting and most of all, heartbreaking. Indeed this world is full of trials. All universal religions believe that we are here to be tested and on a mission to prove our faith. That aside, there are many many disappointing situations that could be avoided entirely if only we are mature enough. If only we are thoughtful, empathetic, patient and truthful to ourselves and others.

And honestly, I don’t get it. I don’t get it how our conscious is still so intact even when we know we have ruined someone’s life. How we intentionally and very soberly, mastermind the downfall of our very own friends and people who trust us. Doesn’t it bite you inside? Doesn’t it pinch you deep inside that someone somewhere cries for the difficulty you put them through? For the money you borrowed and intentionally refuse to return? For the trust they gave you before stepping on it like a used cigarette? For the times they awaited you to take responsibility for the role you play? Doesn’t it eat you up that someone wakes up in the deadliest of nights to cry to God about you. About what YOU did to them? About how you tore their hearts and how their souls ache for you or because of you? Doesn’t it bother you that you are the reason your mother no longer smiles? That someone slept hungry today? That someone gave up on life? That someone is contemplating suicide just because you have been so reckless with your words?


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I don’t get how a man carries himself, step by step, full of confidence and promises, full of charm and over-stretched smiles to a lady’s home. He marries this woman and takes her away from her loving family, from her comfortable life, from her king-sized bed, from her cute kitchen, from her tiny library that has been her source of bliss of years, just to turn her life into hell. I don’t get it, because even if this woman was having a miserable, tough life in her own home, you have no business giving her hope just to transfer her from one hell to another. I don’t get it. Were you forced to marry her? Did anyone hold a knife on your neck to take her to your home? And even if you were pushed to marry her, does she have to pay her entire life for a mistake your father, mother or grandparents did to you??

I don’t get it when parents are so irresponsible, so thoughtless, so immature, when they make their children pay for their failed marriages. I don’t get it, how you even allow yourself be the reason your child falls into depression, why your child has insomnia, why your child wants to end their life before it has even started. Why do we assign ourselves these duties if we are not ready for them? I don’t get it how we allow ourselves be the reason our children justify their depression with,’I come from a divorced family.’

I know you don’t care. Most of us don’t. We are busy faking our happiness we forget how much we damage other people. But you know what’s the scariest yet still the beauty of life? Whatever you give out is what comes back to you. Give out love and compassion and it comes back to you. Give out misery and tears and you’ll remain wondering ‘where did I go wrong?’ You want to know where you went wrong? It was that person you hurt and broke. It was that person you stole from. It was that person you oppressed. It is the prayers of that person you mistreated being answered. You are wondering why you are never succeeding in whatever you do? How misery engulfs you like charcoal on fire? Find out who you hurt; could be intentionally or even unintentionally. Their heart ache is perhaps the reason you won’t be able to smile for the next few years. Indeed, what goes around comes around. It’s all a matter of time.

Food for thought…


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I am not really sure when Introvertism became trendy or anything fancy but all I know, for me, it has never been easy. It’s never been easy for anyone. It’s not comfortable, it’s weird and awkward and clumsy and precipitation and anxiety, sometimes creepy. Yet, it’s also solace and small circles and deep talk and books and coffee and cats (not for everyone but we do have our good moments 😉 )

But oh well, we are the millennials. We have previously tried to make something out of absolutely nothing and we have succeeded. We are so desperate to be SOMETHING and then BOOM! came the word ‘Introvert’; such a sassy word mahn nay? and so we made it be something most of the time is not. Feels so classy even saying it. “Hey hi, I’m Lubnah and I’m an introvert”
Then everyone replies, “Hi Lubnah, welcome” like the way they say in these Hollywood movies during self-help group sessions.

Well for people like me, the Introverts who are Millennials I mean, we are lucky to be born in the 21st Century because we can get away with some things and claim it on ‘I’m an introvert’ or at least we can say, “some few people understand and accept us for what we are”. This is where I blush stupidly 😀 I mean, aren’t we lucky? We could even start our own society soon 😀

You know sometimes though, you meet people or you are going through someone’s bio and they’ve written ‘Introvert’ on their bio and you know them too well to be even CLOSE to being an introvert and you go like, “Ati Whoott?!” 😀

I mean do people even have an idea what it’s really like to be an introvert? The struggle? The trying-so-hard to be fit in somewhere? Especially when you want to be at the corner yet everything is round. Or do people just assume it’s something fabulous and sophisticated to say and mention in our biographies?… But well, I do get that same above reaction several times. People read my blog and hear me rant about very ‘serious’ and bold issues and they haven’t even met me in real life so they entirely dismiss the idea that i’m an introvert. Well, that’s until they meet me. And they go, “You are the writer?…I expected…” I want to say, “You expected someone as huge as my words, probably slaying in some long heels and so much sass or perhaps elegance and then you meet this timid girl looking like a hungry squirrel, you almost confused me to be a school girl” But then I just politely laugh it off with, “I know I know I hear that a lot.” I thought this was the generation who knew better that what we see in the internet rarely and barely describes our true lives. We are quite different people behind those screens. Well, at least most of us.

I know my journey as an introvert is different from others but I also know it’s still very similar. And what I mean for this is, if we are going to make ‘introvert’ seem so cute and fancy then we should also accept the weird, absurd side of it too right? So here we go, i’ll take you through some of my thoughts of being ‘weird’:

Invitation to an event
(Just outside the event venue)
“Hey excuse me? Umm, is the room full already? Like how many people? Umm, is there a back door? urgh, no back door? Could you please my friend her name is so and so, please tell her to pick me up? I can’t reach her via phone. It’s off. No no I’ll just wait for her then we can walk in together. What?! You can’t find her? Can you escort me please?? Oh thank you so much! I already feel like everyone is watching me. *Gasps* Never mind. Thank you for escorting me!”

Going into the elevator
(Rushes in to a corner)
Okay okay we are enough people already, why are people still over loading this small tiny thing? Uff! I can’t even breath. What if someone hears me breathing loudly or everyone? Oh my God that’s terrifying. I can hold my breath for a moment or do it as slowly and silently as they do it in yoga. This thing still makes me feel dizzy ;/ …Wow! This lady has so much courage! She is talking on the phone while all these people are at a pin-drop silence! How do you do that ma’am? Just hearing your voice in an over crowded tiny space? (I almost wanna ask.) Bravo bravo!!

Eating in public
Okay slooowly let’s take a bite. It shouldn’t disrupt anyone’s peace or even worse, draw attention. Eat like you chewing stolen food. No one should feel you are even there. Make sure your mouth and teeth behaves. No embarrassments please? Good. Like that. No fuss. No one is noticing. Good. Slow but sure. No hurry ma’am. (You can imagine the struggle when trying to eat something like crisps or an apple)

Dialing a call
Please don’t pick up
Please don’t pick up
Please don’t pick up
1 2 3…3 seconds are gone, she hasn’t picked up. not my fault!
(Shouts across the room excitedly) “She hasn’t picked up. I will just send her a text message or a mail 🙂 ” SATISFACTION.
Then someone decides to ruin your moment.
“Try dialing again”

On a call
“Hey hallo”
“Why is your voice like that? Are you whispering?”
“I’m with people”
“So?”
“So I can’t talk loudly. Let me go outside… Okay, tell me now…”
“Is there a secret?”
“No why?”
“Why can’t you talk in front of other people?”
“It’s just uncomfortable listening to my voice echoing to my ears. Do you get it? No you can’t get it. Never mind.”

Texting a friend
“Oh my God I have good news for you!!”
“Aha bismillah what’s up?”
“Let me call you…or wait, video call is better. I want to see your reaction”
Me:

In a public transport vehicle
Okay, I have to rush to my seat. The last seat at the very last corner so that I can look out the whole way and don’t have to have people pushing and rubbing my knees to pass back and forth. That seat is solace. You can read a book or send a text message without wondering whether the two people sandwiching you are peeping at your screen or book.

Going out
Wow it’s a beautiful day to talk a walk. I could do good with some sunshine.
Someone: Hey, do you want to accompany to the mall?
Me:

When your friend doesn’t show up at the event and doesn’t pick your calls

When talking with a friend at a public place

That’s too loud iiy! Lower the volume please!

Going to the market for shopping
Me: Yey!! Finally going to get what I wanted.
Also me, five minutes after entering the market:
Where are all these humans coming from?!!

When strangers or people you barely know ask for a meet up

When people ask for justification for your very awkward, weird social tendencies (especially since you’re a journalist)

 Bruh!! Not again please!!

Well, we have a reaction for everything so this would probably not end today lol. All in all, I think people should just accept us for who we are. I mean, like for me, I do talk in front of crowds of people, my job sometimes requires me too and I do and sometimes I shake like an old generator running out of fuel and sometimes I perform so well. Sometimes I do bold things like start up a conversation with a stranger or eat in public but the end of the day, i’m going back right to my cocoon where it feels home and safe. Don’t judge, don’t criticize, don’t manipulate.

Social interactions especially when it goes beyond our scope, suck up our energy and I mean that literally. We become drained and exhausted. Sometimes we want to make friends sometimes we don’t. We talk a lot on the internet more than we do in our real lives. Sometimes we want to meet up with friends sometimes we just want to lay on bed in our pajamas, whole day long and watch or read something nice. When we say we need the space, we really need it. We’re complicated humans. We’re trying our best to act normal and bond and maybe you don’t get it how we are what we are, but we appreciate ourselves and it is OKAY if you don’t get it. Just respect our boundaries and accept us for who we are. Halla introverts! 😀

No hard feelings people. This was meant for fun and to learn 🙂

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People who know me very well know two truths about me. One is that food and I don’t get along. Truth number two, food and I can’t really stay apart. We tend to have this love-hate relationship that never ends. You know, like Tom and Jerry? So most of the times it would roll out like this.

Me: “Aarghh, I’m starviingg” or “Yeepyyy can’t wait to have my delicious food!”

Two minutes into eating: “Really food? Really? All that joy, excitement, tears, anticipation and blood sacrifice yet this is all you offer?!! You and I are soo done!”

Also me: (every two hours) “I need you food 🙁 ” (There should have been the kermit meme image over here lol)

So automatically, truth number three is that fasting is my hardest ibadah.

Just the other day (4th of Ramadhan) I was walking in town headed home from work with a tiny flower between my fingers. So I was swirling it playfully, my mind so far deep in thoughts it took me time to realize there was an elderly man looking at me right ahead. He was in his traditional Swahili clothing of kikoi, shirt and kofia and he was looking into my face with such scrunity. I thought perhaps he is mistaking me for someone else so I went ahead and said the salam.
“Saumu inkushika?” He said, still giving me a concerned look. I just laughed it off and went on walking but I could still hear his voice behind me, “Saumu inkushika eh?! Nakuona…nakuona vile inkushika” *Face palm* I know right? And I just happen to be this frequent victim of having awkward embarrassing moments with strangers. But that’s a story for another day. Back to fasting…

Due to how much fasting drains me, at work and even at home, I always get comments like, “Can you walk? Lest you fall on the way.”
“Can you do this? Can you carry this?”
So every Ramadhan I’m subconsciously fully prepared to such teasing. Yet Ramadhan is still the best time for me.

You know, you walk around and see Muslims and you can greet each other, smile with that look like, ‘We know each other’s ‘suffering’ (not per say, but you know what I mean :p ) or like we are one people, we are partners in crime, something of the sort. The Ramadhan ambiance is special and it does feel so. Food stalls all over the streets during the evenings, people sending the kids to take a plate of goodies to the other neighbour and the other neighbour takes to the other and when known to be an awful cook, your food just seems to go in circles; forever trying to get a ‘mstiri’. Taraweh, tahajjud…the list is endless.

It’s that time where our mango trees produce in abundance. My mum would fill the bucket with mangoes and ask my brother to take to our neighbours. I would hear my dad get excited, reminding my brother of which neighbours to NOT miss. I would be standing there half-thrilled half-sorry that I am not the one to do that. You know, introvert problems? Mum would ensure to spice it up; ‘Ukigonga kila mlango, give them the mangoes then say Ramadhan kareem’ 😀 My brother puts on his kofia and sets out to knock doors. Then with a sigh and a smile, “I wish all year was Ramadhan.”

Muslims walking around just before Maghrib, sharing dates and water to fellow Muslims on the way. Some stranger passing dates to you to the back seat of a public vehicle so you can break your fast. I mean, any other random day we would probably pass by one another and I would mumble salaam and I wouldn’t even get a response or perhaps you’d mumble back or vice versa. But then Ramadhan, we have something making all of us familiar to one another such that we can strike random conversations with strangers on the way.

I am super delighted of how humanity is at its peak. We remember the orphans, the old, the sick…we remember to pray, to be more gentle, to read qur’an a lot, to hold back our insults, to donate, to forgive and most importantly, work on ourselves.

For me, besides it being the time for more Ibadah, Ramadhan is a time for me to work on my inner self. Get the peace of mind. Submit totally to Allah. And this is something many take for granted; our inner health. How composed are we to life? How much at peace are we with our fate? How much do we actually and sincerely talk to Allah? This is the time. It is my time to unleash my heart to Allah. It is my time to be a better human being not just for this month but for the rest of the year.

And as much as fasting is hard for me, Ramadhan has meant progress for me. I remember a time I would really admire people who could fast Monday and Thursday, Ayamil bayth or sitta min shawwal simply because I couldn’t do it. But then with every coming of Ramadhan, I tried more sunnah fasts and I keep trying over and over again. My biggest push has always been the thought that ‘If this is hard for me, then the rewards will definitely be more’ and that remains my motto as I keep trying.

Ramadhan means a lot of things to me; it means kindness, love and compassion. It means submission, forgiveness and willpower. It means struggle, endurance and success. Ramadhan means a lot to me. What about you? What does it mean to you??


 

On another note, my partner and I are embarking on another business journey, the branding of strokes of my pen. So alhamdulilah we have the first bunch of shirts out. We kindly ask for your support. Besides that, 10% of each shirt goes to Ahmad, a young boy who is undergoing kidney dialysis treatment yet he has a large outstanding balance at Pandya hospital to pay. If not the shirt then you can always mpesa their family directly (no. shown in image).Remember your reward is multiplied in this month so don’t hesitate to support in any little way in shaa Allah.

 

For the shirts, they come in colours of black, white, blue, grey and yellow. For more info: contact us via this no: 0734 201 665 or view our page: https://www.facebook.com/simplex.styles/. More is to come biidhnillah!

P.S. Please remember me in your duas! Whatever you pray for me, may you get just that a thousand more times. Ameen! Ramadhan Mubarak!

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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Selective Mutism. That’s the medical term for what I went through for a good portion of my childhood. Crucible of Suffering is more accurate if you ask me. Apparently millions of kids all over the world suffer from it every year, but none of them went to school where I did.

Mother carefully tied the yellow scarf on my head so as not to tamper with my neatly plaited hair and slowly led me towards the fancy yellow car. Yellow was undoubtedly her favorite color, but I didn’t understand why she was forcing me like it too. I just stared at small edges of the yellow scarf that were hanging to my tiny shoulders and shrugged.

But I have to tell her today, I said to myself as I treaded along. But how? I scratched my head. I have to find a way, I was now almost in tears.I don’t want to go to that school again. No. Never again. Soon tears were rolling down my face and she turned to face me.

“What is wrong mami?” she said as she stopped in her tracks. She lifted her hands and wiped the tears from my face all the while whispering softly, ‘Don’t cry.’

“When are you going to get used to your school? It’s been more than six months now since you joined,” she once again said using her hands.

How am I going to tell you mother? I thought to myself.

Mother held my hand firmly and made me sit in her sparkling clean car.

“Your teacher says you haven’t yet learnt to write the letters…you have to work harder mmh?” she gestured to me and softly patted my head.

But that is the problem! How can I tell you anything when I can’t even write besides everything else?

When you can’t talk or write you cry.

When you cry, you get reprimanded and punished or at best pitied.

I all but squeezed my mother’s hand as we approached the school gate. I could see my colleagues playing in the compound with so much zeal, all dressed in uniform pink skirts and white t-shirts. I stared at them for a moment. They were all younger than me…and smarter. At least they know how to write.

Mother kissed me on the cheek and gave me a slight push towards my teacher; Miss Khadija who was standing some steps away. My teacher was elegantly tall, but “tall” wasn’t adequate to describe her height. She was reallytall! I always feared looking up at her because I thought my neck might break in the process. But that wasn’t all; Miss Khadija always wore that same scarf throughout the six months that I had spent in the school. She wore it tight enough only to reveal the middle part of her face which made her look old and grumpy. She always managed to match her dark veil matched with her scarf but even that could not distract fromthe fact that she was scary.

She bundled her way to where I was stood and hugged me so tightly her expensive perfume flooded my nostrils. I wriggled myself out of her grip and quickly walked away.

I stood by the wall of the school and hunched; with my hands covering my tiny face except for my teary eyes.Then Leila, the kindergarten prima donna with hordes of sheep following her around, appeared with a smirk on her face. She pulled out her tongue and made funny faces to me. I decided not to bulge from my place. But soon enough, a whole gang of other bullies joined her and were now laughing hysterically at me. I tried to speak out but all I could make were incomprehensible sounds, useless mumbles. My mouth betrayed me again.

Selective mutism, you still remember that term right? I should have told you it’s worse when you are deaf as well as selectively mute. Once in a while though, the rage that stems from being different and misunderstood can be quite liberating. I rushed to Leila and pulled her scarf off. I got hold of her long pigtails and pulled them with all my energy. Her screams filled the entire compound immediately. The other bullies suddenly freaked out and called Miss Khadija. I was breathing heavily when Miss Khadija finally succeeded in stopping the fight. I saw Leila say something to our teacher in between tears, although I couldn’t exactly understand what she was saying, I knew she was hurt. And that was enough to satisfy me; at least for the day

During the lunch break, Miss Khadija came and sat opposite me. She slid my lunch box across the table and stared me in the eyes. I looked away to where the other children were playing. I sighed with a longing; I wished I could have friends too, even if just one. I sighed again My helplessness was killing me!

Miss Khadija drew my lunch box closer to her. My lip-reading was not perfect but I understood the words she mouthed to me perfectly. I was to be punished for losing my temper that morning, not that my account for that event mattered. I stared at her long nails as she grabbed my sandwich, pushed it in her mouth quickly and gobbled it down, maintaining her stare as if to gauge my reaction. She cleared my lunch in no time and left my table without a word. Mother has to know about all this…I have to learn how to write! I declared with a finality.

I grabbed my book and held the pencil firmly with all fingers. I slowly started drawing the curve to shape an ‘a’, struggling my way through. After what seemed to be an endless energy-draining hour, I wrote my first letter. It was enough to make me jump up in delight.

I am going to write a letter to mother soon! Yes I will!


THE REAL HUSTLERS

By: Lubnah Abdulhalim

A fresh morning, a beautiful morning, a wonderful morning, it doesn’t really matter to the citizens coming from Mtwapa and beyond. The moment that you arrive at the busy and crowded road on a Monday morning, your mood already turns off and Monday blues just begin. From the first stage to the last point where your eyes can reach, are people of all kinds. Then, you know, it’s time to hustle.

You can walk from the first stage then to the next and the next and you still don’t get a Matatu to get you to school or work. Apart from the dusty and muddy pathways especially during rainy days, sometimes I must say, the walk can be interesting. You meet old friends, teachers, classmates and relatives on such occasions. Each one of them is waiting for the same thing as you are; matatus.

The wait could take as long as quarter to half an hour and if on a very bad day, an hour. The irony of it all is that, you who comes from home as early as 6.30 a.m could eventually meet your friend at the stage coming from home at 7.00 a.m, meaning, for us, no early bird really catches the worm. With each Matatu that stands in front of you, before you even think to blink, the entire crowd is scrambling into it. For others, without hesitating, prefer to imitate our long cousins the monkeys and climb into the Matatu through the windows. At this point, you remember Darwin’s theory of survival for the fittest and just sigh in confusion. If you pretend to be an honourable one who can’t take the effort of participating in the scrambling, then you could stand to 7.30 a.m or even longer. Without mentioning the fare prices which could go as high as double price especially during rush hours like on Mondays. While on a Saturday, you may get to the stage and find a whole stream of Matatus like on display. The conductors come from all corners and rush to you. The irony now is that they are the ones who are scrambling for you today. They all beg at the same time, each persuading you to get into their Matatu. And even if you insist on getting a certain specific seat they may go to the extent of requesting to the other person seated there before you to exchange it to you for another seat. It is at this moment that you willingly enter any Matatu you want and just at fifty shillings only to get you to town.

During that waiting, for a moment, you actually wish that you could just turn back, go home and continue with a good sleep and taking an off from school or job, but you still have to go. But yet still, before you finally reach your destination, there is that annoying traffic jam that never ends. It really makes one restless and wishing to fly over to the destination. It’s all sweaty and the heat adds more irritation to oneself. And with the endless reconstruction of the Bamburi road, the jam has become more intensified, so instead of the normal half an hour wasted in the traffic jam, it’s now more than an hour.
When you finally arrive at school, you see the teacher on duty glaring at you, not ready for any explanation. Then you know it’s time for punishment. As for those rushing to job, well, the boss is always ready with an entire questionnaire on how and why you got late for work.

With all that struggling, Mtwapa remains to be a harmonious place, a place you could call home…it seems like a small world of its own where everyone knows the other as family.

Without concentrating on the bad picture that people have about Mtwapa, maybe this is why they have had good personalities and achievers from the area. Well, they learn it the hard way. It’s not a matter of pride or loyalty but a matter of plain truth.  Ask for yourself and see.

TO ALL THE MTWAPIANS,

I SALUTE YOU ALL!