SAYING NO TO ‘NYONYO’

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you need to explain something to a big audience yet you feel embarrassed? welcome to my school of thoughts. Breastfeeding is a sensitive thing to address, I mean in public. Anyway today my mantra is “my words my choice”.

Well, Terrence was 4kg when born. He was so big and hairy. The doctors kept asking ” huyu mtoto ni wa nani?” the small-timid mum will answer with a smile on her face,”wangu,mbona?” I would revert, “ni mkubwa, alizaliwa normally?”….shyly I will nod my head and switch my attention to my phone calling my mother or his father to come pick me up because I was already discharged. Who likes a hospital any way?  Just then a handsome looking doctor came in. He smiled at me and I thought I knew his next question. He had a book on  his hand.” Congratulations mum”, he said looking at me straight into the eye.” thank you”, this time i was not shy,hoping he wont repeat the same mistake of his comrades. He sat on my bed .Held my boy and smiled and said “healthy baby i see”,I couldn’t help but feel accomplished. “This is how you hold your baby, head high , and do not try to make him sit,he is still fragile and the bones are not yet strong”,he interrupted my glory moment handing Terrence over  to me.

“Mum, this baby needs the breast milk. has your milk started flowing?” he asked . At this juncture I remembered that my breasts were really full of mild but very painful more the nipples were painful. The nurse had advised earlier on that I take hot chocolate milk so that the milk will come. Every-time I placed the breast on my sons mouth I will scream scaring the baby who in-turn screams. So went home eventually, and still no milk on my breasts so and that night the baby cried all through . We took turns with the dad until morning when a nice woman ( i will forever be grateful to her) , my neighbor came to see us. She had made me breakfast, i was too tired to even get out of bed leave alone making breakfast. “maziwa imetoka Rumona?” she asked. “Bado imagine, ” I said sadly. “Ni sawa, kula hii njahi itamwagika kama tu kama tuzo”. Seeing the sleeping baby  I felt pity for him. So I had a morning bath and took to my breakfast and true to her words the milk came. And for six months Terrence had his milk in full supply. Weaning came ( story for another day) and now it was time to stop two years down the line.

First , we tried pepper,the green one. It worked for two days but at night I would forget and breast feed him. He later learnt that actually, if he takes a glass of cold water he would be able breastfeed still. Well, he had become smarter.

Aloe Vera was the next move, this one it never worked he just had his milk as usual.

Elastoplast, followed and it was ” mummy, ameumia nyonyo”. The gospel was spread to everyone who cared to listen.”

But still, it didn’t work.

One month later, no success with my quest.

So finally, sellotape came to my mind. Guess what it worked!

In my next post , I will narrate to you how my two weeks of swollen-breasts were.

Hot……..water……

 

We turned two years last month! Thanks for the birthday wishes they were awe-inspiring! Well, we are in terrible two, and those who have a clue, they appreciate the chaos allied. Am not here to whine Terrence did this and that. Am actually quite used to it. Right from birth, my son tends to do things earlier than the expected time. So he essentially started undertaking the “terrible” things quite early.

It was on a Sunday, 7th of August. I was really filled with joy and much enthusiasm. It was our chama day and it was my turn! I had planned to arrive much earlier so that I can get all those dawdlers to pay the fines. By 12 pm I was already dressed. Our venue is serene and has bouncing castles so I decided to tag along Terrence so that he could enjoy face painting and all that jumping. I warmed his bathing water and poured it on a trough. Now that he loves taking his bath, getting him to take away his clothes find the slippers is a one-minute issue.

a woman  who can cope the terrible twos can cope with anything

Our bedroom and the bathroom are opposite each other he was on his birthday suit, I told him to wait as I get cold water from outside city council had decided to dry our taps that day. The drama that ensued onwards is still traumatic to me. I really struggle to recollect those painful moments when as a mother you watch your little one cry helplessly and find yourself joining him too.

“Maaaaaaaaaaaaaimg_20160818_202606.jpgaaaaaamiiiiii!!!!!!!”…….the yelping sound loud enough for the deaf came from the bathroom. That was Terrence calling for help. He had stepped on his bathing water that was super-hot! I hastily gripped a towel and wrap him took him to the bedroom. He really cried and the whole shebang had to stand still for a jiffy.

“Mami guu chungu” he cried saying that for an hour. I administered first aid, applied hand-break on his leg, asked out for assistance from my friends via WattsApp and we applied aloe vera. For two hours the pain never waned. My sister decided to take ice cubes to cool his leg that gave the impression to be burning hot. It worked and he somehow slept.

If you are a mother or even babysitting, here are some DO’S and DON’T’S in case of burns

  • Identify if the burn is first degree, second or third.
  • Clean the burn with a mild soap
  • Do not use any antiseptic more so those with hydrogen peroxide because, the slow healing.
  • Cool the burn with pure water.Do not use ice cubes or running water because it can make the wound worse causing further damage.
  • After immersing the affected area in cold water for 15-20 minutes, wet a cloth by dampening it I tap water or refrigerating it and wrap it around the leg or hand.
  • Do not use butter, it will not cool the burn and will cause infection.
  • Apply ointments such as aloe Vera, cocoa butter or mineral oil.
  • Do not pop the blisters that may form
  • Seek medical attention.

 

From then, mummy is extra careful bathing time, and Terrence tells the painful story like…naungua n maji moto, alafu napiga nduru,uwiii!i ,uwiii!

The Nyakemincha Affair Part 2 – The Power of the tongue

My friend recently sent me a joke. Well, at first it doesn’t sound funny; but as it progresses, you just have to laugh. Examining a female patient brutally beaten by her husband, Doctor tells her: ‘Your heart, lungs, pulse and BP are fine. Now let me see that cute little thing which gets you ladies into all kinds of trouble.” The woman immediately started taking off her jeans and underwear. Doctor, shocked, says: “No! No! Please put on your clothes. Just show me your tongue…”
See, gentlemen, I say this with all the love in the world and not to sound like I am belittling the ladies: They (Ladies) have the heart and courage like that of a little child. The kind that makes a child play around with a snake innocently unaware of the danger? Yeah! They have the courage like that of a child who is not afraid to point out at the dinner table that Uncle Nyabirundi Onchomba just farted and it smells. The kind of courage to ask why the gardener was sleeping on the house manager/cateress and she was crying… AT THE DINNER TABLE! As grown men, we know how to hold our tongues to avoid fights, or so we think! Sometimes we slip and say something so stupid, it sparks a fight (then we end up blaming our beautiful ladies for what ensues afterwards). Men, we have to be sensitive always.
On this beautiful day, Nyaks and I were supposed to attend a wedding. We all know what it takes to get your man to accompany you to a wedding of a girl who was from a neighboring high-school when you were in form 3 and she once waved from across the road (So, it’s not as though you were friends). Those people who, in all honesty, matter least in your lives. However, because your wedding is around the corner, (and by around I mean 3 years – big corner!) you decide to be an invigilator, giving marks to weddings that you do not even have a personal invitation… Shake my Head. The most intriguing thing about this is, as your man, I have to sit and help you adjudicate? Or agree with everything you say like… “How the hell did she settle on such a crazy combination of colors?” or another classic; “Is that bochaberi in a skirt suit with sport shoes?” Well, bochaberi has never seen a town bigger than kisii town and the furthest she has ever reached is Daraja Mbili from Suneka..! (Diaspora friends, Daraja Mbili is a place named after a second bridge that cuts across the main kisii road in town and Suneka is also another small town) How do you expect her to dress? She probably was handed down that suit from her aunt who came visiting from the city. Anyway, back to our episode. Nyaks was dressing and I was seated on bed face-booking and looking all gloomy and bored. She asked me a question; “Beib” (it is a funny way we call each other after some random guy in-boxed her once calling her ‘aye nyaks Beib, wazzup!’) So it has been our inside joke. “Beib, do you want to go to this wedding?” And she had this smile on her face that made the question look genuine. WARNING! If your lady ever asks you such a question, please never affirm the negative. Believe it or not my answer, one word, was the most stupid thing I ever said since the introduction of books like ‘How to understand Your Woman’. I answered ‘NO’. This was where my trouble that day started. The fight that ensued, I think was a build up since about 2 weeks after I met her because all the times I have refused to take her to places and events were brought to light. I did not even remember some of those instances and the more I tried to argue, the worse my case turned out to be! I finally decided to agree with all she said and voila! The fight reduced (of course I faced silent treatment for the rest of the day but, the fight cooled off). All the while, I really felt like slapping her. Why was it important for me to ‘want’ to attend the wedding? I really had to practice lots of patience and I realized that, sometimes, we may not want to go to these places or even do things with her because we feel like it is not manly. We however, have to be sensitive and realize that she just wants to be next to you. She wants you to know some of the things she likes and she cannot communicate this by ‘just saying’. I am sure men, to avoid such fights; (Those who have been lucky and have not faced this before) we can always find a way to say ‘Yes honey, anything that will make you happy’. Trust me, your day will end up peaceful and you might just… (I will hold my mouth; juniors around too!)
Proverbs 21:23 ‘Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from trouble’. Well, I hope you have learnt from my tiny mistake. Have a wonderful day y’all. Love y’all.

Only the ESSENTIALS…..

While checking in for work the other day, (it’s a routine that we get inspected by the security guard who is a lady) religiously, I opened my handbag for her to do her job. I was not in a hurry and since we have been smiling at each other and pass greetings, today we decided to do out of the normal thing. We got talking and she told me,”Rumona, you always give me an easy job.’ I asked,’ why Celine?’ Your bag has only the essentials. I mean you only carry little nitty-gritty which in my opinion are the most necessary.’  She replied .With that, I smiled and left for the changing room to put on my work regalia.

you make my work easier by carrying the essentials only….

Her words kept on ringing in my head. I decided to examine what was inside my bag. I had a new novel just got last month, three notebooks one for interviews, diary, and my reflection book. I also had pocket tissue and wet wipes, Dettol sanitizer and Vaseline. There was also a wallet and three pens. In the real sense, that’s all I needed in my handbag. Celine was right. These are what I use as a writer no more no less.

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my essentials…

 

 

As we were talking with one of my friends the other day I started complaining to her about one of our friends who had just gone silent on me and she was angry at me. Reading from her reactions towards some things recently I knew she was mad at me. I expected her to tell me what wrong I did and I apologize. I have been waiting and it’s been a month. Then I realized that at times we only need to carry what we must in our lives. The essentials, and forget about the rest. They tend to make the handbag too heavy for no apparent reason.

The reason why I carry three pens is because if one is not working, I have two more to use or even share with one that does not have one. Relates the same in life, if one friend or acquaintances decide to have their time, have the next and next to talk to. No man is an island remember.

I insist that you re-check your handbag and remove the unnecessary baggage because trust me, your shoulder is going to hurt and they won’t take you to the hospital.

BONNE FÊTE DES PÈRES

While peeping on facebook on Wednesday one of my queer friends got me thinking a lot. He rarely updates status or uploads photos. However, this particular day he surprised me. his status was brief and precise. ” I dread fathers day, it has chilling memories”. I did not ask questions but did a lot of assumptions about the status. well, am so curious about the statement I won’t lie. I hope one of these fine days I manage to coerce him to tell me the story , honestly my ears are itching.

 

“I dread fathers day…”

All of us have memories of our fathers. me too I have so many. He bought me pizza and chicken.I know what that will cause to people like Phency, ” Rumona na chakula aki” ( Rumona loves food) . I won’t say much.

There is this song I love so much, it says..always remember the good times. There are so many good times spent with our fathers even if they are seconds they count so much.Well, Terrence does not get the chance to see his own father quite often but there are so many good times the two have ( daddy is working hard for a better future). I will list a few  so that when he forgets them I direct him here…

  • Daddy named him Terrence.
  • The day he was born, daddy was the first one to see him.
  • The first word he uttered was..”baaba..”
  • Whenever daddy holds him, he sleeps peacefully ( we fight before I can make him sleep) .
  • Daddy got him his first shoe.
  • The first person they had a phone conversation with is daddy “..daddie sasa….”
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Terrence having a good time with daddies shoes….

 

ALWAYS REMEMBER ABOUT THE GOOD TIMES

For that reason, I want to celebrate all Fathers in a special way and dedicate to them a poem written by a ‘friend’

Michael Musyimi.

*What Makes a Dad*
God took the strength of a
mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle’s flight,
The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,
Then God combined these
qualities,
When there was nothing more
to add,
He knew His masterpiece was
complete,
And so,
He called it … Dad

*Happy Fathers Day*

The Nyakemincha Affair….Episode 1

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Let me introduce to you my second guest writer,Edwin Mosongo.A charming friend and a hilarious writer. As he takes  us through a love-affair that is brewed in the village I hope you enjoy every bit of it.

Welcome back home Edwin!(officially from Rumona).

Enjoy

Hello, my people! I am sure few blogs (or none at all) start with greetings, but we said mine is different. So, THE NYAKEMINCHA AFFAIR begins…

Getting the perfect name for my lady seems quite an exciting task/challenge. Considering the many suggestions that came in, ‘nya’something carries the day and since it’s a Nyakemincha affair, I have settled for ‘nyaks’ as a short form for all the ‘Nya’ names. As a people, you will realize we loooooove to KISS (keep it short & simple) even our name as a tribe, tells it all. The first time I encountered short forms of names was back in high school. I will keep the year a secret so not to offend those older than me or chase those younger than me. It was lunchtime and I had asked Nyambane what we were having for lunch and he retorted with a big smile ‘maro!’ His excitement was infectious and I smiled all the way to the dining hall only to be served a plate of Githeri. Now those who have been through boarding schools at some point know what Githeri means. For my Diaspora friends, it is a mixture of boiled beans and maize, teased with half an onion per 40-litre pot so you can smell it but can NEVER see it. Apparently, the much hyped ‘maro’ is a short form for murram (slang name for the Githeri). As a people, we actually have short forms even where we honestly do not need. For instance, which another tribe would say ‘let D’ to mean ‘let down’? Huh?

Back to our first episode; so, ‘nyaks’ is her name. Rhymes with Nyakemincha and also sounds like fb_img_1465744480462.jpgour lakeside people trying to say ‘Nyakisii’. Now, there is nothing as difficult as describing the woman you love. Men, this is our first lesson. BE KEEN! I know sometimes you don’t have the very best words to describe her but; try and do it in the most positive way. Someone once said, “Tell someone GO TO HELL in such a way they look forward to the trip”. See, for me this never works! How do you tell someone to go to hell in a sweet way that they look forward to the trip? Like ‘aaaaaw, go to hell’? Go to hell can never be said in pleasant circumstances. It’s not a classic response to ‘Honey, I love you’! Beat that as it may, I will try for men’s sake to compliment her flaws so we can learn.

The first time I met nyaks, she was just from high school. Those schools where everyone is Lupita’s (verb for shaving hair) and not with a machine but with scissors! When a barber has to come in one Sunday in a month to deal with over 600 heads, we know how classy it looks, right? Something close to a Chinese super-highway with more than 5 roads crossing each other. Some spots left with little hair. It was like a view of the ‘Magena’ hills as you pass the Kisii – Kilgoris route; such a beautiful view! She was standing at the bus stop holding her ‘Adibas’ bag (A really classy bag for those who can NEVER pay 5 times more just to have it read ‘Adidas’) I knew we could click because I had the same bag too! How cool is that? She had this pullover that showed straight away she was in her final year. Who ever knew that when gray fades, it turns white? The pullover was turning white and if she was not in form four, I was going to ask her to stop using jik ( the equivalent of Clorox bleach to my Diaspora friends) as soap. Believe it or not (mostly ‘or not’), she was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. There was something about her smile that said ‘If I get to the city I will look gorgeous!’ She had a badge on. From a distance, you could not read the title on it. It looked like the branded sweaters that children wear nowadays. Whoever came up with that idea was not in a boring school with a boring motto. It must be someone from Lenana or Alliance or Starehe. Sincerely, if you went to ‘Mutituini PAG boy’s boarding school’ you would not want to torture those who came after you to wear such a badge. Especially if the motto of the school is ‘Everyone was once stupid’. Moving closer to her, the badge read ‘Best in CRE’ (Please do NOT laugh). It was going to be the hardest task convincing her to even hug me (in future). I said hi and the rest of what transpired that morning is to be marked ‘memories’. Why do you ask? She is now my love; means I did pretty well!

The lesson today is when looking for compliments for your woman, even the worst in her can be viewed as the best in her. If I saw the beauty in her Lupita’s hair and smartness in her faded gray pullover, you can surely see beyond her salty food (just an example) or even beyond her untidy living room because she’d rather take care of your little child than take care of the seats. Bottom line; ALWAYS SEE THE GOOD IN YOUR WOMAN!

Brilliance…..Let your voice be LOUDER!!!!!…..

It is shocking how people claim to know you most especially based on the interactions and experiences they have had with you in the past. Well, as if that not enough, they tend to use the same “past” to relay information about you. Am not sure what fruits they hope to harvest by their actions, though I tend to believe it’s for the purpose of branding you a failure.

On the occurrence of such jumbled events; I have learnt to be quite smart by keeping my anger to myself. I won’t deny the fact that at times the urge to really do something is much stronger than the appetite of a Luhya man; however, silence is a deadlier weapon in such instances. It triggers lots of thoughts especially to the desperadoes and leaves them confused. “Why is he or she reacting? Did I do my job well?” are some of the rhetoric questions you leave in their medullas. A wise man has taught me one important lesson that I always carry in my side pocket, and has always been of great help when dealing with drama. “Not my monkey, CERTAINLY NOT  my circus”. Am not trying to be the Miss Righteous here or even being rude but let’s draw the border lines of brutality while applying the concept of honesty here. The only place that is legally expected to have drama is at the school music festivals or in the circus and should be by monkeys. Up to date I have never come into terms with the reasons why a grown up, would find pleasure in branding you as a failure in life; not unless they think they are perfect enough and thus want to replace you.

So recently at work, drama ensued and one of my most respected colleagues came up with a mischievous rumor. To add salt on the injury, it touched on the boss. I mean am talking about the BOSS. Well, one thing about dramatic people is that they are impatient. The rumor monger went ahead and snitched the chitchat to the boss and implicated it on me. Well, most of you know that I always have information, I mean the hottest gossips.  Blame the nature of my work; it was so easy for my boss to believe her. Thank God my boss knows the extremes of my gossips and does not take mere words for face value. He went ahead did a thorough investigations, and all fingers were pointing at her.  That moment you play a game you know nothing about the rules. It happens trust me!

The HR simply told her something that was really deep “do not strive to get your colleague fired .Even if she is fired, it’s not like you are going to replace her and take up her position. The truth always finds its way, no matter how long it takes. The damages you intend to cause on her will someday turn the legs and walk right back home. Do not let the boss know you through many interactions rather let him feel the brilliance that you bring to the table”.

In the same manner, it’s not wise to fight  those people who are in the idlers galore trying to slothful with you by pulling you down by using your past. Instead, walk past, you’re past. One thing about God, He forgives you the past and puts a right spirit in you to enable you face the future in the right way. If people are still going to tag you to your ugly past, do not react. One clear thing they have shown you is that they belong to your past. They do not have a reserved seat into your present, neither do they deserve one in the future.

Blossom and let them watch you as you grow into maturity. Increase in abundance, as they decrease in knowledge. Fly high like an eagle and not live within your confines, rather soar higher! They too are Gods beautiful creations who have decided to peck like hens. That’s their decision and there is nothing you can do about it.

Like the HR said, as they struggle to soil your personality, let brilliance vindicate you.

 

Have a wonderful weekend.

 

Special Someone……..

 

Recently, I heard someone saying, “Strangers help you out more than your friends”, well, this week and for the following weeks, our journey will take a diversion.

I have a number of guest bloggers in my Que and starting us off is

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Brian Thuranira, a third-year student at Kenyatta University. Brian tells me he finds comfort and solace in writing. He is quite humble, am yet to meet him and ascertain that however, I love his works. I wish you a nice reading. Continue reading

Keitaro…..

 

 

So this day I was by myself, as always. Then I thought, what will I name my son? I did not do a scan to show the sex. I had a strong belief it’s gonna be a boy and period! I did not want names that are familiar yet with no meaning. you all remember Artur Margaryan and his Saggarsyan -I hope I got  the spelling right- after their departure, my great grandpa, Nelson Kongo (RIP) favourite cow gave birth to a bull. from birth, the calf was so rough. Then one of my cousins who was at least updated;decided to name the cow ATUR.

hehe hehe!!!

 The cow was so violent just like the named brothers. It went causing trouble everywhere in the village. Grandpa had to pay for damages caused!

So I googled names of baby boys. I wanted one that would mean blessed and handsome. Keitaro came! I was so happy.  I knew my son would be named Keitaro but we still needed other names. Just then his father said…”he will be named Terrence!”. Apparently not Terrence Howard, but he was reading a book and Terrence was the main character with mesmerizing traits! up to date, he cants remember the title, though.

Then we called him Keitaro Terrence Peters Otieno. all was well until 21st August 2014. After a four-hour labor of cursing and screaming!!!!!!

It’s a baby boy!                

Just what I anticipated for!

Keitaro was here. I posted the message on Fb…I received all the congratulatory messages and………….change of names!

peters!….his dad is called Peter too so his aunt, Sharon, told me nooo….that name is for old people…that was funny!!!!

At the clinic I was told to add Raila; I mean tribal affiliations.

So with time Peters was dropped so is Otieno.

Finally, he became Keitaro Terrence Mwangaza .Am not bragging but my son is just way too handsome and a blessed munchkin. he attracts so many strangers and they find him loving. December 2015, while at the Royal City Hotel in Kisumu, Terrence had made friends with practically everyone in the hotel. he was always greeting them…sasa! even in the estate they all know him thanks to the “sasa!”……

img_20160326_111404.jpgNames go hand in hand with personality and character watch out what you name the situation you are in. If you want to name it a failure so be it! if you want to name it victory its okay.  

You can always change names by the way!

Are you charming………..

 

On 12th April 2016, Terence was so sick; his temperatures were extremely high, and I had to rush him to Mbagathi Hospital. That’s after taking him to Nairobi West Hospital, and there was no improvement. Mummy was all scared and had to text Daddy to alert him that Terrie is so sick. Let me just admit I thought he was going to leave us soon. Now I was so scared. My wildest imaginations started overshadowing my mind. The death scenario was entertained in my mind, a picture of how the nurses announced his death, how I cried, I could see my friends Imelda, Faith Toto, Sheila Nyaboke all gathered around me. I could see my mum holding me tight. I could see even his dad crying painfully. Then we get to the sendoff day; I eulogize my son in the state of delirium, and we bid him farewell………. “Mum, pole”… it was so real that tears streamed down my cheeks, and I never noticed. That was Terrie, telling me sorry.  I was shocked! So I had been day dreaming about my son’s death!

 

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Terrie lying on the couch helplessly…..

 
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