I stumbled upon an idea. It jolted me out of bed at three in the morning, onto the tiled floor and back into bed safe under the warm duvet. Then I remember my hand gliding across the notepad, scribbles here and there, a rush towards the feeling that denied me sleep.

Once my heart found its pace, I sat back in bed and pulled the curtains to see what nature had in store for me at four in the morning.

I heard cats meowing.

I reached for the power button on the wall and switched off the lights and lay there staring at the net right above me. I wonder, am I the only one who hears mosquitoes even where they are not present? It is too cold for those creatures to disturb my sleep here and suddenly I miss Kisumu.

I miss hearing the quarrels and chants of drunkards from Obunga. I miss hearing the sound of loud unwanted music from every corner of estate pubs- and motorcycles as they cruise through.

I wrote a story about four women each at a turning point in their life. It felt like my awakening, something that reminded me about the power of sisterhood, and what it means to confide in a fellow woman and have them help you pull through tough situations.

When I stepped out of bed at seven in the morning, I reached out for that notepad and all that was there was a line, a phrase that could not even build the sensation that I felt in those few hours…and that’s what writing is, sometimes all it takes is that one sensation, the feeling that this could lead somewhere.

As light as…

I found myself at a crossroads.

It was some time between 7:20pm and 10:22pm yesternight when I asked myself what would I rather be…as light as a feather, or as free as a bird.

I know nothing about similes, it’s just that when you have the phrase “as…as…” you simply want to compare two different things.

So, give me a second or better yet give me a minute,

So I could tell you about what I’m feeling, in this very minute.

chicken bird animal feather black and white blur

Let’s go for seconds and soak up all there is to this life,

Late nights thinking of where to go with a story,

Early mornings dreading what the day would bring.

Let’s go for seconds and soak up all there is to this life; the pain, anger, lust, fear, hope and resilience…give me something as long as it’s a serving filled with hope and resilience, and who knows maybe you could whip up some anger for dessert- because there is a certain kind of power that comes with rage, and I need that…something that would consume me enough to destroy me, just to remind me that I am human.

Give me a strand of compassion, one that I can weave as I please for in this world, we need love and there is plenty of it, but nothing melts the heart as compassion…so save me a strand, just a strand is enough to keep me awake at night and to get me to stop watching the news and losing sleep over how much the ammunition and pharmaceutical industry rakes in every second.

As light as…if only I had the comparison for this, something that would give my wandering mind some peace, then I’d grab a litre of blueberry ice-cream and watch Beauty and the Beast!

My version of events

And…you say that my love is like a raging fire, flashes of yellow, red, orange and a twinge of blue, flames that light up your world and burn it down to grey ashes…

You say…it’s hard to tame me.

A lion cannot tame the one who hunts and brings home the prey…a lioness

You say my heart is as cold as June in Nairobi, but hey, Nyeri’s always been cold, but even Nyaru’s never gone beyond 17 degrees Celcius, do the flowers die?

You say I am not like the other chics…now, I know nothing of the other chics, for what I carry around are my dreams, emotions, and this body that goes on the two legs that seem to get me miles away from what you say…

woman girl lady black and white bokeh eyelashes model fashion black african american face

I say my version of events do not thrive on your validation neither do they cease to enlighten me when you choose to shun me away.

Oh, but what do I know because though I stand my ground, I still come back to you, begging and pleading and staying up late waiting…for you, my dearest blank page, are the one who consumes my thoughts, my feelings and desires, now with this heartfelt plea, would you let me be and let these words flow?



We smile

We laugh

We stare at each other across the room

You stick out your tongue

I widen my eyes…still,

This is how we talk.

guy man fashion clothing backpack african american bokeh building plants trees street male sunlight clouds

There’s that dress you want me to wear,

The red smoking hot one…the guys have got to see that I’ve got the best,

Are you coming over? I’m in the mood for some beef stew,

You can make me some epic beef stew right?

I reply “No, no and no, thank you,”

You call, you text, you send a friend to check up on me.

He tells you I am alright.

You call…ask, “what’s wrong babe?”

This is how we talk.

Snippets mess us up. Snippets reveal our expectations.

Snippets, snippets, snippets.

This is how we talk.


They know not.

I hear the whispers, see the questions in their eyes, meet their concern in their lips, feel their pity in their footsteps. Have you ever been at something for an eternity with people constantly wondering when it’ll come to be?

Like that business you always talked about starting.

Or the trip to Mombasa that was meant to happen, then you got fired, lost someone, had to move to another apartment, got another job miles away from where you stay, started sending money home…the baby started walking…daycare lessons…

Let’s talk about every time you see her talking about the release of a new book and you go, “You know I have always wanted to write a book?”

Let’s talk about running into the noisemaker of your high school days, driving that Toyota Harrier, talking to you while twirling car keys as though you are blind to the fact that he drives and you still have to sit on a sambaza and negotiate with the tout on fare before boarding a matatu.

Better yet, that girl you always thought would be a Professor, and now she’s selling Insurance- constantly posting about Insurance plans and you just want to shake her and ask, “what happened to your dreams?”

Then it hits you that Potential is unreliable. If you bank on he’s got potential to be or she’s got the potential to be…you are no different than the one who is playing lotto, putting in some money and praying every day that they get a million, it could go great or extremely worse…that’s potential!

Press on…for it is easy to dismiss a blank page, but even Writers know that the greatest asset is a blank page, because it is screaming “fill me up, bring me to life, bleed on me!”

book notebook diary table work office bookmark pages sheet cover white
Thank you

When you see people who are living the life you wish you could trade with your current situation, you see pages that have been written on. You see the paragraphs and chapters they choose to flaunt. You see their version of events, but even you should know something incredible…you see your work as unfinished, so go ahead and finish it. Carve your own path. Carving involves work and sweat and determination…carve away until you have a product that you’ll be proud of.

And one more thing…saying it is not all there is, saying and working towards it is a start. This is for when it seems as though you are working hard but not seeing the results, this is just to remind you that somewhere, at some time, there’s a girl with chubby cheeks who has been staring at blank pages since she was 12, and she knows that it can be done.

PS: Hawajui is a Kiswahili phrase which translated into English becomes “They know not.”