So, I’m Standing Here…

 Kevin Mwachiro  was preparing for a marathon, in the best of shape for a man in his forties when his lower back started acting up. It would be the beginning of an agonising and life awakening journey of survival against multiple myeloma;  a blood cancer that occurs in the plasma cells of the bone marrow. He found himself in a fight for life that he did not even know he had been training for.

 

Words: Kevin Mwachiro

When I got diagnosed with cancer, many people told me once I got through with this journey I would be different. Back in November last year(2015), I didn’t know what to expect and was dismissive of such statements. I just wanted to get on with it. My biggest fear then was chemotherapy and how I was going to pay for my treatment.

Ati, different?? There was no time to think of different.

However, this journey does leave you different, and when you do come through, you look at life with a new perspective. Don’t be rushing to me to ask what the meaning of life is, nor will I be heading to the hills to set up a commune. But, there is something profound in this journey.

However, I’m here. Like I said once before, hugging life, and I’ve been reflecting, and I will admit in the privacy of my home dancing by myself a lot more. Well, because I can, and I miss being on the dance floor. I’ve also been thinking about this blog and wondering what direction it should take. Is this now my only story? I’m pondering too about my dreams and passions and wanting to make my heart happier. I want it to dance too.

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Young, Horny And Restless

I was invited to a school to deliver a motivational talk to a group of preadolescent and adolescent youngsters.  I regretted the invitation as soon I accepted it because school kids are a difficult proposition. Adults can be forgiving when you are boring, however a young school audience work with the assumption that you will be stale unless you produce hits like Sauti Sol or have a TV show like Jeff Koinange. I did not want to be preachy, with the usual work hard spiel, go to Harvard, be all you want to be.

Standing in front of the young audience, I started by announcing what I thought were ‘my cool’ credentials, ending up quoting the Fresh Prince, Will Smith from a song out of the 80s, “Parents just do not understand” a reference that only their parents would understand. Half the gathering was lost in thought, the other half, looking everywhere but at me and the few who were paying attention refused to laugh at my lame jokes. I kept it short and concluded by pleading with my young audience to share what was truly on their minds and not just want they thought their teachers wanted to hear.

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10 things I would tell my 20-year old self

By James Wariero

The 20’s is the decade of life most adults remember fondly. It is a heady time of multiple transitions, new opportunities and expanding freedom- from parental control, lack of disposable cash and school restrictions. After completing school; you form important friendships that will last you a lifetime; you are likely meet the person you are going to marry, maybe even get married.

I started my twenties as a second year in university wearing loud T-shirts with equally loud messages and ended it as a new parent wide-eyed and humbled cradling a small human being. The 20s is a decade of exciting transitions. There are a number of things someone getting into their twenties, or there already, needs to keep in mind in order not to waste this pivotal decade of their life.

Many folks think that their twenties is the time for a happy-go-lucky lifestyle, where opportunities can be met without responsibility. It is bad enough that this may end with a wasted decade of ‘delayed milestones’ and missed opportunities.

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The Awakened Man. 10 Lessons From Old Marcus Garvey

The first time I heard the name Marcus, was in the lyrics of a Burning Spear song in high school from my two natty dread friends. They hailed Peter Tosh, Bob Marley and Burning Spear as demigods, gifts to mankind and invariably we all became converts of roots and conscious reggae music.  They had one mixed tape, that they played over again and it served as my introduction to the reggae elders.

On slow Saturday nights, usually past 11, when everyone was broke and bored out of their minds, they sneaked in a battery power cassette player and entertained the massive. The musical offering was lean and as sure as the sun would set, they would play two iconic songs from Burning Spear and Bob Marley on repeat. The volume was never loud, so as not to attract the attention of nosy teachers and envious prefects but on those silent nights, when half the dorm was asleep, it was seductive.

As soon as the trumpets sounded at the start of the song, Old Marcus Garvey, we would anticipate the gruff voice of Burning Spear, ready to join in chorus…

No one remember, old Marcus Garvey
No one remember, old Marcus Garveeey

 

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Please Gamble Responsibly

The worst thing that can happen to you when you gamble, is winning. It is the best free advice you will never get. What you hear instead is “Bet what you can afford to lose”. You could be the next lucky winner, like the token role model who shot from destitution to prosperity, all over your TV screen, assured of happiness ever after.

He used to be a broke farmer. Now he is rich and he invested so wisely, all his ex-wives who dismissed him as a deadbeat dad, are pleading pardon at the door of his new mansion. That story is relatable. It could be any of us desperate to escape from poverty.

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