Lunch for Grandma

Walking into the Mall, our eyes met. Albeit for just a brief moment, I felt like shit. I felt like I was a high-minded, pompous, scum-of-the-earth bag of shit.

She must have been at least 80 years. Old, wrinkled, homeless and begging. Seated right outside the Lavington Mall. She knew her place was outside, far from the opulence, faux pas and loftiness inside. But her presence was not something anyone there could ignore, whether inside or outside. Except the guards at the gate, hard at work guarding the entrance from people like her so that people like me don’t feel like scum-of-the-earth bags of shit when our eyes inevitably meet.

I went into the Mall and did my business. Walking down the stairs to the landing, I recalled that I’d asked the guys at the office to tell the lunchlady Jacinta not to leave food for me today since I was not sure how long I’d be out for. So I walked into this cute little sandwich bar (that has a name eerily similar to Subway, kind of in the way “Nokla” and “Samsing” are supposed to sound like Nokia and Samsung) and surfing through the menu, her image pops again into my head. Here I am doing inky-pinky-ponky for my pick of what $5 dollar lunch I want to have while she is probably sitting on her house, that tiny piece of cardboard that multitasks as sofa and bed. Anyway, like my scum-of-the-earth self, I swat that pesky thought away and order a meaty pizza and a smoothie, you know, gara stay healthy. But again she pops into my head. Relentless.

Half-way through my lunch I figure that the meal was way too much for one man and I should have it put into a doggy bag. Yes, I could move around with my smoothie but what about the pizza? And shouldn’t I buy her something to eat, I mean…?

Now, I like to consider myself nice. Yes, in past lifes I have been a high-minded, pompous, scum-of-the-earth bag of shit, but I like to think of myself as less shitty now. Like those little baby poops. That’s me now. I buy the guards at my office building coffees on occasion, my workmates books and sugary snacks and generally try to be a nice person, like we all do, more or less.

Buying someone – who really needs it – lunch should be no big deal. To anyone. I walked out of that sandwich bar with a warm box of pizza in one hand and the weird feeling I was now getting because of my privileged upbringing, in the form of my brown leather Subi Homme bag and car keys, in the other. I handed her the box and asked her to enjoy her lunch. She looked up at me as if she was drunk. Almost like she could not believe it. I handed my leftovers to her with one hand. She received a meal, better than anything she had been praying for or could ever imagine, with both. Our eyes met, again, but this time I held her glare. She said “Asante,” then motioned as if to summon something from above downwards and said “na ubarikiwe sana.” I felt like crying. I felt like I could have given her a hug and apologised for having never helped her before.

Why does it feel weird or uncomfortable to help others? Not your friends or folks in your social and economic class, but those who really need it. The guy with jigger infested feet asking for 10 bob outside your estate. The physically handicapped man by the corner near the Vida e Caffé in Lavington that I drive by early in the morning with the coffees for the guards at my office building. Is it because it shows that you care? It reveals your weak and vulnerable heart? Is caring that bad?

I don’t know. All I know is that I walked away feeling a little less shitty and a lot more like a human being. I felt like my two dead grandma’s would have looked down at that from heaven and smiled. Just like she did.

PS: Thank you Mbete

What is Love?

What the hell is this thing?

Love is patient,

Love is kind.
Love is
A major pain in the behind.
It does not envy,
It does not boast,
It is the ever-present presence
And the unseen ghost.
It keeps no record of wrongs,
Stupid, is what it really is.
It is a bouquet of red roses,
A flight of birds and a swarm of bees.
A can of worms,
It means no harm,
Beauty it always sees,
Love is, the birds and the bees.
It always protects,
Always trusts,
Always hopes,
But is never in luck.
Love never fails,
Does it ever win?
See, love is the most pure.
Yet because of it we sin.
Love is the teasing trim of her skirt,
The overwhelming whiff of his scent.
The glance at her woman-ness,
When she is over bent.
Love is a kiss on the forehead.
Love is a kiss on the cheek.
Love is a kiss on the neck.
Love is a kiss on the lips.
Love is a hug.
Love is a firm handshake.
Love is what calms an angry man,
Love turns a calm man irate.
Love is forgiveness.
How? When, because of love, no wrong was initially done.
Love makes everything so logical.
Love is just plain dum.
Love corrupts,
Love is pure.
Love is certain,
Love is unsure.
Love died on the cross for my sins,
Love is the beginning.
Love is the ultimate end.
Love is my in between.
It makes me want to rush to sleep at night, to forget.
It keeps me awake at night.
When it is crystal clear it will never happen,
It keeps me praying that it just might.
Love is peace,
Love is war.
Love is many things,
That is for sure.
I see it everywhere, I feel it everyday
Yet I still wonder.
What is love?
Love is…
It just is.

A Code on Purpose

#include “stdafx.h”
using namespace std;
int _tmain(int argc, _TCHAR* argv[])
cout <<
Ten thousand lines of code
You think it a wonderful application.
If it will not ease one’s daily load
Then what is its application?
Isn’t an algorithm supposed to be a problem’s solution?
Your contribution to mankind’s development
Helping maximize the utility of hardware we have
In that way software should serve.
What power you have to create software!
The power to divide and unite, build up, develop and tear
But what do you care?
What is your concern if your creation doesn’t pay?
Why should you slave for hours when your pockets are empty?
Why should you build applications to help humanity
When there are already plenty?
Because you can.
Because you can change the course of humanity with a line of code…
Because your source code can help homes
Your classes and objects can rescue the masses
Your encapsulation and abstraction can set the trend and become the fashion
Because of passion.
What’s your inspiration? \n”;
system (“pause”);
return 0;
Purpose to pursue YOUR Purpose

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I apologize to any techies out there in the (very) likely event that my code using C++ was (as I suspect) nonsensical.

You Said What To My Sister?

This is part two of the “Be a Man” series.


Reddened face, flaring nostrils, heavy breathing, clenched fists…
Son, experience teacheth fools, and you really can be an idiot sometimes but it is part of life and it makes for good stories at the bar with kina Baba Ciru and Kagwe but there is this one experience I would not wish upon my mortal enemy.
I know you like girls, heck most guys do. In fact, all guys should. Which reminds me, that friend of yours Bobby, the one who wears lip gloss and has acrylic nails and Sandak shoes, I don’t trust him. He looks at you funny. And that shrill voice he has…
I just don’t trust him.
Anyway, as you grow older, you will continue to like girls. You may not remember this, but you once hated them. In your early primary school years I could not even get you to tell me the name of the girl who sat next to you in class (it was Purity by the way). But as you grew older, things changed. From Standard six I noted (with pride and joy) that you were more comfortable around girls. I remember being called to your school with your mother for a “case” that you apparently had a girlfriend (insert fist-bump). And now that you’re in your twenties, and really getting to experience life on your own, this is one of the last few things I am going to teach you.
Your sister, I know you love her. But we’re men so we don’t share our feelings and get all warm and fuzzy. I suspect Bobby does but like I said, I don’t trust him. I know you’re a man, and son, as a man, you need to fight for what you believe in and for what you love. God will bless you with a woman one day, and Son, I expect you to always defend her from trouble, especially a physical confrontation from another man. If it’s from a lady, I have no idea what to do. My dad left that part out when he taught me. But Son, if a man, any man, even so much as looks at her in a disrespectful manner, I expect you to man-up. No matter who it is. She is YOUR woman. God have HER to YOU. Son, I will tell you this. If I am dead and something happens to her and you let it go, I will rise from my grave, beat the man then slap you silly! I mean it, be a man.

Now, that woman. Never disrespect her. Just do not. If you must, do not. If you do, do not. I can say that I will wake from my grave and beat you if I am dead but it will be pointless. Why? If that woman has a brother…yes she obviously has a father but forget the old geezer. A brother, no matter the age, will protect his sister. With his life!
So Son, out of love, and I know you know I’d ordinarily never tell you such things but never ever mess it up with a lady to the extent that she calls on her brother. I have seen some scary things in my life.
And when you see that reddened face, the flaring nostrils, the heavy breathing and the clenched fists, and it is herbrother remember my words: Run like you’d run if you saw a crazy rabid dog in a dark alley because you’re in trouble.

And this daughter of mine…I know you do not remember this and your mum made me promise never to tell you but we’re men… (fart)…the very first words you spoke were “Touch my sister and you’re dead! Gugu gaga mama…

Ain’t Got Nothin’ But Time

Last Sunday I spent time with some old folks. A lovely couple both in their 80s. The cucu, my cousin’s grandma, actually still cooks for her man. And the guka is still her man: doing manly things that men (are expected to) do.

And more and more the concept of time is impressed upon me. He told us that this was his 30th year in retirement. He had previously worked 33 years in the Public Works Department (PWD, they then called it). Yep, 33 years in the same place. Yo!

Time is Free

What is the rush for then? I can do a Masters Degree and a doctorate, and a ka CFA somewhere in between before I turn 30, given I expect to graduate this year, at 22.
12 months is not a long time. Neither 48 nor 60.

Less counting days, more living.

In “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” Gordon Gecko tells the main character played by Shia LaBouf that “money is not the most important asset; the most important asset is time.”




Hey, how are you? It’s been a while…
You good?
*insert more banter here*

Small talk is difficult eeh. Especially when had with those really bad conversationalists. You know, those ones of “I’m fine…” and leaving out the crucial “yourself?” at the end, making you go like: “Errr, I’m fine too’…” For this reason,  I’ll jump right to it.

Toast. Warm buttery toast. A cup of coffee (cream for sure!) and bacon. Breakfast for kings.
I had nothing in particular to say today. Just hello. Hello.

What’s the Plan?

Ciakorire Wacu mugundaini (excuse my poor grasp of Kikuyu) is a Kikuyu proverb loosely translated: ” ‘It’ found Wacu tilling the farm.”

Basically, favour found Wacu while she worked. Story goes that Wacu was the first wife to a polygamous man and on this particular occasion, he hosted a feast to which Wacu was not invited. You know, being the “boring, ugly, uncool” first wife. She was ordered to keep herself busy in the mugunda.

As he was roasting this especially tender and delicious piece of meat, a hawk swept in and took it off the grill and flew away. Because the meat was extremely hot, the hawk got burnt and dropped the piece of meaty heaven. Right on Wacu’s path. And she had a little party of her own.

Fate favours the diligent

In my own humble opinion, of which I may be mistaken, I think no man or woman desires to be poor. Or unsuccessful. Or unhappy. I doubt any child anywhere dreams: “When I grow up I want too be poor and maybe pursue a career in begging.” We all harbour dreams of grandeur.
How come some fulfil theirs and others -most- don’t? Think about it.

I think (again, my uneducated opinion, open to criticism) most of us dreamers remain just that, dreamers. We never make even the smallest, most minute of moves towards achievement of our dreams.
Do we fear them? Do we know what to do? Are we just chronically lazy? Questions to ponder if you have a dream, and I suspect you do.

Look, if you’re like me and you want to make inroads into that dream of yours i.e. you want to make your dream a goal and that goal a reality, step out of your comfort zone and just do it (sema Nike): make a plan.

Easy to dream a dream but what’s harder than livin?

You want to buy the latest Range Rover in the next 5 years?
How will you save and invest to get the resources to do this?
You want to own a home in the next 10 years?
In what part of the city? What will be the house value in 10 years? How will you save and invest to be able to service your mortgage or buy outright?

You hope to marry in the next 5-7 years (yes you young man). That means she most likely desires a Wedding Showesque exhibition. Ofcourse she must live somewhere after that. Young man, those 2, 3, 5, 30 million shillings will come from where? I’ve heard of weddings that cost that much. And you ask “Ujinga ni?”

In a nut shell, make a plan. And implement it. Iterate and adapt as you go along. Carpe diem baby. And your dream will cease to be a dream but a goal, achievable and achieved.