29 June 2016


 The very thought of marriage used to frighten me. I wasn't sold on the idea of monogamy. I saw so many examples of divorce and unfaithfulness that the beautiful picture of marriage wasn't an aspiration.I wish I could say that I was content on living a single life, but the truth is that I was going to keep "playing the field.”"  Cornelius Lindsey

Well, there is one part of life that we cannot avoid, and this topic has been one that has been part of most of our discussions lately (a group of friends and I). This is because my peers and I are at that point where we are making life long decisions, we are making life long investment decisions, we making our circle of friends finer because we are making lifelong friendships, we are making life long career choices, and most certainly (at some point) we will have to choose that lifelong companion. Now, as much as we are discussing it and praying about it, we are also reading much about the issue, coz let’s face it…the institution of marriage (from a Christian’s point of view) has been under attack. Cornelius Lindsey’s statement up there in one of posts lately (Speaking of which, The Lindsey’s are goals yaani…) sparked up a debate among us. When are we ever ready for marriage? I mean, we see some get married at 20 others at 40, others at 60 and slay this marriage thing. We have also seen others get married at the same ages and live in tears.

So as part of my self-assessment, this was part of my areas of assessment. Now, I have done a lot of reading from various local and international authors, I have consulted my mentor and sat at the feet of the married, divorced and single at advanced ages, and this article by Judy Karanja (She is the Author) written in 2012 was shared with me. This is what She says:



If you’re not ready to delay gratification when your are angry. To hold your tongue, lower your voice and sometimes wait till the appropriate time, day or even month before you can deal with an issue thoroughly…. don’t get married. Immaturity is the inability to delay gratification. Marriage is for the mature.

If you’re not ready to leave center stage and allow someone else to become your focus, your study, your muses… don’t get married. Selfish people make very bad spouses. In marriage you don’t lose yourself but your heart has to be big enough to gain someone else. And soon, with God’s blessing: little, crying, diaper soiling, demanding little ones are coming!

If you are not ready, to stand up and calmly deal with meddling in laws as a united front: The opinionated sister, the insensitive uncle, the domineering father, the manner less brother, the nosy aunt….. don’t get married. Boundaries do not exist automatically, they must be created. A good spouse is committed to respectfully stand up for and protect their marriage from meddling relatives. Don’t abandon your spouse to your relatives. It’s betrayal.

If you are not ready to pay bills…. don’t get married. Love does not pay bills. Kenya power will not give a waiver because your love is O so strong and your gazes at each other, O so romantic.

If you are not ready to let go of your opposite sex “best friends” and invest that into your spouse. To like, to laugh, to play, to be silly and to enjoy life with them, above anyone else… don’t get married. Affairs happen because people did not marry their best friends. Someone else holds their heart. Someone else gets them better. Someone else inspires them more. Marry your best friend and cultivate your friendship so that you remain best friends.

If you are not ready to stop competing with the Joneses…. don’t get married. Let the Joneses buy their yatch when you are still walking, and enjoy the walk. Your journeys are different. They may have to cross the oceans but you may be going through the road route. A boat might not do you any good on your journey. You must be ready to pace yourselves: stop competing, stop spending your future before you get there, stop the debt, stop trying to impress people. You must be able to be content. To enjoy your journey without deciding your happiness simply by measuring your progress against other people.

If you are not ready to be an open book. To tell the whole story of your past, deal with the memories, expose the failures and risk rejection…. don’t get married. It is fraud to have someone sign off their life to you without the full details. The past is a touchy and demanding friend. It always shows up in the marriage. It doesn’t enjoy being ignored and the more you snob, the bolder it becomes and the more tantrums it throws. It will mess up the “neat” and “all together lovely” image that you are struggling to maintain.

If you are not ready to let go of your philandering and wild oats farming…. don’t get married. Don’t take somebody’s son or daughter and subject them to your germs, your indiscretions and your chips fungaz. It never ends well. It’s romanticized in the movies, it’s being fronted as the only “realistic” way to stay married and keep the fire burning. But truth be told, the only thing that the fire will burn will be you, your spouse and your children. That family will burn for generations in bitterness, disease, fear, failure, hatred, broken hearts, broken dreams and conniving.

Finally, if you are not ready to let go of the adrenalin rush of a risque life and to settle down…. don’t get married. The great Colombus [who we were told “discovered” America, Have you ever wondered if the Native Indians who were in it, knew that it existed :-)] had a diary that was long sought for. People wanted to read about the wild journeys, the sea tempest, the reckless pirates they fought, the death and the danger they must have encountered. When it was found, there was great disappointment. Majority of the pages simply had 5 words: “This day, we sailed on.” 

Marriage, like life in general, has many “we sail on” days. You have to learn to find the thrill in the normal everydayness of it. If you depend on wild romance, all night sex [ha], romantic cruises, wild parties, compulsive moves across continents, tempestuous fights and make up sessions to be happy, you may be disappointed. You have to learn to thrill in gentle smiles, loving hugs, knowing looks, cozy moments, shared chores, cute babies, everyday work, dreaming together, praying together and simply living together. If these things are not thrilling, exciting and satisfying, you will look for a way out. The “boom twaff” moments are still there, but they are normally punctuations to the usualness of living. They cannot be your reason for getting married. They are unsustainable on an everyday basis. The one you choose must be thrilling to you even in the most mundane of moments.

I pray this helps someone. Remember singles, YOU HAVE THE PRIVILEGE OF CHOICE. Never let anyone pressure you into marriage. You are either ready or you’re not: You decide!. But please don’t marry somebody and then punish them to live with your childish ways for the rest of their lives. A childish baby is cute but a childish adult is extremely frustrating.

Marriage is for the mature and in many ways, we the married, are still being confronted with the demand to grow up day by day. If you are not ready for that demand, don’t get married!!

At the end of the day, when we realize that our lives can change at any moment and change forever, we start making decisions. Serious ones. But nothing can make us that prepared. Nothing can.

Facebook:  Njeri Kareithi
Twitter: @deekareithi

*all pics source: www.pixabay.com

31 May 2016


In the apartment above me lives a man. A man and his wife. I used to wonder why this guy was always home. His car has an employee pass to some local bank, so he could not be unemployed. Every evening he would pass me while going to get groceries, and when I returned early, I would see him walk up with groceries. “Aww…what a nice man” I would always say. “But where is the wife? Shouldn’t she be the one buying groceries?” I would ask myself. I had only seen her twice….at the balcony, when she was asking me to pick up some of their clothes that had fallen on my line (oh, these Nairobi houses, you hang clothes on your line, the wind blows so hard, they fall on your neighbor’s line. If they are good enough they will keep them for you. If they are #TeamEnterprise, they will just look up to God, whisper a thank you prayer and set off with new stock to their mitumba stall. No offence, watu wa mtush, but ushawahi ibiwa nguo then mtu wa malimali anakuja kukuuzia the same clothes unaskia kumwambia zilikua zako? ).

Where was I? The family up stairs. One day, I woke up at wee hours of the night and I happened to go upstairs, and there I saw something that broke my heart. I found the guy washing some hospital bedding. You know those green things that separate patients in the ward, and that green stretcher used to move patients in the ward? He was bent down rinsing those. We exchanged a glance with no words. And sorrow filled my heart. His wife, I later learnt, ails from a disease that makes her only get out of bed when she is strong enough. She is fed, washed, clothed by this dear man. He, I later learnt, had to quit his job to take care of her himself. A question has kept ringing in my mind since then “If it were me in place of the guy, would I do it for my beloved”? And it kept occurring to me that this guy not only gave his all, his commitment to his wife, but was selfless. He has the “Not for me, but for her” mentality. 

Fast forward to this conversation I had with a friend a few weeks ago concerning this matter. We, the younger generation and some of the older generation, always thinking of ourselves. Me this… Me that… how will this benefit me? We cannot do something without first asking what’s in it for me? The “the world revolves around me” attitude. Unless we are Jesus so that “All things were created for His glory”, then selflessness should be part of us. Many are the times even I have been so selfish, that I would not do anything for anyone if it cost me a lot. Selfishness (if such a word exists). And God reminded me of Moses…see this guy eh, he has brought people out of Egypt they are in the Wilderness. Then these guys decide to so hard-headed that God wants to do away with them.  So Moses keeps asking God to have mercy on them. Then God calls Moses and tells him
“…now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation…” Exodus 32: 9-14

I know most of us would have said “Yeah God…enyewe these guys are so stubborn, they are giving me a headache…I think your plan is okay. Finish them off, and then start afresh with me.” Such a selfish thought…right? But Moses put the needs of the Israelites before his and pleaded that these guys be saved. Friends, that’s what being selfless is all about. See, I have been reminded severally in my self-assessment that being selfless means thinking of others first, putting other people’s needs, interests before your own. Now, Dee, (someone will ask) "at our time and age, who would dare think others without first thinking of themselves” but one thing I have come to learn, when you do things for others not expecting them to you back payback  (I did not say lending huge amounts of money), fills your heart with joy. Be it from the smallest thing as joining a group that visits the desolate or terminally ill, buying that beggar food, paying transport to random people leaving hospital, to huge things like paying fees for that orphan, even helping around in the house or helping your parents or loved ones. My mentor always tells me that as a parent and a spouse, this trait of being selfless is very necessary. You will have to put your child’s or spouse’s needs before yours. How many of us can do that? It all boils down to who’s needs come first. Mine or theirs?

Friends, I am on a self-assessment journey and being selfless is something that I can currently learning and practicing. Join me, won’t you?

Facebook:  Njeri Kareithi
Twitter: @deekareithi

*all pics source: www.pixabay.com

26 April 2016


(This first paragraph is named “As a Luo would say”). During this month, I spent better days of the month on the fishy shores of Africa’s Largest fresh water lakes that was named by a Briton explorer, John Hanning. So this guy saw and thought that the fancy African names Nam Lolwe (Luo), Nalubaale (Luganda) or Nyanza (Kinyarwanda) were not fit for such a wonder. So he decided to name it after his beloved queen, Queen Victoria and how that name stuck I know not. I mean, even children in those areas are taught that the original name was Lake Victoria and it was “discovered” by the said Briton. Yeah right, like the young and well-built warriors of our motherland (and sister-land for Uganda and Tanzania) who lived along the shores of this water body never even once saw it. Like they daily passed it and were wondering “what is this? It looks like water …or sand.” Then Bam! A Briton stumbles upon the water body and he says “Guys, I have made a discovery. There is something here that looks like a large basin (pun intended). Your Majesty , what shall we call this? Name it and it shall be done.” “A lake”, she said “Oh Your Majesty, may you live forever (the irony in that statement). Oh royal and beautiful one, you are full of wisdom. I shall name it after you”. And so it became; Lake Victoria. Colonialism *sigh*

Where was I? Yes, Kisumu. While I was there on some work assignment, I got to interact with a people who are known for pride, love of the fine things in life, and lovers of life itself; the Luos of Kenya. Though this might be a stereotype, it can be both a good reputation and a bad reputation to have. During the last of my days there, I spent an evening at one of my friend’s place. The family has it all, by worldly standards. They really live up to their reputation, except one thing. Pride. The vast house is home to more than 10 kids and an equal number of young people. 80 percent of the people living there are adopted or were taken up from various hardships. And they live such a simple life that when you meet the father and mother on the street you would easily dismiss them for some guy and lady trying to make it in life. Their humility melted my heart and almost brought me to my knees. I was going through a time of self-assessment, and God had been speaking to me on some of the areas in my life that need to be worked on.

This made me look at our generation and weep (kinda). Humility has been replaced with pride, and serious pride in our generation. We are a people who want to feel important so much that we want everyone to know how important we are. We attach monetary value to everything and we want people to know how much it was actually worth. Most of our conversations are full of how we did this, how we did that, how much our phones, cars, houses, headphones, tablets, sunglasses cost, where we went for holiday etc. We are itching to mention these and other ego-boosting thoughts to others, more often than not, our peers. We like to ask “do you know (insert name of a celebrity)?” “Have you ever visited (insert fancy place)?” “How much did you buy that? I bought mine for (insert ridiculously high price)”. We want to make others see how important we are, how we know people and how wealthy we are. Without knowing it, we are harboring and feeding pride. We are slowly killing humility. Sure, our friends and people will tolerate us, but only for a while. They eventually get tired and we end up with no friends…or with fake ones. Worse still, we could fall victim to what someone once said; “It is better to lose your pride with someone you love rather than to lose that someone you love with your useless pride.”

I recently read an article here that talked about the very same thing. The author states so well that when you act like you’re important, you only prove you aren’t. He goes ahead to show how proud people are cheap. Not in the way they look, the way they spend or the way they earn — cheap in the way they treat other people, and the way they attempt to assign a dollar value to everyone they meet.
“I’ve gone from having money in the bank to applying for a job flipping burgers in 6 months straight. When you’ve lived like that, you have a different attitude to money, and you have a different idea of what it means to be a Have or a Have Not. You’re less likely to look at someone and decide that they’re worth a material amount or they’re worth nothing.

You’re less likely to try and show off your money, your status or your prestige. The reason? You know that none of those things are worth more than other people, other human people.”

I know, many times I have also been a victim of the same. I have been infected with the same syndrome and looking back at it, I felt disgusted. So disgusted at myself and I kept asking myself “Was that necessary?”, “What have I gained?” Even God Himself says,

Through Solomon: “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom… Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense, but a man of understanding remains silent.” Prov 11:2; 12
Through Paul: For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Gal 6: 3

Friends, let us do self-assessment. If we find that we have pride (knowingly or unknowingly), let us strive to replace this with humility. After-all, T. S. Eliot said “Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important”. Don't know where to start? Get feedback from your close circle of friends...it will surprise you.

Facebook:  Njeri Kareithi

Twitter: @deekareithi

28 March 2016


Know about this popular and famous phrase, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”? Forget how people contort it to say “beauty is in the eye of the beer/bae holder” (though I find the latter quite amusing).

A few days ago, a friend and I were discussing on the topic of pain. Funny, right…how people can sit and hold a discussion on pain. Well, other than the joy and laughter shared, love for food and statistics (read math), these are the perks of having knowledgeable friends. You should have at least one or two of these; by the way…they make life interesting. So we were discussing (as is typical of statisticians/scientists) the pros and cons of pain. You know, the way dudes would sit down and discuss the pros and cons of a certain lady/car or how ladies discuss the pros and cons of a certain outfit/guy/program/hairstyle/weave/shoe *see what I did there?* or how a group of friends discuss about scripture and religious philosophies…well, that kind of discussion. We came to an interesting conclusion; the beauty of pain is in the eye of the pain-bearer.

See, most of us have been through pain of some sort. Some of us have gone through so much pain that we have morphed to this weird thing that is immune to pain. Some of us have gone through so much pain that we could easily live with pain in the same house like we have been married for the past decade. We are familiar with pain; we know pain like the proverbial back of our hands. Some of us went rouge after an episode of pain and became wrecks. The loss of a loved one, the death of a family member, losing a job or a contract, a heart break, getting news of terminal illness, a dead career or passion, rejection, depression, someone telling you “you are good for nothing”, that “we need to talk” or “I think we should take time off”, divorce, separation…name it. Well, some of us went through a certain episode of pain that made us suicidal and those serial killers we hear about. Others became serial killers of dreams, relationships, hopes, and basically everything they come across.

But then there is this other side of pain, the one that somehow morphs you into something stronger…something, something so rock-solid that whatever is thrown at you…you just smile and say “I’ve been through hell and came out stronger” or “ah, that? I’ve seen worse”. The kind that makes you think about the truism that if it doesn’t break you down, it makes you stronger. I have seen, kind-of admired and envied these kind of people. See, this pain can make one take the energy from the sting and ache and turn it to fuel. V-power to their sheer determination and endurance. Pieces are written, books are completed, paintings are finished, codes are written and perfected, and manuscripts are written and completed. Albums and records are written and recorded, exams are aced, an instrument is learnt, a farm gets all tilled. They become unstoppable. People would have a better chance of knocking a hurtling oil tanker off its path by sticking their leg out than break their spirit. All because they choose to take up that throbbing ache, that head-ache-causing and appetite-losing anguish and embrace a side of it that most people CHOOSE not to. 

Source: pixabay.com

So, this is to pain. To the beauty of pain that is in the eye of the pain-bearer. To  painorphosis, the kind of morphing that makes you Olivia-pope-dance to Josh Groban’s “Below the line” when it plays on your home theatre at full volume. Holding a glass of milk; at 2 am.

Facebook:  Njeri Kareithi 
Twitter: @deekareithi 

1 March 2016


Well, this post was to go up a few days ago, before the alleged month of love ended but meh! Life happened but here we are :-). Now, the month of February had a lot of stuff going on, from friends getting married, people declaring undying (oh the irony) love for each other on the 14th, people hosting and attending singles events, people getting engaged, people passing on; all on the same day/weekend. It makes you wonder, all these things that happen in this feared and dreaded day, what do people do the other day of the month? A friend told me that she asked her boyfriend not to give her anything…well, I don’t know how that would go with most readers, but I guess guys would really love that. In the same month, we (I) saw the birth of two young establishments and the slow death of another. We also saw some lions escape a national park in Kenya, and the jokes and memes all over were just hilarious. What caught my attention though, is this review by this website that I had never come across (shekirout!).

Copyright: me

Now, in the same month, I happened to visit Hell’s gate National Park Kenya and hike Mt. Longonot. Well, it was not my first time to hike the said mountain, I had been there severally. The mountain holds a special place as it also hold very special memories for me. This time though, this time was different. It felt different. Not because I was there with a different group (a group of young scientists, by the way. you see, scientists also know how to have fun, forget what CBS portrays with Sheldon et al). A group of us had a mission. We wanted to go round the rim and reach the highest peak. And so with great determination and sheer excitement, about 20 of us started the journey to the summit. Armed with water and other sugary stuff to keep our energy levels up, we started the great hike. A few minutes in, some of us started getting tired and taking breaks. If you have been there, you know there only two resting places; at the middle and at the top. On our way up, several of us were stopping to take photos and selfies, unaware of the daunting task ahead. At-least all of us made it to the halfway point. Some were left there as they felt they could not go on, while some felt so energetic they were running up, literally. I was left with the last group, not that I could not hurry up, but because I wanted to make sure that at-least those who started the journey made it to the top, regardless of the pace. And so four of us started the journey at a snail’s pace, picking up a few other hikers along the way. 

Copyright: me
As if things could not get worse for those already tired, heavy rain started falling. Heavy rain.  So, you are in the middle of a hike, with bushes all around. Heavy rain is falling. There is only one way up. The half way resting place is too far to go back. So what do you do? You keep going and pray that you will not get a cold. Keeping your eyes on the hut at the top, you strive forward. Half an hour later, you finally make it up with the last bunch of hikers in your group. Rain is still falling. Someone makes a joke about us hiking in swimming costumes next time. We all laugh. We rest a bit and then the group breaks into two. Some of us want to reach to the highest peak (which will take us approximately 2more hours), while the others want to return. Long story short, only 9 of us made it round the rim, with several episodes of rain and sunshine. 

When we got down to join the other team for lunch, I couldn’t help but think about how different paces (yes, paces not a typo) in life are. Here we were, a group of young scientists. We had one thing (two…three…okay several things in common). We were scientists, human, but we also had a goal of scaling this mountain. However, some of us were faster, some of us more determined, some of us more ambitious, some of us more experienced in hiking; and all these determined our paces. Some of us were hiking slowly, some slow. Some of us got discouraged by the rain, some of us enjoyed the rain (I mean, when was the last time you got drenched by rain?). Some of us made it to the peak, some did not. Some of us made it to the summit, others got tired half way. I could not help but think life outside. There are these personal goals that we set and there are those goals society expects us to attain. Like getting married, having a family, getting established, (for those of us in science) papers to publish, finish school and the likes. Spiritually, we have the same personal and societal goals. We desire growth, we desire to do things that we read about people do and we want to do them. See all these things are doable and attainable, but guess what; we all have different paces!

At times we get discouraged or want to do things in a hurry because so and so has done it and succeeded. This is especially for our young generation. We want to compare ourselves with our friends and peers. But you know what; we cannot all be the same. We move at different paces. We have different experiences, different resources. We might have the same goals, but getting there will be at different paces. So the next time you feel like so and so has done so much in life and you have not done a lot, the next time you think of getting married because your friends are getting married, you want to move to a posh estate because your friends are doing so, or want to start a business because your friends are doing so, you want to accumulate quick wealth because people are doing so; remember this. We move at different paces. And life is not a race. So long as you are moving, snail speed or otherwise, so long as there is progress, we will all get there. Scale that mountain, at your own pace! (and if you get company or someone who is encouraging you and challenging you to keep on, the better :-))

The Champs. 6 countries represented, One goal, One victory.
Copyright: me

Happy New month from Njeri Kareithi’s Desk
Facebook:  Njeri Kareithi

Twitter: @deekareithi

29 January 2016


Reading Renee’s most recent post here took me way back. Way, waaaay back, to when I first publicly declared my love for math. Even when I wrote it here exactly four years ago, I wasn’t too sure about it. I was just trying to convince myself that I was not totally doomed. You know, like the way we are told to look in the mirror and speak stuff (positive stuff of-course), to our images on the mirror, that is exactly what I was doing. This blog had become my mirror (pun intended). The first time I did it, it felt like “coming out of the closet”. You know, based on what we hear people feel when “coming out”. I didn’t know what to expect. Would society embrace me? Would they accept me for what I loved? Would they respect this love? 

Looking back now, I can’t just believe it. Everything I do involves and revolves around math and statistics (which reminds me of this joke that a friend and I shared a few days ago about statisticians counting sheep. *chuckles* Statisticians can’t count many sheep to induce sleep. They count till they obtain a good enough sample size and estimate/predict how many sheep they will have counted by the time they sleep, making it a futile exercise *chuckles a bit more* Under repeated sampling #BringBackMyLife lol). Don’t look at me like that. That was funny. Okay then *ignores the crickets chirping in dead sillence*, moving on swiftly. But really, my rosy relationship with math wasn’t always like this. 

Like most of people who studied in rural nursery and primary schools, math was a BIG challenge. I would hear math and squirm at the thought of the numbers on the blackboard. Heck, I once had a nightmare that my math teacher had come to kill me. Now, that could be related to the fact that he looked scary and seemed to find pleasure in caning those of us who got zeros in math exams, but it could also be figurative; you never know. And so I grew up hating math and anything math-related. I would look at my brother in awe when he received those cups, plates and trays for being best in math (lol, those days were awesome yaani, when primary schools would prepare you for a life out there by giving you such meaningful gifts.) What do schools give these days as rewards? Phones? Tablets? Where did we go wrong?

source: pixabay.com
Well, my math grades (all grades generally) would take the steepest descent method each and every time we did exams. So much that my mum had my hair shaved (I had really long hair) and threatened to move me to some local school we would make fun of. Then I got transferred to a better school. How I passed that interview, God knows. And so, my life changing moment came one day as we were handing in some math problems while in class eight. I remember it so vividly you would think it’s like one of those days that Veon talks about here. I had sketched this pie chart and some calculations below it so neatly that when the teacher saw it, he showed it to the class and praised it. He shook my hand and told me. “You are a bright girl Njeri, and keep doing this, and God will bless your brain”. I remember muttering “Amen, I will” under my breath. I grabbed that. installed it in my head and I have never looked back since then. And funny enough, once the math started getting in, all other subjects started making sense. 

See, the words of Mr. Murungaru (that is his name), may have been inaudible to the rest of the class but they were spoken to me. When he commended me on my great work; I felt like nothing could stop me. And that is the amazing thing about teachers and parents. Their words influence our lives in such a great way. Most of the time we take it for granted that someone taught us how to write, how to read, how to speak good English, swahili or whatever language you are good at. We forget that it took patience, skill and someone believing in you to see you acquire and grow in whatever skill or talent you have. IT, science, fashion, embroidery, pottery, farming, business, singing, acting, playing that instrument; name it. Teachers are the least appreciated people around and that needs to change.

For them to think less of themselves that much that they want to see you prosper and see you spread your proverbial wings and fly, they need more appreciation. So take the time from now on and make it a habit to appreciate that teacher, mentor, parent or friend who taught you something that changed your life. Say #Asante (thank you) and share your story. For me, I appreciate all my math and statistics teachers/lecturers who taught me to look at the world through the eyes of math.

#AsanteMwalimu (Thank you teacher)

Facebook:  Njeri Kareithi
Twitter: @deekareithi

15 January 2016


The news of passing on of a friend or family is something that no one ever wants to hear or even imagine being told. And yet, it is the most heart breaking news one can ever hear. Forget being rejected or dumped by someone you loved (or thought you loved), forget breaking your hand, finger, toe, nail….heck, none of this types of pains can be compared to the pain of losing a loved one. When it keeps hitting you that you shall never see them again, that you will never get to laugh with them, to hold them, to touch them, to play games with them. You go through countless messages and images that you shared with them. You replay the voice messages and video notes. (By the way; those who say sijui we should not take photos of each and everything we do and of everywhere we go; well, I wrote that mantra you live by on a paper, shoved it in a jar, sealed it and put it in NASA’s LunarProspector, and in case you have not checked; it is not coming down any time soon. Not in the near centuries.) Some of these things are the one and at times only way that we hold pieces of those who left us.
“Just as no human being has control over the wind to restrain it, so also no human being has control over the day of his death. Just as no one is discharged during war, so wickedness will not release those who practice it.” Ecclesiastes 8:8 (ISV)

source: www.pixabay.com
And so you walk through places you once trod; you outline the traces of your palms that once held those hands. And each time you feel like they are still there, with no distance between the palms. You look around you and nothing seems to make sense anymore. Nothing makes you want to live; but you do. You wake up every damn morning and say “I will do this. If not for me, for them”. And when it gets to you in that washroom, that office space, that bus seat, that train seat, as you walk through a path, as you sit alone in that hall, as you sleep under that bridge; with countless people walking right past you and no one seems to feel your pain or even see it. When you feel those tears well up in your eyes and say “oh boy, here comes the water falls”. When you feel that stinging pain as your heart breaks one more time, and it feels like someone is trying to stab your heart, leaving you there to bleed, pain oozing out in form of a lacrimal fluid composed of water, mucin, lipids, lysozyme, lactoferrin, lipocalin, lacritin, immunoglobulins,  glucose, urea, sodium, and potassium (commonly known as tears). And you look up to the skies, you feel like cursing God for taking them away and causing this pain that is has become a shawl that you dress in daily, hugging it in a bid to get answers to the many questions you have. Amid sobs and whimpers you utter words that you have wanted to utter all this time. You wish for a session with the grim reaper just to ask them “what exactly is your problem?” 

“But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, "DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory."O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?" 1 Corinthians 15: 54-55(ISV)

So you go to an open field, at the top of your lungs you ask “DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?” And them, just then, you ask God to take the pain away, to make it stop hurting. And you rise, you dust yourself and take a walk outside and say to yourself; “I will not let this stop me. I will make them proud. I will live”
For you know too well what Isaiah 57:1-2 (NIV) says:

The Blessed Death of the Righteous
 The righteous man perishes, and no man takes it to heart; And devout men are taken away, while no one understands. For the righteous man is taken away from evil, He enters into peace; They rest in their beds, Each one who walked in his upright way.

And then you know that it is well. It may take long to get to that point, it might take ages, maybe years; but you do get there. For they are forever in your heart. 

source: www.pixabay.com

'To live in the hearts of others is never to die. ' - Thomas Campbell

This post is in memory of all the friends and family we have lost over the year (this year starting on a very sad note of losing several friends). This is to them that left before us. Fare thee well. Fare thee well. Till we meet again. May their souls rest in eternal peace. Amen

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Twitter: @deekareithi

27 December 2015


A few days ago, I remember asking myself what to write for the last month of the year. I went through the posts I have done in December over the years (check them out by the way…I don’t know what is it that comes over me during December), and I couldn’t help but wonder what to write about. I thought about doing a yearly review and all the shenanigans like I did here. I almost wrote something cliché about sijui 12 lessons learnt in 2015, or 15 lessons to carry forward from 2015, or even 2015; the ups and the downs. At some point I  contemplated summarizing the year in a piece but I remembered a conversation Daisy and I had a few weeks ago about people writing pieces that don’t make sense or don’t communicate and kept that piece tucked tightly between pages of my notebook.

So, three days later…I still did not know what to write about, or how to end the year 2015 on Njeri Kareithi. I skimmed through my drafts on my computer; nothing. Flipped through my notebook that I carry around to note down ideas based on observations wherever I go; nothing. Then I remembered this one time in campus where we were preparing for a play. See, I was part of a drama club in campus, but we had not done anything major other than mimes. Now, the one thing that I loved about mimes is that you don’t get to talk. And we used to wear masks so…you don’t even get to look your audience in the eye. But plays, my friend…you have to talk. And not only talk, but you have a face to face conversation with the audience. Now, those are the parts I wished we could skip (but that would not be a play; would it?).

My history with crowd phobia can be traced back to my high school years. Crowd phobia is not to be confused with shyness. No. I am not shy; but I have crowd phobia. Get me a face to face meeting with 5-10 people and you will take home an image of a very sociable, funny, fun to be around (is this what blowing my own trumpet means?) person. Get me in front of 50+ people and my eyes will not leave either the ground or the ceiling. To make things worse, I was appointed a senior prefect in my last year of high school. If you are familiar with Kenya’s High Schools, prefects get to make remarks during the morning parade, especially the prefects on duty, who would make announcements and call out the names of those who have not done their morning duties. And boy did I hate my week of duty. But we survived anyway. Where was I? Yes, crowd phobia.

So here we are, we are debuting a play in campus. We have been rehearsing, for months. The script is good. During rehearsals, we are alone in the hall so it goes on smoothly. I was playing a part that required me to make several costume changes and several long appearance and conversations. So, all was well. I was very excited. There was excitement in my voice each time I mentioned the play to my fellow comrades. Till d-day came. And the curtains were closed. Backstage; we are laughing and eating, teasing each other about our costumes waiting for the MC to welcome the audience. We take our positions on stage and my body freezes. You know, when you are back stage, you have no Idea how many people are on the other side of the curtain. So my brain starts freaking out when I start thinking about the audience. My bladder thinks that it’s time to start playing games. It’s too late. The scene starts in less than a minute. I can’t run outside for a call (pun intended) to help me calm down. I look at other member of the cast. “Why aren’t they freaking out?” “How many years of acting experience do they have?” “What did they eat?” “Haven’t we been acting with masks together?” “Is my make-up melting?” “Is my costume too tight?” “Will so and so be in the audience?” I remember asking all these questions.

Bam! The curtain opens. I get to see the size of the audience. Suddenly I feel like my bladder will just give in. I take a deep breath and the play starts. Play runs well. Towards the end, a cast-mate noticed I have been holding my breath almost the whole time. We are doing our last bow at the end. “Breathe Dee, Breathe” He says while giving a nod of assurance. Curtains come down. I take another deep breath.

Many a times when we are starting or ending anything we have so much anxiety and fear. When we think about the times ahead we are filled with fear. Fear of the unknown, as many would call it. But each time you feel like the world expects too much, like there is so much pressure, like you can’t to it. Breathe. As the curtains come down on 2015, some of us have screwed up so many times, we have messed up so many times, there is so much expectation from people around us, there is so much pressure from around. But as the curtains come down; breathe. Take a deep breath, smile and say “I’ve got this. Bring it on”.

See you all in 2016, readers of Njeri Kareithi. Happy Holidays and be safe.

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Twitter: @deekareithi

21 December 2015


…so, did you fantasize? Did you see it like it was yours?

Are you serious? Did I do what? hahahaha” I ask with this look on my face as if that can never happen in real life.

Yes I am, did you?

A few days ago I was attending a wedding where two of my childhood friends were getting married. And this festive season all around us; well one can say love was in the air. So, it is evening…and this good friend calls to ask how my day was. There I
am blurting about how the clothes, shoes, bridesmaids, cake, how the kids I was carrying were adorable and how we were singing along to some songs with the matron of honor (well, it’s been long since I attended or participated in a wedding so this was really refreshing). I finish my side of the story and ask about his, which he shares quite interestingly since he was participating in another. Towards the end of the conversation he asks if I fantasized. I remember laughing and laughing, almost uncontrollably in the section of the conversation up there. Like, I know it’s the festive season, people are with loved ones, people are cuddling and holding hands all over, “I love you” messages and actions are all around and it’s the time of the year when you are reminded of how being away from a loved one can be devastating. Oh, and visiting that grandmother who keeps reminding you that she has two school buses ready and waiting for me to tell her to get people ready, makes it all worse. So, maybe  I did, maybe I did not hahaha.

Okay, but that is not my point. Thing is, during this festive season, there is so much love around. Like real and genuine love. Husbands spending time with families, wives spending time at home and not work, kids away from school and playing around the house, nobody is at work (except those who work in very sensitive areas like doctors, bankers, supermarket attendants, chefs…you know, those who we would die without), and comfortingly…families and homes are filled with laughter and joy. And food. And Sunshine. And conversations. Oh how I wish everyday was Christmas.

So all along I have been asking myself; why does this have to happen on Christmas and/or New Year’s or during holidays? If there is a time I see people genuinely show love is during festive seasons. It reminds me of a conversation I had with my mentor a few years ago, and he was saying how he pities our generation, because we all want to be loved but don’t want to love. Like so many of us want something that lasts forever but are not willing to do what is takes? I mean…we all have been in love once and we all let go at some point, we have all gotten heart broken…but really, what if we all loved? Like genuinely loved? The kind of loving that makes us look forward to the future? That kind of love that makes us say “I know he/she is not perfect but there is not another being under the heavens that I would rather be with”. The kind of love that makes us say “no matter what is happening, I will keep this love pure and keep working on it”. 

source: www.pixlabay.com
I know every day cannot be Christmas…but what if we faithfully loved? In a generation where there is little or not much genuine love, in a generation that wants things that are already complete and people who are already established, in a generation that lives by the “let me fool around…when the time comes I will be serious” kind of attitude, in a generation that seemingly does not know how to love; what if we learnt how to love? What if we became students of love?  The hard-working, appreciative, full of gratitude, kind, reliable and consistent love? And who better to learn from than Christ? What if we sat down with elder people who have experienced this kind of love and learn from them? What if we genuinely cared and loved the less fortunate, the elderly, and the orphans? Would we lose anything? 

What if we did it for our families, relationships, companies, ourselves? What if we did it #ForMyCity and for humanity? What if we started today (and sustained it)? What if we did it #ForMyCity and for humanity? After all, love makes the world go round (refer to power puff girls’ song “love makes the world go round" lol).

Dear readers of Njeri Kareithi, this post marks the end of the “What if” series. You can read about the others here. The series was inspired by a theme by dubbed #ForMyCity led by Poetry Spot. (Follow the conversation here). Love was the last in the series because all the other attributes, when love is added, make a complete person (flaws and all). Not perfect, but complete. I urge us all (me included), to take up the challenge and join me as we strive to make these attributes part and parcel of who we are.

"So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love." 1st cor 13:13 (ESV)

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Twitter: @deekareithi