My Writing Romance Journey

I started reading romance novels right after Class 8, when I was still at home waiting for my K.C.P.E results. My first book was ‘Message in a bottle’ by Nicholas Sparks. From that moment, I have never stopped. I felt it in my blood that I had found my life purpose. I kept reading through high school. Our library had pacesetters, I read all of them. The likes of Pains of a Maid, Evbu, My Love, Love on the rocks. I started buying Mills and Boons and would exchange them among my romance crew.

When the lessons got boring, I would pull out a romance book and read it under my locker. One day I was reading a book and tossed it aside telling my friend that the author’s books were boring. She sneered and said,” You are complaining, yet you don’t even know how to write one, some people.”

I was offended at first but later after much deliberation I rose up to the challenge. I started crafting my own romance story which I shared with my romance crew. It was an interesting story but I learned an important lesson, writing is no joke. I finished the book but I was not impressed with the results. Too much reading of Mills and Boons, made me believe that the story would be more interesting if my characters were white, had long hair and resided in an out of this world place.

I put the story aside and started on my second book ‘A Place Called Happiness’ in 2009 and finished it in 2014. After putting all my heart, love, sweat and blood into the book, I was impressed with the results.

I want to take you home baby

You have been dating for a while, maybe 1 or 2 years and you are wondering where all this is leading to. You don’t want to ask him because it will make you look needy, impatient and nagging. Oh God, you love this guy and would not mind settling down with him. But the thing is that he is stalling.

When you least expect it, he cups your face in his hands, kisses you full on the lips, looks deep into your eyes and asks, “I want to take you home, are you ready?”

You smile sweetly and hug him. “Yes, when?”

“How about next weekend?”

“Alright. Let me clear my schedule.”

I know, I know, this wasn’t how you envisioned your marriage proposal. You had this image of the man making a grand gesture; taking you to some special place maybe in Dubai, timing the sunset, going down on his one knee and popping the question “Will you marry me?” while holding that diamond ring which is glistening in the evening glow.

This is life, this is reality, plus you are almost 30 years old, your biological clock is ticking, you are not getting any younger. So you just clutch at the opportunity like a drowning man or rather a woman.

Come Friday, you are frightened, anxious and excited. You feel butterflies in your stomach. You have just exited the toilet for the umpteenth time, you are sweating and shivering. But just pause for a minute, breath in, breath out, calm down and think.

Is this what you really want? Are you ready to move to the next step? Is he really the right man or you are settling for less? Are you in love or you are doing this out of desperation?

There are things you need to keep in mind:

1.Going to his home is not equal to a marriage

Stop getting your hopes high. Stop picturing getting married, having babies and growing old together with the man. Open your eyes and observe your surrounding. How does he relate with his mother, siblings, aunt and uncles? How have you been received into the home? How does the home look like in terms of structure, compound, neighbourhood, toilet?

2. It’s nothing special

Maybe he’s used to taking all his girlfriends to his home to meet his parents. Most probably you are not the first and maybe you won’t be the last.

3. Let him clarify why he is taking you home

He should clearly explain why he is taking you to meet his people and what it means for your relationship.

4. He doesn’t want to spend money

Maybe your guy is cutting down his expenses. When you go to his home, he would not spend money on hotel room. Home cooked food is cheaper than restaurant meals. The guy will downsize his expenses but still get good sex because you are going to spend a week there, how cleaver?

5. Don’t spend the night with him

Maybe you have been shagging but don’t take it to his home. What will his family think of you? They will surely lose respect for you. You are engaging in pre-marital sex right before their eyes. Who are we kidding? When darkness falls, you and your Bae are behind closed doors and windows. It’s not like you are revising the Bible or reciting the rosary.

A man who matches my hustle

It’s said that when looking for mates, women should aim for men ‘above’ them in important aspects such finances, IQ, visions and aspiration to not so important ones like height. I was a true believer of love conquering all but I was deluding myself. Love sometimes is not just enough. This is because:

1.He feels jealous

I used to share my future plans with them but instead of encouraging me they would tell me, ” What’s the hurry, you are still young” “It is impossible” “You are just a woman, why struggle so much” ” I wish I was as lucky as you”

2. He will embarrass you

He will struggle to keep up with you. When you meet your ‘learned friends’ he will strive to contribute to the conversation with his broken English mixing up the tenses.

When texting, it’s even worse. They will not know the difference between, there and their, leave and live, wear and where, leak and lick, chat and chart. You will read his love sms all the while whispering WTF.

3.You will lose respect for him

What with the broken English, you can’t even hold a conversation on the same level. You can’t keep on correcting him, he will feel that you don’t respect him. But how can you respect him? You cannot go on squatting to make him feel like a man.

4.He doesn’t push you to achieve your goals.

He doesn’t have much going for him, how will he push you to achieve your goals. He will be asking questions like, “If you get that job paying 200k per month, will you even respect me?”

“You should not be in a rush, God’s timing is the best”

Your conversation with revolve around the latest fashion of clothes he wants to buy yet some men are doing window shopping for the latest models of cars.

You are thinking of a Mercedes Benz, he is dreaming of owning a motorcycle.

My parting shot, a woman deserves to be with someone she can look up to. One with whom she can hold meaningful conversations with, one who pushes her to achieve her goals, one who matches her hustle.

Chasing Pavements

Sometimes we consciously or unconsciously choose to stay in unfulfilling marriages or relationships due to various reasons, chasing pavements which are not leading anywhere. Some of the reasons include:1. Fear of the unknownOften times, people are afraid of the unknown and start asking questions such as ‘where will I start from’, ‘ at my age where will I go to’. As it is said, change is only possible when the pain of remaining the same outweighs the pain to change. Fear of the unknown may serve to keep you in unfulfilling marriages or relationships. You may even starting wondering, ” Maybe the next person I meet will be worse off than my current Bae, so let me vumilia. Half a loaf is better than none at all.” But why have half a loaf when God wants you to have the full loaf.2. Comfortable with the status quo It is human nature to avoid pain or change. Therefore you are just hanging in there. There is comfort in the consistency, predictability and familiarity. Even if the relationship is abusive or not meeting your expectations, you become too lazy to move on and hence acclimatize to the conditions.3. Rationalizing bad behaviorMaybe the man is a heavy drunk who becomes abusive both physically and verbally but the woman might say, “But I love him, I can’t leave. He is only abusive because he’s drunk, when he is sober he is very loving’ or ‘ I was the one who provoked his anger that’s why he beat me.’ The moment you start excusing and rationalizing maltreatment, there is no way you are going to address the core problem. With time, things get worse and out of hand.4. Fear of being aloneI guess people get into relationships for companionship, affection and attention, sex, to get children and whatnots. Losing the current relationship would mean no companionship, no phone calls, no sex, no one to cuddle with at least for a while till you get a new Bae. People are afraid of loneliness but it is also possible to feel lonely in a relationship. This can happen in cases where you don’t feel understood, you are abused, few phone calls and disrespect.5.Low self-esteemNot knowing your worth may make you stay in unfulfilling marriage or relationship. If you allow someone to toss you around like a coin, they will lose respect for you and that will just be the beginning. They will have so much power over you and seem like some Demi-gods.Why are you in that relationship? Are you chasing pavements?

You Can Almost Love Anyone

The other day I was talking to my friend Allan when he made this statement that got me thinking, weighing thoughts and delving into a moment of reflection, “You can almost love anyone”.

During our campus days, my friends and I classified men into ‘types’. Ephy had her type, Bwari had hers, Peddy and I shared a type. Ephy loved the beautiful types, whose handsomeness bordered on the beautiful side, a little fat in the belly and chubby. Bwari’s type were those who had serious focus and direction in life. My type happened to be ‘dangerous’ looking bad boys who were tall, dark and muscular. When strolling in campus, when we saw one’s type, we would nudge them in the ribs and point towards the guy. The ‘ owner’ of the type would look on drooling until the type disappeared around the corner or sometimes they would give you thumbs up and whisper ‘I know’.

During the last semester of my 4th year, since the semester was delayed we ended up sharing the classes with our Juniors. There was this dude in our class who didn’t fall into my ‘type’ category but my oh my I had the greatest crush of my life. He was medium height, dark and lean. My attraction this time was pegged on his brains. He was super intelligent, fluent and had me nodding my head in agreement as he spoke. I could even sit next to him in class just to bask in his glory. I never spoke to him even once, I can’t figure out why. The semester came to a close. On the day I went for clearance at the University I happened to meet him again and I felt shivers running from my head to my toes. It was now or never, I whispered. I had one long look at him and hurried out of the gate. I guess I would never know what could have been.

I guess given time, situations in life and consistency, we can love almost anyone regardless of the ‘type’ we might limit ourselves to. The possibilities are endless

Stop Treating Your Boyfriend like a husband

Ooh ladies, the lengths we go to please men. You are there in his house on fours scrubbing his apartment floor, the followers of My Lord Owuor kando. When you finish you start his laundry which he has piled up for the past two month, the cloth basket overflowing with his dirty underwears. When he gets home from work, you have a warm meal waiting for him. A meal that you have went to the market bought different viungos trying to wow him with your new recipe. And then tadang, he is munching away the food while chatting in his phone, he might as well be eating leaves, as if he’ll even notice. He is paying the least attention to you. Then it gets to bed time, you are there spreading the bed, covering him with bedcover, pulling down the net. You go ahead and rock his world between the sheets trying streneous positions that could land you in the hospital while faking screams and moans that disturb the neighbors. The next day you give him Morning Glory, wake up early to prepare his breakfast, consisting of white tea laced with masala and city in the sun omlete. It’s time for you leave, you ask for bus fare but you doubt whether it is forthcoming because the guy has been complaining how broke he is. He goes like ‘Baby, nimesota, you know I am paying fees for my siblings. I hope this itakufikisha.’ He hands you 300/= shillings, the exact fare from the stage, not putting into consideration you need to use motorbike from his house to the stage. You almost shout in frustration when you remember borrowing 500 Bob from Akinyi for fare to his place because he promised to refund you the money when you get there. But you don’t want to upset him, you need to be on your best behavior, act like the perfect wife. However,it doesn’t excuse his behavior since he’s employed and you are a student. You have traveled to his place, missed classes on his account and you also have to hassle money for P2. You go back to school feeling sad, dejected,used and abused. But do you stop, no. You continue giving, sacrificing, until you are milked dry and just when you think you are going to be rewarded for your ‘hardwork’ ,you get a five page sms break up note blabbering about your inadequancies:oh you are lazy, stingy, not submissive, tough-headed. You start crying inconsolably, ranting about the sacrifices you made, how you hate men. Fast forward, two months later you are somehow finding your bearing yet still stalking him, hoping, waiting patiently by the phone. You gave him 5 years, you can’t just throw that easily. Then you get a new photo on his WhatsApp profile pic and your heart falls to the bottom of your stomach. He is embracing a heavily pregnant chic and his status reads ‘Answered Prayer’.

WHAT YOUR MAMA NEVER TOLD YOU ABOUT MEN

The world of today is so full of separation and divorce cases. One of the sole contributors for this is lack of teachings from our grandmothers and grandfathers. Today’s youths are left to grapple with love affairs on their own. The grandmothers and grandfathers are few and even the surviving ones no longer perform their roles of advising their grandchildren. This is because their role is no longer valued like the yesteryears. Most people have moved to towns faraway from grandparents. The parents are also busy with work all day and have no time to spare to talk to their children about men and women. The children however have to learn from somewhere. Where do they get their lessons from? Most learn from the TV; the Soap Operas. Soaps are full of fairy tale love which doesn’t really exist in this real world.Alexandro, tall, handsome and rich man, always falls in love with Soledad, the beautiful, poor damsel in distress. Alex is the knight in a shining saving Soledad. So as a young girl grows up she is always looking for this kind of unreal love. The second place the youths learn is from their peers. The peers are still experimenting and don’t have credible experience to offer adequate advice. Often, this leads to the youth being misled about love. This is what probably leads to increased cases of divorce.
The other day I went to the home of the old and learnt some fundamental lessons that most mothers wouldn’t dare open their mouths to talk about. Issues of ‘men’ are always talked about in hushed tones and ambiguous words providing no tangible information. The two lessons I learnt are;
1. Men are just men.
The sooner you learn that men are just men, the better for you ladies. This old mama passed down to me what was passed onto her by her grandmother. She told me that men are naturally polygamous. Men love to explore. They are hunters by nature. The mere fact that he has a girlfriend or a wife doesn’t stifle his natural urge to go hunting. He is bound to cheat every now and then. That’s how they are wired. So ladies, don’t stress yourself when you find your guys cheating. It’s their nature. If you don’t believe me take a look at the hens and cock.There may be ten hens and one cock.The next door neighbor probably has one hen. Why then does the cock leave the ten hens and go chasing the neighbor’s one hen? Then does it mean that ‘the fact that men have food on their plates doesn’t prevent them from looking at the menu?’
2.He doesn’t love you less when he cheats.
When he cheats on you it doesn’t mean that he loves you less, he is probably just scratching his natural itch. Men feel like men when he sees that he still have his seduction skills on point. When he can still melt the heart of another lady. It boosts his ego. If you think that he loves you less when he cheats on you, then why does he follow you and beg you for days on end when you find out his ‘little secret’. So it has nothing to do with you ladies but has everything to do with him. So don’t sweat it ladies. He will go hunting but he will definitely come back to you because you have got that good-good. Just do the best you can and relax. He will play his games and come back home.
If only we had been informed of these facts earlier then the alarming rates of divorce would be curbed. This is because the ladies would understand why their men behave the way they do. Once this point is home, then their stress levels about mpango wa kando would be reduced because the mpango wa kando is just a passing fling. The man would grow out of it when he sees how patient and dedicated you are towards him. He will just feel guilty and drop the act. But if you are ranting, shouting, whining and wailing about how unfaithful he is, too many things can go wrong. For one you might develop ulcers and blood pressure worrying about what they might be doing with the mistress. Secondly your whining may push him farther from you into the arms of the mistress. It’s all pain and no gain.