One fine evening in 2010, while Allan and his colleagues were partying at Carnivore, one of them requested Allan to host a late-night Rhumba show on his behalf. He accepted. Allan worked at Radio Citizen as the morning show co-host and comedian (under the alias Oloibon). After a couple more drinks, he made his way to the studio. He had done radio for almost ten years and it had become second nature to him. With confidence hitting the skies, he knew he could do it, even with his eyes closed.
But not that night, he had drunk one too many and while in studio, and his eyes literally closed. The radio went silent, like an eerie night in the forest, no one was speaking, he had dozed off.
At the medical camps in Mt. Elgon held in early June 2021, one man said little and did a lot in the classroom turned consultation room. He took more time with patients, delving deeper, probing to understand their health conditions, explaining it to them and also helping them manage beyond the medical interventions. He is a recently graduated medical doctor who, as a child, couldn’t see his future beyond the slopes of Mt. Elgon, having been made uncertain by a family misfortune and the Sabaot Land Defense Force (SLDF) conflict.
He assisted the other medics in the room and being a native, consulted more with the elderly who couldn’t express themselves in Swahili or English.
Away from the consultation room, he was discreet and chilled, a man of few words who would pass for anyone in the street. Nothing in his expression says he went to a primary school that had only three teachers and almost dropped out of medical school. And that is just a glimpse of his story that he had shared with me as we had dinner one of the evenings during the camp. We had to meet after the camp for a longer chat. We did, in Kimilili, at a blue-walled hotel that was nearly empty. The interior looked like it had gotten a recent facelift except for the antique wooden counter. We were served soda madiaba (the 500ml glass bottle soda). It was the only size available.
I would often find her in the office backyard, radiant, smiley, posing, absorbing snapshots of her life that unbeknownst to me, signified her transformation. I would never have understood. There was a time she hated her pictures, she has very few of them from her past and even if they are modest, she would never show them to anyone.
At work, walks to lunch or occasional banter with colleagues would sometimes elicit distressing comments and questions from her (especially if it was about men and fathers) but she would somehow make them look general and distant from her.
There was more beneath the surface that being together in the same office would never have revealed. A recent comment on Facebook on a post about gender-based violence – seen by my wife- prompted a call that led her to sit down with me and unveil. “It is time to tell your story,” I was blunt on the call. She went silent for almost a minute muttering “wow” a few times as I let her process the solemnity of sharing her story.
A few days earlier I had sent her a ‘we need to talk’ text. Having worked with Grace for almost five years, I knew I had to be direct. She’s a hard nut Continue reading
Which stars need to align to set up the events that will lead a half Arab, half Ugandan, Kenyan, born and bred in Bungoma to become the most sought-after postpartum masseur in Nairobi?
Is it her culture, heritage, upbringing, gifted hands, personal experiences, Nairobi or a combination of all that? You are about to find out.
She is called Mama Kanda, the reviews of her work precede her. My wife started talking about her when she was expectant with our second born but she knew about her way before that. She talked of a lady who does massage for mothers within 2 to 8 weeks after delivery. She was hinting that she wanted to try out her services after the delivery of Kolya. And she did. Five sessions of 45 minutes each day for five days is what she got.
My wife’s review of mama Kanda started on a surprising note especially after the first hot water therapy, Continue reading
I wrote in this blog honouring Ravi Zacharias for having been fundamental in shaping my theology, philosophy and apologetics. Ravi Zacharias was a revered Christian apologist and speaker. He was the founder of the Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM), the biggest Christian apologetics ministry in the world with amazing speakers all over the world. He died in March 2020 and was honoured across Continue reading
In case you did not catch the first part Nancy’s story, you can find it HERE.
After the cyst was discovered in Nancy’s liver, talks about going to India to seek a second opinion began. Her son Allan wasn’t convinced that going to India was necessary.
“We had gotten the best doctors locally, and whatever they had done could not be corrected by any other doctor anywhere else in the world. I told my parents that I didn’t think there was any more value that the Indian doctors would add” Allan told me. Continue reading
Five years ago, the world of Nancy Lugano was turned upside down. When you meet her, you cannot tell that she has undergone seven surgeries, lost her vocal cords, was told she will never speak again, had her teeth replaced, suffered severe depression and much more. Except for her low voice, Nancy is charming and warm, chatty and always ready to interact with people and learn more. Continue reading
I have been meaning to write my #ThankYouRavi message for about 2 weeks now since learning of his dire prognosis, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. At the same time, I was struggling to remember how I came to know Ravi. It literally came back to me on the morning of the day that his passing was announced. Continue reading
When I was in my 3rd year of university in Saint Petersburg, Russia, I was required to do my final Russian language exam. It had been 4 academic years of studying Russian. One year before joining Uni and 3 years in Uni. As part of the final exam, students were required to write a paper on a Russian historical figure or event. Continue reading
As the government and other organisations try to find ways to help to the needy during these hard times caused by the Corona virus pandemic, one organization is approaching the issue in an innovative and empowering way.
Lifesong Kenya is a Community Based Organization that is committed to empowering at-risk male teens through mentoring, coaching, character formation and restorative justice. This enables male teens to thrive and live life to the fullest. Continue reading