For the love of men: Sodom and Gomorrah edition.

No one wants to be alone.

Please, allow me to set the background for my story from this scripture.

Genesis 19.

The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. “My lords,” he said, “please turn aside to your servant’s house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning.”

“No,” they answered, “we will spend the night in the square.”

But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate.Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.”

Flash forward to present times.

The city is Nairobi, the year 2015. The motto: anything goes.

I have had various conversations with all manner of people, and one thing becomes clear with each person. No one wants to be alone or celibate. Which brought me of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, where man had become a law unto himself, and desire took the place of reason.

The search to belong, in one way or another has taken a turn that can only be labelled as alarming. Apparently, there are four categories of people who up the stakes for those who are already spoken for, and introduce a matrix worth studying.

The ex’s

If you are not someone’s exes, please skip on to the next category.

There is obviously that one guy/ chic you never really got over. You catch glimpses of her (for the purposes of this article, I will use her to refer to both sexes…because I can) in the streets, even though she moved to Sweden six years ago. You continuously redo the break up conversation, wondering if you could still rekindle that fire. You wish you could gather the guts to call them up and find out… but she is presently out of your league, and playing catch up is not your style. She is the ghost you will never put to rest.

Then there is the ex you never really broke up with. Because your smart phone knows when to dial her up, when the night is cold and your intended chips has been carried by someone else. You also call her up, because your partner has irritated the itch into your weave, and you want to tell someone how upset you are. You also are bored, and want some excitement, so the ex will serve this purpose, for this night only, and probably any other as the need arises. Yes, she is your ex, but only where your partner is concerned.

Then there is the ex who is “unflashable”. You have tried all ways, and even send a delegation to put the point across. But no, she will not, can not move on. She calls you incessantly, she wants you back, especially now that you are married and have a baby on the way. She says she made you who you are, taught you how to dress, bloody well introduced you to the cologne you now wear…and she will not have that woman enjoy her hard work! You have blocked that number, but she still finds ways. How annoying are some people?

Then there is the party that entertain the “unflashables”. Because you are a gentleman, and you do not want to be that guy… the bad guy. She calls, you answer, and gently, ever so gently, remind her that you are married and do not want to upset THE wife/ husband. But she whimpers and you can already picture her lower lip trembling, you buckle, and call her back while at the car wash. Yes, you are a gentleman, it is rude to roughly dismiss.

Yes, character is not above weakness.

Married But Available

Marriage is not for everyone. There I said it!

It is a lot of work, 24 hour, always in your business type of labor. Ideally, when you sign up (because you will, before man and God), there is no getting out, until one of you successfully hires a hit man to eliminate the other.

And therein lies the problem.

All hit men in Nairobi and its environs apparently are undercover members of an arm of the police. So you will therefore remain married, and your unhappiness will relentlessly cause you heartache and hatred so deep you wonder what possessed you to marry in the first place.

A solution is born though, because necessity is the mother of invention.

Your status will remain married, but the Rift Valley will forever be envious of the gap you put between your thighs. At first you had “standards”. You only did other married people. But you exhausted that pool, so you went to the “mature” able type, the ones who do not expect anything of you except a heated exchange of bodily fluids. Then that dwindled, so now you went to just single people, even younger ones, especially younger ones, or anyone really;  because “si sabuni, haitaisha.”

Yes, unhappiness can not be filled by physical contact, but you will try anyway.

MWK for life

Like I said, marriage is not for everyone.

So there are those who are smarter than the average. They want to have company, but temporary, because freedom is a primary right to human life. And the single folk are too much of an investment, and they will cling, some people do not know how not to snuggle up and cuddle (seriously just leave, do not even attempt to shower please.) So the only option is to share, like a time share, actually  it is a time share. Zero in on an MBA, but one who still has “standards”, and one who can still afford you luxury, over and above “love”. Enter into an agreement, because you have no intentions of having his offspring, and you do not want his last name. To be seen in public together depends on how suitable he is, a kitambi has never been cute, and remember you have an image to maintain. As long as we do not end up with Winterfell weather, you will be just fine.

Yes, affection, age and weather are very much related.

Samaki huliwa pande mbili

And then there are those who, and I am not sure about this, will swing both ways. I was made to understand that there is no need to limit yourself to just one kind, and worse still that one kind is to be found in one person? That idea was labelled as preposterous by some! So why not indulge, satisfy your curiosity, and lay to rest your canal desires? There is nothing new under the sun, whatever you think of has been done before, so there is no need to be shy they said.

But my question remains, why make the same mistake that someone else made? Would it not be easier to learn from the error in another’s ways? In as much as God promised never to destroy the earth again, there is no need to push our luck.

I would rather not fit in…thank you!

Why fit in when you were born to stand out? Dr. Seuss.

Where do I begin?  I will start in the middle.

Life has a funny way of putting you in your place, often via embarrassing moments such as a proper dress down by your boss in full view of your juniors. Life can also put you in your place by closing all doors, windows and cracks; especially the ones you insist on using when God clearly has better plans for you.

My current season, has me reflecting, trying and failing, and using routes that I would never have dared travel. I have come to realize my strengths, and am battling with my weaknesses, much to God’s amusement (if only I can learn to lean not on my own understand…). There are things, however that make me stand out…nay, stick out like a sore thumb. I would not trade them for the world, even though with some, my opinion was not sought, I was born with it.

So let me begin with the obvious.

Fat.

Presently trending as plus size. Meaning, I have refused to be the socially acceptable size 8. Because desert is stress spelt backwards, and how I do love my pastries.  Some plus size friends and I recently visited a market, in hunt of couture gowns with which to grace the runway. And boy did we turn heads! A shower of unwelcome comments followed us, at some point we drew a crowd.

“sister…si umekula sana!”

“Sioni ukitoshea kwa hii kiti!”

“ Hapa hakuna size yako!”

“Shukuru Mungu…si umeumbwa!”

Whoever said that sarcasm is the lowest form of intelligence was the smartest fool in class. The responses coming from my lady friends is worthy of an entire article. In this market, sarcasm was like pearls on swine . Nevertheless, I had a barrel of laughs.

Nappy Haired.

I have a glorious head of hair, which depending on my mood is a blessing or an absolute bother! I was very much the mbalas wearing type, before I got tired of sitting under steaming bowls, and having to “burn” my hair to achieve what society thinks is the hairy version of neat. To that I showed my middle finger and cut it all off. I felt like I had been reborn, I could stand under the shower and enjoy running water while in a vertical position (as opposed to seated at a sink in the salon, facepalm!).  For the longest time I refused to use an umbrella, and enjoyed watching Uchumi and Nakumatt gather instant brand ambassadors (another reason why we will not embrace paper over plastic). I just learnt that some professions will not allow dreadlocks, because of a stereotype. The day people understand that I am not my hair will be a cool day in hell.

Bow legged.

We are a very limited and small club. Comprising of folk such as myself, Beckam and Beyonce. So you can see how talent and all things nice comes with a bow?

Sarcastic.

Often mistaken for rudeness.

Please do understand that I mean well. However, when an opportunity presents itself, my tongue conspires with my brain and all manner of utterances are born.  Depending on your mood, you may choose to be amused… or offended. I will often fail to notice which way you have chosen to go, because life is short, and I have things to be, such as sarcastic.

So you see, ladies and gentlemen, I am many things to many people, and the earth has 8 billion people. What other people think of you is chiefly their business (except he who wields the power to terminate your employment or render you homeless), so go on and be bold. Refuse to be average, blending in should be the business of Marangi and company, find other people who will sharpen your person and make you want to be better. Go on, prosper!

The brief: Strut it!

You think you know, until you are shown that you don’t.

I have a confession.

I am deeply ashamed.

Long have I cherished, thrived and shamelessly embraced the thought, peddling my theory to anyone with ears.

I was by all means correct in my opinion, irrevocably above reasoning with or correction. I was never to be proven wrong, because I usually am right (call me Mrs. Smarty pants). I knew, from my observation and limited interaction, that models are the laziest crop of human beings to ever walk the earth (pun intended).

And then the truth was handed to me, in a mucus inducing type of slap in the face.
I was brought to justice, trembling in my six inch heels.

This is the genesis of my stereotype.

My mother, being the queen of glam and runner of marathons, had us watching Elsa Klench and reading magazines that had more high fashion photos than literary content from an early age. I must have watched painfully skinny girls walk around the globe, for the number of hours spent consuming all manner of designers parade the latest in fall, summer and winter collections. I knew, beyond doubt, that all “they” did was party all night, have someone dress them, slather them in makeup, and have them sashay down a runway every morning. Worse yet, they actually got paid a queens ransom to do this!

Aaaargh! Some people have it too easy!

Then came the day, when I entered the Miss Plus size Kenya pageant. Several auditions later, and I made the top 15. Then the real work (which I had not anticipated) begun. It really was very simple, until the practical’s begun.

The brief was to catwalk. That is it. Just walk like a cat. On a high wall. On a very very slim wall.

My mind accepted the challenge.
My hips sniggered and asked me to stop being silly.
My legs refused.

The thing is… I am very bow legged. So much so , that crossing my legs still leaves a yawning “O” between them. I am also flat footed, which meant the dream of legally owning a machine gun, and walking the night eliminating terror was not to be, members of the disciplined forces can stand for days and feel nothing, I cannot do a half hour.

So back to the catwalk.

Our instructors demanded that we wear double sole heels, which meant I ended up in six inchers. I thought nothing of it, until a demonstration was done on what we were to do on the cat walk. It is safe to say that my ready mind beat a hasty retreat.

“Stop swinging your arms” they said.
“Walk in a straight line” they said.
“Take smaller steps” they said.
“Your head should be last to turn” they said.
“Spin on your heels and lean back, do not fall!” they said.

In a nut shell, I was left in a heap of sweaty quivery body parts that had previously not felt so much movement.

Whatever possessed me to think that being a model was easy and for lazy people? That anyone would willingly do this for a living continues to puzzle me. Forgive me Lord!

I have found myself residing in a house that I had taken far too much pleasure pelting with stones. Put down your stones, lest you find yourself living where you despised.

My Quiet Voice.

I did not grow up in the church; in fact we seldom went to church. I did not have a Sunday best as a result… but my wardrobe has however always been above par (na siringi). I feel badly about my missing out on the opportunity to sing choruses, cram bible verses, have church buddies, mtaa buddies, and mates from school.. I only had one set of friends, we all went to the same school and lived in the same hood.

My view of religion and how all matters Godly work is therefore slightly warped. I however grasped the basics like everyone else; there is only one God, He is everywhere but resides in Heaven (try explaining this to a six year old…tears of agony will be shed), He reserves the right to gift and to take away, we exercise free will – the right to choose where to go and what to do, but our actions will have consequences.  I also understood that the devil is real, you can blame him once or twice for your foolishness, but it gets old fast…so make it good when it counts. He has cronies, who have powers believe it or not, and they will tempt you in all ways, your will and discipline will determine the outcome.

I also understood that in as much as God is your friend and by all intents and purposes your heavenly father, you are also to fear Him. How to have these boil in the same pot still remains work in progress, but the matter to consider is this; the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. In the Bible, the word “fear” can mean several things. It can refer to the terror one feels in a frightening situation (Deuteronomy 2:25). It can mean “respect” in the way a servant fears his master and serves him faithfully (Joshua 24:14). Fear can also denote the reverence or awe a person feels in the presence of greatness (Isaiah 6:5). The fear of the Lord is a combination of all of these.

Given that I am a stickler for rules, I do my best, but continuously surprise myself at my failure to abide by the rules. The ten commandments are a true test, if committing murder was not sin, I would be five steps ahead of Hitler (I do not work well with foolishness, which strongly manifests in persons such as caretakers and matatu drivers, sigh!). Coveting my neighbours field and assortment of German machinery is a daily fail, honestly what do some people do for a living? Are you perched on your high horse? Please come down, because we all lie, especially about the number of drinks we have had ( no need to blow on that stick please officer). Did you exaggerate the reason why you arrived to work 42 minutes late?  A white lie is still a lie you know.

In pursuit of a simpler way to keep my lane and deliver on adherence to the Ten Commandments, I have looked for, listened out and watched the sky for Gods voice. I sincerely expected a Mene, Mene,Tekel, and Parsin delivery of Gods instructions…my walls presently make a grand display of my sons doodles. I have waited for a thundering voice from above…but nothing! I figured consumption of the herb might hasten the process, but realized ten months wearing vertical stripes will do nothing for me.

And then I attended the one church service that addressed my problem squarely.

It turned out that God has been speaking to me all along. I had not realized it was Him, and the delivery was not as dramatic as Moses and the burning bush. When we are requested to be still and know, it is not for nothing. God speaks in stillness, when it is calm and quiet, so you will not confuse or doubt that what you are hearing, is what you are meant to hear. God comes to you as a thought. YES! A THOUGHT. That idea you have, that quite sense, intuition if you will, that suggests a direction to take, or a path to avoid. I have many times heard Him, but I dismissed it because there was not any thunder and lightning accompanying the message. I wanted chariots with wheels of fire, angels blowing trumpets and to faint upon the realization…like a true damsel in distress.

As a result of poor management of my expectations, I have been waiting for something that has been with me all along. People, take time out to be quiet, meditate, think, feel, and be one with your maker. Answers may not come immediately, and they may not be what you want, but answers you will get…from your quiet voice.

For the love of men; thigh monger edition.

To hunt or be hunted…

If you are having an emotional day… read no further.

You all know the type, or are the type. That man who stops time. He oozes so much machismo and can only be likened to a tall drink of sexy! And you will almost always meet him at the most unlikely places, making you all awkward and bothered…damn these hormones!

Stella walks into an interview… and claps her eyes on him. Instantly, the motto and objectives of the company she’s been cramming all morning have vanished. His presence is loud, the rest of the panel feels like little ants around a cube of sugar. He stares at her; she breaks a sweat despite the AC causing a riot with her sinuses. He asks no questions, she wishes he would… does he sound like Barry White?

You can ask us questions if you have any.

Ever the intelligent one, Stella asks a question.

“Should I get hired, will I be reporting to him?” pointing at the reincarnation of Zeus.

Stella didn’t get the job, or his number.

Anisa’s  wardrobe is missing something… she’s not sure what. She wonders around aimlessly, from store to store looking for that item to spice up her collection. And there he is. Looking like the answer to all her payers wrapped up in Kenya’s version of Idris Elba. Her car allowance can pay for his existence, but that does not stop Anisa from carrying on like a milk maid in heat. It is El-Nino season, but she wants to try on a pair of sandals… she needs help taking off her boots. She ends up selecting  items she will never wear, he graciously waits on her, carrying them to the till. He takes over from the cashier, because he has good customer service.

Anisa can only thank him, she cannot tip him. So she swipes her gold card, the one with all her three names. He takes note, calls her by your maiden name… sounds heavenly on his lips. She reaches into her wallet, pulls out a card, holds his gaze meaningfully and sashays off.

“Excuse me Nyaboke, you’ve dropped Elijahs card… you may need it.”

Wishing for the earth to swallow her has never been a fervent prayer until then.

What is with the traffic? Does the rain shrink the roads? Aaaaaaargh!

Monica lives alone, so there is no emergency in reaching home quickly.  She takes a detour, a quick drink and light dinner will do her some good. Anyway, she works far too hard not to reward herself when need be.  She pulls up to Pots and Palms, runs as fast as your Manolo Blaniks will let her,  makes an entry looking like a willing contestant to a wet T-shirt contest. And there he seats, long legged creature straight off the cover of a Mills and Boon! Why does everything else look like a wintery sky, while he has a shiny halo all around him? Monica completely disregards Beyoncé’s look alike , with her 20 inch Brazilian, and skin so clear of blemish she could puke…the bitch! Monica plants herself directly opposite him, swallowing eyefuls of his magnificence. He sees her, a gentle nod of acknowledgement. The universe gets tired of her pleas, the horse wearer gets up, lands a wet one on his lips, and departs. Like the alpha female that she is, Monica pounces on him, equipped with a freshly powdered face, red “come hither” lips, and a shirt still clinging to her generous chest. He smiles, she basks in her boldness… The waiter promptly brings her drink, behind him comes the soft padding of heels.

“Clifford darling, it’s pouring too heavily for me to access the car. Oh! Who’s your friend?”

This is what Lot’s wife must have felt like turning into a pillar of Salt.

Question remains …to hunt or to be hunted?

Mum and Dad…no relation!

This Nairobi will honestly never cease to amaze me!

How trends come and go, is a matter that should have national budget dedicated to it. Sherlock in all his dexterity will be gob smacked at reasons given for something’s that really should not be.

People… I have just realized why the term Mum and Dad are used to refer to your pastor, please believe me when I say… It is a silent cry for help!

I cannot speak for everyone. But it is taboo to seduce your parents. And by seduce I mean sexually! Would you prance around the house, wearing clothing that will have the devil blush in front of your folks? Would you seat across from them, crossing and uncrossing your legs whilst your hem line is somewhere north of your crack?
So why in heavens name would your dress the way you do while going to church? Are you taking your “I have nothing to wear” a bit too seriously? Please allow me to address some of these sin inducers!

You with the thorax! Strutting your stuff like Johnny “look at me” Bravo, how dare you display you wide shoulders and slender waist line like that! You muscle shirt is so tight that I am breathing for you! And them jeans, oooooh them jeans, Levi ought to pay you. Would it have killed you to dress as if you were going to an interview? Have some respect for crying out loud! How many times do you work out? Thrice? In the morning? Where exactly? I am asking for my single pals… for truth I am!

And you with the bandage dress! You must have done a dozen squats this morning… you back side can’t stop smiling…such cute dimples! And that jacket you have on, very chic, .although it only calls attention your nether region, and them heels… damn… Call up Gertrude and do a collabo.

The thing is, we all need to remember that these people of God are first human, and then pastors, fathers, spouses, not necessarily in this order. So when you dress in a manner screaming that church was not your final destination, how do you want them to react? Instead of focusing on making you a better person, the pastors be focusing on calming the flesh!

Please… let us not make each other’s lives difficult! If this trend continues, let each church have uniform, make us all “equal”.

Of sticks and stones…..and Njoki Chege.

To dish out anecdotes (opinion pieces as she likes to call them), that are not grounded in any research, and are heavily influenced by bias and emotions from Satan’s belly is a total walk in the park. In fact, I need only watch more telly (seated on my wide lazy ass) , refuse to interact with any books and then proceed to document my skewed observation to the entire nation. Yes… a pat on my “bony” back is in order.

Do not get me wrong, I do concur that being obese is a serious danger to one’s health. If your weight does not allow you to easily carryout daily activities such as walking, bending or even shaving your legs, then friend, you do need to lose some weight. However, to band all plus size women as obese and proceed to label “us” as unsexy is not only in poor taste, but a shameful display of ignorance.

That being said, I choose to educate Chege’s daughter on matters that lead to weight. Being an ever so slight 90kg’s, I am a self-qualified expert on the subject.
Slow metabolism
This is rare, but studies have shown that a slow metabolism, coupled with other factors such as genetics, age and sex can lead to weight gain.
Malfunctioning Thyroid Gland
Also known as Hypothyroidism, may lead to changes in the Thyroid stimulating hormone that will result in massive weight gain or loss, a test of ones TSH will reveal the range, and how it is to be treated.
Hormonal imbalance
Even with the most vigorous exercise and strict diet, an imbalance in your hormones will prevent successful weight loss. Unfortunately, women are more prone to this imbalance than men are. The condition is known as toxic oestrogen, which has pre-menopausal women suffer PMS, too much body fat around the hips and difficulty losing weight. Menopausal women will experience low libido, memory loss, poor motivation, depression, loss of muscle mass and increased belly fat.
Stress
Whether imagined or real, chronic stress will cause excessive release of a hormone called cortisol, which in turn causes raging appetite, metabolic decline, belly fat , decline in amount of muscle tissue.
Child birth
Yes, post baby fat is real. Depending again on factors such as genetics, hormones, stress levels and activity, this weight may stay with you or burn.
Genetics
Children born to families prone to obesity will be more likely than not become obese. So no, this is not imagined it is real. This is also the genesis of the term “big boned”.

Stereotyping is one of man’s biggest downfall! Man will naturally fear and then hate what they do not know and do not want to understand. I am on a mission to eliminate stereotyping, just because I am of a more generous persuasion does not mean I am daft or slow or unhealthy! Before you judge, and proceed to make known your thoughts… please take a minute and reflect. Equating a 96kg woman to a cow, without knowing how she got there, is completely unnecessary! The mind is a powerful tool, if you choose to see the negative, you will carry it with you and it will consume you.

I am plus size, with no regrets, and I will continue to snuggle in this category for the following reasons.

I do not hate, I appreciate. In the unfortunate event that I break both arms, I will still be able to clap.
Let us sing about thin women with absolutely no curves” said no musician ever.
Can someone show me a skinny teddy bear. Someone, anyone, show me a thin teddy bear! No one? I thought so.
Like
a Teddy bear, I am cuddly and warm. You need only brush by me and you will come away with joy and rays of sunshine… because I am usually in a happy space, and seldom hungry! And yes, I am aware Barbie dolls exist, but they hold no interest over me.
I have this area, its depressed… much like what I think of Njoki, but I digress. This zone, found above my hip and below my ribcage works well with my generous hips. This area, believe it or not, is possessed by many a plus size woman. It is popularly known as the waist. Love is what Njoki needs to handle…so she can stop spewing venom (please tell me you see what I have done there).

And finally, I am thick! thick around my hips, thick around my chest; there is not a minute that I do not love myself. I would rather much be thick in the flesh, than be Njoki’s type of thick. #plusfabulosity.

Yours Truly,

Wahu Otieno.

The thickness.