African Woman, How to Live a Lifeless Life and Sustain a Loveless Life, Learning to Live a Balanced Life, Life Lessons, Love is..., Loves of a Life Time

Not even death can kill love

This month, March 2018, marks 13 years since my dad died. They say time heals all wounds, and it is partly true.

Mostly, for me, the festering took time. I thought it was getting gangrenous. But it didn’t, it just took time.

I had to watch out for my siblings, so they didn’t drown in the grief. And then we had to care for mother, who couldn’t stop herself drowning from the grief.

I had no time to grieve. I had to move to Stockholm and study.

Eventually, the scab developed to cover the wound. Then again, every now and then, the scab peeled off as soon as something else happened to push particular unidentified buttons.

About five years ago, the wound felt healed. It stopped bleeding, and the scab stopped dropping off leaving tears, depressions, rage, neurotic anxiety and all other symptoms of emotional harm.

Still, the healed wound can throb when it is too cold.

When I see a dad hugging their daughter.

When I hear a song he loved.

When I see a tall, thin man with his arms wrapped behind his back.

When I see a man too drunk.

When my stomach hurts, I remember the day dad and I agreed that we had stomach aches at the exact same time. I went to see the doctor. Dad refused to go see the doctor.

He went drinking.

When I fight with my mother, I remember all the times he fought with her.

For almost the same reasons.

When I am a little nervous or worried, the psychological finger goes to touch the throbbing healed wound.

But I did finally find Rumi, a fragile healing:

  • Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.

I have forgiven myself. I have forgiven dad. I have even forgiven life.

Still, the healed wound throbs every now and then. Just to remind me that he was here. He loved me with all the love he was capable of. Because he had no courage or consciousness to love himself.

Although he died at the end of March 2005, every year, I go through the whole of March thinking about him. Feeling the joy I always felt when he laughed. Remembering his total, non-judgemental dedication to my entire freedom. Remembering his touch on my head when he once shaved my hair off to save me the morning-hair-fixing-routines.

I was never a mourning or a morning person. I was all laughter, jokes and joy. I have had to learn to grieve, to be sad and to externalize grief and sorrow. And I have had to learn to wake up early in the morning.

I still hear his proud, joyous, voice when he introduced me to his friends:

“Have you met my daughter?! named after my mother, Elena?”

Rumi on sorrow

Not even death can kill love.

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I will be the one…you miss

I recently re-connected with an old acquaintance who has been unhappily married for over 15 years. They have been to psychologists, relationship councilors,trips to Rome, Paris, New York. Trips to the sea side to resolve their differences.

They have even been to a divorce lawyer and then backed out of the divorce.

There has been abuse, both verbal and physical.

Still they hold on. Which I find admirable. And yet…

20180225_123421[1]I did ask my old friend: “isn’t it over? Shouldn’t you be over by now?”

She has spoken about this relationship for ever. When I wish we could speak about our dreams and plans for the future, she speaks about this doomed broken-glasspieces-on-floor relationship.

It drains the energy out of everything.

It kills the inspiration that could change the world.

And I said, unwisely:

When it ends – a job, a relationship, a friendship etc, there is a little madness, self-preservation, self-sabotage, megalomania and even recklessness when you say:

“I will be the one you miss. The one you don’t forget. When you are 70 years old, going through your life, and re-running through the decisions you have made, I will be the one you miss.”

There is also self-love, self-respect and a healthy core deep inside when you can say:

“You will look back at your life and ache for my laughter, my energy, my warmth, my coldness, my hysteric overreactions, my silences, my horrible singing voice, my dry hair all over the place, my tired red eyes.

One day, quite unexpectedly, you will long for Me.

But, it will be too late, when you find out what you have lost.”

It may not be true, but try it! When you find yourself in the wrong job, relationship, friendship etc try telling yourself that you deserve something good.

Something energizing.

Something supportive.

Something reliable.

Or whatever it is that makes you inspired to live a fulfilling life.

Because there must be something better out there for you! Don’t you think?

Maybe, that something out there is YOU

The light at the end of the tunnel is YOU!
African Woman, feminism, I am not a feminist but...., Learning to Live a Balanced Life, Life Lessons

Black history month is here! Feminists, independent or autonomous black women?

My black history number one is always Wangari Maathai and all the women who have led the way here. Do you guys remember the Fourth World Conference on Women that took place in 1995?

I do.

After the conference, my father and the men of my childhood started to deal with women’s insolence, opinions and expectations with the answer “this is NOT Beijing, woman! If you go on like this, you have to move to Wangari Maathai!” Wangari Maathai was in Beijing in 1995 and she was divorced. When people in my childhood spoke about her, they said “she left her husband.”

However, when I read about Wangari in the teenage years of discovery and defiance, I read that her husband had divorced her with the verdict that: “Wangari was too educated, too strong, too successful, too stubborn and too hard to control.”

Well, that made my mind up right there. When a man left me, I wanted him to say exactly those words, and nothing else.

By the time I was twenty years old, I was referring to myself as a feminist, a word treated with contemptuous sneers in the circles I grep up in. A woman’s commitment to self-sufficiency astounds and scares.

In Sweden, I sometimes get the question or the affirmation regarding how neglecting African men were of their women and how independent African were as a consequent. In the same sentence was the well-meant concern for how exposed the African women were to the men’s whims. I have not experienced African women as more exposed to men’s whims than the women of any other continent.

Women in Sweden were and still are, in my observation, as vulnerable and exposed as the women in Kenya. The main difference I can discern between Sweden and Kenya, is that in Sweden, the word feminism is thrown about proudly, together with equality, human rights and other powerful words of the 21st century.

D:DCIM100DICAMDSCI0416.JPGMy mother was brought up by strong women and she made sure to extend the same courtesy to my sisters and I.

Obviously, we, as in most other societies, were brought up to be men’s support systems and reproduce. Therefore, we were military trained to find mates as soon as we could reproduce.

I was, among other things, taught how to be a wife, a mother and a daughter in-law – to soothe, distract, coach, massage egos and nurture.

A contradiction of myself, submissive when it served the family and tough as nails when it served the family. I was advised to always have a secret stash of money for myself that he didn’t know about. It was recommended that I find ways to keep myself busy so I wasn’t spending my days waiting for him because, apparently, idleness makes a boring, uninspired and irritated companion.

I was expected to be his whole support system when he had none.

However, I was also expected to be able to raise the next generation on my own, dependent only on other women’s wisdom and support. Hence, we were explicitly, implicitly and repeatedly taught to actively and consciously separate our support systems from the men’s.

We were challenged to make our own friends, independent of the men and incorruptible by the men. Although impregnation or fertilization is dependent on men’s presence and continued existence, motherhood was not. A healthy, self-sufficient, holistic, autonomous individual that could live with or without a man. A rock.

Kenyans moving towards feminismDid the men get the same training? I have no idea! But here we are.

Both in Kenya and Sweden, most women always worked and still work just as much or more than the men. There is no fancy word to describe their freedom or captivity.

Historically, men were of course the official bread winners, in both societies. However, women have always contributed, only without the trumpets going off to announce and thank them every time new shoes, blankets, curtains, school books and pens, children’s underwear and other necessities appeared miraculously. Traditionally, at least in parts of Kenya, women could not inherit property from their parents.

So, the options were either to marry or make money and buy their own property. Even when a woman succeeded to get married, if she failed at generating her own income, she would be keenly aware of her destitution if the marriage ever fell apart. Her only hope was that the children, if she had any, would inherit their father and take her in when she was too old to take care of herself. No woman in any continent thinks that is fair or sustainable, therefore women’s perseverance at work and marriage.

In a world of shit hole countries and inter-country walls, I am learning to become untriggered, but I can still get a little sore when I am asked how I could become such a feminist, coming from Africa where women are so oppressed. With suggestions that maybe, I am reacting to the oppression.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, I was not taught anything else.

Is that feminism or autonomism? Does it matter what it is called?


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Love Is…Undeserved Compliments

Hi lovely people! Have you been wondering how to know that the man/woman etc human in your life loves you?!

London show your rump to trumpWell, it is easy. You know that day when you wake up feeling like a sack of rotten potatoes?


Ok. Lucky you!

A crate of rotten eggs then?

You know like the one the lovely British people planned to throw at POTUS a couple of weeks ago?

No? Oh well. Then it just me.

I have these days covered before they even arrive. I have several bad-hair-day scarfs and paraphernalia. I have a hat. I have umbrellas. I have hoodies. I have an afro in braids. There is that fleece that  I only wear when I am feeling like crap. It’s grey and it is sooooo comfy and it smells of laziness, sofa and TV.

Since I am a beehive of activity even on my worst days, I need to throw the rubbish out. On the ground floor. I drag myself from the sofa, take my red coat for a flush of color. My older sister always said that a click of red lipstick, or anything red, on black skin makes you look like sunshine. Even on wintry bad days.

My human says: “WAIT!”

I look around at him ready to pounce.

Me: “What?!” you know, daring him to say something awful.

My human: “You look great! Let me take a photo!”

Me: “Really? Dude? What do you want?”

click. click.

My human: “Look!”

And I do look OK. It is not the end of the world. So I pull myself together and smile at him.

“Take one more photo then!”

I still have an inner child that loves attention and thrives under the gaze of love. But I do this thing when I am very happy that gives me #crazyeyes.

What does it matter when there is one person in the whole wide world that sees something good in me?! Something that looks good even on my worst days.

#YouAreNotCrazy. You are #Passionate.



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F$£K New Year resolutions!

Hi guys! Hope you are having a nice 2018 so far? For me, it’s the 60th of January 2018, this month never ends! This morning, I did the math of how to survive the coming unbearable THREE days until payday on the 25th. At 08:00am, I had a few Swedish crowns left in the account. At 16:00, I have 0 crowns left and it is still 3 freaking days to go!

It is rocket science.

65th January 2018

In Kenya, this is the week mama mboga – female grocery store owner – sells on credit. 90% everyone of her customers is broke after all the celebrations planned with the purpose of emptying pockets. If mama mboga is feeling cranky, she closes down during this week and rests in wait for end month.

Eat Well – Only, not in January…

Screw the suckers!

Independence day on 12th December comes first and it expects every self respecting Kenyan to celebrate the republic. Then comes Christmas. No words needed, right?

By the time the New Year comes, no Kenyan is calling any other Kenyan for any reason whatsoever. There are things you don’t have to pay for – #PleaseCallMe and #PleaseSwishMe. The pain in all Kenyan asses, School fees, is not to be ignored.

As a young Nairobian, I used to move back to my parents’ or siblings’ homes for the whole of January.

In Sweden, my life is upside down and I am an adult not young anymore. So, I cannot move back to anyone’s home.

When I did the math this morning, I realized I had a few coins left for my survival and smiled. I then decided quite promptly that I had to go shopping for some cheap food for the coming THREE days.

We have a grocery store, not so far away, that usually has some cheap edibles short-dates on Sundays. I never bothered to shower since it is a short walk. I then applied a little lipstick to fool the fools and a winter hat does the trick.

I am as dry as a withered thorn-pine in the desert so I took a drop of oil on my palm, the oil running out too, added a little luminator that too is running out! When it rains, it pours! and matched out whistling happily. I was looking fly! Like a million Shillings!

Shopping 60th January 2018Remember I have promised to stop buying useless crap in 2018 so I can save money and be rich?

Well, that was rich coming from me!

As I turned to go into the grocery store, I saw the 70% off poster, plastered on the window of some store.

Or 30% sale price.

These poster are usually in red, so you couldn’t miss them if you tried. I feel happy because I understand that on the 60th of January, most shopkeepers multinational retailers selling crap know that I have only a few coins left so the sales posters are a way of being nice to….

waaiit for it….


I match into every shop that has a sale poster on. I am listening to Adele’s, Make You Feel My Love. There is no other way I can show myself some love on a day like this.

I even bought a Pomelo on sale! Seriously, sod off and f4£k off with all the freaking new year resolutions! I have been shopping! I have new crap! I feel temporarily elated. And don’t you dare give me that crap about the elation not lasting! I am perfectly happy with temporary bliss!

I have no fresh groceries but who cares?! I can raid the freezer for the next 3 days.

If you are good with the January planning, can I move in with you for a couple of days?

#YouAreNotCrazy. You are #Passionate.


African Woman, Learning to Live a Balanced Life, Life Lessons, Loves of a Life Time

Dream Men

Maasai Cricket warriors
Maasai Cricket Warriors by Francois Nel/Getty Images

When I see this picture of black men moving their bodies with ease and control; displaying this capacity Africans have to embrace new things and learning without prestige. learning them without abandoning what they already know. I remember my dream man.

As a young girl growing up in Kenya, I never had a dream wedding, just my dream man. He was black, like the men who brought me up – he was dignified, he was “the silent, strong type”. My father drunk too much, so my dream man did not drink. My father smoked and every hug left me feeling like I was hugging his shadow and the real man, my father was hidden behind the layers of cigarette smoke and alcohol. My future man would not smoke.

He would look like that man swinging the Cricket bat and I would adore him and he would adore me. Maybe, if he was kind, I would even *let* him have a mistress to massage his beautiful ego.

And then I moved to Sweden and my dream expanded in form and content. What a twisted rope life is!