The Annoying Habit Of Downplaying Female Assertiveness

Why do we like downplaying a woman’s assertiveness?

And this is not only a preserve of men, but of fellow women too.

Why do we expect a woman to just keep quiet and take whatever is being thrown at her or what we consider the only option?

What is wrong with a female just saying “No, that does not work for me.” ?

Why do we always have to equate female assertiveness to being picky and unreasonable?

I have been asking myself all of these questions lately. It happens on the relationship front, career front, the having kids front and literally in every other aspect of a female’s life. The pressure not to assert for what she feels is right or works for her. Instead, to make do with what is given as the general option for everyone or to just take whatever crap someone feels like bringing her way.

In my job hunting, I have had people suggest jobs that I felt were not really career paths I would feel fulfilled following. However while suggesting, people would often add the line “just take the job, don’t choose jobs.” Already, they had given me a general option. And the general option was, since befitting jobs are often hard to come by, why not take up anything that can give you a source of livelihood. Indeed, there is quite a lot of sense in this type of reasoning.

Former US First Lady Michelle Obama. Image courtesy of Google

However, could it be the reason why many Kenyans are in jobs that they do not love, simply because they were given that particular general option, of just picking whichever job that comes their way? Could it also be the reason why you sometimes walk into shops or organizations and get served by obviously bored and rude employees?

Many times in the past, I have said no to these kinds of suggestions. And I’m almost a 100% sure that those who suggested, thought I was simply being haughty or unwise for asserting for a job that to them, “might be hard to come by.” I always figured that it is way better to start at the very bottom in a field you are passionate about, than to start at the very bottom in a field you don’t care about and were simply urged to take up.

Another aspect that faces a lot of downplaying of a woman’s assertiveness is the marriage and parenthood bit. Whenever I mentioned that I did not feel it was the right time for me to settle down or have kids, someone would openly scoff at my thoughts. I sometimes feel that people tend to view life through their own personal lenses. It can be quite annoying when someone suggests that you are wasting time for waiting before making such major decisions. Everyone’s pace in life is different. However, arguing out your point with these kinds of people is often times meaningless.

We need to raise up a generation of assertive women. Not necessarily to be pseudo-feminists completely averse to the male contribution and thought process in society, but to be women who know and understand themselves and are willing to stand up for what they know works for them. The idea that a woman should be subdued to the point where everything including that which makes her uncomfortable should be accepted needs to go. Being the weaker sex does not translate to being a “yes” person. It is a mentality that equally afflicts women, who expect other women to follow the same line of thought, of suppressing their feelings.

The bitter truth is that only the assertive women manage to make it in life. Those who choose to squash their true thoughts and feelings only transform into doormats. And being everyone’s doormat is not something anyone would fancy.

 

Are Kenyans Embarrassed By Their Own Culture?

In the wake of Lisa Gaitho’s blog post which caused quite a stir, with what many termed as a bashing of Kenyan culture with an insinuation of Nigerian culture being superior, I decided to take a look at the whole issue from a different angle. My post is not necessarily a response to Lisa, since I do not know her personally and what motivates her thought process. Let it not be taken as a direct jab at a fellow blogger as I believe in this Internet space, everyone is entitled to their own opinions, whether they are agreeable to everyone or not.

Anyways, I’m more concerned with what the post intentionally or unintentionally, brought to the fore. And the question is, are we Kenyans embarrassed by our own culture? Or rather, do we even feel like we have a Kenyan culture in the first place?

Looking at other African nations, we can be tempted to quickly make a conclusion as Kenyans, that we may indeed be lacking in a cultural identity. The first thing that first comes to a Kenyan mind is the fact that many African nations have a cultural dress. Just next door in Uganda, we have the gomez. In Ethiopia, we have the Abeba and Habesha traditional dresses complete with a hairstyle synonymous with Ethiopian women. In Rwanda, there is the mushanana for the Rwandese women. Further afield in West Africa, Ankara rules the region. South Africa has the colorful beads and traditional skirts complete with a traditional cap.

When you come to Kenya, what is mostly identified by foreigners as the Kenyan dress is the Maasai attire. And as we Kenyans know, the Maasai do not really represent the whole country as a whole, seeing that we comprise of 43 different ethnic groups. But since the Maasais are notably the only Kenyan tribe, that has wisely held onto most of their cultural way of life and have been greatly marketed overseas as a result, they are the ones inevitably accorded the Kenyan identity symbol.

Unfortunately, for the younger generation which has grown up in an era of modernization, we may not even have an idea of what our individual, ethnic, cultural dress actually looked like. Reason being that with the coming of missionaries, many tribes in Kenya ditched their cultural dress to embrace the White man’s dress and education in a move toward civilization. So really, the whole idea of lacking in a present day cultural dress goes way back to the pre-colonial era, where to be educated and clothed in modern clothes symbolized being civilized.

The Kenyan flag. Google Images

The missionaries brought us Education and Christianity which was and is a good thing, do not get me wrong. However, our cultural identity got lost in the process and it didn’t help matters that Kenya is not predominantly made up of one ethnic group or just two or three. With the mishmash of 42 now 43 different tribes with their own individual cultural dresses, it would have been difficult really, to embrace just one particular cultural dress that would have incorporated all the ethnic groups  as one. Could be the reason why an attempt a couple of years back to come up with a Kenyan dress seemingly, flopped.

When it comes to food, I see many Kenyans complaining about our bland culinary choices. To be honest, I’m one of those Kenyans who feel like we could have at least tried to be a little more creative with our food choices. However, the Coastal people are touted to have the most tasty choices of food. And it is part of their culture. So when you hear of biryani, mahamri, pilau, chapati, spicy sauces and the likes, think of Mombasa, Kenya.

I must admit it kind of makes the rest of  the Kenyans a little envious that while we are busy mashing potatoes, maize, beans and pumpkin leaves into a dish, the Coastal residents are pounding  a combination of spices together, to create a wonderful aroma and taste for their dishes. Ugali, the Kenyan staple is simply one of those uninspiring dishes that Kenyans had no choice but to embrace due to how economical the dish was. However, the economical nature of Ugali as a dish and especially this year, is up for debate with the soaring prices of maize flour and the scarcity of it.

As for how we treat our elders, it all depends on how a Kenyan individual was raised. Many Kenyans grew up in homes where to be disrespectful to an elder warranted a thorough beating. However, with all this urbanization business, it is not entirely uncommon to have working parents who have absolutely no time to spare for their growing children and may not even realize, when their children are picking up bad habits and manners. There is simply no time for effective disciplining of children since more parents are working more hours than in the past.

That said, I do not feel like it is wise for a Kenyan to simply feel embarrassed for being of the same nationality or to feel inadequate, when compared to other African nations. We do have rich urban cultures that are quite alluring to non-Kenyans. A notable one being the matatu culture of pimping rides with graffiti. Nowhere in the world will you find a public service vehicle decorated with as much art as we decorate our matatus here. This even surpasses the  cultural dressing and the likes. It is uniquely Kenyan.

I also feel like we haven’t really lost touch with our culture since there are some cultural practices that Kenyans still follow.  Many of my peers have held traditional weddings before church weddings. Many of my peers have named their children after family members. Many of us possess traditional second names. Many of us still take our kin back to our ancestral lands for burial and perform all these burial rites. If that isn’t cultural enough for some Kenyans, then I do not understand what culture means to them as individuals.

 

 

The Uncomfortable Truths About Love Bombing

I’m guilty of love bombing. I have equally been love bombed in the past. And if you are already raising an eyebrow wondering why you have been following and reading a sociopath’s blog, let me mention that not only sociopaths and those with funny personality disorders love bomb. According to the definition given by Wikipedia, Love Bombing is an attempt to influence a person by demonstrations of attention and affection. Just to add to it, over the top declarations of love and a flurry of texts stretching for long periods of time during the day and especially, in the initial stages of getting to know each other.

Many of us are guilty of doing the same because sometimes, we just decide to let our selfish desires get the better of us. Usually, I would love bomb whenever I was idle or in need of attention from the opposite sex during lengthy periods of singlehood. Indeed, as a result of the highly selfish nature of love bombing, many can attest to the fact that often times, the relationship hardly lasts past 2 or 3 months. Here’s why;

Image courtesy of Google

Love bombing is in essence not real love.

It is motivated by selfish desires. Jerks on the prowl for casual sex employ it as a tool to get easy sex from unsuspecting women. Women are often left wondering what just happened when a man who had come on too strong, with declarations of love, consistent communication and promises of a lifetime suddenly disappears after a sexual encounter. Blame it on love bombing, to fool you into believing that you just met your knight in shining armor when in essence, you simply met your worst nightmare of a commitment-phobe.

And yes, people with personality disorders who are highly insecure of themselves, use the love bombing technique during the idealization phase so that they can get their high. Be sure that this person will take you through the devaluation phase, once you are completely sucked into the lies and deceit and finally, the discard phase. It might take you months or even years, to figure out exactly what had been going on in this so called relationship.

It quickly gets boring.

Imagine spending all of your waking hours and evenings just chatting with a subject of your affection. You will probably end up exhausting all topics and divulging information about yourselves that would have best been divulged gradually. In the end, the sense of mystery disappears and you are left wondering what to do with this person, other than avoid them altogether.

The best relationships do not involve two people constantly chatting or calling each other without any breathers in between and especially, in the initial stages. Remember, men love the thrill of the chase as much as liberated women may try to put this fact up for debate. If it so happens that you are always available for chats, then you are killing this thrill in men and communicating to the man, that you have no other life away from your phone.

Love bombing reeks of desperation.

Otherwise, why would you feel the need to smother someone you are attracted to with very strong declarations of love, far fetched promises and unbelievable flattery? Normal people take their time to get to know someone. They do not begin speaking of a future with someone they just met the other day. Be wary of men, who begin mentioning marriage on first dates or making declarations of “having found the one and being by your side forever”, within the first month of dating. Be equally wary of women, who start discussing a desire to have children with you on the first date or very early on in the relationship.

These are just people lacking in other aspects of their lives who need a love interest in their lives to validate them. They can go to great lengths just to lure this person, into giving them the affection and attention they so desperately need, even if it means making outrageous sacrifices very soon into dating. One thing we fail to understand is that solid relationships take time to build.

Love bombing is best done over the phone because it is insincere in nature.

Meet these love bombing culprits in person and you will quickly realize that, they are totally different persons altogether from the ones who have been constantly texting and calling you. You may even be shell shocked that they seem at a loss for words in person and may struggle to initiate conversation. The first tell tale sign will be a lack of spark or an immediate romp between the sheets, no conversation.

Love bombing is very well executed over the phone or via social media because the culprits can easily hide their true intentions behind a phone or computer. Most are socially inept persons who prefer to mask this by not interacting in person with people they supposedly are interested in. A person who is truly in love and desires to get into a relationship with you will always create time to see you in person. Such persons know and value the power of one on one interactions.

Love bombers make it easier for themselves, by hiding behind gadgets where it is easier and quicker to break it off, once they are done with hapless individuals who had no idea of their true intentions.

Have you ever been love bombed? If so, how did you handle it or how did it end? I would love to hear your stories.

 

I am Not My Vagina And Sexist Attitudes Toward Womanhood

Disclaimer: Blunt descriptions below.

It always grieves my heart whenever I see sexist depictions of the female vagina.

In this era, I cannot believe that the value of a woman is still being placed on the appearance of what is between her legs or rather, what constitutes her womanhood. That some clueless personas have taken it upon themselves to make disturbing descriptions of a woman’s vagina, all in a bid to depict a pure or what they consider an impure woman. Don’t these persons know that they came out from that same vagina they now shamelessly drag through the mud? And when women go along with these supposed jokes, it sickens me.

Can’t you see that we are being made fun of? That when a fellow woman is bashed it is literally the whole female fraternity that is being bashed? Women, we need to be each other’s keeper. We need to band together and say no to these ugly jokes about the female vagina.

Image on sexism courtesy of magoz-illustration

I know some may argue that even women are guilty of the same crime directed toward the male genitalia. This is just but a testament of what our society has since degenerated into. That instead of gauging someone’s worth based on character, we have since decided to include private parts in the picture and have some sick fun in the process. I can say this with confidence that whoever engages in this kind of unsavory behaviors needs to get his/her head checked.

It is not right and hardly something we should pass down to the next generation. We need to teach our children to be respectful of women. And I speak today to the woman who has been branded a slut and had some people describe her genitalia in the worst way possible concerning this. We gain nothing other than furthering sick stereotypes by doing so.

Tearing down a woman based on her vagina is the worst form of prejudice often directed to the women. It perpetrates disrespect and a lack of appreciation for the role of the woman in society. We are mothers and we bring forth children into this world. And those same children are the ones who sadly turn against us and assume that their attack is specific to particular persons. I’m sorry to inform you that your attack is on all females in particular.

I do not care whatever experience you particularly had with one female. Just don’t go to social media and depict all women as that one woman you were supposedly dissatisfied with. We do not take it kindly when these kinds of depictions influence other males’ perceptions of women. We hate it that we are being forced to get insecure with our vaginas just because they are supposedly not the “ideal” vaginas.

Our mission in life is not only to please men sexually with near perfect or perfect vaginas. As a matter of fact, we are not sexual objects who have to be described to all and sundry and given a particular standard to adhere to. For all the women who have given birth naturally to children, you do not need to be shamed into feeling that things are not right down there. To all the women who are supposedly not tight enough or wet enough during intercourse, it does not determine your overall worth as an individual.

Any man who thinks he has the right to disrespect women in this manner needs to do some serious self reflection. Women are worth much more, than only what they have between their legs.

Being Superficial Could Be Costing Us Chances At Real Love

There was once this thing considered ideal for an African woman seeking to date an African man.

This thing of tall, dark and handsome.

So let’s be honest, how many of us African/Black women chanced upon this tall, dark and handsome man who was equally caring, unselfish, loving, attentive…blah,blah blah? My guess is none of us. And even if we did get this tall, dark and handsome man, chances were, he might have been lacking in other areas we considered crucial in building a healthy relationship. Unfortunately or fortunately, we were forced back to earth and concluded that a love interest’s character was what mattered as opposed to only how he was supposed to look.

I am a short woman. Just 5’0 tall. In the very recent past, I had never thought anything about my height since I come from a family of short women on my maternal side. But not until someone I considered a love interest seemed thoroughly bothered by my height. In a short duration of time, I got descriptions of pint sized and too short which really caught me by surprise. Nobody had ever seemed bothered by my height in the past. Including those men who felt there was not enough spark to warrant a romantic relationship with me. At least they were polite enough to spare me the bodily criticism.

To make matters even more appalling, the fact that I had recently done the big chop was also a huge cause for concern. Now when an African woman decides to go the big chop way, just know that she has tried just about anything on her African head from braids, to perms, relaxers, color, you name it, to finally settle on rocking her naturally, God given tuft. Here I was, riding on the wave of the natural hair movement and actually starting to really love it when out of the blues someone decided I was a fad follower, had a school girl look and just needed to grow that damn African mane. As if my past experiences trying to figure out this kinky head did not matter at all.

My weight was also a contentious issue. I was flab. For a moment there, I felt like an African female version of humpty dumpty, with barbed wire short strands sticking out of my head. They tell you that a confident woman is never bothered by other’s opinions of her but trust me, when someone decides to attack that very thing that makes up you as a woman, it is bound to cause all kinds of bodily insecurities. And so I was left licking my wounds. Never mind the fact that I had mentioned beforehand how I looked to him and I’m barely plus size but simply, a short woman with a perfectly God given apple shape and short African hair.

A plus size model. Photo courtesy of Internet Sources

This experience got me thinking about how being superficial has actually only served in being detrimental to our love lives. We often times complain as women that there are no good men left out there when in reality, we have this long mental list of standards that we use to gauge a potential mate with. Half of those standards being based on how he looks. I equally know of men who would rather be caught dead dating a dark woman, short woman, fat woman, a woman with tattoos…you name it. And yet, those very same men will sulk and whine that there are no marriageable women nowadays.

This obsession with things appearing on the surface causes us to spend a huge chunk of our dating life analyzing and sifting through men and women trying to match our standards with them. In the process, we forget all about ourselves and whether we are indeed what someone else would call an ideal mate. And all because we have let our superficial standards on others take us down the selfish route.

I’m not trying to suggest that you date the very first person who comes your way that you are thoroughly unsure of. It is perfectly in order to be unsure of some people and especially when you get that deep intuition that this might not work in the long run. However, sometimes and in certain situations, we need to cut potential mates some bit of slack. Otherwise, we will waste our years wearing our critical lenses and bemoaning the fact that we can’t seem to find someone to love us unconditionally.

Do you love yourself in the first place unconditionally or are you simply looking for someone to make you feel good about yourself? That you can walk arm in arm with that magazine, cut out, looking woman and others will acknowledge how much of a good taste in women you have. Or that you will show off your sexy and dapper man to your friends and will almost swear the green eyed monster has paid them a visit.

Indeed some of the couples considered most incompatible are the ones who ended up having the relationships to be admired by many. For them, it was not only a matter of looking at the surface and quickly writing each other off for perceived flaws but being patient enough with each other, to discover that despite what many considered their significant differences, they indeed complimented each other.

Short man and tall woman couple. Photo courtesy of Internet sources

This encounter has taught me that despite failing to meet a man’s standards, I do not need to wallow in self pity at this kind of rejection. It has also opened up my eyes to the fact that I need to personally be realistic when considering a potential mate to date. I do not need to tear down their appearance just because I do not feel attracted to their physique. Rather, I need to reject them in a way that does not make them feel inadequate as individuals. Indeed, that which you consider inadequate to you, could perfectly be adequate for another.

I would love to hear if any of you has ever had a similar experience to mine.

How Do You Handle Rejection?

This year, I have experienced some rejections.

In March, I got called for an interview. The ones you are so confident about acing, that you seem relaxed and your fellow interviewees even notice this and comment admiringly, about your composure. I was so sure I was getting this job that I did not experience any form of jitters.

Precisely a week after the interview, I received rejection mail from the said organization and in as much as I tried (albeit successfully) to act cool about it, the rejection mail hit me like a tonne of bricks. I couldn’t help feeling this pain in my chest that I was not getting the job I was so sure of getting.

I did spend some brief moments wondering what I did wrong or did not think of doing, during the interview to warrant this mail. And as if to add salt to injury, a certain magazine I was contributing for did not seem that appreciative of my contributions. Talk of a double blow. I ceased sending in any article submissions just for my own sanity.

Let’s not even go to love relationships where many have experienced the worst forms of rejection from someone they thought felt the same way about them. No matter the various dimensions that rejection takes, whether subtle or downright harsh, it is still rejection. When a love interest suggests a friendship to the other instead of a romantic relationship, in spite of the polite way the suggestion has been packaged, to the one in love, it will still sting.

We may try to act hypocritical about how we individually handle rejection, but we can all secretly agree that any form of rejection always deals some sort of blow to our esteem. It is not only the ones known to previously possess the worst self esteem who suffer emotionally in the face of rejection. We all do for a fact. And we all have our own individual ways of dealing with rejection.

Google Images

In my opinion, if you fail to deal with rejection, it only causes you to harbor resentment toward those who have rejected you. I’m the kind of person who has not always handled rejection well. However, experience has since taught me to purpose to face those accompanying negative feelings, whenever I’m faced with rejection in a rational manner.

When we are hurting from a rejection, should we decide to quickly react to the negative way we are feeling, we risk causing unnecessary friction or making fools of ourselves. That is why it is important to channel our negative emotions on something else other than on the person/people who have rejected us. At that particular moment in time, it is usually best to avoid those who have caused us this pain we are currently battling, until we are sure we can face and interact with them without feeling any anger or resentment toward them.

Writing has always proven therapeutic for me and therefore one of the ways of channeling my negative emotions on something else other than on the doer of the action (the person/people who have rejected me). Talking to a trusted friend or relative about the rejection is yet another way of not only channeling your negative emotions onto something else but equally letting it out of your system. But make sure that those you open up to, have the wisdom to understand the root of your pain or anger and do not end up accusing you of lumping your troubles on them.

Immersing yourself in your occupation is equally another way of channeling your negative emotions onto something constructive. The thing with work and preoccupation is that it takes your mind off things and before you realize it, you may have forgotten all about the pain the incident of rejection had caused you and therefore, find it easier to cope with.

And while facing rejection is never easy, sometimes there’s a brighter side to it if you choose to look at it that way. Perhaps what you thought was meant to be was in reality something that wouldn’t have been good for you. Rejection can also bring to your attention aspects about yourself that you really need to work on to avoid future rejections if you are open to it.

The best rejection is when it is brought to your attention exactly why you are being rejected as opposed to when you get no explanation whatsoever about the reason. Yes, it may really hurt being told something negative about yourself but at least it gives you a clear justification as to why the rejection is happening or happened. Knowing yourself better, you can decide for yourself whether it’s worth mulling over or is something that you need to move away from and align yourself with positivity instead.

Thank God that at least every human has experienced rejection before so it’s not an entirely foreign thing exclusive only to you.

Is The World’s Fascination With Africa Hypocritical?

A couple of weeks back, I happened to get into a conversation of sorts on a page I follow on Facebook centered on a certain meme. The meme in question had an individual announcing their desire to visit Africa, with the other person insisting that the individual be specific on which country in Africa, they would like to visit. Of course our opinions happened to be varied with other page mates concluding that a section of us were simply being overly sensitive.

However, I think we have very valid reasons as Africans to be skeptical about the world’s fascination with Africa. Having been categorized as a third world continent for the longest time possible in addition to getting quite negative coverage by the international media, we can’t sometimes really help wondering whether people from other parts of the world, genuinely appreciate our continent.

In certain cases, the desire by others to visit the continent has been in essence, to confirm whether Africans still lead lives as the primitive people they have since been largely branded to be. Not forgetting the fact that a majority of countries in the African continent have a dark history of colonization and therefore, are still a tad bit distrusting of the intentions of foreign visitors. Not that we feel a repeat can happen but past experiences tend to shape present perceptions.

Africa is a continent made up of several nations with very distinct cultures and ways of life but that has not stopped the rest of the world and especially the West, from failing to acknowledge this fact. Hollywood has often seemed confused and thoroughly ignorant about Africa when basing movies and shows  on the continent. It is always disconcerting for an African to watch a movie or show, that decides to mix two African languages, from two different countries and then try to pass it off as a movie set in one particular African country.

Even more upsetting is having to keep explaining yourself in a foreign country as an African, that where you come from is not plagued by war and disease. The idea that Africans still walk around naked, live in makeshift homes, possess primitive ideas and the likes, has failed to completely fade from the minds of  Westerners who seem to still feel the need to “discover” the continent.

I understand that for foreigners of African descent, their wish to visit Africa has always been to connect with their roots. For us Africans who have been born and brought up in our motherland, we may many times fail to understand this specific need.

Perhaps, we find it absurd that they would just desire to be in the continent, without being specific with which country in particular because for us who come from the continent, we can easily trace our roots. And our individual roots, happen to be centered around a particular locality and not the continent as a whole.

voiceofafrica.fm

Indeed one of the arguments that came up in the aforementioned conversation on the page, was related to this inherent need by African-Americans and people of African descent from the Caribbean, to visit the continent. However, this does not completely erase the fact that our continent happens to be the most misunderstood by many, often basing their view of the continent on hearsay.

Call it inferiority complex, sensitivity or what but Africans are increasingly getting tired of having to justify their legibility to others who are not from the same race or continent. Issues of racism and racial discrimination do not make it any easier for us. It only serves to heighten our skepticism of the world’s interest with our continent.

It should be understood that histories of oppression by others who felt superior to us, have contributed largely to Africans feeling the need to protect themselves from hypocritical intentions. We may argue that issues of xenophobia are perpetrated by Africans to fellow Africans and therefore as an African, I have no right to conclude that only those not from the continent discriminated against us and oppressed us.

Xenophobic attacks such as the ones witnessed in South Africa are deeply rooted on colonialism and the fact that Africans felt divided and denied of opportunities at that particular dark time. I’m no advocate of senseless killings neither am I trying to lay blame on the colonialists at this point in time. However, how a nation chooses to heal from past hurtful experiences, determines the way forward for the development of the nation in future.

I would like to believe that many South Africans have healed but there is still that percentage, that has not completely healed and are therefore willing to incite and attack their fellow brothers and sisters, whom they feel are taking away opportunities meant for them, the original citizens.

As a continent that is forever trying to get to the same level as other continents and many times falling short in the process, our main concern is being genuinely accepted as capable of competing on the same level as other continents. It may seem like a far fetched idea to many but past branding of the continent as incapable has contributed to our wariness. We may many times fail to understand other people’s intentions or might even be right about their hypocrisy, who knows?

Do Long Distance Romances Work?

I used to be very skeptical about long distance relationships until a personal experience recently changed my view. Love is a beautiful thing but my reasons for being skeptical in the past were largely due to the fact that, many men I encountered made it clear that a long distance relationship would not work.

All these men happened to be in the same country as me, but felt that a distance of a couple hundred kilometers from a woman they were in a relationship with, would definitely pose a challenge. I also used to feel that being in an LDR, required an extra huge amount of investment in terms of keeping the spark alive.

Image courtesy of glamour.com

However, my eyes have since been opened to the fact that you can indeed have a successful LDR only if you pay attention to these few pointers;

Communicating via a medium of communication is not similar to communicating in person.

Of course many LDRs start online. Therefore, the initial conversations may be through skype or over the phone or via facebook or whichever other medium of communication, that can facilitate long distance interaction. It may surprise you to learn though that interaction in person may be/can be different when you two eventually meet.

You may quickly discover a significant difference in personalities and/or perceptions which was not quite evident, while the two of you were chatting since you are now able to read body language, see the other person’s reactions and experience first hand how they normally act. So it’s always important not to set your expectations and standards based on your online initial chats.

You might not feel the spark in person.

Meeting someone you have been talking to online is definitely a new experience that might make anyone nervous. So of course all these mixtures of anxiety, nervousness, fear of the unknown, shyness etc. etc. might interfere with that “spark” feeling. Give it time.

Cultural differences.

This is a crucial factor that often determines if an LDR will survive or not. If you two come from different countries, go into the relationship keeping in mind that your cultures are different and therefore your values, way of life and perceptions may totally be different. Compromise may be required. Equally, considerations of whether the both of you are up to the challenge of accommodating each other’s cultures have to be factored.

If it is meant to be, it will be.

Normally, we have a tendency of placing relationship expectations and this is no different with LDRs. However, if at all you do meet and feel uncertain about each other, don’t sweat it. Take it easy and enjoy the moments you two spend together. If it is meant to morph into a serious relationship, it will. If it is not meant to be anything romantic, then count your lucky stars for adding you an additional long distance friend.

LDRs need double the work in relationships within the same locality.

The fact that you two are miles, kilometers or continents apart requires the both of you to go the extra mile in making the relationship work. You need to both develop a certain level of trust, loyalty to each other, patience, tolerance and optimism.

Those periods when you will be apart for months and there’s nothing you can do about it because you are both bogged down with work or your respective life demands, these attributes will come in handy. So if you both feel ready to be in a serious relationship, a  huge amount of planning on how you will be organizing your meetings, communicating, solving disputes and working on your relationship is required beforehand.

 

 

The Curious Case Of Anti-Social Entertainers

If you suspect to be an anti-social entertainer, then you are probably in the wrong business and I say this with good reason.

Very recently, Nigerian musician Burna Boy suffered vicious attacks from the #KOT (Kenyans On Twitter) fraternity as well as revelers, for what they termed as a poor performance at a club in Westlands, Nairobi. Turns out that Burna Boy was only making a club appearance and not a show, but the fact that he turned up on stage at 3 am to perform for only an hour or so, thoroughly angered those who had paid to watch him perform.

The said club has since clarified and given their own version of what truly transpired. Apparently, Burna Boy had been stuck in traffic for about an hour and a half and the club’s previous decision to charge an affordable price for the tickets, had seen large numbers turn up. So the club had to be forced not to let other revelers in which of course didn’t sit well with those particular revelers. Okay, I’m really trying to understand which massive traffic was this in the early morning hours of Nairobi, that Burna Boy was stuck in, but I will keep my opinions to myself on that, this time round.

Anyways, I’m more concerned with how the musician chose to react to the situation. The heat must have been too much for him because Burna Boy ended up blocking most of his Kenyan Twitter followers and at some point mentioned angrily that Kenyans were peasants. Now, now Burna Boy, I understand that the #KOT family can be unnecessarily harsh at times and as a normal human being, it is totally in order to show negative emotion when you feel unfairly attacked. However, being an entertainer, I think you kind of have an idea what the price of fame entails.

There are people out there who will attack you for nothing or something just because they are so used to seeing your face, being in the public eye and all, and now they assume that they know you personally. How you choose to react to such kinds of scenarios speaks a lot about you as an entertainer. Are you the divalicious* entertainer whose fame has got into his head or the entertainer whose sole mission, is to deliver to his fans and understands that sometimes he can come under fire from those same fans.

In my opinion, Burna Boy falls in the former. Why in the world would he even think of calling a section of the consumers of his music, peasants, just because he felt attacked by those same consumers?? There is actually no justification for his reaction to all that hullabaloo. And if those so called consumers, were not that interested in Burna Boy as an entertainer, then they wouldn’t have turned up in large numbers, just for a club appearance of his and eventually felt offended when they felt he under delivered. Burna Boy was actually being too petty and immature as an entertainer with his reaction.

Burna Boy. Photo Courtesy of Google Images

However, it’s not the first time that a musician from a different country has shown up on our Kenyan soil and proceeded to misbehave. Yet another Nigerian musician, Davido came to Kenya sometime in 2015 and went ahead to totally act uninterested and rude on The Trend Show hosted by NTV’s Larry Madowo. He walked out before the Interview was concluded. The concert he was headlining in the country, was nothing to write home about with disappointed revelers complaining on Social media of a mediocre 30 minutes performance and an entertainer who appeared drunk.

Congolese maestro, Koffi Olomide would be another musician who would land on Kenyan soil and proceed to attack a female dancer of his at the airport, throwing a kick at her in 2016, while oblivious to the fact that it had been caught on camera. He was so confident that he was going to still perform in the country after the incident, that he appeared on Citizen TV only to be arrested soon after and was eventually deported.

So incidents of entertainers exhibiting anti-social behaviors is not entirely new to us. It is disheartening though to realize, that some of these entertainers tend to quickly forget that those same fans they have since taken to disregarding, are the ones who made them what they currently are. Those fans in turn, expect the entertainer to deliver and will not hesitate in expressing their displeasure, whenever they feel taken for granted.

Burna Boy and all those musicians who turn up in Kenya and proceed to act in unsavory ways, should know that some of those tickets to their concerts that Kenyans pay for, equal someone’s rent for a month or two. I doubt a mere peasant would afford to pay a ticket for something, akin to a club appearance from a musician who is totally convinced that his fans “owe” him for his time.

They should know that their music is given enough airplay on Kenyan radio stations sometimes at the expense of Kenyan music. That should be reason enough for them to at least show some respect to their Kenyan fans. Burna Boy should have waited for temperatures to cool down, before offering a formal statement just as any normal, wise, level headed entertainer who values his fans’ opinion of him would.

But of course in this era where vanity surpasses logic reasoning, such entertainers of the above description are becoming increasingly rare. Perhaps it is time that the Kenyan market started to look within and appreciate the talent we have in the country before looking across borders for entertainers who probably, have no interest in respecting the Kenyan market. Entertainers who selfishly pocket our money, then prance out of our country in a show of disdain and arrogance.