Month: March 2016

Age Gap Relationships; Are You Dating From Your Father’s Generation?

Some time last year, I spoke about cougar relationships and what I thought about them. Today I want to talk about the opposite, where the man is significantly older than the woman.

Age gap relationships, to be precise.

Celine Dion and her recently, deceased husband, Rene Angelil come into mind in regards to this. Rene was 38 years old when he first met a then 12 year old Celine, who would blow him away with her talent so much, that he  mortgaged his house when he couldn’t seem to find a record company for her, to have her first album released.

It was a couple of years later, when they would both fall in love and begin a relationship, that they at first kept secret from the public for fear of castigation. Celine has in the past, spoken about how her mother was against her relationship with Rene when Celine eventually confided in her. She was worried for her daughter that she had fallen in love with a man who had already been married twice before. But eventually, the family would warm up to him and be welcoming of the relationship.

Truly a match made in heaven, Celine and Rene got married in 1994 in a lavish wedding in Canada. Rene would go on to manage her career for years until poor health rendered him incapable of doing it any longer. At the time of his death early this year, Rene had been married to Celine for a total 21 years with 3 children to complete their close knit family.

Celine and her husband Rene. Photo courtesy of Google images.

Celine and her husband Rene. Photo courtesy of Google images.

Indeed with such a powerful love story in Celebville, which is synonymous for its short lived marriages and relationships between celebrity couples, I couldn’t help really feeling it for Celine when Rene passed away. This is a man she has known all her life and I’m sure she will really miss his presence in her life and career.

Celine and Rene’s relationship is an example of age gap relationships that worked pretty well despite what society has always thought of them in the past. In my country, when a young lass decides to settle for a significantly older guy of probably her father’s age, then the man in question is referred to as her sponsor.

We call them sponsors because in recent times, young campus going women have been known to get into relationships with older married men, only for the financial benefits that come with it. This phenomenon does not only happen in Kenya, per se. I once watched a show on DSTV’s TLC channel, where young women of European origin had settled for really old, wrinkly guys just because of the financial status of these men. I forget the name of that show.

I was thoroughly tickled quite recently, when I read in some newspaper the different names accorded to these older men, who are nowadays a preferred choice for women from their daughters’ generation, because of how heavy their pockets have since been ascertained to be. With the age range clearly outlined, I read of names such as ancestor and fossil in addition to the sponsor tag we have already gotten used to.

Anyone reading this from a different country, can already tell the amount of disgust associated with age gap relationships in my country, just from the monikers we have taken to christening such men in such relationships with. If a young woman in her 20s still decides to date that already balding 50 something year old, approaching retirement with grown up children working somewhere abroad, then she must be too ratchet to care what people will think.

After all, the idea behind it is for the monetary benefits which our young unestablished men understandably fail to deliver. If this young woman expects an equally young man in campus in his early 20s to get her a house to live in, a good car to drive and a sizeable amount of monthly allowance in her account just for her flimsy expenditures, then she is thoroughly misplaced.

No wonder the preference for older established men who have quite some disposable income to spend on such “ambitious” young women. In return, he gets the attention his wife of many years, may nowadays seem not to be in a position to give.This thoroughly misguided idea behind age gap relationships, is what has made many people in my country to view them with disgust.

However, there is a possibility of two people with a significant age gap between them, truly falling in love without any sly motives behind it. How this is going to be received by society, is what makes many people shy away from pursuing their real feelings. Human beings have over time been known to hate such kinds of surprises. We love sticking to the familiar and may give elaborate reasons as to why this is so.

If such a scenario indeed happened, where two people who are both unmarried but with that large age gap between them got into a relationship, many of their close friends and relatives, would be quick to point out the reasons why they shouldn’t be together. I’m sure they will hear of reasons ranging from their respective generations do not match, to reasons such as a failure on their part in future to fully understand each other’s needs, to reasons such as they can always get other people closer in age to each other. Many would be quick to dismiss it as a misplaced fling that needs some snapping out of.

In African societies, the only times we tend to be a little forgiving of age gap relationships and marriages is when this man decided to add an additional wife. In some cases, the younger wife might still be in her 20s with the older wife in her 50s. Then, we may attribute it to culture, religious belief or this man’s reasoning or the fact that men “are prone to having many women.” Though slightly disconcerting, we may not be that keen to keep on pointing fingers in such a scenario.

I tend to attribute the motive behind age gap relationships as the contributing factor to the overall outcome. If this relationship was in itself pure, then a marriage will happen and the critics shall of course be silenced for good. If this relationship was for individual selfish reasons, then the critics will eventually be proven right in their assessment of it. As much as love is a thing between two people, relationships considered out of the ordinary by societies shall always be subject to speculations. The parties involved only need a thick skin to survive.

What do you think?

Some Of The Wealthiest Kenyans Are Of Asian Origin

Ever wondered why Kenyan-Asians seem to be so successful in their respective fields?

I have too. A couple of times already!

Kenyans of Asian origin are proprietors of large successful companies, 5 star hotels, thriving retail and wholesale shops, travel agencies, hospitals and schools (most of which attribute their existence to foundations spearheaded by Kenyan-Asians), well known supermarket chains, media publications…and the list goes on.

So when you see a Muhindi (Indian) driving the latest car model in Nairobi and residing in the affluent Westlands or Lavington or Karen area, you are sure to attribute his or her wealth, to a highly successful, business venture.

But why is this so?

Asian migration to modern day Kenya, began with the construction of the Uganda railway between 1896 and 1901 when some 32,000 indentured laborers were recruited from British India. (Wikipedia)

Although many of the Indian coolies as they were referred to then, lost their lives during the construction of the railway line, as a result of the harsh conditions and the vicious lions from the Tsavo, otherwise referred to as the Tsavo maneaters, once it was complete, quite a number chose to stay.

Their families from India would later join them. According to the description given by Wikipedia, the early Indian settlers were mainly from Gujarat and Punjab provinces of India.

Unlike black Africans, Asians were permitted to reside legally in Nairobi in what was then a burgeoning white settler town. (Wikipedia)

Team of workers near Voi. Photo Courtesy of Google Images.

Team of Indian workers near Voi, Kenya. Photo Courtesy of Google Images.

By the 1920s, Indian settlers in Kenya, were more economically stable as compared to the Kenyans of African origin. After World War II, they were already active in several fields in Nairobi. Their entrepreneurial skills further praised for its contribution to the Kenyan economy.

It is quite interesting to note that in modern day Kenya, many of these highly successful Asian owned businesses are family run. According to an article by Pravin K R on workehow.com, titled INDIA, A CULTURAL LENSE;

Indians have a strong family bonding, they live together as large families and don’t have a concept of moving out of the house at 18 and for them the strangest thing is calling parents for an appointment. This strong bonding comes from the courage of their parents to sacrifice everything for the future of kids.

Perhaps this could explain why the Kenyan-Asians prefer running their businesses as a family. It could also be the reason why the money stays within the family unit and ends up serving the future generations of the same family, who equally carry the mantle of their patriarch, in ensuring that the business continues to thrive. It is not uncommon, to walk into an Indian owned business in my country and to see a photo of the patriarch of the family, who is credited with starting the business, proudly hanging somewhere overhead.

I was surprised to read an article, THE HINDU WORK ETHIC, by a guest writer simply identified as Dota, on the blog http://www.robertlindsay.wordpress.com where he (i believe it’s a he) goes on to critic the Indian work ethic. According to the article, Indians are poor time keepers and cannot seem to work without supervision when compared to the West. He goes on to state that India’s skilled labor is lacking in training thus lagging behind in infrastructure development.

Kenyans might echo in my surprise of this revelation, because the Indians in my country are known to be the best time keepers. If an Indian shop selling something as simple as spices is supposed to be opened at 7 am, then you are sure to find the owner at his desk at 7 am in the morning! He/she will equally expect his workers to be at the shop by 7 sharp.

Kenyans of African descent in the past have been known to complain about Indian employers, as a result of the crude nature they tend to treat their employees with. Indian employers are known to be quite strict bordering on harshness. A simple work related mistake can quickly earn you a sacking. They also never seem to be understanding of their workers’ needs and may often times, not even bother forging an amicable rapport with their employees most being of African origin.

It is quite interesting and refreshing to see this writer Dota, touch on the caste system in India and how this perspective by Indians, seems to be working against India’s economy. If the lower caste in Indian society has always been associated with darker skinned individuals and jobs considered useless for eons, then you are sure to find a section of close minded modern day Indians, still stuck with this misplaced notion. And this therefore, explains why some Indian employers have been known to look down upon their African employees with dark skin. The colonialists further stamping this belief that Asians were considered of a higher class than Africans.

However, not all Asian employers in Kenya possess this kind of reasoning. There are Kenyans of Asian origin who would gladly work with an African anytime! Who would even consider partnering with a Kenyan of African descent in business! It should be noted that the caste system is equally fading in India and especially in urban areas. One thing that Dota touches on that I find very important is that loyalty to one’s employer in contemporary India is considered virtuous.

No wonder an Indian would not tolerate an employee stealing from the company. Those who have worked for Indian bosses in the past can attest to this fact that Indians value loyalty. They value honesty in work dealings. Dishonesty is hardly ever tolerated by an Indian boss and many who have thought of stealing from an Asian entity, have ended up being fired or in police custody.

Asian owned Nakumatt Supermarket chain. Photo courtesy of www.capitalfm.co.ke

Asian owned Nakumatt Supermarket chain. Photo courtesy of http://www.capitalfm.co.ke

I tend to attribute the success of Asian owned businesses to the kind of dedication they put into their ventures. For an Indian, a business is not only a solo venture but something intended to benefit the whole family. We cannot confidently state that families do not have squabbles. All families do but the Asians have over time developed a way of dealing silently with these squabbles, without letting their family ventures suffer gravely.

Indians are highly industrious. They will keep on trying business ventures until they find one which works for them. If a Muhindi opens a fabric shop which a few months down the line, starts to show signs of recording more losses than profits, then you are sure to find the shop closed. In a couple of weeks, you will find a hardware shop replacing the fabric shop with the same owner. In short, they are not at all afraid of taking business risks all in a quest to find that which will be highly beneficial to them.

Indians will instill a work ethic in their children early on. It is not uncommon to find high school going Asian children helping out in the shop on school holidays. In time, these children exposed to their fathers’ businesses will develop a deep understanding of the need to be useful in society in future. It does not matter if their parents take them abroad to study an engineering course, over the holidays if they get a chance to fly back home, you will find them in that sweet shop helping their parents.

Other than the secret superiority wars between Kenyans of Asian and African descent, we can’t really fail to acknowledge that without the input of the Indians in our midst, our economy wouldn’t have been where it is at the moment.

 

The Iconic Safari Boot: Did Your Dad Own A Pair?

uniformdistributorsltd.com

Mine did! And I’m not at all ashamed to proclaim that he owned several pairs back then, when safari boots were the in thing for ordinary Kenyans. Just kept replacing them as they aged. But the nature of his job required him to have long lasting shoes. Boy, was he a frequenter of farms! The safari boot served him well. It’s a hardy pair of shoe.

One time, we left our shoes outside on the doorstep as was our usual routine and my father’s safari boots just disappeared! It was so funny because none of us heard a thing and it was around lunch hour. We highly suspected our neighbors though and our suspicion was proven right when a couple of days later, the neighbor’s son emerged in a pair of freshly, dyed, black safari boots.

But you see, the thing with suspicion is that you can’t really confront the person you suspect lest you end up making a fool of yourself. Trust me, this realization was a hard pill for us to swallow. Interestingly, it didn’t seem to bother my father much. He just got another pair as was his habit.

Nowadays, Kenyan men donning safari boots are considered shady. I mean with all the different types of modern shoes in the market for men, why in the world would an urban Kenyan man decide to get a pair of safari boots?!

Of course if you are a male foreign or domestic tourist or modelling safari wear or a tour guide, you can be excused for donning a pair. It works especially well for the tour guides who pair the boots with khaki trousers or shorts. Not so, for the clueless ones who decide to do official trousers with safari boots.

Love to hate them, safari boots remain a Kenyan identity with the Swahili word “safari” loosely translated to mean “journey” in English. So of course if you are a foreign tourist keen on visiting our game parks, be sure to dash into a Bata shop to get yourself a nice pair of safari boots before you embark on your game drive.

I like how http://www.world.bata.com/bata-best-sellers-safari-the-boots-that-say-you-know-Africa describe the shoe;

Made of the finest cowhide, this shoe is a favorite because it evokes the savannas of Kenya. The boot’s rough finish not only feels genuine but also fits “just right”.

Constructed to withstand rugged terrains while providing walking comfort, the safari boot is also easy to clean regardless of the road travelled.

Appreciated for its superior quality, the safari boot is still hand stitched at the Bata factory in Limuru, Kenya and this attention to detail gives the shoe an attractive authentic look that many brands have attempted to imitate.

So there you have it! Did daddy have one of these?

 

Is My Status Elevated If I Date Outside My Race?

Back in June 2013, a Belgian national stopped me on the staircase of the Westlands mall. He needed directions to the Westgate mall and had understandably, ended up at the Westlands mall instead. Those two names could confuse any foreigner.

I offered to show him the way and out of gratitude and courtesy, he insisted that we have coffee together at one of the coffee shops upon arrival. Now the most interesting bit is that, while on normal occasions I would walk into a coffee shop and nobody would be fretting all over me asking what I needed, the fact that I was in this man’s company threw the staff into a frenzy.

All of a sudden, we became the center of attention with everyone jostling to serve us. I chuckled to myself then, knowing that the staff present at the coffee shop had mistaken us to be in a relationship. Little did they know that we were complete strangers, who had happened to bump into each other, a couple of minutes back and ended up chitchatting.

Of course if I had been in my own company, I would have been served alright because this is a reputable coffee shop with well trained staff. But then I wouldn’t have ended up feeling like each one of the staff was trying really hard to catch my attention. I would have had my coffee and walked out without causing much of a frenzy.

However, on this particular day, I felt as if I had been given a certain sense of importance, that I wouldn’t have been given on a normal day in my own company or in the company of someone of the same race as me. And seeing that we were just about the only ones in the whole coffee shop on a very chilly Nairobi weekday, from where the staff stood, I could sense that they were all trying to figure out how me and this man ended up being in a “relationship”.

As much as African-Kenyans may try to pretend that they are past that stage of viewing other races as superior to their own, there is always that underlying awe in us, directed at an African woman dating or married to a man, who is of a different race. The same is not so strong for an African man married to a woman from another race.

I have in the recent past watched a couple of interracial couples where the woman happens to be African and have on most occasions, ended up with more questions than answers. I admire interracial couples as they just go on to prove that love can concur all boundaries.

I’m also aware that for two people of different races to decide to get into a solid relationship, they were willing to fully understand and appreciate their different cultures. That is not an easy feat. It needs a lot of sacrifice and an open mindedness on their part.

However, I always seem to get the feeling from some of the interracial couples I have observed, that the woman has suddenly developed this heightened sense of importance just from being with this man. I have encountered African women in a relationship with a European or American or Asian or Arabic man, in their dainty high heels, perfectly done make up, not a hair out of place, with a character that seems borrowed.

This has always got me wondering why we don’t go all the way to act this way with our fellow African men. Why does it seem that with a foreign man of a different race, we suddenly develop this inherent need to elevate our status? And if I was to get into a relationship with someone of a different race, would I equally feel the need to discard my old personality? Can’t my old personality appeal to this man who is in love with me?

I tend to think that Africans in general suffer from intense inferiority complex. We may claim to be liberated and capable of exercising democracy in our respective nations but the shackles of colonial mentality are still with us. The fact that we many times fail to appreciate our own is testament of how deep rooted this problem is.

I am yet to encounter several relationships of two Africans, where the woman seems to be trying too hard to please this man she is with as is the case with the interracial ones. And by trying, I mean to the point where it is obviously noticeable that she is on a mission to upgrade her status to match that of her husband’s or boyfriend’s.

We claim to be strong women who can never change for a man but I tend to think otherwise when it comes to interracial dating. If society treated me with the kind of importance that I encountered at the coffee shop with the Belgian national, wouldn’t I be equally pushed to feel like I needed to act differently while in his company just to prove society right?

Are we in the first place, dating foreigners of different races for the right reasons or just to prove a point? Could the fact that we consider our own African men to be on a much lower scale, when compared to their brothers from other races be actually a figment of our own imagination? Must I act in a certain way just to be with this man of a different race?

Do you have any answers to my many questions?

Are You Comfortable With Your Number?

I got to watch the movie, What’s your number? starring Anna Faris (whom by the way, I find quite entertaining) while in campus. I thought it was quite a bold move by Hollywood producers, to settle on such a story line seeing that many people, are quite uncomfortable discussing the number of sexual partners they have had in their lifetime. And more so if they happen to be female. But that’s what Hollywood is synonymous for, pushing boundaries. So here was the character of Anna Faris, a female, talking about 19 partners already!

I also found the movie quite thought provoking in the sense that several critical questions arise just from watching it; Is it necessary to keep count of the number of sexual partners one has had? Could one of them end up being a lifetime partner? Is it OK to have quite a large number? Is a woman cheap for admitting to having so many?

whatislovedrcookerly.com

whatislovedrcookerly.com

A 2014 Kenya Demographic & Health Survey draws the conclusion that 2 out of every 5 Kenyans have 2 or more sexual partners. The introductory line of an article on the Standard Digital website dated January 15 2016, by Paul Wafula states;

A man in Kenya has an average of 7 sexual partners in their lifetime compared to 2 partners for women on average.

I am not utterly convinced by the latter statistic judging by the fact that many people are hardly, entirely truthful when discussing their sex lives. For women, this is worsened by the patriarchal societies we come from, which arrogantly assume that women should be sexually pure. If not, to at least pretend to be and to sound convincing enough.

I emphasize on the word arrogance since men have always been treated less harshly in matters, sexuality, unlike women. In some African societies, for example, polygamy and the keeping of concubines by men is endorsed and the women expected to automatically accept it as manly nature. It is quite interesting to note that some women in such societies, participate in creating situations  for their husbands to have additional sexual partners.

Just this past week, I encountered a very weird scenario when an older woman complimented me on the gap between my two front teeth. She then proceeded to inquire from me on whether I was married. When I replied in the negative, she mentioned that looking the way I did with that gap, she would not mind getting me as a second wife for her husband. She seemed to be half joking, I really wanted to believe but then while speaking in a low tone, she sounded equally, half serious.

I asked her whether she wouldn’t be afraid if I proved to be a competition assuming her husband fell hard for me and ended up forgetting all about her. To which she replied with a sense of confidence that since I would be the younger wife, then I would definitely be under her instructions. To be quite frank, this conversation which I guess had been intended to be good natured, ended up leaving me feeling very funny in a weird kind of way.

In Africa, it is not entirely uncommon for women to find additional wives for their husbands. This further proves the liberal nature that male sexuality has been accorded by society. And seeing that this woman was from my mother’s generation and had probably been brought up in the village like many of that generation, she must have been well versed on tradition.

We cannot entirely blame her for being backward in her reasoning since women in my generation too, have been forced by society to excuse men for having multiple sexual partners. I keep hearing the notion that men cannot survive long periods without sex and elaborate explanations as to why this is so. Women on the other hand are usually branded slutty for having several sexual partners no wonder the inherent need to fiercely guard their number as a secret.

So if it is indeed true that men cannot go long periods without sex, then they must be highly sexually active in their lifetime, from the very first time they experimented with sex. This first time being perhaps in their teenage-hood and all the way to their late 20s and early 30s, depending on the time they settled down in marriage. Then the average number of sexual partners for Kenyan men, could actually be higher than what is given in the survey. The same applies to women who have over time taken to keeping their true number a well guarded secret.

With the onset of the HIV/AIDS scourge, openly discussing one’s number is made all the more complex for fear of the sexual stereotypes that come along with that admission. It is often assumed that a man or woman who unashamedly admits to sleeping around may probably be having some sexual disease of some sort that he/she is spreading around.

High libidos are many times frowned upon as being proof of one’s promiscuous nature. A woman in a marriage may feel inhibited initiating sex as a result of the sexual stereotypes attached to women who seem to be possessing high libidos. Society has created situations where, a woman is not supposed to seem too eager to have sex. Yet the man should exercise confidence in asserting for sex, irregardless of whether he wants it from one woman or several women.

However, with the knowledge that HIV/AIDS is in existence, wouldn’t it be important to hear a truthful account of one’s sexual history that you had an intention of getting into a sexual relationship with? And wouldn’t it be unnecessary to hold it against the woman because of her number, if you too as the man, equally has a number bordering on the same?

And while women have always felt the pressure to cover up for their sexual indiscretions, some high profile women have gone against the norm and publicly spoken about their number. At some point in time, Ex supermodel, Janice Dickinson admitted to having slept with close to 1,000 men in her lifetime including actor Sylvester Stallone. Knowing how Janice is, I’m sure she cared less what people might think of her. Proprietor of House of DVF famous for it’s iconic wrap dresses, Diane Von Furstenberg in an interview with Post magazine sometime in 2015, centered around her memoir The Woman I Wanted To Be openly stated, “I slept with a lot of people and I’m glad I did.”

It would be unnecessary really, to hold it against these women for being openly unapologetic of their sexual past. As a matter of fact, I find these women quite comfortable with the way they chose to live their lives whether society would eventually judge them for it or not. I tend to think that they derive their confidence from the fact that irregardless of what could have been considered slutty by others, these women ended up to achieve notable feats in their respectable fields thanks to their individual talents.

The decision to openly discuss one’s number depends on an individual and whatever he/she expects to achieve with the admission. Whether it is necessary or not to keep track of one’s number depends solely on the initial drive behind it. However, sexual health shall always remain very important and something to keep in mind while engaging in sexual activities.

 

The Complexities Of Nude Selfies/Pics

Disclaimer: Any nude photos used in this post are only for illustration purposes with no intention of corrupting the mind of the reader.

The first woman to appear nude in a Hollywood film was Audrey Munson in 1915. The film Inspiration wasn’t anywhere close to being classified as a porn flick but rather, Munson played a Sculptor’s model and is therefore seen completely naked in a couple of scenes.

Audrey Munson. Photo Courtesy of www.huffingtonpost.com

Audrey Munson. Photo Courtesy of http://www.huffingtonpost.com

The feisty Marylyn Monroe would set her own record in 1947 with the first nude sitting after she got hired by Earl Moran, a calender and magazine Illustrator as a model.

Fast forward to today and nude photography and selfies are beginning to transform into a normal occurrence for quite a number of urbanites. Save for a few instances, where the subject suffered severe backlash and embarrassment after some nudies leaked online, a couple of celebrities seem to benefit greatly, from having their naked pics splashed all over the internet.

Closer home, a Ugandan TV personality was fired by her employer after naked selfies of her surfaced on the Internet early the previous year. Further afield but still in Africa, BBA(Big Brother Africa) 2011 winner, Karen Igho equally had nude photos of her splashed all over the Internet around the same time she was in the BBA house.

The photos were attributed to her modelling days and did not seem to cause her much damage as she went on to win the competition. In Kenya, a female musician suffered enough backlash and quite some huge embarrassment after nude photos of her were maliciously leaked on the internet some years back.

Socialite Kim Kardashian seems to be raking in enough benefits from her nude selfies. And especially with the one below which had her trending worldwide.

The taking of nude selfies and photographs has been associated with Art and creativity in some quarters. In these same quarters, it is believed that a woman who agrees to pose nude or takes her own nude picture is indeed very comfortable in her skin.

She appreciates her whole being and embraces her flaws as part of what makes up her femininity. She is not at all scared by her vulnerability in that state. And as long as the parts considered private are covered up or cleverly concealed, then there is absolutely nothing off putting with the picture.

The picture can actually be used to pass a message! And a very strong feminism related one at that. Quite admirable, you might be tempted to conclude since many women are highly conscious of their nakedness. But here is one who is acting as an example to all, that being naked is actually nothing to fear, flaws and all. Never mind that some naked silhouettes are actually edited to give that picture of a perfect naked female body.

In other quarters bordering on the conservative and religious, nude photographs and selfies are an abomination. A rebellion against the religious or societal view to cover up one’s body for decency and to protect what is considered sacred.

A woman who is willing to bare her flesh in such societies suffers castigation, violence even and labeling. She is considered a woman who deserves no respect since she does not see the need to accord herself any in the first place. A non-marriageable material.

However, some of the women in liberal societies who have no qualms baring all are actually married women with husbands who seem to endorse their wives’ decisions to be in the nude for the public. It is therefore very interesting to witness people who have no relation whatsoever, to such women pointing accusatory fingers at them for being in the nude.

A billboard in my country sometime around 2013 caused so much uproar after one of our then celebrated, female radio personalities seemed to appear nude in the Vaseline advert. Compared to the kind of uncensored naked pics and selfies which increasingly make their way to the Internet in recent times, the picture had been taken professionally, with the woman in a sitting position with only her arms, legs and shoulders bare.

Whether the intention of the advert was in good faith or not, many Kenyans complained bitterly about it. Many thought it was a corruption of our morality and there were several debates going back and forth about the said billboard. The radio personality herself handled it graciously and this worked perfectly for her, since the moral judges gave up on pointing fingers eventually.

The main intention behind many nude photographs is for professional purposes. However, this has always seemed to rub some (and sometimes many) people the wrong way. We have our young children who are growing up and if we constantly expose them to nude photography, then what kind of generation are we risking to raise? Many have reasoned.

I’m personally very sensitive to nude photographs. I see no value behind a woman posing naked and posting it online or have it spread on a magazine. I would prefer a stone sculptor of a naked woman over a real life naked woman anytime.

Indeed my sensitivity is so deep, that I recently thought a carving of a head of a Maasai woman with her breasts bare, wasn’t appropriate to put on an office desk and settled on another carving that was less revealing. I had been sent on an errand by a close friend to get a gift.

My views aside. I respect a woman’s decision to bare it all if she finds it perfectly comfortable as I consider her an adult in her normal functioning capacities. However, I wonder what would have initially pushed her to that level, where she feels that the only way to prove her confidence is to strip naked? Couldn’t there have been a much better, different way to prove this other than a naked body?

What do you think?

 

The Innocence Of Children

I accidentally got to eavesdrop on a conversation between my neighbor and his daughter sometime this week.

Daughter goes something like, “Daddy si utaenda kwa bank utoe pesa ya trip!”

(Daddy, you shall have to go to the bank and withdraw money for the trip).

I gathered there was an already planned educational trip at school and this child was definitely eager to go.

An obviously amused dad went, “Alafu nikienda kwa bank?”

(Then what happens when I go to the bank?)

“Ah, si utawaambia tu wakupee pesa alafu waandike hapo trip. Hawatakataa. Alafu utapea teacher!”The daughter reasoned.

(Ah, you will tell them to give you the money then they note down ‘trip’. They won’t decline. Then you give the teacher!)

From that small bit of conversation I overheard, I came to several conclusions;

  1. This little girl assumed her daddy had so much money which could be withdrawn at anytime from the bank. So playing the “I’m broke” card was definitely not going to work for him. He just had to pay for the school trip whether he had the money or not judging from the finality in his daughter’s voice.
  2. For this little girl, her daddy was obviously her knight in shining armor who could grant her anything in the world. Check.
  3. Children can be so humorously innocent in the way they reason at times. Especially the part where she says the bank should note down “trip” as the purpose of the money withdrawn. I mean for children things can be so easy. Not so for us adults!

Anyways, hope she does get to go for the trip. I know daddy wouldn’t dream of letting her down now, would he?

 

What Would You Do If Your School Aged Daughter Told You She Has A Boyfriend?

wallpapersinhq.pw

wallpapersinhq.pw

 

“Mum there’s something I want to tell you. Promise me you won’t get mad.” Your pre-teen or teenage daughter implores one day. Being the good, modern mum who doesn’t fancy resembling your own mum on how she handled communication with you while growing up, you sit down patiently and nod your head in encouragement for your daughter to go on.

“Well, you see mum_that boy who lives next to that grocer’s whose mum you are friends with_” Your daughter stammers. “Well, we kind of really like each other.” BAM! She finally drops the bombshell. Something you didn’t quite expect to happen this early for her and weren’t the slightest prepared on how to deal with it. What do you do about it?

I once spoke to a mother of a 16 year old who rambled on, on how she and her daughter had this amazing mother-daughter relationship. She mentioned how her daughter could tell her anything and how she in turn impacted her wisdom to her daughter. This mother seemed pretty sure that her daughter wouldn’t fall by the wayside seeing how perfect their relationship was.

Then I spoke to yet another mother who was every bit the African (the first one was Asian) and she equally mentioned that she encouraged her daughters to talk. Both of her daughters are pre-teens and she is the modern Kenyan mother who conforms to the school of thought, that you should be friends with your children. It was quite interesting listening to her as we children of the late eighties and prior did not have that kind of open minded mothers.

Our parents weren’t very equipped to give us that sex ed and most of the things we learnt about sex later in life, we figured out by ourselves or through watching movies and experimentation. They were also not the kind of mothers who fancied being friends with us. They were disciplinarians where the slightest form of truancy from you elicited a beating. However, I do not blame them for the old fashioned way they raised us.

According to an article on the Ceasefire website/ Radar reports dated October 7th 2014 and reported by Susan Yara from Mombasa, Kenya;

Kenya has seen an alarming rise of teenage pregnancies forcing thousands of girls to abandon their education early and spurring a debate over the causes and repercussions of the issue.

Susan goes on to list probable causes of  the rise in teenage pregnancies in Kenya as early marriages, broken families, rape, peer pressure, inadequate sex ed and alcohol and substance abuse.

So being a knowledgeable mother aware that your daughter is experiencing raging hormones, already has confided in you that she has a boyfriend and is in need of thorough parental guidance and not anger, how would you go about it?

Quite a number of mothers may be tempted to conclude that friendship with their children is needed at this point, so that their children can be open with them at all times. That way, they figure it would be much easier to keep track of their children’s activities and therefore, avoid the worst from happening.

Rather than being this overly strict mum who comes across as tyrannical and in the process scares away her children from opening up, why not act like a friend your kids can confide in about anything? Some mothers tend to reason.

However an article on the website http://www.modernmom.com titled BE YOUR KID’S BEST PARENT, NOT THEIR BEST FRIEND! tends to disagree and expounds why. A section of the article states;

 

A parent should be the one person a child feels he can talk to about anything, while at the same time being the person who sets the rules, boundaries and expectations for behaviors.

This structure is what provides children with a sense of safety and belonging.

If done well, this is how an open relationship between parent and child is established. When a child breaks the rules, boundaries and expectations (as they are sure to do – this is how they learn), it is the job of the parent to give the child consequences for those behaviors, while using the experience as a teachable moment.

How can we learn from this? How can we do better next time?

Our job as parents is to prepare our children for life. To be able to talk with our children about real issues, with the intention of teaching them life skills so they, and we, will feel confident that when they go out on their own, they will be best able to make the safest and smartest choices. “Friends” do not have that type of relationship; active parents do.

So as a mother, who wants to be a best parent and not a best friend, how will you handle your daughter dating or wanting to date in her pre-teens or teenage years?