Month: February 2017

The Things I Hate About The Monthly Period

Image sourced from Face2face Africa

Image sourced from Face2face Africa

When the ladies from Always started coming to our school back in primary school, I knew they had seen the need to educate us 10 year old girls about menstruation. My mum had mentioned a few things in passing to me before. But the Always ladies had a lot to tell us about the period, how to use the sanitary pads and how to use the sanitary buckets for disposal and for once, the boys were not allowed in our talks.

In a way, it made us feel important having people coming to exclusively talk to the girls at school. Little did we understand then, about the real horrors of the monthly period because 3/4 of us hadn’t started having them. Recently, one of the bloggers I follow, girlwiththafro, decided to talk about the period and I couldn’t help get amused for I could so relate.

Other than being reminded monthly why I’m a female, there are things I really hate about the period. So here goes;

1. Period Cramps

I’m one of those unlucky women who cramp like they are giving birth on most monthly periods. I don’t usually walk around with a grimace on my face on those days, but I kind of grimace inwardly each time I’m hurting. I’ve had my cramp moments that unintentionally drew attention to the people around me or made me lose things.

One time in high school, I was cramping like they had been paid to torture me and I had to put a straight face and get through the day, even though I just felt like lying down and doing nothing. I had a set book with me that day. The ones you read and are supposed to decipher hidden meanings that will be examined in your English literature exam. Those books were hot cakes back then and got stolen at any given careless moment. In my turmoil, I stood up from the dining hall table and left the book lying there in full view of merciless thieves. And that’s how I lost the book and had to pay for it after high school.

Another cramp moment happened one really cold July morning. So I’m tossing and turning in bed and a male cousin of mine, walked in and asked with concern written all over his face if I was okay. Of course I wasn’t and I had to tell him why. The horrified look on his face clearly said how much he thanked the gods for being born a boy. And he was understanding enough to send a female friend of his to the chemist to get me painkillers. Thank God for family.

On a Sunday when I wouldn’t let anything get in my way of experiencing the Holy Spirit including the godamn cramps I was having, I literally dragged myself to church. Only to end up sitting through most of the service and wondering why I even showed up in the first place. As soon as service was done, I perservered till I got to town and walked right into the first chemist I saw.

On most of those days, it’s usually a guy who serves you coincidentally and when you ask for Buscopan plus tabs, they just know what’s really up with you. But I must commend these chemist male employees for being so kind and understanding and inquiring if you need water to take the tabs. Of course yes, you need water to rid yourself off these pains!!!

2. Sleeping at night

Forget that Always advert when the lady turns in bed in silky white pyjamas and wakes up like an angel, yawning like she has just been cast in a princess movie. We don’t sleep like that on those days!!! You might be wearing the longest, absorbent, breathable pad in this world with additional reinforcements, but you will still be cautious at night. You will end up sleeping on one side till morning and have to wake up in the middle of the night just to check yourself or possibly change a pad. Those days are when you don’t even want to be sharing a bed with a man.

Your girlfriends who know you are on your Ps and have just received a sleepover invite from a boyfriend will probably gasp, “Are you going to a guy’s house on your Ps??!!” They are not jealous. They simply understand the struggle too well and the horror of staining someone else’s sheets and especially a man’s, with an elaborate, red robot pattern.

3. Mood Swings

Ever wondered why you seem to hate everybody around you and make additional enemies during your monthly period? Mood Swings!! Those are the days you will literally be snarling at your boss in your heart (because you value your job and your face cannot allow you to snarl openly at him/her) and wondering when it will get to 5 o’clock and you can go home and break some cups and plates to vent.

For some reason, those existing problems you had that you had decided to face with optimism will seem literally magnified on those days. Please do not make rush decisions in this state! It’s just the hormones acting up and the period. It shall pass.

Of course we really hate men asking if it’s that time of the month when we are fussing over petty issues and throwing an epic tantrum, but sometimes, it’s really it. But we are women. We are supposed to know how to handle this, without someone having to remind us how entirely powerless we are with controlling the mood swings, at this time.

4. Not trusting white bottoms and dresses

I never trust any white bottoms or dresses at this time even if Jennifer Lopez’s stylist insisted. What if something leaks? What if I’m strutting around unknowingly, with an obvious red patch on my behind. No, no. No White.

One of my female cousins saw a woman in white bottoms, bent over mtumba (second hand clothes) on a crowded street in town with a small telltale red dot on her bottom. Needless to say, she didn’t even know how to tell the woman without causing her untold embarrassment. I mean, where do you hide in such a situation?

I saw enough girls get laughed and snickered at by both boys and girls in school, when they stained their school tunics on their very first period, to even effectively explain the kind of embarrassment, a grown woman can feel for staining her clothes. Thank God, my very first started at home. And so painfully, my cousin chose to keep quiet.

So, what do you personally hate about the monthly period? Share below.

Advertising For A Wife

Quite recently, I came across an article on the Nairobian, about a 32 year old Nairobi man who had decided to place notices all over the city advertising for a wife. Apparently, he had spent about Ksh3,500 on the whole venture and his notice included the specifications for the woman he wanted and a deadline date of March 30th 2017. Among his list of specifications was an insistence that the woman should not have kids and should be able to work in the farm.

He also made a point of mentioning to the Nairobian reporter who did his story, that he was not interested in Nairobi women as a result of their indignified ways. And that so far, he had started narrowing down to his choice despite the fact that many pranksters including men, had already contacted him. Well, that is the most stupid thing I’ve come across since the year started and here’s why.

I find it very stereotypical when men living and working in Nairobi thump their chests and declare, “Mimi siwezi oa msichana wa Nairobi” (I can’t marry a Nairobi woman). Then what are you doing in Nairobi?! Pack your bags and relocate back to the village where you will find a village woman of your choice! Even more so irritating, when some Nairobi men arrogantly assume that a Nairobi woman, is just like the rest of the “bad” women they have been involved with in the past.

A workmate of mine once asked me if I was married and I replied in the negative. He then went on to ask if I had children and I replied again in the negative. Then the fool said in a huff, “nyinyi wasichana wa Nairobi mnadanganyanga hivyo na mko na watoto nyumbani” (you Nairobi women pretend that way yet you have kids back in the village). Were it not for courtesy, I would have smacked him right in the face. Why was he asking me if I have children yet he supposedly knew the answer?!

Nairobi men I speak to you today, those stereotypes that you have over time developed about Nairobi women are the reasons why you are probably still single in your 30s.

Image courtesy of Google

Image courtesy of Google

For someone to even think of advertising for a wife and with such dumb specifications like she should not have children, I think quite a number of Nairobi men are fumbling in the dark. Those horror stories you were once told about evil Nairobi women, are probably lies from a male relative or friend, who was unlucky enough to date a particular woman lacking in morals. They lied to you and you foolishly believed them and began viewing all Nairobi women as conniving witches only interested in money that you may not even have.

I find it insulting for a grown man to look down on a woman who has a child to show for a past relationship. Would you have liked it better if she had aborted that child and then proceeded to lie to you that she had never been pregnant before? I wonder. Along the way, I stopped being judgmental of single mothers as I have personally been a product of a two parent home and eventually a single parent home. Before you decide to judge a woman for having children out of wedlock, find out what happened first with the child’s father. You are equally not a saint. Or would you like us to believe that you are still a virgin male at 32?

Enough of this nonesense about Nairobi women or town women being this or that. Are you even looking in the right places for the right women? If my memory serves me right, one Nairobi woman/girl if you would like, since we have developed a Kenyan habit of referring to women in their 20s as girls, recently married her Nairobi man in a union that cost only Kshs 100. Before all these other companies chipped in with their contributions of a grand wedding, tiered cake and double honeymoon to Diani in Mombasa and Dubai, this Nairobi woman agreed to be joined with her fiance in holy matrimony, that only cost Kshs 100 for both rings. I repeat for emphasis. She did not exhibit any signs of being materialistic as the stereotype often states.

So if you are working as a security guard at a firm in the city and are busy setting your eyes on a lady professional in the company that you man the doors for, do you expect her to fall for your charms? Don’t you see the disconnect there and that your priorities, let’s be realistic and honest for once, may not align to each other’s? I have been an employee before and I’ve had security guards and other men too not only the said profession and with all due respect, at the place I worked at hit on me. I made it a point to politely make it clear that I wasn’t reading from the same script. Not because I was a snorty, materialistic Nairobi woman then, but because it was the honest truth.

Oh, I understand that some of these women you are trying to hit on and hint marriage at are not even in good careers but still resist your advances. Did you take your time to read the signs of whether she was on the same page as you or you proceeded to simply announce your intentions, assuming that it’s traditional for a woman to readily agree to settle down with any man, who exhibits signs of being serious?

Wake up and smell the coffee! There are rules to the attraction game and you should never proceed with your advances on a woman, who clearly shows the signs that she is after your money and does not even seem to care about you. Because you just know it when someone is golddigging you!

Don’t lie to us Nairobi men, you knew it when she always contacted you when in some financial need. But for one reason or another you chose to ignore all the glaring signs just like we women have a habit of ignoring certain obvious red flags. It’s a human need to want to feel loved and to strive to achieve that. Probably that’s what makes us ignore some uncomfortable truths in our dating life. But hey, I’m no moral judge! Been there, done that!

I simply implore on men who hold onto the mentioned stereotype, to kindly consider changing their views. Not every Nairobi or town woman is no good and you probably just need to work on certain aspects of your life to attract the right people in your life. I’m not sure if this man advertising all over for a wife will be successful but I’ll be honest, it’s just dumb.

 

 

The Sham That Is KooKoo Inn

Image Sourced from Instagram

Image Sourced from Google

Disclaimer: Views expressed in this post are the author’s communicating her personal dissatisfaction with the stated show.

When I first happened to chance on the advert on Maisha Magic East Africa, that a new program with the interesting name, Kookoo Inn, will start airing soon, I was elated. Elated because I have been to Kenchics in town and I knew that such a storyline had a lot that would be interesting. Nobody had thought about the concept, of focusing solely on a fast food restaurant as a TV production in my country in the past, if my memory served me right. So I assumed that this one would be fresh and funny.

I happened to watch the first episode and I must say my hopes were thoroughly crashed. The preceeding episodes that I managed to glance at, did little to change my already distorted perception. Quite a number of Kenyan TV productions have dissapointed in the past. There also seems to be an overflow of Philippines, Mexican and Brazilian Soaps on air, no wonder the milennials increasingly preferring to watch Western shows on their DVDs and Laptops.

Not to mean that we have a shortage of superb actors and actresses in our country. What I mean is that sometimes the scriptwriters of some of these Kenyan shows start with a punch and end with a fall along the way. The poor scriptwriting only serving a great job of shortchanging the actors’ and actresses’ talent.

Now I will tell you what is thoroughly wrong with KooKoo Inn. In a bid to make the show crazily funny, whoever is writing the script and producing the show, only managed to give a dumb comedy effect. Let’s talk a littel about Auntie Boss, yet another Kenyan production that has surprisingly managed to keep afloat in the entertaining aspect.

I’m an avid fan of Auntie Boss and that’s because what the scriptwriters and producers thought was funny and relatable to Kenyan life, actually came out funny in reality without degrading the cast. Save for a few instances when the jokes weren’t really funny. Quite few, I must add for emphasis. I rarely notice that there’s always an addition of new cast members, because the original ones who have stuck enough in the said show, are real comics themselves.

Image Sourced from Google

Image Sourced from Google

‘Nuf said about Auntie Boss. I think the producer of KooKoo Inn wanted the Jim Carrey kind of crazy effect in the show, but failed to conceptualize that crazy funny, can be a bit dicey sometimes and may end up coming out as kindergarten funny. I have never been a fan of Jim Carrey movies in my adulthood.

Simply because his kind of funny began sounding like the funny that a 3 or 4 or 5 year old would watch and erupt in guffaws. That was his area of specialization that worked pretty well for him in Hollywood. But there is the Robin Williams funny, God rest his soul, Eddie Murphy funny, that is still crazy funny but manages to tickle even an adult. I don’t know if that sentence makes sense even but that was the best way I could put it.

The cast of KooKoo Inn surprisingly is a highly talented one, that I have seen their awesome talent in other Kenyan shows that let that particular talent shine. However, I don’t especially find a grown man who supposedly owns a fast food restaurant playing with a water gun, funny at all. Neither do I find grown ass people goofing around like toddlers interesting. Whoever came up with this show’s concept, failed to capture what is relatable to Kenyans about it and actually make it come out funny.

It is kind of an insult to our comedy industry that is thriving and has been for a long while. And if anyone related to that show’s production might read this, take this as constructive criticism from a consumer who feels that, there is so much you can do to improve on the comedic effect.

The Desperation Of A Job Seeking Kenyan Is All Too Real

So you are a young Kenyan of about 25, 26,27 years of age. You’ve just graduated from campus perhaps with a 1st class honors in a degree course, everyone told you was marketable back then when you were campus hunting. Or probably your parents could not afford the degree courses fee and opted to enroll you in a college to pursue a diploma or certificate course.

Or maybe you are that young Kenyan who falls in the category of campus or college dropout. Financial constraints often being the reason for your dropping out. Or in certain circumstances, you just didn’t feel your heart was there and chose to pursue your God given talents. Either way, you are still a 25, 26, 27 year old Kenyan who may just be, currently job seeking.

Image Courtesy of Job Finder

Image Courtesy of Job Finder

It’s a cruel world out here for job seekers, so you will quickly discover. Your parents or guardians who had previously catered for your pocket money needs, will probably cease giving you any money. Their argument often bordering on the fact that you are living and eating at home so you are comfortable and do not need extra cash.

They may not be out to spite you, but it will soon start feeling like it’s spiteful, when you realize that you have to actually explain what that 500 shs you are asking them to lend you, is for. And when you really want to buy something that is really important to you, but you just don’t have enough money for it, you will truly learn the essence of humbling thyself.

Thinking about student loans that need to start being cleared, will only give you ulcers. This is the time, you will begin to value being single, just to avoid extra stress from nagging boyfriends and girlfriends. Who wants to die early?

As you patiently (or impatiently) await any response from the various organisations you have applied for job vacancies, there will come offers from concerned relatives to take up that promotion job. The one where you have to wear that branded T-shirt and stand in supermarket allies, convincing unconcerned shoppers to try this new soap and get a toothbrush for free.

With your first class honors in a serious degree course, you will wonder silently, whether this relative is simply making fun of your unemployed situation by suggesting such or if they are the ones behind your downfall. Fret not, this is one of the realities you are going to face when you are right in the middle of your job seeking journey. Coupled with the regret mails that you will occasionally get, you might start wondering whether that generational curse thing was actually real.

At a time when most 25,26,27 year olds are actively job seeking with not much success, suggestions to attend primary, high school and what not reunions will start coming up in WhatsApp groups, where you have mostly been a silent follower. Judging from the Instagram and Facebook pics you have been seeing of your peers, you will start to believe that probably you are at the lowest of the success tier.

Your inferiority complex will go into overdrive and you may feign an excuse of working on the said reunion date just to avoid showing up. In reality, you will spend the entire day watching a repeat of the Being Mary Jane series you bought last year, with that annoying lump in your throat literally choking the breath out of you.

When the impatience gets the better of you, you will resort to hand dropping hard copies of your CV and testimonials, in those organisations where you think your kind of qualifications are needed. There you will encounter menacing security guards, who will intimidate you with meaningless interrogations, of your intentions to access the reception area. You will end up feeling like a criminal rather than a law abiding, job seeking citizen.

Finally, they might end up denying you access and have you unwillingly, leave your documents with them all the while knowing that, the documents may never land at the reception or HR office. The complete work of the devil, you will be tempted to conclude.

As you traverse the city or town in your job seeking efforts, you may probably encounter Network Marketers. These ones target the hapless job seekers with claims of making big bucks in a month’s period. By now the desperation is all too real for you and you may lack the energy to resist such kinds of business opportunities’ tutorials.

Google Images

Google Images

Your eyes probably too big to hide your anticipation for better days, they will let it drop how last month they had flown out of the country all charges paid, as an incentive by the Network Marketing company they are in. By now, they can actually see you salivating for the luxurious lifestyle. So they will proceed to let you know that with your qualifications and attributes, you can become a millionaire in a year’s period.

As you break into a wide grin that can barely be hidden and actually feels dumb, they will carry on telling you how you will never need to be under anyone and that you are now your own boss. By the time they get to the flexible working hours, judging by how much it is a struggle for you to get up in the morning, you are completely sold.

You will find yourself attending business opportunity trainings only to realize that in your unemployed state, you can barely afford the exorbitant cost of the starter kit. Asking a friend to lend you the money is inconceivable. Asking your parent or guardian to help you with the starter kit fee is even worse. So you will eventually resign yourself to your job seeking fate.

Eventually, the job interviews will start coming, one after the other. You may face stone faced panels that are not easily convinced and end up blabbering incomprehensible answers to their questions in your nervous state. They may right you off for being unsure of your credentials. The stab of rejection will cause you to self train yourself on your communication skills. You will then realize that with each passing interview, you are getting better and better.

The job hunting journey might as well be coming to an end.

Why Online Dating Is Another Form Of Being Lazy In Love

I have logged onto Online Dating sites in the past. I have managed to create an incomplete profile on one. However, I didn’t last more than a day on those sites. One site required that I pay some amount of money in pounds, to be able to read messages from guys who had commented on my profile.

Another site went ahead and matched me with some creepy looking fellows  from my locality. Actually, none of those guys came from within my area of locality. They simply were from the same country as me. So being one with such little faith in Online Dating, I quickly decided that it wasn’t worth the effort. In a country of about 47  million persons as of this year, I couldn’t miss eligible guys to date, so I figured.

Image courtesy of Google

Image courtesy of Google

I find Online Dating to be quite a lazy way of trying to meet potential persons to date. I’m aware of it’s popularity in the West. One person in the UK was gracious enough to explain to me that the reason why he preferred Online Dating, was because of his area of locality. It was a small town, with an equally small population so you literally knew everybody and had already exhausted your options. Online Dating was the only way you could go to find someone.

However, it is a known fact that Online Dating hasn’t quite caught on in the African continent. And for those in especially my country who engage in it, it is largely for ulterior motives. If you were to go the Online Dating route in Kenya, you are bound to meet with many guys online, who are just doing it for fun, looking for a sugar mummy or soliciting for sex.

Most of the women in my country who equally try Online Dating are those who are looking for foreign guys to elevate them. Indeed, there have been numerous cases in the past where Kenyan women met a White guy online, met in person eventually and started dating, only to end up sexually violated, dead or missing. For the few who met genuinely serious White men on the same platform, they only have their lucky stars to thank.

Love has over time taken a different dimension altogether. It is the reason why many people actively engaging in Online Dating, see no problem with sitting at a computer for hours, chatting with someone who is virtually a stranger to them. The most common explanation given for this being that, they lack the time or conducive environment to actually meet someone in their day to day activities.

Men on the other hand no longer have to chase if the Internet can do the chasing for them, by matching them up with women within their localities. Online dating has even made it easier for creeps soliciting for sex to get laid.

I’m very aware of the numerous online dating success stories, but that does not completely erase the fact that, these people were in reality, too lazy to meet someone eligible in person. Online Dating, despite its positives if any, is just but an easy fix for many who do not desire to put themselves out there in the real dating world. They therefore resort to technology that is going to speed up the process for them to get into a relationship.

Nowadays, we no longer value first dates and deep one on one conversations with someone we are attracted to. We do not even care to read facial expressions! I personally do not believe in connections formed via a computer or laptop. How sure am I that the person sitting on the other end is actually a genuine person not someone with ill intentions? How confident am I that if I send him photos of mine, he is not going to use them to create a fake profile elsewhere?

In this generation, we have reduced one another into commodities which can be solicited for, with a few specifications of how we would like them to look and where we would like them to come from. If we finally meet them in person on a date and decide that we do not like how they look or act, we can always relegate them to the back seat and get online once again, to search for another. So in a month’s time, we discover that we have been on numerous dates with people we hardly knew and we call that putting ourselves out there.

In reality, I find this exhausting. If I’m going to be out on dates most days in a week with people I decide I do not like, then I might as well resort to the old fashioned way of meeting eligibles. That way, at first glance and a few exchange of pleasantries, I can tell whether I would agree to a first date with this guy or not. And it is totally free. No payments.

Connections to me, are better formed in the real world. Sadly, we have decided that we do not want to put any effort in our love lives and prefer the easy way out, that is Online Dating. Indeed there is so much we can do to actually meet someone in person. We can decide to go out more, improve on our personal grooming, interact more with others, be more approachable…but we seem too lazy nowadays to successfully achieve that.

We just know that a dating site somewhere, will do all the work for us and we get to sit pretty, as we chat away with someone else, who is equally as lazy as we are. Never mind that you are going to encounter lots of dodgy characters online and suffer unnecessary frustration until you finally, if possible, meet that one person with whom you expect to click.

 

Teenagers and Sex: How Young Is Too Young To Be Having Sex?

Hello Parents, your children are having sex!

Surprised? Shocked? It’s happening. That lanky, innocent faced teenage son is getting some from a sweet faced teenage or younger girl somewhere.

But how would you know if you are a busy parent, who leaves the house by 6 am to beat the jam and gets back at 7 or 8 pm after being stuck in traffic for hours?

How would you know when you firmly believe that your children could not be exposed to sex at their young ages?

How would you know if you consider our parliamentarians to be working for the devil, for suggesting that the age of consent be lowered to 16 and not the usual 18?

Did it ever occur to you that an underage boy child can end up charged for defilement, for sleeping with a girl child who is equally underage and that the suggestion stemmed from a desire to protect the boy child?

But do you care anyway? After all, it is your underage daughter whose innocence was taken so this underage boy deserves to pay, doesn’t he?

Parents and especially Kenyan parents, you need to wake up and smell the kahawa!

Image courtesy of Stanford sexual health peer resource center

Image courtesy of Stanford sexual health peer resource center

When your 15 year old daughter ends up pregnant yet she has been in a strict boarding school for the better part of her life, in addition to residing in a gated community, where the watchman knows every resident by name and you realize the father is a clueless 15 or 16 year old boy from the neighborhood, then you will know she wasn’t raped as she would like you to believe.

She had actually been engaging in unprotected sex with the said young man while popping emergency pills afterward until sh&t happened, the pill failed to work and she is now expecting your grandchild. What more proof do you need that your children are getting it on like there’s no tomorrow and are none the wiser, on what precautions to take while engaging in sex?

Parents, forget the parent lock on the DSTV channels you consider too mature for your children to watch. Forget the forwarding of sexual scenes you actively do when your children are in the vicinity. These children know much more about sex than what you and your spouse have known in your 20 or so years of marriage.

Your teenage daughter could as well be sexting with a teenage boy who is actively looking up pornographic material. I once mentioned that an increasing number of Kenyans are addicted to pornography on the blog. A percentage of this number are teenagers. How do I know without statistics? Most people admit to coming across porn material in their teens. Many were not even actively looking for it but someone in their circle of friends was and shared with them.

Parents, do not for once be fooled by those innocent faces. Children as young as 12 are engaging in consensual sex. Note, consensual sex. So stop crying foul that your underage daughters have been defiled by boys, who didn’t know better when you discover that they are sexually active.

Since most African parents would rather die than listen to their children confessing to have broken their virginity, these children could be doing it with the utmost level of secrecy. And while many including myself consider teenage-hood or younger to be too young to be having sex, I’m not completely closed off to the idea that an increasing number of teenagers are having sex only taking it a notch higher in campus. And in campus, that is where all the sex happens, since they now consider themselves young adults with less supervision.

We are not talking about campuserians today, but the young boys and girls in high school and primary school in your houses. The ones you leave all day long over school holidays with dodgy househelps and distant cousins. Quite a number of boys had their first sexual encounter with the mboch. Yes, and they never reported the incident to you.

Others had male relatives give them unsolicited sex education that involved experimentation with girls in the neighborhood. Some girls ended up pregnant while accompanying the randy mboch to her weekly trysts. Plus the parents of nowadays are buying phones that can access the internet for children as young as 10, 11 or 12. This is where all the sexting and exchange of nudies is taking place.

So when you hear of teenagers nabbed while engaging in orgies reminiscent of the Roman times, do not be shocked. We have sexually active 16 year olds with raging libidos in our midst. And no amount of beating, teen service on Sunday, paraffin in boarding school food to kill libidos and exorcising of fornication demons, can change the situation unless we sit down and have a heart to heart talk with our children. Parents you need to do much more hands on parenting than what you are doing nowadays. Let the househelps do the washing and cleaning but do the raising of your own children for Chrissakes!

Dating nowadays among teenagers is not about exchanging pretty harmless love letters, in bad English with song dedications as a sign off. Dating nowadays among teenagers involves proving your love  lust by agreeing to let this boy or girl make his or her sexual fantasy a reality.

So if you are talking to your pre-teen or teen child about sex, it is time to cast African societal norms aside and ask the hard questions. Is he/she dating? Is he/she having sex? When exactly did they start having sex?  It may be the most unfathomable thing to do or believe, but it is much better to have a knowledge of what you are dealing with, than a horrible surprise of a sexually transmitted disease or pregnancy.

Are A Woman’s Strong Features A Determinant Of Her Desirability?

What makes a woman feminine?

Is it the shape of her face, her soft curves, the roundness of her bottom…? Are these attributes of hers considered female, what men are going to look at and say “wow, she’s hot!”? What about a female who naturally has strong features, otherwise considered “manly” or “masculine” in many quarters?

I sought to find out what 3 men thought about dating a woman who fell in the latter category. One mentioned that he wouldn’t mind the masculinity factor, as long as she possessed all the qualities he looked for in a woman.

As a matter of fact, for him, those special qualities would surpass her physique. However, he was quick to note that sometimes, the physical attributes of a woman contributed to the attraction factor, from the opposite sex. But all the same, he went on to mention female sport figures who possessed obviously, very strong features that he considered attractive.

The next man gave a complete no. He was very certain that he would not even be the slightest bit attracted to such a woman, just from looking at her strong features. The third mentioned that he tends to look at the physical attributes first in a woman.

He admitted to this being superficial and a mistake on his part. However, he highly doubted that he would get past the masculinity factor, in a bid to know more about her as an individual and what special qualities she possessed.

Well, not to judge these men for their honest opinions, I think the answers they gave me, are in truth a reflection of what many men and women alike, think about the desirability factor of a woman, considered to possess strong features.

Tennis Star Serena Williams. Photo courtesy of New York Magazine

Tennis Star Serena Williams. Photo courtesy of New York Magazine

One such woman regarded as masculine by many, happens to be tennis star, Serena Williams. To many, Serena could be confused for a man. Never mind the fact that she recently got engaged and could be walking down the aisle very soon. This is just proof that someone of the opposite sex, despite all the hullabaloo surrounding Serena’s physique, found her attractive and is willing to spend the rest of his life with her.

As an individual who has recorded huge successes in the tennis field, it was inevitable really for Serena to look the way that she does. An immense amount of training goes into becoming a professional in specifically, sport. Back in the day, when Serena and her sister were just beginning to learn the ropes of tennis under the tutelage of their father, they were just but normal skinny girls. But it would take a lot to mold them into the huge stars they have since become.

To exhibit the kind of strength and endurance that Serena exhibits on the tennis court, significant effort goes in building the right physique for it. And this is evident on many female athletes engaging in sports that need a high level of stamina, not only Serena whom many have singled out.

I tend to find musician Pink, equally possessing quite strong features which can be partly attributed to the fact that she’s also a gymnast. Many of her performances have seen her suspended in ropes while performing various tricks on stage. You need the right body for that.

Musician Pink during one of her performances. Photo courtesy of Google.

Musician Pink during one of her performances. Photo courtesy of Google.

Sports aside, in my usual routine of poring over the Internet for information, I quickly discovered that there are certain features in women, considered masculine. A square jaw was one of them. Some women I saw being pinpointed as seeming “manly” happened to possess square jaws.

There was equally the racist factor that singled out certain African-American women as being masculine just from their looks and what others considered linked to their heritage. It is sad that the former first lady of the US, Michelle Obama and British supermodel Naomi Campbell are some of those  Black women, whom if you dig deeper in the Internet, you will find many trolls calling them male or other unsavory names. A cruel reality of the many forms that racism can take including bashing genetics.

British Supermodel, Naomi Campbell on the runway. Courtesy of Elle.

British Supermodel, Naomi Campbell on the runway. Courtesy of Elle.

Back here in my country, the physical attributes of a woman equally seem to play a huge role for many in the desirability factor. There’s what biology and society’s standards of beauty have over time portrayed to be feminine. For quite a number, a woman is defined by the soft features that make her feminine. If she seems to lean more on the strong features, then something must be wrong, we tend to assume.

The fact that men are considered visual creatures may also partly contribute to this deeply entrenched idea of what a female should look like. Not to seem like I’m bashing the male, but it is accepted by many, that men look at a woman’s features that are different from theirs and therefore attractive to them. If the woman appears to look like a male, then definitely the whole idea is kind of distorted and the man can be forgiven for reacting with unmasked surprise, at this turn of events.

However, the often, negative, unmasked surprise goes both ways. Women may tend to question how female a fellow woman is, if she seems to come across as male. We assume that if this is how we look as females, then the rest of us should look the same. Quite a close minded view, you might be tempted to conclude.

Well, when genetic factors are at play as they always are in determining our individual physiques, there’s nothing much we can do about it. Looking at this whole issue from a feminist view, regardless of how a woman’s physique is, what she possesses in her mind, is far more important than a pair of well sculpted legs that may appear manly to some.

We need to stop this objectification of women, that tends to place more emphasis on what is considered sexy in a woman, at the expense of her talents and what she is capable of doing. Many women in the sports field are increasingly being objectified while pursuing what they are good at. It could perhaps be the reason why the likes of Serena Williams, have constantly endured castigation over how they look.

For many, if she looks like a male, then she definitely acts like a male and quite a number of men, may shy away from pursuing such a woman. Physical attributes have little to do with a person’s personality and a woman who possesses strong features, may turn out to be the most feminine in personality. However, many can agree with me that changing deeply entrenched perceptions may prove to be the hardest.

Thoughts?

The Bongo Phenomenon: Alikiba and Diamond Platinumz

I was born into a fairly small family. The second and last born of two daughters with a 9 year age gap between us siblings. Which meant that most of the time, my elder sister was away at school while I remained behind. To while away the time, I began developing an interest in music at a young age.

My tastes in music were influenced by my sister who had been a huge fan of the 90s RnB hits from the US and my parent’s love for Rhumba and Soukous. Mum and dad would sometimes listen to loud Rhumba and Soukous music from the DRC on those weekends when they were both home. For a long time, the Kenyan market consumed the RnB hits from the US, before we decided to begin appreciating our Kenyan artistes and playing more and more of their music.

By the age of 10, I knew most of the 90s RnB thanks to my sister by heart, in addition to the new pop ones that came out. I couldn’t quite sing the Rhumba because most of it was in Lingala with a mix of French which I didn’t speak then. But I could identify the ones I liked at that age. I remember my mum once wondering aloud, where I had learnt the music lyrics to many of the songs I sang along to. As you can tell by now, I was gifted in something else (writing), but listening to music was more of a favorite hobby and still is.

Sometime in 2002, Kenyans started being introduced to a lot of Bongo Flava from our neighboring country, Tanzania. At the time, I listened to the likes of TID, Professor Jay, Mr. Nice, Lady Jaydee, Matonya… It was a fresh kind of music that these Tanzanians crooned in the most fluent Kiswahili. It also proved to many, that you could pass strong messages through music. Like I previously mentioned, it took a long time before we began appreciating our own Kenyan artistes. So for a while, Bongo Flava ruled the airwaves together with foreign artistes from the West.

Alikiba and Diamond Platinumz would come a bit later into the Bongo Flava music scene. By then, I was a high school kid and by my estimation, I think these two guys began making hits at about the same time or slightly later for the younger, Diamond. Over time, Alikiba and the then Diamond, who had began with humble music videos, have evolved into two major acts not only in East Africa, but the rest of Africa as well.

Tanzanian Crooner Alikiba. Photo courtesy of Google Images.

Tanzanian Crooner Alikiba. Photo courtesy of Google Images.

I remember us being introduced to a young Ali Kiba singing the single, Cinderella back then. He was a pretty simple guy obviously trying to make it in music.

He would later on go on to produce a few more hit singles before disappearing for a while from the music scene altogether. When he next showed up, it was obvious that Alikiba was a changed man!

In came a polished, more sculpted Ali Kiba, with high quality music videos and even greater music. It wasn’t long before I decided that I really liked Ali Kiba as a musician. I mean, it was hard not to miss those abs in his music videos. His voice was equally a component of his music that I admired. Being signed to Sony Music Entertainment Africa eventually, went a long way in elevating Ali Kiba’s career.

As for the then Diamond, I remember him for Mbagala. It was the first song that introduced me, in particular, to this guy.

Tanzanian Crooner, Diamond Platinumz. Photo Courtesy of Google Images

Tanzanian Crooner, Diamond Platinumz. Photo Courtesy of Google Images

He seemed like just a normal next door guy and I didn’t really like his choice of shooting the song’s video, in the middle of an obvious rubbish dump. He looked nothing then like the polished Diamond Platinumz of today. But like Ali Kiba, he possessed the most beautiful of voices, a bit more mellow than the former’s and it wasn’t long before Kenyans took notice.

I once walked into our hostel’s kitchen while in campus, to find one of the lady caretakers who was an elderly woman,watching one of Diamond’s music videos with a mesmerized look on her face. She quickly pointed out to me that she liked the guy and how he sang. Recently, my own mum would seem highly interested in the Salome hit remake of Diamond’s featuring Rayvanny. She went on to ask me incredulously, how I could miss that beautiful voice.

Indeed, Alikiba and Diamond are the kind of crooners, who can reach all age groups with their music. However, in recent times, Diamond Platinumz is touted as the biggest act of the two.

Going by his personal life, he has got a pretty socialite and savvy businesswoman who is older than him in his life and who has already borne him two children. Plus his PR Team seem to really know what they are doing. Definitely, these things have kept him relevant in addition to his consistency, collabos with numerous African artistes and obvious talent.

There equally happens to be a rivalry feud between Diamond Platinumz and Ali Kiba in the Tanzanian music scene. Some of these feuds in the music industry according to my reasoning, are fueled by the comparison fact and especially if you are in the same genre of music.

Diamond and Ali Kiba happen to be two music artistes who have constantly been compared to each other. For sometime in the past, Ali Kiba did not seem to be getting it right but Diamond was the quicker of the two in revamping his image. Plus these guys were a kind of representation of the Bongo Flava evolvement. If TID had still been active in the music scene he could as well have been compared to Diamond and Alikiba. It is something that sadly, the two have none been the wiser on how to handle.

However, the direction that Ali Kiba’s music has since taken in recent times, was pretty smart on his part. I also consider the consistency of these two guys to be amazing. It’s something any aspiring musician can look up to and try to emulate.