FRANKMWENDA

The Writing of my Place in History

Category: Living

An Angel Lives in Kibera

Kibera Truthful Talent Childrens Home
The night of December 31st, 2007, Kibera

Deep inside Kibera Slums, an elderly lady sat alone in a huge, old brick, double roomed house. In Kibera standards, that’s a humongous mansion. This was a wealthy lady… I mean, who owns a brick house amongst all the mud, mabati and polyethene structures?

Normally, the old woman would have gone to church for the New Year’s vigil on this night. But this time… this time things were looking complicated. An election had just ended and some people were unhappy.

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My 10 Badass Life Rules

Life Rules frankmwenda

Life is a journey… and to survive this journey, we all need some rules. Personal and universal life rules. Here are mine… that I think you should add to your constitution.

Rule Number 1:

Beyond the people who pay me money, no one else knows how much money I make. Never let anyone know how much money you have. No one should know what you earn, how much you have in your accounts… because money breeds jealousy. That’s how you die or get screwed over.

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Random Memories 6: My First Flight – Landing

Fly Emirates Dubai Landing

Where did we leave it last time? Oh, I was getting high high in the sky on my very first flight. So, lets complete the flight and the landing, will we?

Now, every time I ever took a whisky, even my bowels used to stagger – I have to use the loo at the ,”earliest opportunity. This was no exception… adding on the different things I had eaten for the first time. And no, on a plane, you don’t tell the pilot to simamisha ndege you go to the bushes like you do with Kensilver.

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A Letter to my Unborn Baby

BABY AND parents

Hello, baby.

No matter how old you get, you will always be my baby. Wewe ni toto langu. And I will always be your father. I have seen a lot of things that you still don’t know about. I’m not saying I know everything – I expect you to see a lot more than me in your life, go to places I haven’t gone to, meet people I have never dreamt of meeting. But since I was here first, listen to me.

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Random Memories 5: My First Flight

FIRST FLIGHT FROGS

We had gotten ourselves a business trip to India, Julie and I, for an e-Commerce and Customer Loyalty conference…

To travel, you need passports. Which we don’t have and the notice period was three weeks. The queues at Nyayo house are long and torturing. And when I get to the front of the queue they reject my birth certificate because it looks “like it was tampered with.” Made me feel older. Makes me wonder if I was born earlier and they have been lying to me all along (there are parents who do that).

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Be a Man, man!

Be a Man African

Be a man and face your troubles. Actually, be a man and carry the burdens of the world.

Be a man and sweat your ass out in the mjengo to feed your family. Even the Good Lord said you have to toil. Sell one of your balls and buy food if you have to because you don’t deserve to be called a man if your family sleeps hungry.

Be a man and get yourself a job. A man cannot rest on his stupid ass and wait for his wife to go out and work.

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My Bad-ass Valentine’s Day Ideas

valentines-day-1159281_1280

Last week, I was live on Radio Jambo, talking about Valentine’s Day and how to spend the least but make the best impression on Valentine’s. So if you had any doubts about my expansive knowledge of the subject of love, there you have it (twitches my fingers like a badass mafia capi). You can say “…awww, his girlfriend is soo lucky, dating such a romantic bae”. Well, Awww to you too! 🙂

Now that we have established I am an expert in these things, up there with Chris Hart and Gertrude Mungai, read on carefully on how to rock your Valentine’s Day on a shoestring budget.

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Bad Debt Chronicles: Musa

Running from debt

Everybody has encountered one, or many. Those people who, giving them a debt, under any circumstance, is like throwing your money into a pit latrine. People who have no tinge of guilt keeping money that doesn’t belong to them, and continue to live their lives normally, while you skip meals or get acid burns in their stomach when you see the good life they are living on Instagram.

Debts make my skin crawl. I can’t live comfortably with someone’s debt.

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Taking a Cold Shower like a Ninja

cold shower

Last week, Njaanuary sent me two messages, just a reminder that it exists. One, cooking gas went kaput, without warning as it always does- two gas cylinders all with 0 gas at night with minced meat on the plates. Then we woke up to no electricity – the units were also gone. You know how fast Kenya Power sends the power token when you pay with M-Pesa, so there was just no use purchasing the units at that time of the morning.

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Miathene Mono – My First Day in High School

Miathene Mono Kenya

I have seen a few monos in the streets this week. You can tell a mono from a mile away, you can smell even a mono. You can see it in the clothes, brand new, with ridiculously sharp iron lines, blindingly shone shoes, crudely knitted names on the sweaters, shirts and sometimes, even pants.  And the faces, the faces betray monoism, frightened eyes, wildly chewing jaws, bouncing steps (fake confidence). I see them and I shake my head.

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Things 2016 Taught Me

2016

I can’t believe 2016 was the same 12 month-long year as every other one, it felt much much shorter. What happened to the good old days when you would spend a full 12 months in one classroom? Then, time felt like time. This time it went faster than me in a sack race (I have a sackrace medal).  The good thing about 2016 is, I learned a lot of things, both about myself and about life in general, that I am taking with me to 2017:

All work and no play..

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Get a Life! Live like you live for Social Media

is your life sad or happy?

We all know that one person who’s always sad about something, or angry at someone. Roll your mind…do you see someone? Sad Facebook posts about someone who betrayed them, a sickness they are having, how broke they are.

Like a friend of mine on Facebook, whose posts I noticed were all sad as I scrolled through. It was a sad timeline. I mentioned this to a friend, and she told me about this other girl whose baby daddy became dead beat and for all the three years since, her posts have seen very sad.

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I Don’t Respect Women

Angry women

And for this headline, the world will order for my stoning. The feminists will rise up and castigate me for saying the unthinkable.

“How can you dare not respect women in this age, you archaic gorilla living in pre-colonial Africa?”

“Your mother is a woman.”

“Who says that?”

“These are the type of men who never left their uncivilised villages.”

“You sexist, misogynistic Trump!”

Well, go on, say it! Roast me. Stone me. But I said it.

I have seen too many of these sentiments these last few weeks.

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Hey, can we fight?

fight

One day, my girlfriend (now ex) got into a fight with me because I didn’t fight her. Close your mouth… I also get girlfriends, I have a girlfriend. I just don’t post her photos on Instagram because, you know, witchcraft is real, and some jealous neighbour may see our heavenly happiness and decide to roga us. I hate witches, those jealous people.

Now that I have finished dreamily staring into space with the sudden feeling of love, let me tell you about this ex of mine.

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If you are Circumcised

uncircumcised-penis banana

“Kama umetahiriwa nitusi tena.”

I was in my village last week. And I took a walk around the village one fine evening inspecting projects of development.

The girls I knew as babies were shyly smiling at me. Grown women who are now worthy of visiting my simba.  One or two now have babies of their own.

Boys I saw being taken home in baby shawls from hospital are now fearsome young laing’o capable of filling both cheeks with taxiies of veve (a feat I have never accomplished).

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Be like my Great Great Grandfather, Switch off WhatsApp!

My great great grandfather’s name was Thamunyari. Don’t beat your head over the name because you have never heard it. It is extinct. He is the father of my great grandfather M’Kiringo who is the father of my grandfather Mabbi. Thamunyari lived to many many years. He saw so many moons, droughts and harvests he wouldn’t have said. I’m told I saw my great grandfather, M’Kiringo. He waited around for me, and died at over 120 years. But strong.

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Take that selfie! 

selfieI saw her every day, apart from Sundays, for two months. She came every morning, washed my utensils (how I hate that thing), washed the floor, made my bed. She would even change my towels, arrange my clothes that I sometimes forgot discarded on the bathroom floor, and flush my toilet. While I sat, unashamedly working. It was her work, and while I appreciated the fact that I wouldn’t have to do all these things that us bachelors hate so much, I would rest easy that, it was work, anyway.

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Random Memories 4: Slippery Nipples and a Blow Job

poonam-pandey-flaunting-her-cleavage-while-enjoying-her-meal-201603-683173

There is a common saying among my crew, “We belong to the clan of pigs. We eat anything.” Growing up, I have eaten anything I have been offered, including the sumptuous, inviting piles of mole soil. 🙂

It has all been a factor of what I can afford at a point in time.

Or the Nairobi Initiation 3 period, when Kero and I lived in a house within a house, where the family used to eat chicken daily and we would pass by their kitchen to go make ugali with the sufuria we had cooked porridge in in the morning, without washing.

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Random Memories 3: The Devil Did It

When I told you I was already a sexpert by Class 2, I know you said to yourself “this is one of those hopelessly spoilt brats.” No. I was better than most, most of the time. Or rather, instead of doing the small small things that got y’all caned daily, I would accumulate my misdeeds and unleash one huge misdeed at some point. It would be so big a sin, even comical, I would be unbeatable. People would just laugh it off, or look at me in bewilderment.

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Sad Letter From Sister: Mother Misses You

sad mother misses you
When is the last time you spoke to your mother? The graceful lady that brought you forth, and brought you up? Does she know what’s happening in your life, you know, as she knew every time you got a thorn in your feet as you grew up in the village. Do you know about the thorns in her heart and mind? Do YOU know how she is?
Below is a heartbreaking letter I received from sister:
 
Dear Brother,
 
Mother called me yesterday night.
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Invest in Your Woman!

couple money woman

The past few weeks have been quite fast for me. Long nights, hard work (which I enjoy a lot, by the way), hours facing a screen of sorts and, well, not having time for myself, leave alone lovers and friends. Takes a toll on life, trust me. But it is a phase you have to go through when you have a young calf you need to breastfeed and support to stand on her feet. (See what I did there?

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THAT Year After High School

high school jobless kenya
KCSE is over! I had forgotten about KCSE, it’s existence, and importance till this year. My brother, who has had a very difficult high school life and a live-in cousin have both completed KCSE. Welcome to semi-life, Evans and Alex. Now, please stop, and tell your parents to stop, calling me asking if you can come to stay with me for some time. I’m a bachelor about town and I like staying alone. More importantly, I want you to stay at home and ‘enjoy’ life as I enjoyed it back then-raw!
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A Kenyan Man Goes to Buy Condoms

conndoms

So the girl you have been eyeing for ages has finally accepted a sleepover and you have a feeling that this will be a good night. You had praised your kitchen skills on Whatsapp and she wants to taste your food. You will cook for her. So, you go to the market, or supermarket depending on where you are, and buy cooking stuff you don’t use in your bachelor pad, like carrots and cucumbers, garbage. You get ginger, dhania and pilipili hoho, too.

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Fat or Thin, you are Beautiful!

fat or thin

A girl friend of mine inboxes me on Facebook, “Frank, imagine someone called me fat today”.

I ask her, “Who? Njoki Chege?”

She hasn’t replied to me. I think she feels terrible someone called her fat. She actually isn’t big, she has a nice body, but could might have added on just a little weight. She is a modern girl. It is a taboo for modern women to add weight.

But. What happened to the world? When did growing thin and skinny become sexy?

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Norah: My Flame!

We all have those contacts in the phone that are just that-contacts! Numbers and emails we have no idea where they came from. Or, is it only me? I have accumulated so many over the years, considering I have never lost my contacts since I got my line in Form 2. Some have just come, somehow. Mostly in the era of 2Go. (Let’s not go there) 🙂

So, the other day, I discovered a name that has been lying in my phone book, long dormant and sleepy.

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To My Teachers and all Teachers: I Love You!

teachers punishment Kenya

I am who I am largely because of my teachers. I am even writing this blog, in part, because I don’t want to let my teachers down. They all thought I was going to be a journalist, or editor of some sort, because, English and Swahili were my bread and butter. Oddly, all teachers, both in Primary school and High school; even teachers who never taught me but knew me… They all advised me to be a journalist.

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My Wife and I: I Will be a Perfect Husband

husband and wife

The other day, I I told you I am looking for a wife. I told you, candidly, what I am looking for in my wife. That turned out to be one of the most popular posts I have done so far. I received lots of comments, including people calling me up.  Friends wished me well in my search, my mboys blasted me, random people told me enough things to fill a book, and speaking of books, there are readers who think I should write a book.

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I am Looking for a Wife!

Wife

Have you slept hungry, not because you don’t have food in the house, but because cooking sucks, especially when you know you will eat it alone? Have you then tried to sleep in a cold bed (in Limuru), alone, and still hungry? Have you woken up at 1:00 pm every Saturday, hyper hungry and stayed indoors till Sunday evening without speaking to anyone? Makes the mouth stink. Has Monday ever reached without you doing the laundry for the week because you had no one to wash for you, or at least motivate you?

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Baite Inside! Yes, I am a Meru!

Meru Boy chewing miraa

A few weeks ago, I was lazily scrolling my Facebook when I saw a beauty. Some of you will call me a fisi, but males are supposed to “see” beautiful females, right?  I see them a lot. But this one caught my eye. She was beautiful. I just like such photos. But I commented on this. See, she was wearing a tee shirt that resonated with me. It had this message that I had seen before but, frankly, hadn’t given much thought: Baite Inside: Proud to be Meru.

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Fare thee well, Mfa.

Two children, A and B are playing in ashes. You know, the game of smearing ash on each other’s face to make “Kamuithia”. Child B’s grandmother meets the kids playing and panics. You see, the “ash” is actually a very poisonous coffee pesticide. She picks up her grandchild and runs off with her, leaving Child A playing with the poison, unamused. An older child, C, comes along and is shocked. He doesn’t run away to call for help, he doesn’t join in to play, he doesn’t admonish him, he does a smart thing… he carefully ties Child A’s hands with polyethylene bags so that he doesn’t put his hands in his mouth… and takes him home.

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Nairobi Initiation 6: I Have Been Conned, and Mugged.

I am walking home from college. Remember, I am doing CPA at Vision and I live in Plot 10, Kirinyaga Road. Just past Globe Cinema, this guy meekly greets me. He is lost, and wants to know where KCS house is. I tell him I don’t know. He has this heavy Meru accent, and I ask him if he is Meru… He is. Where? Kianjai. Wow! I went to school near those parts. Next thing I know, we are korogaing deep American.

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Nairobi Initiation 4: “We Ate Bread With Sirua!”

If you are reading this,you must have read part 1-3. Thank you for sticking with me. This is a true story and I have evoked nostalgia in some of my friends, and anger or shame or whatever in others. I am just Frank.

Where were we last time? Yes,we had to leave the house we knew as Mwanyenye- we knew only the house girl’s name because everyone in the house used to call her so loudly in Kisii,even in the middle of the night, to pass a glass of water.

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The Nairobi Initiation 3: “I Swear I Didn’t Do It. Blame the Cat”

So I came to Nairobi… And did all manner of things, including walking all the way to Rongai and meeting my high school sweetheart, Makena. As I was telling you…meeting Makena introduced a new aspect to my Nairobi life… a new dimension.

Read Nairobi Initiation 1. and Nairobi Initiation 2.

Makena had progressed a big deal. She was way ahead of me in class-she was almost finishing CPA while I was starting. She was a laid back, devout young lady while I was a Hip Hop head.

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The Nairobi Initiation 2: “I Walked to Rongai!”

Rongai Nairobi stage

I was telling you the other day of some villager’s(aka yours truly) ‘soft’  landing in the largest metropolis in Eastern Africa-Don’t we love bragging with our city, Nairobi? Being the most intelligent monkey in a group of apes makes you number 1 by design. 

Anyway, here I was, on the morning after. Duwano was actually a five star hostel, by my standards, maybe. There was a good breakfast ready-eggs, sausage, toast and tea-this was the life, baby!

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The Nairobi Initiation 1: “I Will Be Your Host Tonight!”

The year is 2008. It is first of July and I am at the bus office bidding my mum goodbye. I am going to the big city alone for the first time,for a long time. Going to college.

I see a flash of tears in her eyes and she looks away fast. Tells me in a croaky voice to call her when I arrive.

“And keep the money safe” I am carrying cash. 

Off we go. The bus literally crawling up those Meru hills.

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Want ‘Free’ Information? Pay me.

Be nice, Share information

I once wrote a rather historical-informative article for a company blog. Now, it required information from either books, or people who had been in the organization for long. You know, to provide me with the milestones and important dates for the organization. I dug in the archives and got little such information-so I had to resort to the latter-people.

As always, they were very helpful. That organization  is one where teamwork and ‘community’ is embedded. I got information, and where they could not help, they would refer me to someone who was likely to have the information.

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6 Things you Must do to be Effective.

What does it take to stand out as an effective person?

The other day, we had a sit-rep (that’s military lingo for unofficial inter-flow meetings) with Christine (you probably know her as MrsMwiti). Now, if you have had a chance to visit her blog, you will be mystified by the wisdom that she oozes. What’s more, she is my official mentor. We sit-rep all day at work. Call me lucky.

Now, the other day, we had a meeting, and the topic of discussion was Personal Branding- that is, how I can brand myself, how to be really effective, productive…..
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Relationship Advice: Men Need Space!

Men need space in love
Pic source: SBM

The other night, I received a call from my friend’s girlfriend (It’s complicated, now-I will tell you why), she called me at around 8:00 pm as I was reading a novel, waiting for my broth to cook. THAT MOMENT! She is a jovial person, and calls to say hi, or tease me.

Not today. She was sobbing, that struck me. “Frank, uko wapi (where are you)?” No greetings.

I told her I was in the house, and she asked if I was busy.

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Things every young Entrepreneur should know

Being an entrepreneur is a little like being a musician.  There are countless kids singing in choirs and carrying guitars but only a handful will ever record a hit song.Some of the not-so-lucky eventually pick themselves up and build a better career that the lucky handful, by hard work and sheer luck.  There’s as much luck in entrepreneurship as there is in any other shoot-the-moon career.  And sometimes it really is more about who you know than what you know.

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WAYS TO LIVE,NOT JUST EXIST

Jack London once said, “The proper function of man is to live, not to exist.”  Far too often we travel through life on autopilot, going through the motions, accepting what is, and having every day pass like the one before it.  Everything seems relatively normal and comfortable, except that constant twitch in the back of your mind that’s saying, “It’s time to make some changes.”

Here are 15 simple suggestions courtesy Marc and Angel for those who want to break free from the mold and truly live more of their life – to experience it and enjoy it to the fullest, instead of settling for a mere existence.

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When To Start a Business

So,when is the best time to start a business?
Came across this on my internet prowls,enjoy

I was an accountant who fell in love with writing, and eloped. Call me Social Media Accountant. The only way for me is through.
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