Ignorance is bliss, or so they say.

For those who love sleeping and have a hard time waking up like me, this Sunday I realized that the hardest part of waking up, was the waking up itself.
From where I sit, I can tell you who sits where, I mean, I’ve been coming to this church since I was a toddler, only that when I was younger, I used to sit at the very first bench, opposite the altar, and from there I could tell which altar server did a wrong move while others were doing something else, who in the choir doesn’t know all the lines of a certain song, know which of my friends didn’t bring forth the offering, I could literally see everyone, especially during receiving the communion, and during offertory time. But that was when just one long queue would be made for all these. Now, such times, people divide themselves into two halves, the front benchers to the front as usual, and from the center of the church to the back, form their own line, this was done to reduce congestion and confusion.
From where I sit, the last seat that divides the front benchers and back benchers, needs some with a lot of patience.
As the cymbals and jingles of his voice resonated in the nonagonal structure, I was somehow spaced out. It was an Epiphany Sunday, a time of manifestation, a time when the 3 magi presented gold, myrrh and frankincense to the newly born baby Jesus. My mind was just far away, as the priest continued with his sermon, “this is the year of double blessings , the year of 2020,*mbao mbao* he kept on repeating, And I just stared at him, wishing he knew that for literally all the young people there on that Sunday, they understood a different meaning of Mbao mbao, *lord please cleanse me and renew the spirit in me* for such thoughts in your holy church.
Having not gone to church for several Sundays, I had started feeling like some rebellious atheist and so on this particular Sunday, I ceased listening to the voice of the devil, the chilly morning, to continue sleeping and got up ready for church. I mean, they say if you fail to go to church on Sunday, just because of sleep, then that was the devil lulling you back. Well somebody praise the lord and give me an Amen, because I overcame the temptation. From where I sat, I have a well outlined map of who sits where . The choir at the front seats, the opposite 9th pew from the front, is where Baba Evans sits at, no matter how early or late he comes, you can’t see him at any other place, that’s his special place,, at the very last benches adjacent to the wall, are the big fish of the church, mostly men, who are wealthy business men with big bellies and have once served in the church committee, or still are, *Andu mena indo ciao*. They are usually the first to receive the holy communion, and the last during offertory time. Most youths sit at the center of the church, with women who have kids placed all over among the congregation with kids randomly crying, distracting everyone, with old women and men facing the direction of the cries,clicking their mouths, out of anger.
As the sermon went on, I started feeling bad when it hit me that Fr. Paul, was going on a sabbatical leave, and chances of ever having to see him were nil. I wondered if anyone ever told him how much he resembles Obama, because for sure they do look alike.
The rood with a sculpture of Jesus on it, hangs right in front of the altar laced with white embroidered linen and behind the altar is a painting of The last supper and suddenly a meme I had earlier on seen, came to mind” Eat, for this is my body, Drink for this is my blood, spread the mayonnaise….. ” that’s for those with a dark sense of humor to get, my bad.
I did derive something from the sermon, might not be quite a handful, but I grasped sth, and I blame it all on how easily I was getting distracted by everything that happened within my sight. Like how a certain woman passed by, her negligee longer than the skirt she was wearing, earning a weird look from me. Or how spaced out I was only to meet the priest looking at me, as if telling me” I can see how much you are distracted ” which did make me feel guilty, but hey, he could have been looking at anyone else, and not me, right?
Or how in mind I was getting pissed off, by people brushing against me, as the passed by. That is one of the disadvantages of having to seat at that position.
They say ignorance is bliss, reason every time my mum leaves for work and I am still sleeping, she will be like” koma biu, tondu toro ni irio,wandikwo wira, ndiui urikaga ati* meaning sleep is food(sarcasm) when you get employed, I don’t know what you will be doing. But in my head I console myself that by then, I will be waking up early when I get there. Crossing the bridge once you are there! No hurry in Africa, hakuna matata.
When all is said and done, one thing is for sure, *cia korire wacu mugunda* meaning that you have to go get what you want, nothing comes for free, at least not when you are sleeping or being lazy when you well know what you want in life.

GOLDEN TICKET OF URBAN FARMING.

GOLDEN TICKET OF URBAN FARMING.
By Joyce Wachau
Sewers and vegetables makes such a good combination. The long green leafy veggies placed on those weather beaten stalls that attract you from afar, how well they are tied in four’s and fetching a good price of ten shillings per bundle, pretty cheap, right? But hey, it is no rocket science that we all know cheap is expensive. Expensive in terms of health, an issue that is very sensitive per se. So what if, I take you through an interesting way of ensuring you consume healthy vegetables at a relatively cheap price?
I can bet a dollar for a cent that most balconies, harbour water tanks, empty jerrycans and sacks of charcoal. That is a typical look of balconies for most. What if, I tell you that you can utilize that small space, for a manageable garden that requires little effort and resources to keep it functional?
Urban farming is a very interesting technique that most people living in urban areas can adopt and put into good use. It’s a package that entails several methods, a case in point, capillary farming, which uses the aspect of capillarity, whereby water from the storage point is absorbed by wick then to the plant. This concept has been borrowed from the structure of a lamp, whereby the kerosene is held on the lower part of the lamp, but for it to function, a wick is dipped in the kerosene, to absorb the kerosene such that the upper part is at the surface, providing the light.
We also have vertical garden farming. It uses drainage pipes (you know, there’s so much of them left after constructions, so it’s easy to obtain them) fill it with soil mixed up with manure or fertiliser, all you have to do is to ensure both ends are sealed, according to its length, make openings at several intervals which acts as a way of mulching since there will not be much exposure to the sun, then plant you spinach, kales or even coriander. This method is very simple, since it is easy to get rid of weeds. Drip lines are installed along the drainage pipes and a tap opened and once enough water has ran through, close it. The drainage taps are able to hold water for quite some days.
In a million years, personally I wouldn’t have thought that there is anything classy about agriculture. I mean, isn’t the whole idea about having to wear some gumboots, getting your nails dirty as you enter a wide field filled with black jacks, and all sorts of crawling insects. But hey guess what, with the Cone garden, it gives you an aesthetic touch such that your balcony gets an appealing look. Here what you require is a dam liner (the black thin polythene paper) to hold the soil in place as well as the water. This method maximizes on space since with every decrease in diameter, you are able to plant different vegetables.
There are other ways of doing this, such as using cut bottles, old tyres filled with soil, sacks too. You are spoilt of choice and can become a jack of all trades, once it comes to undertaking the urban farming techniques, so there’s no room for excuses on having to consume toxic food, when you can make a big change and live a healthy life. Little space and little amount of water is quite economical, such that there’s no much input or resources required.
As the government puts measures to enhance food security in the country, why not make a difference too? After all, charity begins at home and the last thing any person wants, is to contract diseases that can be easily avoided, just by health consumption of clean food.
wachaujoyce@gmail.com

I knew it.

I knew it hurt when I woke up at 4 just to eat.
I knew. I knew it hurt me when I kept on going back to when breathe becomes air, where Kalanithi breaks to Lucy he has cancer, that he needed her, and she said she was never going to leave him.
I knew it hurt when looking at that page, made me cry over and over again.
I knew it hurt, when I wished that I would experience the cancerous pain Kalanithi was going through, just to have my hurt justified.
I knew it hurt when I muffled my cries.
I knew it hurt when I couldn’t close my eyes.
I knew it hurt when I saw the rood of St. Augustine shining in the dark and the crickets chirping, from the balcony.
I knew it hurt when I couldn’t gain the energy to fold the heap of clothes on my bed.
I knew it hurt when I wanted morning to delay being there.
I knew it hurt when I couldn’t find some songs to cry to.
I knew it hurt when I pulled that blanket closer to my body and curled myself up smelling the tears on my pillow.
I knew it hurt when I said a short prayer to God, to let me be okay.
I knew it hurt when all I did was stare at that wall, where so many bedbugs had been killed.
I knew it hurt so bad. That is all I know.

I hate it.

Am not sure how i felt after i came to learn of it. She lived at the wing next to us. I was shattering inside, sitting on that bed, feeling uneasy because of my flow, cold air finding itself into the room through the window that i had closed though not completely, i am never able to close it, so i opt to always leave it like that. I bit my lips, to prevent tears from falling, and i could taste the remaining lining of jelly on them. i swallowed hard, I wanted my mouth dry. I had not even known who she was. Thinking about it, i hated how she stood there, the utensils in one hand, keyboard and mouse in the other. She wore a bralet and a black sweatpants, and she was dark skinned, or chocolate, whatever it is, i didn’t pay much attention yea and she had makeup too. I hated how she had asked me if i know who she was, but truth be told i didn’t, matter of fact, i don’t think i would have wanted to know a girl who had turned up at my boyfriend’s place, why should i? I hated how i had guessed her name,confused her for someone else, i hated my guts for having not alerted me, giving me that jelly in my stomach, my instincts for not having kicked in sooner enough than i would have loved. I hated how confused i was when she mentioned who she was, when she handed me those things,telling me to go close the gate, after she left. I hated how some few minutes before, the gate was being knocked so hard, but i didn’t cover to check it, because i wasn’t expecting anyone. I hated how my stomach did some somersault when she mentioned her name. I can never forget that name, but i have never seen her, how she looks, had never bothered to know. Yet there she stood, for the very first time yet i couldn’t recognize her. I didn’t even lock the gate as i should have well,at least returning the hinge to it’s position doesn’t count as it, but i did it anyway. I hated how after closing the door behind me, placing the wet utensils on the sink, i hated how quickly i had joined the dots, and was now fully aware of who she is. I hated how the two stuffed dolls on the study table gawked at me, like they knew what had happened. Like they knew something that i didn’t. I hated how bad i felt, i really hated it. I hated how stupid i felt. I hated how no longer hungry i felt. I hated how irritating i was getting by the footsteps of people going up and down the stairs. I hated the water running at the tap outside. I hated how early u was gonna go to sleep that night, prolly cry myself till i fell sleep. I hated how he had not mentioned that she had those things and others with her. I hated the thought that they were still probably having contact,i mean it doesn’t need rocket science to know that such things don’t happen through osmosis, they must have talked, yet he claimed they didn’t talk anymore. I hated how he said i am overreacting, that i didn’t trust him, just because i had questioned him about her showing up at our door. I hated how i wished he would have been in my shoes, and feel how i felt of her having showed up, maybe he wouldn’t have been so quick to tell me i am overreacting and having tryst issues. He said i have trust issues, he didn’t trust me enough to tell me the truth when i asked him where all the missing things had been, yet he well knew they were with her. Yet am the one with trust issues. It hurts too much,i swear.

LOSE AND DEATH SERVED IN ONE PLATE.

Being a campus student is never easy. It takes a lot of patience and determination in order to make it out, in one piece. Whatever goes on inside university walls, is never told. It remains engraved in the minds of young graduands, whose only yearning is to make it in life, hoping to reduce the number of those already tarmacking in search of jobs that they’ve been working so hard for. An education mind is not enough to keep one going, in these institutions.

The whole phase and glamour of being in university has drastically disintegrated, with the increase in death cases of university students. Recently, universities are no longer the safe haven for education, but dens where many students, either make it out having not achieved much, or in coffins.

The whole hype of celebrating that one has managed to get into campus, looking forward to having a great time while there and later on graduate and get white collar jobs, are proving not to exist anymore, should be simmered down a notch, with many venturing into self-employment.

With the increase in use of social media, a day does not pass by, without having to hear of a student who passed excellently in campus, but is jobless, leaving a hopeless life, contrary to what they were made to believe that all you need is that degree and you will be good to go. This calls for a refocus on when the rain started beating university students who are faced with ‘a thousand ways to die’, each day. Let me pull out the understanding cards and lay them out for you on the table, so that we can see the actual image of how comrades escape death narrowly with each passing day, cite the deep magic to you, of how things are.

Insecurity is the biggest issue. Here, you can get mugged, stabbed to death and if lucky, sustain fatal injuries, getting raped and molested. As a student, you get to live in fear, for you do not know what will happen to you once you step out, fear that you might not make it back alive. In such a situation, it will also affect your concentration in class, which spells out, dismal academic performance.

Just the other day, betting sites were shut down by the government, and perhaps it might help reduce the menace and addiction that highly affects comrades. We have witnessed and heard of students who committed suicide after having lost a bet that they had placed all their fees, rent, and pocket money on, only to be disappointed and what they result to, is suicide.

Relationship issues are very common, among young people who as a matter of fact, are in the bracket of being in campus. Love gone sour, where one partner is brutally murdered, in cold blood after misunderstandings brought about by the inability to handle rejection mostly.

Drugs are an impasse that many students peel off into, with all sorts of justification as to why they indulge, with many terming it as an opium that they use to elude the reality when nothing seems to be working out quite well and others, to forget their problems.

Loans are following comrades left , right and centre. The likes of Tala, Branch and the mother of them all, Helb. It is actually very enticing to obtain these loans, only for it to turn into a storm in a teacup, when one is unable to repay, and they all start cornering, coming at you like a dark horse threatening to enlist you with the CRB if you fail to pay by the stipulated date.

I cannot actually keep track of fellow students who we all started the same course, but they later on dropped out, with claims that is not what they wanted to pursue, it was just the grade that made them land where they did not want, others saying they are just there to make their parents happy since they were forced to do what they wanted not. Just like that, it becomes the last time to lay eyes on them.

A good number of the students struggle juggling between their studies and side hustles just to get the extra money for personal use, others to pay their school fees, all efforts to make it through the next day. For a student, money is never enough, kindly note this. When they say depression is real, it indeed is. An empty pocket, inadequate food, make an awful combination, worst bit is, with such problems it is hard to confide in somebody. When all of you are suffering from the same issues, with some looking down on you, as if your predicament is socially unacceptable, and they end up crucifying you, letting the world know of how you are in no position to cater for yourself, so an individual ends up being devastated and the next thing we know, they are no more.

Living in hostels is the most affordable form of accommodation many students can afford. Much as it helps save those extra coins, the bedbugs menace in some of these rooms is just horrendous and trust me these tiny fellas can really frustrate you, and this is one symbiotic relationship you cannot afford to live with.

Among the listed causes, I am sure many people are able to identify with one or two of the issues that affect university students. It is real, it is happening. Unless the issues are addressed with the seriousness that is needed, we will continue losing our students, day in, day out as we hide behind the curtains of them being the future leaders, mere hypocrisy! No one will be a leader once they are in a coffin, it is high time we wake up and face the bull by the horns.

Joyce Wachau Chege.

Gloomy days.

Sometimes company is overdue, you start talking to the pictures on the wall. Somewhere along the lines, lonely thoughts, unsettled life, a turn in the trumps, becomes hard such that right there, is when it hits you, as you start noticing the perennial flowers growing into monstrous proportions, the light filtering through the drawn drapery, don’t do the trick anymore. Falling in a cauldron of glee and fright and to some extent, sensing and feeling every movement of molecules and displacement of air. Learning to live by the bare minimal, i mean, you can’t force, it can you?. It’s the holy grail that holds the 10 commandments of doing right by it. Kneeling by the bed praying and hoping that you get through it. And as those tears land on your cheeks, you earnestly hope for the better turn out of things.

Sorry.

My clock is ticking, time running out, I can feel life materializing out of my body, my bones are weak, you spaced up on calling me, yes? But it’s okay, I don’t bear any grudges. Maybe it was a good idea. I couldn’t bear to have had you hear me struggle to breathe, holding my mouth to prevent the whimpers from escaping. My body sweating profusely, wishing you were here with me. Looking back at everything that reminds me of you. My mind is a typical macabre of loneliness and reminiscence . The machine is beeping and blowing my mind off. And all I can think is you.
Who’s gonna walk you through the dark side of the morning?
Who’s gonna rock you when the sun won’t let you sleep? If you wake up and find me gone, then know If I had this to do again , i would. I wouldn’t trade a thing.