Thursday, 31 May 2012

Women and Poverty- On Obstetric fistulas

Welcome Back

I thought I would share this with you as it impacts some women in developing countries My aim is not to scare people but raise awareness on the condition which is debilitating. Women who suffer from this condition are shunned and rejected by loved ones and in some cases they even loose their babies. This in some parts of the world though is not addressed and such women have no support as the tratment is expensive and not readily available.

I have also written a book based on this condition-yet to be published.(A lost Youth- copyrighted)

One day I was having a cup of tea with my friend Jes and I happen to mention this condition. My friend was shocked and she did not know such things happen. With good health facilities in developed countries I was not surprised she did not know.

Maybe I should explain this condition first,

Obstetric fistula (or vaginal fistula) is a severe medical condition in which a fistula (hole) develops between either the rectum and vagina (see rectovaginal fistula) or between the bladder and vagina (see vesicovaginal fistula) after severe or failed childbirth, when adequate medical care is not available.


Each year between 50 000 to 100 000 women worldwide are affected by obstetric fistula, a hole in the birth canal. The development of obstetric fistula is directly linked to one of the major causes of maternal mortality: obstructed labour.

Women who experience obstetric fistula suffer constant incontinence, shame, social segregation and health problems. It is estimated that more than 2 million young women live with untreated obstetric fistula in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

Obstetric fistula is preventable; it can largely be avoided by:
  • delaying the age of first pregnancy;
  • the cessation of harmful traditional practices; and
  • timely access to obstetric care.
Some of the causes are,
  • Poverty is the number one indirect cause of obstretic fistulas around the world
  •  lack of education
  •  early marriage and childbirth
  •  the role and status of women in developing countries
  •  harmful traditional practices
  •  sexual violence
This condition can be prevented if people get support medically and emotionally. It is a difficult and hard thing to go through and in many cases there is no emotional support as well when people are abandoned by their partners.
This is a condition for women and we all need to raise awareness so we can prevent this and support those already with the condition.

Some of the ways to prevent this could be,

  •  access to obstetrical care
  •  support from trained health care professionals throughout pregnancy
  •  providing access to family planning
  •  promoting the practice of spacing between births
  •  supporting women in education
  •  postponing early marriage.
Please share this to raise awareness. To see my other work please follow the link below,
Many thanks.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Democracy- Old Vs Young

Welcome Back

Just wanted to comment on the situation in Egypt and relate it to African politics. I read with interest an article explaining how hard it has been for the new Arab countries seeking democracy. Much as everyone both young and old wanted change they didnot necessarily share the same as regards to how this change was going to come about.

Interestingly on Egypt's road to democracy,different people had  different  expectations and choices to make. However the old seem to have needed to convince that change will come with new political leaders whereas the young voters seemed embraced for younger and different leaders.  Is change young?

In USA in the 2009 election change was  great with the young ones putting their trust in President Obama's charm compared to his much older opponent. Tweeting and other social nertworks used for campaigning which was great. Having seen how the world of internet has changed the world it is easy to conclude that some parts of Africa have been able to embrace this change to their advantage.

 On the other hand down south of the equator- Southern African not much political change has been attributed to the internet era. Mostly people in Southern Africa use the internet more as a social networking than campaigning and bringing in change to a government.

The search for democracy by countries like Egypt, Algeria was exaccerbeted by social networking. Pictures of updates on what was happening where and when was immediately available to the international community which made it easy to follow up. Those who like d to hide all the abuse ,injustices and undemocratic ways had no chance. The younger generation was at it tweeting etc letting the world know what was happening. Truly even those not interested in international politics had their attention drawn by what was happening in the Arab region.

Come to think of it who would not have noticed all those university students,professionals and ordinary peole crying for democracy.

In many countries the younger generations have always been known to agitate for change but the internet generation has had more chance of succeding in bringing change.
Even in autocratic countries ,democracy is always agitated for by the younger generation while the old still hold on to the glories of the past.  Nice as it is we need to always accept change when it is good.

We need the past to shape our future but we also have to move forward.

Just food for thought guys!!!

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Does the future for Africa lie in women's hands?

Welcome Back

Much as I love saying these I know I risk a danger of being called a feminist by cynics but also what is wrong with being a feminist? I will carry on thanks to my friend who picked on the topic. Let me remind whoever will read that I am not comparing Africa with the world but in this discussion it is Africa and Africa alone that I am touching on.

Most African leaders have turned themselves into absolute rulers and seem to confuse duty and care for the common people. This has costed the continent so much. Despite the many resources Africa is still struggling with diseases,famine,wars etc. Even those with diamonds and other minerals still beg and have the masses suffering and failing to make ends meet.Most African leaders(men mostly) lie, loot and even harrass and kill their people so as to stay in power. They have no mercy. Throughout history, It has been known that mothers always feed their young ones,so likewise a female president would feed her people.Dictators have always been men.

Women in power would not abandon their nation unlike their male counterparts. The recent inaugaration of Mrs Banda as president of Malawi seems to be pointing that. She has proved to be a good leader as well as a protector and carer for the nation.

Women are by nature motherly,caring and loving among other things and I am sure they would not let their people starve, or take their people to war. Women would always look after the nation. Think of how your mother looked after you till you were strong enough to say goodbye to her without crying.
There are bad women in the world as well but instictively women are carers. Looking at African politics,the corrupt male leaders,self centred and greedy I think it's time for a change. The change in Africa only has to come from the loving and caring women.

Mrs Banda,the Malawian president is already showing how tolerant she is and even announced how she is going to go as far as review the gay laws much as Malawi had an anti gay policy before. She has also promised to do more economically to save the nation from going under.

Wherever you look ,women are enterprising-working or looking after the family, would they dare steal from the family they love if they are in power?- I do not think so!!

Women will always be mothers at heart and will instictively act as one and provide for the nation.

I think for Africa to grow ,it needs more women in leadership positions and it can only happen if more women work towards that provided they get support from both men and women. Women should step up to the mark and show the world what they can do.

 Remember the saying, If you educate a man you educate an individual,but if you educate a woman you educate a nation.

Food for thought!!

To be continued....

Thursday, 24 May 2012

The Voice of the Voiceless

I had a chance to talk about Married to a Devil yesterday with Radio Oxford and I ended my interview by saying I am the Voice of the Voiceless. I meant it then and always. I have always said you can not be  a writer poet,painter etc if you burry your head in the sand when it comes to the truth.

 Obviously given a platform I had so much to say and in that situation it felt as if I did not say enough. I wanted to raise awareness on all the issues that I campaign for but it did not work like that. However I will continue raising awareness by other means on the physical and emotional effects of Female genital mutilation, the scars people live with after domestic violence and rape,stigma associated with disability,fistulas and marrying off underage young girls,only to mention a few. We should speak for those who can speak for themselves if we can. There is so much going on in the world and the best we can do is raise awareness and acknowledge .

I salute the South African painter for his courage.The reason I am saying this is the current situation in South Africa- Zuma's painting with his genitalia hanging out. Besides expressing his freedom of speech, this painter portays the truth. He is like me the Voice of  the Voiceless. Why should this man be taken to court? If he had the same painting of a commoner was he going to be taken to court? To many people it's good pointing out those things we all want to say but just can not because either we can't be bothered, we are too busy or we are just scared. The president of South Africa has proved himself to many, how he is with women. At 70 getting married to his sixth wife shows a man with no shame as father of nation and to me is a bad role model to his people.

I would want to remind people that being a good citizen involves pointing out those injustices surrounding us. As I said yesterday in my interview, rape, stigma on disability female genital mutilation etc have no boundaries.It happens everywhere, so raising awareness,talking about it instead of facing the other side will simply make it easy to eradicate.
Together we can do it. Enough is enough. Lets be part of the generation that supports being human and stop violence against one another whether physical,sexual or psychological.

They say he who tries will never be disappointed.Let's all try support the cause in whatever way we can, and the world will be a better place to live.

Monday, 21 May 2012

De-Cluttering the Mind

I thought I should write about this since so many things are happening. I meant to do so before but it had seemed to be the wrong time.  I will talk about several issues here but they all stem from our perceptions of things. Being African,there are many issues I look back at now and say ''that is not right'',something that I might not have said 20 years ago. I am only mentioning these few for now but the list is endless. Let's not hide through culture and hurt those around us.

My point being the African attitude towards many issues- HOMOSEXUALITY for example. Let's face it it was the same in the UK in the early sixties and people were charged for Indecency and unnatural acts. Homosexuality was just seen in the same way as it is by many African countries. It was then and now homosexuality is one of those things.Nobody cares whether one is a homosexual or not. Are we not dragging ourselves in the rubbish as well by banishing and killing homosexuals? When are we going to stop and let people be who they want to be?Even animals have the freedom to roam and do what they want. Let's de- clutter and live in the present and make a better future for the generations to come.Wherever in the world,Homesexuals have the same rights as everyone.

Many people in Africa seem to pick what fits their definition of sin  and culture and deride gays and lesbians which I find very disturbing. Is it not the same christians who talk about not judging as it is only God who can judge us all.

I therefore think we sneed to start de-cluttering our minds. I have heard talk about culture.
For all I know, culture is not static and it is this pick and drop of culture that I find not really good .

Take for example, the reasons by some people in Africa for practising FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION.

Bad as it is,people still practice Female Genital Mutilation and justify it in the name of culture but for all we know it is abuse and none of the parents have consent from their kids. So what are we? We use culture to justify evil deeds like #FGM. Aren't we the perpetrators of violence ourselves by letting the cycle continue?
Let's face it -the world has changed and lets drop those barbaric acts like Female Genital Mutilation. They only bring grief and psychological impacts on its victims. We can't hold on to things that only causes pain on our loved ones? As mothers and women,don't we think it's time to let go of these customs that makes our children miserable? Wherever in the world FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION is WRONG.

Another issue I have noticed that seem to be barbaric in Africa is killing of Albinos. As human beings we have learnt to rely on Faith and Science among other things. We have throughout the years understand many things through Science and Albinos have always been born in families all over the world. But to deny them life by killing them is barbaric. We are all the same irregardless of the skin colour ( feel the same pain, grief,hunger , etc). Time we de-clutter our minds and accept what we have. We need to leave these backward practices and embrace the present and the future.
Most of these are justified by a culture here and there but it's time we  de-clutter our minds and free ourselves from self destruction.

Let's put ourselves in the shoes of those we are attacking and try imagining how it would feel if the tables were turned. Food for thought.

To be continued.......

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Married to a Devil- Excerpt Sunday Special

Chapter 20

James and I were now living in a big house in Marondera. It was convenient as we were not

very far from the village. There was work still to be done in the village regarding HIV/AIDS. A

year into the marriage I got pregnant, but had a miscarriage. We were so upset that I could not

even think of trying again for a while. We waited for what fate had for us.

“Vimbai, just do as I tell you for once, darling,” James said. “Get some rest, darling, please.”

James and everyone else kept fussing over me, my mother-in-law most of all. She was

desperate to have grandchildren. She had been quick to offer help while I was convalescing.

“I have been waiting for James to be happy again,” she told me. “I thought James would never

settle down. After your first break-up, I thought he would die of heartbreak. That is when I knew

that my son had met someone special. I am so happy, Vimbai, that you managed to sort things

out. If things had not turned out the way they did, I am sure I would have lost my son. Thank

you very much for making my son happy,” she said, touching my hand.

I was touched. After having experienced such tough times with Pete’s family, I was happy with

James’s mother. She told me I was like a daughter to her, and she treated me that way.

“I am your husband’s mother, so you are my child too,” she told me. “I am here to help

whenever you need me.” And she did help – sometimes too much.

Three years passed before I got pregnant again, and life continued to be good. I was doing

well, and James watched over me like a hawk this time. No hard work in case I was to have

another miscarriage. Even my mother came around to our place just to make sure I was

getting enough rest. As I was getting bigger and bigger and I became restless. I wanted to go

back to the village. I wanted to see Sekuru. At first James did not think it was a good idea but I

was adamant. One weekend he said he was he was taking me to the village. I was happy to

be back. I missed the village so much and here I was eight months pregnant. James went back

to work the following day and left me to enjoy the village fresh air. I had to visit Sekuru.

This was a surprise visit for Sekuru. I waddled to his house humming happily to myself. The

very path I was walking on had many memories- good and bad. I didn’t want to dwell on the

past and smiled to myself imagining how Sekuru was going to react.

‘’Sekuru, are you at home?’’ I shouted from a distance.

‘’Vimbai, is that you? I knew it. I dreamt last night you were seated here next to me chatting,’’

Sekuru said.

‘’O Sekuru, I missed you so much. Is everything OK with you?’’ I said happily.

‘’I am well child. It’s good to see you. When did you arrive and where is James?’’ Sekuru

asked. I told Sekuru how I got restless being at home and decided to come back to the village.

‘’You don’t want to give birth in the village, do you Vimbai? What did James say of your being

here now?’’ Sekuru asked concerned.

‘’I will be alright Sekuru. I am not due until another month. Besides, this is home,’’ I said trying

to make light of a serious matter. James was to be off work in the following week to be with me

in the village in case I was due early.

‘’You are simply stubborn Vimbai. I am glad you are here though. It’s never the same without

your regular visits,’’ added Sekuru. I could not help but notice how melancholic he sounded. I

thought it would be nice to reminisce with him.

‘’Sekuru, do you remember the two stories you told me years ago and said I should keep the

answers to myself?’’ I said.

‘’Yes, I remember’’ Sekuru said with a twinkle in his eyes. ‘’Have you got the answers now?’’,

he asked.

‘’Well I do Sekuru but now I have learnt to relate the story not far from home but here in the

village,’’ I said.

‘’Yes, go on I am listening,’’ Sekuru added.

‘’The villagers were selfish, uncompromising and lacking empathy at first but having witnessed

death, grieved and fought HIV/AIDS as a community made all the difference,’’ I said.

‘’Remember people are people Vimbai. Since time began people have always fallen to deadly

sins among them greed, pride, gluttony and sloth which are all in the stories I told you. So

slowly we realised that tolerance of one another was the way to success’’, Sekuru said quietly.

Sekuru, the educator as always, I thought to myself

‘’Are you hungry Vimbai?’’ Sekuru asked.
I realised I had been with Sekuru for a while. I had not been paying attention to my stomach

but I realised I was having stomach cramps. Similar to the ones I had when I lost the first


I frowned.

‘’Vimbai, are you alright? Vimbai, what is the matter?’’ Sekuru shouted. ‘’Would you call my

mother please Sekuru. Something is not right here,’’ I managed to say.

I was scared. I started groaning in pain. Sekuru was torn between leaving me alone and calling

my mother. In the end, he walked towards my house. He was not a fast walker and I did not

expect him to run. Within minutes my mother was at Sekuru’s place. My mother and Sekuru

were beside themselves with worry. What if I lost the baby? I could still hear James’ words

when he said I was being stubborn by not staying in the town where all facilities would be


Well done Vimbai for messing things up, I thought to myself.

The clinic that was promised to the village had been built but would not be well equipped for a

person like me. I was likely to have complications because of my size and needed well trained

specialists. In fact I had a specialist doctor assigned to my case and here I was very far away

from these arrangements. My mother had to decide quickly what to do. I had to go back to

Marondera but was time on my side. I was to stay at Sekuru while my mother was running

around to organize a car for me and letting my husband know of the situation. The pain kept

on and I was not sure what was going on. Sekuru could not leave me. I was at Sekuru for

three hours and my mother was informed James was on his way with some experts. The

screeching of a car made Sekuru jump and for the first time since I had been lying on his bed I

realised how worried he must have been.

Within minutes I was in James’ arms. ‘’Are you alright Vimbai my darling? O Vimbai, talk to me

Sweetheart!’’, James said.

Sekuru and James looked at each other thinking the same thing as they later told me- How

stubborn she is!

The medical consultant James brought examined me and said I could travel. I was carried to

the car for the long journey to Marondera Hospital. My mother and James went with me and

the last thing I remember was waving Sekuru goodbye. I could not simply resist the old man’s

charm, I thought to myself as the car sped towards Marondera.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Violence Against Women

Welcome Back

I am touching on sensitive ground because some of my friends would conclude that I am a feminist. The reason I chose the above heading is because it's relavant to what I am going to talk about.
Violence against women has been an issue from time began and most of it has been sexual. In some parts of the world,while man can just go out and enjoy, women has had to be careful. Women has been called all sorts of names from witches to prostitutes( Married to a Devil ) ,

 and even in the 21st century a lot of crimes are still being commited agains women. Not only are these crimes commited against women by society and men, women have also joined the que of those who perpetrates violence against women.( Reference- A lost Youth by Abigal Muchecheti)

I said in the beginning often we bury our heads under the sand and pretend everything is OK when it is not. I am talking here about evil things that happens around us every day. We tend to focus on the good things and ignore the fact that bad things do actually happen. Writing will not be the same if it avoids what is happening around us. So as I always say I will focus mine on those without a voice and help raise awareness.

I mentioned in Married to a Devil,some of the issues that affects women and how the society can contribute in oppressing the innocent. It is the realization by those involved and those around them that tolerance of one another is the key to happiness that is important.

I would as I promised talk about sexual violence against women and my talk will not be complete if I don't mention Female genital mutilation which happens to be the focus of my second book called ''A Lost Youth''.  I was lucky to talk to people who went through this procedure and I know how it feels emotionally and psychologically. Some of those I spoke with are yet to recover from the evils of this practice.

Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

For those who do not know about it here are the key facts

  • Female genital mutilation (FGM) includes procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

  • The procedure has no health benefits for girls and women.

  • Procedures can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later cysts, infections, infertility as well as complications in childbirth increased risk of newborn deaths.

  • About 140 million girls and women worldwide are currently living with the consequences of FGM.

  • FGM is mostly carried out on young girls sometime between infancy and age 15.

  • In Africa an estimated 92 million girls 10 years old and above have undergone FGM.

  • FGM is a violation of the human rights of girls and women.

  • It would be wise to remember that those who went through this did not do it out of choice but out of those societal expectations that still exists in some communities.Most of it is done through coercion as these girls have no voice.

    My book ''A lost Youth'' explores some of the struggle within families as young girls struggle to survive after going through this barbaric procedure. I also had an interview with a woman who actually has been named the ''butcheress'' by some of her victim and she explains to me her take on DOING WHAT SHE DOES BEST- Mutilating young girls' sexual parts.

    I will be very humbled if we help each other in this and help spread the messages by supporting #FGM and #NoFGM. My call is both for the UK and the world at large. If we face these problems head on together we will make the world a better place to live in.

    Cynics might think this is a joke but one has to see the impacts of female genital mutilation on the victims. Life will never be the same.

    Lets put our heads together and fight this evil.Together we will do it.

    To be continued......

    Wednesday, 16 May 2012

    Married to a Devil- Motivational and inspirational

    Welcome Back

    When I started writing ''Married to a Devil'', I was not sure I will keep the title but then I liked it. Recently a colleague said to me asked me why? I could not explain and I still can not explain in this article because I will spoil the story for those who are yet to read it.

    All I can say is ''Married to a Devil'' is a story that gives hope to those without, a voice to the voiceless and light to the world.
    Sometimes people get scared of talking about these things. Lets face it rape,abuse and mental stress happens to people and many times we ignore or even point a finger at those involved. Sometimes we even make people shy away from talking about these issues because we make them  feel uncomfortable.

    The story of Vimbai does not only show bravery of a disabled woman but determination and perseverence. In the end she saw the light she was looking for.

    This is real Life.

    If  you realized how powerful your thoughts are,you would never think a negative thought. Vimbai learnt this and in the end she managed to face and challenge her demons.

    Enjoy your reading.

    Monday, 14 May 2012

    Married to a Devil by Abigal Muchecheti

    Writing the book was  a challenge with all the issues that I touched about,one which I am going to briefly touch base on. Witchcraft.

     I read an article today about a whole family hacked to death in Burundi because they were accused of witchcraft. I know these things happens in some parts of Africa and when I was growing up,there was always talk of so and so being a witch. Sometimes we were even told not to eat anything or share anything at school with kids of those mothers suspected of witchcraft. As a young girl,it was very difficult to get to understand the whys and what of witchcraft. But growing older does not make it any easier. There is no scientific or biological proof that a person is born a witch.
    What gives another human being to say somebody is a witch? What is it they see to be convinced that a person is a witch? In ''Married to a Devil'' witchcraft is central to disability and failed marriages.

    Do withches actually eat human flesh?
    If I was back in the village even talking or questioning this issue would have been considered too risky. For the case in Burundi,the whole family including a 8 month were all killed because of witchcraft. Would that ever be justified? What would an 8 months old baby have done to anybody?

    Since its an area I dont know much about except relating to Vimbai's story I hope people out there can comment about the issue. For all I know it's wrong to accuse and kill people for something that can not be proven beyond reasonable doubt.

    Food for thought people

    Saturday, 12 May 2012

    Can abortion for raped women/girls be justified?

    Welcome Back

    I know I am touching on a sensitive issue but these things have to be said.

    In his campaign for Romney, Rick Santorum believes all abortions should be banned even for those women or girls who have been raped. 

    Well,I think most women would agree with me or maybe not but I think whatever law any country would try to introduce on abortion, it should give individuals a choice on whether to abort or not.
    As a Christian I believe destroying life is wrong but I also know how it feels to be raped,let alone carry a child conceived during such a heinous affair.

    As far as I am concerned ,it is better to leave it open for individuals. If one can bear keeping the child,then it's their choice and maybe will live with it,but if done by force some individuals might find it hard to cope with a child they know resulted from a rape or an incestous affair. Let's face being raped carries scars that lives with an individual for the rest of their lives. Imagine added to that a child?
    I was nearly raped myself but since it's happened I have not been able to have it out of my mind.
    If my attacker had succeeded and I had been pregnant I don't know whether I would have managed with the baby. All I am saying is it should be left on the individual involved to decide what they would want to do rather than have a law that tells them what to do with their life. It comes back to controlling women and I would say to Rick- be reasonable and don't be a chauvinist. Women have a right to take control of their sexuality.They do not need a law telling them what is right or wrong.

    What do you think?
    To be continued....

    Friday, 11 May 2012

    Once an abuser always an abuser

    Welcome back to my story.

    Carrying on from where I left, after the visit with my aunt to her boyfriend, I thought that was the end of the relationship. The way she was slapped I never thought we were even going to stay another night. I was wrong. On our way back I asked her what she had done to deserve such a beating. Her answer was disappointing.
    ''It is my fault Abbie, dont worry about these things. He is a nice man''

    ''Really? What exactly did you do to him?'', I said surprised.
    As a kid I had seen my parents row but never was my mother beaten. So I was surprised by my aunt's reaction.
    My aunt made me swear not to tell my mother about the beating. I agreed and she promised she would visit the boyfirend again with me. I was not happy about that. I just did not like her boyfriend at all. He had tried to be nice to me but all I could think of was how he slapped my aunt.

    When we got home I was quite. My mother quickly concluded that something was wrong.

    ''How was your journey Abbie?'', my mother asked.

    ''Fine'', I said.

    ''Surely it should be more than fine'', mum insisted.

    ''I do not want to talk about it'', I said.

    A piercing look from my aunt told me I should shut upso I left the room.
    I was still disturbed and wanted to talk to somebody. Eventually I told my mother about my aunt 's beating.

    My mother was concerned.

    ''You don't have to put up with an abusive boyfriend you know'', mum said.

    ''Who said he was abusive?'' my aunt said.

    ''Well you know Abbie told me. If he beats you now he will still be doing that when you get married.What is it that you had done to deserve that? No good man can beat a wife or girlfriend. That is not a good sign.Leave this man alone,'' Mum said.

    My aunt would not listen. A few months later,she went back to visit the boyfriend. This time I didn't go with her. I was scared.

    Days later my aunt came back with a swollen lip. She lied to mum that she fell. We all knew what had happened.

    They say, ''It is useless to warn one who has made up his mind''. My aunt had made up her mind and each time the violence occured,gifts would follow. She didn't realise what was happening but we all did.

    ''Do you think this beating will stop?'' mum asked.

    ''There is no beating.You are imagining things'', my aunt said.

    A couple of months later, my aunt eloped. She was pregnant and they were getting married.

    We were happy for her but mum was worried about the violence. Throughout her pregnancy,my aunt visited  us with scars on different parts of her body. Each time it was either a fall or some accident which was all lies.

    If only she had listened. Once an abuser always an abuser.

    Thursday, 10 May 2012

    On Great Expectations

    Welcome Back

    I think I should now conclude the story and leave the rest to your imagination. My dearest friend carried on with life struggles in the UK. The office jobs were a nightmare because of her accent and in the end, she had to accept the waitressing job.

    The job came with its challenges. My friend was expected to be quick and effective. She was expected to balance two to three trays for customers and she just didn't have the stamina.

    Within 10 mins she spent trying to waitress,she broke six plates and spluttered food all over the place. The manager could not take it ,so my dear friend was demoted to washing dishes in the kitchen. She didn't like it but thought she would give it a try.  It was hot and  steamy. She kept on being told,
    ''Move it, Move it girl''  by one of the chef. She didn't seem to be doing the right thing in the kitchen. She  however still had her pride. She just took off her apron and walked away.

    In ten minutes she had a job,lost it and got moved to another but still walked away.

    Her big European dream shattered once again. Still at home she had to tell them things were alright.

    Tuesday, 8 May 2012

    Of Great Expectations 3

    Welcome Back

    Well I thought I should get back to my story of many people's big European Dream. Carrying on from where I left, my friend was still struggling and she did not feel comfortable anymore working in the office because of her accent. She still did not give up completely. What finally made her leave the office job was a mistake she made that nearly costed her life. She still went to work in her suits and high heeled shoes. All this time a friend had been dropping her at work. In the evening her boyfriend was picking her up so she did not have to know where the bus stop was.

    On this particular day,she had to catch the bus but had no idea where the bus stop was. After walking for some distance she managed to find someone to ask where the bus stop was.

    My friend however failed to get the directions and walked towards where the man had pointed without really thinking. She had no idea how deadly the motorway could be. Very different from the Kenyan roads.

    In her suit and heels, she walked on and on and on and before she knew it, she was walking on the motorway. She kept on walking until she was on the road. Cars started hooting and she realised she was going to get killed.

    ''Crazy woman get out of the road. Are you on a mission to get killed?'', drivers shouted at her.

    For the drivers it was sad to see a smartly dressed woman dicing with death on the motorway.
    To actually avoid slipping in the road,she started to crawl until she was within a safe distance.
     That narrow escape made her realise life was not as rosy as people back home were made to believe. The good thing was , she was learning.

    To be continued tomorrow!

    Monday, 7 May 2012

    Once an abuser always an abuser

    Welcome All

    Today I thought I should focus my attention on something different. I will however carry on with my friend's European dream and expectations another time.

    When I was young, I know I am old now, I accompanied an aunt to see her boyfriend- a teacher. I was excited because being a chaperone sounded grown up. I did not know why I was excited at the time but I was eager to observe adult stuff. When we finally left I thought I was going to have some good time. My aunt's boyfriend was nice to me and because he had one room that night I slept on the floor while obviously they slept on the bed.
    I will not go into detail about what I saw and heard that night but I think you know what I mean. I did not mind what they did but what made me angry was what happened the following day. The two had a row. I didnot get what the row was about but it was a big one. When the row started I was outside so I rushed in the room to see what was happening. My aunt's face was red and she was holding her jaw. She was slapped again while I was by the door. Then again and again. I started screaming.

    ''Can you shut up!'', he barked at me.

    I was scared and ran outside. How can a man so nice to me turn into such a monster?
    I waited outside for what seemed an eternity and finally my aunt called me in.

    ''I want to go home now'', I said.

    ''We can't go home. Maybe tomorrow or day after'', my aunt said.

    I was surprised.How can she even think of staying after the way she had been slapped? I thought to myself.

    I saw them making up kissing and him cooing like a bird. My aunt was taken for shopping and I stayed behind reading my book. I still could not believe why she thought things were going to be alright after such an attack. But that is love,it makes people blind and deaf.

    I was still going to ask her why she was slapped by her boyfriend and my chance was to come soon.

    'Ladies remember once an abuser always an abuser!'

    To be continued...

    Saturday, 5 May 2012

    Of Great Expectations 2

    Welcome Back!

    As promised I thought I would move on to part 2 of the story on Great Expectations. Having moved abroad myself I also had my expectations. This however is about my friend who thought she would be in a good paying job on arrival in England. How wrong she was!

     My dear friend,with all her high hopes, thought her first experience at the agency was just a one off. So the following weeks she moved on from agency to agency,hoping for a  high profile job. This did not happen. It was the same story-cleaning jobs, care work ,waitressing or working in the kitchen washing dishes.

    She did not give up and finally one day she got a temporary job as a receptionist. It was not what she expected but at least she would not be wiping people's backs, she thought.

    Being used to the ''African way of dressing'', she put on her favourite suit for her first day in the office. She had seen a weakness in the way people dress here. Too casual for her liking and she did not think it was good thing.

    Things were going well so far and the stares she got from colleagues were a sign she was looking professional,she thought.  After being told what to do she was left by herself to work.Then all of a sudden there she was,face to face with a reality she had not even thought about- HER ACCENT!

    Different European accents that she had never heard before - having only been used to people who spoke in her accent back in Kenya,the day became a nightmare.

    It was not what she expected. People on the other side of the phone could not understand her African accent and she could not understand them as well. How could she do the work?

    Her day was filled with disappointment. She had considered herself learned.After all she had a degree and had a good job back in Kenya but nothing prepared her for the English accent.

    ''I can't get a word of what you are saying.Speak slowly please'',one customer said.

    Another customer said ''Speak in English please'', when she was already speaking in English.

    That did it. She realised that maybe she would have to do ''those other jobs'' she had not thought of before.
    By the end of her shift she was upset, tired and disappointed and she wanted to go home.

    To be continued....

    Friday, 4 May 2012

    On Great Expectations

    I thought today I will not look at Married to a Devil but talk about something else. I know some of you might be surprised by this because I am not talking about Dickens. I am talking about living abroad.

    This is not my story but since I am good at writing about other people's stories,a friendly recently asked me to share this with you.

     The good thing is this is similar to many people who moved abroad.

     ''Having born and bred in Kenya,my first 's first visit to the UK was really an achievement'',she said to me.

    Friends envied her. She had big dreams. She had a degree and thought the sky will be the limit in the developed UK.It sounded cool when she told her friend and a week before ,she used all her savings to get new clothes. Guess what she bought? I think you know already- Suits. She was looking forward to rubbing shoulders in big offices with big bosses.
    She was in for  surprise.

    Her first job encounter with a agency turned into horror when she was told the only jobs available were in care work, cleaning and waitressing.

    How can that be?she thought to herself. She was furious.

    ''Did you not get me? I said I have a degree in Public Relations. I can't do care work surely'',she finally said once she recovered.

    No they are wrong,she thought to herself.

    ''Well,this is England. These are the jobs we have. Maybe you want to think about it and get back to us'',the lady said.

    My friend was surprised .She never thought she would be offered a cleaning job,not with a degree.
    Still she did not give up. She still had hope and thought the foolowing days will be better.
    I know I am talking about what most people have experienced in diaspora - great expectations but shattered by the reality.

    Food for thought for people who never left home and thinks diaspora is full of money and opportunities. Opportunities yes,but one has to work. Don't get me wrong,it's not all gloomy but it happens.

    To be continued...

    Thursday, 3 May 2012

    Of being Married to a Devil (Part 1)

    Welcome back.

    You might be wondering where I was.I have been busy but I am back now to share something with you from my book. Most people would like to know what ''Married to a Devil'' is all about.  The book deals among other things matters of marriage relationships gone wrong. Rape and violence are order of the day. Added to that is the stigma of disabilty. Those married I guess have at some point thought of that of their partners. Marriage is good but needs commitment, caring , love and respect. If all or if some of these qualities among others lack in a marriage ,it might lead one to think of their situation as being married to a devil.

    My cousin was raped, sexually abused mentally and fought the ridicule and stigma associated with her disability and for her it was like being in hell- married to a devil

    How many of you have asked themselves this question in relationships -''Am I not being married to a devil?'' because of the way they are treated.

    Mind you -devils are not only male,they can be female as well!!

    Check the story out on

    The direct link is