Book review: Of goats and poisoned oranges.

poisoned oranges.jpg

Most Kenyan authors I have read are very much the same, history, and more history or a very basic story about sijui poverty and independence and state of the nation and so forth. Not that it is bad to parallel a story with something realistic but some of us live for the drama, sometimes. Popcorn anyone?

Except for Ciku Kimeria. I was at an event at Goethe Instituit in 2014 where she read an excerpt of her book. I fell in love. Despite the fact that at that point I was just a lame person not willing to spend money on book, I made a mental note to grab it someday and read it.

You see, for a long time I was a cheap thrill book buyer of “Inama Bookshop”. And by this I mean those books sprawled out on the pavements in town. Yeah, I used to love those. Anything with a catchy title a fancy artsy cover, I would hog it. I was out there judging books by their covers. Until I realized what rubbish thing it is I was indulging in. A library full of books I might never read. Well, there was this particular one I started reading and I could never ever get to the end of it. Even my imagination of the setting was so gloomy and dark.

Of goats and poisoned oranges is like an extension of a very interesting blog. Something like Biko’s blog but from a woman’s perspective. Merged with a little of the drama from Ciku’s busted show, not the one that always sounds scripted, the real stuff.  The Oh my God!!! kind of story, popcorn, tea and all.

The book is about a rich woman who gets married to a poor and uneducated man. Classic love story of rich girl poor boy, except it doesn’t have a happy ending. That’s the juice of the story. I would rate it at 6 out of 10 because, I felt a little bit rushed towards the end and there are characters haphazardly introduced. Also, it is like the same story told by different people but firm different perspectives so you sort of piece the story as you go, that I am indifferent about.

The book is available on amazon and soft copies are sold on order basis. I am hoping her next book will be better and if her first book is anything to go by, then I am looking forward.


Taking Stock 5


JD7A2657777Making: a tentative schedule that I am hoping to follow without feeling frustrated and wanting to pull out my hair. I am very easily bored with routine and when I do not have any I waste a lot of time, so in as much as striking a balance is a myth I am trying to see if I can do that.

Cooking: Lots of vegetables, I am trying out clean eating lately since it is the key to healthy living. It is important as young people to deliberately lead healthy lifestyles. There’s many lifestyle diseases and we should not make it a generational habit to eat dirt and whine at how clothes don’t fit anymore.

Drinking: Warm water. I have suffered withdrawal symptoms ever since I stopped taking coffee but it is worth it. I don’t have any cravings now and I do not think the coffee kept me awake or active, it is all in the head. I am just making a conscious effort to be active and be present.

Reading: A thousand splendid suns. I have only begun but I feel like this is going to be a great read. I am doing really good trying to go back on my reading culture, a book a month doesn’t sound so bad. I have read more books this year starting April and I am hoping this becomes a habit.

Wanting: To experiment with my hair. I’m thinking color but not something outrageous given that my melanin is already fleeking. So I do not want to look like an energizer battery neither do I want something that draws attention. You get my dilemma. Braids maybe? I don’t know. Any suggestions?
Looking: For inspiration to double up my energy and hone my skills. Have you seen what self-taught people are doing? From Yego to Laolu (@laolunyc)

Playing: Acappella tunes. How calming is this music? It is a church and yoga cocktail. My sister first introduced me to this music when she was in campus. Hush is my favorite song because it is in line with my feels.
Wasting: Opportunities. Sad but true. And wondering if this will ever feel any different. Am I the only one who feels horrible whenever an opportunity passes them because you might have thought that you was never good enough to go get it?


Enjoying: Solitude. There’s no better way to know yourself than being by yourself and enjoying that.
Waiting: for inspiration. Somebody slap me. In as much as I have found that waiting for inspiration is utter BS it is hard embarking on a self-discipline journey.
Liking: a lot of new music. I have opened myself to new music and I am loving the new sounds that I find. I shall be sharing with you soon.
Loving: My nephew Caelan. Well, he cries like a siren but I have been loving the little person since I felt him kick in his mother’s stomach. No one carries him except for his mother and the help. Unless he is sleeping that’s why I enjoy watching him sleep like a creep. And oh boy he does not sleep longer than 20 minutes. But he is still adorable. Very much so.
Marveling: At how patient I am with people who give me bullshit every time I give them another chance to prove themselves.
Needing: To get it together and chop these time-bandits off, without rebounding and backsliding.
Smelling: Mad about you lotion from Bath and Body works which I use as hand lotion now that my hands are not the most moisturized.

Wearing: Black kicks, black jeans, yellow bodysuit and a flowered bomber jacket. Athleisure all the way. When I look good I feel even better.

Noticing: That I need to take myself seriously.
Knowing: That I will eventually get through this.
Thinking: About how easy life can be when I choose to be present and do the right things at the right time.
Feeling: determined to conquer.
Bookmarking: Books that I stopped reading because a thousand splendid suns happened. I am a book polygamist. I was in the middle of Blackass which is currently too boring because the setting in my head is typically Nigerian. I dislike typical Nigerian films. The afro-sinema ones.
Opening: Myself up to new experiences and opportunities.

Giggling: at Falz (the bahd guy) short clips on YouTube and intro to his first album. This guy has  the first Nigerian comedy I have enjoyed.

Feeling: Stoked that I have seized the day today having ticked off a couple of stuff off my list today.





Love by any other deed.

Growing up in an African home, there are so many things that were made into silent rules. No one sits you down and reads a list of things not to do or what is required of you, you observe, learn and get in line.

Love by any other deed.


When I was little, below 5 years little, I would run up to my father when he got home and he would lift me high up and maybe carry me on his lap. Then I do not know what happened when but it changed. It always stops somewhere. Nobody told me to. I just stopped. I do not even remember the transition. Perhaps it is an unwritten tradition, but all traditions are not written, so we will go with it being a tradition. Decent hugs are only exchanged between same sex relatives and no matter how excited you are you just shake hands with the opposite sex. That’s how I found it and I am not questioning.

Through all this, people love each other. Deeply. Immensely. Through action. Sometimes banter, reproach, tough love but they still love you. That is the truth. The husbands hardly called their wives, wife; it was just “mama watoto” (Mother of my children) The generation that followed was a little bit different, people could be seen together, hugs were exchanged, hands were held even in public and flirty glances thrown around. The cold hearts were thawing and the love as is known to our generation.

Enter the generation we are currently riding in. I am no love doctor or relationship expert but our idea of love is pretty much all over the place. Updating relationship statuses, pictures taken together, tags, trips taken together and the whole romantic nine yard. As messed up as it is, this P.D.A generation has to be the closest to the epitome of romance that I have experienced in real life. It is a good thing.

Love in any other name is still love. Actions especially. A warm cup of tea/coffee, a home-made meal, thoughtful gifts, inside jokes, protecting each other, holding hands, Spending time alone together, apologizing, forgiving, trusting, supporting and encouraging each other for the better, communicating as much as possible, creating memories together, compromising fairly without being a yes button. I can only run out of breath but not out of the actions that portray love. Not everyone who uses the four letter word with you loves you, these days it is a pleasantry. Hi love, hey hun, babe this babe that. Rolls eyes


Some questions/statements mean much more than just conversation. Have you eaten? How was your day? Let me know when you get home. How was your night? You do not sound okay, would you like to talk? Are you okay? Are you feeling better? Have you seen a doctor? Stay right where you are, I am coming! I think you would look better in the other outfit (and goes on to explain why).

No two people can ever be the same, and no one is perfect. Men think differently and so do women, scratch that. Women and men are not wired the same. As unevenly yoked as we can be, love is a beautiful thing and everyone should experience it.

Book Review: The story of Anna P as Told by Herself

Anna P

The feeling I get when reading a good book is like being able to control your movement on very slippery ground. Anything is expected. But you can control it. For the moment. Then the last chapters are like slippery grounds on a slope. Everything happens so fast. You are helpless. Wondering why you went to the slippery dangerous grounds. Too late, you cannot stop.

Plenty of times I shut a book I am reading in time to cushion my dismay. Although you will not always know when you are going to gasp in public and embarrass yourself. Or get caught up in emotions. I do that a lot. I feel everything, hence my excuse to be a slow reader. I have accepted the pace.

The story of Anna P as Told by Herself has to be one of the best books I have ever chosen to read. It has surpassed all my expectations. The plot, the grammar, the description and the bizarre character of the characters in the book. It took me a while to wrap my head around the story but as soon as I was done with the foundation, I was reeled in. Like settling into a new house.

The book is about a woman who has had quite the dark past and painful one at that. As she grows older she pushes her real memory away and tries to hold on to whatever to make herself happy again and feel rooted. She feigns backgrounds and memories. Then it gets to a point that she doesn’t remember who she really is, but a repetition of history forces her to go back to the past.

This is the part of the book you will read with gasps, shock, anger and confusion. At least that’s what I experienced. Members of the book club I am in, went on and on and on about it. Agreeing and disagreeing. The conversation was enlightening. It is safe to say the book deserved all the accolades it bagged.

The only downside that other readers have pointed out, is the repetition. In the story she reads an old journal that almost parallels with what she is doing. I however did not mind that. I read through it. Each and every word.

At 64 years old, this is Penny Busetto’s first book. I would like to attribute her as a perfectionist. She took enough time to get her story out, marinate and let it all soak. She is the winner of the 2013 European Union Literary Award. The book was also shortlisted for the Etisalat prize for literature in 2015.
I do not mind a sequel of this book at all.

Such is life.

Life pans out in a very funny way, that’s why they say God has a great sense of humor. Mostly life pans out the way it wants and sometimes it just doesn’t pan, tilt, jib or zoom. (😄 throwing about camera lingo because I can)


You go on with your daily routine and every underlying thing as usual but when you lie in bed at the end of the day and recount what you have done and what value it might have added, you regret thinking about it. Because, disappointment. So you try and shut your eyes then realize your feet are cold. In situations like these you would often get up get an extra pair of socks and warm water in the hot water bottle. But not today.

You always go by lists and your life is basically listed, but of late you can’t make any because you low-key hope your old organized and “doer” self will come back. It’s becoming a habit. It sort of worries you but you also don’t really care at this point. So you proceed to shut people out. Mainly because you do not want to be explaining to people why you don’t know what you are going through. It’s like crying and not knowing why you are crying, do you ever have those?

Like, Once in a while just lock yourself in a room, play loud music and scream into your pillow and sob really loudly? No? You should try. Then when your neck and face are really hot and the tears are done welling up, just stop. If not, keep going. Don’t clean your face, just look at yourself in the mirror and try to smile. This is usually my sort of victory moment. It feels like surviving a storm.


Back to you.

You push yourself to do something, anything. So you take out the notebook that has secretly always made your bag look a ton or two heavier than a girl going about her duties. Those tiny sling bags that carry bus fare and lip-gloss are never your thing. (I will tell you why I have issues with those)

Not forgetting the book you are currently reading making your regular handbag last four months at most if is of good quality. With all this luggage as your daily must haves you wonder if people think you are doing the walk of shame. But really, no one cares. So should you. But you wonder anyway.

You stare down at the blank page, write a few words but they don’t make sense so you pick up the phone and scroll through your feed until an hour and fifteen minutes later, you feel like an undercover FBI agent because you know who and who else and their crushes including their exes dog tag color and can bet on that.

Then you realize how much of a social media slave you have become, a loser in the making and how much you have single handedly cultivated it. Then you become sad again. You might be an introvert but today you do not want to strike a conversation with anyone. Sunglasses are your savior so any time there’s anything gleaming for longer than five minutes, you always have them on. Why squint when you can spy, right? If you successfully ignore someone, it’s a small victory. If they see you and are smart enough to read your mood, you nod in greeting or wave. Another small victory. Then there’s that one who doesn’t read the mood or have business to mind so they engage you and want to dissect your business approaching with a wide grin and you roll your eyes. good thing they can’t see. They strike a conversation but you put them all out with one word answers. They ask “what’s wrong” as if they care. I bet you wish you should have run the other way.

You have been listening to drake’s songs back to back, you start feeling a little bit lonely and guiltier. Then you want to pick up the phone and apologize to that guy that has been trying to hit on you. For being such an evil heartless prick, but you still don’t like his face so you let that slide. I would rather be single, you say to yourself.

It is still cold when you get home, so you fire up the laptop, your only source of entertainment. Make yourself a cup of green tea and start looking for something to watch that won’t drag you down. Hot water bottle, check, blanket, check. The phone buzzes. You are surprised you hadn’t taken it out of the bag. I.M. you think it’s one of those groups but you check anyway. Just one of those “Hey stranger” texts.

Forget the movie, forget the tea. It triggers something and you get inspiration to write a trilogy and the movie script alongside a playwright. Some find peace in quiet, others in noise but you draw inspiration from anger. Just like that, your mojo is back. And whether or not it dawns on you, such is life.



Are you the next Airtel Trace Music Star?


The second Season of the biggest Pan-African music competition is back and definitely bigger but it is also coming to a close. In a couple of hours. The second cycle has ten contesting countries Kenya, DRC, Gabon, Ghana,Madagascar, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, Niger and Zambia.

Taking up music as a career is challenging enough and breaking into any music industry is even harder. Some pull here and a shove there has helped people get out of their cocoon, while other people never make it past the church choir. Not like its a bad thing, I’m just saying.

Many talented people are shy. Even Beyonce is shy. Imagine that. So Airtel saw it fit to give each and every contestant star treatment by bringing the audition to you. No queues, no nerves, not even judges with blank faces that make you think you should stick to singing in the shower.

You have hours left to call in and audition for your chance to be the next big artiste. I know, you are probably asking why I am doing this now? Because I know there is someone too afraid to reach out and call. C’mon. What do you have to lose? Ok, if you don’t want or need the phone or money, just do it then give me the prizes. I will appreciate. Thanks.

Phy (Ng’etich) is proof that last minute does works. Serving her IG followers with heavenly renditions, she says “Murda (by Seyi Shay) Kinda reminds me of how I auditioned for Airtel Trace. I was seated at the same place and I used my guitar as well. I auditioned on the deadline day too, using my mum’s phone, so I figured there was no way I’d be chosen. But God has His mysterious ways because a month later during an exam period I got a call. It could be you!”

All you require is a phone and an airtel line. Dial 0900733733, call, sing, Win. The top 5 will be picked by the official judges, three musical geniuses Wyre, Atemi and Chris Adwar.

Prizes include an iPhone 6s (how I wish I could sing), KES 1.5M, and a chance to be mentored by Keri Hilson and record a song with her. If that is not incentive enough I do not know what is. See you on the winning side.

#VoteSilvia for #KCA2016


Whenever you start a project, you don’t expect it to fail. That’s why you wake up, plan and work at it with all you have, even though some of us fall off the bandwagon faster than others. It is those that remain disciplined and faithful to their hustle that will get an eventual breakthrough or recognition.

Silvia Njoki is not a foreign name to the blogging fraternity. She is a leading Kenyan Stylist and veteran blogger. Her relentless desire to become a force to reckon with in the Pan-african fashion industry has borne fruit by being nominated for the prestigious Nickelodeon’s 2016 kids’ choice awards under the “Best Blogger (Africa)” category.

The 2015 BAKE Award winner of Fashion Blogger of the year is nominated alongside Aisha Baker from South Africa of Baked the Blog, Uche Eze from Nigeria of Bella Naija, and Theodora Lee from South Africa Of This is quite the stiff competition and we need to bring this award home because if she wins, Kenya wins too.

Other highlights from this year’s list of nominees include Adele, Justin Bieber, Jennifer Lawrence, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, Chris Pratt, The Weeknd, John Boyega, One Direction, Sofia Vergara, Daisy Ridley, Chris Hemsworth, Nickelodeon’s very own Kira Kosarin, Jack Griffo, Jace Norman and more.

You know how we sometimes complain that Kenyan’s might never win against other African countries in such big competitions? The answer is simple, we hardly vote religiously. Fan or not, take your time to vote daily as many times as you possibly can. It might be last minute but we all know last minute has saved the day sometimes. We can as well call this fashionably late.

Voting is still open for all categories on Nickelodeon’s digital platforms including; fans will also be able to vote on Nickelodeon’s Twitter feed @NickelodeonAfrica using #Vote #KCA #voteSilvia. We have until tomorrow morning, lets go ham.

That’s not all: To win an all-expenses paid trip to attend the KCAs, you can sign up here