Being a Kenyan Graduate, Lifestyle, Inspirational

A Letter To The Recruiters

Dear Recruiters,

Hello! See we understand how it all works. Companies are encountering a talent crunch, causing it “hard” to find the most formidable, credible and genuinely self-motivated people. Topped with of course a shortage of years’ of experience, despite the positions advertised being entry level. Truthfully without recruiters like you, a vast array of opportunities would plunge through the cracks, for that we are highly grateful.

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To be honest, some of us are employed right now, the fact is that if indeed a compelling opportunity came along we’d be interested in finding out more about it and exploring our options by taking the necessary steps and making the sometimes rigorous applications that will every now and then take hours of our time.

See we get it; you may be bewildered with the hundreds if not thousands of job applications you have to go through. We understand how horrific the task must be for you to sieve through poorly formatted and written resumes some filled with grammatical errors.

Seriously, we like you.

But here’s the rub: When you are done shortlisting as well as interviewing potential candidates and have come to the conclusion on the best candidate you feel is fit for the position, courteously update those that did not make it with feedback.A simple standard regret email will suffice. Also, the same manner in which you were vibrant and tenacious while seeking the ideal candidate, kindly ensure the same enthusiasm is upheld while responding to the few that genuinely require feedback on how they performed during the interview. I mean how else would you expect them to learn from their mistakes?

Lastly! Once we have gathered the courage and conviction to request for the status of our application. Please, for the love of all that is holy, respond to emails. That’s all we ask.

Sincerely,

Xx

 

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Lifestyle, Inspirational

Anxiety Attacks

 

 

Mobile1:50 am, the cell-phone chimes on the bedside table alerting you to a received message. A sharp strange pain in your stomach nudges you to wake up. You sit up on your bed, pick your phone, tap the screen awake to check the message, holding your breath. You switch on your bedside lamp, the room is spinning. You close your eyes to try and make it stop. You feel somewhat dizzy. Your stomach lurches and gurgles following another pain attack. This is almost immediately followed by a strange urge to throw up the contents in your stomach.

Waves of nausea hit you adding to the misery you’re already enduring.  You rush to the washroom, lift the toilet seat to try and empty whatever is in your stomach. You open your mouth anticipating to churn out the contents but nothing comes out. It finally dawns on you that you haven’t eaten for the past 3 days, all you’ve been doing is binge eating on the last pack of Marie biscuits.

Another regret email,*Sighs*You are so over with the countless rejections you’ve been receiving over the past year. This was the last hope you had. After the numerous meetings and pitching of your project to potential investors, they had all backed out last-minute. The little you had in savings is now replenished. You have nothing left, just hope to live by accumulated with never-ending bills to be paid and a family to fend for.

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There were times you felt like the world was slowly disappearing, or maybe it was just you who was fading away. A chilling wave of panic fills your body.Nothing mattered anyway not anymore. At this very moment, all you can think of is the sharp continuous stomach pains and your heart which is fervently pounding hard. You cry at the thought of this breaking your ribs and ripping your skin apart.

The void begins to slowly creep in. The hole in your head and deep in your soul slowly begins to ingest all your hopes and dreams. The worst has finally kicked in or so you think , the realization of the vacuum, the nothingness and the absurd questions of why you exist.

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“Are you truly living for yourself or for others?” you ask. 

 

 

Lifestyle, Inspirational

The Devil in Sheep’s Skin

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The ocean breeze whispers like a lover placing salty kisses on your cheeks, tousling your sparse hair that has been fighting a stubborn rearguard action against baldness.On this particular day, the breeze playfully stirs the sails of the boats, flutters their flags and pushes along the clouds. You smile and stretch out your bare hand like a starfish to feel it wrap around your fingers. You are cautious of this same wind that has a mere hint of power that when aroused it can toss and break whole ships breaking them into small pieces. Today you are grateful, the breeze tells of only sweetness and joy. You stand on the balcony of your hotel room content and happy. She is standing next to you, leaning on the balcony railing,

You gaze upon her perfect body her skin glistening with a sensual sweat, she has a kind of understated beauty, perhaps because she is disarmingly unaware of her prettiness. Her skin is flawless, glowing in all its glory. “If the gods are real then this woman must have been their masterpiece,”You say to yourself. She has your shirt on with nothing underneath it. Her hair is messy in a sexy way, giving her this untamed look. The wind blows the shirt revealing a perfect curvaceous physique the kind that every other man dreams to be around mostly flaunting with it. This subconsciously reminds you of your bulging waistline which makes you suck in your tummy to make it appear flat. You walk up to her hug her from behind; she turns around with a big smile. There is sunshine in her smile and her voice goes right to your brain like a shot of single malt, as she calls you babe. You want to freeze this moment for eternity.

She closes her eyes, stands on her toes to kiss you, lost into each other’s world all you think of are her long nails gently scratching your back, sending strange electrical impulses down your spine. Suddenly she pulls away from you, her beautiful smile slowly fading away. Her emotions are not easily hidden. Her pain is evident in the crease of her brow and the curve of her lips. Her eyes show a pool of restlessness and hopeless grief. “What is wrong?”, you manage to ask, Her lips quiver and manage to utter the words you’ve been dreading to hear, “ I love you”. As you look into her eyes you know that you can’t compete with this, her declaration catches you off guard, you had not seen this coming. You quickly mumble, “me too,” and retract to kissing her to keep her distracted.

“Really?” She prods. “What do you love about me?” asking with enthusiasm. Your heart beats faster than normal as cold sweats trickle down your back. You gather courage like the man you’ve always been and think of all the sweet nothings you can tell her to keep her off your back. “I fell in love with you from the moment I laid my eyes on you”, you lie. “You are beautiful and charming and I seem to be drawn towards you by each passing second,” you continue. Before you even begin your next set of lies she throws her hands on your neck to hug you tightly. Those that do not really recognize you think that you must have known each other for a long while. The truth is you just met the previous night, actually, you don’t know this girls’ second name or if at all she has one.

The previous evening, you had just arrived in the coastal city with your friend; you were ready to hit the streets looking for cool joints as soon as you had freshened up. It is the eve of the New Year and custom dictates that you must party like a rock star as you usher in a fresh year.

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The place you settle for is a famous pub with a grungy feel to it. There are wooden seats and tables a thatched shed on the beach, bringing out the coastal vibes. The ambiance is filled with jangles of voices, men, and women who are generally young. You can tell from their faces that they are equally excited to start a new year. The past year must have been hard for almost everyone you think to yourself. A couple of pretty women throw you inviting glances but you are quick to dismiss and ignore them. As you down a single malt whiskey you can’t help but notice this curvaceous lady perched on a bar stool nursing a cold beer. She stares back at you and notices how you’ve been ogling at her. Her face is devoid of emotion so you can’t really tell whether she is interested in you or not.

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You choose to ignore her instead and pay attention to the live band that is playing your favorite song by Swahili Nation Hakuna Matata (aka Mpenzi). You are so engrossed in the performance that you don’t see her walking up to you. She catches you off guard when she asks if she can join you, your friend excuses himself to give the two of you space to get to know each other.

The mysterious lady signals a waiter to bring her another beer plus whatever I am having. This makes you feel strange as you are not used to this kind of aggressiveness from a lady. A powerful aura surrounds this female and to a great extent, it makes you feel anxious and curious all in the same breath. The pores on her skin ooze with alluring confidence, from the onset of the conversation you can tell that she is a go-getter.

The conversation gets heated when she starts giggling sneakily placing her hand on your thigh, this is after having small talk and getting to know each other’s first names. The night is still young and you are excited that things are going well; tonight it is definitely going down you say to yourself. The lady begins to divulge intimate details about her love life, how she is ready to get married and have children.You feel awkward discussing this and hate playing Dr. Phil considering all you are really looking for is a one night stand and you are off. She blubbers on for a couple of minutes, at this point you can only smile, nod and give solicited advice when the need arises. The lady looks at you in a manner to suggest that she is already feeling tired; it is only 10 pm a few hours to the New Year.

The music has gotten louder you can barely hear each other the place begins to get crowded with more people streaming in by the minute. You suggest to her you head to your hotel room which is a few minutes away. She pretends to mull over it for a moment and agrees. You’re filled with excitement ready to take the next course of action, besides you have been on a dry spell for the past month. What you do not realize is that you just got yourself trapped; the lady you are now with is a psychotic serial killer who preys on seemingly middle-aged men.

If only you knew.

Book Reviews

The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman

Love LanguageI am participating in the fifty book challenge 2018 and so far it’s been a wave of disparate emotions having immersed myself with different genres of books. Who knew that book number 12, on my list, would be a spiritual, self-help book.For the longest time, I have never been a fan of self-help books, I just never take home anything meaningful from them.

The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, has totally changed my perspective, I had lots of Aha! moments while reading which got me thinking that maybe I should give this genre a try more often. For starters the book will open up your mind to understanding love, okay; at least most aspects of it (still think Love is the most complex thing to understand). Gary Chapman deduces from his research that Love is not this one universal language; we all have a different understanding and obviously a different approach to it. His book will to a greater extent take away the work of trying to understand the things that make no sense and allow you to focus on what’s truly important.

Gary Chapman reveals that there are 5 love languages we use to communicate love to one another, which is different for everyone, hence the importance of understanding what your love language or significant other’s is. According to Mr. Gary, the mistake that most people make is assuming that their partner has the same love language as them which is never the case, at least more often than not.

The Five Love Languages

1) Words of Affirmation

Some people feel most loved when they receive words of affirmation from their loved ones.  It may be being told “I love you”, or being praised, complimented, appreciated, supported, or encouraged.  Essentially, having affirming words will make you feel loved if this is your primary love language.

2) Quality Time

For some people, words of affirmation aren’t it… they’ll complain that “They say they love me, but they don’t spend any quality time with me!”  If this is your case, then quality time may be your love language.  This can be someone listening to you, doing things with you, sharing experiences, looking into the other person’s eyes, etc…  It’s important for this person to be fully present with you when they’re spending time so watching TV while your partner is talking to you doesn’t count as you are not fully giving them your attention.

3) Receiving Gifts

Receiving gifts may be your primary love language if you feel most loved when someone buys you gifts, cheap or expensive. This may show you that this person really cares and you really appreciate anything that is given to you.  It could be receiving flowers, chocolates, cards, notes, etc… any gesture that is a gift will make you feel loved.

4) Acts of Service

Some complain that they want you to SHOW THEM that you love them, not tell them.  “Talk is cheap”, as the saying goes.  These people need acts of service, which is when others do things for them.  Someone with acts of service as their primary love language will feel most loved when your partner cleans the house, washes the dishes, laundry, cooks, helps them with projects or tasks, etc…  When someone does something for them, they feel loved.

5) Physical Touch

Lastly, physical touch may be your primary love language if you require physical affection to be loved.  It could be holding hands, being kissed, hugging, brief touches, or even sex.

Gary Chapman in this book often talks about a “Love Tank”, according to him when its empty that means that the relationship is in danger. This got me thinking for those in a relationship on a scale of 1-10, how full is your love tank right now?

Whatever the answer is, you may need to focus on making your partner feel more loved. I truly believe that loving someone is a choice you make and you have to constantly work at it. A relationship is a place you should enjoy giving and making the other person happy without necessarily anticipating anything in return (Strongly hinting to those that account for things they do for their partners).

Gary writes this book in a way that will grab your interest as it is so relatable, everyone could benefit from reading this book, including those that aren’t in a relationship. This book leans more towards Christian beliefs and quotes scriptures from the bible, however, it shouldn’t put anyone off as it makes sense for all spiritual, non-spiritual beings or somewhere in between trying to keep the relationship afloat and the romance alive.

 

Book Reviews

Stay With Me By – Ayobami Adebayo

Stay With Me

The author writes this book with not just extraordinary grace but with wisdom about love and loss. A myriad of taboo subjects in the African tradition is discussed in this book with the main one centered on infertility. The writer confidently challenges us to think of marriage from different perspectives, as she takes us through a wave of feelings and emotions in an attempt to save herself from the very bond that had initially held her.

The novel Stay with me is about a Nigerian couple Yejide and Akinyele (Akin) who have been married for four years but have no child. This is the second time I am reading this book and every time I do I am filled with the same emotions of euphoria and awe. The intriguing read will give you a profound scrutiny of how Nigerian culture addresses the issue of infertility. The book is narrated by Yejide, a lady who went to university but later found out that her talent was in hairdressing. After graduating she opts to focus on this skill as her source of income. Akin her husband is a successful banker who undoubtedly, cherishes, loves, adores and provides her wife with everything but is unable to give her a child.

Yejide and Akin have a great marriage at least for the first few years. They are both sophisticated, educated, and modern. The parents and other extended family members, however, are steeped in tradition mainly focused on polygamy. They obnoxiously push their agenda onto Yejide and Akin, and this is where havoc emanates.

After four years of marriage, having tried to conceive, frustration kicks in. The couple visits countless doctors and specialist in an attempt to solve their problem but to no avail. Akins mother famously referred as Moomi drags Yejide to traditional healers who perform a myriad of rituals that have all proven ineffective.

As you read through the book you will get a peek into the political climate, elections, coups, violence, which are all beautifully narrated, as people incorporate the political ongoings and adapt them to their daily lives.The issue on polygamy takes center stage as it is plunged into Yejide’s life by her mother in law, all in the name of traditions. “Desperate to save their marriage, Yejide and Akin take extreme measures which turn out to be at a cost.

Overall, it’s clear that the unexpected twists with the turn of each page have certainly helped lend to the success of this phenomenal novel. The author distributes shocking surprises perfectly placed at intervals to hold the interest of her readers. This book undoubtedly blew my mind. Thumbs up to the writer!

Book Reviews

Review:Behind Closed Doors by B. A. Paris

behind closed doorsOne of the most basic psycho thriller book has to be Behind Closed Doors. I kept wondering why there wasn’t more depth to the story. Everything was a tad bit obvious from the onset. Previous reviews by other readers alluded to this book as a thought-provoking thriller with some psychological mystery to it, which ended up being quite the opposite, at least for the most part.  I must give it to Paris though, the book has some interesting twists and turns with somewhat a solid plot.

Since we’re talking about a thriller/mystery, of course, the story was more plot driven than character-driven. However, I think Grace and also Jack were well-portrayed characters. Some of their characteristics were believable, with their flaws they felt relatable in some way or another and they were also very engaging. Grace was a likable character for the most part, but honestly, at times, she was so frustrating that I really wanted to throttle her.

The story is told both in the past and present. The fact that the events from the past happened only a year before the events from the present seemed odd. These elements  kept popping up as I read the book:
1.Surely, someone would notice that this guy is a bit off within the one-year duration.

2.Why doesn’t Grace say something and run away all this time

‘Fear,’ he whispered. ‘There is nothing quite like it. I love how it looks, I love how it feels, I love how it smells. And I especially love the sound of it.’ I felt his tongue on my cheek. ‘I even love the taste of it.’”

The book is about a marriage that looks perfect from the outside but has many secrets hidden that reveal that marriage is far from being perfect. Grace, a faultless lady from the onset seems to have it all with a good looking, perfect and caring boyfriend who after six months of knowing him gets married to Jack. This guy is nothing short of amazing as he is charismatic, a good provider a caring and devoted husband. They all look happy but only Grace knows what happens behind closed doors. In the beginning, he charms her with his good looks and his devotion to her sister Millie who has Down Syndrome. This is however short-lived because soon after the wedding Grace finds out that she’s married to a psychopath. As a child, Jack lived with his cruel father that kept his mother locked up. Together they both tortured her mother and eventually, Jack ended up killing her mother and blamed it on his father.

During his adult life, he searches for a woman he could torture similar to what he would do to his mother. He over time maintains a brilliant persona of a kind lawyer which easily makes it for others to believe that he’s the all-around perfect person. Grace’s neighbor, Esther is suspicious of this perfection but ultimately doesn’t know how to confront it.

As the story unfolds you will be taken through a rollercoaster of emotions as some scenes are full of tension, others gory and disturbing while others will frustrate you all this while Grace devices a plan to kill Jack. In the end, the story ends exactly like anyone would expect, Grace is able to tactfully kill Jack while pretending to be a distressed wife. This was well played out.However, the end felt a little rushed as the reader is left in suspense not knowing if Grace was truly able to get away with murder once the police unravel the mystery surrounding Jack’s death.

Book Reviews

Aleph by Paulo Coelho

“Aleph: the point at which everything is in the same place at the same time.”aleph

The reason why I picked this book is, it’s an autobiography of Paulo Coelho. I have been an avid reader of his books and follow his blog posts religiously. I had high hopes of getting to understand more about the author through this book.  I had a preconceived notion stemming from his earlier books such as the Alchemist.

When you read the prologue, it gives you an idea of the intent of the book, which is a spiritual journey, self-discovery, and healing of a drained soul. Believing that this is an autobiography I expected something different, more rooted in contemporary problems that perhaps we could all relate. The storyline is below my expectation; it’s in sharp contrast to my assumption. This book involved deep and thought-provoking spiritual elements; I preferred reading it in the morning lest my eyelids failed me and drooped.

The book begins by the author describing how he felt disconnected with his spiritual self and seeks his mentor J to find out what was happening, in my opinion, this is contradicting considering he is a world-renowned author living a good life he’s got everything he needs. The author starts his quest for his inner peace; he does this by committing to meet his readers across Russia via Trans Serbia railways. At one of the book signing event, he meets a young girl Hilal who wants to talk with him. According to this girl, she claims to know him in another life, Coelho has the same connection to this girl and believes they have met.

In ‘Aleph’ the author discusses his search for inner peace, spirituality, unknown realms, his belief in reincarnation and magic. The Aleph brings us to the plot of the story, as the author shows us a dose of rituals, history, revenge, and redemption.

The cherry on the cake is his words of wisdom and pithy comments such as :

  1. Courage can attract fear and admiration, but willpower requires patience and commitment
  2. Life is the train, not the station
  3. Life without cause is a life without effect.
  4. Words are tears that have been written down; tears are words that need to be shed
  5. What can’t be cured must be endured.

I must say that the author qualifies as a master storyteller. This book, however, was a tad complicated to read, the story was beyond my grasp, I couldn’t connect with what the author was saying, and worst of all the rituals he was performing were beyond me. Coelho touched on subjects that are debatable, such as being able to love two people at the same time without hinting at betrayal of any sort. At some point I felt like abandoning the book, it lost the charm and engrossing element that had attracted me to it. There’s, however, nothing like completing a book that exudes a mystery a revelation waiting to be unearthed. It only adds to the thrill of reading till the last line.

Book Reviews

Fire and Fury – Michael Wolff

 

Fire and Fury

The title Fire and Fury was borrowed from Trump’s famous warning to North Korea to send a message that Kim Jong-un could understand since diplomacy isn’t a trait that this North Korea’s leader recognizes.

Political books have never been my cup of tea; they are not the kind that I would pick from a bookshop and pay. This year, however, I challenged myself to read all genres.From the raving reviews posted on social media, I thought at the very least that this book would be entertaining, boy wasn’t I wrong, also the fact that a sitting U.S. president tried to censor publication of a book about himself made me more curious.

To begin with, this is not a book that dissects significant policy decisions or analyses the premises of what Trump has done, making it a major bummer for all political scholars out there.  The book delves a lot into personalities.Allegations in the book are centered on Trump’s behavior.To a great extent, I wasn’t shocked; the guy has always been an outrageous, peculiar man.

The author of this book Wolff is a problematic figure. Controversy accompanied his 2008 book on Rupert Murdoch when he was accused of stretching the truth. Within hours of publication, early readers were quick to spot apparent inaccuracies in Fire and Fury. For example, he relays an anecdote which claims that Donald Trump did not know who John Boehner was. In fact, Trump previously played golf with the former speaker of the house and has tweeted numerous times about him.

Rumor has it that the book is mostly ghostwritten by Bannon and gives the reader an insight into his narcissism, which is equal to if not more significant than Trumps. From the opening chapter, Bannon dominates (he “immediately took control of the conversation,”) Wolff writes, describing the January dinner with Roger Ailes.

Wolff begins by asserting Trump as an insignificant person. Roger Ailes claims to have concluded that Trump lacked both principles and backbone. An economic adviser in the White House regards him as “less a person than a collection of terrible traits.” Or perhaps of terrifying tweets, Trump doesn’t and maybe can’t read, so he finds coherent speech problematic, and soon degenerates into doddery repetition or vile abuse; twitter is his chosen mode of communication.

Trump’s aides treat him as “an unruly two-year-old”: Rupert Murdoch thinks he is “a fucking idiot” and Rex Tillerson is alleged to have called him “a fucking moron,” in a nutshell, Wolff concludes that the Americans have a stupid man for a president. It doesn’t all end here the author writes of Trump’s desire to sleep with his friend’s wives and details of his dysfunctional marriage to Melania. According to Wolff, Trump often spoke of his wife when she wasn’t there, referring to her proudly and without irony as his “trophy wife.” Their marriage was “perplexing” to almost everyone who worked closely with Trump during the campaign, says Wolff. But to Trump, this arrangement spelled success. The real estate mogul who already had two unsuccessful marriages under his belt, to first wife Ivana and second wife Marla Maples reportedly told friends he had finally perfected the art of marriage: in short “Do your own thing.”

I have to give it to Wolff as his real strength is in his analysis of Trump’s personality. Beneath the bizarre, often funny, descriptions of the president, Wolff presents some insightful assessments: that Trump is merely an emotional, instinctive person who wants to be loved; that he feels desperately wounded by his treatment by the mainstream media. This book doesn’t have much of a narrative as it lacks an argument beyond Trump is a dummy and a nut case.

Uncategorized

Halloween? Count Me Out.

Halloween in Africa seems to be spreading faster than gossip. Personally, I have noticed how this is slowly being ingrained as a celebration especially by the younger generation.  On the surface it seems as a relatively benign day with plenty of admirable qualities since its kids-centric and doesn’t urge you to spend needlessly as some other holidays i.e Valentines and Christmas day. Halloween (an American export) is said to have originated from a festival known as Samhain.

“It is believed that the spirits of those who died during the previous twelve months were granted access into the other world during Samhain.Thus, spirits were said to be traveling on that evening.”

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Do the people now celebrating Halloween in Kenya know this? Hmmmmh I highly doubt. I strongly believe that all they know is that come 31st October, they need to dress up in ghoulish fashion, have lots of candy for the kids to ensure they partake in the trick or treat activities and organize Halloween themed parties for adults.

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This is where I have a problem with it, if Halloween came to Kenya from Uganda or better yet any other neighboring country, Kenyans would outrightly call it “juju”(use of black magic) , something that no one would want to be associated with. Most Kenyans would say “What? You want me, now me…. Pauses to think about it*, my husband and children to go out dressed like Satan ?”, “You want us to go to our neighbors and ask for a treat for our children?” “You’ve got to be out of your damn mind.” But because it came from the whites, “some” Kenyans (to be more specific the struggling middle class that feels the need to fit in everything) have embraced it.

In the past there have been horrific incidents of “witch lynchings, where five elderly men and women were burned alive by villagers in western Kenya who accused them of bewitching a young boy.  Last year, a local newspaper reported that elders in the coastal region were fleeing their homes out of fear of being killed for practicing witchcraft. So everyone pretty much gets the drift, to be “outed” as a witch is one of the worst things that can happen to anyone.

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Yes, this is how Kenyans and other African societies behave towards witches. We don’t like them. We really believe the devil is alive and kicking and don’t like him either. Most people claim to be Christians, and as such, they look down on ghoulish behavior. It is just not accepted or tolerated.

So how do we now find it acceptable to dress up as a witch or a ghost or even a devil on 31 October? If that is the case, why don’t we release all the witches and honor them with a Halloween-type of celebration?

It is so hypocritical the way we are killing our beliefs, traditions, and cultures to buy into anything that comes in, even if it goes against everything we once believed in.Our people will not only accept but will practice even more fervently than the originators, anything that comes from the white people.

I don’t dispute the fact that the world is a global village, and there is nothing wrong with culture sharing. Sadly, in Kenya, it is not sharing but rather destroying our beliefs, traditions, and way of life. We need to realize that not everything coming from outside is positive.