Tag Archives: Children

Who’s Got The Last Say? Point Blank with Asian Weekly 18th August, 2017

Who’s Got The Last Say?

Baby Courtesy GeeksLP

Baby Courtesy GeeksLP

Today’s babies are growing up surrounded by iPads, smart phones and the YouTube network. Let’s go back to the Millennials who were born from 70s to 90s and are probably your parents. They grew up in the Cold War that probably did not affect us in Kenya that much except the regime of former President Daniel Arap Moi. Kenyans were living in their bubble of extended families, gatherings, small businesses and peace and harmony. This was also the time some of these ventured out of the country for travel/holiday/settlement/education or business purposes. Though some succeeded a few stayed back and while they did not opt to get employment in the service industries they created their own businesses which for those who have lasted long enough, have become empires. The empires were laid down by strong foundations of the baby boomers born after the Second World War who really worked hard and honestly and left a legacy for their generations to come.

You must recognize the difference; the millennials while being born from 70s to 90s were slightly conservative because at the same time there was the Generation X being born from 60s to 80s that defined the next generation Z. This generation Z is considered to be born after the 2000s and the dotcom era and those born after 2010 are being called Generation Alphas. Age is just but a number what is however interesting and possibly of concern depending on whose side you are the social trends taking place over these years and generations.

Your mum and dad never spoke up to their parents and listened and followed society norms, they probably did not know any better or there was thorough respect for their elders. After that this very mum and dad decided to give their kids slightly more freedom and fulfilment in choice of career and education especially. By then it was becoming obvious that status and good income were necessary. Some of the kids here eventually became robots and while they may not have excellent public relations they have fat bank accounts. This mum and dad had arranged marriages and till death do us part vows that for very obvious reasons have lasted their marriages. The divorce rate is negligible and love happened along the way. They also knew the value of family, friends and even though material things were still slightly hard to get, they valued every little piece of furniture or clothing item.

Then come their children who have grown up knowing simple things, for example playing outdoors, cousins birthday parties, tending to grandparents, working hard and being as good people as possible. A few have gone on to become successful in their careers or kick start in the service industry of finance, medicine or law. A few have gone on to settle down in relatively wonderful arranged marriages and are bringing up their kids fairly well. Finally, thankfully only a few have had massive failures and turned to the other side of life, the danger of drugs or poor social habits. Naturally they wanted to give their kids further freedom and to make choices as they please.

The big flop is coming now. Children born after 2000 have gone down the alley of poor social habits mostly and less focus. They need more parenting and extra vigilance on issues regarding depression, suicide, pedophilia and they remain vulnerable. They have become the victims of a very open society and the race to become western, stylish and upper class. This race has cost money, time and even lives. They will most likely not even be able to handle their civic duties of building a society and a nation. They will have the broken marriages and lack of purpose in life. Only a very few will see light at the end of the tunnel, because of strong family links, foundations and support from good minded friends too.

The Generation Alphas are an interesting bunch. They have all the gadgets, they have no idea what a trunk call means, or owning only one car and not having instant coffee. They cannot do without their digital weapons because as much as they are devices a few are converting them into anti-social activities. While some parents are over working to meet the little kids demand, there are those who are getting them quite easily because of old wealth and quite frankly taking it too easy. Their kids are being looked after by iPads and robots will not surprise them. There is not much human reality in their lives, except again for those families who have kept their grandparents close and extended family members and friends involved. It does take a village to carve out a relatively balanced human being. The last word will belong to the generation that outlives all.


Posted by on August 25, 2017 in Uncategorized


Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Mummy is He Gay? Point Blank with Asian Weekly 10th March 2017

Mummy is He Gay?

LGBT Courtesy Stream.Org


Get into your living room, turn on the TV and wait for the show Modern Family. This is one of the earliest introductions to a gay couple, while the audience is primarily an adult, the chance of a teenager catching it is not too slim.


The modern media is changing fast and while there is race sensitization going on, it is the LGBT that are overtaking the story telling. LGBT stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. This “freedom for sexuality” has various scientific proofs or basically personality clashes, each to its own. When the AIDS epidemic hit the 80s and 90s, the deniers blamed sexual promiscuity. Now that all those hurdles are over, religious factions too are secretly adopting this reality, especially after the sodomy cases breaking out in the Vatican world, we are faced with a new conundrum, shall we be truthful to our children?

Nothing escapes this new digital age children. It does not take them long to reach their favourite cartoon on an iPad or explain to you a full story of what is going on in a short clip of a film. If anybody knows the hype of Frozen, then you know what I mean, what if Elsa and Anna were a gay couple? The world would surely have Frozen! This is the subtle attempt that the new Disney film based on one of the best stories of all times, “Beauty and the Beast” is going to do. There is a sub plot of a gay couple and censor boards around the world are giving it different certificates, from over 18 to 16 and so on.

More than world still looks down upon women and we are beginning to bring in the consciousness to our girls, that they are important, that their gender is relevant and that they can make a difference in this world. The poor boys have been sidelined and the chances of them tilting during their puberty exploration towards bisexuality may be higher. Boys too need the confidence and exposure that their machoism represents strength and not oppression, that their vulnerability represents feminism and not weakness. A human being has been designed with both masculine and feminine, after all we have been born through the manufacturing of a sperm and ovary. Thus, the scientific drops of gender exist. There can be an imbalance of the chromosones and further to the environment, upbringing and attitude of the personalities around, there can be a tip over.

A 3-year old does not need to know right now that there is a gay or lesbian, but a 13-year old does. An adolescent is in search of his or her identity and if they are not comfortable with their sexuality they can have a crisis. They need the special attention not only to make them feel good but to recognize their urges. These must not be dismissed and if a child does come forth and declare their sexual preference, as a parent, realize one thing, loving them for who they are is more important than denying them their personal truth. Keeping them away from a film or even a gay couple you know will not alter their minds unless you are ill equipped to educate them. First know the truth and accept the side you want only then expose them to this new reality.

The digital age children are slightly aware of the new way to love, but let that not become lust and turn into an opportunity for a sexual offense. It is up to you, the parent to give them their space and reality. Anything otherwise will confuse them, drive them away or destroy them.

Take a leaf out of this famous song “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga:

“I’m beautiful in my way,

‘Cause God makes no mistakes,

I’m on the right track, baby,

I was born this way

Don’t hide yourself in regret,

Just love yourself and you’re set,

I’m on the right track, baby,

I was born this way”

Leave a comment

Posted by on March 13, 2017 in Uncategorized


Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Evil Goes Up in Flames Not Seeds of Innocence with Asian Weekly 2nd August, 16

Evil Goes Up in Flames Not Seeds of Innocence

Kenyan Students Burning Schools Courtesy

Kenyan Students Burning Schools Courtesy

“In some parts of the world, students are going to school every day. It’s their normal life. But in other part of the world, we are starving for education… it’s like a precious gift. It’s like a diamond” Malala Yousafzai

Last year’s increasing in examinations cheating and irregularities saw over 2000 primary and 5000 secondary schools candidates results cancelled. Thus, drastic measures were required and the man in charge and initiative enough has been the Education CS Fred Matiang’i. In May this year he introduced immediate changes, which included:

  • Banned Prayer Days, Visiting, Half Term Breaks, Sports, Prize-Giving Ceremonies, and Annual General Meetings in the 3rd Term of School.
  • Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exams were shortened from 6 to 4 weeks and all Head teachers put directly in charge of the tests. This is because it has been found that cheating is rampantly supported by teachers, police and the Kenyan National Examinations Council (Knec) officials.
  • To make up for these changes, 2nd Term will end on 12th August and 3rd Term will last only 9 weeks.
  • Kenya Certificate of Primary Education exams this year will start on November 1 and finish on November 3, while Form Four candidates will start on November 7 and finish on November 30.

(Above source: )

This entire campaign has been to reduce any opportunities of interaction and the ugly corruption of cheating, so when schools are being burnt down things are not looking good for the students.

Over 100 schools countrywide have been burned and in most cases the fires started in the dormitories. Kenya has a large number of boarding schools and this has been one of the reasons for the leading causes of destruction and almost no loss of live, which also begs the question can this be a well-planned effort? Who are doing this and if the students did one of the first school burning such as the Itierio Boys School Kisii, then who made it a trend?

Education must not be burned down like this but maybe the innocence in the children is taken for granted and they really are the “arsonists”. Cheating is a transaction between two parties, in this case it definitely needs a student and the other party could be a teacher, exam official, school guard and absolutely anybody else who may have access to the exam paper. Therefore the student is guilty. Is the student under pressure from the parents or peer pressure or does the student have the selfish greedy desire to do this disgusting act of cheating? I believe it is a combination of all of them.

Where is the teacher in all of this? Money, money, money? Always the noise from the teachers, always strikes, always pay hikes and more nuisance. If 1% percent of the teachers are full of integrity and hard work then unfortunately their pleas have been falling on deaf ears. Dormitories shouldn’t be fired, but teachers should. Parents too need to be educated and be made to be more involved in the progress of their child. Parents too need to have sustainable incomes so they are not strained and resorting to desperate measures of earning that income. While the Education CS has ordered parents to foot the bills of these arsons, this whole matter needs to be investigated thoroughly. I would rather pay tax money for an investigation, results and implementation for change. This change should be all the way from Teachers Training, Schools Upgrade of Facilities and as much as is needed, because these students of today will be our leaders of tomorrow and how we bring them up will make all the difference to the country.



Leave a comment

Posted by on August 9, 2016 in Uncategorized


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Till Bank Money Runs Out with Asian Weekly 29th July, 16

Till Bank Money Runs Out


Money is very important and if anybody told you otherwise you need to look at him or her with shock. Money buys you materialistic joys or pains, and yes in increasing cases nowadays husbands and wives. The difference is in the type of person you and what is your attitude in life. You might be the adventurous, living out of whatever you have and experiencing life in a trance. You might be the hardworking, completely desk job worker and just making ends meet. You might be the courageous, entrepreneur, dreamer, risk taker and doer. You might be narcissist and here there are two categories- loves he/she and money, loves he/she but no money. But see money features in this situation somehow or the other. If you are living with your parents and they are paying the bills, get out otherwise you will never grow up and respect them. If you are not living with your parents and you are paying their bills, then you are a rare species. If you are not living with your parents and not paying their bills, then your wife is ruling your bank account.

Women have more ambition than ever before; they are creating more opportunities in their studies, education achievements and subsequently in the corporate world. More women are dabbling with a small business, unfortunately because they have no choice since the husband has lost the job and is too stubborn to change. But luckily there are more women who want to create jobs, want to run businesses, want to change the world. The price they are paying or the opportunity cost is marriage and children.

Let’s talk about marriage then. People get married because they love each other. People get married because they see a caregiver, baby bearer and provider. People get married because they want a companion or business partner. There are few unique reasons why people get married, but there are a billion reasons why you get married or not, or have children or not. These could be lack of partners, finances or sickness. Girls are growing up with knowledge that they too can earn, provide for themselves and enjoy their income. Thus, when they will meet a man who can’t fulfill their materialistic needs, they will turn away. Very few women will look at the personality traits and marry a man who earns less than them. You might say that the woman is being choosy. Being a feminist, I would say she shouldn’t settle for anybody less. But less can mean, he may not have the money or education status, but he makes you smile, respects you and your family and is willing to keep you happy. Don’t get me wrong I am not talking about a dog, because there are some highly educated women or high earning women who think they need to marry only a President, sorry ladies you are not the First Ladies either.

The main thing is always remember to be you. Don’t put up with excuses or pressures. Technically you should get married by the age of 25 or 27 and have your children by the age of 30 or 32, this is for you ladies because the number of diseases or health complications in our age group is rising. However if you have not found the right partner for whatever personal reason, remember this that while society will look at you for being a frustrated, fussy, feminist, you know what you want and you go for it. This can be anything from owning a business, running a mega corporation, building a school, adopting a child or marrying the person who loves and accepts for who you are and not for what you are expected to be for others.

It is the society’s responsibility to encourage their children, both girls and boys that they must respect each other, they are here to take humanity forward with their values, whether it is religious, cultural or economical. They have a role to play and they are free to carve their own path as long as they are not hurting or disrespecting people. If women don’t want to get married because the men can’t earn or provide enough then that’s acceptable. Yes it is a cliché line but absolutely true, it is better than being in a bad marriage or divorced with children and you are struggling to make ends meet. Because when a marriage breaks, the first blame is on the woman and while there might be some unreasonable woman who does contribute to the breakup, the point is that we must assess the situation with complete honesty, accept the responsibilities and eventually forgive to move on.


Leave a comment

Posted by on August 9, 2016 in Uncategorized


Tags: , , , ,

Noisy Neighbours, Point Blank with Asian Weekly 8th July, 2016

Noisy Neighbours

Noisy Neighbours

The increasing number of townhouses and flats at almost every corner or nowadays right next to you can give you a couple of conundrums. Before this construction boom hit us, we lived in quiet bungalows or maisonettes and established close bonds with our neighbours, tenants or landlords. However once the money started rolling in, things began to get nasty. Changes led to greedy landlords, unruly tenants, suspicious neighbours and very irritating children.

A few lessons were learnt and some properties have strict codes of no pets, only vegetarians and so on. But rent remains sky-high and sometimes unreasonable considering some of the parts in the house/apartment start falling apart a few months after moving in. Despite all of this the worst compromise has to be the poorly paid security guards who are almost never qualified and no other serious security arrangements for that oh so handsome service charges you are paying. And in today’s connectivity times, if the property doesn’t have a generator or lift, then you have to question quiet a few construction compromises.

You have your home rented or bought and you are enjoying your stay until you hear scream and shout. It seems like there is a domestic fight ensuing next door, what do you do? Firstly, here are examples of noisy neighbours, loud TV, loudest music from the car, screaming children, loud talking with the maid or gardener or security guard, banging doors in and out and the list goes on. By the way even an untimely pressure cooker can get your blood pressure rising.

What is important is to know your neighbours. Having an association within the estate, helps identify them and address issues formally if need to be, especially security and power losses or water shortages. There is equality and less discrimination too, plus you can share and appreciate each others professions and talents, for example if you are a teacher you can help another child or doctor and so on. But be careful not to judge and start doorstep gossip, this can give advantage to the househelps and easily assist in a robbery or car jacking incident. Be mature and respectful of each other.

Things go out of hand especially in party gatherings, whether large or small. There are usual parking issues and then the flow of strange people and their stranger habits. Again, if you have an established association, life is easier with rules and regulations. Things are kept in check. But if you don’t have one, then take the initiative to introduce yourself to the neighbourhood and exchange numbers. Thanks to WhatsApp many have helped each other in difficult times from attempted robberies, to finding a new maid or looking after the kids.

Talking about kids, when an estate doesn’t have a designated playground, there’s something wrong. Fair enough there is not enough space but then you are confining the children to the hell walls of their living rooms and here they shout, scream and jump around causing chaos for everyone else. You have to restrict this behaviour by all means, they need to learn discipline and if the parents are defeated, and you feel the situation is going out of control, call the Child Welfare Society of Kenya. Yes you can, if parents can’t manage the noise levels of their children, there is something wrong with the parents. Mind you, this is perfect territory for your maid to take full advantage and attack or steal from you. You are a potential threat to the entire neighbourhood.

If you have sent a legal notice to the neighbour to keep the noise down and still there is no change, then sue the landlord especially if you are the owner of your own apartment or townhouse. Surely there should be some level of decency to support your huge purchase of this property, after all it is an almost once in a lifetime spending. Get to know your neighbours enough to keep your boundaries clear and expectations simple.


Leave a comment

Posted by on July 8, 2016 in Uncategorized


Tags: , , , , , ,

Kids need a Kiboko Once in a While, Point Blank with Asian Weekly 9th October, 2015

Kids need a Kiboko Once in a While

Children & Discipline

Before you smile and remember the Kiboko club, this is not that one, this is the kiboko my generation has had in school or at home. Children who have been born in this dotcom world really know how to make their parents and relatives dance to their tunes. Let’s rewind to the 80s when were growing up. We had no computer, tablet, smart phone, big color television, no Peppa Pig, or any other cartoon character taking over our bedroom, bed sheets, curtains, walls and wherever else, even the boxers, socks or ice cream! This branding and marketing is head over parents today and they are running their hands deep into their pockets just to put the child to sleep only because he wants his Transformers blanket. What is this? We were simple children. We played outside and made friends with the neighbors. We went to school in the uniform size our parents gave and only 1% of us would complain about color or fitting. Our hair was done the usual way and not some Hannah Montana way. We did our homework and if we didn’t or failed in class or in a subject then we got a slap or two if needed. But it was not like our parents knocked us around like footballs, their one slap was enough to set us straight and they will tell you we all came into line after a few years. The schoolteacher even knew at least 5 to 10 kibokos were enough per term if not in the year to discipline us.

Let’s fast forward to the today we are living in. Look around and the computer, tablet, laptop, smart phone, digital camera, selfie stick, iPods, Xbox, Playstation and so many other gadgets surround the child. There is no doubt all this is in line with the advancement of technology but there needs to be serious parental guidance and discipline. Kids are more worried about looking good, and seriously I mean looking good, nails painted, and hair gelled, girlfriends, boyfriends, parties and the list goes on. Thankfully the nerds of our time were not so lucky as the current ones because Google and Facebook have made them cooler and even wearing spectacles is not considered so old-fashioned. By the way you will be surprised how quickly the children want to wear contact lenses, it’s as is if they are scientifically enhanced by wearing them instead of just wearing the plain old glasses for a while and keeping their number steady.

Luckily in the middle of all this there are some brilliant children, they are the ones to watch out for too. They ask interesting questions, they want to do new things, and they want to sing, dance, climb, take care of the environment, keep the house clean or just make a difference to the planet.

I don’t have children so some parents may have already been offended by the above and you must be thinking how dare she? Yes bringing up a child in today’s times is incredibly challenging. To discipline them is even worse. It is almost impossible. But there is nothing wrong in listening to someone who means well for you and your child and they are also good at judging right from wrong and are a good role model to a certain extent.

There are almost three sets of parents here. The first who want total control and the child listen to them at ALL times, even if grandma, grandpa or any other aunty or uncle come forward, the child is oblivious. The second are the ones who trust their parents, their relatives and friends enough to let the child go to them, learn something new and make friends. The last set is those parents who leave them completely to the grandparents and the nanny. These need serious counseling, because you really can’t be shopping at a supermarket and it is your nanny or old mother running after them stopping them from playing mischief, you need to grow up.

But some parents really don’t want anybody to discipline their children even if it is the grandparents or relative. They think their parenting is up to the standard and they know their child best. Hold on, reality check you can never be the best parent, you are forgetting when they grow up they don’t remember anything about you. You need to have your life and give them theirs. You can’t have the excuse that you don’t have in-laws or passive parents and relatives that you have to do everything. You should take criticism if not from people around you, then there are plenty of self-help books to teach you and your husband or as parents how to discipline the child to sleep in their own room or do potty. There is no excuse for ignorance anymore. If you spoil your child today, remember you are losing precious time for yourself. There is no patience for parents in the road ahead, only demands and if you are not stable and weak in love for your child you are going to be in serious conflict. Each child is unique and brilliant, beautiful in its own way but basic ground rules need to be in place. They need to at least know how to say, “Sorry, please and thank you.” There is no excuse if they don’t know how to say those words but know the lyrics to a Shakira song. There is something wrong in your discipline. Wake up parents, and don’t let your children rule your world.

Leave a comment

Posted by on October 9, 2015 in Uncategorized


Tags: , , ,

Which Baby Shall I Raise? Point Blank with Asian Weekly 8th May, 2015

Which Baby Shall I Raise?

Happy Mothers Day 2015

Women have become more career oriented than ever before especially in economies such as ours. My generation put more emphasis on education and getting a decent job, because women were allowed to. They didn’t need to be bound at home to take care of in-laws, grandparents or new borns. Then there is those who don’t want any of the relations named above. Thus, which baby shall I raise is the question perhaps a few women are asking. Majority are happy to earn an education, get a smooth job and raise a family.

Let’s go back to the basics, what is the role of the woman? The most important is reproduction and unless the males have a sex change or miracle, that will remain forever. The woman looked to her family to clothe, feed and educate her until she is married off and then husband pays the upkeep.

Let’s come to the reality, what is the new girl doing? She goes to university, college or gets a job at some point to support her family financially. Dynamics have changed, a girl is now a leading provider for income and essentials in many families globally. Her role is nearly equal, until it comes to marriage and children.

The woman wanted to settle, raise a family and grow old gracefully. The new girl is confused, mostly because those exposed to the Western culture, realize that it is possible to have a dream career and maybe, just maybe have a family. Then there is the other new girl who feels as long as her degree and qualifications are complete she can now pay attention to husband and children needs. Unfortunately these girls are the ones from affluent families. They don’t have to worry about bills, school fees or any expenses, there is already a running family business, husband is diligently working with father and family and well reproduction takes emphasis and life goes on.

The crucial choice falls to the other girl, who is providing or assisting her family financially, what about her own family? A job provides income and in these demanding times, money is a necessity. Thus, she must meet an incredibly hard working and ambitious man who can appreciate her and they know they are both taking care of a big family. Immense support and understanding from the husband and his family is required because their contribution to raising the new family will provide crucial. Luckily in Kenya I doubt we face many “kyunki saas bahu” situations but even so, as a girl I urge you to take a stand. Marry smart and well because raising a child in today’s times is just another ball game completely.

So shall a woman leave work and raise her child? If you are married into an affluent family, my dear lady instead of splashing money on nannies, kindly take care of your own children 24/7 and yes make that husband of yours do some chores too. You have no excuse to dump them on the in-laws or your own parents. You can always pick up your work or career once the children are old enough and put to use the education you earned.

To the lady who is an almost equal partner in her marriage, think about the child. Plan well, save up, use your in-laws or your parents, both of you and build as strong a foundation as you can. Children are unpredictable anyway so don’t be too hard on yourself. Don’t leave your work for a long time. From close to birth and as much as 5/6 months be at home, use the full maternity leave, otherwise get smart, get back to work and use the help of family to get you through this. Otherwise is just too expensive. This doesn’t make the daddy not man enough or the woman give up her job or career, it is a beautiful sacrifice.

Raise your children with as much time and attention as possible because they are faced with an entirely different world from yours. There is the Internet, Social Media, Peer Pressure, Fashion Expectations, Sports and Talent Competitions and they need all the love and attention possible. Remember money will never be enough or make your child happy completely, but you being there even if it is a hug in the morning and a bigger one after school makes all the difference. The mother is responsible for the attitude of a child and this has been proven scientifically. The more attention, positive energy and love she gives her child until 5-years old makes all the difference. Make the small sacrifice and see that you will be able to raise the best baby ever for you. If however career becomes more important then simply don’t have children, make that your baby and move on.

Leave a comment

Posted by on May 8, 2015 in Uncategorized


Tags: , , , , ,