I am @Pawa254 for the launch of Love Light @58movement
By Kenneth Juror | Kenya
“I remember it was the 31st day of December 2007 four days after voting, the air was filled with hatred. As the blanket of darkness covered the face of the earth so did hatred, tribal animosity unveil itself in people around me”.
“I lived in the central Rift with my family, I knew exactly who my neighbours were in fact I had lived there for more than 15 years.
That night dogs barked louder than usual, we got more frightened but never knew the severity of the situation outside our home. From what was being shown on tv the situation was dire as Kenya was literally on fire.
My wife heard wails from afar as if a lady was in agony. I quickly dismissed her knowing too well our neighbours would indeed come to our rescue in case any incident arose. A dead silence followed suit as though all was well, little did we know that it was a precursor to worse things to happen to us. A loud deafening bang hit our main door sending it open into two pieces as a group jeered outside . The group of young men clad in sack clothes and painted their faces white shouting “leo bwana yako tutabeba kichwa yake kwa sahani kama ya John the Baptist” (We will carry your husband’s head on a plate the same way John the Baptist’s head was carried). I peeped at them from our bedroom window, my wife quickly told our children “never say where your father is”. She hid me in the uppermost part of the wardrobe as she ran towards the assailants shouting at that I was not home. One of them received my wife with a thunderous slap sending her to the ground faster than she ran towards them, her wailing was almost muted by the smack. They thoroughly ransacked the house stealing and cutting into pieces all that they could not carry with them, our dining table was reduced to firewood. My children were insulted, slapped and hit, their clothes torn because they were from a different community yet my wife was from their community.
I could not breath loudly lest I get caught while in hiding, I had indeed resigned to my fate knowing too well that if my children or my wife hinted at anything then I am dead. Outside our house, men repeatedly raped women to which my wife was to be the next . One of them pulled down his trousers to sexually violate my wife, a police land rover came with officers spraying bullets in the air.
They disappeared in the thicket.
I got out of my hiding place quite shaken not knowing what to do, my children came to me crying one had a bleeding tongue emanating from a slap she got, my wife on the other hand was still at the same position she was in.
I vividly remember what happened as if it was yesterday.
Originally posted on Nairobi Now :: arts, culture and events:
This is an exhibition that will be held at the National Museums of Kenya at the Louis Leakey auditorium on the 24th of May. It starts from 10.00am to 6.00pm and the commemoration ceremony soon after from 6.00pm to 9.00pm.
There are going to be diverse art works whose theme falls on remembering the lives lost in events of 2007/2008 post-election violence.
By Kenneth Juror | Kenya
It all seemed uniquely dark than usual, school going children had already left, the sounds of chirping birds rose and fell as the sun tried to pierce through the clouds’ opaqueness. The weather however had never deterred anyone from going about their day’s chores.
The village stood conspicuously on the hill, its face towards the highlands and its back towards the plains. On the other side was yet another hill conjoined with a low land, all its waters going downhill like tears on dry cheeks.
The sun had dimmed slightly by the time Kinyua took water to his father’s animals. He was carrying a 20 liter-jerry-can from the homestead’s watering point when he overheard a group of girls talking across the fence. They laughed quite loudly as if to mock him and perhaps get his attention. At first he pretended not to be perturbed by their directed attention, nevertheless they incessantly and deliberately mentioned his name which got him quite worried. He could see them quite well because the kraal was near the fence.
“Wewe mbona uoga? Hutaki kupanda mbegu?” Hey, why the cowardice? Why don’t you want to “plant a seed” quipped one lady who turned her nose up at Kinyua.
“Wacha kupoteza wakati na muoga kama huyo, simba bure kabisa” (stop wasting your time with such a coward, toothless lion) Wambui shouted as she walked away gyrating her derrière in annoyance but to the amazement of Kinyua who wanted to respond but found his words too much of a mouthful.
“Why did they have to say that?” Kinyua kept asking himself sometimes hitting his head on the wall in a bid to try to squeeze some answers from his skull. He enjoyed making sure that his father’s animals were well fed despite the presence of the workers who also enjoyed his company and he often shrugged off the boss’ coat while engaging with them.
After feeding his father’s animals he decided to take the battle to Wambui’s doorstep by teasing her, “Wambui oka haha (come here Wambui)”.
“Nũ ũreta ta ngui? (Who are you beckoning at like a dog?)”
Wambui’s friends milled around her, Kinyua knew he had to make sure that all was under control lest he gets a merciless beating from the girls, after all he was in their territory.
“Kindly come we have a chat, I am sorry for bothering you ladies, as you know I came in peace”
“Which peace yet…” but Njambi’s shout was interjected by Wambui “leave him alone”.
She walked towards him, then followed him out of the plantation.
Kinyua’s intelligence went beyond Kangara hills, many a times when his name was mentioned as the top perfomer in his school students’ claps were heard as far as the nearest market which was 2 km away. Every child in Kangara was told to emulate Kinyua or even surpass his academic prowess. Kinyua’s rĩĩka (age mates) were married to alcohol, they dreamt and breathed the liquid, most of them drunk their lunch.
Kinyua’s words to the young girl were received with a smile and reciprocated with a pat on his shoulder. He sat with her on the river bed talking about many things; from the great Dedan Kimathi to how she managed escaping the cut.
“Must I undergo the cut to prove that I am a woman?” posed Wambui.
“Dukamake ona hanini, Wĩ Wambui wa Kamau. Muirĩtu uria muthaka muno Kangara.
(You do not need to worry at all, you are Wambui wa Kamau. The most beautiful girl in Kangara”.
Her radiant smile increased at each word that he threw her direction.
Months went on and Kinyua kept talking about Wambui to his pals. He felt exuberantly happy as other boys could neither afford her ear nor her time. Kinyua stood out from his peers because of his profound intellect that was quite witty though remained as humble as his father who rarely spoke unless whistling when tending to his animals.
Wambui helped Kinyua’s parents to grind some maize, when evening approached Kinyua wanted to assist her in the pounding of the maize to get it finer.
“I remember each time we would grind and pound maize like this, a sweet, satisfying and inexplicable feeling would engulf my stomach because I knew it would see more than two meals a day.I would hold the pestle with both hands like this, get the first pounding into the mortar uncoordinated however after some minutes there is a seamless coordination between the pounds and a sweet sound of joy that each time I got scratches on my back,” Kinyua said.
They were all dripping with sweat after the content in the mortar was poured into a small jute bag.
Kinyua broke the ominous silence “Can you manage being well fed for several months with your tummy many times its size?”
“Hahaha why not.”
Edited by Alex Ikawah
Rape being used as weapon for war.
Originally posted on naked chiefs:
TODAY was a difficult morning. I was dropping off our daughter to a study, on my way to work. As is the custom I had the car radio tuned to BBC news.
First, it was Syria. There, the news said, rape had been used as a weapon by both the Syrian government troops and the armed rebel groups.
The story quoted a rights group that reported that over 6,000 women had been raped in the recent months of the conflict there.Then it was on to the Central African Republic (CAR), that long-suffering land that is descending into hell. An epidemic of rape had broken out there as the international community warned that the conflict between Muslim and Christian Muslims risked ending in “genocide”.
We drove in silence. I tried to imagine what…
View original 128 more words
By DR MUKUHI NG’ANG’A
November is male cancer awareness month. Its dedicated mainly to prostrate and testicular cancers, the two which most affect men.
Its being popularised, globally, with an awareness campaign known as ‘Movember’. The spirit of Movember is to have men grow moustaches during the month as part of raising awareness about the cancers that affect men.
The awareness campaigns will end with a fundraiser event towards male cancer. Movember has yet to gain popularity in Kenya but it is well known in Europe, Australia, US and South Africa.
In the spirit of Movember we will tackle testicle and prostate cancer this month and what every man needs to know about these two male cancers.
What is normal? The testes should slide easily between your fingers. You shouldn’t feel any pain when doing the exam. One side of the scrotum hangs slightly lower than the other.
What is not normal? Pain in the testes or scrotum during the examination; One side of the scrotum appearing significantly larger than the other; Lumps on the testicle or epididymis (please note, not all of them are cancerous); An enlarged testicle; Once you get used to your normal size, any reduction in the size of one testicle is not normal (However, elderly men may notice a reduction in size of both testes – not one); Fluid collections in the scrotum; A heavy feeling in the scrotum; A dull ache in the groin or lower abdomen; and Enlargement or tenderness of the breasts.
Testicular cancer is more common in younger men, aged between 15 and 40 years, though it can occur at any age.
- Undescended testes: Men whose testes have not settled down in their scrotum have a higher chance of developing testicular cancer.
- Family history: As with most cancers, if you have a family member with testicular cancer your chances of developing it are increased.
- Previous testicular cancer: If you have had cancer in one testicle you have an increased chance of developing the same in the other testicle.
- Abnormal testicle development: Boys born with testicular abnormalities have a higher chance of developing cancer.
All males above the age of 15 years should do a monthly testicular self-examination. This helps you get to know the normal structure of your body so that you can recognise changes that may signal a problem.
The self examination is best done after a warm bath or shower. This is because the heat relaxes the skin of the scrotum making it easier to handle.
Look: Stand in front of a mirror and look at your scrotum. Is one side larger than the other? Are there some unusual changes on the skin of the scrotum?
Look from the front and from the sides.
Feel: Place the index and middle fingers under the testicle and place the thumbs on top. Roll the testicle gently between the thumbs and fingers.
Examine one testicle at a time. Find the epididymis, a soft, tube-like structure behind the testicle that collects and carries sperm.
It can sometimes feel like a soft mass so get to know its normal texture.
WHAT IF YOU FIND SOMETHING AMISS?
Most men find it awkward and uncomfortable discussing their genital issues with their doctors but it is an essential part of the healthcare.
Ideally, all men should have their doctors examine their scrotum/testes at least once a year whether or not they have a problem, as part of routine physical examination.
However, if you do notice a problem during your self examination between annual check-ups go to your doctor for further care.
WHAT TO EXPECT ONCE YOU VISIT YOUR DOCTOR
Once the doctor finishes examining you, he or she may ask for some tests. These include scans and blood tests. These tests help determine whether or not you have an abnormality in your testes.
What is a biopsy?
If you have a suspicious lump in any part of your body the doctor may want to take a sample of it to take to the lab and examine under a microscope. This is known as a biopsy. This is taken using a special needle.
Are there hormonal changes?
Sometimes, you can get hormonal issues related to testicular cancer. This includes tenderness or pain in the breasts. They may also increase in size.
Surgery: Usually most people have the affected testicle removed. Although most men find this a highly traumatic event – there is a positive side to this.
You can have a healthy sex life and sire children with only one testes.
Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy: This is medical treatment offered to men with testicular cancer in addition to the surgery.
Are all testicular abnormalities a sign of cancer?
No. Most testicular problems are not related to cancer. There may be infections, problems related to previous injury to the scrotum, hernias and non-cancerous fluid collections.
However, only your doctor can determine what your problem is. Testicular cancer has very good outcome with appropriate treatment and many men live a full life after dealing with it.
This article first appeared on Business Daily
By Kenneth Juror | Kenya
I am sure by now you know absolutely well that October is the breast cancer awareness month. Consequently, I believe you are aware that I am a polygamous man, if you do not know then kindly revert to my previous blogs “The twins I did not of part one and two”. I am proud of my wives.
One Saturday evening I posed a question to them, my wives, on what they thought on going for a mammogram. Nicole looked up, I noticed she had not anticipated me asking such a question; Angie on the other side was quiet for a moment then said she would not go as she is scared. “I am still young and it is better not to know I have cancerous cells on my boobs than knowing”. “What will my babies do without them?” She asked.
After Nicole’s face changed she was ok with it so we planned on a day to go for the screening. I left Nicole convincing the sister on how important it was not only for the children but her own health.
A week thereafter I took them to a Nairobi hospital where we found other ladies on the queue. I felt awkward being on the queue, I was the only man, though it was not long. When it was Nicole’s turn to get in, she clutched her soft hands in mine and never wanted to let me go meanwhile on the other hand Angie clutched on it so we went in the three of us.
“Hallo Sir and ladies I will only attend to one at a time” the doctor said upon our entry
I explained to the doctor that they are my wives and that we are a family. That is why we came for check-up. The doctor smiled then welcomed us.
He talked to us through the procedure and what it all entailed basically we were being counseled. The doctor also advised Angie and Nicole to go for pap smear (cervical cancer screening).
For the latter I was required to pay some amount, I got out my medical insurance cover, the doctor told me to go to the main reception to fill in some forms and bring them to his attention.
Before I left Nicole went in first for both the mammogram and pap smear.
Angie got hold of my hand “I am going with you” she was trembling; I was as well having the fear of the unknown and so many ifs in my mind, I had to be courageous as she may back out.
We came back with the forms some I filled and left at the hospitals administration’s office. Angie held me so tightly that I could feel my bones cracking. I did not complain as I very well understood her fears as it gripped me too.
Nicole came back from the examination room then in Angie went.
The anxiety on Nicole’s eyes were quite evident as she rubbed her palms more often, something that I know she rarely does as I know her as a confident, strong woman.
The doctor gave us the results and the relief on my wife’s face was priceless I do not need to say whether it was good news or bad, the happiness was however short lived as our attention focused on the examination room’s door.
After a wait of about 15 minutes the door swung, Angie came out trembling with tears almost dropping from her eyes; she hugged me so tightly and reached for the sister. I have never fought tears the way I did that day.
Our arms were around each other’s and after a few seconds the doctor cleared his throat, we left each other but Angie sat on my lap as he gave us the results.
The doctor asked Angie “why were you trembling? What is wrong?” I interjected and told the doctor to kindly tell us what the results were and avoid sideshows. Nicole also supported my idea Angie had a different thought and went ahead to explain to the doctor why she was afraid.
All eyes on us…
When the doctor smiled I knew all was well. “Sir your wives are free from cancerous cells on both the cervical and breast screening”. I almost threw Angie in the air save for her weight, I could not.
That was the time tears flowed and indeed they flowed. Tears of joy I must say. I had to calm my women before leaving the doctor’s office because their teary faces may scare away other ladies on the queue.
Once they were well we left, tears actually washed away all their makeup.
Nicole met her workmate on the queue, “where is he?” I greeted her and so did Angie. “He is at the car park heading back to work he just dropped me”. Nicole started seething “how come he is not with you here?” I had to pull Nicole out of the conversation and bid farewell to the friend, Purity.
I explained to Nicole that I should not be used as an SI unit of how men should treat their women as it was between two people, she was just an intruder, that meant that she was inciting Purity which was not good.
She obliged and we left. Since I had not returned the filled forms we walked hand in hand to the admin unit, Angie on my left hand and Nicole on my right.
“Are they your wives?” a young lady asked at the office “yes of course, is there a problem” I enquired further. She answered there was nothing wrong and wished me a good day.
I noticed the shock on her face.
I noticed eyes were on us, it is as if I was singing Tupac’s all eyes on me.
I believe it was because of the women on my sides. So far so good I can’t complain.
I did my part in making sure my women were ok. Angie said that by 40 we shall take you for prostrate check up. I flinched, Nicole concurred.
We were all happy it ended well though the ball was in my court.
This month could not have ended without me documenting how it went down with my two ladies.