Sunday, 8 March 2015

International Women's Day + India's Daughter Documnetary

“She was free in her wildness. She was a wanderess, a drop of free water. She belonged to no man and to no city”
― Roman Payne, The Wanderess
Today, on International Women's day I would like to share a documentary that is a shocking revelation to every person who watches it. It shows how even today people get away with heinous crimes to women and feel no guilt whatsoever. And they say "Girls shouldn't go out at night". Well how about you tell your boys "not to rape" and respect women because this world is a mutual possession and every woman can do what a man can do and live life without the fear of abuse by the opposite gender.
“Of all the evils for which man has made himself responsible, none is so degrading, so shocking or so brutal as his abuse of the better half of humanity; the female sex.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
Jyoti was a symbol of hope. She represented not only a 21st century Indian woman but a woman of the modern era. Her parents supported her education and her decisions even if it cost them everything they owned. She wanted to change her country, their mindset, the world's mindset. It is not an Indian problem, it happens all over the world. Orthodox men feel threatened by the rise of a woman but they don't realise that "When you educate a man, you educate a man. When you educate a woman, you educate an entire generation". Jyoti's parents understood this and are such an inspiration because they remind me of my parents. Even though she is gone, she has left behind a legacy, a legacy that has and will continue to spark change.
“Humankind is made up of two sexes, women and men. Is it possible for humankind to grow by the improvement of only one part while the other part is ignored? Is it possible that if half of a mass is tied to earth with chains that the other half can soar into skies?”
― Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
I don't know how people can be so narrow minded and why this documentary has been banned, but MIND SET needs to be CHANGED. Society NEEDS to let down its guard and let women LIVE. The SILENCE needs to be BROKEN.
Let's be the pioneers for change because you have to "be the change you want to see in the world".
“No nation can ever be worthy of its existence that cannot take its women along with the men. No struggle can ever succeed without women participating side by side with men. There are two powers in the world; one is the sword and the other is the pen. There is a great competition and rivalry between the two. There is a third power stronger than both, that of the women.”
― Muhammad Ali Jinnah

You can watch the documentary at:

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Came across this wonderful poem and thought of sharing it with my own title.....


Fold two hands together
And express a dash of sorrow
Marinate it overnight
And work on it tomorrow.
Chop one grudge in tiny pieces
Add several cups of love
Dredge with a large sized smile
Mix with the ingredients above.
Dissolve the hate within you,
By doing a good deed
Cut in and help your friend
If he should be in need.
Stir in laughter, love and kindness
From the heart it has to come,
Toss with genuine forgiveness
And give your neighbor some.
The amount of people served
Will depend on you,
It can serve the whole wide world,
If you really want it to.


Friday, 2 January 2015

Getting High is Getting Low

 “If you examine your motive for doing anything, you'll soon discover that your reason is that you believe it will make you happy.” 
Chris Prentiss, the Alcoholism and Addiction Cure

Anything for happiness right?

Isn't life about doing what will make you happy? Well, it most certainly is! Having stress at home, at school or in your personal life? Just take a puff, one joint won’t kill you right? A few puffs will mask the stress for a few hours, maybe even a day, but once you get low from high, it comes storming back like a black cloud on a sunny day. Then, you have another one and the sky clears and the sun comes out again. Soon, every day as soon as you see the black cloud lingering in your mind, you just have another one and another one and another one. Before you know it, your grades drop and school doesn't matter anymore, you stop seeing the people who don’t “take a puff” and who really mattered to you and you forget that there is life outside your room and all you can think about is getting high. In few months, maybe even a few years, you get tired of the “puffing” the same thing again and again, so you want something better and you get it. It does make the sunny periods longer and more satisfying, but it wears off soon enough. Your life has become a negative curve and you know it, but this makes you happy, so you will keep on doing it. It’s the same case with alcohol, which is also a mind altering substance like any drug, and small drinks here and there at parties can turn into a catastrophe in stressful times.

Many people blame peer pressure for substance abuse, but I say it is not solely to be blamed. Everyone goes through rough patches in life and when nothing seems to be working out, one turns to such substances for solace. Peer pressure can force a person into going to such measures if one doesn't seem to be “fitting into the crowd” or can force a person in pain to go to such measures to have a little bit of a sunny weather a day in their lives. However, when the search for relief overshadows will power and values, substance abuse will follow leading to horrible dependency and a lifetime of regret.

Is it really worth it?

May I ask, such substances give relief for limited amounts of time, so is it really worth it to damage your body forever in the chaos? One day, all of the stress will subside and you may even overcome your dependency on such substances, but you might not have realised the permanent damage you have caused and the amount of time and money you have wasted, which you could've used on getting into maybe let’s say, Harvard?

There are many ways mind altering substances like drugs and alcohol affect your developing adolescent brain. They are called mind altering not only because they distort your decision making skills, but also because they physically alter your brain. You might say, development stops when you are 16, but recent studies have shown that brain development can continue until your mid 20’s.

Such substances target the neurotransmitters in your brain, the chemical messengers that allow nerves to communicate at their junctions. Interference at neurotransmitters can distort all other development in your brain and damage your nervous system permanently. Secondly, such substances alter perception and may interfere with developing perceptual skills. And finally, the habits and choices associated with the use of drugs and alcohol slowly become ingrained in the wiring of your brain. Repeated action becomes habit and the habits of thought, perception and reasoning developed in childhood and adolescence can stay with you throughout your lifetime.

Note: These are just some of the long term effects of substance abuse.

Who to blame?

As teenagers, we are more prone to error of judgement and neurological assault by such psychoactive substances. However, what leads to substance abuse is having no one to share your grief and so called “stress” with and you think dependency on such substances will somehow bring you happiness.

In today’s world how are we adolescents ending up with so much stress, when we have our parents and family? Although they are busy all day at work and have no time for you, but they are trying to build capacity for you and your future generations, so that you can go to college, get a job and earn for yourself.

So, first of all you owe it to them to not use their hard earned money on such psychoactive substances. Secondly, although they are to blame for your lack of quality time together, but you have to make an effort to talk to them. If you don’t want to talk to them, go to a school counselor or even a cousin or family member who is an adult, but you still feel comfortable with. Believe me, family will not judge you because they love you and want the best for you. You have to be brave enough to come out and say what is bothering you, and then you will not have to resort to such measures to gain a little bit of temporary happiness, when you have someone to help you make your decisions to gain permanent happiness. Also, you cannot let others control your life- You are the author of your book and you will write your story, not your friends.

Even if you are already using such substances, it isn't too late. Talk to someone and let it all out. If others are controlling you, make new friends. Would your real friends let you harm your body? Think about that and make your decisions wisely. 

Remember, drugs are illegal unless prescribed to you by a doctor and drinking is illegal for you if you are not yet 18. Smoking is also considered part of substance abuse and although it does not alter your perception, it is cancerous and alters other parts of your body

Substance abuse is not a disease but rather a decision. You choose to either keep all the pain to yourself and turn to such substances for little spells of sunshine, and not to mention damage your body permanently, or you let it all out and you’ll have sunshine all through your days.

“At the bottom of every person's dependency, there is always pain. Discovering the pain and healing it is an essential step in ending dependency.” 
Chris Prentiss, the Alcoholism and Addiction Cure

Source Citation: Inspired by a workshop I attended last year on substance abuse

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Just A Little Reflection From A Long Time Ago...
This was first ever stanza of poetry in third grade

I think, 
I blink,
I mumble in my slumber.

Friday, 21 November 2014




When I saw the litter on the streets,
I was devastated
No one cared about Nairobi
And its beauty

I was devastated
That the environment was given no importance
I assumed
That there was a lack of environmental education

I assumed
That schools did not have environmental education in their curriculums
But when I first visited our community partner site
I realised the opposite is true

But when I first visited our community partner site
I saw environmental education painted outside
I thought to myself,
Do they really teach the kids what they claim to teach?

I thought to myself
If environmental education is actually taught,
What effect does it have
On the school?

If environmental education is actually taught
It must have an impact.
I wanted to investigate
If it makes the children at Garden more environmentally responsible.

It must have an impact on
Their environment
On their surroundings
On their lives

Their environment-
Where they live
Value for the environment is very important
Just like the AKDN values the environment

Where they live
Their founder/ father
Values the environment very much
And treats environmental education as an integral part of the school

Their founder/father-
A dynamic man
I interviewed him
Because I heard environmental education was once the only thing taught at the school

A dynamic man
Told me
How much environmental education has made a difference
In the kids’ lives

Told me
Some surprising things
Like how they have a community cooker (jiko)
Which converts waste into fuel

Some surprising things
Some great ideas
Like how each child plants, adopts and nurtures a tree
And grows with it

Some great ideas
Which have helped reduce illness
Significant because the children
Cannot afford proper healthcare

Which have helped reduce illness
And also drive a chain reaction
Which spreads environmental responsibility
From child to child

And also drives a chain reaction
As I witnessed myself.
The level of cleanliness around was more than I expected
Especially looking at the children’s backgrounds

As I witnessed myself
And as told by other people at the site
Environmental education is taught on the school field
And incorporated into the school’s philosophy

And as told by other people at the site
The father/founder
Encourages the kids to keep an area of
”100 m2” around them clean

The father/ founder
As part of his emphasis on the environment
Has set up a greenhouse and farm (shamba)
Which are maintained by the children

As part of his emphasis on the environment
Environmental education is taught at Garden
Because of the children’s backgrounds, it has been hard
 But emphasis here never stops

Environmental education is taught at Garden
And it has had a great impact on the children
Not being taught such things in the slums,
It has made them more environmentally responsible

And it has had a great impact on the children
As said by my other interviewee
As a student at the school for a long time,
He has seen the difference

As said by my other interviewee
Environmental education was part of Garden
Before it became a formal school
Educating from primary to secondary

Environmental education was part of Garden
From the time of its establishment
My other interviewee: a student
Told me the effect it had on him

From the time of its establishment
As the child told me
It has taught children from the slums discipline
In terms of taking care of the environment (environmental responsibility)

As the child told me
Environmental education
Has taught him not only discipline,
But responsibility towards the environment

Environmental education
Has made a huge difference
He told me there used to be a garbage dump next to garden
And it helped reduce the effect it had on their premises

Has made a huge difference
On the garden community
It has made them more environmentally responsible
By incorporating it in their lives

On the garden community
And I
It has made an impact
I saw how environmental education can change lives
And I
This can be implemented
In other places

What it could do
If all schools had it incorporated
Into their curriculums?

What it could do is
Change the world
Change our surroundings
Especially in a world under the threat of global warming and climate change

Change the world
In a positive way
I would like to encourage schools back home
To implement this

In a positive way
It could make a huge difference
 The situation back home is similar to that of Kenya
And I think it can make a great impact

Saturday, 1 November 2014

NUHA Foundation - Learn, Nurture and Grow: every child has potential

NUHA Foundation - Learn, Nurture and Grow: every child has potential

I entered the NUHA Foundation Blogging prizes competition and my writing has been chosen and published on their website!
For me to have a better chance at winning, I request you to please read it, hit the Facebook like button (on the website) and comment your views!
Each like and comment is counted as a vote and brings me one step closer to winning and making us all proud!

Click on the Title to be redirected to the website :)

Looking forward to everyone's support


Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Where I Come From

Pantoum poetry about Dar es Salaam

Where I come from,
There is no winter
All year round,
The sun shines down on us.

All year round,
We can go to the beach,
The sun shines down on us,
Blessing us.

The sun shines down us,
To radiate the diversity
In our beautiful city,
People from all walks of life.

In our beautiful city,
Order may not be in order;
We find order
In the disorder

We find order
Even in the little nooks and crannies.
Whether it be the beaches or the crammed roads,
A smile is shot right your way.

Whether it be the beaches or the crammed roads,
Or the angry drivers on the roads,
The five star beach resorts
Or the Mama Nitilie on the footpath

The five star beach resorts
Or the dancing vendors and street dwellers
From the skyscrapers to the kiosks
A smile can be found everywhere.

From the skyscrapers to the kiosks
People manage to be content.
Electricity, water and internet may not be assured,
But we don’t get frustrated by “first world problems”.

Electricity, water and internet may not be assured,
But what I can definitely assure you,
Is that the love
Is limitless