Sunday, August 12, 2012

Moving on!



Great news. I have finally gotten my own website. I have moved to www.potentash.com . Please follow me there.Thanks for all your support. Looking forward to seeing you at www.potentash.com.




Wednesday, August 8, 2012

CHESS GAMES (THE GAME OF LOVE)


They say love is blind,
But I got in seeing,
Stupidity blinded me,
Because my love was so bright,
It burnt out my inner eye.
Love was my drug,
And I, its prisoner,
It made me go crazy,
And turned my intelligence into madness.
So we played chess games,
And I didn’t protect my king,
Thinking that you weren’t the enemy,
But now my castles are gone,
And the queen has fallen,
With a mighty crash,
And when we are on checkmate,
I realize my folly,
It’s too late,
No retreat, but I can’t surrender,
So I bow out of this game of love,
Put away my pieces,
That I have been torn into.
Life must be lived,
And blindness no longer appeals,
If love is the darkness,
I don’t want it,
If indifference is the light,
Then I embrace it,
These are my thorns,
This is my crown of pain,
Light cancels the dark.

BORN TO RUN


I was born to run,
Born to win.
Started out slow,
The Tortoise didn’t have nothing on me,
I was blind to my dreams,
Living in darkness like a Bat in a cave,
I put my head in the sand,
Like an Ostrich letting fear take hold on me.
But now I got eagle vision,
And I am gonna fly high.
I am going to run like a Cheetah,
Now my dreams are playing catch up to my vision,
There’s nothing going to stand in my way,
Because I now know who I am,
And whose I am,
And like an elephant in the room,
It’s obvious,
It’s only a matter of time,
Before I am a Lion, King of the jungle.

Friday, August 3, 2012

What goes around comes around - a tale of love, betrayal and revenge.



PROLOGUE
 
Kimani sat in the dock waiting to hear his fate. When the judge said, "Will the accused please stand up to hear the verdict of the court," Kimani stood up in his ill fitting suit and faced the judge. The judge continued, "After listening to the evidence from the witnesses, I am convinced you are guilty of the crimes of smuggling and selling blood diamonds from Sierra Leone. I sentence you to life in prison so it may be a deterrent to others like you how think they can use their positions in employment to conduct illegal activities.”

Kimani looked at his lawyer in shock, then at his family who were sitting in the viewing section of the courtroom. Kimani's mother and sister were weeping and wailing. His father and brother were doing their best to comfort them.

Njoroge, his former best friend, workmate and betrayer, was comforting Kimani's fiancée. His arms were around her as he herded her towards the door. He paused as he reached the door, turned around and smiled at Kimani who watched Njoroge walk out of the courtroom as he; the innocent dupe in a grand international smuggling ring, stood, bewilderment on his face, in chains.



CHAPTER 1- DREAMS

Kimani grew up in a small village in Nyeri. His family did not have much money but they lived a modest life. Kimani was bright and he did well in school. In high school he joined the aviation club and learnt how to fly planes. After school he got a scholarship to study aeronautical engineering. He passed with flying colors and worked with different organizations before he landed a position as a flight engineer with an international firm that specialized in transporting goods all over the continent.

Kimani was excited because the money was very good. The plane would have just him and the pilot dropping and picking goods. Kimani had worked on the required flight hours to qualify as a registered pilot. In case of an emergency, he could also land a plane.

Kimani met Njoroge at his new job where Njoroge was the pilot and Kimani the engineer/co-pilot. Njoroge was from a prominent family. He had studied at high cost schools and was earning a huge salary. "I like the small planes because they offer more flexibility in terms of work hours, I have more free time for my family business most of the time," he explained to Kimani.

Njoroge taught Kimani everything he needed to know about flying the small planes that and he would sometimes let Kimani pilot the plane.


CHAPTER 2 - LIVING THE GOOD LIFE

As time went by, Kimani was able to fulfill all requirements and got his pilot’s license. Njoroge would let him to fly while he relaxed. They became firm friends and before long, Njoroge was inviting Kimani to exclusive events where the high and mighty were present. Kimani and Njoroge started hanging out together regularly. They would hit the town and party over weekends when they were not working. Njoroge seemed to be known by everyone who was anyone.

From time to time, Njoroge would ask Kimani to help him carry his bags or through customs and give it to a specific customs officer. He explained that he was carrying gifts for his family and he did not want to be hassled by the customs officer. He said that he wanted Njoroge to help him because it would raise suspicion if it was noted that was he always went to the same customs officer. Sometimes though, he would send Kimani with his bags and tell him he could go to any customs official.

After Kimani had worked for about six months Njoroge asked him what his plans were. Kimani told him that he hoped to get married to his girlfriend from the village who had just completed her degree in commerce. He told Njoroge that he was helping her look for a job in Nairobi. Kimani also told him that he was trying to save some money so that he could set up a business for his brother and sister so that they could be stop depending on him.

Njoroge told Kimani that maybe he could help. “I know many people, just send me her to CV” he said. Njoroge was impressed by Njeri's qualifications - she had graduated with a first class degree. He told Kimani to tell Njeri to come to Nairobi for an interview in his company.

Njoroge was struck by Njeri’s beauty. She was soft also spoken but aggressive. He offered her a job as his personal assistant which she accepted after consulting Kimani.

With that problem out of the way, Kimani focused on making money to build a business for his siblings. One day, Njoroge returned from a flight and called Kimani who was on leave to his house. When he got to Njoroge’s house, Njoroge had a bottle of champagne on ice and he looked very happy.

“Kimani today is your lucky day. I just concluded some family business in Sierra Leone and made good money. I want to give you a loan so that you can start your siblings’ business. You can pay me in a year’s time. There’s no hurry. I have money to burn and I don’t need it in a hurry.” He threw a bag at Kimani.

When Kimani opened the counted dollars that were the equivalent of 800,000 Kenya shillings. He protested that that was too much money but Njoroge told him it was okay as long as he paid it back.

Please don’t tell anyone I lent you money. You know how guys are at the office. They will think I am the World Bank. This is between the two of us, don’t even tell Njeri.” Kimani agreed too stunned to think.

The next morning, he deposited the money in the bank. Then he called his siblings and asked them to come to Nairobi. Within two months he had set up a business that imported and sold clothes and jewelry which he brought in from all over Africa in the course of his duties.

CHAPTER 3 - THE NIGHTMARE BEGINS

Kimani was a happy man. All that was wedding was his wedding. It was three months away. As these thoughts ran through his mind, Kimani was getting ready to land. They had just flown in from Sierra Leone with Njoroge and he was looking forward to spending some quality time with Njeri. In fact he was carrying her engagement ring which he had just bought. Everything was going like a dream.

Kimani and Njoroge disembarked and were picking their bags when Njoroge’s phone rang. He asked Kimani to wait for him as he moved away to talk on the phone. When he came back, he looked upset. He gave Kimani one of his bags and told him to go ahead with it, he was coming. He had left something on the plane that he was supposed to give to Mutiso the customs officer.

Kimani took the bag together with his and headed for the customs desk. When he got there, there was a new man at the desk, Kimani asked for Mutiso . The Immigration officer said, “Mutiso is not here, I am on duty today. Open the bags and let me see what's inside."

Kimani gave him the bags and looked around the small airport terminal. There was an eerie silence. It seemed the airport was filled with silent strangers. He wondered where everyone else was.

The immigration officers finished with his bags and then opened the one belonging to Njoroge. He went through it thoroughly and pulled out a small bag from the bottom of the bag. He opened it and poured out the contents.

He picked up a phone and made a call. “I have found them. I have found the stones; they were in the flight engineer's bag. Come quickly," he said.

Kimani was stunned. What was going on he wondered? Before he could recollect his thoughts, there were two airport police at his side.

Alarmed, he protested, "it’s not my bag. I am carrying it for my friend Njoroge the pilot. It’s all a misunderstanding. Please call him, he will explain". The policemen shrugged their shoulders, handcuffed him and led him to an interrogation room.

Kimani was forcefully seated on a cracked plastic seat and told to wait. About ten minutes later, a white guy in an expensive Italian suit walked in. He had a name tag written Inspector Matthews, international crimes, Interpol.

Inspector Matthews sat opposite Kimani and said, "Mr. Kimani, you have been found trying to smuggle blood diamonds from Sierra Leone. We have been under observation for a while and finally we have caught you. Do you have anything to say?

Kimani told him, "I am innocent. That bag belongs to the pilot. He gave it to me to carry. Ask him. It’s not mine." The inspector nodded to one of the policemen. He left the room and returned with Njoroge and the bag Kimani had been carrying. Matthews gestured to Njoroge, "is this him?” Kimani nodded.

Matthews turned to Njoroge and said, "Mr. Kimani is alleging that the bag is yours. What do you have to say about that?” Njoroge with an easy smile said, "He’s lying that’s not my bag. If it is mine then it should have my things in it. Let's open the bag and see what’s in it."

Matthews gestured for the bag to be opened. A suit of flight clothes in a laundry bag was removed, cologne, and some magazines. Kimani's heart sank when he saw the magazines had a subscription label with his name. How he wondered had it landed in Njoroge's bag.

He cheered up momentarily when he realized they were going to open the laundry bag zip. He knew he did not have any missing suit. 'This will prove my innocence,' he thought. When they brought out the suit his smile faded. On the breast pocket in embroidered gold thread was the name Kimani, Flight Engineer. Kimani finally realized Njoroge had set him up to take the fall. Kimani figured that the immigration officer had tipped Njoroge about the crackdown at the airport and gone into hiding.

When Njoroge saw the dawning realization on Kimani's face he smiled. Looking at the inspector, Njoroge said "as you can see there is nothing of mine in that bag. Am sorry my friend has been caught up in this smuggling business but it has been proven that nothing of mine is in the bag. You have checked my bags and found nothing unusual. Can I be permitted to go? You know where to find me!” the Inspector looked at him then told him that he could go.

Kimani was left in the room with the inspector. "Mr. Kimani do you have anything to say about the diamonds. It would be easier and better for you if you told us the truth," Matthews said. Kimani looked at Matthews straight in the eye and said, “Inspector, I know what the evidence suggests but I am innocent. I have been set up. Except for the magazines and suit, nothing else is mine. I don’t even know how they got there. You have captured the wrong guy.” Matthews looked at Kimani thoughtfully and said, “We will see,” then he left the room.

CHAPTER 4 - BETRAYAL

Kimani was manhandled by the two policemen and taken into a waiting Land Rover where he was stashed in the boot. He was taken to Nyayo House for interrogation. Word was out about the prestigious flight engineer who had been caught with blood diamonds and reporters and cameramen jostled to take picture of Kimani before he was whisked into the building.

Kimani was transferred to Kamiti Maximum Prison after being interrogated by Interpol and the local police. His family visited him and engaged one of the prominent lawyers to defend him. Life was not too bad in the prison because two of his cousins who were in remand for armed robbery ensured he was not harassed.

Njeri came to see him a week later. "Sorry I couldn’t come earlier. It was very busy in the office with reporters calling to ask Njoroge for a statement. Njoroge told me everything. How could you accuse him of being involved? He is rich. Why would he need to smuggle diamonds. Please tell the truth and they will go easy on you." Kimani could not believe what she was saying. He just looked at her and did not utter a word. She looked disgusted. After looking him up and down as if trying to see what she had seen in him, she walked out.

She never visited again. Instead, she sent his siblings with food and brief notes in which she explained that she still loved him but was busy.

CHAPTER 5 - NO SAVIOUR FOR THE INNOCENT

After two months Kimani was arraigned in court. Evidence against him included a deposit for 800,000 Kenya shillings in his account. In court he pleaded not guilty and the trial dated was to be in three months time. The judge denied him bail based on the fact that he was a pilot and flight engineer and he had money. "there is reason to believe that the accused is a flight risk so I deny bail" said the judge in his summary.

Kimani realized that things were really bad and he might be convicted for a crime he did not commit. He was taken back to Kamiti.

The next day, the Interpol agent visited him. Inspector Matthews looked at Kimani across a scarred wooden table. He said "I have a feeling that you are innocent or are a very small pawn in this game. I want to help you so help me help you. Is there anything you can tell me that can help me tie Njoroge to this thing. You do know Njoroge’s family have lobbied their ‘important’ friends including the politicians and the police and they are planning to bribe the judge. So if you don’t want to spend the rest of your life in prison you need to give me information. I am trying to investigate but the police are stonewalling me.”

Kimani told him that the only thing he knew that could link Njoroge to the diamonds was the missing immigration officer. Matthews told Kimani that he would leave his number with his brother so that he could get in touch if he remembered anything. “I am leaving the country but will be back for the trial. Let me know if you remember anything significant before then."


Three months later, Kimani was taken to court. He had not had anything about the whereabouts of the immigration officer and had given up any hope of convincing the court that he was innocent. He heard rumors that the policemen who had arrested him had been bribed by Njoroge to say that he had even been found with drugs in his possession.

Kimani was praying for a miracle, that Interpol would present new evidence that would clear him. Yet at the back of his mind he was aware that like most prisoners from humble backgrounds, from the village and no connections, or money to corrupt the officers concerned, he had no hope of getting out. As he listened to all the evidence against him, he realized that if he had read those facts in the newspaper about someone else, he would have presumed they were guilty. Kimani wanted to scream 'am innocent' but he knew at this point all was lost.

The trial took four months to conclude. Kimani knew that there were only two people who could prove that he was telling the truth. One had disappeared and the other was his friend who was framing him. "How could I have trusted him so completely? I should have asked questions. Now it’s too late!" he thought.

When the judge asked Kimani to stand to hear the judgment of the court, Kimani braced himself for the worst as he stood. The judge found him guilty and sentenced him to life imprisonment at Naivasha Maximum Prison. Kimani was shocked. He watched without expression as his family and friends cried. Njoroge walked out with Njeri hand in hand. At the door he turned and smiled at Kimani.

CHAPTER 6 - DIVINE INTERVENTION

Kimani was allowed to see his family before being transported to Kamiti where he would spend a week before being taken to Naivasha with other prisoners. He hugged his family and as he left, his brother handed him his bible. He was grateful though he wondered how I can read God's word when he has abandoned me.

Back in his cell Kimani opened the bible and flipped the pages. He saw yellow post-it's on which he had written verses and things to do. Discouraged he asked God, “how can one fall down so far so fast?” When he was about to close the bible he saw a note with a name and location. He tried remembering why he had written that name, and then it clicked.

“Lord thank you, thank you for answered prayers. I finally have something that can help me.” Excited he asked another prisoner for a pencil and started jotting notes. His hope restored, he went to his cousins who managed to get him a cell phone. He called his brother and told him to call inspector Matthew and ask him to come see Kimani. Kimani slept well for the first time since he was arrested.

The next morning Matthews came to see him. After greetings Kimani excitedly told him, "Mutiso the immigration guy, I know where to find him or rather how you can find him. Njoroge covered his tracks very well. There is nowhere I can incriminate him. Mutiso, on the other hand did not expect to ever be caught. He used to ask me for a lift sometimes when we were really late getting to the airport. There were certain houses in Eastleigh where he used to go."

“there was a time the airport was swarmed with VIPs so he couldn’t leave with the bag Njoroge had sent me with. He gave me a number, an address and a name where I would deliver the bag and a number of the person I was to give the package. I guess he thought Njoroge had told me what was going on so I was safe. I have written everything I can remember on the last page of the Bible.” Kimani had been speaking so rapidly he ran out of breath.

Kimani paused and asked Mathew, "can you help me? This is the only chance I have to prove my innocence."

Matthew looked at Kimani. “I will see what I can do. This information would have been critical before you were convicted. It won’t be easy but don’t worry I will follow it up myself. I can’t trust the police not to leak this information. If I find out anything I will be in touch with your brother and lawyer.”

As he shook Kimani’s hand before he left, Mathew said, "I have bad news though. You probably don’t know this but Njoroge and Njeri announced their engagement this morning. They are getting married in a month's time. I thought you might like to know."

Kimani was numb. For a while he could not think or understand. Of all the things Njoroge had done this hurt the most. He could not believe that Njeri, the woman he loved could betray him with his worst enemy to boot. Kimani was crushed. He walked back to his cell a broken man. His girlfriend’s betrayal managed to do what prison had failed to do to him.


CHAPTER 7 - HOPE FOR A DROWNING MAN


Kimani was transferred to Naivasha maximum prison. Although his family had come every day to visit him and encourage him there was no word from Matthews. He had confided to his brother on what Mathews was working on but told him not to tell anyone else in the family. When Kimani arrived at Naivasha he quickly located his cousins’ contacts and once again, he was not harassed.

Matthews still had not contacted Kimani’s brother. Kimani was mentally counting the days to the wedding of Njoroge and Njeri. He fantasized about being set free just before the wedding and bursting in just as the priest asked "is there anyone who objects to this wedding?" then he would walk in and everyone would stare in shock and horror as he said, "I object. This woman is pledged to marry me. I am the innocent one. Lock him up." Kimani realized that it was a fantasy. Things would never be the same again between him and Njeri. It was over.

Kimani was beginning to lose hope when two days before the wedding, Matthews came to see him. He had a smile and he even hugged Kimani.

"We found Mutiso. He confessed after we nabbed the man whose name and address you had. I used some of my contacts and the matter was hushed up. So your friend doesn’t know yet. We are ready to arrest him. Apparently the deals also involve Njoroge’s father and a few politicians who have been helping him to move the diamonds through diplomatic channels. I just wanted you to know. Obviously you can’t be freed right now. We have to wait until we set up another trial. In a few weeks you will be a free man."

Kimani expected to feel relief at those words but he didn’t. He felt empty and angry. His life had been ruined by a man he had considered to be his best friend. His name was sullied and he had lost the love of his life. All he wanted now was revenge. He wanted Njoroge to feel the pain and humiliation he had felt.

Kimani said, "Matthews I need a favor." Matthews leaned over and Kimani told him what he wanted.

CHAPTER 8 - REVENGE IS A DISH BEST SERVED COLD

The day was bright. The church was beautifully decorated and the cars outside the church showed that this was a wedding of class, no riff raff allowed. The guests were well known individuals from the political, social and entertainment scene. It took an engraved invitation to enter the glittery party.

The bride entered the church and the guests were stunned at how beautiful she was. She wore a white lace dress with crystal beads sown into it. She had a priceless diamond necklace around her neck and diamond eardrops. She looked like Cinderella at the ball. No one looking at her would be able to tell just how far she had come from the village.

When she reached the front, the handsome bridegroom took her hand and kissed it. There were many in the audience who wished at that moment that it was them up there getting married. The couple was looking too hot for words.

The minister read from the word and then asked is there anyone who has reason to declare why this two should not get married. There was a hush. Guests were conscious of the fact that Njeri’s ex-fiancĂ© was in prison. They thought maybe his relatives or friends would try to stop the wedding. There was a collective sign of relief when no one stood or shouted an objection.

The couple then said their vows and went to sign the marriage certificate. As soon as that happened they were brought back to the front of the church and declared man and wife before the congregation. All of this was being televised live on TV to viewers who had wanted to catch a glimpse of this fairy tale wedding. They all thought, “lucky girl.”

The congregants’ private thoughts were suddenly interrupted by stomping boots as a group of policemen burst into church. Leading them was Matthews waving a bunch of papers and a gun. He walked right up to Njoroge and told him, “Mr. Njoroge, you are under arrest for the smuggling and selling of diamonds from Sierra Leone. Also for falsifying evidence against Mr. Kimani. Here is the arrest warrant."

Njoroge’s fuming father shot up, “How dare you? Do you know who I am? How dare you embarrass my son like this? I will have you deported and I will sue Interpol." Matthews smiled and said, "Sir I also have a warrant of arrest for you. You have been using your family business to buy and sell illegal gemstones from all over Africa" at this news Njoroge’s dad collapsed and was rushed to hospital. In the ensuing chaos Njeri could be heard screaming, “it can't be true, it can’t be true. You mean Kimani was innocent? What have I done?

Over the next few weeks, the story made headlines especially after more politicians and businessmen were named and arrested for their involvement in the diamond scandal. Kimani was a hero to many especially those in prison. They applauded him for not giving up the fight for justice.

When he was released after Njoroge’s trial and subsequent life imprisonment, his family threw a party for him in Nyeri. He was trying to enjoy himself and enjoy the nyama choma and beer that he hadn’t tasted for almost a year, when his brother called him aside. "Njeri is here. She wants to talk to you. She is at your house." Kimani walked to his house. “What do you want?” he asked.

“I came to say that I am sorry. I should have believed in you. I am sorry. Is it possible to start over?” Njeri pleaded.

Kimani coldly told her, "you know what I can’t forgive. You have known me all my life and you choose money over me. I can believe Njoroge fooled you at first; he did the same to me. but for you to forget the man you loved and believe a man you had only known for a few months. That is what I can’t forgive. Anyway aren’t you married? You should be comforting the man you choose. Don’t ever come look for me again. What we had is over. I never want to see you again," with that he walked out and did not look back even as Njeri sobbed and screamed for him to come back

EPILOGUE

Njoroge was jailed for life with 20 strokes of the cane after evidence was uncovered about different smuggling runs that he had conducted. Unfortunately for him, Kimani's cousins were waiting for him at Kamiti. He obviously did not have a good time and after his trial he was send to Shimo la Tewa Maximum Prison where he was expected to spend the rest of his natural life.

His father was also convicted and the family business collapsed as his embarrassed wife and daughters ran off to Europe to escape the scandal.

Mutiso was also convicted of several crimes but his sentence was reduced after he testified and gave evidence linking several prominent politicians to the syndicate.

Matthews was given a medal of commendation by Interpol and another by his country. He is somewhere; undercover helping to get information on bad guys that will lead to prosecution.

Njeri was an outcast. No longer accepted in Nyeri and was snubbed by those who had embraced her and her marriage to Njoroge. She moved to Malindi were she is working as a tourist guide to make ends meet.

Kimani is studying law at the University of Nairobi. He realized that when he was in prison there are some innocent but poor prisoners who needed someone to defend and fight for their rights. He is also suing the government for 50 million Kenya Shillings for wrongful imprisonment, mistreatment by police and for his case not being investigated properly due to bribery. The case has been adjourned severally but his lawyer Muhoro is convinced that in the end, the government will have to settle the case.


WHERE DO BROKEN DREAMS GO?



Where do broken dreams go?
Is there a hospital for broken dreams where they can be fixed up and mended?
A hospital bed where they can relax,
Get IV'ed with antibiotics and fluids to get their strength back.
Can dead or dying dreams be resuscitated,
Brought back to life by technology,
By machines that spark them up and cause them to live again?
Do broken dreams feel pain and do they bleed?
Where do broken dreams go to die?
Is there a mortuary for them
Or are they just dumped and buried by the roadside,
with no one to care about them.
Where do broken dreams go?

Raylitpoems 2011


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Developing your creative brand

I had the privilege yesterday to meet Simon Gachui of the Creative Community Network.  I had a session with him to discuss how I can develop my creative potential.  For those who have read or not read a previous post http://potentash.com/?p=13 Simon gave each of the participants of the creatives forum a free one hour session to discuss any issues we may be having in developing our brand or our creative business.

I found the session to be very helpful.Sometimes we have blind spots which we can’t see but someone from the outside looking in can see and advice us accordingly.  Our blind spots could be a hindrance to us achieving our goals because if we don’t know its there it becomes hard to work around it because we will always feel as if something is blocking us but we cant see what it is.

A fresh perspective.  Simon was able to show me a fresh perspective of my talents and gifts.  Sometimes we don’t know in what new ways we can use what we have.  Simon was able to show me how to change my perspective and see how I can look at talents in a different way.

Sometimes we get discouraged because we don’t seem to be moving.  We have been trying different things and they are not working.  Sometimes I have felt like throwing up my hands and just saying its time to give up on these crazy ideas.  Simon was able to encourage me and show me it’s about changing perspective and seeing things in a different way and trying new ways.  Sometimes doing things in the same way and expecting different results is madness which is what Simon said.

We discussed my core skills and how I can use them to generate revenue for myself.  As a writer and blogger I needed to know how I can use my talents to make money.  Looking at my qualifications and skills we were able to map out ways I can use what I have to create business for myself.  A lot of this of course depends on how determined you are to make it and what you are going to put in.

Also some times you have ideas and you’re not sure if they can work or can be implemented.  I was able to discuss a few ideas with Simon and get feedback.  He was also able to challenge me on areas that I have neglected.

Also sometimes you need a push.  You may not believe that there are things you can do.  It’s like your swimming in the shallow end of the pool for years and you’re scared of going into the deep end.  Believe me the fear of drowning in the deep end is a big issue for many.  Fear can hold us back from achieving what we need to achieve.  Talking to Simon he was able to see in what areas I need to overcome the fear factor and plunge forward.  As I had said earlier it is easier for someone else to identify your blind spots and help you see how you can destroy them, work around them, or go through them.

At the end of the session we came up with a map or blueprint.  We looked at my talents, experience, and skills.  Looked at the different ways in which I can venture out.  Some of them seem so out there and I was like “can I do this?  The thing about putting things on paper is that you get clarity and perspective.  We actually plotted the different directions I can take on paper.  There are things that I can do now as short term goals, middle – long term goals and overall goals.  The thing is implementation depends on the individual.  Simon can only give advice on the different directions one can take.  What one does with the information will determine whether one will be a success or not.

Things I got from this session:

  1. Look at things from a new perspective.
  2. Believing in myself and dreams.
  3. I need to look at ways to leverage my networks
  4. Ways to turn my talents and skills into revenue skills.
  5. Strategies to develop my brand in different ways.
  6. New directions to take.
  7. Action plans

Simon is holding a workshop Developing Your Business Strategy as a Creative on Tuesday 7th August.  If you are interested you can register here  www.creativecommunitynetwork.org  or call  Simon Gachui +254 720 238 179.        

Here is a snippet of what the workshop will be about -

‘Developing Your Business Strategy as a Creative’ will enable you to map out your entire business and put you in firm control of your business and future.  At the end of this training you will define Your Business’ Strategic Objectives, Critical Success Factors, Unique Selling Point, Competitors, Products and/or services, Infrastructure needs, Market, Revenue Sources, Customers, among other essential business components.”

I encourage anybody who has not taken advantage of the one hour free session to do so.  It is very helpful, insightful and if you let it be, it can be life changing.  I would also encourage those who want to take their creative business to the next level to attend the workshop.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

AS DREAMS DIM.



I wanted to reach for the stars,
I saw them up there so beautiful,
And they fuelled my dreams,
Made me want to soar.
But I was afraid,
My fear made me timid,
I was afraid to try,
I didn’t want to fall on my face,
I didn’t want to fall off the ladder,
Which I hadn’t yet climbed.
So I watched as others reached for the stars,
I saw destinies fulfilled,
And I was envious.
My mind was at war with my heart,
One wanted to run ahead
But the other restrained the restless one.
Soon I stopped looking at the stars,
They seemed so far away and unachievable.
I became compliant,
And decided that the stars were not meant for everybody.
Every day I dreamt less,
Until I did not dream at all.
My eyes lost their light,
And my eyesight became dim,
My life lost its flavour,
And soon I was living a mediocre life,
One day I died,
A failure, a sad, angry, and defeated individual,
Unfulfilled,
Because I let me dreams die,
Too scared to reach for the stars,
Too afraid to reach for my destiny.
And my tombstone read,
Here lies Average,
Here today, gone tomorrow,
Lived in fear, died in sorrow.

Raylitpoems 2012

This is your story, my story, our story.  Sometime fear keeps us from reaching out for what was meant to be ours.  We live in fear http://raylitpoems.blogspot.com/2011/12/living-in-fear.html We need to reach out for the stars and keep dreaming.  Keep making steps towards our dreams and one day we will find that we are among the stars.  Don’t let fear turn you into an average person living without dreams and hope.  A person’s whose achievements will be unremarkable and whose mistakes will be memorable.  Keep dreaming keep moving http://raylitpoems.blogspot.com/2011/11/keep-moving.html

Friday, July 27, 2012

Urban legends – Urban Bites Crisps.




Anybody who knows me will tell you I love food and especially snacks especially crisps.  I love potatoes in all its forms.  It’s the one food I don’t think I can get enough of.  Whether boiled, fried, roasted, mashed alone or into mukimo or any other way you can have them I love potatoes.

With crisps I have a passionate love affair.  I have loved crisps from my primary school days when we used to carry crisps for break.  Mine didn’t get to be eaten at break time.  Between first period and second period they were over.  Sometimes by the time first period was beginning they would be gone.  I would put them in my desk and open my desk, take out a few, give my deskmate and we would chew while pretending to be paying attention in class. In those days I used to carry crisps, Marie or Family biscuits, homemade cake, or juice.  The crisps days were my favorite days.  When it was any other snack I carried it would last until break apart from crisps and juice of course.  We had drilled holes in our desks where we would pass a straw to drink our juice or the nyayo milk which was provided for us twice a week.

Fast forward to high school.  I was in boarding school so for my mother buying me crisps was not an option. Our tuck-shop didn’t sell crisps so I had to have a dry spell until when I would go home for mid term or when we closed school for holidays.  Then I would shambulia those crisps.  Yap that’s where a lot of my pocket money went buying crisps and the sweets Koos.  I used to love those.

Anyway finally the desert years were over (no crisps in school) and I was out able to enjoy my snacks.  By the way even though I love crisps I am very particular.  I like them crispy in a certain way, how it’s cut also matters.  Flavor came later but I was always particular about how the crisps taste.  Some guys overcook their crisps.  This is just wrong, a waste of good potatoes.  Some cut them so thin that you don’t feel like you actually are eating crisps.  It’s like eating air potatoes.  One minute its there, the next it’s gone and your tastebuds haven’t even registered anything. Your taste buds and tongue are like what just happened here.

So one day I am going to the supermarket for shopping which means I go to buy one thing, buy it and then end up buying a couple of snacks to sindikisha (escort) what I went to buy.  So there were these guys who were sampling Urban Bites.  You know Kenyans they like free samples and I am no exception.  So I try them out and I liked them.  All the flavors.  Then as they were sampling they also were having an offer.  Buy two get one free.  Now if there is something Kenyans like more then sampling it’s getting a bargain.  So I bought 3 different flavors to go try on my peoples, meaning my sister and nephew.  We all thought they are awesome.  That’s how I switched brands.

I love Urban Bites for many reasons.  I love the textures and flavors.  Usually I am a big fan of salt and vinegar and masala but I got sold on all their flavors.  You know the way sometimes you go to the super and your favorite flavor isn’t available and you say you won’t get crisps if you can’t find your favorite flavor.  For me it doesn’t happen I love all of their flavors.  Then I like the packaging.  It’s so unique and eye-catching.  But even though it’s all that jazz you can’t eat the packaging.  But the crisps deliver on the promise that the packaging gives. 







I also like their attempt at poetry.  Crack a bite & feel the vibe, rock it, jazz it, pop it – daytime or night, uptown or down- Urban Bites is the way to sway.  If Urban Bites could be a song it would make me dance.

I wrote a poem about their crisps last year.  Check it out http://raylitpoems.blogspot.com/2011/12/crispy-heaven.html?spref=tw   I have also been doing a teaser a day for Urban Bites during the weekdays.  It’s a way to use my creative skills and keep me sharp (I want to be a copywriter, it’s on my bucket list) and its championing something I love crisps.  It’s not something I am being paid to do but it’s because I love their crisps.  They are great crisps.

PS. I got a couple of complimentary crisps from them today the 150 gm packs. I have gone through a whole bag of Party Paprika bag by myself. Tomorrow its my Nephew’s birthday party so I get to share the goodness. I feel like being selfish and saying my precious but as they say get a little, share a little and the circle continues. Thanks Urban Bites for hooking me up. by the way they are on twitter @urbanbitez254 and facebook  http://www.facebook.com/urbanbites254 so check them out. They are really cool people and approachable. I am now waiting to be invited to do a visit to where they make the crisps magic happen (hint hint).

Have you always had a love affair with crisps or was it something you discovered later on in life? Let me know what you think of Urban Bites as well. What’s your favorite flavor?

Finally I love humour. So let me share a couple of crisps cartoons I love. Enjoy!






Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Love chains



I let you go,
Set myself free,
Yet why does it hurt so?
Why do I feel as if I am in chains?
Whipped by your omissions of truth,
Brought down to my knees,
By the fact you don’t need me anymore.
And all those sweet little nothings,
You used to tell me,
That used to be a balm for me,
Cannot heal these wounds inside me.
I feel hurt,
Broken even.
I am strong,
But you, you make me weak.
You were always my kryptonite,
You always penetrated through my superhero shell.
It hurts,
That’s I am still in chains,
That I am in a mental prison called love,
That I can’t seem to escape.
Just one sentence or paragraph, a picture even
Can make these strong walls I have built against you,
Come crashing to the ground.
You used to be my sugar,
But now you’re my poison,
And your poison runs through my bloodstream.
When will I ever break out of this prison,
Return my sanity,
Be able to let you go completely,
From my heart and mind?




Love is a paradox. It's a prison which holds a person's mind hostage yet its an idylic paradise that tempts one to stay. - Potentash


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Fragile - a story of sexual exploitation of a young girl.(sexual slavery)



The house where I live is at the top of the hill.  You can’t miss it; it’s the white three story mansion that is bordered almost all around by the slums.  Except for the side that faces Muthaiga and which has a private driveway.  It’s a beautiful house it actually looks like a castle.  The kind a girl dreams about to live in and live happily ever after.  I wish it was.  Appearances are deceiving because that is a castle of nightmares.

My name is Carol.  I started living here two years ago when I was ten.  My parents died in an accident and there was no one to claim me.  Mama Salma said that she would take me in.  No one argued, well no one would dare too.  Mama Salma supports half of the slum I used to live in, in one way or another.

“Carol you are going to be very happy with me.  All my girls are happy.  And you are so pretty, in a couple of years you will be beautiful.  Yes, you will do.  Yes, you will do very nicely,” Mama Salma told me.  It’s a good thing I didn’t know what she meant else I would have refused to go with her.

We walked to the edge of the slum with Mama Salma.  Her with her beautiful fashionable clothes and me with my hand me down second hand clothes.  A Mercedes picked us up from the edge of the slum and drove towards a gated compound just next to the slum.  The gates opened themselves as if by magic and I only discovered later that they were called electric gates.

As the white mansion neared I was caught up in amazement at the lawn and the compound the likes of which I had only seen on TV.  The mansion was big, a massive three floors.  The inside was even more impressive.  It was painted in shades of red and cream and the floors were marble.  It was beautiful.  I almost pinched myself to see if I was dreaming.

I was taken to the second floor.  The pretty lady who took me there smiled and opened for me a room.  “This will be your room,” she said.  I was stunned.  I asked, “I will be sharing this room with other children?”

“  No!  It’s just you.  We need to get you out of those awful clothes.  You need to get clean and then we will de-lice you.  We can’t have you not looking beautiful.  Come let me show you the bathroom.”

I wondered what it is about beauty that attracted these people.  I had noticed that all the people I had met had been either handsome or beautiful.  People told me I was pretty.  My daddy actually used to tell me I was beautiful and when I would grow up I would turn heads.

I was short.  I had pretty brown eyes, a light brown complexion, and long natural hair.  I hadn’t started blooming yet.  My breasts had not come out and neither had my hips.  I was a rose about to bloom.  Looking back to then when I was naive and innocent I was a rose ripe to be picked and bloom in someone’s garden.

After I had been washed, (I found this strange as I had not been washed since I was 4) the pretty lady who had introduced herself as Natalie, went out and when she returned she had some beautiful dresses and sandals.  “Pick one and wear it,” Natalie said.

I was unsure of what to choose.  I had never had new, new clothes.  All my clothes had been bought second hand from the market or handed down to me by my cousins.  I choose a yellow sundress and some pretty red sandals.

Natalie sat me down after that and told me there were rules to be followed in the house.  The first rule is that I was never to go anyone unaccompanied by someone from the house.  The second was that what happened in the house was private it was not for telling to strangers.  The third was that I should never try to run away or break any of the above rules otherwise I would be punished.  The fourth rule was that I was not to leave my room without permission.  Natalie asked me whether I understand and I said I did.

Natalie said with a sad smile, “you don’t have to stay here.  Do you have any relatives that you can go stay with?  You have one chance to leave and that’s right now.”

“  I don’t have anywhere to go,” I said.

Natalie sighed and then said, “Well now that you’re here to stay I’ll be taking care of you.”  She reached for the telephone, dialled some numbers, and said, “Please bring some food for Carol.  Some chips, chicken, and a soda will do.  And ice-cream for desert.”

Natalie looked at me and told me, “If you need me press three.  That’s my number.  Enjoy your food.”

I was left in this room that was big enough to fit our old house plus another two.  There was a big bed in the middle of the room.  It had a pink bedspread, pink frills, and even a mosquito net.  I thanked God for these wonderful strangers who had taken me in and had given me luxury that I had never imagined.  At home I used to sleep on a mattress on the floor because there was only one bed, my parent’s 3 by 4.

For the next two weeks I never left my room.  I watched TV on a big screen TV that was brought to my room.  I ate, showered and relaxed that’s all I did.  In fact I started adding abit of weight on my bones.

One day when I was watching TV Natalie came and ordered me to bath.  “We are having special guests tonight.  They all want to see you.  They have heard how pretty you are and they want to see you for themselves,” she said.

Natalie took me to the bathroom and this time again she washed me then she braided my hair into cornrows.  She oiled me with some fragrantly smelling oil and sprayed some perfume on me.  When we returned to my room there was a lacy dress that did not seem to have any lining.  Wear that, I was ordered.  I was puzzled but I was too frightened to speak.  Natalie had this expression on her face.  I can’t describe it but I felt scared.  There was no underwear and when I asked for some I was told it doesn’t matter.  She gave me a glass with some juice and told me to drink it.  It tasted funny but since I didn’t want to argue I drank it up.

We went downstairs through a lift that was at the end of the corridor.  I was taken to a large room where there were many chairs and a sort of stage with one seat.  I was told to sit there.  There were men in the room, no women except Mama Salma and Natalie.  Natalie came and stood by me.  The men were drinking.  I was young but I knew the smell of alcohol.

I sat there feeling so uncomfortable.  I was wondering who these men were and what they were doing there.  And all these men were looking at me.  They were around 20 of them.  Some old and some young.  They all had one thing in common.  They all looked rich.  Having lived in the slum you can tell when someone had money.  You can look at their face, nails and hands and clothes and you can tell.

After a while mama Salma stood and clapped.  She smiled and said, “Welcome gentlemen.  It is our honour to host you again at our lovely abode.  Today we have a tasty morsel for you.  We have managed to acquire into our family a young untouched girl.  She is a virgin and she is up for sale.  We will start bidding at 250,000 thousand Kenya Shillings.  Gentlemen come look at the merchandise.  Isn’t she beautiful?”

At this point I was shaking.  I looked around; I thought they were talking about someone else.  But when the men started walking towards me with leery grins I realized I was in trouble.  I was in deep deep trouble.  I couldn’t believe that this could be happening to me.  I started feeling dizzy and my heart was racing.  I tried to stand and run away.  Natalie held me down to the chair.  For some reason I was feeling tired and my muscles were not obeying my commands.

When the first man came and started touching my face and caressing it, I fainted!

When I awoke I felt groggy.  I was shaking and I couldn’t understand why.  Then I looked down and saw that I was naked, just covered with a sheet on my bed.  Then I remembered what had happened in that room.  I started crying.

Natalie came to me and told me to hush.  “Why are you crying?  Crying will not change anything.  You are very valuable.  Do you know how much your virginity is worth?  She paused and chuckled.  There’s a man who will pay 100,000 dollars to be your first lover.  And you had better make it worth his while.”

I trembled.  I couldn’t understand what was going on.  Who were this people?  Why did this man want to take my virginity?  Growing up in the slum and having to sleep in the same one room with my parents I knew what sex was.  Sex was something grownups did together.  So why did this man want to sleep with me?  I understood that losing my virginity was sleeping with a man.

I was puzzled by this.  I asked Natalie, “Why are you doing this?”  Natalie smiled and said, "My darling one day you will learn that sex makes the world go round.  It is a currency.  It is power.  Whoever controls it is powerful.  Always remember that.  There are many men who want sex and are willing to pay a lot of money for it.”

For the next two weeks I was a prisoner.  I was not allowed to leave my room.  There was a security guard posted outside my door so that I could not escape.  Every day twice a day there was a woman who came, scrubbed me down with some portions, and massaged my skin with fragrant oils.  My skin was glowing and became so soft.

I cried and pleaded with Natalie to stop what was going to take place.  She didn’t listen.  I spend my time crying and praying for salvation.  None came.  It seemed that there was no hope for me.

One morning a hairdresser came to my room.  My hair was natural.  She put chemicals on it and straightened it.  Then she put curls in it.  She cleaned, painted my toenails and nails with clear nail polish.  She tweezed my eyebrows and did a facial for my skin.

I was then washed in the tub and massaged with fragrant oils and lotions.  I was made to wear a white dress and white sandals.  There were flowers put in my hair.  I was so frightened because I guessed that the dreaded day had come.  I tried to plea for salvation to those who were attending me but no one was moved.

Later a man I was told was a doctor came to examine me.  He checked me all over and then gave me an injection.  I found out later it was drugs to make me relax and not be tense.

A car came for me.  Natalie came with me.  I was taken to the other side of town.  We passed through the slum on the way out and I looked at my former neighborhood.  I wished I could go back there to play and stay.  I couldn’t believe that a couple of weeks ago I was there.  It seemed like a lifetime ago.

After about an hour we reached our destination.  We had been stuck in jam for about 30 minutes.  I had tried to plead again with Natalie but she wouldn’t listen.  At some point she got annoyed and told me in a harsh tone to shut up.  I shrunk into my seat and kept quiet.

When we arrived at the destination I was surprised.  The biggest, grandest house I had ever seen was Mama Selma’s house but this was bigger and grander.  From outside it was colored in orange and cream paint.  The driveway was long, with gardens and green lawns stretching beside it. 

When we reached the house a man dressed in uniform came and opened the door.  He ushered us into the house.  I later found out that this man was a butler, apparently rich people have people who open and close for them their front door.  They also welcome their guests.  It seemed that there were no other servants; I found out later that they had been sent away.

We walked through and a large corridor filled with paintings and sculptures.  I was taken upstairs to a room with a huge bed.  The ceiling was something I had never seen.  It had a mirror that reflected back the images in the room.

A man came to greet us.  He was not young or old.  I couldn’t estimate his age.  He was tall, white, had grey eyes, and slim.  When he reached us he smiled.  I remember at that time I thought he had a kind smile.  He kissed Natalie on the cheek and then looked me over.  He put his hand on my face, cupping it and looked into my eyes.  He said, “My name is Anthony.  We will have a great time together so relax.  We are going to have some fun together.”

I must have looked so scared, because he chuckled.  Then as if satisfied he let go of me. 
He whispered something to Natalie and she left.  I was left alone in the room with this stranger.  He went to a sideboard where there was food.  He offered me some but I refused.  He took out a cigarette from his pocket and lit it.  It smelled funny and I knew it was bhangi.  In the slum many young men smoked this kind of cigarette.

Natalie came back into the room.  She carried a tray with drinks on them.  She poured some into a glass, came to me, and said, “Drink this.  It will help you.”

I took a sip.  It was bitter.  Natalie forced me to drink it all up.  She then took me to the bed, untucked the covers and made me sit on the sheets which were white.  She said, “I know this will be hard but you have to go through with it.  Anthony is a good man.  He will not hurt you like some of the others would have.  If he tells you to do something do it.  Mama Salma will not be happy if you don’t make him happy.”

Natalie left.  Anthony came to the bed.  I don’t want to talk about those next few hours.  All I can say is that I have never felt so much pain in my life.  Anthony hurt me.  He stole away my innocence and broke something in me.  I think he broke my spirit.  He used me over and over.  I cried and screamed, I fought but to no avail.  Anthony was stronger then me.  He did what he wanted with me.


I stayed at Anthony’s house for two days.  On the second day the doctor from Mama Salma’s came to examine me.  He cleaned me up inside and gave me another injection.  Apparently this was to make me sleep.

When I awoke I was at Mama Salma’s house again.  The first thing I saw was Mama Salma and Natalie standing near my bed.  They were talking and laughing.  When Mama Salma saw I was awake she came towards the bed.

“Child you did such a great job.  Anthony was very impressed with you. Now you belong here.  You get some rest we will talk later,”  Mama Salma said.  She leaned over and gave me a kiss on my cheek. 

In that moment I felt something I had never felt before in my life.  Intense hatred.  It burned in me I cant explain it but I hated this woman with everything in my being.  I turned in bed and looked the other way.  I hurt everywhere; I felt I hurt even deep into my soul.  My body felt like it had met a battering ram.  I forgot it had.

Mama Salma and Natalie left the room.  I saw at the door a female guard.  This time she stayed inside.  Mama Salma wanted to make sure I didn’t do anything harsh.  Maybe she thought I would jump out of the window.  Believe me that day and many other times after that I thought about it but I guess am a coward I couldn’t go through with it.

I stayed in bed for a week.  I cried and prayed.  I thought finally that God didn’t care about me.  He abandoned me in that house.  In that house the gods that were worshiped were money and sex.  I stopped praying.  I didn’t pray for the next 6 years.  I refused to eat anything. I wish I could say I didn’t drink anything but I was overwhelmingly thirsty. I thought, “If I don’t eat I will waste away and die.”

Mama Salma wisely stayed away. Natalie came to check in on me periodically. She would talk to me like nothing had happened. It’s only once that I saw a crack in her mask. She told me, “You have to be strong. Don’t let them break you. The biggest revenge you can have on them is not to break. They want to break you. That’s their purpose and plan” she didn’t say who “them” were but I understood.

The doctor would come every day. He would ask me to part my legs and then he would check my privates to see how they were healing. He used to put some kind of medicine to help me heal up, at least that’s what he said. The first day he had come, the time when he drugged me to take me back to Mama Salma’s he had stitched me up. I had gotten torn up pretty bad because I was small, not old enough to have sex.

I used to play the memories of my childhood in my head like a tape. To try and forget what had happened. I would focus on the happy times I had with my parents. My parents had wanted many children but unfortunately when I was born the doctors at Pumwani botched up the c-section and so my mum couldn’t have other kids. I would play pretend in my mind that they were still around and that we were having fun the way we used to. Sometimes I could pretend for up to an hour but when I moved around the bed and the pain started again I couldn’t hold on to the fantasies.

After one week Mama Salma came into the room with Natalie. She said, “No more sleeping girl. Its time you came back to the land of the living. I hear you are refusing to eat. You will eat or you will discover that crossing me will be the most painful decision you will ever make. Natalie give her a bath and then bring her downstairs.”

Natalie sponge bathed me and dressed me up. She took me downstairs taking the lift. It was painful to walk but I had to. The tone Mama Salma had used told me I would be in very big trouble if I didn’t obey her.

We went to the first floor dining room. I had never been there before. It looked like something I had seen in a movie about how a dining room should look like. There were serving dishes on the side of the room and there were some women in uniform standing there dishing out food.

In the room were about twelve beautiful women. They were different. Some were short, others tall. Their complexion range was from dark black to a lady who was white or something close to it. They stood in groups talking and laughing. They all got quiet though when I entered. They looked at me from top to bottom. I felt shy because I had never felt such hostile eyes on me before or maybe I had never noticed. Then just as suddenly they started talking again. I got the feeling that they were discussing me.

Natalie led me to a chair somewhere in the middle of the huge table that had been set up with dishes, folks and spoons. Later on I was told that the cultured word for this was cutlery.

Natalie asked, “What will you eat?”

I didn’t know what they had on offer so I just told her to get me whatever was there. She went off to get me food. I was left there at the big table hoping that the ground would come and swallow me.

“Hi.” I heard a cheerful voice saying to me. I had to turn and look at this person addressing me. The lady addressing me was a short, plump but very beautiful woman with a chocolate brown complexion. She smiled and then sat down.

“They are all jealous of you, she said. Nodding her head towards the other ladies in the groups. No client has ever paid the amount that was paid for you.”

I didn’t know what to say so I just shut up.

“My name is Bubbles. Your name is Carol, isn’t it? At least that’s what I heard,” the lady said.

I didn’t want to talk. I just wanted to get over with eating because Mama Salma had forced me. I wanted to go back to bed. I didn’t want to have some small talk with this lady.

“Am so sorry. I’m bubbling that’s why I’m called Bubbles. I heard what happened to you? There are some sick men out there.”

Just then Natalie came back with some soup and small rolls of bread. I wondered is that all they were going to give me. I ate the food before me with gusto. I was really hungry. When I was done I thought Natalie would take me back to my room. She told me to wait for the second course. I didn’t know what that meant but I soon found out.

Natalie went off with my bowl and the plate. In the meantime Bubbles who had gone to get a glass of wine took the opportunity to get back to where I was sitting. Frankly I did not want to talk to anyone but my parents had taught me not to be rude to grown-ups so I didn’t tell her I wanted to be alone.

“You know you are the first young girl under the age of eighteen to be brought here. The girls here,” she swept the room with her hand, well they usually come here when Mama Salma makes them a proposition they can’t refuse.” I didn’t know that word “proposition” and I didn’t want to talk so I just listened.

“Many of the girls here came on their own. Mama Salma is pretty good at getting what she wants. She offers money, a good life and a life of luxury, now which girl would refuse a deal like that.” Bubbles laughed, yet when I looked at her she looked sad. I don’t know what was going on in her mind.

Bubbles said, “anyway Mama Salma decided that since there was demand she would start a new sideline of supplying young girls to willing buyers. It seems there are quite a few men who wouldn’t mind paying a lot for under age girls. I guess you can say you were the experiment. She seems very happy with how it has gone.”

At that moment Natalie came back. She didn’t seem too happy with Bubbles talking to me. “Bubbles take your gossip somewhere else. And if you need to get drunk don’t do it in my presence.” She clicked her tongue at Bubbles. Bubbles stood up and left.

“Don’t associate with that one. She is a gossip and a drunk. Don’t listen to anything she says. She is just a bitter girl. Now eat. Mama Salma is coming in soon and I want her to find you haven’t eaten. What did I do to be rated a babysitter?”

I sat there and stared at the plate. It had some kind of pilau, some chicken, vegetables and some kind of coated brown food that I couldn’t tell what it was. I took a bite and realized it was fish. Now there was something I loved. I dug into the food and ate everything.

Natalie had by then gone to drink wine with some of the other ladies I had seen. They kept looking at me and then they would sneer or say something in hushed tones. I felt so alone. I wanted to go back to my room actually I wanted to get out of this place. I can’t believe when I came here I thought I would be safe. That someone would take care of me. To realize that I was just a pawn to be used was to me even at that tender age very painful.

After about half an hour Mama Salma came into the room with a tall, dark, handsome man. All the ladies hurried to chairs around the table and sat down. Mama Salma was dressed in a red satin dress that clung to her breasts, hips and thighs. It had a slit at the side that ran up to mid thigh. She was wearing red shoes and had a red big handbag to match. She had on some red lipstick and some blue eye shadow that made her look, in my opinion, very scary.

“I would like to thank you all for being available tonight. I will release you in a couple of minutes. As you can see am on my way out. I just wanted to have a formal welcome to our new housemate, Mama Salma said. “Stand up Carol.” I stood up, holding on to the table so as to balance.

“I want you all to treat Carol nicely. Don’t bully her or play those tricks you usually play on each other. I will be very unhappy if I hear that you have done anything to her. Treat her like your beloved sister. Carol here will be making me a lot of money and I want her taken care of,” Mama Salsa said as she smiled.

” From tomorrow Carol you will start your lessons. I pride myself on having the most beautiful girls but they must also be intelligent and behave like ladies. I don’t want any of my girls to embarrass me. Tomorrow Carlos here will start teaching you how to speak proper English. He will also teach you some French, Spanish, Italian and German. Those are the languages our customers speak and so you need to learn some of that. That is all. Girls behave yourselves. Some of you are getting drunk on the job and I promise there will be some disciplinary action if you don’t stop.”

Mama Salma and Carlos went out. After a few minutes the atmosphere changed. The girls broke out dancing and laughing. Natalie came for me and escorted me to my room. She explained to me that the girls needed to get ready. Their clients were coming to pick them up. It seemed Mama Salma did not like the men to sleep inside her house so they came picked up their choice for the night and then left with them. Later on I heard this is what she did so that if by unfortunate chance the police raided her house they would not find any men there. The house was apparently called, “Ladies of Distinction Modelling agency.” She had listed her house as a business which trained and acted as agents for models but that was just a front.

In my room I felt like I was in a jail with no bars. I hate this place but I couldn’t leave. Well at least on my own volition. I sat on my bed and wept. I didn’t know what tomorrow would bring but whatever it was I was scared to face it. And in the dark this is the poem I composed.

Big plastic smile on my face.
Inside am crying for my innocence.
Used to be happy but now happiness is just a word I hear.
I have everything material but nothing emotional.
Am dead inside.
I was a fragile flower.
But then I was cut and crushed by cruel hands.
I am broken inside yet outside I function.
I don’t believe in God because a loving God wouldn’t let this happen to me.
I hate men.
They are all pretenders.
They pretend that they are nice, loving and caring.
They are not, they are beasts that crush innocence,
and wear blood like it’s a trophy for sport.
One crushed my delicate flower.
Others waited in the wings to stomp out the good in me.
I hate, I hate with a passion what I have become but I am a prisoner.
I can’t escape my capturers they have conquered my mind.
Told me am nothing that they have made me sum thing of value.
Put a price tag on my flesh.
Invisible chains hold me to this place.
I am fragile, broken, and old in knowledge yet still a child.
Am a woman in experience but a child in mind.
Am fragile yet I haven’t broken.
Scattered yet held together by will
And a plastic smile.

This house, Mama Salma’s house was my prison until I was 18 and I escaped with the help of a client who fell in love with me and wanted to save me. But that is a story for another day. I have seen things and been done to things I cant explain. Shameful, horrifying things that give me nightmares. But I am a survivor. A fragile beautiful doll that’s beautiful and whole on the outside but broken and ugly on the inside. This is my story, a story of shattered dreams.

Potentash 2010

Dedication

For all the young girls, young boys and women being held as sexual slaves all over the world. We pray for you everyday. And hope that you will be saved from your bondage. May you find freedom. May you find love. May you never give up hope that one day you will be free. May your voice never be silenced. May your story cause others to take action to save others like you.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Butterfly wings


They look at me in concern,
They worry, you see,
I can see it in their faces, their expressions,
When they ask, “how is the search going?”
Yes, they are all concerned,
These people that love me,
About when I will get back on the wheel,
And look for a man,
To settle down with.

I am grieving,
Getting over a broken heart’s no joke,
But like a paradox of something sweet and sour,
My broken heart was a blessing in disguise,
It made me open my eyes,
And realize I have been letting my dreams pass me by,
So slowly like a bear wakes from its slumber,
I am slowly using the broken pieces of me,
To create something beautiful.




I am free,
To be me,
To do what I have always wanted.
I have finally stopped giving a damn,
Stopped wanting things that don’t make me happy,
Things that break me, that suffocate my dreams.
Its time for my dreams to breath,
For them to fly and soar.
Yes, I want that man,
But when I am ready,
Not now,
I am a larvae emerging from a cocoon,
Becoming the butterfly I was meant to be,
And right now there’s no space for anything else,
Except learning how to fly.


Airing out dirty laundry in public


This is a reply to Dear Doris, letters written by Ian, her husband. If you want to get the letters here they are http://mydeardoris.wordpress.com/

Dear Ian.

I want to ask how you are but I have been reading your blog, frog, or whatever you call it and I am so mad I want to throw a shoe or two at you.  First of all I know I cheated on you twice but did you have to tell the whole bloody world?  You are telling my dirty secrets like we are on that busted show with Shiku. I thought you forgave me and let by-gones be by-gones.  Now I find you have told the whole world. 

The only reason I cheated in the first instance was to get your attention.  But you kept ignoring me, flying around the world and leaving me at home alone to raise the children.  I know you provided financially.  But money couldn’t keep me warm at night or hold me.  I wanted someone to hold me that’s why I cheated.  I thought you would notice and things would change.  But you kept ignoring me.  You didn’t even find out until I cheated the second time when I shouted it when we were arguing. I was sorry the minute those words came out of my mouth. 

The second time I cheated I wanted it to be obvious.  I wanted you to know that somebody still found me sexy and wanted to be with me.  It’s like you no longer saw me as a woman just as a mother to your kids.  I wanted you to desire me like you did when we first meet.  When you couldn’t get enough of my company.  What happened to us Ian?  You changed from the man that used to love me and want to be seen with me.  You would come home from your trips and refuse to take me to bed, claiming that you were tired.  I wondered if you were having an affair or affairs.

Ok I know it hurt you that I had an affair with your best friend.  Sam was always coming to check up on me.  He loved my cooking and he made me laugh.  Ian you were not here.  And I was so lonely with the kids off to university.  I wanted to feel like a woman again, a desired woman.  But Ian I was so foolish, not because you caught us in bed but because all I wanted was you.  I think I could plead temporary insanity with the affairs.

Now I seem to have lost you.  You seem to be more interested in writing to me letters that you don’t post or hand deliver to me.  Do you still love me Ian?  Do you? After finding your blog which everybody in this town seems to know about but me I wonder if you do?
I logged in to your website (is it a website?) and found some young girl had written you a letter.  I don’t even understand what she was saying and I had to get the nanny to translate the letter from that weird sheng language into English.  Seriously Ian you are now gallivanting around with a girl from Eastland’s who can’t write properly and who seems to be threatening any woman who stands in her way.

I don’t know what’s happening to you Ian.  Mara it’s the yellow yellow girls then some strange girls who seem to want to not break up with you.  I am wondering if our daughter in university could actually be reading what you write.  Does she know that her father is a sugar daddy?  I am so disappointed in you.  I didn’t think that you would go chasing young girls the age of your daughter.  But then again maybe I shouldn’t cast stones seeing as to how I am a fallen woman.

Ian I want you to know that I do love you.  I always have.  I know I broke your heart and I wish I could undo it.  I hurt you.  I hope you can forgive me and we can move on.  All I want is for us to be a family again.  For us to be a happy family.  I know that you did not marry me for the money as my father said but because you loved me.  So please come back.  I promise that I will change. I promise Ian that if you come back to me I will never look at another man again.

Love always Doris.



Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Magical destinations for me!


Places I love and would love to visit.

My friend Njooro challenged me to write a post on the joys of traveling and destinations that inspire me.  I decided to choose 10 places, five that I have been to, and five that I would love to visit.  Some are countries and some are towns.  Let me start with the five that I love that I have visited.

PLACES I LOVE 
 
Nairobi.

Nairobi is a city close to my heart.  I was born here and hope if God wishes to die here.  Nairobi is a great place to live.  I love the blend of cultures, architecture, and attitude.  Some of my favorite places are the animal orphanage/national park/safari walk.  It’s an awesome place.  I also love the churches, restaurants, clubs – they are so dynamic.  Paradise lost on Kiambu road, Uhuru Park/Lunar Park – I love the rides.  I love my home.  Had to put that in.

What I haven’t tried.  Going into a boat at Uhuru Park.  That dark water scares me.  I will try that one of these days.  I also want to go to the elephant orphanage.  It’s on the list of things to do.

You can check out my feelings in depth on Nairobi http://raylitpoems.blogspot.com/2011/05/my-nairobi.html?spref=tw

Mombasa.

I love Mombasa.  It’s a beautiful place.  It makes me want to stay forever.  The heat gets to me I must admit.  The beaches are beautiful even if some places the sea weed has taken up beach space.  Mombasa is very relaxed and not as hectic as Nairobi.  So I always come back refreshed.  I always got henna tattoos when I go.  Those things make me look good.  I love the blend of architecture between old and new.  I also love the food down at the coast.

Places I have never been.  I have never been to the Marine Park and the National parks.  I want to go there and check them out.  I want to do abit of diving as well.


Kampala.

Kampala is one place I fell in love with.  The people are friendly.  The food is fantastic.  Some of the clubs make Kenyan clubs look shabby I must say.  I just liked the warmth of the people and the food.  And the Ugandan men are gentlemen it’s not a myth it’s true.  They know how to treat ladies well.

I have only been to Entebbe and Kampala so I would love to tour more of Uganda.  I would also like to swim in Lake Victoria.

Rift valley.

What’s not to love in Rift Valley?  I love the scenery.  The beautiful mountain and valleys.  I used to love climbing Mt. Longonot though I haven’t done it in years.  The beauty of that place makes me know that there is God.  I love the lakes and the historical sites.

United Kingdom

I lived there for 13 months but I fell in love with quite a few places.  I lived in a small town called Mansfield, Nottingham.  There were countable blacks living there.  In fact when I first went there I stood out.  But the people were very friendly and loving.  They were not cold as I had been led to expect.  I actually lived with two families while I was there.  They treated me like part of their families.  Then there were those families where I had a dinner date every week.  Those guys in Mansfield were top notch.  I will never forget their kindness and love towards me.  So I loved Mansfield the town and Ravenshead which was where I lived. I plan to go back there again for a visit.

I used to go to London when I was on leave.  There were so many fascinating places.  Buckingham palace – outside was a great place to visit and we could see Downing Street.

The place that I fell in love with in UK was Alton towers.  It is UK’s largest theme park and is situated in Staffordshire.  It has the most amazing rides and attractions ever. Some of the rides made me feel like I was going to die one minute and the next minute I was feeling high and wanted to do it again.  I loved it especially Nemesis, Air, and Oblivion.  It is one place you must visit if you’re into thrills and living on the edge. To find out more http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alton_Towers

The other place I loved was Madame Tussauds.  This is a museum like place where there are life size wax figures of celebrities and they look real.  I took a lot of pictures there.  There was even a wax figure of Jomo Kenyatta.  It was a fascinating place. For more info http://www.madametussauds.com/London/About.aspx

I also went to a couple of music and church camps where the music and partying was awesome.  Who knew Christians could have so much fun?

Places I want to visit. Emirates stadium of course. Gunner for life.  I also want to do a tour of the Cadbury factory.  Plus go back to Alton towers again and again and again.

PLACES I WANT TO VISIT

Maasai Mara.

I have never been there and I hear it is an experience worth having.  I want to go and experience the wildebeest migration for myself.  I want to go and see the sights.  I want to tembea Kenya.

Zanzibar

I want to go to Zanzibar.  I don’t even know why I have never been there before but I need to go.  I want to experience the culture and food.  Look at the architecture and drool.  Go hang out on the beach.  If by the time I get married I haven’t gone I will insist that my husband and I go there for our honeymoon.

Italy.

I want to experience Italy.  I love their food, architecture, jewelry, their cars, their language, their badassness.  I want to go and just experience Italy.  I loved Italy from a long time ago. 
I used to love books about the mafia.  I really romantized those gangsters.  But I would love to see Italy and visit Sicily.  And maybe get to visit the cathedrals in Rome next door.  But I do not like opera so I don’t plan on going to listen to that.  But the art and classical music that I must experience.

Israel.

This for me is my ultimate destination.  Who wouldn’t want to see where their saviour was born, grew up, died, and rose again?  I can’t wait to go there and experience Israel for myself.  See the places I have read about in the bible.  Trace the path of Christianity.

I am also a farmer at heart.  I want to go to a kibbutz and learn how to make the desert fertile.  I know I could use that knowledge here.  I want to see how they do it.  I want to taste their produce, see how they live.

USA.

The reasons I want to go to USA are many.  Not for the obvious touristy reasons.  The biggest reason is that my brother and cousins live there.  I haven’t seen my only brother since 2004 so it would be great to see him in person.  A year or two ago it would have been because of he who shall not be named.  The man who broke my heart.  But no I don’t want to go to the states to stalk him.  I am done with that.

I want to go visit the largest comic bookshop in the USA.  I would also love to go to where they do marvel comics.  Marvel comics are the ones who do Fantastic Four, Spiderman, X-Men, Iron Man, Daredevil and Avengers.  Everybody who knows me knows I love cartoons and animations.  I want to check them out. If I could manage a visit to Pixar I would be the happiest girl in the world. Of course I would love to visit Disney land.  Experience the fantasy.

I would also like to visit The Holyland Experience. This is a theme park by Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) where you can experience the bible as it happened long time ago. They have musicals and stuff like that.

If I could attend a Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen or T D Jakes conference then I would be good to go. Those guys speak into my life like seriously.

There they are my destinations of choice to visit. Let me know what yours are.