I dared Mt. Muhavura and she dared me right back.

When I was leaving for Mountain Muhavura last Friday, I wrote a braggy facebook update daring the mountain to become steeper because I felt I needed a proper challenge to help me forget the week I had had. I got a challenge alright. As I write this, I have one cracked fibula and a body that is still bruised from the various ways I had to contort it as I climbed.

Well I wasn't climbing ALL of the time. I lay down on the trail and took pictures of my throbbing legs many, many times.

Well I wasn’t climbing ALL of the time. I lay down on the trail and took pictures of my throbbing legs many, many times.

Have you ever exerted yourself so much that even your elbows sweat? Has your body ever given out so deeply that your mind stops recording your life? This is what happened. Halfway up the mountain, I stopped noticing things. I placed one foot after the other like every zombie in every zombie flick you have seen.

If the journey up takes away all of your energy, the journey down steals your patience. I began to fast-walk, and then slow-jog down the mountain. I had become bored with my pace and also competitive. It gets old, watching person after person overtake you. I also wanted to feel fit.

When my knee cracked back and I heard that pop, I fell down and wailed like a heartbroken actor in a Telenovella.

OK like this, only less dignified.

OK like this, only less dignified.

My poor limb. First, it had been ravaged by the spider mites on my herb patch, making it scar so much that I look like I’m wearing polka dotted stockings, and now I had broken it. Central to my weeping was that I would not be able to dance that night. A trip to a new place is not complete for me if I haven’t jiggled my limbs to its music! I was full of despair. Somehow, I got off the mountain. Somehow, I danced. Somehow, my moves did not make my leg break clean in half.

Yea

Yea

When I got to Kampala, my first stop was a hospital in Ntinda that I have been asked to please not name. The medical insurance I have is tied to that place. With the help of my nkoni, I hobbled up the stairs right into a nightmare. I have never encountered such confusion or rudeness. I should have run right out when I saw that the doctor was wearing a tiny pink dress top leggings and strappy sandals. You guys, I work in Advertising. That is my uniform. When clients see me, they go, Oh! This one must be full of crazy ideas. That is NOT what you want to be thinking about your doctor.

Me on a good day, You would not allow me to treat you.

Me on a good day. Don’t allow any doctor who looks like this to treat you.

Fortunately for me, she didn’t seem to have any ideas at all, good or bad and after 30 minutes of spastic, disinterested and distracted service, I was sent away with diclofenac and instructions to return for a session with the ‘sonographer’. The next day, the receptionist informed me that I would need authorization from my office to see this sonoperson. After two hours, she snappily informed me that my office hadn’t called back with the authorization. Now I know the fault wasn’t hers and reserve a big helping of side-eye for my office admin, but surely she could have let me know an hour earlier. I shook my crutch at them all and limped out of their establishment.

I eventually had my leg scanned at Span in Kisaasi, and although I am sure I left with some damaged cells thanks to being X-rayed on a naked table with no protective clothing over the rest of my body, I was happy with their service. The doctor made me feel like I was going to be OK. To distract me from the painful massage (there was a whole lot of swelling but I have been informed that it was very stupid of him to massage my fractured limb), he called me an athlete and told me stories of how basket ballers sometimes have to have their fibulas sawed entirely off.

I finally hauled my ass to a bone specialist and he’s put me in a leg brace and scared me into using my crutch more diligently, because nti I will never run again if I fool around with the healing of my limb.

I feel like an autobot.

I feel like an autobot.

One bright side is that thanks to the fracture, my body requires for me to take almost three times as many calories per day in order to heal properly. You guys August is going to be gorgeous. Fooooood!

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Broken Bones, Restructured Hearts and Other News. (Hello August)

Hello August. I salute you. I salute your air with my lips. Here, mwa! Mwa! Mwa! On your 20th day, I shall be four digits older than my birth date. I shall be closer to the glory that my mid-20s are sure to bring.

I of course arrive with drama. My fibula is broken, so you will be my unfittest month of the year, August.

2013-08-01 12.38.30

As I rest, I shall enjoy getting rounder, and I won’t even mourn my stamina too much. I shall throw back glass upon glass of water and tot upon tot of gin. I shall eat all of the livestock and some of the fruit. Perhaps I shall join a gym and tone my upper body up. We’ll see.

My 23rd year has been incredible. It saw me make a year in the most serious relationship I have ever had. I am not a commitment-phobe, now I know. And I am not incapable of loving or being loved! This year also saw me fall out of that relationship. It saw me in the lap of devastation and afterwards, in the face of excitement (and contentment) so bright and thick that I thought I had achieved Nirvana. I am now back to being normal just, so yea that wasn’t nirvana.

This year has delivered me into the arms of herbs and essential oils.

Yay essential oils

My hair smells like peppermint. My pillowcase has wild lavender tucked into it, plucked right off the slopes of Mountain Muhavura.

Wild lavender all wrapped up in Acacia. I think they are dating!

Wild lavender all wrapped up in Acacia. I think they are dating!

Eucalyptus oil blesses my water every time I feel pain. Moya (that some call shea butter) is stripping scars off my legs, scars that appeared because of the mubofu spider mites that tried to invade my herb patch.

I regularly bless my bath water with rose petals and mint leaves, plucked from my own plants. I have even gotten into the habit of thanking the plants when I take from them. In other words, my kwemola has reached insane levels, and I am happiest this way.

whosaqueen?

This year, I have stopped being so annoyed by some of the things my father does. I have come to love them instead. His tendency to befriend and invite complete strangers into our home for impromptu dinner parties. His loud way of speaking, my god, he shouts all the time, everywhere. He is so aggressive, even when he doesn’t intend to intimidate or annoy. I have come from flushing with annoyance to beaming with joy and acceptance. This is partly because I am so very similar to him.  I intend to honor him in a Stiletto Point article soon, so let me not over spoil.

During this my 23rd, I have conquered the demons that made me so attached to deodorants (I would have 5, one for each workbag). I no longer spray those synthetic, paraben-filled armpitcides onto my delicate skin. I have made peace with the memories of bullying that went down in Green Hill Academy’s corridors and no longer pay that time of my life homage.

I am in love with my brown. Forget pretending that I am blind to all those times that weirdos have tried to make me feel bad, or lesser because of my dark skin. I have been at war with many demons-ooo!

Ayaya who is that? Apenyo.

Ayaya who is that? Apenyo.

I am an aloe vera gal. On three separate occasions, people have hugged me at the end of a day and said, “Oh wow, you smell so nice.” Do you know what they are smelling? Aloe vera + Apenyo. The gel mixes with my natural smell to produce musk like no other.

I have never had so many trips lined up in the same time frame as I do now. Last weekend, I was in Kisoro and Kabale drinking, dancing, climbing and breaking legs with the Kampala Hashers. This weekend (or possibly next), I am going to be exploring Lake Bunyonyi with a very lovely person, the best travel buddy in the world really. On the 24th and 25th of August, I am going to be in Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Plans are all over my life like back acne.

I am also part of a competition that explores how stories directly affect readers after production. 46 of us submitted stories on the theme of identity and equality to Writivism, 14 of us got mentors, attended workshops and read to young literature lovers in many of Kampala’s schools. It has been an experience with many ups and downs for me, but ultimately, a great one. I would do it again. The shortlist is going to be released on the 3rd of August, and here’s hoping True to Nothing will be on it.

I am writing (haltingly, with a lot of procrastination and inertia in the mix), I am growing things out of the soil, I am growing myself, my mind, I am living as consciously as I can. You guys, life is good.

Forgive me for not posting last Sunday’s Stiletto Point. I was full of pain and self pity. My leg nanti.

See how I have cutiefied my crutch.

On crutches, but still pretty.

Pretty crutches.

x

Attacked by Kilogologo (also known as the demon itch).

I don’t want to turn into one of those writers who endlessly bore their readers with whatever they are obsessed with at the moment, but this is important. For the last seven days, I have been scratching myself like a 7 year old with worms. But let me start at the beginning.

As you know, I proud mother to plants such as lemon balm, sage, thyme, lavender, strawberry, rosemary,two kinds of mint and a plant whose name I can’t remember, but whose special power is that it smells like BOB insecticide when you burn it. Because my energy is surpassed only by my kwemolar, I sing to my plants. I wake up very early in the morning, push my sleepy feet into sapatu and haul a bucket of water to my herb patch. The plants are doing very well, which convinces me that my croaking is making them happy. What I am not convinced about is whether this particular brand of kwemolar is sustainable.

See, since I began this little ritual, I have developed a most insufferable itch. It doesn’t attack. To say it attacks would insinuate that it follows a strategy to accomplish its goal of tormenting me.

This itch is an obnoxious squatter. It has built a house and grown crops and taken a wife on the landscape that is my skin. When I wake up, I am scratching. The last thing I remember before blacking out is manically raking fingernails over my skin. I am even developing sexy biceps from all the exertion.

It is worst around my feet and entumbwes but will many times spread to my arms and back. The amount of time I have devoted to daydreaming about rolling around in a pile of coarse sand is embarrassing. My doctor laughed when I demanded dewormers and then said that the worms which used to make children itch have gone extinct, and that what I have is an allergy. Me a whole Apenyo, having to pop cetirizine like one of those people on the internet who cannot stand pollen.

I have often felt smug about how at one I am with mother earth and now see.

To the best of my knowledge, I am not eating anything different, or doing anything new (apart from singing to my herbs) so I can’t even begin to understand this allergy business.

The itch got so bad at some point that I went to comrade Google for some home remedies. Squeezing my workmates’ lemon on my feet worked for a minute, and then it returned with a vengeance. Hand wash, air freshener and crushed garlic all failed to work. Fortunately for my legs, I had a small piece of aloe vera in my handbag. I cut it in half and rubbed it briskly over my skin. This toned the itch down to a background annoyance. Aloe saves the day again!

Now to go stock up on Shea butter (whose proper name is moya) to heal these dumb scars that are trying to colonize my legs. 

It looks about 10 times worse than this.

It looks about 10 times worse than this.

Respect My Hunger.

Because food; the eating, growing, cooking, serving and wearing of, is one of my favorite things, I take the service I receive at restaurants very seriously. I feel truly betrayed when a waiter tells me that my order will be steaming in front of my watering mouth in 15 minutes and then 40 minutes later, he or she has not even carried the tomato sauce and cutlery to my table. I become overwhelmed by a  hysteria that, on a good day, will end with my leaving the premises, sobbing quietly into my palms, and on a bad day, have me assuring everybody from the manager to my fellow patrons how they are seeing me for the last time in their lives because I am never coming back! When it comes to food, people have to be truthful and honest. They need to have a sense of honor.

I have met some very interesting waiters and restaurant owners in my time, the most entertaining being a lady who owns a restaurant somewhere in Nakasero. Or is that Kololo? Anyway, it is located close to Fairway Hotel. 

This woman is a real character. It is without a trace of malice that I say she has the demeanor of a tall cockroach. How somebody like that is able to maintain a restaurant that has apparently been popular for years, I don’t know.

Anyway, on the day I encountered this lady, I was in high spirits. It was my graduation day. I had just gained a pretty good degree, considering how many morning classes I had refused to attend while on campus.

Three years down!

Three years down!

My father was strutting and swaggering, as proud as only a father whose first born is graduating can be. My Aunt Cherry was ululating every few seconds. My siblings were radiating awe, and I looked gorgeous. It was a good afternoon and we wanted to crown it with a hearty meal in a restaurant with good African food.

The first thing Madame restaurant said when she spotted us was, “You people who come many many like this! I hope you are going to be able to afford me!” She then turned to my father and said, “You you are bringing so many young girls here this afternoon. I hope you can pay for them all!” I was nearly passing out from the pain of standing around in four inch stilettos and so my focus was on finding a seat, and not this crazy lady’s words. For some reason, dad did not herd us out.

We were soon in line for the buffet. Aunt Sherry is a professional chef and so when I saw that she had declined to pick from four of the bakulis, I asked her what was up. She just shook her head and turned away with what must have been a giggle. It is when we brought our first spoons to our mouths that we realized why our aunt had been so reluctant to serve. Everything was off. From the beef stew to beans to the basket of fried chicken that the woman brought me as a “graduation present”, it was a spit and a lick from being completely rotten. We were all confused. This food was going to cost 25,000 a plate and it was just a few hours away from having maggots.

We left everything untouched and all stood up to leave, apart from my aunt who was, with a very determined look on her face, mixing everything together so that the woman would not be able to serve the same sauces to unsuspecting people the next day.

Food is sacred. People with bad manners should not be allowed to prepare or even sell it.

How I Know You Are Real

If you are that wonderful breed of human being called a readeriticus of Apenyo’s blogoticus, you expect me to reveal a big secret today. I have been writing about the seven weeks during which I abandoned mainstream deodorants and went on a quest to find a natural substance that would effectively do away with body odor.

This blog is, among other things, a place where I archive the stories that get published my column. Unfortunately, my editor at Sunday Vision said he could not publish three stories about smelly armpits, three weeks  in a row. He ordered me to write about something else.

 If you haven’t roughly shifted your eyes to another blog in protest, know that I dig you and that (freshly harvested) aloe vera sap is the magical substance that brought my armpit woes to an end. The full story will be in your eyes next week.

Moving on, do you ever find it difficult to fully recognize the humanity of other people? I do hope it’s not just me who suffers from this. I think that human beings are generally inclined to think of themselves as the center of the universe. This begins in childhood (where if we are lucky, we actually are treated like little deities) and never really disappears. What I am saying is that to varying degrees, we all treat other people like they are stones.

We many not go around singing, “I’m berra than you, I’m berra than you”, not unless we are rappers, and we may not openly declare that we think that we’re the only ones deserving of satisfaction and happiness, but show me the person who hasn’t whined “why meee” when they fall into problems and I will show you a liar. Serpents and tenpence!

When you are being the office jerk, when you are trying to cut in front of another person in a queue, when you are being jealous, when a sense of perspective isn’t part of your psyche, you are behaving as if you are the only true human in the world.

The moment I noticed my tendency to do this, I was alarmed. I have always thought of myself as a very good person. So I began to write down the situations that made other humans realer to me. Here are some of them.

Dance: Oh this is my number one. I was around 5 when my mother came to life as a true human, as opposed to a food/hugs machine. She liked to tell me stories, and her favorite was one called Danzolo.

Danzolo lived with her father on a mountain. Because the nearest market was right at the bottom of it, he would sometimes have to lead their donkey to the market for groceries and other things. Unfortunately, her father was so lazy that he would burst into tears in the middle of any activity that required even the slightest effort. This meant that Danzolo was always having to follow him around and dance for him so that he could feel better and finish whatever he’d been doing.

Her dance involved a  bent back, swinging arms, a series of facial contortions, bum swaying and a hop from side to side. 

The above is pretty close to the Danzolo dance. (Thanks for boogying it up with me, Joel!)

To this day, seeing people expressing their feelings and desires through movement just makes me want to hug them and say, “You! You are human”.   

Taxis: When you are getting out of a matatu, you have to do a slow shuffle through the aisle, get to the door and then kind of stumble out. All the while, your bottom is swaying and shoving itself into peoples’ faces. (If human bottoms smelled terrible, taxis would have been made very differently). The whole process is so awkward and the people performing it are so vulnerable to butt-centered pranks that my heart always softens when I watch them.

Soli-da: When a person farts during a prayer or a yoga session, or a movie and everybody comes to a silent agreement to ignore it, warmth floods my heart. I think, “Look at all these human humans, accepting this gross smell. Let me even share my things with them”.

Food: I always fall in love with people the moment I learn that they love food. Foodies unite! And have babies together.

The running eye: Making eye contact with people on my jogging route, and having them smile or wave at me. This happens more with women. Guys oba get shy? I always feel like saying, “Dude I saw you checking me out from meters away. Just holla.”

Pull/Push: Watching somebody fidget with those push/pull doors, especially at the bank where everybody is putting on such grown-up airs.

My list, as you can see,  is a work in progress.

Do share the things that make you feel-feel the humanity of others, in the comment section below.

Dancing with Marketeers/ Oopa Apenyo Style.

Although I didn’t find the topic of the night exciting, I attended Marketeers night on the 3rd of this month. I figured that the keynote speaker would only have the floor for thirty minutes or so and if he was boring, then that would be the price to pay for the exquisite dinner and the self-esteem boost that always comes from spending time with people who do what you do. Heck, I wasn’t even paying the 100,000 for my ticket. All I had to do was send an email saying yes.

Jimmy Mugerwa, CEO of Tullow Oil spoke on the importance of marketing in the oil sector. This is certainly a necessary topic and I was hoping to glean some real wisdom from his words.

Mr. Mugerwa may be a firebrand in oil and energy circles, but the man is just not an engaging speaker. All I got out of the thirty minute speech was that Ugandans need to open their eyes and grasp the opportunities that come with so much oil being discovered in the country.

After his talk, my workmates and I visited the dessert table to bring life back into our bodies, through our mouths. Have you ever looked at sweets and cakes and fruit and had tears come to your eyes? Have you ever felt defeated by the splendor of it all?

We returned to our table when the emcee was making a call for table captains and all my workmates turned to look at me. I was confused. From their giggle filled explanations, I learnt that every table was supposed to front its best dancer and he or she had to go to the front and shake everything that their momma gave them.

Now if you are a regular reader of Stiletto Point, you know that dancing comes as naturally to me as breathing. I dance on my way to work, in the queue of a bank. I dance on the hills of Kololo when I am working out. Dancing makes me feel alive. It injects my blood with a jolly madness. I happily agreed to be table captain.

Seven other people from other tables walked to the front of the room with me and we exchanged amiable if nervous greetings. I was sizing them up all the while. When we were told to get on stage, three people dropped off. Dancing at the front of the room, they could do. Getting up on stage like some teenagers at a kadanke? That was too much for them.

In the beginning, I didn’t know what exactly we were dancing for. My first moves were Macarena, caterwauling hands and a little waist shaking here and there. When, however, a fellow dancer informed me that we were grooving for a trip for two to Mombasa, well that changed the game.

I felt stupid first of all. Dancing for something small is more fun than dancing for something as drastically fun as a trip to Mombasa. I felt like a circus bear riding a bicycle for treats from its master. But then I also liked the idea of winning. To calm my nerves and kill the indignation that had started to build up, I decided to dance like I would at a house party.

That’s probably why I am now immortalized on youTube in a Point Blank segment, no less, jigging like I just don’t care.

Kampire made 10,000 gifs. She’s the best.

Here, have another gif:

😀

Here is the entire video:

.

Dancing makes my world go round.

Humbled by Latkes.

One of the reasons I’m glad to be an adult is that I’m no longer made to attend  gatherings against my will.  I choose whether or not I want to remain in a particular space and this has everything to do with being able to afford a boda boda at any given time.

My parents were determined for me to grow up a social, religious and well-rounded individual. This meant I had to attend youth conferences, Christian home cells and other such things. To do away with awkwardness, we, the youth, were always loosened up with “ice breakers”, little questions to get us talking to each other. One of the most common ones was, “what are your hobbies?”

As a teenager, the three things I truly enjoyed were eating, eating and cooking. I had other interests, somewhere in the background but those three made my life worth living. And yes, I know I’ve mentioned eating twice. I hasten to add that I did not have an eating disorder. I just derived all the pleasure that I derive from other things now, from food.

This wasn’t something I could reveal to other teenagers just like that. They’d judge or giggle or act like I wasn’t cool because talking on the phone and sneaking off to daytime kadankes didn’t appeal to me enough to be included on my list of hobbies.

I have more varied hobbies now but food, the cooking and eating of, remains among my favorite things. I try to have a little project every week. If it is Masala chips this week, it’s perfectly done peri peri chicken the next. I get a feeling of accomplishment just from bending over a steaming saucepan with a printed out recipe in one hand and a mingling stick in the other.

About a week ago, I happened upon latkes on a food blog. Latkes are a Yiddish food, a Hanukah staple and they look really delicious on the internet. I hunted around for the best recipe and then messaged my boyfriend, asking him to prepare his mouth for good things.

Like these

Like these

Together, we followed all the steps of preparation. I grated irish potatoes and cracked two eggs. He cut up ingredients, squeezed the starch out of the potatoes and radiated that very vital ingredient, enthusiasm. I then mixed everything together and heated a thin film of oil in the largest pan I could find. I know now that the oil I put wasn’t enough to cook the potatoes properly, but then, I was determined to follow my recipe to the letter.

The first two latkes looked like rebellious worms and didn’t stick together very well. I put them on a plate anyway and made Roger taste them. His face remained blank as he chewed, giving me so hope that perhaps, the ugly looking things tasted OK.

After swallowing, he said, “This tastes like paspalum. You know, the grass. This tastes like grass.” I tasted them myself. They tasted like grass.

He crunched again on an obviously raw clump of eggy-irish and said “It’s like we’re goats!” By this time, tears were streaming from my eyes and I was barking with laughter. I agreed with him and observed that we’d have to be very proud and foolish not to abandon the project. He wasn’t done commenting.

After taking a picture of me staring forlornly at the one remaining latke, he said, “In the picture, you look like mother who’s just given birth to a very ugly child.”

Really bad looking latkes

Really bad looking latkes

We further ruined the irish by trying to make it into a stew, but that’s a story for another day. My latkes weren’t a success, but I enjoyed making them. What’s my next project? Latkes again, of course! I won’t rest until I make crisp, golden, spicy, heavenly smelling potato pancakes.

Read his account of that day’s happenings HERE.

Stop qwencing Mayans. Try something new.

Hello. Kulika festivities. You must be feeling very heavy from your weeks of overindulgence, and light in the wallet because of the same. I look forward to chuckling maliciously at all the status updates, tweets and blogposts that are going to flood the internet this month complaining about poverty.

The first day of 2013 is behind us, much to the disappointment (relief?) of all the sillies who kept insisting that Mayans said the world was ending two weeks ago. Poor Mayans were minding their own business, predicting the end of one of their time cycles, and the beginning of another. They believe a new cycle comes with changes on the personal, family and community level so that there is balance between mankind and nature.  Their jazz had nothing to do with you trolls.

Everybody on leave put your hands up! I hate working a 9-5 job. I don’t hate my job, but I hate working in the same space at the same time year in year out. One of the things that keeps me sane is browsing what I call beauty-porn. I simply devour any and all sites about facial scrubs and hair conditioners that are made mainly of things that you’re accustomed to having for breakfast.

I especially like to read about the benefits of natural oils like castor, coconut, shea butter and so on. Aloe Vera is one of my most Googled herbs because of how much of it is growing in my dad’s backyard. If all the hype is to be believed, I could have myself looking like a 16 year old in no time!

But wait. 16? No. 16 was a year full of baby fat and emotional turmoil. I remember sitting next to a window in class and staring forlornly out of it, hoping that some handsome, popular boy would catch sight of my profile and notice how beautiful it was. I also hoped he would write me a letter, as proof, and that the letter would be imploring me to become his girlfriend. So no. Not 16. Actually, I’m enjoying my current age very much. Back to beauty-porn.

So although I’d read up on lots of natural oils and beauty mixes, I hadn’t  tried any of them until 20 minutes ago. Why? I was too afraid! What if a mix of honey and salt made my skin peel off?

I’m not even sure that I would have taken the leap if it wasn’t for the four decadently fat pimples that have set up base on my face as a direct result of me rediscovering how cheap La Fontaine’s food is. Couple that with the fact that salaries come early in December, and with another fact that I can’t resist good food and you have a pimpled lady with a new courage.

I took this courage and put it into an old bowl, added a liberal amount of honey, a handful of salt and then spread the goo over my face. According to the internet, you’re supposed to wait 10 minutes before washing the it off so that it can sink into your pores and uproot dirt, pus and unnecessary oils.

I am happy to report that my skin is intact and that it feels both smooth and dry. If no nasty effects follow, this is a beauty regimen that will become a big part of my life along with this smug, naturalista feeling.

Be inspired by my courage and usher the new year in with a new, and if possible, scary experience.

I’m coming out

It’s been hard, making the decision to write this. I’ve had to battle laziness, a raging intercom, a full in tray and the hundreds of meetings that you learn to tolerate when you work in advertising. Everything needs a brainstorm.

I’ve been denying this from the beginning of (my) time, refusing to accept that I was born this way.

I even allowed some guy to steal my identity. Cowardly, I know.

But I’m taking it back! I’m standing up and declaring something that’s going to bring judgement and envy and health advice raining down on me. But enough is enough. Now is the time.

I am the cookie monster.

More passion

Me. Not this guy.

Less passion

I mean compare our passion for cookies. His is clearly lacking.

And I’m prettier than him. I just look better with a bunch of cookies in my hand.

Catcalls! Whistles!

I have real fingers so I can hold MORE cookies than he can.

Many

And I have eaten all those cookies. I am bloated. I am not going to be able to have lunch. Do you think that’s going to mess my jogging up?

Anyway, feel free to call me the sh-cookie monstie from now on.

Apenyo out.

P.s: I  was lying about being busy. I have way too much free time today. Advertising rocks and my company rocks hardest. Go and like Our page, yea? Tenchai.

I’ll toast to me.

I’m passionate, no, manic, about my birthday. With the way I carry on sometimes, you’d think that the month of August was chosen specially for me to be born in and everybody else in the history of ever had to be squeezed into the other months.

My celebrations usually begin on the 1st of August. I wear something bright and lovely, phone all the people that I can easily manipulate (because of how much they love me) and then go shopping or eating or dancing or all the above. This goes on until around the 15th of the month when a strange calm envelopes me, but only until the clock strikes midnight on the 19th – then I erupt in a series of whoops, giggles, large grins and dance routines.

By the morning of my birthday, I have ascended into a mental state that only allows my words to leave my mouth in short! Squeally! bursts! I walk almost everywhere on this day to avoid imploding and treat myself to the most expensive self-gift of the year. Whichever lucky (or unlucky) establishment I choose patronize has to bear my incessant chattering, bouncing, clapping and vicious bargaining because it is my birthday after all. They should be generous.

My 22 has been a year of writing, massive personal growth, love and baldness. I include baldness because it is not going to feature in my next year. My period of open mourning for my mother ends in September which means I can allow myself to grow, style and be vain about hair once again. I hadn’t planned to do this, had in fact decided to go bald for as long as it took me to stop feeling crippled by Ma’s death, but that is not going to happen. I may as well let my kaweke out of its box.

The opportunities I’ve been blessed with this year have been immense and I finally got to contribute to African Woman Magazine- something that had been on my to-do list from the time I first read it. My relationship with them didn’t end so well however as they went under, taking my stories and remuneration with them. I have long stopped fantasizing about throwing shit-bombs at the editor (and owner) but the sadness of achieving, then un-achieving my dream has stayed with me.

I have been disabused of my silly belief that I am a commitment phobe. This is as a direct result of my meeting somebody that I am compatible with, that I will spend at least 10 years trying to avenge on the event that he is murdered. I have often been described as difficult to love (remember kids, if it’s said often enough, it’s a compliment), and so finding eki laavu laavu was not one of my goals when I was crossing the age bridge last year.  It’s a very pleasant addition to my list of achievements. Life without love sucks.

I have read a lot about women and women issues and women’s writing and advice which has turned me into a feminist (of the sheepish variety). I’m not yet super confident about expressing my opinions because I’m afraid that I will believe something completely different the next minute. I also still suffer from ‘don’t-be-threatened-by-me syndrome’ which involves me downplaying my achievements and/ or being overly self-deprecating, but according to the internet and my older friends, that’s just one other thing to triumph over in your twenties.

Excitoss is kilinji me!

Happy Birthday, me.