Sunday Reads

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Something done with the audacity of white privilege.

An act showing little compassion towards people of color.

 

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My tried and couldn’t finish book list

woman reading book leaning near wall

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You know those books that everyone raves about and then try as you might you just can’t get into them and then when you do it just feels like they will neither start nor end? Well, these are mine, now I just stop and move onto the next book

  1. My Brilliant Friend – Elena Ferrante
  2. How to Read the Air – Dinaw Mengistu
  3. All the Light we cannot see – Anthony Doerr
  4. Their Eyes were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston
  5. Rachel’s Blue – Zakes Mda (South Africa)

And then there is Open City by Teju Cole that I hated but had to finish so I could hate on it 🙂

The Kenyan Land Question

Spent the morning reading about how the Kenyatta family came to amass so much land in Kenya.  It’s not particularly long but I had a few other things to do which meant it took me longer than usual. Here are some interesting excerpts:

A CIA report prepared shortly after Kenyatta’s death said that while Jomo Kenyatta owned only about half a dozen properties covering roughly 4,000 hectares (mainly farms in Kiambu and the Rift Valley), his wife, First Lady Mama Ngina Kenyatta, owned at least 115,000 hectares of land and also had a big stake in ruby mining and in beach resorts around Mombasa.

However, a group led by … opposed the buying of land for resettlement; they argued that Africans could not buy back land that was originally theirs, a contention that did not go down well with Kenyatta because “there were no free things and that land was not free, but must be purchased”. Kenyatta’s position mirrored that of the outgoing British colonial administration … It is believed that one of the main reasons Kenyatta was selected to lead the country’s transition to independence was because he had made a secret pact with the British colonial government not to hurt British and white settler interests in the country.

The criminalisation of groups demanding land justice has created resentment among disenfranchised communities. This does not augur well for the stability of the country. As the TJRC concluded, there is a very close link between land injustices and ethnic violence in Kenya.

… the newly created National Land Commission that is mandated to look into these issues and to bring about some form of adjudication or restitution for the landless has not yet yielded significant results. On the contrary, the Commission has recently been embroiled in various corruption scandals related to land, which has further eroded Kenyans’ hopes of finally settling the land question.

Read the full article and feel something or at the minimum understand the complexity around the land question in Kenya.

Sunday Reads

Recipes

 

Friday Feels

Enjoy ….

Interviewing a 5 year old

tilt shift lens photography of woman wearing red sweater and white skirt while holding a boy wearing white and black crew neck shirt and blue denim short

Photo by Nicholas Githiri on Pexels.com

As I have done with my older nephew, (a, b, c) I recently had the opportunity to ask my 5-year old nephew a couple of questions. Please see his responses below.

What would you rather be, a kangaroo or horse?

Uhm, a cheetah. Then when firmly prodded, he opted to be a horse.

Would you rather have one huge eye or three small eyes?

3 tiny eyes

Would you rather have a pet dinosaur or a robot? 

A robot

What superpower would you love to have?

A time capsule that can activate (seems like a very specific answer, almost like he watched it somewhere) . When I said I want to know what people are thinking, he said, oh so you want to be God? Only God can do that 😦

If you could ask God a question, what would it be?

To give me the superpower I asked for.

What’s your favourite song?

Mary did you know?

What’s something you do not like about your little sister?

That she does not share.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

A plumber. So I can fix things.

What do grown ups do?

They take care of kids, wash them, feed them, play with them, bath with them …He then wistfully adds that he wishes he could be grown up so he could do his own thing.

From my previous experience with how my older nephews answers have developed over time, I am so excited to see how Neph II changes over time and then to do this with my niece as well.

 

 

 

 

Our Fighting Fair Tip

man sitting beside woman

Photo by Joshua McKnight on Pexels.com

Rule One

So when the Mr and I have a misunderstanding and it looks like it might hit the proverbial fan., the party that does not feel as strongly does not escalate it. How?

Recently, we were traveling, I had mapped out the route and knew what station we needed to get off at to board the connecting train when the Mr decides to change the route halfway. So we get off and the map shows we need to walk five streets to catch the train and I lost my gasket. I was so pissed off, 1) we were running late for a flight, 2) where were you when I was staying up the whole night to get the route? To give him credit though, he just kept on the task at hand and did not engage with my anger or my threats to get us a route ASAP.

This works for us and it is not prescriptive but it saves us from saying what we might later regret or descending into a shouting fit with each other.

Rule Two

If someone needs time to cool off, to think or process, we allow it and the other does not pressure them to discuss it at that time. However much time you need to, take it. Often we continue to engage on other matters as normal and either you don’t feel as strongly later or you have had the room to process why you felt so strongly or couldn’t engage.

Rule Three

I know they say not to do this, but it’s OK to sleep angry every so often. Sometimes it’s safer and better that way. Of course this can lead to silent treatment which is not great but eventually gets resolved.

Rule Four

No name-calling. EVER.

What rules do you and your significant live by when it comes to conflict resolution?

 

 

Work Advice I Live By

I just read this post and the comment and felt prompted  to respond with some of my own career advice.

woman in red dress using laptop on table

Photo by Ree on Pexels.com

  1. Think of your career as a jungle gym not a ladder and it’s OK to change your mind about your career path, your objective, it’s OK.
  2. Fake it till you make, most of us are.
  3. Find that thing that distinguishes you from everyone else on the team and perfect that.
  4. Show respect to everyone from the most junior to the most senior and do not compromise your personal beliefs for anyone.
  5. Demand respect from all the people you work with and it will follow.
  6. Identify the person at your level that the management loves and replicate what you can of this winning formula. Caution here though, you might not get the same feelings they do but it could help with your overall feedback and perception.
  7. Work is work, give it your best but don’t kill yourself for it. Unless you are self-employed, we are all replaceable.
  8. Listen to feedback and then decide what works best for you and work on improving that.
  9. Trust your instinct when it is time to move on.
  10. Go into each job with a specific goal or lesson that you would like to learn and then compare this with your specific career objectives or goals.
  11. Be the kind of senior that you wish you had at each stage of your career. Ths has meant extra work for me at times but is personally aligned to my core beliefs and so it’s also been a source of great joy.

Whatever you work at, work as unto the glory of God

What professional advice do you live by?

 

Sunday Reads

Recipes

Friday Feels

I recently discovered H.E.R. and love some of her songs.

 

 

Enjoy your weekend!

State of Kenya and Nigeria in Song

Thi is sadly Kenya …

 

… and then this is Nigeria

 

Update: This post on the Nigerian version.

Tuesday Tunes

Some mellow songs to soak in …

 

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27 (NIV)

Happy Fathers Day

Recipes

Pins I have loved this week

Last year I challenged myself to live minimally. There were 30 tasks and although I modified some of them to be more realistic for me, it wa...

We all need some help getting rid of clutter around the house and so I loved this list.

The Boroughs, A Creative Hub In Camperdown

I love this one – the blue couch and slowly I am being drawn to indoor (low-maintenance) plants

Daia Afia Jumpsuit

I LOVE THE JUMP SUIT AND YES i AM SHOUTING

Want to be Successful?

“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left,that you may be successful wherever you go.

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:7-9)

True success is found in meditating on the Word of God and in carefully obeying His precepts. I will be honest and say that this is not how I often think of success but my prayer is that for the days to come, this is how I would view it and by the grace of God attempt to live my life out like this.

Sunday Reads

Recipes

Famous Friends I want to make

viola-davis

I love Viola Davis’s dedication to her craft.

Image result for shonda rhimes

I enjoyed her book but this after her writing on Grey’s Anatomy, HTGAWM, Scandal … Yes!

Image result for pumla dineo gqola

My first encounter with her was the book Rape and it was jarring but I loved how she laid out her arguments and have loved her books after.

Image result for chimamanda ngozi adichie

We just need to meet Chimamanda, we just need to.

Image result for serena and venus  williams

The questions I have for the William sisters, individually and collectively.

I love her memoir, Always another country. Please read it?

So who is on your list of famous friends?

 

Breaking up with a friend

So I AM VERY loyal in a friendship but will once in a while call things to a head when  they are just not working between a friend and I. So this is how I go about that whole process.

  1. Take time and think through the entire life of the friendship, the good, the bad and the ugly. Grieve even if you need to.
  2. Be honest about the issues that did not make you happy and why you can’t be in the friendship anymore.
  3. Decide if you want to ghost the friend or if you want to speak to them about it. My key determinant is always: is there a chance that you might make up later or is this the end of the friendship?
  4. If I am going to say something, I always email the friend because it gives them room to process without the added pressure of having to think or say something in response.
  5. If, and as it often happens, they are part of a bigger friendship group then I force myself to be mature enough that not everyone will feel as I do and that their friendship with others need not end because of me. However, I make it clear that my stuff will not and should not be shared with the ex-pal.

Have you ever ended a friendship? How did you do it and did you and the pal make up?

Backburner Friendships

When something is put aside for more important things.

In my twenties and thirties I have learnt that for some of my friends I have made them priorities where I am a back burner friend. The one who gets cancelled on or is on the second group of wedding invites. Equally, I have some back burner friends too 😦

Books on Letters between Friends

Image resultImage result for dear ijeawele

About So Long a Letter

About Dear Ijeawele

In March and April I read these two letters between female friends. Both of them touch of womanhood and issues of feminism which although books are written almost four decades apart, are still so relevant and applicable to the plight of women. All in all, they are both great books so I will talk about the common themes that struck a note with me.

  1. Maintain your identity that is separate from your role as a mother, a wife, a sister-in-law. Maintain that single identity and I would even venture to say, keep pursuing those interests you have and love to do.
  2. Make your partner a full partner. From Dear Ijeawele, this is quite obvious and self-explanatory. From So Long …. it’s not quite obvious but I like Aissatou (the friend)’s response when her husband married a second wife, she held him immediately accountable and  left the marriage. Many called her names and wished something else of her but she held him accountable and did what she had to do.
  3. Both authors talk about centering marriage in the right place as a nice to have/do but not the penultimate accomplishment. Marriage is neither good nor bad, but how we aspire to it could be.
  4. Both writers caution each other against assigning certain roles to male or female children and the assumptions we make or impute. The future is not one where boys (girls) can do certain things that girls (boys) cannot. Also the language that we use when we explain the roles and responsibilities to kids also matters a lot.

The entire letter is an ode to female friendship which I totally loved and would therefore recommend both books. You can easily get through both in a single sitting or weekend.