Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Two is not too many: Look I can do two push-ups!

My daughter, Imani was this morning looking though my handbag and got out some baby wipes.

She says, " Mom, who are these for? You're not a baby?"

So I explained that it is better to have one big pack that lasts longer, as most wipes come in small packages. I touch dirty things all the time, and its important to keep my hands clean.

But if you think this blog is about wet tissues you're wrong.

Its about babies. Two babies, a boy and a girl that my daughter thinks we need to add to our family.

That of course was the discussion that followed the baby wipes- why can't we have babies then? So I told her she will have a baby sister or brother someday. She goes ahead to ask why can't we have both, so that she can have both; a brother, and a sister. I explain that 2 more babies may be too many, to which she quickly said; Mum, two is not too many, look I can do two push-ups, which she did immediately and said; See mom, finished!

I laughed...hope this brightens your day somewhat. Kids say the Darnest things.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Proverbs 31 woman is not an Employee :-)

Happy Monday!

Today's blog is inspired by a conversation I had with a close friend of mine of what we, as women ask God for when we're praying for a good man and an enjoyable life. Do we ask for too much from God? This was in regards to both material wealth and in our relationships? More jewellery ( Pearls & Gold) more shoes, a bigger and better wardrobe? And, in wanting these things, does it mean we are not content with what we have?

This, I think is fodder for deep discussions- we keep wanting more, yet, many times, we can live with what we have. As we chatted, I made reference to the Proverbial and seemingly impossibly impressive woman of Proverbs 31; I have come to know this woman through a book a friend bought me on my birthday in May this year.

So I'd like to share this extraordinary woman with you. I strive to be like her, many of us do, but every time I read this amazing book, I wonder if ever I will be like her in this corporate world.

Here's some excerpts from Proverbs 31:

She looks for wool and flax
And works with her hands in delight.
works joyfully

She is like merchant ships;
She brings her food from afar.
goes extra mile to get choicest goods

She rises also while it is still night
And gives food to her household
And portions to her maidens.

She considers a field and buys it;
From her earnings she plants a vineyard.
enterprising, prudent with money

She girds herself with strength
And makes her arms strong.

She senses that her gain is good;
Her lamp does not go out at night.
good steward

She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hands grasp the spindle.

So for the heck of it..let me know what you think. Is the proverbs 31 woman an employee? Can today's corporate woman be a Proverbs 31 woman?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Growing up...

I don't like growing up.

I doubt it’s the anxiety of the wrinkles that come with it, perhaps the responsibility or just the fact that my daughter thinks I'm not that young. She's 5. The math between 5 and 32 is huge for a girl that young. Yes, I'm making excuses too.

Last saturday we spent a full day together. As we drove around, she asked me why I sold our other car. She was hoping we could have two cars. But we don't need two cars, and we can't afford it anyway. I tried to explain.

She said, "when I grow up I will have 2 cars" I asked her why,

she said "Because when you're really old, you will need one, so one for me, and one for you."

That threw me off quite a bit. She's growing up, and I love her opinions and admire her thought process. She's a child, and she loves to grow up.

Over dinner, she and this young (odiero) boy, about 8 years old, began to smile and make faces at each other. I told her she could say hello. She said she was shy, but she had an idea.

" Mum you could go say hi to him first so I can hear his voice".

I laughed so hard…someday I must compile her words and give her when she turns 18.(note to self)

Well, I have been thinking lots about what has been my blog-name for a long time, and it just didn’t make any sense to me anymore.

So…I've grown up, and I hope this makes more sense to you too. If you’ve stayed with me here, or you drop by once in a while, you know that I’m passionate about business news reporting, about my high heeled shoes, my daughter and about Africa;

So come with me in my journey through Inflation, Stilettos, Pacifiers and An African dream.

Beyond Bottled Water

Last month I was invited by Multi-choice to attend the CNN awards in Johannesburg, something that got me quite excited. One because CNN was looking for a speaker on Social Media in East Africa, and gave me the chance to do it, Second because of the sessions we were to attend sounded exciting, with a great line up of African speakers such as Moeletsi Mbeki, (political analyst and economist) a brother to former South Africa president Thabo Mbeki; award winning Journalists and others who share my passion for Africa, Third, because its Johannesburg, a place that brings back good memories for me.

It was the sessions about Africa’s future that I enjoyed most. Most Significant for me was Mr. Mbeki’s presentation of what he aptly described as Africa’s Leadership (yes crossed through). Because in many ways; Africa is in dire need of good leadership.

Allow me to digress, I know that Africa is not a country, and I’m among the first to angrily jolt if someone asks “How is Africa”. But, for once, I let my preconceptions rest, and allow those that more experienced in Africa’s matters talk of what they see as the Africa of tomorrow. We have similar challenges, most countries in Sub Saharan Africa at least, and that allows for easy grouping, hence: “The problem with Africa.”

I am not answering any questions. I don’t know the answers. I am questioning the systems. What happens when good leaders are elected into Parliament? They Change. It’s a historical fact, driven by money, power and greed.

So let’s not argue about it.

At one of the sessions hosted by Coca-cola, a lady who worked as a policy advisor at the UN for 9 years asked, “ How is my grandmother deep in a Zimbabwean village able to buy herself a bottle of Coca-cola yet she cannot buy a mosquito net”. In Kenyan currency, that would be the price of 5 plastic 500 ml bottles. 250 shillings is round about the cost of a mosquito net. It’s slightly higher if it is medicated.

Her question raised even more questions in my mind. Is it a question of a lack of priorities? Would we rather die from malaria or has Coca-Cola’s marketing strategy created a need that has become bigger in our priorities than basic necessities in malaria prone Africa? Or have African governments failed in guiding our basic priorities?

A few days ago I had lunch with a friend. The still water bottle was a Keringet blue one, a clear upgrade from the regular clear plastic one. He asked me about our water drinking culture. He asked, “is it that Kenyans have become more aware of clean drinking water?” we discussed that for a while, and he raised an important point- we’d rather drink bottled water, have a dispenser in our houses and offices, because we lost faith in the City Council water we pay for, and we settle for a different option, but not necessarily a solution.

When our roads are bad, we buy 4 by 4 cars. When electricity supply is on and off, we buy generators. We’re so good at finding alternatives, and have given up on demanding for our rights. The upside though, is that opportunities arise where the government fails, though half the time, these opportunities are exhausted by those that have the money and power to avert the situations. Many times, these are the same politicians.

The leaders have failed us, but as the voting population, someday, we’re going to have to raise our voices beyond the bottled water, beyond Generators, beyond alternatives. We’ve got a constitution that places a lot of power in the people. Let us learn how to make Kenya work for us, not the other way round. The biggest problem may be the leadership, but we, ordinary Africans also have a role to play.