WHY YOU DON’T FALL THROUGH THE FLOOR

I’m writing this against the backdrop of inglorious news that a building imploded in Nairobi on Monday night.

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Every so often a building fails in this country. By failure I mean a building collapses, or sinks into its foundation or develops deep cracks or its columns (pillars) buckle under ordinary conditions. Building failure is dismal. It can lead injury or even death.

I wrote an earlier blog to make the case that it (building failure) is a human making, ‘that nine of ten accidents are caused, not by more or less abstruse technical effects*’, but by human carelessness.

Now I notice that nontechnical people resent when stresses and strains or any other engineering parlance is mentioned. So this write-up is demystified so that we can all understand safety in so far as building structures are concerned. We all sleep, work, study in a building. Safety is then the business of, not just the bricklayer or the structural engineer or the local authorities but all of us.

What we engineering students study is how the different elements of a structure fail. In the laboratories we exert bricks, concrete blocks, metal bars and other construction materials and we can know what mode of failure they undergo and just how much weight they can support or how long they can resist fire. We do strength calculations. We look at design charts and follow building codes. Just in case you have seen engineers refer to a book with tables and equations, it may have been a building code. Building codes keep being revised.

Building design according to clause 2.1.1 of the building code BS 8110 is to meet “acceptable probability that the structures being designed will perform satisfactorily during their intended life.” Any contravention of this leads to failure.

Long time ago living spaces were build out of mere experience, intuition and trial and error. This usually resulted in buildings being massive and certainly very costly. Later out of the discoveries of science, we have thinner structures even the size of a pane of glass being as strong as a few clay bricks.
You have probably heard glass bridges being constructed in China.
For buildings today, the strength is not in how massive the building looks. It is in the building process.

Today unlike medieval times, design is a premeditated process. The engineers visit the site, test the soil and determine what kind of foundation will be suitable.  Strength calculations are done.  Necessary determinations of the cement, metal bars and where they are going to placed or bent are made. Plans are drawn, blueprints are produced and verified by the local authorities.

The blueprints should be followed to detail during construction.  Follow with exactness the given cement mixing ratios. Do not compromise on the thickness or type or the number or the spacing of the steel bars.  Don’t be tempted to buy substandard materials for less. Do not allow the pillars to misaligned one to another even by a millimeter.

So when you are seated in a building and it does not collapse know that a meticulous process was followed. The choice, the placement and the amount of the building materials was not ambiguous. Everything was out of deliberation. A structural engineer and an architect might have argued over the size or the shape of the columns.

*Words credited to Prof E. J Gordon

Boniface Sagini

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Thrills and Chills: Trudging Through Life.

Thrills and chills is not your ordinary, everyday motivational book. It touches on the negativities of life in such a positive approach, making adversities of life seem normal, ordinary almost welcome.

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ABOUT

‘Thrills And Chills: Trudging Through Life’ is a realist ( meaning consisting in practical facts not visionary, all feel-good , unrealistic vibe) motivational book that talks about life and just how its woes can be trumped. It is a gentle reminder of how amazing life is. In it I discuss pain, positivity, speaking out, masculine stoicism and suicide, social comparison, gratitude, impermanence, grit and success. I intimate that life is not so bad after all and I nudge people towards accepting life the way it is with its ills and all.

 

Thrills and Chills  got published in December last year by Mystery Publishers and was launched on 13th of January 2017 courtesy of Writers Guild KE.

You can find the preface here.

The book is available on Amazon and Mystery Publishers Bookstore.

You can also find the book on Goodreads.

Visit and like Thrills and Chills Facebook page.

AS SEEN ON

DAILY NATION

MAGAZINE REEL

AUTHOR

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My name is Boniface Sagini. I’m 21. I’m the proud author of the fairly touted book, Thrills and Chills.

I wrote it to say an inspiring word, to cheer up one weary soul.

I’m so passionate about Thrills and Chills for the reason that lots of things were happening in my life when I was writing this book. Though this book is not about my life, it is in many ways spurred by it.

Thrills and Chills is personal to me.

But I have other labels. I’m a passionate civil engineering student, I’m a blogger and change-maker of my own right . I’m a fledgling young man with certain moral and intellectual standards. I love reading and writing.

I blog at bonifacesagini.com to broach subjects that matter. I talk about building failure, morality and life.

I was born in Kisumu and I have grown up on the fringes of Kisii county. I went to Lenana School and I’m currently studying at the Technical University of Kenya.

I’m writing my second book that will wax on the issues impinging on the youth and also say that we young people are not just big , lewd, wicked children.

I work hard to make my mum proud.

You contact me via saginiobuba@gmail.com or call me on +254714313962

QUOTES FROM THRILLS AND CHILLS

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Also visit Goodreads.

But is life for you so bad, really?

So the rationale of having written this book is to ‘say an inspiring word’ to a lot of people who are hurting, crying and sounding defeatist, an inspiring word to millions of people who are living in pain and indigence. I wrote it for a young chap who hopes there is no life after death so that he can finally rest, for a dejected ailing woman who thinks God enjoys torturing her and for some hopeless folk who threatens his friends he’d shoot himself. I wrote it for them and for myself.

I know the pain. I know the struggle. I know the life because I live it too.

Life is like a rugby ball. You never know where it bounces next.

Going through life is trudging through the possibilities of pain and bliss, hurt and mirth, thrills and chills.

From the experience of history, misfortunes and the heartaches of this life can bring the best in people, and conversely the worst. Pain changes people for better or for worse. It can change a fledgling, naive person to a strong, courageous person or on the other end of the spectrum, sadly however, a devout and pious Christian to a smoking meathead. Such is the power and potentiality of meeting challenges. It can make or break, build or destroy.

Sometimes, words of comfort from people -from friends or relatives -don’t achieve much meaning. They don’t cheer us up. They don’t quite lift us up when we are down. We hear them say to us ‘It will be fine’ or ‘stay strong.’ But frankly, at certain times these words don’t do much to raise our low spirits. They sound hollow and routinely familiar.

Now, I don‘t suppose that all great achievers-writers, painters, composers and whatnot, have had to go through terrible odds to be where they are but we can see it is these atrocious moments that become the defining opportunities for most of them, if not almost all of them.

One of these days you feel your life is miserable, know somebody somewhere is having it worse. And you are not alone. There are a lot of people hurting like you.

Life is not so bad after all when you can breathe.

Men aren’t willing to speak, because to them it’s a sign of weakness. They clamp down on frustration, on disappointment, on anger because that’s what it means to be ‘manly’. And unlike their female counterparts, they opt to ‘shut it within’ until they somaticize and a physical symptom appears.

Now, wishing things were better doesn’t make anything better. Situations are not changed by wishes. They are changed by a shift of the mind set and persistence in endeavor that knows no barrier.

Everything that has a beginning has an ending. First life…you get birthed and then you die. The sun rises and then it sets. There’s day. There’s night. Even if the night is thick and dark, it doesn’t last forever. It’s followed by a bright morning with invigorating sun rays that dispel the darkness. As with every human experience, success is temporal. Failure is temporal. Winter is temporal. Summer is temporal. Pain is temporal or actually accurately ephemeral. These things are only short lived.

 

BOOK REVIEWS

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“It is often said that journalism is the first draft of history. In ‘Thrills and Chills’, we have a chance to consider the first draft of a young life. Boniface Sagini has taken a brave decision to lay his young life open for our consideration. The lessons he has distilled are useful ones, if reflective of a young man who’s been in this world for all of two decades. He will write again, hopefully at the tail end of a long, eventful life. In that volume, we hope that Sagini will have had a thrilling, and much less chilling life.”

Wallace Kantai
NTV Business Editor

“In this book, Boniface picks you up, and carries you, as on a pedestal, through the pains and joys of life. His words; a beautifully spun tapestry, a balm to the weary soul and a sting to the joyful soul.
I recommend this book to anyone serious about living, not merely existing, experiencing life’s warm embrace, not merely passing by it.”

Dr Paul Bundi Karau, author of ‘Journey to Academic Success and Beyond’

“A book worth your time. It will add some spice of cheer to the path you trudge along.
It restores in you hope again, instilling resilience in adversity through relatable moving experiences of diverse people. The diction and approach is superb.”

Gideon Mutai, author of The Optimist’s Creed.

 

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“In all honesty bro Boniface Sagini your book is a Masterpiece, if the option existed, I wouldn’t mind paying for it even before its launch. I pray that we launch it soon because it’s just a matter of time before it becomes a bestseller.”

Gabriel Dinda , CEO Writer’s Guild.

” It is one of the great books that have always added something to my IQ. Just one sentence into the book and you all in.”-

Erastus Aunga

“The book is so inspiring, I can’t wait to read it again and again,. Thanks for the talent bro.”

Fred Ayugi.

“Hello Mr. Sagini.

Just today at around 1600 hrs I finished reading your rivetting piece( Thrills and Chills).

I must comment on the boldness to touch on life negativities.

I am charmed to have made an encounter with your book at an early point of the year.

Thrills and chills is not your ordinary, everyday motivational book. It touches on the negativities of life in such a positive approach, making adversities of life seem normal, ordinary almost welcome.”

Winston

“Attended the launch of “Thrills and Chills” by author Boniface Sagini and thought I’d just go and dump it with my ever growing book collection for later reading. Then I started reading and wow! Talented young man. Great read all the way.”

Abur Felix, professional copywriter, writerfelix.com

Very beautifully written. Am enjoying reading my hard copy.

Esther Wairumbi

Hi Sagini,

First, congratulations for writing such a masterpiece, at your age. It is the first book i have completed reading since the year began.

The ideas, themes;  addressed in THRILLS AND CHILLS  are of great admiration…However, well-researched information as well.

Your book can truly inspire someone, just like that.

Kind regards,

Faith

Hi Boniface, a loyal reader of your ‘Thrills and Chills’ book here. To be honest this is the best book have ever read in my life. You’ve covered all aspects in life. The content in the book is so relevant and practical to my life. Thank you very much. I feel enlightened, encouraged and motivated. I’m so glad i read thrills and chills, I’m sure my life will not be the same. For sure this is work well done. Keep the fire burning.

Thanks again.

Regards,
Loyal reader

Thrills and chills is a perfect example of a page turner. Its not just a pot boiler. It is a compelling read with so much inspiration. So much hope for a brighter day for all the dying hearts. The book gives you a perfect view of how life truly is in its realist form, with it’s merits and demerits, its up’s and down’s and its fair and unfair endings.
A simple read that teaches you on how to be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire. Thrills and chills teaches you to be grateful for all the obstacles in your life because growth is not only painful but constant.
Its a book you keep rereading every time.
Hanii Mkalonga
My first time I had to steal it from a friend for a few days…the second time I sent someone for a copy… Thanks for the good piece of inspiration.
Clinton
Thoroughly enjoying reading.
Dr. Vincent Ogutu
 
 HOW TO GET THE BOOK
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Boniface Sagini

Building failure is a squalid human sin

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A building with only but a few stories imploded- in conditions of ordinary weather- in Huruma, Nairobi and it made for an embarrassing story and put building contractors, structural engineers, NCA on a bad rap.

But take a look. This is fairly well arranged rubble: just a stack of very likely outsized slabs, mostly intact, lying on each other.

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The manner in which the building failed is suggestive of why it actually failed. Well there could be a host of reasons but methinks, most of all, the building failed for a far too fundamental reason: weak columns.

Someone overdid the beams and paid less heed to the vertical structural members.

Now, there has been an inglorious scourge of buildings and even perimeter walls collapsing in this country and most other developing countries for far too long. And it is prosaic that the consequences are dismal: building contractors suffer ill repute, people whether they are occupants, construction workers or innocent children playing are injured, and there are scores who lose their lives in just about every structural accident that happens. In 2013 alone, news reports of collapsing buildings claimed lives of more than 60 people in Africa.

Therefore, structural integrity is far serious a thing to not talk about.

An engineering structure whether is a car or a boat or a building is only effective if it can meet it’s design function and safely so.
Take a good example of the human body which is a living structure. It is designed to resist the ordinary forces it will encounter during it’s life structurally speaking or otherwise. Just like any structure the human body is meant to last only so long but it never tumbles on its own weight like some buildings.

In the earlier centuries before there were any elaborate strength calculations, engineering structures a few metres high would stand safe and engineers like Thomas Telford would design and successfully build suspension bridges using what I would call ‘practical methods’.
But several decades later, here we are with advanced and pretty demystified construction procedures, a variety of machinery, artificial working models, application softwares to aid in design and yet we have simple buildings with only but a few stories crumbling in fairly ordinary weather. It beats logic.

So then in the modern construction world, as long as buildings are concerned, technology is not culpable for structural failure nor are strength calculations, nor is it legislation for we are wonks with very smart policies.
Structural soundness or lack thereof is pegged on human agencies, what Prof E.J Gordon calls applied theology in structures. It is indeed human influence that constitutes in this menace for the most part:

Nine out of ten accidents are caused, not by more or less abstruse technical effects, but by old fashioned human sin often verging on plain wickedness. It is squalid sins like carelessness, idleness, won’t-learn-and-don’t-need-to-ask, you-can’t-tell-me-anything-about-my-job, pride, jealousy and greed that kill people (on the construction site).”
Prof E. J Gordon

It may be a bricklayer who has no qualms about calling himself an engineer, a construction worker who loots construction materials, a contractor who hires incompetent workers to the site, a supervisor who is indolent or an NCA official  who accepts a bribe.

But making the case that building failure is a human making does not quite help solve the problem. It only underscores it. Everyone in the building team must do their work with integrity. Buildings are human spaces and human life must not be at stake.

Boniface Sagini

My Book Launch Speech

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“Happy new year 2017.
I know that some of you may have come from far and I know you have braved the sun. It has been a hot afternoon. Know that I appreciate your coming here.

Welcome to THRILLS AND CHILLS book launch.
Speaking of book launch. I could not attend the book launch of The journey of hope which is an anthology of poems , organized by writers guild-KE   last year. I had woken up all excited. But when I was getting into the bathroom an insect stung me in the eye.
Gabriel (where is he?) that’s why I didn’t attend. And I lost the opportunity to meet Tony Mochama and Prof Egara Kabaji.
Sometimes you have plans to attend a book launch but you get stung in the eye BUT SUCH IS LIFE.
But many thanks for coming. I wish you knew just how much it means to me.
Thank you Writers guild KE for mentoring, inspiring and supporting me in this journey
To Gabriel Dinda, to Mary Adhiambo, to Kevin, to Rumona, to Logedi, to Gift, to Abuta Ogeto, to to Peggy, to Griffins you have all been magnificient.
To Mr Erastus Moturi thank you for accepting to be the chief guest on such a short notice.
To Dr Job Mogire thank you for telling your story.
To Mr Kiprono for addressing such a timely topic.
To friends, thank you for the sacrifices you have made for me.
To all of you thank you for showing up.
Most of all I thank the Almighty.
It is great seeing old friends and classmates.
And I think it is great to see some of my Facebook friends in real time. You are virtual no more. You are real friends.
But it’s my hope you had A GREAT TIME during the HOLIDAYS. I know some of us have been grieving this festive season…my condolences to you all.
We should be thankful to be here today because, you know, it takes God to see a new year.
In memoriam:
A few weeks ago a vehicle carrying incendiary material exploded into flames along Nairobi-Naivasha highway killing more than 30 people.
And also the dreary story of a road crash along Kisii-Kilgoris road in which a couple of University students lost their lives.
Now, I think I should tell MY STORY at this point. I turned 21 in October.  I am a writer and an engineering student (it is important to say that too)
Two memories I have from my infantile years: Myself sitting on my father’s coffin and my mum crying. Its hard to say but she was being oppressed by my paternal family and at some point we were chased from our father’s land while his grave was still fresh. The construction project my mum had started with the money from the funeral fund drive was stalled. And at that time my sister was very sick.
Of course, I didn’t know what was happening then but in hindsight, it is a lot of trauma my mum was going through.
We moved to a rented house. But few years later she was laid off from her job and paying the rent was difficult and she went into peasant farming. She used my help during holidays.
Later when a letter came calling me to Lenana School. I asked her whether I’d really go to Lenana School. It is because it was in doubt. I had gotten used to my mum not affording things.
When I got to highschool I was intimidated by the sheer size of the place but then I became used to it. And for the most part, I worked hard. My performance rose exponentially in form two. I was leading in Physics and Power Mechanics in our class. It gave me a sense of pride.
Sadly in the third term I started being sick and it became a major issue for the rest of my high school life and even after. It started with migraines, then photophobia and chronic eye pain..and later hair loss. This was further compounded with the fact that I went to hospitals, spent thousands of money but didn’t quite establish what my problem was nor did I recuperate.
It almost crippled me. OK well, at least academically. With the egregious eye pain ,It just became almost impossible to read or do assignments.
I just came up school, to class, to my desk to sleep or vent by making noise during morning and evening preps. Worse I was the class prefect.
Our school had a policy of finishing the syllabus early in the year, but here I was 44 days to KCSE, thoroughly unprepared, and not having completed the syllabus and ever in physical pain.
Sometimes I could cry.

But regardless of that. I’m one kid who’s always been pampered. God has never quit on me. My life has been a sequence of miracles, even this book launch is miracle. And I’m blessed in infinitely many ways. But sometimes I don’t see it.

Now we all go through things.
May be you are sick most of time.
Or you are addicted to something.
Or friends mock the home where you from.
Or a girl said you are broke and stingy.
Or you are worried whether your project will pan out.
Or the lecturer decided to just fail you.
We all know where we ache and it is merely normal. And we know life is a vicious cycle.. You get happy then sad, sad then happy.

But let’s remember we have great moments too. And we need to be thankful for the people and opportunities we have.  We just take them too ordinary.
If you are alive and listening to this. I just hope you know how good you have it… even if you think you are the one person life doesn’t spare.

ON THRILLS AND CHILLS
Friends have been joking saying I’m like an expectant mother going to give birth. That made it sound like I was in labour pains. But that’s not quite the feeling.
But I’m happy today I’m launching my book. When I first thought of writing this book, it was only something dreamy. But now I have a couple of people who have already read the book and they have good things to say about it. It is gratifying.
I started actively writing this book when I was in first year at Egerton University but the inception of the book itself goes way back to when I was in high school in form 3. I started blogging just after KCSE.  Most of that was just to help me learn how to write. I  then started doing the book, slowly but surely but now here it is.
The book got published in December last year and the printed copies were out just before Christmas.

Days ago a friend of a friend was looking at the cover of my book.  When she enquired the genre and I said it is a motivational book she suddenly  stopped and returned the book to me very quickly dismissing it. She said she didn’t need any motivation. And she is a microcosm of a few people I will meet who will not be receptive of my muse (even for reasons outside what the book is).
May be saying your book is a motivational book is a spoiler.
When people hear ‘motivational book’ they think of visionary, all feel-good, unrealistic tips or just someone telling them how they should be living their life and, sure, they are not willing to budge.

But my book is not cheap chatter. In Thrills and Chills I discuss life and the hard facts but with a meaningful ,bouying twist.
I talk about pain, positivity, speaking out, masculine stoicism and suicide, upward social comparison, gratitude,  impermanence, grit and success.
On pain
Is pain a punishment or a necessary impetus?
On gratitude
Just how bad is your life. May be it’s not even bad at all.
On suicide
The suicide rate for men is three to four times higher than for women. Why is that?
On grit
Life,  however  we  may  view  it,  is  no  simple parlour  game.  But  its  prizes  call  for  fighting,  for endurance  and  for  grit,  for  a  rugged  disposition that will  not quit.
Kofi  Sekyere  Stephen
On success
An obscure background does not put you on a loosing streak.

Thank you. Read Thrills and Chills and be inspired.”

Boniface Sagini

The Art of Speaking Terribly

The bad manners of blurting, bad mouthing, motor mouthing…

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I have been hurt umpteenth times by people who have had to speak terribly. And it is nearly impossible to forget. You remember with terrible exactness: the scene, the time, the wording and the blithering idiots.

Once I was home. We had just closed school for holiday. I had this form to raise funds for a fund drive for a school church project. I went round lobbying for money from friends and neighbors. I was advancing a good course, at least that’s what I was intent until I got to my former primary school teacher. He read the form gave his contribution and I was grateful. But then he demeaningly tipped it with a gross plea to a group of teachers who perched on a concrete circular bench, “changia huyu transport” So was I desperately accruing money from people for fare, really? I was not soothed I tell you.

I wrote in an earlier post, an incident where some neighbor talked me down when I was disposing of avocado peelings and remains of ugali. She broke out into a laugh and blurted: ‘ona vitu wanakula’.  It was condescending.

I have sized up art of terrible speaking into the following:

Motor mouthing

I recently watched baby daddy, a comedy series where one of the characters motor mouths. She is loud and unpleasant. It forces the other characters to use ear plugs. Her speaking is exaggerated to produce comic effects of course. But in real time there are people who speak nearly that sort of way. They speak too many things, too loudly, too fast. You won’t really get what they are saying. It defeats the reason why people speak: to communicate.

Trash talking

Trash talking is, well, talking trash.
The late pugilist and humanitarian, Muhammad Ali, the Greatest, had a knack of trashing his opponents all the while self-aggrandizing. He was so good at this flagrant art. He waged an emotional war before he fought you physically in the ring. Among the most memorable trash talks is: “Joe Frazier is so ugly that he should donate his face to the US Bureau of Wild Life.”

There are folks who savor belittling other people. They are not good conversationalists. They say shady little things that hurt someone in order to please someone else.

Gloating

I had a dorm mate in high school who used to strategically leave the one examination paper he scored highly on his occasionally neatly spread bed. What a blatant exhibition! The reason for that was prosaic: he showed off to us that he had done well.
Now gloating is not just in visually showing. There is a class of people who speak with the intent to brag. They strike up conversations to directly or obliquely talk about themselves, how great they are, how they are minting money, how they are topping in class and all.
Gloating also comes in the form of delighting in the setbacks of other people and mocking them for those setbacks and making sure everyone gets wind of them.

Rudeness

Chivalry is so rare.
Friends are rude. Waiters are rude. Matatu  touts are rude. Watchmen are rude. Students are rude. Lecturers are rude. Editors are rude. Even beggars are rude.

Vernacular

Please make no mistake. I’m not against people talking in vernacular. We belong to tribes. They are our identities. But I’m not taken with the bad manners of talking in Kisii or Kalenjin or Meru in the listening of a diverse group of people who belong to other tribes or even nationalities. Or even worse, talking to random people in town in your local dialect into boarding a bus or buying a commodity or helping you.

Naughty words

Naughty words like ‘f***’ you’ or ‘put your s*** together’ are being used almost unobjectionably in mundane conversations. But these words are offensive. They have sexual and lavatorial meanings. So when you are telling people to put their sh** together they struggle in their minds to shun the actual meaning of these words -and sometimes the consequent visual images- to try and understand that you are meaning something else.

Boniface Sagini

What it was like to be edited for the first time

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It is known in certain circles that I have been writing a book. Some people have even enquired how they can get the book. But it’s not a book yet. It is only a manuscript. It is dubbed: Thrills And Chills: Trudging Through Life. And it’s my first. While I have resented taking too long to have the manuscript done, it is only during editing that it crept on me my hurried frenzy around wanting it published in no time was not serving me so well.

Editing made me ‘stumble on’ a myriad of mistakes my manuscript harbored and some of which were prosaic and I was just too slack to notice and correct. I’m indelibly grateful to my editor for picking the holes in my book and helping me patch them. It will make a great book. I’m positive.

But it did not come across that way just right into the first chapter. Firstly, I scarcely knew how editing worked: just how to track changes and read the comments using word processor and doing the modifications and sending the document back. But she helped and we progressed. Ok well we hardly progressed. We engaged in spats. She critiqued my book in a way that made me incensed. I wanted the whole process to be fast and she apparently didn’t. I wrote to a friend about it: ‘You just don’t know sticky and slow and annoying she has become. She has only done one chapter in a couple of weeks. And she wants things done her way. Sometimes we argue over a word instead of moving on.’

I just couldn’t stand her and neither could she. She wrote telling me that she wanted to help but I was difficult. Now in retrospect I was. I didn’t want to take any criticism, which was fundamentally her work. I was a smart aleck and for barely good reasons, a petulant child.
I whined to the publisher. Rather than look for another editor, he insisted I should be objective. I don’t know what he said to her. But whatever that was, he helped us get along. We did not argue anymore. We stuck to the crux of the editing work. But regardless of that I had trouble again, not with the editor but with the editing. It was thorough, taxing and to a little extent unbearable. She would delete words, sentences and entire paragraphs and it grossed me out. I agreed to some of these changes or just didn’t.

Boniface Sagini

Just so you know it’s my birthday

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Now today is my birthday. It will be nothing short of an ordinary Tuesday with grueling classes from 7am to 5pm non-stop , officially the worst day of my routine week. Well,  unless somebody’s got a surprise for me,  which I scarcely expect.

I’m ambivalent about turning 21. I’m both ecstatic and excited. I’m largely hopeful but its hope flecked with some anxiety. It’s not an all good-feel for me.

But please make no mistake..God has given me one more year and I’m super grateful. I advanced to another class this semester,  which is a great thing and I  can rattle off a few wins from my previous year but there is a slightly overarching feeling of nonattainment and certain disappointment. Some expectations not met,  some loss. But such is life.

Sometimes my sight can get blinkered so I see only the murkiness but it will be great import to say that life has notwithstanding, been blissful and God has been faithful.

Testimony

Now it had always been known in some circles that I had been experiencing egregious eye pain.
That came to change. The pain is now occasional and a great deal less. Click here to read that particular story in detail.

To Friends

On my 21st birthday I would want you to know  that I never tell you much enough that you can never spoil me with gifts.  🎁 Haha!

But anyway you matter to me and I hope I matter to you too.

Happy Birthday To Me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Boniface Sagini

Men have issues but they are put in the back burner.

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Last week I watched Victoria’s Lounge on NTV. The panelists in the show were discussing the subject: Boy child crisis. And am delighted that we are broaching the discourse of masculinity crisis, the stifling, the neglect of the boy child.

Our society is increasingly imperceptibly becoming gynocentric so much so that when you say you want to talk about men you are regarded as anti-woman. But gender equality is not about one sex.

Gynocentrism: Dominated by or emphasizing feminism interests or a feminist point of view [Merriam Webster].

One renowned feminist, Christina Hoff Sommers started a YouTube series called the Factual Feminist to speak the truth about feminism. She says, “Women’s groups tend to exaggerate women’s vulnerability and ignore the problems faced by men.”

Now, feminists have been successful in rooting the course for the girl child but something else they have effectively done is  stifling the boy child and alineating the men. Two examples of well-meaning feminist quotes that put the girl on the pedestal while concurrently putting the boy on the back burner are:
One girl is worth more use than 20 boys”- J.M Barrie. (I once asked a couple of girls whether they agree with this quote and they all did).
‘You educate a man;You educate a man. You educate a woman; You educate a generation.’
Now that is an affront to what equality means.

Whilst it’s important to concede that there is a great deal more to do for the woman and the girl child, it is timely imperative to appreciate that we are experiencing a masculinity crisis and it comes -in my understanding- in at least three ways:

1. A lot of things have changed but not the warped social definition of what being a man is and it has come to hurt us.
The inveterate image of a man as dominant, entitled and stoic is a hitch in his psyche. Times have changed but we are still grappling with it.
One girl friend of mine commented on a post I wrote saying men are scared of successful women.  And it’s that. The fact of the matter is, most Kenyan men have grown up being told by older men that they can’t allow women defeat them. There is almost nothing more mortifying for a traditional man than being beaten-literally or otherwise by a woman.
We can’t coast on superiority to be men anymore.

2. There are scathing statistics suggesting that “Boys are more likely to be expelled or kicked out of school, to binge drink, be prescribed drugs, engage in violent crime and to take their own lives.”
Now,  I have written a book. My second chapter ‘Speak Out’ is dedicated mostly to dudes. But why is that? Men are a poor match at managing stress. Rather than talk they seethe in silence, binge drink and break stuff. They stink at looking for help. And they are four times more likely to commit suicide than women.

3. Men also face sexism.
Violence( war and massacre) mainly targets men and it started long time ago. Pharaoh, an ancient king of Egypt, ordered the killing of all Israelite baby boys that were born at time when the Israelite population had become a threat to his regime. All female newborns were to be preserved alive.
Even at our age and time, it still does happen. Warfare singles out men.
It is now obvious that in our country domestic violence involving wives battering husbands is common place especially in Nyeri. But there is worse kind of domestic violence that men usually experience. It is emotional violence. It is understated but it’s dangerous. It tears men down.

Boniface Sagini

She Laughed Down At Me.

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Let me talk about girls. They are finer. They are smarter. They have ten times better sense of touch and they just never forget. But it’s not that.
I’m talking about stuff that’s a little uncomfortable and that I prognosticate a lot of them won’t like very much.

Story 1

Now a few weeks  ago I dispensed of avocado peelings and remains of Ugali that my friend and I had taken for supper into a dustbin. My female neighbours then laughed and blatantly blurted, ‘ona vitu wanakula’. It startled me. It had never occurred to me that someone could actually laugh down at me for eating real, cheap, healthy food-which I have a penchant for. It certainly wasn’t amusing.
So then I started keeping tabs on their dustbin and rightly so. Occasionally I could make out box wrappings of pizza,  whisky bottles,  juice bottles…And you can really deduce what their menu looks like. It’s then I got to understand the backdrop of the  indiscreet, distasteful burst.

Story 2

It was an evening when my friend told me what I would imagine to her was a liprolling story.  She had gone to a shopping center just out of campus. Then there was this strange guy -at least to her-who had withdrawn just 150 bob from Mpesa and she made a fuse outta it: In her own phrasing, ‘wanaume wengine ni stingy sana. ‘
She has never dated him. She didn’t know him but she just branded this guy stingy. Not stingy like a bee. Stingy like mean. Mkono gum.
Some guys that’s what they actually get from home.
I was irked. I still am.

Story 3

Another girl told me she won’t shake hands  with some chap because you know he is lowly,  he doesn’t know how to dress (that’s not the point though. He just doesn’t have the money to clad or to be exact his parents are poor). He is far below her class.

Story 4

An alumnus of some local university related an account of a girl who came to ask for forgiveness from him after he graduated with  first class honors. I don’t remember the nuances of this tale but the girl had relegated and despised him.
This alumnus came from a destitute background. He said he could not afford even a lace of a shoe.

These stories and the girl characters in them are a microcosm of the wider society,  of what’s really going on and people won’t talk about it.
A lot of disparaging things are done and said to and about men (sadly including street children) by some young women of about my age. Some of them treat men like scum whether they are hitting on them or not. .
What’s important though about these stories is that they are reflective of a skunked girl society of misplaced class  and expensive taste what with the fantasised obsession with pizza inn,  chicken inn,  Villa Rosa Kempinski… The good life of course.
If a girl comes from a well heeled family and can afford that I don’t take issue with that. But if she hails from a struggling family, like a lot of them are, and she wants posh stuff way above what her parents can really afford,  and she insists on calling her broke boyfriend stingy, and she lets an older monieyed men bang her ,and she laughs down at me for eating sukuma wiki,  then that’s an identity crisis.
It just doesn’t make for perfect sense why women our age will want to size us up,  just why they want the expensive things we can’t afford after all we are only students, just why they will sneer at us, just why they would only hug me when I’m in a suit or something, just why they would call back to engage in a diatribe and insult the man on the other side of the line on loudspeaker for hitting on them.
To wrap it off.
Now don’t think I don’t like women. Please believe me I really  do. And I know there is a bunch of respectful, ambitious, chivalrous women out there who treat everyone  with dignity. Hail to them.
But rudeness,  immoderate expensive taste,  man-trashing is increasingly becoming a trend among young women. I hope we can begin the discussion of how that can get to end.

Imma get married to a banker.. But not this one!!

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By Beatrice Byegon

I have always known bankers to be very particular, very choosy, close perfect or perhaps know what they really want which is mostly true. Literature has it that they are just on point, that I’m left wondering why the and not just any other, we’ll, of course they dominate with afew others here and there. It could be because they do a lot of weighing and balancing sigh! Or because it’s demanded of them that they just have to be accurate with what they do,that their work is too sensitive, Not to forget the need to show their prowess.. How long a list.. I’ll leave it at that.
I couldn’t be too wrong but I’ll be open to your opinions, perhaps you mm Ightf get me to understand this banker mystery..
Another quote goes “bankers are mostly like everyone else except, Mind you except They are richer a puzzle I have sought an answer therein. Why richer? Let’s all figure it out.
As we keep looking for an answer, bear in mind ‘the only other reason a banker would only be as rich until drunkenness, womanising and hurt pride meets their way.
Well, this is mostly true and wouldn’t outrule my statement owe to this one guy that even if  he asked me for a hand I most definately wouldn’t hesitate to say no, well at least in a politely. I write this article still pissed at the fact that I’d put up with the date that long.Commend me, I tried but not again.
He goes by the name Amos and Oh I forgot the other name, may not be of  importance anyway.
To make mention. Bankers are extremely busy men, unless his was a special case, So on this lazy Sunday afternoon, in a totally new Town I am set for a date with a banker had I known it was a ‘banker’ maybe a precious afternoon would have served a better purpose , or better yet change my perception about them. It’s high time I did, My dream still lives on. Marry one or vice versa. Too bad it’s all gone , I could never take back time. So out I go, jeans, tee shirt and a sassy warm coat and braced the cold April /may weather,and break the norms of staying indoors, go ahead and meet somebody, so here she goes .
Sisters always stick up their noses in our endeavours but we are forced to understand they’re upto much good than be mean. Her words clearly warned, ‘
‘ when you meeting somebody you slightly /barely know, do so in an open and comfortable place’ it’s said everywhere but some of us need it stuck up in our heads.
And heey she’s not crazy and I’d be quick to heed, am a soon to be preacher to the same. Aha, that’s intelligent of ‘so I go ahead to meet up at a reknown restaurant, boring day but I may try. There he goes, seated, and perhaps very composed_banker in the making_
oh please!!
Already having a cold non-alcoholic drink, That was good enough to me – oh how I hate alcoholism, taste or even the smell of it.
After abit of introduction by sight of the stranger well, I eventually would need to get down to the nitty-grittys about this man.. Trying so hard to be lady, my within struggling so hard to get cosy but no, you could never be as comfortable with a stranger.
‘I am Beatrice’ He a Wycliffe, how weird, never though I’d ever lunch with a man by such a difficult name, I just did besides it just a name, but there was that one bit that was amiss, he looked way older than a datable age according to me or perhaps his insinuation.
My mind had to get back around, free from that many a thought

“What you going to have”,
-how kind-, my brain raced up a bit to find options.
Eventually settles, “Chicken sounds just fine with abit of pilau turns out a viable option anywhere anytime and a vegable of choice” Our conversation developed slowly by slowly so I get to learn he’s in his mid thirties, alleging he’s unmarried, well ofcourse those are the initial
And most crucial questions to ask if at all the date is progressive unless of course it’s an official date, it would make a big difference.
John Harris in his book points out that if a man has to approach a woman, he has a plan clearly outlined in his brain, whether a prospective wife, a fling kind of thing, for whatever reason, they always have it hands on. And from what I could tell, this one had his clearly put, he saw a viable prey, to_promise_to flush with goodies,use and then dump and I’ll tell you why in a while.. these things really happen every single day, and it’s upto her woman to choose her fate orderly and informed. I am grateful I have outgrown naivety of course and gullibility to a certain point but it once in a while arises that for fear of’
I must say it wasn’t, hadn’t been easy to sift everything and keep the conversation going, I had to be quick, set aside the daggers from the aces or baits. All because sometimes words work together to insinuate different things at the same time. This is not an investigative murder case or what have you but I needed the intelligence to make an informed decision.
‘You must be a student? ‘
Cursing under my breath for why he’d presume I could be a student.
Could it be because there are alot of campus girls around, or is it because of my tiny stature, he only could answer to that, The other part of my impressed that I’d look that young. But there’s nothing good about being young right.?
I managed a stern ‘No’,
‘what do you do? ‘
‘ Teacher’
Where did you school, when?
He insinuates he schooled in one of the prestigious Kenyan boy schools, went on to Nairobi University for his first level degree in Actuarial and that’s why he’s a banker.
‘Oh well, impressive!! ‘
‘ But why did he mistakenly mention being In two different schools for his o-levels as he called it?’
There must be something amiss about his secondary school education. There was certainly an underlying lie for show, We’d need to have a third eye anywhere anytime. It don’t matter
Aha! My reason to probe. Discretely, I went on, It took me barely five minutes. This Internet is a bitch, it airs out all information about us in public, server issues. His profile was all out there, he schooled in a good school somewhere in a  totally different province as he alleged. I am not as paranoid as not to trust people  but you give me a reason and I’ll get back at you and that’s just that.
Time never seems to rush when you have to put up with a lie and it’s perpetrator head on.. I still had some to spare, and I didn’t mind the company, maybe not just yet, and besides, there was nothing to hide.
‘…. I would love to take you to meet my mama someday, she an old lady but am sure she’ll be happy to meet her sons bride to be ‘
‘ Puh-lease!’
(That certainly didn’t travel home so well, or maybe it was too soon to be true. And is he really serious, he could as well be crazy, too much for a first day.)
‘ Oh Really that would be nice, but don’t you think…’
‘certainly not any room for thinking, I am at ease ‘
‘ Well then, I will give it a thought’ Christ this had better be a lie because I am smitten but then again…
‘What kind of flowers do you love?I could do something like a surprise’
‘Purple Tullips’ of course if I had no option but to choose something, I love the scent in flowers but I have so little zeal about getting a surprise bunch, maybe I should readjust.
‘How much do you pay, for your rent? ” Ksh …”
‘I could get you a TV, a nice TV ‘
‘ Oh so offer, don’t say, won’t you just do it’ I thought
I will plan to take you on a date over the coming weekend ‘
‘ I’d love to, unless something comes up ‘
These were all too much to hold but a man has always got to try. And I was still trying
Clocking six pm, my self imposed curfew time was slowly getting eaten into and I haven’t yet made my intentions to leave known, maybe, just maybe I should let him finish. Luckily, He prudently suggested that we could leave, but not just leave, he suggested we could tea at another restaurant, that was too much already but I honoured it. Whatever put me in that patient stated must really have it against me,but I believe it would only be me that made it happen. The heavens would not consent to that.
Seated at the kinda oddly cold restaurant but with vast partitions, I waiteid, tea seemed just okey, after cold showers outside. Tea was no choice for him.
‘may I have a drink-but not tea’
‘Yeah, you may ‘
Opting for a warm tusker is when I knew, This we wouldn’t go one way ;me and alcohol two worlds apart so is the drinker and I am entitled to my choices .
If I had known that this would put me at a platform to judge him, maybe I would have opted otherwise and not let him drink. And it’s even more irritating when you have to put up with the alcohol – after sluggish state. ‘Drink but be sober’ I think but how is this even possible, drinking to a limit perhaps.
‘what’s your week like, ‘
‘ Normal schedule ‘I mean it’s always been so, unless I gave me a day off.
As time sped on we constantly grew warry of words, much had been said and on that context been graced with a listening spirit. It was time to call it a day and even better, you could not rely on an alcohol drinking person to get you home safe, I don’t buy the idea.
For a moment, I noticed his fidgety behaviour over his phone, whoever it must have been I don’t know, but for a while of enough obs I thought I could ask
‘is everything Okey, you been on your phone – with faces. ‘
A man will never Consent to weakness, do I say!!
He opted to switch off his phone instead. And found some peace.
Whoever it was or whatever, I don’t care at all.
In a while, a friend of his appeared, said hello shared one
Or two and off he goes.
‘ A fellow banker’ he later said.
I was working on my mug, just to drain it’s contents,amidst that
‘can I possibly host you?’
‘Host me? ‘
This boy has got to be hi, or missing a mark.
‘ why would you need to host me? I have my place to go to ‘
‘ ……..’
‘So this is it, promises, lunch, and give in? ‘boy’ s got to be kidding that I have bought it all, and I have grown beyond that.
Time read 7.30pm, I’m not sure I am actually going to get home.
At the thought of all these, I am constantly reminded of a word gone around that if you are a young girl/woman , slightly skimpily dressed, all so made up at the young to the wee hours of the night it has an implication-a serious perception to the eyes of the people unless otherwise . Luckily I was decent, I could be ruled out but not entirely.
‘They’re shopping’ it’ll be said.’ ‘Wanapigwa maji’And they get between 200-five hundred shillings an item depends on how they offer it. If you still don’t get it consult with me
So my mind quickly looks for ways of getting out of that place there and then. I would probably have a Monday to be talked of’ students have a way of making it juicy, on one account it’d be unbearable, on the other I could risk losing the respect, and I did care for that so well, so much, Now explain that to a man who may as just have nothing to flinch about, that’s not his business, if he cared, he’d have though of that already. But I highly doubt it was any of his concerns.
‘ Take me home ‘
‘ Wait a while’
I wonder how much longer I’d have to wait to get home and to listen further to nothing more to say, but a constant mull over what he had already said I mused. He could just as well said it once and let the ears choose; listen or be deaf. But what I am certain about is that he rendered everything more difficult, complicated or out of favour for him. Had he been wise maybe he’d do it differently. But No, he had no time to realise that.
Pretty annoying.
Next fifteen minutes ‘take me home’ and he’d say the same thing over and over ‘wait a while’  I didn’t want to disrespect him but even that has a motivation. It is not in any way that I lacked the ability to snap a finger and have a ride home, It is my desire to let him be a sane man, but from what it seemed, he just wasn’t upto the challenge and I’d have to take it out on my own hands.. His slightly unsober state put him in no capacity to be the bearer of his phone.. So guess who the inventorer was, The date. For the while that title is going to last. I’d never want to be in a similar situation. Not once. Not ever again.
From miscalculation of spendings, put him on a rough patch with the waiters and the cashiers. Lengthy unnecessary arguments, I wouldn’t be part of it. So I choose to pay off and let alone the conversation.
Enraged ‘I really didn’t ask you to pay for..’
‘but we cannot keep pulling each other over small comprehensive issues’
The phone had to be on That’s the only thing left for us to get out of there and since I was soberly a custodian I served the same purpose when switching on the phone, I really didn’t mind. Messages came in one after another, and since the phone had been off, they came in multiples. I don’t say I am snoopy but I managed to see one that particularly caught my eye.
‘I am going to tell on you to her you womanizer , you have no shame
So she is the one?’
Blackmail slowly building up huh, I thought.
That was enough to make me snap but my anger does not throw me into tantrums, If I am angry, tears start welling my eyes. My jaws clinched and a pool of saliva clogg my throat, I  cannot talk, but if  I have to talk, it’s not going to be nice at all. The tears is always an option.
‘… I would have no problem if I had all non-contradicting information, I would then choose to get Into battle withal. But in a situation like this.. I sure couldn’t cope. to top it up, lie after another ‘
‘ Ofcourse the she was me, and the her was a wife or whatever. ‘
‘ who is she? ‘
‘ You’re being blackmailed? ‘
‘ It’s nothing really, it’s someone who just has an issue with me’
‘Oh yeah people don’t just have unvalidated issues to a point of Blackmail ‘
Everything was so clear to me, I had no use being there at all.
‘ won’t you please have me a ride home, ‘
‘ please let me first explain ‘
Ofcourse there’s nothing he was going to change, he lied, has issues, who knows how many other a woman is out there.
‘ we cannot keep explain something that will take us no where we’d just be buying time ‘
‘ it’s late as well ‘
There’s this guy who must have been dropping eaves, as though it’d be of help to him? Not at all, our conversation was everywhere . so I insist on home and he on explaining, Neither of us made sense to the other. But I was Enraged. He seemed to enjoy it because he was in no hurry. I couldn’t further than I had be polite, I couldn’t ask to be helped I had myself to help me.
I snapped a finger amidst his irresponsibility, uncare, got myself a motorbike,I direct him to get me home, let the rest for the foxes, they seem to be comfortable.
Whatever this guy had in mind, he’d uncertainly have it on a silver platter,he had to work for it, in the right way.
He lost the chance, I lost my peace and happiness for a while and afew teardrops;how so dear. Undoubtedly I rest my case. The next time I would really have to, it must really be a have to scenario and one so rightly put. .
Banker or no Banker; horrible day, useless musings, wasted hour ; I could be writing a rather important content, and this is what is? (Sigh) . I still have a dream, may not necessarily be a banker but one in the making of character, poise, attitude, and of course prospectily vibrant.
And Oh I kissed dating goodbye!!