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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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.

On Nudity, Makeup and Looks

PREAM: If after reading this you feel like I’m talking about you then I certainly am.

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Now as man of certain intellectual and moral standards I will say that our moral fabric is severely tattered. The society is increasingly becoming debased. Things that were reprehensible in the days past are now almost perfectly unobjectionable: Things like premarital sex, abortion …
People these days don’t care very about chastity, virginity, honesty, temperance, decency, respect for senior citizens. They are becoming bold in sin.

But I will talk about decency.

Now dressing is not exactly an easy subject to broach because when you talk about dressing you are talking about people. And when you are talking about people – and how inappropriately they dress – they become defensive, dismissive – even grouchy.
But nonetheless skimp dressing is one of those things I will always talk about, write about and determinedly scoff at. I recently penned an article on Magazine Reel that spanned morality and dressing. You can click here to have a peek into the earlier post. And in this write-up I’m doing pretty much the same.

I will begin by dispensing with the idea that dressing is a woman issue. Decency is not a woman problem (pretty much as it is). Nor is it a man problem. It’s rather a moral issue and I will want it to be tackled that way. So judge this write up in the same light.

Image is superficial

Firstly we simply can’t deny that image is powerful and that image is important. How you look can make people like you, hate you, admire you, employ you or judge you. And so we should much care about our looks.

But image is also superficial. It’s external. It’s shallow. It’s just on the surface. Beauty fades away. Looks are only secondary. That’s why
to be smart is always better than to be good looking. #Deep.

I’m no stranger to a class of young people who have deluded themselves and who are absorbed in just way they look. And they are not just women because there are men who are dandies. These young people are damaged vains like Narcissus. ‘Narcissus got a bad rap. Sure, the guy was self-absorbed—what with all that staring at his own reflection in a stream. But once he fell in and drowned.’* They are unduly obsessed -‘obssessed’ take note of verbiage – with looks and make-up: pedicure, manicure, hairdos, eyeshadows, lip gloss, plastic surgery, makeup tutorials, matching colors, body shapers…
They nitpick and prink before the mirror for ridiculously several minutes. All they post on social media is their pics – snapshots of the face,  new hair,  bum – funky though. Looks for them is the upfront thing and that’s certainly a problem they need to come to grips with.

Nudity is selling out.

We all can relate to the fact that nude people are deployed in the advertisement of commodities: from soaps to magazines to electronics. Nudity is used to promote certain brands and videos and ideas. Some models and socialites are
-without mincing words- cashing in on nudity just as sex workers are.

So nudity is a device to sell out. Huh!
And this is not just happening with socialites and sex workers. It has taken its place in the real public space and even close, among friends and classmates. But they are not nude outrightly. They are nude understatedly. They are nude with some clothes on: in tight pants, in leggings, skimp cleavaged dresses which do much to expose rather than hide. So they are selling something too. Not brands. Not ideas. But themselves.

NB: The thing about ‘nude’ people is not just that they are ‘stripped’ of clothes. They are stripped also of respect, of demeanor, of class.

Discouraging make up

It is a buzzword. Make-up is in the fullest sense of the word to make up, to conjure up, to concoct an image.
So what happens when  you apply make-up is that you make an image that looks like you but which is not the real you. Make-up is a construction. It’s artificial beauty. That’s what the thing is.

Sarah Kay backs me up on this one:

“No matter your wreckage.
There will be someone to find you beautiful,
despite the cruddy metal. Your ruin is not to be hidden
behind paint and canvas. Let them see the cracks.
Someone will come to sing into these empty spaces.
Sarah Kay, “Ghost Ship”, No Matter the Wreckage (via the-untranslatable)

Sometimes Even Miracles Take A Little Time

I’m one kid who’s always been pampered by God. My life has been a sequence of miracles. Here is one of them:

Mark 5:19 – “Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.”

Now, It is known in a relatively big circle that I have ‘problems’ with my eyes. My glasses are a testament to that. But my close friends know they are not just ‘problems’ with my eyes. They know that my eyes ache badly.

But it’s been more complex than that. I have experienced for 5 fraught years multiple inexplicable symptoms: itching skin upon exposure to the sun, photophobia, allergic conjunctivitis, fatigue, eye pain, neck pain, back ache, loss of appetite, poor vision, fever, tooth ache, facial pain, falling hair and even occular hypertension (abnormal eye pressure)- almost all of them simultaneously.

All this time I have been trying to treat these symptoms to no avail. The number of times I have gone to hospitals is ridiculously high. I remember at one time a box of batches of tablets that was prescribed to me, a box of the size that can accommodate a pair of Bata Shoes.
And lately I went for a CT scan, exposed my self to noucous radiation, to find if there is a problem in my head.
Awful, right?

I don’t know what kind of sickness this is. It’s not Malaria, it’s not typhoid, it’s not Ebola. It’s not a definitive kind of disease, at least to me.

What has been prominent though is the eye pain , clinically known as chronic eye pain. I have always thought the other symptoms were its appendages , that the neck and back pain extended from it. I don’t know whether I’m right here or not.

I have suffered an egregious pain.I m not putting a stretch to it. I have suffered for real. I could cry sometimes. This mysterious disease has taken its toll me on me. Life has dealt me it’s bad hand; excoriated, reduced me piece by piece in a way somebody who’s not me can not fully comprehend.

Firstly, my academic life.
I was born a precocious kid. And for most of my life I have been ranked in top positions in class. But when all this started the graph on my transcript started to dip and I could not do anything about it, tumbling from the top of the class to the bottom.

The pain I experienced was damaging and almost crippling. Reading become utterly strenuous (until lately) and sometimes even impossible.

In my form 4, I read virtually nothing the year long. I slept or made noise or flipped through magazines or just pretended to read. And being the class perfect, I shouted down the class to silence during morning and evening preps. Sometimes I sneaked out to go and sleep. ( I was never caught. I just don’t get how ). And during classes I would not concentrate.

Long way after the syllabus was done I was still grappling with the first topics and actually I never did the whole syllabus before I sat for KCSE.
I barely read the set books.

Secondly, my social and spiritual life.
This nagging, hardworking pain saw my social life suffer. I become unusually silent and withdrawn. I become loggy and grouchy. I also become a blithering idiot.
My spiritual life also went faltering.

BUT THINGS HAVE CHANGED JUST AS MYSTERIOUSLY.

It’s my fifth day feeling whole again, after what seemed like a lifetime of dreariness, pain and torment.

It’s hard to be believe I can wake up without squinting my eyes, without the duels with light that made me feel like ‘passing out’, without notorious back , eye, tooth and facial pain.
And also this is the fifth day I have had real sleep.

Right now I’m on medication of a godsend wonder drug.

Let me explain.
In our church-I’m a Seventh Day Adventist-we believe in medical missionary work ,that is, using simple naturopathic means to heal maladies: use of juices and vegetables, hot water baths et cetera.

Now last week after church I bought a queer reddish brown powder from a medical missionary. He is a professional doctor but he deals in this sort of unlikely medicine, now which is the ideal medicine.

To him I explained my symptoms: the eye pain, the back, neck, tooth pain. He just told me those are allergies, allergies simple as that! And then he prescribed the wonder drug; ‘One tea spoon in a glass of very hot water, cover for 20 minutes ×2 daily, morning and evening.’

You know I have gone to hospitals, many of them, but no doctor really diagnosed my problem. In fact they told me, on several instances, I’m not allergic. I have also tried medical missionary before but it failed.

I’m recuperating.
And this healing can not be called anything else. It’s a miracle.

Thank you God for this miracle.
You had a reason for my pain. In the end it’s all your perfect plan.

For those who’s energy is fizzling out because they have been praying about something for far too long and their prayers don’t seem to be answered, don’t lose heart. Sometimes even miracles take a little time. For me it was 5 years.