You don’t understand
Its a drug I can’t explain.
Despite not having blogged in forever, you guys are still visiting!!
I love y’all.
I’ve been writing lots and taking lots of hijabi fashion pics, just haven’t had the time to upload since….
I was MOVING CONTINENTS.
I am officially living back in Kenya, after having liked in the UK for 8 years.
I still don’t really believe it myself.
When you realise what are your own.
And what are others.
I’m pulling out of the rats race.
I just don’t want to be a rat.
And I don’t want to race.
I want to be successful on my own terms.
Not what my mother or my peers deem as successful.
I am done.
We are a generation of women who have something to prove.
Our mothers, did not get to achieve their greatest dreams.
They neared the glass ceiling, but did not break it.
And so, on our shoulders do their expectations lie.
We need to be educated, well bred, respectable young ladies…. who can do it all.
Motherhood, career, success AND riches.
Yet, the glass ceiling has already BEEN shattered.
Albeit a little delayed in Kenya…but…
I do KNOW I can shatter any ceiling I want.
I just…don’t feel the need to.
Part of growing up is separating parental expectations, from your own expectations of yourself.
I don’t need to prove myself.
But I don’t have to.
Basically, all this spiel and over justification, is me trying to say: Its okay not to want it all.
Warm sun beating on darkened brow.
Heavy kisses of a humid day.
A welcoming handshake,
In an African smile.
I just read an article about Africans coming home. (In Msafri magazine while on the plane coming errr..home. So it was very appropriate really. Lol. )
It was about young, professional, skilled Africans living the dream – in Africa.
Gone are the days of queuing at the US or UK embassies, hoping that the un-smiling visa officer would bestow on you the magic ticket that would allow you access to the ‘American Dream’, a land of riches and success.
A lot of people are realising, that they can have their cake and eat it, right here at home.
You don’t have to be in a tiny apartment in a foreign land, far from home and everyone you love, to eke out a living in the world of success and money.
With the right job and mindset, a beautiful life can be had in Africa. A fact known for a long time now, by many expatriates who came to Kenya and refused to leave!
Beautiful weather, gorgeous beaches, lovely atmosphere, cosmopolitan, diverse, family, friends….That is what Nairobi means to me.
Who wouldn’t want to live here?
The power cuts, and the rising cost of living, the politics and the car jackings – those are minor inconveniences in the grand scheme of things. (I may think differently after my 100th power cut)
Nonetheless, I am seriously considering coming home to roost.
The sooner the better.
Karibu Kenya 🙂
My very first blog post. On my very new mac.
Yes, Im flossing :p
SO tired. SO jet lagged. SO SO shattered. And I still have a 9 hour flight to go.
I just boarded a KLM flight from Manchester. It dropped me off in Amsterdam. And now, I’m aboard Kenya Airways to Nairobi.
After being hassled in Manchester about an extra kilo (!) of luggage, being looked at blankly as I struggled with my three suitcases (yes three!), and feeling strangely alien in Amsterdam….it was with a great sigh of relief that I saw the smiling faces of the Kenya Airways crew.
For a moment I stilled, and swelled with pride. KENYA Airways. Unapologetically Kenyan. And as I walked down that aisle, I stared back at those mzungu faces with confidence and…a bit of swag. 😛
There is this feeling that as Africans we always have to feel inferior. Like our skin colour makes us somehow…less. I feel it. In every stare. I every flat smile of every person who asks me that annoying question: ‘where are you from?’
I am Kenyan dammit.
I am African.
I am unapologetically Brown.
And I am coming home.
*Featured on Diasporadical.Wordpress.com*
Okay picture this scene. I am busy minding my own business at work. Some random, lairy, hairy dude walks up to me. Pushes me off the computer *A rude, ‘I really need to use the computer’ is all I get instead of a polite ‘excuse me’ etc etc…*
After he has basically hijacked the computer, he decides to start niceties with me. They begin like so:
Him: (Gruffly) Where are you from?!
Him: You don’t look …ermm…how do I say this? errrm…
Him: (Grateful) Yes, yes! You don’t look African
Me: (Wearily) I am originally Arab
Him: YES! Ofcourse! (conversation swings to Arabic) Inta min fein? (Where are you from?)
Me: I’m originally from Oman, but born in Kenya bla bla bla…The usual spiel. (All the while thinking, GET OFF MY COMPUTER, AND ITS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!!!)
This scene usually unfolds repeatedly….until infinity…..
I unfortunately/fortunately have the kind of features that could belong to any nation/nationality.
I have been accused of look African American, Ethiopian, Egyptian, Omani (Arab), African (Masaai), Bangladeshi, Indian, Spanish, even Philipino for Gods Sake!
It doen’t help that my accent is weird. It is a pseudo Kenyan/British/ American hybrid. Which just morphs depending on who I’m talking to.
All this results in making people uncomfortable.
They cannot BOX ME.
Thats my term for the constant need for people to categorize each other. This makes people less of an unknown entity. And we all know that unknowns are frightening. Unsettling.
Going about BOXING people would be hunky dory, if there were none of us weird hybrids walking the earth. Us weirdos who look like no one specific, yet look like everyone. Who have lived everywhere. Who’s genetic blue print looks like a diplomats worn out passport.
I am NOT simple/straightforward!!!
Stop trying to BOX me!!!
Can’t I just simply be QQ?
When did, ‘Hi, my name is QQ’, stop being enough??
What’s worse is if you are talking to a Mzungu ( A British or American person) Eh, after the above conversation, he will undoubtedly go:
‘YOU SPEAK REALLY GOOD ENGLISH!!!’ (Massive grin + vigorous head nodding)
I KNOW I should just ignore such comments. And nod my head politely, thank the fella, and move on my way.
I. Just. Can’t.
First I hit them with a dose of Colonial Guilt.
Yes, Kenya was a British COLONY.
We were forced to learn English to speak with the Masters.
(Longer pause. Throats are cleared)
In Kenya we speak both English AND Swahili. Fluently. Sometimes English better than Swahili.
(This avoids having to answer the question: ‘What OTHER language do you speak in Kenya, AFRICAN?KENYAN?’…or other such nonsense)
I wish I could be a bigger person and just let these ignoramuses stew in their blondness.
But, hey. They have to learn someday. And that day is when they stupidly compliment my English, which is their way of saying, I’m African so I should be speaking English like a retarted 3 year old, if at all. ****ing racist, ****ing ignorant ****s!
It doesn’t stop there.
The interrogation from before kept going.
Him: So are you married?
Me: *Thinks: Wow, that’s personal. How do I dodge that?*
Me: (Rudely) NO!
Him: Are you engaged?
Me: *Thinks: ALA! WTF?!*
Me: (Even more rudely) NO!
Him: Are you courting?
Me: *Thinks: Dude, is this pudding-head serious?!! I don’t know this geezer from Adam. PLus who sayyyyys COURTING this side of the 21st century????*
Me:(Somewhat flummoxed) Errrmmmm, Yes
Him: (Excitedley) So there is a chance you are getting married soon!!!
Me: (Brusquely) Look, I need the computer please.
Him: (Hurt) okay…emmm, bye.
ALA!!??? Kwani what was that about? He was not coming on to me ( I hope) given that he was a 60+ year old man. So was he concerned for me? Was he concerned that there are single ladies walking the streets with no prospects of marriage??? Did he want to hook me up with his son???
Or was he just tring to define me as an entity he could understand?
Please, people of the world. If you have no business asking me questions. Don’t. Okay? Just don’t. My inbuilt honesty and politeness chips are getting worn out. And they will soon be replaced by a chip that plays *None of your business you ****ing idiot!* over and over on a loop.
Hi, everyone, I’m QQ, I’m complex. You cannot box me. So just move along….Alright???!!!
But I’m really nice …deep, deeeeep down. Mushy and sweet, honest! (Ermmmm….sometimes. 🙂 )
Peace out yo..
A few lessons I’ve picked up along the way from eejots (idiots) I have met in my travels. Enjoy.
1. Stand in an alley, dressed in a massive beard, a kanzu and kofia (full Islamic dress) screaming Arabic epithets into the phone, all the while pacing back and forth.
What is Likely to happen: Missing persons list
2. Sit in a bar, reading a newspaper nonchalantly, all the while discussing how the men intently watching the semi-finals of a random championship/tournament are eeeejots.
What is likely to happen: Bar fight, broken face, police record.
3. Shove a vibrator up your *** so far, you need emergency surgery to get it out. Also you may not want your first words once the anesthetic wears off to be a request for said vibrator.
What is likely to happen: Never, ever, ever being able to go to any other doctor in the country who has not hear about it. Even if you just need cough syrup.
4. Scratch your balls energetically in my presence, especially when my face is level with said location (umm, I was sitting down looking at a computer screen, eejot in question was standing next to me)
What is likely to happen: Knee. In. Groin.
5. Watch BodyTv or any other such SOFT PORN nonsense masquerading as workout videos and then pretend you are learning fitness tips. Especially if you are my significant other. There is a reason the camera focuses on Zuzanas boobs when she is doing sit ups. And NO, it is not for you to learn proper technique and form.
What is likely to happen: Laptop + 5th story window.
6. Sleep with a nurse. Or a medical student. Or a fellow doctor. Or even the cleaner on the ward.
What is likely to happen: We will all know what you’re (not) packing. *waggles little finger*
7. Light up a cigarette, while sniffing aerosols
What is likely to happen: Natural Selection.
8. Agree to walk a random kido to the bus stop
What is likely to happen: Atypical Tuesdays
9. Drink too much at the annual Christmas party
What is likely to happen: Resignation letter. Yours.
10. Run for president in Africa – You’re opponent is likely to either a) Rig the elections b) Kill all the opposition including you c) forcibly take over using the threat of the deadlock erupting into wide scale violence. Ivory Coast or Kenya, different country, same eejots running for president.
What is likely to happen: Different eejot at the helm, possibly two eejots at the helm. No change for the mwananchi (citizens)
Go forth and be merry.