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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

AN OPEN LETTER TO MY NIECES.


Am lucky to have aunts who keep it real and say it like it is……find below a series of open letters to their nieces. Hope you will save a copy and make reference to it from time to time and share it with all your girls too!

Hi Ladies,

I have been writing this since I got back:
I have to accept that you are no longer girls now….
Being your youngest [stress young…] aunty, I feel I have the responsibility to talk to you about issues that your mothers will probably find hard to talk to you about.
The issue at hand at the moment is relationships [read: MEN],I love all of you so much and I would hate any of you to go through some things I have seen in my lifetime. I know some of you are already rolling your eyes and saying “here we go again” but believe me, I was once your age and thought and felt that I was knowledgeable and mature enough to make the right choices-but guess what, I wasn’t, and I wish I had someone to talk to me openly and honestly. May I apologise in advance if I cause any offence, I know I have met some of your interested parties, but I am not being personal-I just want to be sure that whatever decisions you take, you do it with your eyes wide open.

This are the warning signs of a man who will control you, delete your life as you know it and even result to violence. I want you to look at the list, and if the men you are seeing are represented in this boxes, trust me its time to get out.

1. You are all beautiful, intelligent and capable [and am not just saying that because you have my genes and any man who makes you feel any less than that is questionable.

2.I know we all have to hide our relationships from our parents to some point, but if you are having to lead a double life to be with a man, he is not worth it, and that’s a first red flag to violence.

3. if he openly humiliates you and puts you down, believe me its not going to get better.

4. If you are having to make excuses for his behaviour, actions or explain his comments, that’s a person you don’t want to spend the rest of your life with.

5. If you cannot fit your family and friends around him and find that you have to abandon the former for him, again a major red flag for violence. Violent men will always first isolate you from those closest to you-family and friends. Oh believe me at the time you wont realize what’s happening, you’ll think its all love, then you find yourself cancelling that family function or that date with a friend in order to be with him all the time convincing yourself that you didn’t really want to go meet that long lost friend or for that family get together because it was going to be boring anyway.

6. I know we all fall in love and feel like we can’t do without that man in our life, but if that feeling is persistent and makes you keep going back to him despite his unbecoming behavior, another red flag.

7. If you get anxious or afraid to be with him in the presence of your family or friends and you find yourself constantly saying ‘they just don’t understand/like him’ its time to cut your losses. One person can have a problem or even not understand him, but if it’s 2 or more, open your eyes girl…

8. If he makes you feel like no one else would want you-do I need to say it-GET OUT!

9.If he is possessive over you and you have to explain, who is that, who were you talking to, how do you know them, and gets into a huff if you talk to another guy or even flies into a rage…again, a bright red warning sign.

10. If you are afraid or anxious to raise an issue with them about something they said, did or didn’t do, that’s another red flag.

11. If he makes you think or feel your life plans/dreams/goals are not that important-he is the most important thing in your life right now-he is not right for you.

12..This is the crunch of it-IF EVER a man lays his hand or his finger on you in anger or bangs a table, a wall or breaks something because of you-please, please I beg you, don’t wait another minute-dump him! Violent men know how to apologize, they will even cry and tell you how special you are, how they can’t live without you and how it will never happen again. He probably means it, but he can’t help himself and IT WILL happen again.

Society makes you feel like that the above is normal in a relationship -well I am telling you society can go jump off a cliff-it is YOUR life you are the one who has to deal with it.

Make sure your men understand who you are and what’s important to you-if you go with a blank canvas, believe me they will fill it in for you with what’s important to them! If they see you are willing to push aside your values, dreams and aspirations they will help you push.

If you do make a bad call, do not be afraid of what people will think if you change direction, kama ni mbaya ,mbaya, just know its your life, not everybody else’s, and people will always talk. If you need to get out-then just do. I assure you a few of us will always be in your camp no matter what.

I am not putting you off men and marriage; I am just saying make sure it’s with the right person. Marriage/relationships even at its best isn’t easy and takes compromise, but it doesn’t have to be endured, it’s meant to be enjoyed.

 Ladies you are family, I would like to believe that if you saw the red flags in the man the other person is dating, that you have the inherited right to point it out, and if its pointed out to you, you need to take it as it is meant-in your best interest and not get offended. You all need that-because as I said, when you are in it, you might not necessarily see it. Just to let you know that if I see it, I am going to point it out…hopefully one day you will thank me for it.

And finally as I’ve always said, if you need to talk, I hope you know am always there. Anytime, without judgement.

I wish you all love and relationships that make you grow, not hamper you.

Lots of love


Your Auntie
















































Monday, December 5, 2011

IU Feted at the East Africa Arbitration Moot Court Competition.

moot11.jpg
Two third year students from Inoorero University (IU) School of Law topped in the East African Arbitration Moot Competition held on Friday November 25, 2011 at the Strathmore Students Centre.

Catherine Kiama and Lilian Nyaga beat their counterparts through stiff competition in other universities which saw them emerge the overall winners. The students were given a problem and later divided into two groups with pool A being Inoorero University, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology(JKUAT) and Kenyatta University while pool B comprised of Mount Kenya University(MKU), Nazarene, University of Nairobi (UON) and the Catholic University of East and Central Africa (CUEA).

The students submitted a memorial from each pool and tackled it as claimants and respondents then went through an elimination process with IU tackling UON while MKU battled with JKUAT in the semi finals. IU and JKUAT got their ticket to the finals where IU emerged the overall winner. Ms Kiama was also recognized for being the best orator.

Great joy was expressed through the five finalists who have earned themselves internship opportunities In 5 law firms. Despite having only two participants, IU still carried the day considering that the other competing teams were advantaged to have a third participant as a research person.

To ensure a credible process is followed, the event brought in partners from other law firms as judges as well as the chairperson and the deputy from the Kenya Arbitration Society.

It was a joyful moment for the IU institution who had earlier won an award in South Africa during the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition in July this year.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Happiness and success?

1. Marry the right person. This one decision will determine 90% of your happiness or misery.

2. Work at something you enjoy and that's worthy of your time and talent.


3. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.


4. Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.


5. Be forgiving of yourself and others.


6. Be generous.


7. Have a grateful heart.


8. Persistence, persistence, persistence.


9. Discipline yourself to save money on even the most modest salary.


10. Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated.


11. Commit yourself to constant improvement.


12. Commit yourself to quality.


13. Understand that happiness is not based on possessions, power or prestige, but on relationships with people you love and respect.


14. Be loyal.


15. Be honest.


16. Be a self-starter.


17. Be decisive even if it means you'll sometimes be wrong.


18. Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for every area of your life.


19. Be bold and courageous. When you look back on your life, you'll regret the things you didn't do more than the ones you did.


20. Take good care of those you love.


21. Don't do anything that wouldn't make your Mom proud.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Of life’s Drizella’s and Anastasia’s.


Cinderella is a folk tale that has thousands of variants know the world over. Growing up as a young girl, you must have been in awe about the glass slipper, the impeccable chariot, the gorgeous ball with poised people among many other interesting things. However the most poignant thing I recall in the story is Cinderella’s two step sisters: Drizella and Anastasia Tremaine!!
This two display step-sisters at their worst. They are manipulative, scheming spoilt brats who cannot take no for an answer and would go to all cost to ensure that if they can’t get anything neither will anyone else.
As a child, I would just marvel at the story, mostly glad that it was fictional. Little did I know that in the ‘real’ world they are the equivalents of evil Lady Tremaines’s children; not in two but in the hundreds!
Am sure you have met one of these people. They do not need to be related to you but I am referring to those sisters who step on you to get to that promotion...or who backstab you to win favours with friends…..etc.I call them “step” because they literally step on you to move forward!!!
Quite recently, I have been encountering a number of this evil Tremaine’s.Some claim to be our friends, but if circumstances force them to choose, they will drop you like hot cake and look for ways to move forward even at the detriment of your friendship. Others just do so to make themselves feel better especially when things seem to be going great for you. Whatever ailing reason they have, it is never for your benefit but to your detriment.
So, when I read Cinderella today, I am not as naïve as a nine year old child. I am very aware that these people do exist in our midst and have learnt how to detect them. It is of course wise not to have such people in your inner circles for obvious reasons.Therefore, once you identify them, feel free to run away from them like a plague!!!! Interesting how such a beautiful read can make us see such unbeautiful things!
Despite everything, we all know how that story ends…evil never wins…so ladies….let’s not step on other sisters shoes just because!!!Instead we should be like ladders, helping a sister reach a higher level!!And be genuinely glad when others achieve and accomplish! They too will be happy when the tide is in your beach!




Saturday, November 5, 2011

Managing Happiness:

1.     You must have goals but they must be achievable.


2.   Change what you can and accept what you cannot change.


3.    Don’t expect gratitude from anyone. Do whatever you can for the pleasure of doing and giving to others.


4.  Laughter is the best medicine. Learn to laugh at yourself and tickle the funny bone in others.


5.    Accept failures and sorrow to enjoy happiness.

Managing Time:

1.     One of these days in none of these days. Today is the day to start the big job.


2.   Manage your time as you would your money. Start your day with the “to-do” list and priorities the vital few after picking them up from the trivial many.


3.    Do important jobs NOW before they became urgent.

Managing Friends:

1.     It is chance that makes brothers but hearts that make friends.


2.   The only way to have a friend is to be one.


3.    A little straight talk between friends is sometimes the best way to stay friends.


4.  Two people can no longer be friends if they cannot forgive each others little fittings.


5.    Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them.

Managing Yourself:

1.     Self knowledge is the beginning of self improvement.


2.   The greatest loss is the loss of self confidence.


3.    Attitudes are mirrors of the mind, they reflect thinking.


4.  Identify your weak link and act. One weak link can spell disaster for the whole chain. Remove it and stride ahead from strength to strength.


5.    Follow no one but learn from everyone.


6.   You cannot be anything if you want to be everything.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pillar Awards Africa! Get Voting!

Hey people,

It is with great pride and humility that I have been nominated for the 2011 Pillar Awards Africa under the Humanitarian category for the Sisterhood project for young teenage girls in Murang'a.

I would like to take this opportunity and thank you all for the continued support and encouragement during this exciting journey.You have put smiles on the girls faces and given them hope of a better and brighter future.

Feel free to get voting.In Kenya...please vote via SMS to 4665.please follow the format Humanitarian,Kate Kiama,0723004410.(please note the commas)

In the Diaspora...please vote by email to nominations@pillarawardsafrica.org

Thank you all again for the great support and lets continue encouraging,inspiring and supporting the girl child in Africa and beyond.






Sunday, October 16, 2011

To Girl Power!

If you are a girl in Africa especially and able to read this you deserve a pat on the back! Or maybe you don’t even realize how your reality would have been so much more different if you lived in a different part of the same continent.

We face a lot of discrimination and inequality right from birth. For instance some cultures ululate thrice to signify the birth of a girl and five times if the new born was a boy. Society therefore openly affirms that the boy-child is more celebrated and welcomed. Various theories have been put up to explain this sharp contrast but that is not what is of interest to me! You would imagine that this open discrimination is a thing our fore-fathers had but you would be utterly shocked that even today this vice continues.

If you are very observant, you might have noticed gender insensitive remarks or comments we make every day or what the media portrays. An insurance advert comes to mind…it displays that young Kenyan girls only aspire to be teachers and policewomen! Yet the Kenyan boy child gets to be the doctor or fly the cool planes….you get my drift don’t you? I believe that everybody is entitled to be whatever they want to be. Indeed there is nothing wrong with a female teacher or policewoman but do we not feel we are limiting the Kenyan girls’ dreams?

That was just food for thought! Today we should celebrate the young women who have beaten the odds and overcome huge obstacles some which they might not have even realized and are now regarded as literate. Today I remember all the young teenage girls who are about to sit their national examinations both in Primary and Secondary School. More so I remember my mentees in Ruchu Girls High School in Murang’a.

I feel that it is our duty as young women and girls alike to change our socialization process. This may take a few years to accomplish but it can be done. If each young lady helps encourage and motivate another imagine how far girl-power can go!

So young ladies, society does not and will not define us. We cannot allow ourselves to be limited by other people’s visions and missions. We define ourselves! You may have been one of the lucky one’s to sail through school and are now self reliant…but there are many who missed out on this part of life…Once you realize this am sure you will see why it is important to give a sister a hand however small and trivial it may seem to you. Who knows she might just be a Nobel peace prize, a renowned author, a president, an ambassador…the list is limitless….

Sisterhood wishes all the candidates of 2011 the best of  luck  and great success in their examinations!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Five surprising things which can harm your eyes

World Sight Day

Five surprising things which can harm your eyes
© Yuri Arcurs - Fotolia.com
We've all heard the old wives’ tales about how carrots are good for your sight and sitting too close to the telly can damage your peepers.
But the fact is, sorry, Mum and Dad, there’s no evidence that sitting too close to the TV can cause any problems. And while carrots won’t hurt, high as they are in Vitamin A and antioxidants, they’re no magic vision food.
So it’s probably just as well that World Sight Day (October 13) is here to give us a timely reminder on why we shouldn’t take our eyes for granted – and what will and won’t actually damage them.
Here’s our guide to Five Surprising Things That Harm Your Sight:

Looking Pretty

Surely lending your mates a sweep of mascara isn’t doing any harm? Well, sharing eye make-up is one of the biggest no-nos when it comes to spreading infection. It’s not just a dose of conjunctivitis you could get: Some infections, such as Herpes Simplex, can lead to a loss of vision if left untreated.
Another big ‘don’t’ is keeping your mascara longer than the recommended six months – something 92 per cent of women admit to. Dr. Susan Blakeney, optometric adviser to The College of Optometrists, said: “Most women are either unaware of or simply ignoring manufacturers’ recommended use-by-dates [but] mascara can be a breeding ground for bacteria.”
And a final Top Tip? Even if you’re in a mad dash, don’t do a quick freshen-up on the Tube or in the car – scratching your eye with a mascara wand is the most common injury from eye make-up and can also lead to infections.

Going Gaga

Don’t leap to copy the latest celeb look. Take the trend for Lady Gaga-style contact lenses. Gaga wore the Manga-inspired ‘circle lenses’ - which cover the whites of the eye to make the pupil look larger - in her Bad Romance video. But the fear is the eye accessories, made in Asia and available online, lack quality control. New York optometrist Dr Assumpta Madu said: "There literally is potential for somebody to lose their vision within 24 hours from an infection."
Experts are also concerned about the craze for semi-permanent lashes so girls can mimic the eye-fluttering looks of stars like Cheryl Cole. Unlike falsies, eyelash extensions are applied directly to the lash with a bonding agent and can last up to six weeks.
In severe cases, the glues can potentially damage eyes, and repeated use can cause Traction Alopecia, a condition where the real lashes fall out and might never grow back.
Dr Blakeney said: “Our eyelashes play an extremely important role in keeping our eyes healthy. As extensions are such a new trend, there is little clinical research into their impact on eye health so we are urging women to take extra care.”
But if you really must have them done, only go to a reputable salon and follow the aftercare advice scrupulously.

Sun worshipping

Gazing at the big blue sky while lounging in the Med might seem like heaven. But it could be hell for your peepers. Sunlight exposure can cause cataracts and worse, optometrists warn.
As the NHS Livewell site cautions: “Never look at the sun directly. Doing so can cause irreversible damage to your eyesight and even lead to blindness.”
Wear good quality, dark sunglasses sporting the ‘CE’ mark and the British Standard BS EN 1836:2005, which ensures they offer a safe level of UV protection.

Overindulging

We all know eating plenty of fresh foods, steering clear of fags and moderating booze protects against heart disease, cancer and stroke. But it also protects against the leading cause of blindness, Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD).
Contrary to popular belief, going blind with old age is not a question of pot luck, over which we have no control. AMD is not an inevitable result of getting old, yet the number of people with it is set to rise by a quarter in the next ten years.
Smoking is a huge risk factor in contracting it – it doubles your chances - as is drinking too much alcohol. But keeping an eye on what you eat can stave it off.
Dr Blakeney said: "AMD is the biggest single cause of sight loss in the UK so it is concerning that so few people are aware of it. There are steps you can take to minimise your risk.”
A diet rich in leafy green vegetables, brightly coloured fruits and veg and oily fish may help.

Swimming

Watersports are a great way to stay fit – but if you don’t take care you could be damaging your eyes at the same time as shaping up your body. Always wear goggles in chlorinated water, with UV protection if swimming outside.
And contact lens wearers are warned never to swim while wearing them – or even to shower or use a hot tub. The College of Optometrists insists: “If you are a contact lens wearer, it’s particularly important to invest in prescription goggles; microorganisms in the water may attach themselves to the lens and cause an infection. This can be extremely painful and in severe cases could blind you.”

 

From Yahoo Health..

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Excellent Thoughts…

William Shakespeare:

Three sentences for getting success:
  1. Know more than others
  2. Work more than others
  3. Expect less from others

Adolf Hitler:

If you win you need not explain. But if you lose you should not be there to explain.

Alen Strike:

Don’t compare yourself with anyone in this world. If you do so, you are insulting yourself.

Mother Teresa:

If we cannot love the person whom we see, how can we love God whom we cannot see?

Bonnie Blair:

Winning doesn’t always mean being first, winning means you’re doing better than you’ve done before.

Abraham Lincoln:

Believing everybody is dangerous; believing nobody is very dangerous…

Einstein:

If someone feels that they have never made a mistake in their life, then it means they had never tried a new thing in their life...

Charles:

Never break four things in your life-Trust, Promise, Relation &Heart because when they break they don’t make noise but pains a lot..

Sunday, September 25, 2011

What I know for sure……

I am a girlie girl! I have been branded as the fairy tale type, the glamour girl and even the ice-queen at times…whatever hat I wear, I know a couple of  things still remain true to me. This is what I know for sure….

I know for sure that if you are important to me then you get to meet all other equally important people in my life. If you are as great and lovely as I imagine you are then why not! Why hide you and not want others to meet you? No pressure intended but it is awfully bizarre when you refuse to comply with this normal social gesture or worse refuse to reciprocate and instead try to hog me to yourself! Trying to cut all links with my kith and kin is clearly a red flag that I refuse to tolerate. I do not see it as being in love and you wanting to spend ALL your waking hours with me….I call this being a control freak!!!

I know for sure that I am worthy of love-to love and be loved in return. I do not believe that love hurts or that I should tolerate you because of what we previously had. I love myself too. I will obviously allow myself to mourn and rant but I certainly will move on hopeful that I will find love again.

More often than not, few will be genuinely happy for my achievements and goals. They will half heartedly smile but inwardly wish me oceans of calamities. I realize this and take caution when I identify such personalities.

The older I get the more I understand that not all friendships last a lifetime. Contrary to popular belief there can be seasonal and reason friends. I believe that when that reason and season have been accomplished it is ok to let them be and not beat ourselves up for failed friendships.

I know for certain that I am solely responsible for my own happiness, health and joy. I know the importance of scheduling ‘me time’ in my program and finding out how I am really doing. It is paramount to have a ‘spoil me’ day once in a while when I can just laze in bed with a good novel and recharge my batteries. I also know the value of financial independence and the reason why I especially need to take a hands on approach towards my finances. I reckon that one can never be too widely read: hence the importance of staying relevant and reading vastly.

I know for sure that violence does not solve anything. Whatever form it may take it is damaging and always makes matters worse. I know that being kind and smiling to a stranger a day probably won’t get me to the list of nobels but it does  makes me feel better. I consider it essential to help the needy and less fortunate in our society and not feel the need the gloat and brag about it.

Most of all I know that I am not perfect and I never will be. I realize that I will make mistakes some more serious than others as I go along the way-this they say is the essence of being human. I however know that I should seek counsel from others who add value in my life and strive not to make their mistakes.