I know I have been off this site way too long. As I get closer to 30, time seems so scarce. Taken over by work, moments of football punditry etc. But let me be honest and say, a certain 6 month project at work that ends next week has had my hands quite full. Clearly also getting new titles comes with it’s “workaholism”. You are now looking at the new……enough about yourself Ed!! This I feel is the first real post of 2015 as it is prose. Poetry as I have said before comes quite easily to me. This post is not meant to be heart rending. It is not meant to make you feel sorry. It is not meant to make you feel bad about your elevated echelon. It is just meant to get your attention, to have you realise what happens where your eyes don’t look..or avoid to look. To give you a fresh perspective. Something you don’t necessarily have to live with but know for just that single moment that others live with. Something that can change the way you think or have you want to make a change. I had been part of this endeavour before. On a previous month when I was assisting Kibali in his month’s pledge. Then, I was just letting my heart lead me. There was no logical questions about it. I had some extra money and was willing to help. However on this particular day in May. Something else led me there. During the day, due to the aforementioned work commitment I had failed to have something to eat for breakfast and lunch. By the time I left the office with rain clouds looming; the storm I was paying attention to most was in my tummy. I have acidity issues and that evening found me almost keeling over as the acid burnt through the lining I would assume is not as thick as it used to be B.C (before cocktails). I struggled to make the walk from Riverside to Westlands, I found my mind lost in another thought process. This is not quite an unusual thing. I’ve almost walked past the bus stop more than once, lost in thought. I was imagining how weak I must be to be in this much pain because I had not eaten in less than 24 hours. I was wondering about the person who has not had a meal for a week. If that was me, would I indulge in cheap drugs to get rid of the pain or to forget what kind of hell I was in? Did this seem familiar to the “one for the road” of the rest of the white collar society? If that was me, would I snatch a phone to sell it for a measly 500 to be assured of a meal for the next 2 weeks? Would they judge me then? Would I judge myself? Would I really view my life as that black and white? Would I so easily understand the law when I barely knew how to read? The above is not a justification of all the crime, violence and wrongdoers out there. It was something that got me back looking at my life. I am not ashamed about it. I work hard and have studied hard to be where I am. But what makes the difference is that I had the chance to. I get lost in thoughts of whether I would have survived past the age of 10 having been sick most of young life. Again, same tummy issues. What would my body have done to fend off illnesses when I could not afford antibiotics worth 100 shillings? What did you do to deserve the life you live? The family you have? Chance? Fate? You were good in your past life? This reminds of a case where I dropped a dollar in New Delhi as I fumbled with my wallet and walked away without noticing. Seconds later, a filthy street child would tap my arm and I almost leaped away from him (Nairobbery instinct) and was about to tell him I had nothing to give him when he handed me a dollar and walked away. I barely managed to speak to him before he disappeared into the crowds. Not waiting for a reward. Ok, this does make me want to weep. 😥 What I want to say is that I made it to that feeding program in Westlands with quite a change in attitude. I was not giving because I could, I was giving because I could manage to stay without. I could manage to live in a comfortable cheaper house if hard times hit. I could manage to live without eating beef. I could manage to not have milk. I could manage to live without a cocktail here and there. I could manage to walk part of the way to work and save 60 shillings per day, 2400 per month. Because you know what?It takes 2500 shillings to feed 65 to 70 street families/people at Clifford’s feeding program in collaboration with the Homeless of Nairobi. That made me vow to feed some 70 people a month for as long as I live and more as my life, effort and returns rise. As an African, we are very insistent on teaching how to fish and that is also what Clifford’s program is about. From finding shelter for these people, schools, rehabilitation and work. It does not stop at food. I had a talk with one young man who helps Mwalimu Cliff out in serving food every weekday night at 7.30 behind KFC Westlands and in front of Uchumi opp. The Mall. He came to Nairobi to find work. He previously had work installing air conditioners in Rwanda but that did not pan out. He would like to act in plays, he’s a comedian. What this people need is a chance.Remember the chance you got when you were born to able parents? Use that chance to make sure another kid does not have to be born on the streets. This story seems all gloomy right? No. I was welcomed with genuine smiles. More genuine smiles than I see in my side of society. Happiness from money is overrated. Really. These people are homeless, some jobless, others parent-less but most are not HOPELESS. You can read more about this program here: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-31359061 You can find Cliff here: https://www.facebook.com/clifford.c.oluoch?fref=ts and @ Homeless of Nairobi: https://www.facebook.com/homelessofnairobi?fref=ts and @
I am who I am because of what I say with the words that I have, the time I’ve got and the talent I possess. I will myself to do this daily because not everyone can do it. I am blessed to have this ability. I make the shallow look, and sound deep and the deep sound deeper yet with a simple meaning. I want every poem I ever write to be my epitaph. Sometimes I am in my element, sometimes I'm not. There are pieces I don’t believe I wrote because I am not that person anymore. But the truth is; this is a reflection of who I am, who I’ve been and who I will be. I started doing this at age 14 so I guess my works will best be described as “14 going on to immortality”.