#MentalHealth


 

I am not sure what rings a bell for you when you hear the term mental health but what I know for sure is that we are not having enough conversation about this very contentious topic.

So, what is mental health? Let us try to demystify the “elephant in the room”. According to World Health Organization ” Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community. The positive dimension of mental health is stressed in WHO’s definition of health as contained in its constitution: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

Wikipedia defines it as” A level of psychological well-being or an absence of mental illness. It is the “psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment”.[1] From the perspective of positive psychology or holism, mental health may include an individual’s ability to enjoy life, and create a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience.”

Cause of mental health illnesses

  • Genetic factors. This could be passed on from a close family member
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Environment. This could be a negative environment such as an abusive childhood
  • Trauma and stress. This can be caused by different factors such as financial constraints
  • Personality factors such as having low self-esteem.

#10 Facts on Mental Health by WHO

#1 About 20% of children and teenagers  around the world have mental disorders or problems

#2 Mental disorders and substance use are the number one cause of disabilities in the world. 23% of deaths are as a result of this.

#3 Over 800,00 people commit suicide each year and this is as a result of mental disorders

#4 War and other disasters affect mental health in large. The rate doubles at this time.

#5 Mental disorders increase an individuals risk for other diseases such as Diabetes

#6 Stigma and discrimination are core factors that hinder individuals from getting healthcare

#7 Human rights violations of affected persons are often reported in many countries

#8 The distribution of skilled human capital for mental health is not well distributed on a global scale.

#9. There are 5 key barriers to increasing mental health services:

The absence of Mental health in Public health agenda

Organization of services

Lack of integration in primary care

Inadequate skilled human capital

Lack of Public mental health leadership

#10 Inadequate resources to increase services related to mental health.

Image result for photos of mental health disorders

C:hyperallergic

I hope we now have a clue what mental health is about. I recently attended #UpgradePoetry which is a poetry event held in Nakuru once a month. The theme of the event was #Mental health and the guest speaker was #Rixpoet. If you have not heard of him, he is a mental health advocate and a poet. He shared his story with the audience along with Jasmine another speaker.

My takeaway from this very informative session was that we needed to have conversations about mental health often and above all, be a pillar to those who are going through these issues.

Are we listening to those close to us enough to know that they are going through tough times? Or do we brush them off and see these issues as a “kawaida thing”?

Let us keep the conversation going in the comment section.

 

Until next time

#Mental Health

Kim

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Youth Leadership. The Future Is Now!!


I have been following the recent events unfolding in our next door neighbors backyard Uganda. It is such a sad story and my heart grieves with Ugandans and the family of Bobi Wine. But the one thing I admire about this young leader is the resilience and the brave face he has had to put. It just shows me how much we can achieve when we believe in something and how far we can go. I have been watching #TheHungerGames and I could not help it but draw a comparison to what is happening to Bobi Wine. They say you can break the body but not the spirit. I stand with #BobiWine #FreeBobiWine.

I believe in youth leadership, that we are equally capable and bring fresh ideas to the table. What I cannot fathom is the thought of insecurities that our “so-called old leaders ” they cannot stand to see our point of view or even give us a seat at the table. Why they would not allow us the opportunity to be heard and lead without #censorship and why they would go to such extents to show their displeasure. Our governments for long have pretended to be pro youth but most of the times they are not able to stand for them. The theme on #InternationalYouthDay this year was #SafeSpacesForYouth. But is this really what we are currently experiencing? Is this what #BobiWine has? I guess we all know the question to that.

bobi-wine-poster

Photo originally from

In Kenya in particular, youth unemployment is at a skyrocket high, we are made to believe in the fallacy that getting a university/college education will get us a “prosperous life” a certificate that would lead us to get a good job. No one ever gives us the reality check of what to expect out here. The government is no longer creating opportunities for young people, we would rather import expatriates to work for us and get Chinese products and while at it killing our local industries. And did I mention that when those in positions keep switching from one to another? Today you are a cabinet minister, a scandal hits or your term comes to an end and the next thing we hear, the person has been given an ambassadorial role. All at the peril of the of job seekers. Our leaders do not even take a minute to think about the future of this generation, all because their interests come first before that of young people and the masses.

I am glad that young people are taking the mantle of leadership and showing us the right way it should be done, that they speak out their minds regardless of whether they will be jailed, tortured or even die in the process. I am happy that Bobi is setting the pace for those who do not believe that young people cannot do it. I am proud of the fact that he is using his voice to stand up for the people of Uganda against dictatorship.

I can only hope that we all learn from him and take up the lead in our own small way. After all, the future is now!!!

Whatever instrument at your disposal, use it to speak out your truth. Be heard! They cannot get rid of every visionary person under the sun, power to the people!!

My prayers are with Bobi. Until the day he is free and what he stands for sees the light of day, young people are not free, the people of Uganda are not free. Youth Leadership. The future is Now, but where do you STAND?

 

Matatu Bad Culture #Sambaza nation


 

kenyans.co.keCourtesy:kenyans.co.ke

 

Man: Comfortability mtu anunue gari (if you want to be comfortable, buy your own car)

Woman: Niko nayo, unataka kuona picha(I have one, do you want to see the photos?) As she scrolls her gallery for the pictures.

Man: Hata sijui na hio mdomo yako kama utapata bwana. (I aint sure that tongue of yours can get you a husband.)

Let us just say, at this point of a conversation, I had had enough. Flashback to where it all started. My two friends and I had gone to town (Nakuru) last month one of those chilly evenings to run an errand. It is 8pm and we are at the matatu stage waiting to board one if we get lucky since it is raining. After a few minutes of waiting one arrives and we quickly get in though a few people got the best seats before we could. Should I mention I am walking with people who have American height as they call it, yeah, I am the only one who is vertically challenged here. The back seat is occupied by two passengers so obviously the three of us cannot sit there, and the seats after that, they are too squeezed my tall friends don’t have any space to put their feet. One decides to sit at the back and another goes for the seat behind the driver. A few minutes later, another passenger tries to sit on the “loners” seat and she cannot find adequate space either, so she sits next to me. An elderly man and his wife want to board the matatu but only two seats are available, the rejected seat and the conductors’ seat. It must be late for them to wait for another matatu, so they decide to hop in and the conductor has to squeeze with the passengers seated behind the driver. In short, we leave town with an excess of one.

I guess “Michuki” rules do not apply anymore or do they? Destination, Lanet, just opposite the barracks.

The driver decides to take a few more routes due to traffic caused by the ongoing road construction and after what is a bumpy road and loads of chit-chat, we arrive at a junction known as Kiondo. Here, there are people waiting for any available means of transport to get home and its drizzling.

Tout: (commanding) Songeni watu wakae (make space for others). To be honest, there literally was no space at the back, and from where I sat, the lady and the gentleman close to her had locked knees, so no space for a #sambaza if you know what I mean, my people from Eldoret can totally relate to this. I schooled in Eldoret and that was the order of the day. Right from the main stage, the matatus there would carry an excess of four people. 14 turns to 18 within a second.

 

nairobi newsCourtesy:nairobinews

Back to where we started, the lady seated next to me refused to move an inch and that is where the harassment started. The tout wanted to get her out of the matatu and refund her fare, but that was not her destination. So verbal assault reigned, the most interesting thing about this, the people seated at the back decided to come to her rescue and spoke up. I always see those “Zusha ” stickers on matatus and I am sure most of us ever really pay attention to them. In such a scenario, most passengers actually leave it to the tout and the affected person to square it out with each other.

So four of us ended up asking for our fare refund,in solidarity with the lady. Simple math,the tout decided he could not incur such a loss but he still managed to get two extra persons in the matatu, a lady and her son. To tell you the truth, she was pissed that people were not making room for her son and retorted that no one would alight with the car seats, what? Kenyans!!!

 

NibambeCourtesy:nibambe.co.ke

A hundred metres from the junction, the driver made another stop to pick another person, at this point there is a heated argument in the matatu,it is no longer between the tout and the lady, the lady now has her supporters, and so does the tout.  It took less than two minutes for the passenger who had boarded the matatu here to jump into the conversation, he is the one who mentioned the issue on comfortability. Did I mention that when we left town I overheard my seatmate tell someone on phone that she had given out her car to someone else and boarded a matatu to her destination? None the less, someone was now abusing her for wanting to be comfortable, and don’t forget she had already paid her fare.

The passenger seated comfortably next to the driver was the one shouting that this lady cannot even find a husband.

It was a game of thrones kinda scenario I tell you, but I am glad that we got to speak up.

Scenario Two

A week ago I went to town, the same thing and at the same junction, the tout wanted people at the back to make room, the lady who was to sit here was well endowed and so were the people already seated. The new passenger with the support of the tout was now harassing the people at the back and someone asked her if she wanted to sit on their laps (plainly put) So, another fiasco until I alighted.

 

I have had the worst experiences myself in a matatu, from being verbally harassed to someone not giving my change back. I used to think that touts were the worst kind in some situations, but after this two incidents, I realize that as Kenyans, we can be our own worst enemies. Ain’t overloading one of the reasons why we have so many accidents on our roads?

Are we encouraging a bad culture in our matatu industry? Have we become a #sambazanation. #songenitupendane

Let me know what your experience has been while using matatus in the comments section.

#BrianWanyama of  Matwana Culture campaign, your story on what you are doing to help this is for another day

Until next time my people, #ZUSHA

Kim

 

 

 

 

 

 

#SaveTheBoyChild


Yes exactly!  Before I delve into my story, let us talk a little bit about WhatsApp. Millennial’s in the house, raise your hands if you cannot do without it. I am already lost in this counting game. We all agree that this app has made our communication easier,fun and even affordable. It has become our quick fix to sharing opportunities, hyping events, sharing videos,memes and jokes ,you name it. I just love its diverse functionality!

Talk of WhatsApp status, it is so tempting to just keep up with people and the photos and statuses they share. I have lost count of the people who view my status, not a bad idea especially when they reply with messages such as cute,lovely etc.

Back to my story, a friend of mine from way back when we were kids is a photographer, so I recently came across his status on WhatsApp and something caught my eye. The  photos told a tale, and with his permission, I will be sharing that here. This actually reminded me of a conversation I was having with some other friends of mine. Story for another day.

A lot has been said and done about the girl child, I am actually so pro it, empowerment, equal opportunity and all. The debate about equity between the two genders is something that has its good and bad side in equal measure and we might not exhaust that here.

I will allow the photos to speak for themselves. They say pictures can be worth more than a thousand words, right? (Let us call our character Johny)

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Are we together up to here my frens? (hold your horses though)

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Ready for work, dressed to kill I must say! I am guessing he is a designer in some design firm. He got good taste.

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Hey Johnny, is this your first stop over to your office? Are you saying hello to longtime friends?

 

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I am confused, why are you removing your fancy clothes and shoes? Please make me understand.

 

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Oh wow! I did not see this coming! But I guess we all gotta grind!

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Nilikua nimebeba ma KDF hapa,nikugawie maji tuzisukume?

IMG-20180420-WA0016

 

Long long day, I gotta wash up and unwind.

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Look guys, I had a date with my bae. I got to impress her. Did I mention she tagged her friend along? (I am keeping calm as I pour the wine. I would not want to get a bad review (from her friend) and the way they be slaying!! (Sauti Sol-P-Units song Gentleman must be playing in his head)

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And after all is said and done. It is what it is man! Do I have money for my next meal?

(and the cycle continues)

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Photo Credits: T-Spark Photography!!!

Thank you T-Spark Photography for allowing me to sharing this amazing and moving photos on my blog!!!!

My two cents from all this, ladies,understand your guy do not hold him at a level where he cannot get to. Do not allow material things to be the standard measure for whether you date someone.

Let us keep the conversation going in the comments section.

From me to you, until next time #SaveTheBoyChild

 

Kim

Time is up!


 

stuck

 

Image source: agileleanlife.com

Have you ever been in a situation where you are feeling stuck? Does the feeling of little or no progress hit you? If you have, then I can totally relate to you.

I have been in one or more situations that have made me feel stuck, having little or no growth and eventually feeling like hiding in a corner and not talking about it. Some of us are stuck in our jobs, relationships, school, religion the list is endless.

Funny thing is that those watching from the outside could be thinking that your life is #goals for them and that you have it all figured out.

Let us have this conversation…..(in front of your mirror) “Hi Elenah (insert your name), you are here now, or  you have been here before, life is bigger than this situation and there is a lot more for you out there.” Sounds easy, right? It always is easier said than done.

The circumstances that make us hit a snag are different and depending on our strength to get ourselves out of it, we might as well end up as underachieved and depressed persons.

Tips for recovering from a snag

  • Reflection

What got you here in the first place? Where did the rain start beating you? These are possible questions that you should ask yourself in order to figure out a possible solution.

  • Talk about it

We are sociable beings. Sharing what you are going through with a trusted person can work like good therapy for you. They say “unburden” yourself by sharing.

  • Get a break

This can be in terms of a vacation to a destination you have always wished to go to. Everyone needs a break sometimes before they can actually snap because of a situation.

  • Have fun

Sometimes all you need is to find that thing that makes you tick. It could be a sport, singing, attending events or even eating. At such moments, this can help work as a distraction which would eventually help you put things into perspective.

  • Write

This has been known over the years to work as great therapy. To be honest, it does work for me, I write it all in my poetry and find relief.

  • Move on

Sometimes the only solution to some problems can be moving on. A scenario, you are in a violent relationship and there is a possibility that someone may really hurt you, why would you hold on? Move on, and keep moving!!!!

 

 

move on

Image source:nadinemacaluso.com

It has never felt good to be stuck, learn to find yourself no matter the situation and pick up the pieces.

Click here for more tips

Till next time. TIME IS UP!!!

“Until you believe you have options, you will continue to feel stuck.” Sean Stephenson

Kim

Loving You


 

 

 

Loving yourself
Courtesy: intensivelifestyle.wordpress.com

 

I wanted so much to live my life for others,

To help them realize a dream or two,

To lend them a wing when they had none,

To love, live and be for them.

 

But life taught me,

To love, live, and be for others,

Means that I got to Love self first,

This way, I would be able to give much more.

 

This is the month that is associated with love and February 14 happens to be a day where people express love with lots of gifts going around,  either one is giving or receiving, sounds fun, right?  But what really happens after this day? Think about it.

I wanted to share my thoughts on loving ourselves. “Loving You”  It might be already cliche for me to be writing about this, well, probably true. You might as well be saying to yourself..”but I love myself” Question is, do you do enough to show this?

I have come to realize that sometimes it can be easy to do stuff that shouts “I love you” for other people and actually forget about ourselves. But why do we find it easy to do so for others and not ourselves, it could be human nature, but I would love if we could spend some time evaluating this.

So, why not make this month the month where you spend your time, money and any other resources at your disposal to Loving YOU?

Be it attending those Zumba classes you have been postponing, the swimming lessons, the road trip, and even that much-deserved vacation. I ain’t saying you stop doing special stuff for people, but I want you to evaluate the special things you have done for yourself, and if the list is too short, start Loving You!

I am learning to love me more each day I hope you do too, it is easier to give, even more, that which we have in plenty. Appreciate yourself more. LOVE YOU MORE!

 

Loving yourself 2
Courtesy: pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

Kim

Woman,your First Husband is Your Job


I decided to visit my former primary school today, it is now 10 years since I left this school. (I have very fond memories of this). This school has literally played a big role into the person I now am. I had very supportive teachers and friends. It is also the first place that I discovered my love for poetry and art!

My favorite English teacher is currently the Deputy in the school, she is aging like a fine wine, I kept telling her teaching is doing her some good.

As I walked to her office, I remembered how when I was a kid she would encourage me by telling me that I could be anything I dreamt of becoming and yea, I still believe that!

Before we got down to business, she shared a lot of insight that I felt I needed to share here. She is of the opinion that women have great minds, are a force to change, can steer their families forward and can move mountains to ensure the success of their children. I actually agree with her on that.

One most important point she emphasized was that any woman needs to be economically empowered. I couldn’t agree more on that as a believer in empowering women economically by all means necessary! She pointed out that women should make a job/business their first HUSBANDS! Her reasoning, if you are not economically empowered, you would automatically be relying on someone else to provide for you even the most basic needs; dependency…she said does not look good on anyone at this age and era. And what do you expect when you are always at the receiving end, limitation!limitation!limitation! If this is the case, automatically as a person, there is no growth.(Gosh! all this wisdom in one seating?) I felt like I needed a dose of this every week.

My take from all this wisdom, When we empower women economically, we are empowering a nation, after all, they are mostly the primary nurturers!

Find something you love doing and something that put food on the table without having to ask.

Woman, your First Husband is Your Job! Let this be your mantra this year!

 

Kim

 

 

 

Year of Adventure


I have been postponing writing this post since the year began, (I blame my insane schedules to an extent) laughing at the fact that it is always easy to find a scapegoat.

I hope your year started on a high note, mine did and I am grateful. This January though, it is something else.

That aside, I wanted to do a little reminiscing on a year passed (2017). This was my year of adventure. I had the opportunity to go to West Pokot for a period of six months and work with a group of girls. I got the opportunity to demystify the notion that West Pokot is all insecure, I met the most welcoming people, learned about their culture and got to experience it first hand, and yea, nature made me an explorer!

Apart from the hot sun, there was a lot to be enjoyed, fresh air, tranquility and a great breeze, I guess yoga fans would enjoy this place. Oh, and did I mention the frequent occurrence of the rainbow in all its 7 colors? Forgive my camera though

 

I got to experience the thrill that comes with hiking too. The most exciting thing  about it was the fact that our guides (the girls)  made us feel that the journey was conquerable, and we did the ascend and descend of Morpus in about 5 hours

A memory I will forever dear about this place, I got to learn that anything is possible, you just have to put your heart to it. The girls taught me the power of resilience in the face of adversity,( did I mention most come from disadvantaged backgrounds with some escaping early marriages and FGM to pursue education?) But the beauty of it, they now believed its possible, and yea I got to teach them beadwork and got to learn the Pokot beadwork from them, it was like an exchange program! Exciting, right?

I also almost got married, the girls suggested I had come of age and they were willing to get me a suitor. This topic never died out, until the day I left.

West Pokot was an eye-opener for me. I learned that we should never let the flame in us die out, that we just need to keep dreaming and go seize opportunities around us.

Another opportunity I got to experience was attending the Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI). To tell you the truth, by the time I qualified for this opportunity, I was almost giving up on the application process. I had made four applications prior and all had not gone through. When I finally got the admission email, I was so thrilled. My stay here was worth my while. I got to meet young leaders from different countries, networked, was inspired and expanded my horizons on a lot of other stuff.

To crown all this, I got to graduate! I had written about it here Waiting and Waiting!

The long wait was finally over! And my girl squad was right there.What a way to end my year!

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I wish you a productive year ahead. To better times and great discoveries.

Kim

Fridah


Sad

thelightness

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The first message I got from Rashida Fridah said “Are you on your way? I can’t seem to open the lock, even with the right code”. We had a shift together at Retro Nørrebro, a charity café around the corner from Assistens Cemetery in Northern Copenhagen. We’d never worked together before, and had only met at social events in passing. Both of us were new to the café but as it had so many international volunteers and members of staff it was impossible to know everyone. It was the start of a long and cold Danish winter, and the locks on the doors were frozen. This was Fridah’s first winter in Copenhagen, and she was bundled up with scarves and gloves, trying to force open a café door in an otherwise deserted street.
The second message I got from her was less than a month later. It said “Do you…

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