EAST AFRICAN QUEENS

Good evening Rafikis,

I hope you are keeping well,  I thought it would we be great for me to share with you my journey as president of the East African Society. The society has contributed massively to my time at University abroad and so I think it is important for me to share the journey with you.

16649140_1235381579888292_3696275976032497302_n

Designed by Stephany Olaka

Like any other great story there have been challenges. For instance , during the first wave of elections I was the only one who run for any position. Then during the second wave only the positions of secretary and vice president were filled up. (Why do East Africans fear leadership and competition? Could we blame the political climate in our own countries? That is a story for another day). However, I did not let this break my spirit, I had a vision for the society and I knew I could actualize it if I worked hard enough.

Therefore  I decided to take advantage of the network of friends around me. This way \o was able to come up with a full committee. Once, our committee was complete we set off to tell the East African story.

Below I will describe each committee member with one word(or two) and add a phrase of something they would be the most likely to say.

cropped-dsc_01591.jpg

Madame President (allow me to gas myself up for the last time) :-p

Shout out to my dad, he is the only one who still calls me that, everyone else is over it I think lol

Guys I’m running for … Please vote for me!

I am Kenyan.

Fun fact about me I Acquired Bilhazia in Mwanza, Tanzania (don’t swim in lakes kids). I have also visited Juba and Kigali, where my dad worked for many years.

DSC_0098.JPG

Vice President- Lady like Recho

Which one is the Dashiki? I am so confused guys, I don’t live in Africa you know

We allow it because although she is originally from South Sudan she is  Manchester raised. She is proper Black British you know, Hair always on fleek and dat, innit!

Ps Congratulations on your graduation, Go conquer the world! You were the Mit Romney to my Obama, I couldn’t have asked for a better VP.

15391371_1173635896062861_3531141319594978098_o

Secretary – Chilled out Crystal

Relax guys! Honestly, it’s really not that deep! Tbh I don’t really care it’s just a …

She brought sanity to the group. She is calm, collected (sometimes too calm) and cool. She often balanced off the wild energy in the room.  The hippy of the group I’d say.

Ugandan born but raised in Kenya and else where in the world. (third generation kids be like)

15390725_1173743276052123_7609872865229009791_n

Treasurer – Money-minded Nikita

But where does she think that money coming from, it wasn’t in the budget? Will the cheaper option get the job jone?

Always there to ensure that we do not spend money where it was unnecessary to do so. Only one who actually put her actuary degree to practice in the society as the human calculator. Another thing, is that she is very reliable as she would always get the job done!

That Biashara mentalilty- Kenyan

15403656_1173667619393022_7028084744177700762_o

Publicity Officer- Creative- Juice Stefany

 I have an idea guys, I was thinking we could … Do you see my vision? 

Too much juice too much sauce. A brilliant creative!

Always behind the camera capturing moments or busy working on one thing or the other. She brought peace to the society with her warm personality and acted as a mediator where need arose.

Ps- She is the gem behind all the amazing photography, videography and design ❤

Kenyan living in Tanzania.

15369111_1174622902630827_7049342881100071398_o

Events coordinator-  Stopwastingmytime’ Makena

Honestly guys, you are just wasting my time! I’m not coming for the meeting, I have better things to do!

Always whining about us wasting her time.  Her motto was probably waste my time 2016 lol.  She was always in a rush to be done with us. Never the less nothing but love for her because her passion for time put the society on track and ensured the job got done well on time.

She is Kenyan and proud! She would never let us forget she’s from Meru County!

 

WhatsApp Image 2017-06-12 at 09.50.01

Welfare Officer-  Toomuchfire Moono

Guys this is TRASH! I am not putting my name on that! I can’t allow for such!

A juxtaposition. On one side she had too much fire in her. She was always ready to share her honest opinion even when it was not asked for.  On the otherhand she was probably the most loving of all. When you actually get to know her, her maternal instict is evident. You were able to understand why she was the welfare officer.

Zambian raised in Kenya.

 

dsc_0333.jpg

Like the Rwandan government with a majority female representation, these women were best fiited to represent the East African students.

All in all, I couldn’t have asked for it any other way. It was my honor to serve and I hope the fire continues to burn on even in years to come.

DSC_0278

dsc_0279.jpg

Till next time, Kylie Achieng

Advertisements

Can Black be Political?

For those of you that follow me on social media you would have probably come across my rants against my University’s Union for their ‘national embarrassment’.

For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, sometime last week Kent Union posted images of Zayne Malik and Sadiq Khan as profiles celebrating Black History Month. Obviously a dumb and ignorant move as the two figures are NOT black. Zayne has even been found to have supported the “All lives matter” campaign.

When they posted the image of Zayne, they received great backlash from it but failed to remove it as they felt it was justified being as they are adopting the NUS definition of blackness that incorporates blackness.

Political blackness is a term which was popularised in Britain during the 70s as a means of describing all non-white people of colour who faced racial oppression

So basically an all white Union with the vote of 5 black individuals felt that it was approptiate for the Uni to adopt this definition and represent all black students views at the University.

Anyway eventually they had to take the image down as it received national media coverage , with BBC news and other major media platforms termed it a ‘national embarrassment’.


The reason why this was so painful for me was not only because of painful experiences faced in the past by our ancestors (through slavery and colonialsm- I’m of the view that many of the issues on our continent today are as a result of colonialism and mental enslavement) but also the events we face today.

Ironically one of my housemates had a racist comment made at her the same day the post went up outside our home by a white teenager and his parents. Also a white lives matter campaign took place recently in Margate a town so close to us. Occasionally on the buses we experience passive racism.

I have met lovely people in Canterbury and even live with some amazing British people  but I have also come to learn that Canterbury homes some insensitive and racist people too.


Therefore for my own union to be ignorant to that fact , hurts. The issue also brought to light some institutional racism occurrences. For example the discrimination against black societies in the Uni ( the lack of support over the years for the Afro -Caribbean society) .
I will drop the last fact before I retire to bed.

Out of 18,510 Proffesor’s in the U.K. Only 85 of them are black

I rest my case! Put some respect on our names #Blacklivesmatter

Identity Crisis- Part 1

Hey there, I know, I know its been a minute since I last wrote but I’m back now.

Many of you might know that last September I left the comfort of my fathers home to pursue my higher education in the United Kingdom. Previously, I had not be exposed to such a multicultural atmosphere, my high school was international but only had students from different African Country. However diverse Africa is  we still have so much in common as we share a bond. Therefore you can understand how going to an International University was different for me.

For once I felt it was necessary for me to identify who I was and where I was from. I watched the Chinese who somehow always managed to have access to their food and the Nigerians with their ability to convert their British accents to Nigerian accents when necessary. I was envious of these people as they managed to retain their culture in the western world. I thought of my fellow Kenyans who craved so eagerly to adopt the culture of the west that is with the exception of the Maasai. Whenever anyone asked me about Kenyan culture the only thing I could tell them about was the Maasai and yet Kenya has more than 45 tribes. Crazy huh!

I felt lost, for once I wish I listened to parents and visited the village more often, for once I wished I knew more about my history. I wish I knew more about my country, I wished I knew more about the Kamba tribe , the Samburu tribe and even the Suba tribe. I wished I knew more about Kenya.

My ID states that my name is Kylie Achieng Ochuodho and that I’m from Kagan but yet I was born in Nairobi Hospital and raised in Nai.

Picture1

What did it mean to be Kenyan? Can I actually call myself considering the history my ancestors had colonialists. In this series I wish to lead you through my Tedx talk experience. I hope you enjoy it, if you get to bored or are simply in a rush you can watch the talk directly.

Love, Peace , Ubuntu

NyarKagan

Team Kenya

Currently awake at 2 am, worried about my country. It is strange I think, I am no expert on politics and sometimes I feel like I’m not justified in speaking holistically on the matter. Lakini when has that ever stopped me. Apologies to my readers, lakini this post is for my fellow Kenyans, hence the random outbursts of Swahili.

WaKenya eeh, (eeeh) WaKenya aah (aah). I’ve been having conversations with friends from different backgrounds on my own. Recently as a result of certain circumstances (please please if you are aware of what I speak of , keep it in your heart, it’s not everyday the world must know my business)  I cried profusely about something that had to do with tribalism (by know you must all know I’m a drama queen, lakini hizo machozi zilikuwa deep rooted aki). This was sparked by a number of things namely the current situation in our country, aki watu wanapigana videadly na hata hatujali. (najua sija toka ghetto lakini na enjoy ku engoye hivi saa zingine).

I digress as usual, but I think it’s befitting I give a shout out to the people that help me gain a deeper understanding of Kenya (mainly tribalism from a different perspective) Makena Gachau and Nathan Thiong’o you guys are real Ogs (by know hopefully you have realised this is like my diary, so just allow me put your names here). On the real though, thank you guys.

Back to my point, let us please think of a way to love each other regardless of ukabila, ukabila to watchie kina Guka na Dani.

Only those who are crazy enough to believe they can change the world actually change the world.- Suli Breaks

An ingredient for success

I lie in bed, awakened by a bad dream. “GOD forbid that it comes true”.

I realize that unlike other writers who are inspired by solitude and silence, I am inspired by animosity and chaos.

That is beside the point because  this post is not about me.

As I went to sleep, a few hours ago I began to notice an obvious trend. POTUS arguably the most powerful man in the world was in my country paying homage to the most talented Kenyans e.g. Sauti sol, Eric Omondi and Yego

“Opportunity favours the prepared” is a phrase that I am constantly reminded of. You see your parents may have a lot of money and connections which may increase the opportunities available to you, however if you lack talent, you may never succeed.

Please don’t misquote me, go out and be aggressive because good things don’t come to those who wait instead they come to those who go out and work hard.

In my opinion, it is more important that you work on your talent, don’t just work at being good, work at being the best. This is because people are naturally attracted to the best. I know I probably sound like the next motivational speaker especially to that 14 year old who prioritizes fitting into a world that calls for us to stand out.

If you are wise you shall listen because I have just given you an ingredient for success.

I apologize for my silence, I’ve been working on myself so that the content I produce adds value, if your looking for entertainment go watch Churchill live.

Kind Regards,
Achieng Ochuodho

image

Happy Independence Day

Good evening lovely people,

Last summer, I was blessed with the opportunity to visit Juba (for all you ignorant people, that is the capital city of South Sudan). My sister and I traveled to visit my father who has worked there for several years (more than 5 I think). To be honest the first time he told us that he would be leaving to work there I was somewhat devastated because my ignorance had led me to believe it was a war torn nation.

South-Sudan-independence--007

Especially when fighting broke out between the opposition and the people, I kept wanting him to come home but he didn’t. Then I realized that not only did we need to eat but also that my dad is a fighter. He chose to stay because he believed in the nation. Anyway fast forward to my trip to Juba.

Juba is such a beautiful nation, from the green trees and the sandy streets to the lake. I had a great week. I also visited this beautiful hotel next to the airport, it was much better than any hotel I have seen in Kenya (okay it may match Hemingways, but it has more gold) and it’s owned by Lebanese 🙂

Hongera ! to all my South Sudanese brothers and sisters

Happy Independence Day.

stock-photo-fist-of-south-sudan-flag-painted-multi-purpose-concept-isolated-on-white-background-155104346

Not yet Kenyan

I know that during this period , our nation should be in prayer and mourning for the lives that were lost during the Garissa attacks. I must take this opportunity to send my condolences and best wishes to those affected by the attacks.

But yet again it is just important to get to the root of the problem and address it.

Take your time and watch this documentary, it may be slightly exaggerated or not (because sometimes International media exaggerates our issues) but it is still educative.

I am guilty of being ignorant, for one I didn’t know that the North Eastern as we know it today was given to Kenya by the British at the time of our independence.
Kenyan Somalis have the right to be treated and protected equally just as much as the rest of us.

I was aware that some of our Kenyan troops are lunatics , raping and killing innocent lives in the name of justice, but I choose not to generalize that all armed forces. This is because I am aware that there good and diligent Kenyan soldiers who protect Kenyans. In the same way, I urge you not to generalize terrorism to all Somali’s with mention to Kenyan Somalis in particular because they are Kenyans just as we are.

I knew that Kenya has been attacked on numerous occasions but I was ignorant to the fact that since 2011 when Kenya declared war in Somali, there have been more than 100 attacks in our nation.

I am conscious to the fact that we are dealing with terrorists but from the little information I know is that all they want from Kenyans is for us to withdraw our troops from their nation, why is it so hard to so, why can’t we spend that energy on protecting our own barriers. I personally have not heard any Somali asking Kenya for help or to remain there. (but then again what do I know I am just a young lady who cannot understand such complex situations) If not in the name of justice and peace, in the name of all the innocent Kenyan lives that have been lost and that are yet to be lost (GOD forbid) why not end the madness. Shouldn’t the main goal of a state be to shelter it’s people other than to expose them to danger and then attempt to protect them.

I am of the belief that this madness can come to an end in the following ways, one instead of attacking the Kenyan Somalis, we need to engage them, government should work close with them in order to identify who exactly is causing the mayhem. two- our soldiers in Somali need to come back home (if anyone is of a different view, please elaborate). Kenyans (All Kenyans) must unite in order to defeat this.

Thanks Teddy Muema for sharing the video with me

MY BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL TOO

In my earlier days  that is ‘my adolescent years and early teens’ society defined beauty for me, beauty was face, skin colour and body type.

Beauty was white skin, mixed race and light skin, and I never fit into society’s definition of beauty but strangely enough even in the midst of those years my confidence was at it’s peak (I thought about sharing a picture from then but that’s a story for another day). So maybe society’s definition never hit me hard but it still upset me that dark skin was never associated with beauty.

So you may be wondering where this is coming from, Recently, someone that I used to know updated a status stating that “dark skin girls belong in the friend zone”. I was in utter disbelief, that in this day and age people could still be so narrow minded.

It’s kinder like racism just that this time around it’s among black people, we are our own worst enemies. I remember there was a time Team Light skin v Team Dark skin was actually a thing and I don’t understand  it like we are all black. We all have melanin but somehow you choose to persecute me with your words because I have more than you do. Don’t you think it is ridiculous for you to hate on me because God created different shades of black?

Then as I began to get older, the situation changed, society started to embrace certain dark skin women , the common phrase being ” she’s pretty for a dark skin girl” ?? but what tomfoolery is that ? Why are we trying to imply that being born dark skin is a curse? Why cant the compliment just end at “She is pretty”.

wpid-photogrid_1420457717078.jpg

Even worse is the impact it has on young girls, Can you imagine being told constantly that the colour of your skin doesn’t allow you to be attractive? Do you realize what that can do to a girl?

Don’t get me wrong , I am not asking you to discriminate in favour of me , I’m simply asking you to stop discriminating against me.I am 110% against bleaching/skin lightening or whatever you like to call it but don’t go around throwing hate at these people especially if you are one of the people who discriminate against dark skin girls. Because your the reason she has such a low self esteem.

So the other day I found this interview of Kendrick Lamar talking about his choice to use a darker girl on the poetic justice video and I was touched, he loves all women but realizes that dark skin girls have been forgotten and decides to empower them. ( just when I thought I couldn’t love the man more)

I’m just saying whether or not you think that my black is beautiful or whether you prefer mixed race girls or Asian girls to black girls it doesn’t change the truth, My black is beautiful.

All shades of black are beautiful.

image

Muthoni Mwebesa – Her black is beautiful

image

Angelina Ruea – Her black is beautiful

image

Melissa Kibe – Her black is beautiful

image

Amy Gichia -Her black is beautiful

image

Amy Onyonyi -Her black is beautiful

Maybe I’ll never fit into society’s definition of beauty but one thing I’ll always know is that my black is beautiful.

Special thanks to all the beautiful ladies that helped with this post.

20e191ccc3588aada85edde6335b7404

My black is beautiful too


IMG_9181

CULTURE v TRIBALISM

The other day I went to apply for my ID and there was a part in the form that asked what tribe I was, I quickly looked back to my mother and asked her what my tribe had to do with it.  She replied “you ask them”.

It got worse when I got further in the process ,one of the workers looked at my form which read home district- Homabay and asked ” Watcha uongo, ukweli we ni mjaluo vile unaka kama Mkikuyu”. I didn’t even bother to respond to him.

This whole process made me realize that there is a serious problem in this country that needs to be addressed. When the freedom fighters fought for independence they fought for Kenyans and here we are fighting against each other.

Don’t get me wrong , I am not trying to say that we should abandon our roots because that would mean abandoning culture which is a beautiful thing.

All I am saying is can we not judge others based on their tribe, because Kenyan is bigger than each of the 42 communities but at the same time could be Kenya with all of them

My prayer is that my generation i.e you and I will eradicate this erroneous trend.

Happy holidays fam, Merry Christmas Eve,

1493278_551030334985034_1411203379_n 859016-8-1331454556956Map-of-Kenya