Remember Sarafina? It was a South African movie that introduced me to apartheid in SA and the ‘toyi-toyi’ dance. There, mini-skirts and mini dresses were donned with such charisma and simplicity. They did not attempt to pull them down or hide their yellow thighs when they bucked their knees up as they danced and demonstrated in the streets. Their defiance to intimidation gave such an air of confidence that Kenyan ladies should borrow. This is neither about miniskirts nor Sarafina, it’s about tenacity. But I can’t just jump in without warming you up. We’ll have to start with this one lady, my friend, Sue. To understand some gradations of tenacity you have to know where it started.
It has taken me 6 months to begin writing this and now more than ever I stop giving a hang to AA Gill’s words, “Never write with a view, face a blank wall, the world is a distraction”. I have had the hankering to speak to you each day these two months. To see Nzisa comment pop up within the first hours of me posting. I appreciate it. Don will whatsapp me relentlessly demanding that I post or our friendship will go to the dogs. Here’s what, threats work. Judy is always on the verge of sending me an inbox. Mercie, Ruby, Kent, Nyela, Evans, Kamau Wanyoike, Tabitha, Mugendi, Shem, Grace, Nadia, Anna and all those other ghost readers, Happy New Year. What I’m trying to say is, I missed you and for that reason, this post is longer than average. Now that we are done with the touchy-feely, let’s move on, ey?
At 24, I care for my health more than my looks. Okay, we are getting off to a bad start. I lied. I care for both. Thus, I jog thrice a week for an hour. More for my health and I’ll tell you why. When I was 15, I went for a checkup and oddly, my doctor gave me an appointment with a cardiologist. He said my heart rate was too fast signifying an allergy to medication or something. So I showed up the next week. My only worry then was the two male doctors that touched me, for the first time. They took turns at my left breast, fondling (another lie), then massaging the cold gel on the underside where they were just filling out and then placing the cold metal thing that was connected to the scanner. They called the procedure Echo. There was a whizzing sound from my heart. Like a donkey’s bray. Heee without the hooo. I was slightly perturbed. But the hand on my breast! Then on the screen, there were bubbles leaving my left ventricle!
She grew up in a pretty small world,
A little village, fresh and green not a busy barn,
Every morning she passed the fields, and with every passing glance,
Took her breath as the breeze on the flower buds,
Slowly by slowly strung,
The cords of her heart like a humming bird..