Grip Strengtheners a must have for freelancers

When you talk about work injuries, what comes to mind in most cases is someone falling and breaking a limb, getting a burn, generally an injury that can be seen from the outside. Rarely, do we think of an injury that works its way from the inside and one that can be hard to describe because its an internal pain. Everything may look normal, but only the wearer of the issues knows where it pinches.

Working as a freelancer, I never imagined one day my hands, the most treasured tool might fail me, but they did. I started out as a transcriber and as you all know this involves a lot of typing. I did it gracefully and would comfortably handle two audio hours within 12 hours. As years went by, my speed slowed, I never thought much about it and blamed it on being worn out. Little did I know my hands were giving me a warning sign, my nerves couldn’t take the pressure anymore. With time, pain became the order of the day. I could hardly type without having to rest of my hands and this led to excuses and low output on my end. But as they say the beauty of freelancing is you learn and earn at the same time.

As part of my work, I was assigned Grip strengtheners as a topic to research on and get some of the good brands out there to be featured. Until that day, I had never known they existed or how they could be of help to me. I delivered the work and off I went to get myself a pair to get my  hands back in shape. The pair I got wasn’t so comfortable though it did help in a way. After a while I decided to pay for a gym membership and guess what, the trainer recommended the same thing – a grip strengthener. Here’s a full review of grip strengthener brands that I believe are worth checking out and maybe getting yourself a pair in case you are having trouble with your hand nerves.



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The Journey of love

School wasn’t boring save for the long distances I had to walk to and from for the most sought after knowledge. Over the years, I had made a few friend here and there during my walks and in school. It was a Friday, schools had closed for the year and I had just sat for my final exams. Sitting at home and helping around the house wasn’t a bad option but a bit boring for a lass. I had to come up with an idea to escape from this daily routine. Funds were hard to come by and I knew chances of me being able to join high school were close to nil. The more reason why I had to go out there and look for something to help occupy my erratic mind.

Young, naive, drop dead gorgeous and just out of school, I headed off to my aunt’s place. She lived in a somewhat urban area compared to where my parents lived. It was a small tea farming town but full of life. I fell in love with the place the moment I stepped out of the matatu. This was my second time visiting the place and I just couldn’t get enough of its beauty. Not to talk about the young handsome men who went about their duties. The nature of their jobs led them to have well-toned bodies that were irresistible. I couldn’t help but stare at them for a while until someone nudged me from behind. It was my aunt who had come to pick me up from the bus station.  

I had a small metal box that contained my few belongings which was a little heavy for my tiny self to carry around. Thankfully, a young man who knew my aunt offered to carry it for me. We chatted all the way to my aunt’s place and with time we became good friends and he always offered to show me around town and help me with some chores like fetching firewood. Life wasn’t as interesting as I had thought it would be but I was determined to make the best out of it rather than go back home. I convinced my aunt to enroll me into a tailoring course. With the help of my dad, they were able to raise funds to pay the famous town fundi to show me the ropes and hopefully become as artistic as he was.

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Diaries of a single mom

As she sat under the mango tree watching the beautiful sunset, Mmboga was lost in deep thought as her life had lost all of its beauty. Her once vibrant beautiful eyes were filled with sorrow and a distant look. Ever since she got married to her handsome prince Jack all things had gone from rosy to thorny.

Her traditional wedding was the talk of the village and for ten years, no wedding had come close to what they had. Jack happened to be the only son of the village chief and his father did all he could to ensure the day was a success. Celebrations lasted a whole week. The whole village danced and ate to their fill and those who enjoyed the local brew were not left behind because Maria the renowned village brewer was hired to supply enough busaa so that no one was uncatered for. As for the mama’s milk and tea flowed like a river. Everyone was happy and wished the couple a long love filled marriage.

Mmboga knew a lot was expected of her. As she wore the princesses crown and made merry a lot weighed on her mind. Yes, she was the village beauty and had clinched the trophy by marrying the prince. However, a lot of rumors had been doing rounds about the village prince and why he had delayed in getting a wife. Some said he was too choosy, others said he was abusive while others claimed he just hadn’t found his rib and that’s why he took some time to make his choice. Mmboga didn’t  know what to expect and was a little pensive, her sisters-in-laws, however, did a great job ensuring she felt at home and relaxed. She was pampered and had someone attend to her every need.

The honeymoon period didn’t last for long though. Being the first and only daughter in law of the chief, she was under pressure to give birth to a son who would inherit the chieftain after his father and grandfather. The sooner this happened, the better for the entire family. Jack played the loving husband role very well. He did all he could to please his wife and after a few months she was pregnant. His mother couldn’t hide her joy and his sisters were all over his wife pampering her. This somehow got into his head and he started being arrogant and rude to his wife for he felt like she was getting all the attention that was meant for him. He gradually changed and started drinking, smoking and using all manner of drugs. He was no longer the darling husband she wedded a few months ago. Life was unbearable but she stayed put. On the outside, he played the gentleman but when he got to his house, all hell broke loose. It was difficult to convince his parents and siblings of his brutality.

Jack had indeed turned into a jerk and a stranger watching from the sides would be made to believe the wife was forced on him yet he had courted her for several months before getting married. Whenever he coughed, tripped or had a disagreement with his boss, all the blame was shifted to Mmboga. Beatings, no financial support, and abuses were the order of the day for her. Her pregnancy couldn’t take it. She tried to be careful, eating well and smiling through her pain but one evening during her fifth month, Jack came back home drunk. He staggered towards the door and knocked, unfortunately, she was fast asleep, something that hadn’t happened in awhile and she didn’t hear the knock. He staggered back a step or two and came rushing to the door, he missed the door by an inch and hit his head on the brick wall. His once handsome face was partly cracked with veins screaming and blood gushing out like a water tap that had been opened. She had the commotion and came to check what was happening. His family also heard the noise and everyone came out to find out if they had been attacked by thugs or what was going on. He was rushed inside and given first aid as they waited to take him to a hospital for some stitching.

The blame game begun and his once loving family started hating Mmboga and blaming her for all the negative changes that had happened to their son and brother. They ridiculed her and treated her like a pauper. Yes, she came from a humble family and they knew this when their son courted and married her. So why the negative energy now? She couldn’t bear the stress anymore and one evening as she lay hungry and stressed, she felt wetness on her dress. On touching it, it was blood. She called for help and when her sister in law showed up instead of helping her she mocked and laughed at her “you are so pathetic you can’t even do a simple task of carrying a baby to term” she taunted. She didn’t have a penny to her name, her husband was nowhere and she couldn’t get anyone to help her get to the nearest clinic. She dragged herself as she continued to bleed crying for help which was not forthcoming as her in laws looked from the sides. A few steps from the gate, her husband showed up and instead of helping she kicked her severally and hurled insults, she collapsed and lay unconscious for hours. Her family finally came to her rescue but it was late and she had lost her pregnancy.

Life was not easy and she had to make numerous trips to her father’s house just to get something to eat and cry her heart out to her mother. As her once loving in-laws had turned into enemies who made sure her life was a living hell.  She had three more miscarriages within five years because of depression and he now labeled her a good for nothing woman who could not carry a pregnancy to term and because of this, he started bringing young girls to their matrimonial bed and forcing his wife to sleep on the floor.

The few times he managed to spend with his wife could not be compared to their once blossoming love life that was the envy of the villagers. By chance, she got pregnant again in their seventh year of marriage. Saying she was happy was an understatement, she now had a spring to her walk and her face had a little spark but she did all she could to hide the excitement from his family lest they caused another miscarriage. Jane was determined to do all she could to carry this pregnancy to term even if it meant shifting from her matrimonial home. Luckily for her, her husband got a job in the neighboring village and this meant he could only come home once a month. She almost held a party to celebrate this awesome news but chose not to for fear of making him change his mind about his new job. One month into the pregnancy and Jack was off to his new duty post and this meant some calm and peace for Jane.

She chose to spend most of her day time helping her mother at her small grocery store and coming back in the evening. It was a bit calmer at home and Jack never failed to disappoint as he never showed up when he promised to. With no telephone or any other formal way to communicate, Mmboga went about her duties. Although she somehow missed her husband, she was glad he was away and she could enjoy some peace and calm, something that had been evading her for seven years just a few months after the day the village elder pronounced the words “do you Jane Mmboga take Jack Madurenge as your lawfully wedded husband for better and for worse.”

Her pregnancy was uneventful and 40 weeks later she put to bed. All this while, Jack never showed up not even after several messengers were sent to alert him of the fact that his wife was heavily pregnant. He preferred to spend his weekends at the village bar being entertained by young girls. This went on for months and he only showed up three months later because he was broke and needed some financing from his father. He showed up somewhat sober but the moment he looked at his wife his anger started to build up, it was as if he had been bewitched that any time he looked at his wife he grew angry for no reason. Insults and beatings begun reason being his wife had given birth to a baby girl who looked more like her mother than her father.

After enduring all this for seven years and her parents advising her to stay put and play her wifely role no matter what, she chose to call it quits and start life afresh. With tears rolling from her eyes, Jane held tightly to her three months old baby and made herself a promise “as long as I live, I’ll never shed a tear because of a man.” She packed the few belongings she had in a green paper bag and left for her father’s house. The hurt she had endured both physical and emotional was no longer something she could tolerate after her husband of seven years brought home a girl young enough to be her daughter as his second wife. As she sat under the mango tree, she pondered on what step to take next. With no proper formal education to boast of, she had limited options to better her life but she was determined to be a better person and fall in love with herself deeply.

Salome, her mother watched from the kitchen window, and as the clock ticked, sadness engulfed her and a sharp pain pierced through her heart just looking at her once full figured daughter who was the village beauty now a shadow that one would hardly recognize. The villagers were gossiping a lot and people looked down on her daughter because according to her community’s traditions a woman who ran away from her matrimonial home was viewed as a failure. But being her mother and a woman, Salome had to hold her daughter’s hand and help her reorganize herself for there is no greater bond than a bond shared between mother and child.

As darkness set in and the villagers retreated to their huts to prepare the evening meal, Salome lit a fire and prepared a meal for her family. She made sure to prepare her daughter’s favorite vegetables; a mix of muto, kunde and mrenda just so she could eat a lil for she had completely lost her appetite. With a full moon lighting up the quiet village, the family gathered at their favorite spot; the mango tree to have their evening meal. Once everyone was fully filled and they had retreated inside, Salome sat down with her daughter for a heart to heart talk. They talked late into the night with both ending up with teary eyes and Mmboga feeling a burden lifted off her shoulders.

A week later, she left for the city to look for a job and mend her life. Things were not easy for she had no friends or relatives to turn to for help. She did odd jobs to survive and rented a room at the Majengo slums in Nairobi where she commuted from. Weeks and months passed and all she earned was spent on rent and food with no extra cash for savings but Mmboga was not one to give up easily. One day as she washed clothes for one of her regular clients, lady luck shined upon her and the lady offered to make her part of her staff at her cleaning company where she would work half day. Though the salary paid was not much, this meant she had a stable income and she could still do her part-time jobs to supplement her income. Indeed the dark tunnel was starting to light up and her once sad face was beginning to light up with a smile…

No matter how terrible things might appear, domestic violence should never be tolerated and it’s never too late to start a new. Don’t let yourself be a statistic in the death register just because you want to please your family and friends, remember you only have one life, guard it jealously and never let anyone make you feel like you are a lesser human being.

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Eating out in Lamu

One of my greatest weakness is good food. Presentation? Well, that doesn’t matter much as long as the restaurant is clean and the food is delicious. Well, no one in their right mind would want to eat food that isn’t well cooked or tasteless.


I’ve always loved Swahili delicacies and traveling to Lamu meant sampling delicious meals every other day for the duration I’d stay around. Were my expectation met? Partly yes. First day, this was Sunday, I asked around and was told to try out Mangrove. The place is strategically located at the Jetty and next to Equity Bank so you can’t really miss it. It was abuzz with activities, some customers enjoying meals while others chatted the evening away drinking coffee. It was evening and they didn’t have much to offer. Being new in town and having been dropped there by a certain lady who gave a good review of the place, I decided to try whatever they had, maini and chapati.

I’m not the foodie type but I had spent the better part of the afternoon sleeping after arrival to this beautiful island. Saying I was hungry is an understatement, I guess I would have swallowed a whole goat if it was handed to me. The food was okay but the chapati was very tiny compared to the ones I’m used to in Nairobi. This meant ordering an extra chapati to finish up my maini stew. The maini was well cooked though it had a sour taste maybe because of the spices used, I never asked so I’ll never know. Can I give them a second try, if I had time I would but I still have other places to sample.

After my two chapati’s and maini stew, I still wasn’t filled up and I decided to risk walking around in search of more food. This landed me at Labanda. The place has a downstairs and upstairs and it’s located on the sea front. I went and decided to play safe by ordering for pilau. The Swahili’s are known for their rice recipes but this one just didn’t click. I ate it for the sake of getting full but I can assure you I’ve tasted better pilau from my local joint in Nairobi. Maybe I was just unlucky and I’ll go back and order something different just to be sure.

Monday came knocking and my stomach needed some filling up. I went for late lunch at Jannat House. This one can be easily missed because it’s not situated on the sea front and you have to go through a few streets to get there. I had wali wa nazi and vegetables (cucumber, carrots and peas). This one was worth every penny I spent, it was delicious and I almost asked for a second serving. Since I had late lunch I decided to stroll around town and get myself a milkshake. This landed me at Whispers. This place is beautiful with a garden restaurant, the trees and flowers that are planted make it a good place to relax after a hectic day. They do have a gallery that you can check out during the day. I asked for a milkshake and was told I would get one but whatever was served was nothing close to what I was expecting. I drunk it because I wasn’t about to waste my Shs. 330 by sending it back. I complained to the waiter and he assured me he’d make me a better one if I went back. If I was to go back, I wouldn’t ask for a milkshake maybe I’d try out the other food on the menu.

Tuesday was a busy day. I walked through the streets of Lamu and saw quite a lot and by the end of the day I was hungry and tired. My guide for the day suggested Mwana Arafa. The place is beautiful and located at the sea front (most hotels and businesses, banks, huduma center, are located right next to the ocean). The have a nice garden just before you enter the hotel. I never bothered to go in and chose to stay outside and enjoy the evening breeze. I ordered for octopus served with coconut rice. Unfortunately, they didn’t have it and the waiter suggested I try out calamari. It was my first time to try it and it was delicious. However, their milkshake well let’s not venture into that.



Calamari served with coconut rice and vegetables


It’s time again to go and try out a different restaurant and hope for some delicious stuff.

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Falling in Love over again – My Lamu Adventures


The name of this small viallage sounds like “Huioni”looks like its built somewhere in the ocean. If you drop something from the balcony forget it unless you can swim.

Everyday I walked to school and sat through GHC lessons but never in my wildest dreams did it ever cross my mind that one day I would be able to touch the waters of this big blue ocean. Don’t roll your eyes just yet, I was born and brought up in a small village far away from the coastal part of the country. The closest thing was a small stream that separates my dad’s piece of land from our neighbor’s.

One day, a telegram came knocking. Back in the day we didn’t have mobile phones or internet and we had to rely on good old telegrams or letters to get messages across town.My big brother was wedding.Was I excited about the news? Yes and no. Yes because we’ll have a new family member in the house and no because he lived far off from home and their was a possibility of not attending the wedding. But luck was on my side being the last born and mama’s baby I had to tag along and accompany my mom.

I didn’t know what to expect because I had never gone past the capital city. A new dress was bought, packed a few of my stuff and off we went together with my other brother. We left the village in the morning, got to Nairobi in the evening and took another bus to someplace I had no clue what it was known as at the time. A few year later I now know the place we landed after we left nairobi was Malindi. My brother lived in Lamu and that meant being in Malindi we still had a long journey ahead of us.


Outside Riyadha mosque, Lamu

We strolled at the beach for awhile as we awaited our departure time. At the time we didn’t have al shabaab but we did have bandits that hid in a forest near Witu and this meant buses heading to Mpeketoni or Mokowe had to be given police escort. We finally left once the buses were fully booked and it was a long tedious journey and all my eyes could feast on were bushes and forests. I couldn’t sleep it off because of the fear of being attacked while asleep and this meant a little story telling with my mother and watching the trees run by. By the time we got to Lamu it was late in the evening around six actually not Lamu but Mokowe – this is where buses stop and you have to take a boat to cross over to Lamu island. I stepped out of the bus and almost froze because I couldn’t imagine myself crossing the Indian ocean on a dhow. I tried asking if their was option ‘B’ and I was met with a blunt ‘No.’ Well we had travelled all the way from a tiny village in western Kenya and we couldn’t just turn away and head back and miss attending a wedding. I was scared, my mom was scared as for my brother he tried to play brave but I can bet he was scared too.

The dhow that was to take us across to our last destination was almost filling up and we had no choice but to hop in and secure a place. Their was no place to sit expect at the edge of which I wasn’t about to do. The locals seemed comfy sitting their some even chewing ‘miraa’ and catching up on the latest gossip and politics. Me and mom found a place somewhere in the middle next to that pole that holds the sails (not sure what its’ called) and held on tighter than tight because our lives depended on that. Three villagers crossing an ocean with no knowledge on how to swim, you can imagine how scared we were. Our hearts were beating so hard we had to keep looking over our shoulders incase our dhowmates could hear them. They sounded like a diesel generator that was being forced to work. We tried to fake smiles and engage in small chit chat but deep down we were worried souls. Double trouble was when we got in the middle of the ocean–from Mokowe to Lamu jetty is about thrity minutes –and the damn thing was too old and leaking. Everyone treated it as a normalcy as they used a bucket to fetch the water and pour it back into the ocean but I was scared and almost did some unwanted business in there. I hadnt been the best daughter in town and I wasn’t sure if I died at that particular moment what was awaiting me so I closed my eyes and said a little prayer for my naughty soul as I started visualizing what it would be like to drown, not a pretty sight for sure. I’ve never been so relieved in my entire life like that moment I was told its now time to alight.

The moment I stepped out, I was wowed by this beautiful town and its friendly people. A land with no cars, just white sand and buildings that are so close to each other you can easily pick something from your neighbor’s house without leaving your own. I spent the days strolling on the beach, going to the market and drinking some fresh coconut water. Life was beautiful and I thought I would be back again to visit, unfortunately the one who made me visit the place died just a few months later. It was painful, loosing a young vibrant man like him wasn’t easy to swallow. I didn’t go back to pick his body but I knew one day I would go back and walk on those streets again. I nursed a couple of months of constant headaches but had to brave on for the sake of my health and studies. Looking back I think I was depressed though I didn’t know it at the time. A year ago, the one who tagged me along and made sure I experienced the beauty of this town breahed her last and my resolve to visit Lamu one more time was renewed.

Coming back I decided to use a shorter route. I asked questions but someone lied to me along the way. I was told they land in Lamu island and I breathed a sigh of relief knowing I won’t be subjected to another leaking boat ride. Shock on me, the airport is at Manda island and you have to take a boat to get to Lamu though its only a fifteen minutes ride. This time round, I got a decent looking boat, it was not crowded because it was picking guests for a specific hotel and it was not leaking. I was more calmer and almost sat at the edge as I comfortably chatted with the other visitors.


The highways of Lamy. Very well lit at night you can comfortably walk around. I’m told the crime rate is close to zero in this area.

Today I walked through the streets of this old town and nothing has changed. It’s been twenty years since I was here but the people are still friendly, the streets are as tiny as they used to be a very welcoming town that you should pay a visit to. My tour guide is one charming old man, with no formal education and only knowing only Swahili, he worked briefly at the jetty assisting visitors by carrying their luggages. He picked a few word here and their and begun to master his English language. Things were not rosy at the Jetty and at the age of 16 he left for Malindi to try his hand at what his brother was doing, selling handcrafted merchandise to tourists. A quick learner he was and within no time he could speak German and Swedish. As we spoe today he claims to be able to speak five foreign languages and has previousl worked with tour companies. He’s sixty seven but walks like a twenty year old. Previously married three wives in his hey days when he used to make upto 45K a day and divorced all of them when the economy went down south. He’s now looking for a new catch, he actually showed his intended new catch. Whether she’ll say yes or no to his proposal only time will tell.



Criss crossing Lamu old town with my guide

Tomorrow I take another tour to Shella and hope to see some hidden beauty. As for the food in this town, some places deliver delicious stuff while others you regret parting ways with your money. Anyway food will make for another post.


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Through the eyes of my father

As the sun slowly spread its wings and the village came to life, there was a tense mood hovering over Ambaya’s homestead. The people of Mungoma went about their daily chores with the young men rushing off to till the shamba as the young maidens swept the compounds. Ambaya, as much as he wanted to couldn’t join the other lads to take care of his vast lands and livestock. He paced around his compound and every now and then he would sit at his favorite corner and be lost in thought. The young maiden he had wedded was expecting a child.

His mother massaged the young woman and encouraged her as the contractions increased by the minute. Things were looking grim as their neighbor Manda had recently lost his wife during child birth. Ambaya had done all he could to ensure his wife’s pregnancy was smooth. He treated her as the most precious thing he had ever laid his eyes on making sure she only handled light duties that did not cause any stress or strain to her.

His mother on the hand ensured her diet was a healthy one made up of mainly kienyeji vegetables, indigenous fruits harvested from a far off forest not forgetting the famous Maragoli staple food ugali and chicken and every once in a while when businessmen went to Kisuma the young lady would enjoy a delicacy of dried fish.  When it came to drinks, the numerous cows and goats in the compound produced enough milk that saw this lady drink tea that only contained milk with no single drop of water and spiced with some local herbs that made it sweet and nutritious.  

As the sun reached its climax and shone so brightly that it could not be ignored, Ambaya became more worried and almost broke down in tears imagining he could lose his wife whom he loved so dearly. Those who had gone to the farm started trekking back home with some carrying food stuffs they had harvested, firewood and the maidens came back with pots of water. The farmhands quickly prepared their master’s favorite meal but he would not have any of it. They begged and pleaded but he chose to shut himself from the rest of the world and pray that his wife would make it through. As the hours went by his worries grew and he almost didn’t hear the screams of a baby from his wife’s hut. He was the father of a bouncing baby boy.

A smile slowly played on his lips, the excitement that was building up on the inside almost saw him leap up with joy but he chose to suppress his feelings lest he was viewed less of a man. He paced up and down his hut as he awaited to see his new born and every minute felt like years. His mother kept him waiting for awhile as she made sure the new mother was well taken care of. She wrapped the little bundle in a piece of fine goat skin that was specifically prepared for such an occasion and headed to her son’s hut. Ambaya could not hold back his tears anymore as he held his firstborn son in his arms. He was now a total man and could be offered a seat at the table of men and even given a chance to voice his opinion among the elders.

The young boy was named Mihadia, the year 1878. He was later nicknamed chumukira because he lived at the far end of his farm and had lots of cattle. Being the firstborn son, he was pampered and well taken care of by his parents and grew into a morally upright young man who was very hardworking and principled. His younger brother, Mande had no choice but to emulate him. With no formal schooling at the time, sons were only taught the basics of life like farming, hunting from the older men while daughters received tutelage from their mothers on how to cook, clean and take care of the home.

As the days went by, Mihadia grew into a handsome young man with physical attributes that if he had lived in present day would confidently pass as Mr World and compete with the likes of Boris Kodjoe, Denzel Washington in the looks department. Tall, handsome, hardworking and having inherited a big piece of land from his father; spanning all the way from Chanzeywe, down to Madzuu, Kitulu and Erosoma and down to the river that when you cross, you get to Chambaya village, the young man had a hard time choosing a wife because many girls were more than willing to accept him, and when he finally made his choice, his wife was a beauty to behold and her character led mama’s in the village wish their girls were like her. Kamonya was her name.

Though a busy man because of all he had to take care of, Mihadia always spared a few moments to spend with his wife. One beautiful morning in the year 1885 as the sun rays started breaking the dawn, Kamonya the beautiful young maiden who nicknamed herself Akwigina Maringedi (Akwigina because she was a go getter and maringedi –always said her daughters will get married and bring her lots of blankets) gave birth to a handsome healthy baby boy who was named Imbisi and christened Isaiah. She later had 7 more children; five sons and two daughters. Mande on the other side who married Mitevane was only blessed with baby girls. Having embraced the white man’s religion, all of Mihadia’s children had Christian names.

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In the footsteps of my father

Late one afternoon of January, 1934, as the sun took a rest from its daily routines, in a small vibrant village of Kitulu in Vihiga county, beautiful Rebeca started experiencing some contractions. With the help of a midwife, she delivered a bouncing baby boy. The date, January 12th. Having been born in a family that had embraced Christianity, he was christened Solomon and his second name, Mukilima. Solomon has lived up to his name as a wisdom filled man taking after his biblical namesake, king Solomon.

Solomon was born in an era where the Maragoli tradition was valued and looked up to, to instill good moral values into the young ones. In 1948, at the age of 14 years, he underwent circumcision. A right of passage that was treasured by many and none would dare miss out on it lest they be laughed at. According to the Maragoli culture, circumcision took place after every ten years and each was named. The naming always symbolized something, either an event that was taking or had taken place or to symbolize something.

The 1948 circumcision was named “nzerorere.” Nzerorere simply translated is “to see for yourself.” Why was it named so? Some may ask. In 1948, a lot had happened. Some of the culture had been done away with and this included children going to “itumbi” for the circumcision rights. Children could be circumcised anywhere and this included the roadside. The circumcision which took place in 1938 which he was unable to attend because of his tender age, was named “Lizuriza – remembrance.” They were trying to remember their great grandfather’s culture which was slowly fading away.

Though raised in the village, his father, Isaiah Imbisi had received some education from the Mzungu and he worked as a teacher and doubled up as a pastor of the Friends Church and a businessman. Rebeca, their mother, who traded salt in exchange of millet, maize and other stuff did all she could to ensure her children received the education they deserved.

Solomon who was the seventh born of this wonderful family did not disappoint his mother. He started schooling at the age of 10 years. In 1944, he enrolled at Kitulu A School (A school is currently referred to as nursery school). He was a bright student who later joined Magui Sector School in 1946 for his primary school education. Back in the day, they only learnt for five years in primary. As the years went by and he had to build a ‘simba’ for himself, word has it that as a young man he once shared his ‘simba’ with Bahati Semo, the former Member of Parliament for Vihiga. Their friendship blossomed and they were very close through Semo’s political career though Solomon never attempted to vie for any political seat but did serve in the KANU office at a local level for sometime.

In 1950 he sat for his CEE (Common Entrance Exam) at Magui which he passed very well. His mother, Rebeca Kayaja, though not in any formal employment wouldn’t allow this budding energetic young man to waste his brains in the village. She did all she could to see him continue with his education. In the year 1950, Solomon enrolled at Vihiga Intermediate School (currently Vihiga High School) where he continued to excel in his studies…


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