Lessons about life from a grandiose millennial who is making a living through string art

 This post will probably find you while you are stuck in some forest somewhere, or you have just climbed out of bed to get a better view of the article and an encephalitis laden mosquito has just spotted your blood vessel and is coming for you (no, auntie stay under the covers and tuck in the net, don’t let that mosquito make you a statistic, you know, ‘people suffering from malaria’) or your are asking the question every celestial being before you has asked, “Is this all there is to life or is there something else.”

The frustrations of life are seething. Characterized by tumultuous circumstances such as; heart breaks, jobless years, being abandoned by the father/mother of your child, it is easy to think that all possible joy coming your way has been substituted with horror.

There is a way around this quandary. It’s probably not sending the 54th message to you ex or locking you door whenever you see the land lord but there is a way in this maze called life.

Meet a grandiose millennial by the name Paskaline Jebet who’s doing pretty well in her life. And by Pretty good I mean she has learned to master her drawing craft. She is the director East Africa Kids Fashion and Chief Editor East Africa Kids Fashion Magazine launched in April 2019. She has been featured in various high fashion Runways like Kenya Fashion Awards, Diaspora Fashion Show, Darling Kenya Fashion Show, Mcensal School Fashion Show, and she was also a finalist Miss Universe Kenya 2018. Her art was also exhibited at Clever Gallery Exhibition, the 4th Edition where she met the honorary Esther Passaris who was stupendous about her work. The event was later on highlighted on KTN news. She has also been featured on KTN artistic Tuesday where did a live drawing. Her work has also been featured on Mahanjam Show, MBCI TV, and Skani la Sanaa.

As someone who is starting out, meeting her made me realize I could pocket a few lesions from her and I hope you will too.

  1. Let somebody teach you, what you don’t know. As sentient beings we have the capacity to flourish, and we seek out ways to help get to our dreams. We shouldn’t be way in our heads and think we have it all figured out, let the experienced and masters help you.

Miss Jebet attended a master class on string art and learned to draw in about three days.

2. Use whatever little thing you have to get you started.

Her first craft came from cutting her success cards and weaving mosaic beads into them.

3. Channel your pain elsewhere.

Problems are inevitable, it’s also one of the things we humans have in common. Paskaline once suffered a heartbreak and that propelled her to work even harder in her artwork.

There is gold in the mine of pain, our inner genius get woken up in the face of troubles. Channel your pain into something productive.

4. Drop the exclusivity act.

The idea that sprung out of a special garden and can’t associate with those of a certain caliber is so old fashioned .

I remained awed by Jebet’s humility despite the ounces of success she gets. When we arrived at her art gala, she was quickly approached us and introduced herself. Her smile never left her face as she talked us through her artwork. We were neither buyers nor investors but still she treated with utmost respect.

5. Create it and get it out there.

From the apps, to the roads,to art, to medicine, all this are human accomplishments not birthrights given to them by the universe.

If you would like something to exist; an ideology, an app, a book, a reform policy, you have to create it and get it out there.

Natural skepticism towards information

Once upon a time, there was power in being informed. People trusted in the people who spent years in school to prescribe them medicine, a lot of the people who led in the government were naturally born leaders or they had acquired their knowledge through books. We trusted them all the same.

Then came a dreadful period. Where we could no longer trust the professionals; teachers became pedophiles, doctors left tools in our bodies after operations, the pastors were preying on our heartbroken women. Business men conned us to add to their monopolies of wealth. The government taxed its citizens, and from a financial standpoint, they became poorer and the government richer.

With this kind of after math, it became official; we had to be skeptical of everyone and what they do.

I was perplexed when news about the discovery of products(flour and peanut butter) with toxins were being sold and consumed by the innocent masses and therefore the call to action was calling this products off the market. It was even more aggravating when those I live close by to, claimed that it was probably a hoax from the government. I know our trust in the governing body is fractured but it had not occurred to me to doubt them on this.

Insofar, certain circumstances have ruptured the connection we had from a body we trusted like all the monies that go missing . The public should have trust in a body it elected, and the government should fight to preserve a modicum of trust with its people.

Currently, any information copulated to the masses is treated like a conspire theory. What once flourished as facts is treated like basic assumptions . Faith in humanity has become so expensive, we don’t trust anyone to do anything , get this- out of the goodness of their hearts. (scoff) like that’s possible.

We treat people people who preach about hope in love, marriage, behavior of humans, like you would treat a patient with degenerative disease. With pity eyes and dire hope that they will get better.

“Oh she believes in marriage can work, aaww cute but I hope she wakes up from this delusion.”

I have heard people say that the reasons marriages don’t work these days is because people are too informed. It worked better if people knew little of what awaited them on the other end. Puh- leaze! does it get better for a nation if we are ignorant of how HIV/AIDS is contacted and transmitted? Does it get better when you ignore the lump on your breast. No it doesn’t, it only prolongs the inevitable. Being aware helps us make informed decisions.

The skepticism towards information is not baseless, it comes from a series misuse and abuse of power, neglect from those we trust, un-standardized information, all backed with facts.

Burying the seed of doubt relies on accountability. Self inflicted or enforced with a code or laws that govern a nation, that every one is charged with the duty of being accountable for their actions.

Information is not the enemy, those who hold it, replace some truth parts with lies, use it as an ideological weapon , might be.

I swear, some people can make you feel like you are a D student applying to Harvard.

It is a prime practice that, after a win as human beings we like to have celebratory chants and dances in recognition to the milestones we have bested. It is even tens-fold better if humans (strangers or the known) can party with us as we love the day away. Good results have a way of metamorphosing our frowns into smiles but you know what isn’t? That smile being washed away because we were made to feel inadequate.

There are situations in life where circumstances or people can make us feel like we are D students applying to Harvard University. P.S Harvard accepts nothing short of a genius.  

 Now there has been events, that make us feel in-genius, one such event is a heart break. When we fall in love, we disregard talks of how it didn’t work for others and proceed to imagine ways it will miraculously work for us. After all, our actions will be different from those who have tried this partnership before. Innocently, we love with all of our hearts, never stopping to question anything that doesn’t add up, then one morning our joy is stolen. The lipstick on his shirt, the receipts in his pocket, the tall muscular man she calls her third cousin, and you sit there and wonder, “how could I have never guessed it?, it was right there in my face.”

Then a series of self doubt and pain follows, and you vow to never let another person make you feel so stupid. Love is stupid and you want no affiliation, because the  last time you fell in love, the aftermath made you feel like you were a D student applying to Harvard.

By the way, anyone thinking of hanging out with a self-actualized person, yeah, people who know the ins and outs of their higher and lower mind, people who use their quiet time in meditation as that helps them recognize their scattered thoughts and they can then re-arrange them in order of importance, let me give you a heads-up, its going to be educative but at first, realizing that all this time you knew little of yourself, and that your own thoughts have been your enemy, will hit you like a detonated bomb. 

Whether we know it or not, like it or not, admit it or not, we spend a huge amount of time talking to ourselves.  Alone in the washroom, taking a bath, reading, the words we use on ourselves can hurt us. A self-defeating monologue looks something like this, “am not smart enough,” “Am stupid,” “Its never going to work out for me,”. It’s not healthy.  Our own thoughts can make us feel unqualified, like we are D students applying to the one of the most prestigious universities in the world. 

It would not be life if we did not have somebody reminding us of how other people are waaaay better than us.

‘oh so you wanna have a career in rap, I legit think the only amazing rapper in the world is X(X being anyone who you think is a awesome rapper.). No-one can ever top that.”

They are subtly suggesting that it isn’t going to work out boo-boo. Hurtful, I think. Its funny how in people’s eyes actually that they can never be anyone who is good enough for anything.

(A dark skin exists)

Critiques: You are too dark for modelling. 

 (A light skin exists)

Critiques: Why always a lighter skinned girl? Let’s give to a dark skinned one.

There is forever going to be people who think we are not good enough for success, just don’t that person be yourself. Choice of words from people who may not like, even defeat can often make one question their competence, their character , like you don’t belong. Like you are a D student applying to Harvard. Your never going to get in. It for the chosen few. 

This is not a counselling session, it’s a,,, okay you got me. But I have got a valid point, of all the people who come after us, tearing us to the ground, don’t do it to yourself. Don’t  let current circumstances make you feel in-genius  and not qualified.

A moment of prayer to anyone who blocked our contact or just anywhere.

Eyes dancing, our glasses filled with whatever we are drinking, we are wearing the party mood but most of all we are making friends. There’s a mindless chatter rising and you can almost hear the voice of beautiful girl on the other end of the dance floor tending to her phone. Her words are characterized by regret. She implores,

“Hello, ebu sema tena, sikuskii. Nasemaa, sikuskii. Hello,”

(Hello, I can’t hear. I cant hear you. Hello)

We don’t know who that is, could be her mom, her boyfriend, roommate, and really it’s none of our business. We shouldn’t be eavesdropping.

“Ahh, Stella, imagine ameniblock. Natry kumkol back na hachukui,” she tells her friend.

We seriously should not be eavesdropping.

I have been there, you’ve been there. Blocked-zone. It cuts like a two-edged knife but …. no matter.

How many days has it been huh, 708 days, 200 days, 3 hours? How does it feel? Does it bring you joy? Moments shared thrown to wind just like that… no matter.

So dear brothers and sisters we are gathered here to celebrate the blocking. A moment of prayer to anyone who downloaded the true caller app so that they could block us in the texts, calls and everywhere. Our thoughts and prayers goes to everyone who thought they could live without our sassy memes we post on our status walls.

Brethren, it was not a good idea. Let not haste emotions dictate our future endevours, call me and we will talk this through.

A moment of prayer to anyone who tripped over the dirty dishes, fell into the bucket of dirty water, got a crack on their screens, got hit on the shoulder by the neighbors window(Which is always open on a 45 degree angle), almost hit the five year old toddler who is always playing by the corridor, while in a rush. You were trying to get to the shop to purchase yourself some airtime, then buy a huge chunk of bundle which you will later use to block us on every social media platform. Seven extra minutes of prayer if you used a different account to stalk us.

A moment of silence to anyone who blocked us in real life. Won’t talk to us, won’t secretly pay for our lunch when they spot us in the restaurant( well okay you did not do it when we were friends either) know that we wish you the best even though whatever we had, this, this did not work out.

A moment of silence to anyone who hasn’t blocked us yet. The shitty things we post, the silly things we say, for all the times we used your name to get out of bad situations( hopefully you will never know of them.). Here’s one;

“Am really sorry to cut this awesome , totally not boring meeting short but I have to go home and feed my cat. She gets grumpy when not fed on a schedule.”

“I thought you lived alone.” a group member interrogates

“Well, I have to go buy a cat… then buy cat food.. then go feed it on a schedule.” You then pose mid-sentence and then scream,” and the cat’s name will be Wanjiru.” (Sorry Wanjiru)

Why you continue putting up with us is one of the world’s wonders.

A moment of silence for most of us because at one point driven by our emotions we pacely searched through a block button and hit it like life depended on it.

A moment of prayer for anyone who reads this too, comment and tell me what you think of it. Am out here trying to scribble cute and beautiful words for you only. Also you can follow me on my blog to receive posts instantaneously once they are published.


LET’S DO IT … “OR LET’S NOT” with Erica

“Are we doing it again?” she asks stiffly.

“What are we supposedly doing again?” I respond with a question while I cut slices of the freshly green cucumber.

“Doing the green diet thing again…”

I swear sometimes Erica is more judgmental than my writing critics.

“Yes Erica. It is the new proven diet that boosts body performance: a good immunity, good memory, I could go on and on… “

“Please don’t… I simply will not eat it,” she grunts.”Not while Culinary chefs all over the world are mastering the art of blending complementary flavors and making meat be our weakness.”

15 minutes earlier we had visited a nearby market and procured every green and healthy thing out of it. Am talking of green kale, ripe avocados, grown pumpkins; decisions we collectively agreed upon.

“What would you have us eat… my queen?” I say as I frantically bow.

“Lets fry some potatoes, or order in some pizza… you know awesome stuff.”

Erica has always been an adventurous soul while me on the other hand, lacked the fun-gene. Erica is the name I have gifted the sassy, obnoxious, loud, lass in me.

I know its spooky giving a name to the inner you but I figured, if Beyonce gets to label her alter ego Sasha Fierce then by all means, I’ll borrow a line from her book. So my the power bestowed by me I hereby decree and declare that ERICA is the name I gift my alter ego.

Erica consciously refines all that is good into naughty. Has the grandiose notion that ‘there’s no such thing as too much sugar and chocolate.’ In retrospect , she uses wit, charm and mischief to unfold her actions to those close to her.

“Listen, that dish you are preparing is cute but think of them chicken thighs. Sitting behind the counters of chicken Inn, lonely, waiting to be picked. Let’s do something good for the world, let’s go pick them.”

” Oh how I admire people who like to do something good for the world,” (don’t judge my sarcasm towards her attitude).

Hail the queen of good and glory. I tell you, there’s nothing in the clear air or the blue sky that would give anyone the inkling of what she will say next when it comes to defending her quest.

So here I am wedged between picking a dish of plant based diet or … her KFC chicken thighs. But I mustn’t let go of the pain I have endured the last few days. My palette has already gotten used to plant taste. She will not be my ruin and for that I will confidently roar to all that care to listen and say,

“Twende chicken inn,”

After all you only live once. On a side note; blame Erica for all the bad decisions.

Wait… did I firmly shut my gas cooker and turn off my water tap?

We all have our fears. Some of us fear death, others running into their vengeful ex (they did not take it too kindly when you smashed their phone to the wall), others fear heights, or sinking into the Bermuda triangle while you are on a cruise ship (no-one’s ever been found)

Some of these fears are short term or long term. They hunt our thoughts like a lion hunts for deer.

My fear is actually a thought. Don’t be quick to dismiss it , you might find we have the same irrational fear and if so, we could form a support group.

Of all the things I could fear in life; child labor, dreams not coming true, being eaten by a bear, spiders, all reptile family, here is what taunts my mind. The fear that I probably did not firmly shut the burner on my gas cooker and there is soon going to be a chaotic combustion.

The fear comes to me in the weirdest of places, while I take a shower, while I prepare to leave to the house, while I have actually left the house. While am done the last staircase of the apartments . Normally I ran into my neighbor who is kind with the greetings.

“Hey Hinga,” she greets.

“Hey me,” I quickly respond.

“I have been meaning to ask, where did you buy those curtains?”

Profound question. Others in this case would presume that a query on curtains means they are about to be robbed, but not me. Mentioning the curtains only reminds me of how close they are to the gas and oh My God, did I firmly turn it off?

A text alerts on my phone soon as I have waved my kind neighbor goodbye. It reads; Guurl have you seen Sauti Sol’s new jam, it is on fire.

Did she just say , it is on fire. Perfect. It is just the perfect day to reference the word fire.

Sometimes while I sleep late at night worry that I might wake up to fumes of gas and escaped oxygen. Another of my fears is water flood due to tap neglect. I always imagine getting a call from the caretaker while miles away. It goes something like,

“Ms Hinga, hello, I don’t suppose you’ve read the memo I left by the gate about water rationing.(I say i have seen it) Tell me Hinga, what is the 5th code of the tenant agreement… that’s right, always ensure you tap is firmly shut before you exit the house.”

I really do have an imaginative mind. Because sometimes I envision the neglected tap water may flood my apartment and the flood will bring with it mermaids and mermans. They will then re-enact a scene from my hidden script, “The Tale of The Mermaids and Mermans.” In the script the kingdom of the mermaids and mermans is at destruction because the king ordered an execution of any sea creature practicing magic.( I really need to stop watching sci-fi)

Anyway where were we ?yes, fear of gas combustion and flood due to tap neglect. I cannot get rid of it, even now as I type, the thought is embedded in my mind.

What irrational fears do you have?