Tuesday, May 22, 2012


People keep trying to remind me I am Kenyan. It is the oddest thing. I will be sitting there, having my dinner, trying to come up with the answers to world peace (like every Tom, Dick and Harry) when some guy showed up on my tv screen. Then he prattles on and on about how what being Kenyan means to him. I hardly ever listen to him because...well because being Kenyan means I tend to ignore people when they tell me stuff I already know.

The first time that happened I was thrown into a complete panic. The dude got on my screen and finished the whole speech with "Mimi ni Mkenya. Wewe ni Mkenya. Sisi ni Wakenya!" Dude, I just freaked out. I remember diving into my wallet to find my ID card like an addict looking for a fix. A politician looking for a sound bite. A high school girl looking for Trey Songz' lyrics. See? Utter chaos. I fished it out and stared at it. Yes. Turns out the guy on tv wascompletely on the money. Turns out I am Kenyan.

So now I walk around town and see stickers with 'Mkenya Daima' emblazoned on them. I am assuming it's a campaign directed directly towards me. I tend to wake up every morning with this crazy idea that I am Polish or German...What? One of those really tan German or Polish people. Don't be racist. They exist. I go around town being polite and handing out flowers and ribbons to little children and feeding the poor then someone just jumps out of the bushes and proceeds to ask me weird questions.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


"They have diagnosed me with cancer."

It started with that simple text. A text. Individual words on a screen that didn't draw much of a reaction from me. But as a sentence...as a statement...as a reality it got me quiet. Scared. Shaken. Then I saw the missed calls. Six or seven with the red font staring back at me with a whole lot of judgement. Why didn't you pick up the phone? Where were you? What could have been that important? I sank back to my bed. I had fallen asleep early. Phone on silent. I just wanted some time from the world. But the world was having none of it. And then I scrolled down. Dialing mum......

"Hello?" she answered rather hesitantly.

"I am coming home."The only words that made sense then.

"Ok." She said and the line went quiet.

My hands ran through my hair. Truth is my experiences with cancer were limited. It mostly consisted of movies and tv show where some woman fights the disease while her family rallies behind her. Those heart warming stories of courage and perseverance. Unfortunately for me my only hands-on experience had been just a few months before. My friend's brother had succumbed and I had been there for his funeral. Barely in his twenties...and I had watched her struggle with his condition and his ultimate demise. Read that here.And then a new, alien feeling. Panic.

It's a weird feeling when you get to the age where your parents are no longer superhuman. When you can see their faults and flaws and you begrudgingly accept that they are human. Then you start seeing the frailty. The delicateness. The humanity. And that scared me. Terrified me.

Two weeks later we were driving from the hospital and there had been a huge thunderstorm. We were stuck in traffic and lightning just lit up the inky darkness. Night became day. And I watched my mum flinch with fear. And then i thought back to my childhood. I thought back to when I had been running scared about the lightning and thunder, she was the one who had comforted and consoled me. Told me everything would be ok. Had she been scared as well? And it dawns on you. She is superhuman!

Crazy runs in the family!
Family meeting and for some weird reason there is nothing but laughter. Mum has turned breast cancer into a little joke. She will take anything that bugs her and make some odd reference to it. For example the food will take too long in the kitchen and her voice rings out: "You guys are starving me and I have cancer?" You can tell she thinks it's inappropriate but the jokes are funny. And the discussion runs lengthy as we talk about everything from my late dad's weird names for all of us (My sister's was 'Pajero' by the way) to  my brother's possible names for his first kid.

The day after her mastectomy, her family and friends stands around her bed. She has that smile on her face again. Showing off how many more visitors she has than the other people in the ward. She says she doesn't want pity. Those who came with pity might as well take it back home. You'd think nothing gets to her but I assume under all that is some level of fear.

Later we find out that insurance won't cover the cost of everything. There's the drugs, surgery and then months of chemotherapy. Mum chimes in that it won't even cover the cost of the wigs when she starts losing her hair.

If you feel emotionally blackmailed then my work here is complete. I want your money. All of it. For real. I am not kidding. There's a whole lot to raise and not much time. So if you feel sufficiently philanthropic (ewwww) then you can reach me through 0728831340 or bkoyoo@gmail.com. Take a moment and think about it.I am not trying to cure Cancer. This is as selfish as requests get. Thanks.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012


I am coming to terms with the fact that our lives are moving to cyberspace. Where we are unable to hold an intelligent conversation when face to face with someone but can prattle on and on about whether or not @Rosemisstaylor was touched by old men online. It gives us a chance to start all over again. To cast that huge forehead aside and pretend to be someone glamorous with very few problems to deal with.

Facebook was our chance to get it all figured out. Our time in the sand box where we could work on the modalities of it all. And now twitter is where it all comes to fruition. Where those hard earned hours coming up with an amazing status update can now be turned into a blow by blow account of those crazy lives we wish we had.

Those new to twitter will be glad to know that there is actually order in what seems to be a very very chaotic world. And lucky for you, I will take you through it. Here is what you need to be a successful Kenyan on twitter. You can thank me later.