Less talk

For the past couple of weeks, I have had a love-hate relationship with social media. Actually, that might not be entirely accurate. It has been mostly hate-hate.
I am not quite sure what kick people get out of being the first to type “RIP” thus killing people the moment they find out they have a terminal illness. It is bad enough that as a celebrity, you give your life to others but do they have to lurk in the shadows ‘anticipating’ your death too?
It is quite appalling really. On top of sharing incorrect information, we cannot wait to make a connection to the deceased. “He died before giving me that last interview, RIP.” How is this even important? Amidst all this drama, there is an actual fraternity who know and love the said person. A family that is struggling with pain as it is but has to keep assuring the ‘world’ how their loved one is still alive. But do we care? Why, when we can type ‘RIP’ and go on with our lives? Argh!
While we are still on the topic of sharing bad News, what kind of sadist shares images of someone that is at their lowest without the consent of their family? Once the story ‘forcefully’ comes out, we begin to complain about the fundraising for this person’s medical bills? Are our lives so sad that the only way we can feel ‘better’ is if we know someone else is suffering? Do we absolutely have to say/type every crude thought that comes to our vile minds?
I am not even going to use that line of what if it was your sibling or parent. They are human beings and that is all that should matter-regardless of your relation to them.
I am quite perplexed by this desire to ‘excitedly’ share bad News and then find a conspiracy theory soon after.

“To do nothing is the way to be nothing.”

Children lose their mother in their presence, cold blood- and it is suddenly a bad thing that an individual would like to raise funds to secure their future? These innocent children will probably be traumatised for a very long time. That is not our problem though, we can just sit at our desk and use office internet to criticise the brains behind such initiatives. Ask yourself. What have you done for someone other than yourself? Did anyone tell you which cause to back or step away from or was it a personal decision?

“A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.”

Poverty, illness, natural calamities are not exiting our world any time soon. We can continue to simply talk about them and point fingers at the powers that be or we can do what is possible to make a small difference right NOW. Criticising people who are making that difference is not a good look on you. You want to remain relevant and a few retweets might help your ego a bit but quite frankly, you are simply a disgrace.

It has been quite difficult for me to read or watch anything about the Garissa attacks. I can’t fathom what those families are going through. One week later and the pain is still fresh. I wish I could do more than pray or somehow wave a wand and bring those young souls back to life. Unfortunately, I can’t.
However, instead of sending our love and support to Kenya, we are concerned about which international News channel is giving the story the attention it deserves. I am sorry, what?! Do they determine what your emotions are or does their opinion give validation of this massacre?
Hundreds of people all over the world are holding vigils for the students that passed away and that solidarity is what the world needs. You want a March similar to the one world leaders held to honour the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attack? By all means organise one.
If somebody at CNN slept on the job and let the screen show Nairobi, Nigeria and this causes an uproar louder than the security issue that is before us, the lives that we keep losing, then frankly, we need some help. A lot of help actually.

“If not us, then who? If not now, then when?”


3: Still here

It is said the two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.

I ‘accidentally’ found out my purpose at 24, as a passionate, curious, naive and mostly unstoppable woman.

On February 27 2012 when I opened that 40-40 page, I could not have imagined that three years later, we would still be here. Yes, I became we and to me, that is the biggest achievement thus far!

This year a friend even bought me a gift on this special day. It was heart-warming knowing that my baby was being celebrated. Best of all, it was by somebody other than myself.

This weekend also holds special meaning. It was during the Easter weekend that a group of friends whom I had collected over the years came together for what we mostly believed was a ‘one time thing.’ For two days I had people I had been with years ago in Primary school up till my ‘working life’ all gathered together-celebrating these amazing children that barely had family but had a whole lot of love.

Over the past three years, I have changed. We all have.

I will be the first to admit that it was easier then. There was no pressure of an organisation and all its structures, being young(er) helped because there was less to worry about and people were mostly gracious because it was a ‘casual’ arrangement. No one had signed up for forever. Wait a minute. No one had signed up, at all.

According to an article I read on one of those days when I was fretting about the future, it takes about 18-24 months to determine if a start-up shall succeed/fail. We are past 36 months (yaay!) but I am quite certain my definition of success is different from that of the business books. Thankfully, I am not running a business 🙂

Which brings me to my next thought; I do not know another Organisation doing what we do, exactly the way we do it. If you have any leads, do point me in the right direction. In the meantime, this ‘virgin land’ means that many mistakes are bound to be made out of ignorance but also because of sheer lack of a manual.  Needless to say, it has been a whirlwind that is difficult to explain to anyone who hasn’t been part of it. Heck, it is even challenging to explain to people who have been there since the days when we were merely attempting to crawl.

This week I was privileged to be featured on NTV’s women and power.  The first thing 50 year old Mr.M asked me was “Who paid the other, you or NTV? That is what it shall always come down to for many people, now and in the future. It is sad. Nonetheless, I doubt any leader ever performs their roles expecting to convert ‘everyone.’ That would be dooming oneself to failure before even beginning. What do we do? We continue no matter what.

The past year has turned emotional pain into a physical reality and vice versa, brought out the worst in people and also challenged almost everything we know and believe-but that is just the grim part.

It has also allowed us to grow as individuals and as an organisation, given us the opportunity to fall over and over again and get up.

For the past couple of years, I have given a recap of the journey in my anniversary blog post as seen here and here but this time, I am compelled to simply celebrate. To celebrate the fact that we are still here.

I still pinch myself when a stranger strikes up a conversation because of our story. Seeing a 4040 tee or wristband, especially on someone I don’t know makes me smile. I am inspired by everyday people who simply believe and go on to act. I am especially excited by children and teens who take part in our activities-they give me hope in abundance. I am overjoyed by the fact that we have to change lives, and work towards it everyday.

Yesterday someone asked me if I am living my dream. The short answer is/was yes.

However, none of it would have happened if I simply stood tall. Alone.

As I reminisce over this three year journey, I would like to give special thanks to the amazing people whom God has placed in my life; Those who joined at the start and never looked back, those who came by along the way and made 4040 home and those individuals who show constant support even across the miles, watching and waiting for an opportunity to help; I celebrate the believers and dreamers whose ‘invisible’ hands picked us up and continue to.

Although love is patient, kind and is not jealous or self-seeking, the world is not complete, it is not without its adversaries. I am glad we had those along the way and hope that we shall always have the wisdom and courage to understand their purpose and fight them off respectively.

To God be the glory for starting all of this and continuing it. I am confident he will carry it on to completion.

May the Easter holiday be glorious and fulfilling for you-no matter what your beliefs are.

Love is universal. No?

Happy 3rd my baby. You scare me. In a good way; mostly.

penda 4040