You must be wondering why I would write this. I didn’t. Dickson Otieno did, just for my birthday. He made me chuckle and my eyes well up with tears. Like seriously, thank you Dickson. And thank you all for making my 25th birthday as big a deal as I thought it would be. I will stop now, before I cry. 25-year-olds don’t cry all the time, do they? Here goes.
I am so tired, but somehow I had to do this. October was just a few minutes past and I promised myself I would share lessons I have learnt from the month with you. It has been one interesting month.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” I ask my kids in my Sunday school class the other day.
Their little hands are wiggling up in the air, the mostly six-year-olds eager to share their dreams with me.
“A doctor,” one girl says, and another and another.
“A pilot,” a boy shouts, and of course there are several more.
You know advertising is powerful when you walk into the ladies and hope there is tissue paper and then when you see it, you think, “Tissue si tissue, tissue ni Hanan.” Epic fail. I hate that advert. Nevertheless it is engrained in my head. In fact, come to think of it, if I was responsible for buying tissue in the house, I’d actually try it out. I will try you out when I move out, Hanan. You can go ahead and thank that guy. What’s his name again? I know it’s not Otoyo. Wait. Think, Shiku, think. Colourful clothes. Luo accent. I give up.
Anyway, who goes into a public facility and makes away with an entire roll of tissue paper?
You have 40 minutes to write this composition. Go! Cue in the heart palpitating like the tom-tom drums of West Africa. You have to make sure you create a situation where that simile will apply in your composition, right? If you remember those times, you are Kenyan. Congratulations. If you remember that simile, you are definitely a millennial, Generation Y species. Pat yourself on the back. You wrote about being lost in a forest. You wrote about being kidnapped. You wrote about a fire at your neighbour’s. You wrote about the day you would never forget. And that day was always about some cheesy event where you either won something or toured some special place. This is where you went all out, whether in truth or in fiction. There was no Instagram or Facebook to show people. You could only do it in paper and only your teacher could see it.
You know that bout of unwanted thoughts that invade you from out of the blue? That annoying urge to go far away from everything and just be alone. I have a lot of those. Especially on Monday mornings. I have nothing against Mondays. Actually, I kinda look forward to them. Mondays always breathe a new sense of being into me. Because you never know what will happen that week. You don’t know what weird man will honk at you as you take your routine 15 minute walk up that suburban Westlands road. You have no idea who you will bump into in the bus or on the street. Your employer may come up with a whole new way of doing things. You might even end up writing a post you had no idea you could in here. Your computer could decide this is the week it freezes a gazillion times between 9 and 5. The possibilities are limitless.
Today, I am feeling bad because I am still single. Yes. It happens.
Announce your arrival, way before the day, to ensure you get to a place to spend the night in Main Campus. Otherwise you will end up walking to the venue and perhaps not even make it to the ceremony.
Bring your own camera, despite everyone else bringing theirs and tagging you incessantly on Facebook. You have to record these memories.
The day is finally here with us. I graduate from the unparalleled Moi University on the 17th of December 2013. Let us all breathe a sigh of relief. My endless posts on my dissatisfaction in the institution are almost over now. It has been an interesting journey. If it was not for Moi University, I probably would not have started this blog. We owe it that, if not anything else. I travelled to Moi this Wednesday the 11th to collect my ‘academic attire’ or, in layman’s terms, graduation gown (pictures coming soon). During the journey, I jotted this down:
I was sent away to campus with all sorts of speeches from concerned parties about the ‘hellhole’ that it is. I was to be extremely careful lest I’d be swallowed whole within its confines. I was told not to get lost in the moment or get ‘cheated’ by campus men or even forget what took me to Moi University. I was also told that campus was a place that would challenge my beliefs. Well, all the claims turned out true with some slight hyperbole here and there. All the same, here I stand. Keeping the faith.
The first instance I thought seriously about my faith was in the first semester of my first year. I had to take an elective course titled ‘Introduction to Philosophy and Religion’. Frankly, I expected it to be a little more exciting than it was but for what it’s worth, it made me start thinking a lot about life and why we are here. Throughout the four years, I met people who’d look at me funny after I proclaimed my faith in Jesus Christ. I will not even mention the friends who suddenly became atheists somewhere along the way.
I will not lie and say I never have doubts. I will not front to be 100% sure in what I believe. I remember I wrote a post about reading the Bible last year and, not surprisingly, got some atheists’ attention. Apparently, one of them became an atheist by “reading the Bible cover to cover”. Well, my quest to read the Bible that way is still in progress. I have friends who are atheists. I am yet to get a good reason from one on why they are so. Sometimes I think they choose to be because nothing will change. Some went through a traumatic experience, maybe lost someone and decided that life really had no supernatural dimension. There is no afterlife. It is just a way of cheating humanity into being good to each other in return for something they cannot verify. Trust in some non-existent Superhuman being with the promise of everlasting life that is simply not there.
One major reason why I have never bought the atheism idea is because, instead of pointing me to the facts of the concept; like tell me why there is no God, I only see proponents discrediting my belief. Atheism revolves around proving that Christianity and other religions have loopholes. I am not defending Christians here, by the way. They are as guilty as the atheists. For instance, I will want to know how they are okay with all the things that science cannot explain. We have made it a war, a show of who can defend his/her belief better. But you know what? It does not matter.
If I do not live according to the teachings of Jesus, I have no right telling one who does not believe in Him to believe. I will go on and quote Mahatma Gandhi, even though it must be the most quoted quote in the Christianity vs. other schools of thought arena. (Sometimes I even think he didn’t say it, you never know how people twist history.) It goes, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” He was right. I don’t want that to ring true in my life.
Do not think for one minute that I am saying that debate is a bad thing. I love debate. It has made me very open-minded. All I am saying, actions speak louder than words. Faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26). Spreading hatred in the name of religion is the unfortunate bit. Atheists and Christians can be friends. I do not think atheists are irrational. They have some solid arguments. I just think we need to understand each other. There are more ways than one to pass a message. When a lecturer made a joke about God in class, I would laugh and think about it. If a friend asked me a question that bordered on blasphemy, I would answer it. But rather than doubt what I believe, I chose to solidify my already founded belief.
Call me stupid, but I am willing to pay the price. If being an intellectual is trying so hard to trash the existence of God, I will pass. Like Lecrae, I will say that either I am certain, or I am certainly insane. I will go with the former. In the meantime, I will not support any relativist arguments. There is right and there is wrong. I believe in God and Jesus Christ. I even hope and pray everyone will do the same one day. I will keep writing and acting as He taught and hopefully I will lead a few more into His fold.
I have kept the faith and I will keep on keeping it. Out of campus, the situation is even worse. Immorality is rife. I have people around me talking about their escapades right into my ears. Sometimes I feel I am missing out. Sometimes I think I look like the girl who has no life. A very close friend of mine shocked me the other day when he openly declared that I should not claim my way is the only way to go. I was confused. He is a Christian, one of those people I am sure of being in the same boat with. He did not sound sure on this day. He asked me if I thought everyone who did not believe in Jesus would end up in hell. I said yes before he even finished the question. Later in the night, I thought about it afresh. Frankly, I am not sure I would answer yes as fast now.
In the meantime, I will keep in communion with my Jesus. And live the life that He lived.
I will pen off by quoting Propaganda:
“Maybe I’m wrong, maybe you’re right.
Maybe we’ll find out the day after the world ends.
Yeah, I guess we’re all a little inconsistent,
SO MAYBE WE CAN JUST SHOW EACH OTHER SOME GRACE.”
And Casting Crowns:
“Nobody knows what we’re for only what we’re against when we judge the wounded,
What if we put down our signs crossed over the lines and loved like You did.”
“School? What school?”
Okay, people. It has come to my attention that some of you think I am still in school (going by the messages I am receiving on phone and Facebook). Well, here is the news. I am no longer a student. I cleared from Moi University on Tuesday the 9th of July 2013.