I guess I am back.

I’m seated at the salon, my hairdresser twisting my hair into little locks. Yeah, I locked my hair three weeks ago after I finally gave up on the hassle of trying to make it look good, in all its toughness. I think I like the direction I am going with this. Anyway, that is not why I am back. In the recent past, someone hit my mentions and said that he misses the days I would keep him abreast on the latest in our music world. Just in case you were wondering whether your thoughts are part of the “Thoughts and Stuff” mantra, well, they most definitely are. Thanks so much for always checking in. 🙂

Well, a lot has happened in my music world since the last time I ever spoke music in here but I will talk about the most recent two and make it a habit going forward.

All Things Work Together

First and foremost, Lecrae releases his eighth album, All Things Work Together a few weeks ago.

That reminded me of that Love is… comic strip from back in the 90s Daily Nation leisure page. Actually, if you Google it, that’s the first result. Anyway, that’s not the point.

Sometimes I struggle. I struggle with a lot of things. Feelings of uncertainty. Feelings of hurt. Holding on to hurt. Holding on to the wrong things people do to me. Feelings of fear. Then right after that comes the guilt. The defence. The rationalization. The waste of time taking things personally (although I will admit I don’t know how else I can take things other than personally). I also struggle with love. With the concept of it. What it is. What it should be. Whether I should even be thinking the stuff I think if I claim to love those around me. Today’s sermon made me think about this. It’s been a while since I listened to a great sermon. You know those guys who preach without shouting? Those guys who are straight to the point and show you things clearly and in all practicability? That was our preacher today.

The word was about love. Passages we know by heart. Galatians 5:22-23. Fruit of the spirit. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Oh, it’s the second result on Google when you search for “Love is”.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

How are you guys? So today, we’re all about conquering. When I was young, like primary school young, my dad took out a foolscap and wrote down something for me with a felt pen and made me stick on my bedroom wall. It was about Julius Caesar and what he said after a certain victory. What I remember most about that passage is the last phrase, “We came, we saw, we conquered.” When you Google that, you find the actual phrase was in Latin, “Veni, vidi, vici”.

By now you might have guessed why dad wrote that for me. Every day, I saw that writing on the wall. Literally. And every day I strived to conquer in class. I also had a newspaper clipping next to that foolscap, I remember. Betty Gikonyo was on it. I don’t know why I don’t remember the other lady on that paper. Actually I do know. I remember Betty because for half the years I have existed, I wanted to grow up to be a doctor. Yes. Didn’t we all? I’d like to say that I changed my mind easily. I didn’t. It was a combination of teenage indecisiveness and JAB’s decisiveness. But I still went ahead and conquered whatever came through. My dad says “conger” btw, like every other person of his generation. So for the longest time I was confused on the pronunciation. It made no sense to me. Like why do old guys decide a q should be pronounced as g? Anyway, that’s beside the point.

Warning: If you think I break grammar rules, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Sometimes I just exist. Just exist waiting for the next big thing to happen so I can start living again. That’s the reason I have not blogged and it’s mid month of my favourite month. Something must seriously be wrong with Shiku, you must have said to yourself. Wonder no more, because here is the lowdown.

By Kizzy B

I am in my late twenties. Time is moving too fast but, my life… doldrums for lack of a better word is what I feel right now. You see, people are often comfortable with the saying: “Everything happens for the right reason, at the right time and maybe with the right person.” How challenging that statement is to me.

Before you judge me for rushing my life and feeling as though I don’t belong, let me tell you something.

By Joy Anindo

People who know me know I am a sucker for cartoons and animations. I will sit there and watch, giggle and even cry at some scenes. Because I’m cool like that.

There is this one animation that really got to me, Rise of the Guardians. The plot involves these immortal Guardians like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy who protect the children of the world from fear, darkness and despair. However, an evil boogeyman named Pitch Black (I know right? Total bad guy name.) plans to overthrow the Guardians by destroying the children’s belief in them. It’s falls to Jack Frost to help thwart Pitch’s plans and save the Guardians from destruction. The work of the Guardians is to protect the children from fear. Jack Frost is recruited into the group and he doesn’t understand why.

I don’t know about you but I can shed tears very easily. Very very easily. I will cry over every movie that is good enough. I will cry when a child sings a song in church or in Sunday school and does not even know the words but keeps on singing very joyfully. I will cry when I see someone in pain or difficult situation. Like a few days ago when friends of our family lost a beloved daughter. I sat at their living room listening to the stories from her friends and family and just couldn’t hold back my tears. I had a headache that night.

This Sunday, I found myself crying on a Metrotrans bus. We were just making that turn around Globe roundabout (can I still call it that?) and I saw him. I saw the little boy coiled into a ball near the huge metal pipe that straddles the Nairobi river.

It’s been a minute.

Shikungigi.com turned one on 23rd, but I could not celebrate because I am normally completely drowned in work till it’s Friday evening. And that’s why I am so glad May 1st is on a Friday. Somebody say oh yeah!

By Miriam Jerotich

Four years ago, I lost my childhood friend. She was twenty. She wore a wedding dress to her funeral; a poignant reminder of one of her cherished dreams. I don’t remember what I wore on the night that I was told we had lost her. I don’t remember the day itself; what I ate, what I was, what I thought before I woke into her absence. I remember falling on my knees and crouching to my ankles. I remember the ache that began gnawing deep inside me, its manifestation in the way I scratched my legs till they bled, a vestigial habit that I would slip into when I did not get what I want, in this case, her healing.

Someone said I should preach more on this blog. Maybe I should. I almost did not do my Saturday share but you know what, a promise is a debt, like we said when we were kids. So here goes. I have made it a habit to read Our Daily Bread (ODB) daily on my phone. I had sort of stopped doing it mostly because of misplaced priorities. I would read it daily in high school, after someone signed me up for it. I don’t know who but it must have someone in Christian Union right around my year in form one. I would read the day’s piece and fall right asleep while praying during morning prep. Lol. Yeah, I was that girl.

Paul the Apostle was arguably the most learned among the Apostles. He had thorough knowledge of the Law and the prophets, being a Pharisee, and having grown in the lineage of Pharisees and religion piety Philipians 3:5. At a very tender age, Paul was put under the tutelage of Gamaliel Acts 23:6, one of the most renowned Jewish scholars of his time, a Pharisee and head of the Great Sanhedrin (Jewish council of elders) in Jerusalem. The Hillel school was noted for giving their students a balanced education, and likely giving Paul broad exposure to classical literature, philosophy, and ethics. Koine Greek was his first language, then Hebrew, and had great knowledge of stoic philosophy.

I love Sundays. Sundays are the days I just chill out and enjoy the freedom. On good Sundays (most of them are good), I am lady Shiku. I don dresses. And heels. Just to remind myself how it feels like to be a real girl. And it feels good. This Sunday, I wake up later than usual. Mum does not wake me up with a phone call as usual. No, I have not moved out. Yes, she calls me every Sunday morning from the other side of the wall. When phone calls act as alarm clocks.

I am so sleepy. Why, sun? Why couldn’t you just rise a little later today?

By Dickson Otieno

If I were an old man, I’d be termed as old-fashioned. A man who’s time is over. A guy of the ending generation. My words would be trashed in some quarters and the ‘young’ would make merry in letting me know that the new cohort does things differently. That in the new era it is the gospel ‘industry’ that thrives. And that we should let anyone thrive in doing whatever they please. As long as they insert the name Jesus in whatever composition they make, then it qualifies to be a gospel song. Try and read this to the very end.