Reflections of a Young Man™ - True Stories by Thuita J. Maina

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Discipline & Consistency

Yippee! It's now more than a month since I last posted a story in this lovely website of mine. I have just checked my website statistics provided by my hosting company, which I have come to appreciate for its world-class services, that people have actually been visiting my website in the last one month. And I am sure some of them have been curious to know what on Earth has happened to me that has made cease to write.

Has Thuita taken a break to write a book? Or did he lose his mother who he once told us was diagnosed with a stroke a few years ago? Or could he have become depressed with that mental illness of his that he once informed us caused him to contemplate suicide several times?

Such must be the questions that have been popping up in the minds of my readers who know me best. But nothing satanic has happened to me in the past one month. Actually, I have become more composed, confident, peaceful and observant.

To answer those questions that might have been bothering my readers, let me first say I didn't take a break to author a book and never will. Why? Because writing an international best-seller requires time, attention to details, connections to a leading publisher as well as support of a talented team of editors - all of which I currently lack. So I have resolved to focus on writing stories and producing videos for this website of mine which will be my gift to future generations, God-willing.

Secondly, my mother hasn't passed away either. She is still afflicted with stroke. And her illness has led me to treasure her these days by being there for her, either to assist or share stories with her. Like I have come to learn more about my family lineage from the stories I have had with her.

Unfortunately, she stumbled and sprained her left ankle a few weeks ago as I was helping her to get back to the house after a tour around our shamba. That ankle sprain has immobilized her. We are now moving her everywhere in a wheelchair that my brother Paddy bought for her. Probably because of that immobility, she has gained weight in the past few weeks which I fear could cause her heart problems given that she underwent a heart-surgery at the turn of this century during which surgeons inserted a pace-maker in her heart.

So worried have I become of the possibility of her suffering a heart-attack or something that I have feared she will never live to see me get married as it has always been my wish. But I am now finding it unwise to worry something over which I have no control. I am just praying to God for strength to deal with anything that might happen to her. And not just her, but anything else sinister that might happen to me or my family. Nonetheless, I am still hoping my mother will live to see me exchange wedding vows with my princess charming. For as Dr. Geoffrey Griffin once advised us, "prepare for the worst but hope for the best".

And lastly, what of the concern by my friends that I could have become depressed? Well, I once confided to my circle of friends that I suffered from a mental illness and that I contemplated suicide several times.

Haha! You know what? Those were all lies and exaggerations. I am a healthy, educated and cultured young man of sound mind and good judgement. I have never been mentally ill. Neither have I ever contemplated suicide.

Actually what happened was that when I went astray during my second year in JKUAT, the professor who first handled me after I was apprehended thought I was mentally ill. He therefore referred me to a psychiatrist who, perhaps for lack of independence of thought, diagnosed me for something like schizophrenia or bi-polar disorder. After that, I was handled as a patient of mental illness which led my family to believe I was sick. I, myself, also came to believe I was sick because I voluntarily turned up for medical check-ups during which nurses injected me with some liquid drugs in addition to the tablets they asked me to take every day.

Coming to think of it, I was never mentally sick. I figured out several years ago that I went astray at the university in an effort to acquire courage and mental clarity that I had lacked earlier on in life because, believe it or not, I grew up as a confused and timid teenager - traits I didn't want to carry on into my adult life.

And I came to discover that the solution to those two weaknesses lay in studying, reflecting, exercising physically, indulging in my talents and most of all, by praying to God for strength, guidance, healing and insight on how to live. I have done all that as a result of which I can gratefully report that I am now a composed, confident, peaceful and observant young man.

So don't you ever think that I am mentally ill. Neither should you ever believe a rumour peddled by my detractors that Thuita was caught contemplating suicide. Again I say, I am a healthy, educated and cultured young man of sound mind and good judgement.

That aside, have I told you that I will now focus on writing stories and producing videos for this website? I must have told you that. So I will try to follow up with that resolution with "discipline and consistency". I have put those two virtues in quotes because Commando Tito Okello mentioned them several weeks ago in his Facebook wall which has led me to point out the virtues in this story. (Tito Okello was a school-mate of mine at Starehe Boys' Centre who served as a leader of Survival Club in 2002. We used to refer to Survival Club leaders as commandos. That's why I have addressed him as Commando Tito Okello.)

Therefore, if you are a fan of this lovely website of mine, you better be visiting it daily for new stories or videos. Trust me, I will try to make my stories interesting, enlightening and inspiring; for videos, of the finest quality. And unlike before when I used to post in the morning before 8.30am, I will from now on be updating this website any time of the day depending on when I write the story. Like I have posted this story at 7.44pm, about an hour after the Sun has set in the Ngong Hills that form the Western horizon of my home area. Stay tuned!


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Huraaay, I've Lost Weight!

This is me as I was yesterday afternoon. Man, don't I look handsome and youthful?

Finally, I have gotten rid of the flabby faddy-daddy image I have been complaining about and regained my youthful swagger. As you can see in the photo above of me yesterday, I no longer have a one-pack: a pot-belly, that is. Alleluia!

To tell you the truth, I have been bothered by the weight I had gained and sustained in the past six years. Like whenever I went to a photo studio to have the latest pictures of me, I would come out feeling dissatisfied with what the cameras had captured. I was just way too big to be called a young man!

And a primary school classmate of mine named Macharia confirmed my fears that I had indeed gained weight after we met in my home-town of Kiserian some time back and brusquely commanded me, "Thuita, you are too heavy. Do some exercises man!"

I had also worried of what would become of me if I got featured in the media in that kind of heavy weight for something good I had done as it has always been my dream. Trust me, I wouldn't have enjoyed seeing myself in the newspapers in that elephantine shape.

So I am delighted and very delighted indeed to lose weight. And having known how demoralizing it is to be plump, I will strive to stay in shape for the rest of my life, God-willing. Hopefully, those who will observe my corpse before I am laid to rest in my grave will utter words reminiscent of those uttered by Johann Peter Eckermann who described the body of Wolfgang von Goethe this way:
The morning after Goethe's death, a deep desire seized me to look once again upon his earthly garment. His faithful servant, Frederick, opened for me the chamber in which he was laid out. Stretched upon his back, he reposed as if asleep; profound peace and security reigned in the features of his sublimely noble countenance. The mighty brow seemed yet to harbour thoughts. I wished for a lock of his hair; but reverence prevented me from cutting it off. The body lay naked, only wrapped in a white sheet; large pieces of ice had been placed near it, to keep it fresh as long as possible. Frederick drew aside the sheet, and I was astonished at the divine magnificence of the limbs. The breast was powerful, broad, and arched; the arms and thighs were elegant, and of the most perfect shape; nowhere, on the whole body, was there a trace of either fat or of leanness and decay. A perfect man lay in great beauty before me; and the rapture the sight caused me made me forget for a moment that the immortal spirit had left such an abode. I laid my hand on his heart - there was a deep silence - and I turned away to give free vent to my suppressed tears.[1]
Would you, by any chance, be interested in knowing the tactics I have used to cut my weight? Then stay tuned to this lovely website of mine for tips on how to lose weight safely, quickly and naturally.

[1] I have extracted this passage from a biography of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe on Wikipedia.


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My Prayer For 2018

On the night of December 24th in 1997, I attended my first night mass in my home-town Catholic Church. I felt strangely honoured to be in the church at night which I had hitherto only attended during the day. And I enjoyed the play that was staged by the then church youth group on the birth of Jesus Christ. My favourite actor that year was one Alexander who humorously guided the audience from one scene to another.

I continued attending those night masses until 2006 when I became an Anglican. And then I resumed again in 2013 when I became proud of my Catholic roots. But in 2015, I felt I had had enough of those night masses. Furthermore, I found it unwise to walk home alone at midnight.

Anyway, coming back to those night masses, when I attended the one of the year 2000, I prayed for success in my KCPE exams that I was to sit for the following year in November. God answered my prayers because I scored an impressive 421 marks (out of 500) in the exams which led to my admission at Starehe Boys' Centre, Kenya's best high school back then.

And when I attended the night mass of 2004, I prayed not only for success in my KCSE exams that I was to sit for the following year but also for good health. Again, God answered my prayers because I had vibrant health throughout the year 2005. And I passed the mighty KCSE exams with flying colours. I scored A's in all eight subjects. Or to be more precise, I got six A's and two A-'s.

Yesterday as I prepared to usher 2018, I decided to pray for all that I desire just like I did in 2000 and 2004. Here's how I prayed:
Lord, my dear God - Creator of the Universe and the joy of my heart - I thank You for letting me see yet another year (2018) as a sprightly healthy young man. Thank You so much.

Lord, forgive me for all the sins I have committed in the past, especially against my parents. Let me begin the New Year as a guiltless, free young man.

Lord, help me to forgive those who have sinned against me in the past. Let me begin the New Year without any traces of hatred and ill-will toward anybody. Or as Abraham Lincoln would put it, let me begin the year "with malice toward none and charity for all".

Lord, I will strive to delight in You each day of this year. Reward my efforts by fulfilling all the desires of my heart. By the way, do You remember the desires that I have repeatedly made known to You in my prayers? Of course I know You do because You are all-knowing.

Lord apart from fulfilling those desires, fill my soul with never-fading joy, love, hope, faith, peace, courage and gratitude; my mind with wisdom, insight, knowledge and good judgement; and my body with vibrant health and youthful swagger.

Lord, throughout 2018, be my strength in my moments of weakness. And in my wanderings, be my guide. May I have good luck in all my endeavours.

Lord, I also place my wonderful parents into your able hands. They worked hard to give us a solid foundation of knowledge and discipline. Reward them for their efforts with good health and long life. May they live to see me sit among the mighty.

That's all I am praying for, Lord. And do all that and much more to my siblings (Joe, Bob, Paddy & Symo) as well as to my relatives and true friends. Amen.
There you have it: my prayer for 2018, that is. I believe God will answer all that I have mentioned in the prayer like He did for me in 2000 and 2004. But I humbly add, let His will be done.


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