A True Story
on Jan 12, 2023
My music producer, a tech-savvy chap named Sylvester Otieno, relocated his studio to a place on the outskirts of Nairobi called Utawala. So when I arranged to produce a hymn at his studio last Monday, I had to travel to Utawala. Since I had never been to Utawala before, I had to get instructions from Sylvester on where to board a bus and where to alight.
I boarded a bus bound for Utawala at a bus station in downtown Nairobi, just as Sylvester had instructed me. The bus was almost full when I boarded it; I therefore found a seat at the back. And while removing bus fare from my wallet, I requested the conductor to inform me when we reached Quickmart Supermarket, the place Sylvester had told me to alight.
As it often happens to me when I am travelling to an unfamiliar place, I got worried that the conductor might forget to inform me when we reached Quickmart Supermarket. So when some passengers alighted from the bus leaving empty seats in front, I dashed to a seat closer to the conductor where I could keep reminding him about my destination.
Guess what! A minute or two after plopping myself on a seat next to the conductor, a lady approached me from behind and handed me my wallet that I had dropped. I thanked her immediately and then again as she was about to take her seat at the back of the bus.
When I confirmed that all my money was in the wallet, I felt like thanking the lady for the third time but I bit my tongue because I thought that would be showing too much gratitude to a complete stranger. All the same, I was immensely grateful to the lady for saving me from the agony of losing my wallet which contained my bus fare as well as my national identity card and ATM card.
As the bus followed the road to Utawala, I thought back to the times other strangers had been helpful to me. I remembered an afternoon in 2013 when a man phoned me soon after I arrived home from the library of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi. The man, who I later learnt was called Wanjala, informed me that he had found my wallet. (He got my phone number from a contact paper I had wisely put in the wallet.)
I agreed to meet with Wanjala the following morning in a town called Ong'ata Rongai. When we met and he gave me back my wallet, there was no money in it. But I didn't bother to question him where he had found my wallet and what had happened to my money. I just accepted my wallet, glad that my national ID, ATM card and U.S. Embassy library card were still in it.
Like the lady who handed me my wallet last Monday, Wanjala saved me from the turmoil of applying for another national ID and ATM card. Even though I have never communicated with him since that morning he gave me back my wallet, his kind gesture will remain enshrined in my memory.
I also remembered another man who alerted me that a Ksh. 500 note was hanging from a pocket on my trousers as I waited to be attended to at a certain cyber cafe in downtown Nairobi one afternoon in 2011. The man did me a world of good by alerting me about the hanging Ksh. 500 note because if someone had stealthily taken it from me, I would have been stranded in Nairobi since I didn't have another amount of money for bus fare.
While those memories of kind acts done to me by complete strangers came flooding back in my mind last Monday as I commuted to Utawala, I was thankful beyond measure. In a world full of thieves, fraudsters and pickpockets, it was gratifying to realize that good people still exist in this fallen world that we live in.
I have resolved to be one of those good people. Should I ever see someone absentmindedly leave her bag in a public service vehicle, I will make a point of alerting her about the bag without checking what's in it. And should a stranger ever stop me to ask for directions to a place he's headed, I will direct him to the best of my ability. Not an unwise thing for you to do as well, my beloved reader!
NEW! NEW! NEW! If you missed my social media update two days ago, let me take this opportunity to inform you that I have produced another hymn which is available in the videos' section of this blog. Just click on the "videos" link on the menu at the top of this blog to access the hymn.
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A True Story
on Jan 7, 2023
A while back, I watched some parts of The Passion of the Christ, a Mel Gibson movie. The movie tugged at my heartstrings as I watched its actors portray how Christ was flogged by a hyped-up crowd and eventually crucified on a cross for our sake. And I noted all the actors in the movie were lean, not fat.
Mel Gibson must have chosen only lean actors to feature in the movie because he understood that people in the times of Christ didn't suffer from obesity. They walked everywhere they went since they didn't have cars, trains and motorbikes. They also didn't have processed foods rich in fat and sugar. Such a lifestyle kept them lean.
I, too, have wanted to be lean for as long as I can remember. Yet when I was admitted at JKUAT Hospital in October 2008, I grew unbelievably plump, for all I did in the hospital was eat and sleep. (I was admitted at the hospital following my odd behavior at JKUAT, a local university where I had enrolled to pursue an engineering degree.)
Since getting discharged from JKUAT Hospital in November 2008, I have battled my weight - sometimes successfully, sometimes unsuccessfully. And I came to realize that I have looked more handsome and charming when lean than when fat.
I remember one night in 2011 when I was at the University of Nairobi (I dropped out of JKUAT in 2009), I showed some female classmates an old photo of mine taken during my JKUAT days and asked them to contrast it with how I looked that night in 2011. They all seemed to agree that I was more good-looking in the photo. That made me hate the weight I had gained.
Because I was displeased with how massive I had grown, I ended up putting on my social media accounts photos of myself taken years back. One lass I met for the first time in 2014 complained to me that she had expected to meet a young man who looked like what I had on my Facebook profile pic.
Even when I was running for a political seat in the 2013 General Elections of Kenya, I was so uncomfortable with how I appeared that I put on my campaign posters a photo of myself taken two years before. I am sure strangers who viewed my posters couldn't recognize me on the streets given how flabby I had grown. How I wished I could be the handsome young man I was in the photo!
It's not only me who has looked more handsome when lean than when plump. I have also noted that in others. There is, for instance, a classmate of mine who grew plump a few years after we finished high school. When I went through his Facebook pictures on an afternoon in 2011, I marvelled at how handsome he appeared while he was lean.
Then there is this first-born son of my neighbour Mama Kuria. The son looked strikingly handsome in a framed picture that was in the living room of Mama Kuria's mansion. When I met him during a get-together party for Mama Kuria's family in 2014, I was taken aback to see how big he had become. Later on, I suggested to Mama Kuria that she cajoles him to cut weight, citing that he was more good-looking in the framed picture in her living room.
That observation I have made of people appearing more pretty when lean than when fat is what has motivated me to lose weight by eating moderately and exercising vigorously. I have also kept away from foods rich in fat and sugar. As a result of my efforts, I have regained my youthful swagger. I plan to stay lean for the rest of my life on this grand and beautiful planet.
My beloved reader, I urge you to also strive to be lean like people in the times of Christ. Eat moderately and exercise vigorously. Not only will you be more attractive when lean, you will also live longer and happier since being lean will reduce your risk of contracting such lifestyle diseases as stroke, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. That's all I am saying.
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story on staying lean, you might also enjoy another one on "How to Lose Weight Safely & Quickly" that I wrote more than two years ago. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.