I want the world to know…..

Guys, I’m struggling here.

Not financially, although I could do better in that department as well, but with my social skills.

Most people assume that my social skills are 10/10 mostly because I’m a goofy person and additionally I was also a journalist.

But guys, am pathetic with crowds, new people and small talk. And I try, to a point I have thought of getting professional help. I was seriously considering that untill I bumped into another influential Kenyan blogger confessing the same.

HUMAN CONTACT IS OVERATED!!!

I recall struggling with social anxiety in my last few years as an active journalist to a point I only attended events if it was really necessary.

Infact, moving to Sweden for me, was a chance to live like a hermit. Well, not entirely true but I was glad that I could choose when to be social.

Unfortunately, I still find myself in tight situations. In two instances, I have had to talk to total strangers on phone unplanned. You know those incidences where someone calls you to inform you that they met someone you would be interested in and hand over the phone to the other person immediately? And they mean no harm at all. They have your best interests at heart.

But that messes up my brain. I feel like I’m constantly navigating a minefield, trying to respond appropriately to conversation, trying to avoid saying anything dumb, trying to convey things as clearly as they are in my head. I’d prefer to just observe, but it is weird to sit there and listen and watch without participating. Exhausting.

And then there is the mental replay afterward, over and over, analyzing everything I said and the reactions they caused, subtle or otherwise, trying to dissect it to determine if I offended anyone or inadvertently embarrassed myself.

I think the fact that am a creative and we are famous on relying on instinct to know if we will like someone has contributed alot to this. I prefer meeting people in person and not over the phone for the first time.

I hope this blog post will help my new friends understand me better and also help similar people. You are not alone!

Africa has now joined the hightable

I never imagined that one day my motivation would be drawn from TV.

Yes, nowadays my self esteem boost is drawn from a script. Fiction. It’s ok guys you can judge me now. But can you please hear me out first.

See when I was in Kenya I took so much for granted. Like the fact that everyone thought it is normal to be smart and speak English. I come from a country where 85 percent of the population is literate. No one prepared me for what most of the rest of the world thinks of us as Africans. Yes, I heard about prejudices from friends in diaspora but to be it sounded like a made up tale.

LET AFRICA BE

Dear friends in Kenya, you don’t want to know the picture our beloved UNICEF and UNHCR has painted of us out here. Guys, I have seen some adverts and gone like: “Is that in Mars?” But no, that’s Africa!

Hey, I know we are not a paradise but the UN needs to be realistic. First by updating new photos and maybe clarifying that that’s not how the whole of Africa looks like.

I know it’s too much to ask but surely there is a better way to help someone without humiliating them further. Leave some dignity. The UN which is mostly funded by the Western World should probably remember that if the same countries had not poked holes in our waterfull bucket, we wouldn’t be leaking. You can’t just create a deliberate, entitled, tiresome, sweeping and base ignorance about Africa. No!

Guys let me clarify this, Africans are not poor because we are stupid, no!

This is because we of historical injustices like colonisation and current mismanagement by corrupt governments.

Anyway, I’m slowly accepting the fact that people think we Africans aren’t that smart. And sadly that includes black people who have never been to the motherland.

KENYANS IN SWEDEN HATE THIS

However, I’m encouraged by the fact that there are a few steps taken in by determined Africans to make sure we are eatinh at the hightable with the rest of the world.

The world is now Dancing to Nigeria’s Davido music, reading Chimamanda Ngozi’s books. Speaking of Chimamanda, did you watch the french journalist who asked if there were libraries in Nigeria? A journalist my guys, a journalist! Anyway, I loved Chimamanda’s classy comeback! So diplomatic.

I’m inspired by Lupita and the entire Wakanda team. It’s one thing to watch Black Panther but seeing it featured in Avengers: Infinity Wars? My people legitimising an African accent! Guys, it’s the small things

And this is just the beggining guys.

Africans are coming for what they said we couldn’t have!

Human contact for what?

A global quality of life survey earlier this year found that although Sweden was the top country in Europe for expats – it failed to make them socially accepted.

In Sweden you can live without human contact and survive. Just as long as you have the right instruments.

Recently while shopping in a thrift shop, I discovered an extendable back scratcher. Yes people, that’s a thing! I posted that in my Facebook and some of my friends said if the selfie stick became popular then this would do as well. But guys, what happened to asking your neighbor to scratch your back as you scratched his? Literally?

As if that wasn’t enough I also found a bedsheet that marks the halfway point to resolve all disputes. So if you are fighting with your man, he keeps to his side of the bed. What happened to family interventions? Who needs an expensive divorce when you have such a bedsheet?

READ MORE: LET AFRICA BE

I won’t even talk about humans who make a big deal of walking into a bar with jackets and having to hold them the whole time: “Had to wear a winter coat out to the bars. Now I have to hold on to it the whole night.”

Isn’t that what friends are for? To hold your coat as you dance?

BONUS POST: CUSTOMER CARE AND OMTANKE

Swedes are very polite in most aspects but lately I have been picking some weird habits from people who behave like they were brought up by wolves.
People seem to have no quams about ignoring people, whether they be neighbors or strangers asking for directions, thus they affront what would be a normal (in my view) persons sense of honor. Take for example the other day I walked into a make up store and the sales lady got hostile because I could not remember the exact name of the product I wanted. So hostile that she sneered and became impatient with me.

WHAT YOU MISSED: LESSONS FROM KENYANS IN SWEDEN

This is offensive to anyone with a sense of honor and would lead to confrontation or a slug out in many places yet the sense of honor and respect just doesn’t seem to be there.

Anyways, I reported this to the management of the store and it was solved promptly. I also spoke to a friend from the UK who shared similar thoughts. Customer care is lacking in Sweden. Pathetic!

Let Africa be!

First of all let me clarify that I have some amazing white friends who would be totally embarrassed to read this story.

This is not a racial profiling story but rather a story of a good night gone bad!

So the other day I attended a networking event that left a very bad taste in my mouth.

I was really dissapointed because this is something I had been looking foward to for weeks.

So what happened?

WHAT YOU MISSED:::NO NEW FRIENDS!!!

One of the speakers and a founder of the association said that she was involved in a project that didn’t go so well. “We were so excited about this project and we were about to do what white people do; save Africa!” I promise you guys. I did not make that up.

That ruined my mood and any ambition to be part of that women only movement because the lady in question is one of the founders. I was disgusted!

That was a case of White Savior Industrial Complex in general, because there is much more to doing good work than “making a difference.” Forgetting there is the principle of first do no harm. There is the idea that those who are being helped ought to be consulted over the matters that concern them.

But can I blame her? She probably has never travelled to Africa. I wonder what she is saving Africa from? From previous misdeeds by former colonies?

But how does one even think like that? Is it guilt and now trying to cover up for all the bad treatment? Is it what they watch on TV? But Sweden did not colonise anyone so why guilty? Perhaps guilt by association?

It’s so hard to share such a stories and others I have experienced because they are too stupid and sometimes even I can’t believe it happened.

I share these stories on my blog as therapy because like I said in my previous post; no one really understands it.

Blogging has been very therapeutic for me and I’m even happier that it has been nominated for 2018’s Bloggers Association of Kenya Awards in the Best Creative Writing category. To vote please follow this linkhttps://vote.bakeawards.co.ke/ .

UPDATE: I received an apology for this from the said organisation and I’m meeting them next week. I will update!

No new friends!

Guys, I just clocked a year in Sweden. I’m not sure how I feel. I have progressed alot careerwise but I’m afraid I may have lost some human values in me.

See, living in a new country is one thing but a new continent, extremely different culture has been tough. And I’m black. So have I experienced racism? Well, not outright but I’m treated differently. So draining when people assume you don’t know so much just because you come from Africa. When people try too hard around you. I’m black and being black is not a disability so stop being too sensitive around me. It’s disgusting!

Those unspoken weird behaviours have left me wondering if we as Kenyans are too nice to foreigners. I don’t trust myself anymore. How will I behave if I move back home? The fact that I even have such thoughts makes me believe that some bad people and their negative energy have gotten into me and broken me. Sad but that’s the truth.

READ MORE: I’M MOVING TO PANAMA

I’m also at a point where I don’t want new friends. Not because I hate people but the process is really draining. Making new friends should not sound like a job interview. I don’t want to be anybody’s black token friend and when it comes to my African people; I don’t want people all over my business. It is for this reason that my conversations with people will henceforth began with: “Hi” and quickly end with: “Bye”. No small talk. Sounds harsh but I’ve had it.

I’m sorry for the negativity but I needed to vent. It’s very difficult to vent to anyone without sounding petty or insecure. This a personal struggle that even my loved ones cannot understand or assist.

Aside from that, this blog has been nominated for 2018’s Bloggers Association of Kenya Awards in the Best Creative Writing category. To vote please follow this link https://vote.bakeawards.co.ke/ . I hope I make you happy enough to want to vote for me.