That Somali perfume joke….

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While my first year abroad has been a bit harsh in some ways, I have picked up some lessons that I think I should share with you guys. Some of these lessons will leave some of you thinking I’m blunt and boring while others may understand me. This is also an opportunity for me to apologise if I had wronged them in any way below……

Don’t imitate accents…

I’m very ashamed and embarrassed for all those times I have called my Nigerian friends and tried to imitate their accents. My God! I hope they will find it in their hearts to forgive me. My karma has caught up with me. I meant no harm but I should have been smarter. That said, we live to learn.

Let West Africans be

It’s not cute to be known as a con man, drug pedlar or whatever other Kosokoso just because your fellow country man did it. It’s the same Nigeria we curse that has put Africa in the map musically. Living abroad has enabled me to look at things in a different perspective.

The Somali perfume joke is not funny

Why I don’t tell the African story

This one almost got me into trouble. I shared one of those memes we like joking about and a friend actually called up to warn me. About the Somali perfume. I don’t need to describe it further. I know you guys know what am talking about. At first I thought they were too sensitive but after sobering up I realised how insensitive it is.

So what if I shrub

Imagine I can’t laugh at Kikuyu accents ever again. I know it’s tempting but I will pass!

Can I call my bestfriend black?

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First let me clarify that we are not the first interracial bffs….. is that even a thing?

But I live in a country where you have to be careful what you say because you could easily offend someone.

Personally, I made a decision to NEVER start any conversation because I might end up making an enemy while my original intention was to make a new friend.

Yeap, Sweden made me shy!

But before you feel so sorry for me just know that I have a friend. Someone I can be myself around. Her name is Jenifer Reina from Guatemala in Central America.

I’m introducing you to Jenny because as most of you may have seen on my Instagram and Facebook page, I will be Vlogging alot. And Jenny will be part of it once in a while.

I remember the first day I met Jenny in class I was sitting in my secluded corner as always. Any efforts to socialise had hit the wall. I had too much energy and everyone I tried to socialise with acted a bit strange.

Mistakes we make as immigrants

But then Jenny happened. We have been friends for six months now but we have seen each other through so much stuff. Maybe you might think am being dramatic but making friends at this age in Europe is not a walk on the park. Jenny has seen me have a meltdown more than once. And she still looked for me. She didn’t give up on me or think am weird.

So the other day we were talking about all the political correctness and how much it affects you as a human being. I got a little curious and asked Jenny these questions….

What did you think of Africa before you met me?
I thought of Africa as an exotic place that is well known because of its beautiful wild animals. A country that has both poor and rich, with a big social gap but also that is on its way to development with people living in small or big houses. I make the clarification of people living in houses because once I met a person from U.S.A. and he told me that he thought that all Guatemalans lived in trees. Making the comparison with my country, I also know that in Africa there is a percentage of indigenous people that live in tribes.

Why I don’t tell the African story

Is there a misconception about African people that you changed your mind about after our friendship?
Definitely! I want to have more friends as Cate. Honestly I did not have any problem meeting African people, I just hadn’t had the chance of meeting someone from Africa and building a friendship. And now that I have met my friend Cate, it feels like we have been friends from so long ago! The color of our skin (I am very pale) has never ever been an issue.

What question have you always wanted to ask me that you are afraid to?
I have already done that haha. I was afraid and still am of saying “black people” because it sounds racist. Media has created so much drama with the use of these words. But then Cate told me that there was no problem referring to someone this way. I still can’t say them openly but now I know what Cate thinks and how she feels about it.

Let Africa be!

What common thing do Kenyans share with Guatemalans? Based on the stories I tell you?
“Bailando” haha that is what my friend Cate always says to me when she hears me speaking Spanish. I think we share the same positive energy and sense of humor, where we just laugh for no reason at all, just for making the best out of life. I think Kenyans and Guatemalans are very social and friendly people that are always willing to help someone even if they have just met the person for 1 minute. Regarding the country in general, I think we share almost the same warm weather and the same social and economical differences. I still haven’t tried Kenyan food but I can almost be certain that we share the same taste in spices and variety of flavours 🙂

Apology letter to Swedish mosquitoes

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Dear Viking Mozzies,

How are you? Hope you are not too tired from the late night rounds from door to door trying to find a human to suck blood from.

My neighbour’s cat is using me

I understand that your job is not only physically but emotionally draining especially after some of us mercilessly murder your relatives in cold blood. I can’t even begin to picture how painful it is to walk into a room and see your relative stuck on a wall. That’s not something anyone should ever have to live through. I did it. Ok, I do it all the time.

But recently my sins caught up with me. A day after killing one of your own by crushing them between my hands and mercilessly turning them into a piece of art on my wall, I developed a rush. Yaani, I woke up the next day with pimples all over my body. Even on my scalp. And then I began scratching and then I concluded that some of you had attacked me in revenge for what I had done to one of you.

Swedish Mosquitoes tried to murder me

And so I ranted, cursed and told everyone about you. How, you, unlike your cousins in Africa bite and leave marks. Can you believe what I did to your reputation? I know you probably hate me so much. I can imagine how much pain and distress I caused you and ruined your otherwise…eer good..eer …whatever name.

I’m sorry because it turns out that this had nothing to do with you. That this was a virus. The second bout of chicken pox. I suffered chicken pox and blamed you and for that, I totally apologize. However, I would like to ask you for a favor. Can you please attach some weird doctor who could not differentiate between your bites and chicken pox? I will share details of his address once you accept this apology and get back to me.

Swedes are sad, I imported flu!

You don’t need to come to my house. Just write, use smoke signals, horns or any other form of communication you find appropriate. I will appreciate.

Yours truly,

Self-confessed serial killer of your relatives.

Fundi wa cherahani comes to ‘majuu’

Head scarfs by Maridadi Wear

First of all I try my best not to post press releases and promos on my blog.

I feel like posting my embarrassing moments huku majuu makes you guys come back here to see if I still have my limbs intact.

But can you please excuse me today?

As you may recall in the past, I have always been against meeting Kenyans after a my first very nasty experiences when I got here.

No new friends!

But am slowly softening up.

I met this lady with so much positive energy and when she hit me up to attend her launch I could not resist. Her name is Nyandia and together with her friend K they are importing Kitenge inspired clothes for the Swedish market.

Gothenburg, a city without secrets!

See below how our interview went and what inspires her. Oh and I like her accent….so if you are in Gothenburg, Sweden please hit them up HERE

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Akili ni nywele…hata za makwapa!

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As my blog turns one there are a few things I have learned as a blogger. This is the third blog that I have owned but I have previously felt conflicted as a paid journalist working on a blog in the same niche. This time, I ventured into something totally different and fell in love with it. I have also picked up a few lessons that I would like to share with aspiring bloggers.

 

Friends don’t read your blog

If you keep up with me online, and you’ve given a “Like” to your favourite musician you can also like my page. No? Anyway, I find it really hard to market my page to my friends and frankly speaking I can’t really say I get a lot of hits from them. It’s the random people I chat with on my Facebook timeline that have really been supportive.

Passion

It’s tough to turn up day after day, hour after hour to something you don’t absolutely love. Hell, it’s hard even when you do love it.

New Job, New country survival tips!

Blogging is hard work.

Don’t let anyone ever tell you anything different. It’s time-consuming and way more demanding than I could ever have imagined. This was made so much easier by the fact that I love doing what I do. And having a passion for what I do means that I’m constantly trying to push myself further and grow my niche. It also means that when I have an article I have to push it. Market myself and spend an extra coin to earn extra viewership.

Niche over competition

If you’re driven it’s easy to be competitive.

Some niches feel more competitive than others. For example, if you have a lifestyle blog where you’re posting about your personal life experiences, it’s difficult to feel competition. After all, those posts are personal to you.

But niches such as the blogging niche about living abroad is in, are easy to feel competitive. There are lots of people out there writing about the same things.

Feeling competitive can be good in small amounts. It can drive you forward and motivate you to push harder and grow bigger. But it can also be dangerous and destructive within the blogosphere. It can lead to you comparing yourself to others and a downward spiral of imposter syndrome and generally not feeling good enough!

This has taught me how to share the good and the bad of my life abroad.

No new friends!

Plan

I love planning.

If I could make a living off planning I would (if you want me to plan out your life please let me know how much you would be willing to pay haha!)

But you may have noticed that point 10 here includes the word “essential”. It’s not just about my love of planning. Over the past 12 months, I’ve learned just how important it is to plan and schedule as much as possible when it comes to my blogs and business.

There’s nothing worse than sitting staring at an empty laptop screen 15 minutes before your post is meant to go live and have no idea what to write about. Or getting no traffic because you’ve not scheduled out any social media promos.

Investing in a decent planner and taking time to put in place a planning process for every part of your blog is invaluable. And, whilst it might take you a fair amount of time to get set up initially it is totally worth it and will save you heaps of time in the long run!

I’m moving to Panama!

Make new friends online

Like I said above, your friends and family will never earn you any blog hits. They know you and keep up with you in real life and don’t actually trust what you write on your blog.

Engage your social media friends for this purposes. Make something out of these ‘fake friendships’.

Spend money to make money

I just paid my yearly domain fee the other day and realized that ever since I left blogspot.com I have made bigger strides. And being taken more seriously with a .com domain. I have also had to part off with a few coins for my Facebook Domain. Unfortunately, I can’t say Facebook is the best advertiser. They are shitty and don’t provide the best results but at least I tried.