This Mask written by Njeri Athena
I wish I felt beautiful all the time
I wish I could trust you with my life
I wish I could live, dance, just be, without a care
But to be human is to be self-conscious
So I pretend I am all these… and wonder if anyone sees through the mask.
Life is about appearances. It’s about the phone you have, the people you hang around, the person you’re dating, the car you’re driving, where you live… but life begins when we stop making it about them, and start making it about you. Are you doing things for them, or for you? Do you want to look a certain way for you, or is it for them?
Sometimes we feel comfortable hiding our true selves from everyone else. The problem is that we can’t hide from ourselves. We know what we’re going through. We know what haunts us.
And when we make mistakes, we want to take the easy way out. We want to pretend it’s not there; act like everything’s okay, even when we can’t sleep at night because, well, everything is not okay. So very few of us actually face their demons, which means that we end up with way too much baggage than we can bear.
We want to get rich and successful, by all means we know, except hard work. We want to be the popular ones; we try so hard to fit in that somewhere along the way we lose ourselves. The worst thing that can happen to anyone is losing their identity.
We can’t be perfect – no one is. We all make mistakes, and sometimes the consequences are grave. But often time what determines our strength is our ability to admit our mistakes, face up to them, live with the consequences.
Sometimes it is hard to just smile and pretend. Sometimes we forget we can run, but we can’t hide.
Last week, our princess Gabrielle Akinyi Wanjohi is introduced by Samantha the Blackberry Princess to a women’s support and exchange group loosely called “The Nightbirds”, ( she calls it Sam’s Society) which comprises sex workers and vanillas, straight and queer. Who are these people? What are they up to? The Nightbirds – Part One is followed up by The Nightbirds – Part Twonow already available.
The latest trend in terms of technology is the Android Operating System. Chiira Maina helps us to better understand this operating system, which is an Open Source Software initially developed by Android Inc. (later bought by Google) and which runs best on mobile devices. What you need to know about the Android OS.
In our Society & Identity page this week, Brenda Angwenyi makes her debut on The Princess Project with a question. Just how much truth can we handle? The truth does not really matter sometimes because it changes people’s perceptions, intentionally or not. You tell the truth and you risk cutting the ties you have with people around you, even when they promise that it will not affect what you have with them. Truth Is… Do you want to Know?
On Punk’s Twilight Zone, Ivory punk introduces us to Walter de la Mare (1873-1956), whose poem Bones summarizes her quite hilarious medical relationship with her ENT specialist, who is better than a preachy dull, bespectacled geek of a doctor.
Another debut article by Nyambura Kiarie takes us through Health Management by introducing us to her new columnChronic City. What happens to your life and the life of your loved ones when you wake up one day and find yourself caught in a storm of change that you did not envision nor choose? Chronic City explores conversations about your health, what happens when you lose it, and moving on with life after a diagnosis of chronic illness.
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver stands out from any other novel about “deepest darkest Africa” that you may find in the bookshops. It is the story of the Price family -their stay in the Belgian Congo, and how Africa changes their lives. Gideon Chumo and Stella Riunga give us a book review that will make you want to read and re-read the novel.
If you find an African woman who is not attached to chemical relaxers, please note that you are looking at a rare find. It’s time contemporary black women learn the truth about the Smooth Criminal. Just be prepared for what you are going to hear from Imani Opar on our Beauty & Fitness page.
We aren’t done schooling you. We have another debut from Claudette Oduor with her new column on The Princess Project titled Paper Mache. Claudette begins by taking you on a trip To Nairobi from Timbuktu.
What do you think of the TJRC, tribunals, commissions, and whatever other vehicles deviced to earth the truth. The present near standstill of the thoroughly discredited TJRC (“Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission”) allows us to look back. Such commissions have a become a bit of a fad in the international human rights business in the last decades – and a business and flourishing profession it is. “Injustice, untruth and non-conciliation” by Alexander Eichener on the PPK’s Legal Pad.
You do not want to miss any of these articles, so take your time, read them and then tell us what you think about it all.
Do have yourselves a lovely weekend!