Random Things I Remember From The 90s

Previous post on memories here .

There was a place at Adam’s Arcade that used to sell chips called Cinderella. They used to put cabbage and carrot mixture (not coleslaw) in the chips and it was delicious.

There was an Indian restaurant called Minar (that was in Yaya and somewhere else I don’t remember) which had good food. It didn’t last but we enjoyed.

Utalii hotel had excellent lunch and dinner. Because it was the hotel for the hospitality college, it was students doing the cooking and serving as part of their course and honestly, it would be very packed on Sundays and the food (in my memory) was absolutely lovely.

There was chewing gum called racers which we bought to “collect” the different cars under the wrappers.

The Problem With #CoupleGoals

A couple who were doing coupley content on TikTok broke up and the ensuing comments have been truly something to behold and it gave me the final push to talk about this concept of Couple Goals.



the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result

Like many things that have been commodified – other people’s relationships are something we are told to aspire to – despite the fact that we have no idea what the totality of the relationship is about. As I keep proclaiming, being coupled is seen as an achievement due to the hierarchy of relationships with romantic relationship being seen as the apex – the highest achievement. And not so much the quality of the relationship even but rather that you attained it.

And that’s why people love the idea of couple goals because it gives them this rose coloured glasses view of how relationships ought to be. From my observation, we often say people are couple goals because they are portraying an aesthetic we desire (or are told we should desire). Beauty and youth are especially heralded. If they follow social norms, live a conventional life – the better (date, engaged, marry and then children) – most variances to this are rejected. If their social media presence shows wealth, travel and a curated aesthetic – even better; manufactured vulnerability is interpreted as intimacy.

I find it all so unimaginative.

Alaine de Botton often says that we assume that love should come naturally to us and that it shouldn’t be work or something we should learn which, is a product of romanticism, of which I am not a fan. People also have that ridiculous expectation that those in their lives should somehow automatically know how to love them. But then it brings to question, do people even know how they want to be loved? Or are they looking at other coupled people and picking from what they doing and deciding that whatever it is someone is getting, it would work for them to? Is that why these people become #Goals? Do people seriously think that they can gauge relationships from snippets they see online?

When couples separate or have issues publicly, suddenly you see comments “love is dead”, “if they didn’t make it who will”, ” I don’t believe in love anymore” and such like statements. My first instinct is to think it all hyperbole but truly there are people whose values on romantic love are derived only from what they consume on social media. Making choices because they see other people make them.

And that’s tragic.

I Said What I Said

It’s fascinating how people confuse someone being good looking and being attracted to them.

For everyone who has ever wondered how R Kelly got away with everything he has done for so long, just look at what Kanye is doing. And the excuses people make because someone made a piece of music that they like is mind blowing.

I truly believe that most of the things people view as status symbols are trappings of capitalism and I am therefore rarely impressed by the performance put forth to show wealth.

I wonder how all the kids who were born so parents could make content will be when older. I hope they’ll be okay.

Congruently, I think we should celebrate parents who bring up kids well. All that hoopla spent on congratulating people on being pregnant should be saved for how they bring up kids.

Also, let’s take a moment and think about class and showers (baby and bridal). 🤔🤔🤔

Do you sometimes feel like classed people think they know more about love and don’t think non classed people do?

Would You Join A Cult?

I have been watching cult documentaries with fervour. I love them so much and every time I do I always wonder if I could be susceptible enough to join one. I do not think anyone is above joining one by the way.

Now, given that I am not religious, it limits the number of cults that I could join. However I recently I watched Seduced and The Vow about NXIVM which is a cult based on self help/personal growth and new age/empowerment/spiritual rhetoric. Cults are evolving y’all.

But let me not get ahead of myself. What is the definition of a cult? According to dictionary dot com the definition is a variety of things but the basic tenets are that there is an ideology that brings people together, object or person of devotion, existence of rites and ceremonies and then the things that separate it from organised religion – isolating people, requiring loyalty, worship of one specific person among other things (Read this).

I think NXIVM really hit me was because it is a self help organisation. They have the wording of self help and then once you are deep in, it goes off the rails. I mean, they preached productivity, calorie control, gyming and physical activity and also things like you didn’t need 8 hours of sleep. Watching these documentaries was truly something.

And this makes it different in that if you aren’t religious, it is easy to avoid the religious based cults. However we are almost always looking for ways to improve ourselves, to find purpose, to be better, to grow. And this can lead you into a cult.

Especially now as things are tough and statistics are showing we aren’t as religious, we are looking for other ways to escape and find ourselves and community. It could be easy to join a group of people on the path to better yourself and the next thing you know, you are being asked ORDERED to have sex with the leader. Whew.

And you know the thing about these leaders is that when people watch these documentaries you wonder how people would follow them. And I think in underestimating them is one way people fall into the trap. I mean look at Charles Manson, Jim Jones, Heaven’s Gate, Bikram, Gwen Shamblin – all of them. They are truly fascinating.

All this to reiterate that I think we are almost always susceptible to joining a cult. As one of the ladies said “We all want to believe”. And as the cult expert said, the mind is a fragile thing and we are all subject to influence.

Finally let’s remember that capitalism is a cult so we are all participating in one albeit for some of us begrudgingly.

(You know, it’s sad in a way because behind all this, we are looking for meaning and purpose because the truth is, the world as it is doesn’t make sense).

Random Things That Irk Me

When people say they are at brunch but there is no lunch food. If it’s only breakfast food then it’s breakfast. Time doesn’t matter. You are eating breakfast food at almost lunch time.

When Kenyans extol virtues of rich people. I will not be elaborating.

Kenyans who talk about politics of the country at face value without digging deeper into the whys and how’s and even how colonization and capitalism affects us. It all seems like what we have masking as punditry is purely reactions as if to a reality show.

Stores that only have clothes up to a size 16 and call themselves plus size.

People who cross right under a bridge. My inner thoughts always make me want to speed up.

How Nviiri pronounces some words when he sings.

Online Kenyan Adverts

SWVL has the best and worst online adverts. The space ship ones?? Absolutely good. The ones with various celebs? So annoying. Pascal especially is what people should point to when asked how a cheers baba person talks.

The Jiji Matchmaker ones are so cringe. Like I don’t know why there is need to make them have that sexual innuendo vibe. It’s so yikes.

Jury is still out on the Juicy Fruit one (the interview one), it gives me the ick though to be clear.

I have never watched the Copia one until the end because it already irks me in the few seconds I do have to view it.

Bold and Glovo are doing way too much its honestly a turn off.


I was on YouTube watching this

And it made me think about how aggressive Cipladon is marketing itself as a pain killer. I obviously don’t think it is on the level of oxycotin or fentanyl but it is still so weird seeing influencers pushing medicine on social media. Especially given how consumer protection in this country is non existent and how reactive regulators in various sectors are.

It is certainly off-putting to have a non medical profession tell us about medicine that much is true.

Kenyans, Let Us Remember

What do we imagine a functioning Kenya looks like?

If you were to ask many Kenyans what they would want Kenya to be like, it would likely be things you would assume the government would have done by now – affordable and available food, health, education, transport.

However, politicians would like us to believe that the issue here is one tribe vs another. That division that was instituted by colonialists and politicians continue to use to their advantage.

In the US, Trump incited his followers to storm the capital and then after the fact, those are the people who are being sentenced. None of the politicians.

In 2007 and in the aftermath of the post election violence, the people who suffered were those who lost their people, their children. People died. Sometimes it seems like we forget that. And the people who killed, who live with the truth that they carried out these atrocities, fueled by politicians whose lives were not changed by the way.

And so when I watched the video of that politician talking about madoadoa, I was flabbergasted, not only by the audacity of his words but also by the cheers after these words were said.

Kenyans, Did we learn nothing? Do we not remember?

And as long as government continues to make the poor poorer and them reliant on handouts, there will always be someone cheering on tribalistic spews by politicians with ill intent. It serves the interests of the politicians for us to be divided. It serves the interest of politicians for Kenyans to believe that somehow their tribe is left out. Despite the fact that the only interest politicians serve is their own.

The truth is that, it is a cycle at this point – for four years, Kenyans suffer under these politicians and then one year, when the elections come around, the politicians lie and incite. We continue to suffer and to lie to ourselves that these recycled politicians will do better is to be foolish. And do you know who will help you when things become difficult? Not the politicians but rather that neighbour you were led to believe is your enemy.

In our day to day lives our differing tribes does not come into play. Yes, the government underdevelops certain regions in this country but I wish we all knew that this is by design. It is all part of the theater known as politics.

Please know that it means nothing to a politicians to play games with people’s lives. They do it all the time. They don’t care if we die as long as they attain/retain power and the money that comes with it.

A regular reminder that the division that exists in this country is the rich, politicos and their kin vs everyone else.

Keep that in mind when you are incited by politicians to harm your neighbour.

And you know what, all these tactics that rely on tribal hatred has been peddled since independence. And it hasn’t worked to make Kenya better. Maybe it’s time to try something new, like unity among the people to let these people (politicians) know that we refuse to be divided by them.

Mtaachana Tu and Kenya’s Culture on Love

Wale Lawal on his insta stories when asked a question to do with love said “Love as a concept is cultural: it may have universal aspects but ultimately love inherits the nuances of its social context” and while ruminating about this, I thought about the context of Kenya and in turn, the prevalence of the “mtaachana tu” mentality.

While most of our understanding on love is from media we consume, our upbringing etc, we develop ideas of love from our culture and in this case, I specifically mean Kenyan culture. To generalise, I started asking myself questions: How did our parents show love to us and each other? And how does this replicate in our own lives and relationships, whether romantic, filial or platonic? And in the greater sense, as country, what do we portray, present and embody when it comes to love? What does it mean for us to love?

And the pertinent question, where does the “Mtaachana tu” mentality or dare I say “culture” come in?

bell hooks in All About Love: New Visions stated “It is far easier to talk about loss than it is to talk about love. It is easier to articulate the pain of love’s absence than to describe its presence and meaning in our lives.”

And I am not saying that Kenya is unique in talking about the lack/loss of love, the ending of relationships, heartbreak etc but there is a specific insidious snarkiness which I see and a delight in misfortune/breakups/heartache that is unique to us.

Even if we were to think of love songs, of which I have a playlist, many of them are about the ending of relationships. I am not sure how other forms of media deal with it but specifically music, we talk more about negative aspects, being unloved, ending of relationships etc.

And it begs the question: Do we even know how to love, to give love and to receive love? I think that is the root of it all – Our lack of understanding of what love should be and as a result, a delight in its ending. Because at the core of it, we have to understand that the end of a relationship is not an end to love. And if I am even being more real, I think we overestimate our capacity and capabilities of loving.

It is easier to be snarky about people breaking up because we don’t even have an understanding of what love is, we see it as a loss of power perhaps.

And what amuses me more is that even as there is an adoption of the mtaachana tu mentality, there is also an accompanying desire, a longing to be partnered and to have a romantic connection with someone. Most often than not, this desire includes the assumption that one, one won’t publicise the relationship so as to avoid any scrutiny and two, that they will somehow escape the realities/trappings of relationships or the delusion that somehow they are above it all.

Culturally and as a society, I find that our definitions of love are rooted in power and ownership of people – a mix of tradition, religion and the all consuming patriarchy.

PS: if you saw this post yesterday, my apologies, it was incomplete at the time of posting