Uncategorized

To evolve is everything…

Christine

So first things first, being a regular in writing has been tougher than anticipated. I thought every week we’d always whip up something for y’all to read but Alas! Easier said than done.

So today I want to talk about being human and the one constant we’re all good at EVOLUTION. I will not be taking a dive into history talking about early man or even Adam and Eve….well that’s a tale for another time maybe. The kind of evolution I seek to pen is about us as people and our ability to constantly change depending on people, environment and whatever we may or may not choose to expose ourselves to. The intentional and unintended ways of coping and being different from who we were before.

I admire how one can look in the mirror and say no…I need to look better, feel better, speak better and then they become that which they want, merely because they wanted it badly enough and were willing to put in the work! I myself have been on a fact finding mission about self. Asking questions like who am I? Do I even like her? Why or why not? Can I do better? Can I be better? Where have I gone wrong in the past? How can I change that for all future interactions?

I have to be honest with you. Change is hard! Rewiring the mind to a whole new foreign mindset is tough. I read somewhere once that trying to change is like uncoiling a tightly coiled/wound wire in a whole other direction. It can be done but given a chance, it’d rather stay in its previously coiled position. For instance lately, I’ve been trying to master reading the bible and praying everyday as well as working out and living a generally healthy lifestyle. I cannot begin tell you how many times I quit or just plain didn’t care or even gave excuses from here to high heaven. The times I’ve let people’s opinions determine just how hard I should or shouldn’t be working on something. Words like “your size is perfect any skinnier and you’d look bad’…’you should eat some **insert unhealthy food** life is too short to not enjoy everything you want’ …’wow you’ve gained weight (after a week of constant workouts).’

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, not the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”  – Charles Darwin

I have come to learn though, being human is to understand that goals are personal, hard work is important and failure is part of the learning curve. Like Charles Darwin said “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, not the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”  I know the person I am today is different from even two months back. So thing is what kind of material are you reading (I personally prefer the bible lately), who are you letting inspire you, how often do you dig deep, admit your shortcomings and learn from them, are you forgiving others and yourself, are you choosing to be happy despite it all, what kind of company are you keeping, are you being the best you can be? If not what are you doing differently???? Most importantly…do you even care?

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HEALTH & FITNESS

Getting the Summer Body ready!

Derrick

summer-body-1

Who am I kidding? My body will not look like that (as shown in the image above) this summer 🤣🤣🤣 but I’m not saying I won’t try to hit the gym and get at least a blurred similar looking one . In fact I have already started hitting the gym.

Last week was my first week in about a month and a half to re-hit my workouts. Considering this is our first AfroCocktail HEALTH & FITNESS post I wont go all fitness-guru on y’all and also due to the fact that I’m only a year old in the gym.

With this weeks post i just want to share some of the tips I’m following how to get in shape and stay in shape for summer;

  • Commitment. Well this has to come of top of the tips as it is the most important, For us to embark on this journey of health and fitness as a lifestyle we need to be extremely committed to our goals. A year a go when i started working out, this was the only thing that kept me going, There are days i would feel mentally tired from school or i felt like drinking some soda instead of a milk or yogurt or water but i had to push through and stay committed. Trust me that was the time i got the most gains!!
  • Your goals are personal. There are times back at school when i almost failed to walk that path to the gym because i felt shy to go to the gym (because i was skinny as f***) and i felt afraid about what other people would say. I recall hearing people whispering something like ‘why is he even going to the gym….” and yet they didnt know my goals. That;s exactly why I’m telling you to stay working on your goals as a personal want. What others think, whether you are overweight or you just have potbelly doesn’t matter. Its your body and you’ll work on it the way you want.
  • Nutrition/Diet. Well this is very important too. Research what diet and nutrition you need to achieve your goals or summer bod as i call it and stick to eat. Recently I ran an instagram story on my account @derrickmuheki asking people if eating 3 boiled eggs as part of my diet and wow! over 60 % said no which was so hilarious because normally they would be right but considering the nutrition plan that I’m following for weight gain they are wrong.
  • Lastly, read and continuously check on our blog for the HEALTH & FITNESS posts. Vanitah, Christine and I are all currently starting serious workout goals for summer and will be sharing with you our experiences, tips and amazing smoothies till the summer! Lets get our summer bods ready.💪🏽💪🏽

Thanks for the read! Leave a comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TRAVEL DIARY

Travel Diary: Trip to Norway

Huh! Where do I start? I think it all began on a Tuesday afternoon when I set out to go winter shopping in Kampala (where it’s summer all year long!) That is say was the hardest this for me because I had never really experienced winter 🥶! I tried imagining how cold it would be but the clothing I got wasn’t as warm as it ought to have been. I then strolled into a Ugandan crafts gift shop and the reception o got there was overwhelming!! They literally thought I was a foreigner getting some souvenirs of my trip and guess what I played along 😅😅 and probably got them for a higher price but it was fun playing foreigner in my own country! The love you get is overwhelming I’d say 😂😂😂

Anyway so Wednesday afternoon I set off on a flight to my first stop at Dubai where I was lucky to have a visa and slept at a good hotel for the night before my morning flight to Oslo, Norway! That morning a my Dubai International Airport, I met some two beautiful Kenyan girls and it turned out they were going to attend the International Student Festival in Trondheim ( the festival I was also attending for my trip) and we hit it off! Probably not in the way you’re thinking. Anyway so arriving at Oslo and stepping out of the plan from the back entrance meant I felt a good -8 degrees Celsius that I had never felt before! Sh*t!! My jacket (that I thought was warm) wasn’t of any help 😱😱 at this point I couldn’t imagine spending two weeks in such cold!!! When I got off the domestic flight from Oslo to Trondheim, it was cold but not like Oslo. About -2 degrees. And well the rest was a good time after that.

With this festival, I got to meet amazing people from different countries in the world. It was amazing and extremely diverse! The workshop group that I was attached to “Big City Life” honestly turned to be The Absolute Most!! It was such a great Norge-family to wake up to see, play with, chat with, debate with, and PARTY HARD with! I feel so honored to have met each and everyone of them. One of the memories I’ll never forget was the last Saturday night together at Sophie’s (our workshop leader’s) house. It was the most! By now you’re wondering what the most is but in quick translation ‘it’s just the best feeling you could get out of the moment you’re in’ basically ceasing the moment. We took so many shots (or atleast Ana and I did😅) and we danced sooo much!!! Plus i loved how we danced to music from each country we were representing.

My amazing diverse workshop family

This festival taught me a lot about the current issues going on concerning migration and the refugee crisis in the world today. Through the discussions and the few plenary sessions that I attended, I was able to grow in knowledge and this opened my eyes to play which ever part I can to make a change. Humanitarian. That’s the word I was looking for. It was a life changing experience! I wish I could write up everything that happened but that would be an extremely long post. Thanks Trondheim and ISFiT!

Ana
Our countries and Residence

To all the new friends I met and the old ones I re-met in Trondheim, you’ll always have a special place in my heart. I know we’ll meet soon somewhere around the World!

<Photo Credit: @julydragan on instagram

This post also appears on my personal blog at derrickmuheki.wordpress.com

With Sophie and Emily

– Derrick Muheki

HEART-TO-HEART

VALENTINES…

Christine

So a few weeks ago was the week of love where lovebirds celebrate each other…depending on choice but overall it’s the worldwide day for celebrating romantic love or if you’re a singleton (as Derrick calls it) then just celebrating life or being majorly annoyed by all the lovey dovey stuff (and memes). But in case you’re like me and a sucker for the whole nine yards of romantic gestures, with a loved one afoot, then this was the time to get excited!

My focus today will not be on all the coupled up lovebirds, I want to focus on the entire tradition of Valentines day and my opinion in regards. To be honest, I have mixed feelings on the whole issue, this being my first Valentines with a serious someone. I was clueless about the expectations of the lady on this day…”Was I to plan a date night? (but no, that’s the guy’s thing right). But what happens if I do/want to and he doesn’t? Does that mean I am not loved like that? But I want the roses and candlelit dinner but if I plan them, then it won’t be so special. I won’t feel like Cinderella. I should still do something special right, but what? Do males even like roses and chocolates ” This was part of the ongoing dialogue and frustration I faced that day.

My dilemma aside, what are the actual expectations on Valentines? I am a full fledged millennial wholly believing in shared responsibilities but would totally frown and sulk if my SO didn’t do a thing and I had to, yet I don’t even flinch at the idea, roles reversed. I would totally feel insulted and pathetic if I received nothing. So is this day that important or have we placed unrealistic expectations on a holiday and the males in relationships making them deplete themselves for the sake of assurance of love for us? But then again is it really too much to expect another to go out of their way this occasionally just to make you feel special? I go back and forth on my opinions here. Bottom line though, a relationship is between two people and you do whatever works for you…whatever makes you happy and is achievable. However, a little romance never hurt anyone now, did it?

Uncategorized

Travel diary: Ethiopia 🇪🇹

Christine

So disclaimer! Ethiopia was my first flight. I was giddy with excitement as my beautiful boyfriend (see how I slid that in right there) and siblings drove me to the airport. The flight was smooth…..I had no expectations, just a big ole open mind and it went off without a hitch. Skipping the part about one my interesting flight neighbours and yummy flight food (yes all that happened). I want to rush to the good part…Ethiopia the country, the people. First off this was a work trip but it felt more like leisure than work.

My first opinion of the country, from looking at the capital, apart from the extremely beautiful faces is that Addis Ababa feels/looks like a phoenix. It’s rising from the ashes with all the new high rise buildings and emerging skyscraper constructions in every corner, but you can still see the cracks of what it once was. The tin shacks and shops sandwiched by upcoming 5 star hotels, the people who look just as overwhelmed with what their city is turning into, the newly constructed flyovers juxtaposed with not so well constructed roads all somehow making this wholesome city what it is. It’s its own kind of beautiful. Perfect yet imperfect. I have failed to find a one word fits all for this place. It is just what it is.

Now for the people….oh how I love these people. It’s rare to find so many in one place that match my happiness and enthusiasm for life, always ready with a smile and a new word for the day even when I do not understand their beautiful language, Amharic . This is what I have so far *not sure of the spellings though*.

Damnatush – good morning; Ishii – okay; amasekinalo – thank you; shaii – tea; Buna – coffee; konjo – beautiful/pretty; igyii – go.

If I talk about Ethiopians, I cannot fail to vocal their norm of sharing, caring and supporting local businesses. It is the benign of their existence. Almost all food is shared on one plate by all in the family; rarely did I get to eat on a plate by my lonesome. The people in this place go out of their way for you, never expecting anything in return. To be honest I have not met so many genuine human beings in one place.

At Abyssinia: a traditional sort of pub/parlour where traditional dances are performed while enjoying food and drink

My first day in a restaurant, I had the most melanin in the room no jokes (in my country I am considered lighter than most). However with time, I met all skin complexions; most of the people falling in between that type of skin; not quite black and not white either. Speaking of restaurants, the food here has an acquired taste (in a good way). First day you cannot fathom what you’re putting in your mouth due to the uniqueness in flavours, but 5 days down the road, “engera” is one of my favourites. Engera (the rolled up piece in the picture below) is the staple food in this community accompanying 90 percent of the meals making them wholesome in my opinion. They also incorporate pasta, rice, fish and beef in the meals.

A typical meal shared when in Ethiopia (Photo credit: me)

As I engaged with the people and toured a little here and there, I came to notice the richness and pride in culture that is rare in this day and age. It is as if they haven’t yet been fully contaminated with the need to be thoroughly westernised (they are the only non-colonised African nation) and in my opinion that’s a win. However, I think it’s catching on in the younger generation as viewed from the dress code (mainly jeans) and some of the music, food and general entertainment they enjoy.

At Entoto hills: residence of the late Emperor Menelik and His empress

The country was built on the basis of religion with Orthodox being the most common religion adapted by the people. They take every opportunity to pray, Saturdays and Sundays for the entire night, and have a lot of fasting periods, I honestly cannot recall many of them. For example during this particular season, they have the 55 days of fasting where no meat is eaten on Wednesdays and Fridays. However their fasting food is so good I almost considered going vegetarian.

To be honest though, I was alarmed when for a glaring two days, there was no Wi-Fi at the hotels because the government had switched it off for reasons unknown to us. I felt as if one of my basic human rights had been stripped away. However the residents on the other hand seemed to take it in stride that if that had been done then there must be a reason concerning security; that was my first peek at the high level of patriotism and positive mindedness of the people for their country and after my fury with the situation faded, I was impressed. They have only good words to speak about their government (maybe it’s just the ones I interacted with).

I hope this piece paints a picture of the kind of community I encountered. There’s a lot not scripted here, like maybe how the income gap is so wide between the poor and the rich that the ones who struggle to make it really struggle and barely break even, how the taxes are so ridiculous that the price of a second hand Vitz can get you a Mercedes in Uganda. I just wrote from my perspective which is usually sunny, but just like any other country, it’s not a bed of roses. I really did enjoy my time and stay and I am forever grateful to all that made it so.

HEART-TO-HEART

Anti-Rape Culture!

I have a week long battle with myself on whether to write about this or just let it pass. A tug of war between speaking up myself to influence the change or to wait for someone else to take the first step. But then I came across a quote from Barack Obama which said that “change will not come if we wait for some other person, or some other time. We are the ones we have been waiting for. We are the change we seek.’’ And it resonated with me hence the writing of this post.

So on the 19th January 2019 a woman who was celebrating her birthday at a night club in Atlanta was drugged & raped on Facebook live and she could be heard crying for help and begging for her assailant to stop but both requests were denied. This really struck a chord with me probably because i could see myself, a friend, a sister and just every other female out there in this lady. Lucky enough for her, her assailant was later arrested by the Atlanta police department. But this got me thinking about all the other sexual predators who manage to get away with such sickening behavior especially in our African community. It got me thinking of the large number of ladies and young girls that never receive the justice they deserve because their offender was never apprehended or if he was caught and he bought his way out of justice prevailing hence walking away free as a bird. Most sexual predators in the African society get away with their actions because their victims are too afraid to speak up about the sexual assault they suffered or endured because they personally know their assailants and these are usually people in high places of power or their relatives.

The idea of speaking up and naming their Uncle, husband, step father, boss, teacher or high profile celebrity as their assailant scares the hell out them and the threats they might have received during the attack don’t make it any easier. Societies’ victim blaming culture also works as a mute button for these victims because usually when someone speaks up about sexual assault, the first question that rises is “What was the victim wearing?”

And if their mode of clothing is not up to par with societies overrated standards then they will say that she asked for it through their mode of dressing or if a married woman speaks up about her sexual assault many will shut her claims down because they believe it is the husband’s marital right hence the wife is in the wrong for even suggesting that she was raped. The victim blaming makes many victims believe that what happened to them is their fault yet that is far from the truth and this makes them think that speaking up with only expose them to further ridicule from the society.

Due to the patriarchal structure of our society most men think and feel they are entitled to women’s bodies, so they see nothing wrong with the things they do which may also include sexually harassing women. These men think that women dress the way they do for their approval and they will be quick to brush off a woman’s cry for help if they think she is scantly dressed in their eyes. Some of these predators are also prior victims of sexual assault that they may have experienced it as children which made them feel helpless and they believe that raping others is a way of exercising their dominance to show that they are strong and they ought to be feared. Some people rape others just so they can spread their sexually transmitted diseases further because they don’t want to die alone or they superstitiously believe that defiling a young girl will be their cure from this deadly disease.

I am also not blinded to the fact that some people could lie about being sexually assaulted so as to earn an easy paycheck through extortion of the would be predators or by alleging that consensual sexual acts were forced so as to destroy a person’s life or career because they know they will easily be believed at the real victims expense even if they don’t provide any solid proof.

It’s our dream to have a rape-free world! A world where our close ones will be safe from pain, mental torture, depression and all our PTSD that haunts a rape victim. Let us ,as the world, FIGHT TO STOP THIS RAPE CULTURE!

Join the conversation! Leave your comments below this post.

HAIR

NATURAL HAIR TIPS FOR THE NEWBIE

Embarking on a natural hair journey can be quite challenging whether you start out with the drastic big chop or the dragged out transition hair journey. This can be so excruciating especially when you have no idea on how to care for untreated 4c hair and no one to reach out for guidance. Below I provide a few guidelines that can be helpful to a newbie naturalista.

  • Know your hair

It is important to know that your hair is different the next person even if you have the same hair texture or even come from the same family. Therefore, what works for one person`s hair might not work for you.

  • Keep your scalp clean

Your scalp is your foundation therefore it should be kept clean at all times. Being a newbie can have you trying out a lot of different hair products which can clog your pores hence hindering growth. You can also achieve this by using a sulfate free shampoo atleast once a week.

  • Be gentle

Given the fact that the nature of our hair is thick, kinky and coarse, your initial thought would to just yank it and work through it as quickly as possible but that right there is the problem because this state only makes our hair easily prone to breakage therefore it needs that extra TLC. Therefore always take your time and be careful with your hair during the detangling and styling process.

  • Work in sections

Dividing your hair into smaller sections should be your new bestfriend since it reduces breakage, enables better detangling and product application as well as facilitate hairstyling.

  • Detangle when hair is wet

Dry hair will easily break therefore a conditioner or a spraybottle with water and a wide tooth comb will come in handy. It is also very important to always detangle your hair so as to avoid single strand knots that might result into breakage. Remember to be patient because this can really be time consuming hence it is better to take on this challenge when you have enough time and you are not in a hurry to rush off to an errand.

  • Moisturise

This is every naturalista`s holygrail because natural hair loves moisture. Dry hair will easily break (and we are out here trying to save those inches as much as possible)Water is definitely your best choice when it comes to this and don´t forget to seal it all in with an oil of your choice.

  • Deep condition

This will help to maximize your hair`s potential to enable you to get healthy, strong and bouncy locs.

  • Minimise heat usage 

Opting for air drying instead of the usual blowdrying can do a great deal for your hair. Try and cut down on the amount of heat you use on your hair in form of blowdryer, curling irons and straightener to avoid that heat damage because it will only set back your healthy hair journey . 

  • Low manipulation / protect your edges

You can choose to wear your hair in a protective style to avoid over manupilating it but ensure that the hairstyle is not too tight and that it doesn`t put a strain on your edges since they are thinner and more delicate than the rest of your hair.

  • Bedtime

Protect your hair by wrapping it in a silk/satin scarf before going to bed or by sleeping on a silk/satin pillow case.