Actions loose but inside chained, imprisoned by that which the congregation prayed against; Evil. It’s always a rollercoaster to think about about how one’s battles is to be set free in a free world and yet call self freespirit. Looking through their flesh you’ll encounter a fierce soul and a little bit through it you’ll see a fragile heart living in a wrecked body enchanted with makeup. All these with no firm foundation; Christ.
I stand amazed in your presence. Right here where there is fullness of joy, peace and hope. Here where your whispers are clear and melt my heart to be fully known by you and hear you say I am accepted in the beloved.
In my head, I took a drive to the coast. Just to experience what they call ‘Pwani Life‘.
We were just fooling around. I promise I didn’t see it coming. We were just for the hype, one of those rare moments you only get to put it down in history. It just felt like a good time to take a selfie and post it in one of these 21st Century paraphernalia, you know, instagram and the likes but that wasn’t prompt.
“I can’t stop the fight of wanting to become, neither can I continue fighting a battle of an unknown opponent.”
Words of a man who till now, it was only that sentence that made sense.
“I am looking at you and I am happy. Not because you are doing everything right but you are learning. In you I see growth, a tremendous increase in all fragments of you to build capacity.
You are probably in the salon or on your dressing table with all the natural hair you would possibly acquire. Maybe you are in the gym burning calories to define the curvy lines.
For ages I have thought and believed that the cause of humanity is to settle for what’s available and we are a limited version of God and we can do well with substandard. I have often settled for ‘What’s mine will come’ and I am just to flow with life because fate will bring her and all other things. Sometimes I could sit and say to myself that God helps those who help themselves so I step out and go conquer the world and if I don’t make ends meet it’s probably because fate wasn’t on my side especially on Monday with its blues so I’m going to hope for a better Tomorrow. I always grew up with thoughts and ambition of being very many things. My primary school crush and I used to have Plan A as neurosurgeon, Plan B as music then Plan C I kept within myself a pediatrician (I still love kids). We were on the go for it and it is funny how zealous we were back then. Getting to high school I wanted to be a lawyer then faded to a doctor. Disclaimer! This is all in form one. So things got thick when my priorities and focus shifted that by the time I cleared school, I either didn’t know what I wanted to be or just wanted to be a patient. All these things recurred day after day, same old thing just a different day.
Flash forward, I grow up. I grow up and realize I have been living a lie all my life and I never knew. I seemed pretty focused in primary, as they say, I was the it. Can’t really talk about highschool because the struggle was real and it was simply because of my choices. Now that I am in Christ, I see the mystery of His creation to who He made me to be. I am now a journalist. When I started my walk with Christ, He established something that burns in me daily and He said, ‘You know nothing about yourself until I show you who you are.’ I am not trying to talk about identity here but I can’t evade the topic since it’s important for you to realize ‘Purpose is not an inch away from identity.’ In other words, ‘You can’t know what you are for, if you don’t know who you are.’ Knowing this disqualifies all I said on my first paragraph.
I don’t think that maturity comes with age. If it did, look at the devil. Guy has been there all his life and still foolish enough not to accept Jesus as his personal saviour – but that’s besides the point. There’s a certain light (perception) that one walks in by the virtue of seeking God who is light – 1 John 1:5. God reintroduces you to yourself that the only thing you would realize you knew is what your earthly parents called you at birth not even what He calls you – A SON. A gap has always formed when we think of God as a taker and not a giver. Everything thing about God is centered on giving. John 3:16, ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. I feel we should reevaluate when we say, ‘I gave my life to Christ’ when actually it is the other way round and He came to give life and give it in abundance. Accepting Christ is our positive response to salvation. We want to settle for less when He has given all that partains to life and Godliness? I don’t think so.
Walking in a knowing of all these makes you see the bigger picture. You can’t settle for less. You can’t scoop low, cut yourself short, lower your standards because, you my friend, are in the God class. As a creative I have been faced by many questions stemming from people who want to breakout but simply don’t know when or how. It is actually limiting God to think that you can only be what He set you to be soon as you are 18 years old and have your ID. A lot of kids I have met have so much fire in their spirit that it is magnificent to behold. Climbing up the ladder I have come to a harmonious conclusion that there’s nothing as dangerous as potential, because it is untapped. You are wasting a whole blessing to a generation by you not stepping out thinking you are not old enough or not graced for it. It’s a lie.
‘How? How do I do it?’ I have said this once and probably not in the same words but ‘GO DO IT‘. If the question is how? I don’t think you’ll ever know the answer while kneeling and praying because much as you pray, the only way to know you can walk on water is actually stepping right into it. See the problem is, ‘You are waiting for God to show up but He is waiting for you to grow up‘. A dilemma that gets people in the craft is how to advance and go to a bigger level, or how to do things no eye has seen no ear has heard. Fact is when that thought comes, you already know where you are headed but just don’t know how. Where there is vision, there is provision and truth be told that the only thing that’s keeping you from doing it is that nobody does it and it’s a lonely world out there, people are watching and they have only you to critic. Our fear has always been on breaking out of the norm because it is not normal. Going to uncharted waters. Our fear has been to be unique. Our defeat has been in not battling SELF in all these.
There’s no limit to art and creative individuals who see the corners of a spherical world. There’s no limit to a people set apart for His glory. There’s no limit of age, how and where. If it inspires you, do it. You are not too young neither are you too old. Acts 17:28 In Him you live, move and have your being. IN HIM. What else would we possibly ask for? Whatever it is that you do: painting, photography, dancing, acting, design, pottery, culinary arts, writing, poetry, you name it. You are a creative. Jesus came to set the stage not the target. The virtue of saying He is the solid rock the firm foundation is a validation for us getting into greater works than He did, to build the body of Christ. One day you’ll be giving a story of a boy born in Dandora and now a champion. In Him, no limit. This is, THE RISE OF THE CREATIVES.
Photography by Jimmie Jimmy
“I was only 14. Loved life just like everybody else and it had its highs and lows, just like everybody else’s. This one time I was coming from school, my uncle and a few villagers who are somehow related to me gathered outside my father’s thatched house at the compound next to the silo. Now hold up! None of my five siblings was of age to get married – I am the firstborn. None of their faces depicted jubilation and I am sure they would look at tad happier even if the harvest was not that good for the season. To where they were, my barefeet strided and only one who knew the earnest wail of a mourn would understand the magnitude of the situation. They surrounded me and just as their shadows fell on my sunkissed physiognomy, did reality dawn on me on who we are mourning.
Not one could remain just to show us the way? How is it possible that the earth would open and steal the core of my existence and reduce to dust those who knew each other to make me? I know I said I love life and trust me I still do, but at that time was a question that went unanswered, WHAT IS LIFE?” I wasn’t able to pat his back as he continued narrating. I mean, I wanted to but his aura and intonation uttered of one who didn’t speak for pity but rather give a grace story. Sips his tea and says, “I came to terms with their demise though with me lie a hole, not because they left, NO, not because of how I was left with zilch and no one to take care of us, but disbelief, that a communal community as that would move their lips to utter words that would in my mind hit a reality of penury and incapability. My folks’ bodies had been taken to a mortuary nearby – some kilometers away from home and just when I had decided to give my parents a decent burial, did those greedy men also ask me for money I could only raise after a few harambees. How do you ask a 14 year old for five hundred shillings for keeping the bodies (You have no idea how much that was in the 80s).
They came. Funny thing, that’s actually not funny at all is, all who came to give a hand were my parents’ debtors and what they gave was as little as to tell me right on my face they were happy they had gone. I wasn’t going to start scolding them to pay up. So I started tilling land at my neighbour’s and I would earn a bit to add onto the deficit. Thank God, I gathered about 520/=, just enough to also tip a few people to open the earth for my parents to rest. I would have wanted to give them a better send-off, when I am grown-up, successful and have gathered enough wisdom from them to understand that it is well with my soul and they went to a better place.
Here I am, way older and the very strife I encountered 16 years ago turned to grace. Many have been looking at me as if I am not in my right minds. Word on the street is that I and others alike either drink alcohol, smoke cannabis or are somewhat retarded. I never knew why parents left neither do I know where they went and the best thing I could do is bid them farewell well.Being a mortuary attendant has been to a large extent, a blessing for I found what I love. My lowest moment in life helped me discover my passion and there’s no place I’d rather be. I do and can do pro bono anyday, anytime.”
I pull to the side and lean a little bit closer to him just to grasp the heart of it. Doesn’t it feel odd in your environment with your colleagues and people back home? There calm and collected he just sat back to take his comfort and continues, “I am aware of how odd my line of work is but sixteen years ago was a person doing the same, why is it that in this 21st Century one seemed cursed to do it? I have no ounce of alcohol nor had a puff of bhang in my bloodstream. The proof of passion is perseverance and as much I love my job, it has its fair share of challenges, which brings me to something.
I have a story. A story of a man who before him was a mourning family. Among them was a lady crying of lost love, held by those stronger than her at that time and beside them was a boy (her son) crying and can’t make sense of anything. On the leftside was a woman who could only stare at the heavens crying as one who had lost the fruit of her womb. The man tried to console them but they looked at him like one who doesn’t understand. How I know about this is I was the man and I saw my young self in that boy, lying lifeless was my colleague, a man I broke bread with, a man I visited daily in the ward giving himself and I hope for a better Tomorrow. There he was still and peaceful. Who knew he would be my next client? Right there I shed a tear, a tear for the loss of a comrade and friend and another for it marked my lowest time in this occupation. I am human, I have a heart. Though I daily prepare man’s final departure, I am mortal too and this right here is My Grace Anatomy.
What is life you ask? C’est la vie.
We three kings of orient are
Bearing gifts we traverse afar
Field and fountain, moor and mountain
Following yonder star
O Star of wonder, star of night
Start with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to thy perfect light
So it became that which was foretold years unending, prophet after another, generation after generation. The wait was over. He waited for the opportune time not because The Old Testament was done with, but because it was time. It was time to bring down strongholds, free the captives and redeem a soul. So Mary and Joseph – the destiny holders and carriers of the vision – walked not finding much encouragement in the suites and hotels they so wished to lodge in. ‘Excuse me Sir, I am kindly asking if my wife and I can tarry in your hotel, she is due and we need a place to settle.’ ‘No, we are full,’ is what they were told not knowing that they had ignored destiny.
Burden to a people who didn’t ask for it but were given a vision and ran with it. At last, was a yes, from a man who had nothing much but a stable, who never knew the magnitude of the delivery because this child would deliver God’s people. A push, this time not the acronym – Pray Until Something Happens – but the very effort in labour. There he was, he didn’t shine like a star but it shone above him, the angels jubilating and heaven was just a party. Meanwhile were the wise men, had no direction of where they were going but unbelievably followed a star. One would think it was all rosy and colourful throughout the universe but in the cities was bloodshed, killing every male firstborn that had been born, orders from a man who had a title and not a throne. The shepherds given a heads up by angels came to behold the sight of the king. Mary, just as it is the norm didn’t remember the pain of labour holding the fruit of her womb was enough joy.
Hearts were assured what naked eyes couldn’t see. It was all theory till they saw the manifestation that would later make Simon content to rest in peace after he set eyes on the glorite. The man didn’t know the blessing he had welcomed and how the perfect will for the savior to be born right there on a manger because most of the times where God is, it is covered in doubt. Is this really the king? Born in a manger? Oh! Come let us adore him. He would grow, in stature and wisdom, in favor with God and man. He whose action is grace and gave love a name, Jesus.
His coming was not much to give us a public holiday on the 25th of December but take our burdens to give us rest. He showed us the art of thanksgiving when he fed the five thousand not because he had much on him but by only giving thanks. What kind of love is this that His majesty would ride on a donkey and still spot a short man on a tree whose occupation was a sin in the eyes of men and his ruined reputation made him dine with him, just because that’s what he was there for. He who cried at the Garden of Gethsemane that this cup be removed away from him but still was quick to say, ‘Not mine, but your will be done,’ not because he didn’t have doubt, we all have them, but because he accepted the will over the means.
Love never fails for at the time He had the world on his shoulder to save, he chose the cross. What kind of love is this that a man would die for people with no guarantee of anyone ever accepting him? Recklessly loved and simply graced, that’s who we are. So I bow down to one who lay down his life so I can have mine, one who at birth was glorified and blessed to rest and where he lay, he made it a King-sized Manger.