We are not the same

I used to lie to myself my upbringing didn’t bother me until I met this girl, let’s call her Lily. Lily is charismatic, bold and filthy rich. Of course I know what being worlds apart means but I was oblivious of how deep it could go here in our country.

I guess one of the few perks of being a journalist is you get to meet people from all walks of life and this is how I met Lily. It was one of those prestigious events in Westlands and who would pass up a chance to eat some free macaroons and wine?

As usual, my outfit would betray me as a common ice breaker. It’s always the same questions: Are you a designer? Are you a stylist? Did you make that? Which I always proudly reply – Yes!

We discussed plenty of stuff with Lily especially about this event and the biggest revelation was that we had no idea what we were doing there.

Perched on our seats for almost two hours at this rather boring event, we exchanged numbers and went our separate ways. She promised to get in touch later on but I had heard that line one too many times.

Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle! Lily actually called! And that simple gesture breathed life into our weird friendship.

Lily is friendly but naturally cautious and curious of the people she lets into her life, a trait her father calls a survival tactic. It took a couple of weeks for us to get comfortable and once we did, the words kept flowing like Niagara falls.

Lily grew up behind the great walls of Runda. Like you saw it coming, she went to one of the few international schools our dear country had in the 90s, no wonder her Swahili was so shitty.

And when she asked where I studied, I didn’t bother to mention my primary school but instead floated around my high school name, thinking it would make a difference being a national school. “What country is that school found?” flew out her response.

Country? Was she pulling my leg? I must admit even though I was a little hurt some part of me gloated to imagine Lily thought I had studied abroad.

Remember back in the 90s when our parents owned bicycles and probably broken down pickups? Lily’s dad had a Mercedes or as well call it, an Otieno. I am picturing a S-series, which I thought was pretty cool. He probably owns an helicopter now, who knows, I didn’t bother to ask.

My favourite part was when Lily admitted she had never taken a matatu. She was right, why would she need to take a matatu? She had a personal chauffeur driving her everywhere, which were very specific btw: School-Church-Tennis.

On the other hand, my whole existence has depended on public transport, literally. I hate it but what option do I have? I can neither afford a car nor take an Uber daily.

Lily says the only time she has ever been alone was when she was in the UK, furthering her studies. But even then, her dad ensured his friends popped in weekly to check on her.

While Lily had been chaperoned all her life and groomed from childhood to be the person she is now, I was traversing this world alone. As early as six, the only things that were watching over me were Jesus and Diana, our dog.

Diana was pretty popular amongst the neighbourhood dogs. I always had a pack of over five dogs escorting me to school, the shop and everywhere my tiny legs could take me. And not once did it ever cross my mind how dangerous that was.

Lily says she is grateful for the protection and her upbringing but she would have rather scavenged the world with dogs like I did. Well, it came at a price my bottom had to pay every evening but what does she know about corporal punishment?

While Lily was shipped away to the UK to further her studies, on this side, I was struggling with attachment so I could graduate. Did I mention Lily has never been an intern? You see daddy knows people, big people and they have been quite helpful.

Remember that time after campus? That time after graduation when quarter life crisis was kicking in and you were worried about being jobless forever? That time you probably developed ulcers from all the stress? Lily was on a break, fresh from the UK, waiting for daddy to wave his magic wand.

Here’s the thing, while you are binge watching in your bedsitter apartment feeling fulfilled after sending 50 job applications and crossing your fingers to get at least one response, Lily’s dad is having dinner at home with two or three CEOs. The CEOs you are hoping to tirelessly work for, or is that just a lie you plan to tell during the interview?

And as you wait all week for the weekend to drain your sorrows with some cheap liquor and set ‘standards’ on social media, Lily is training. She has a tennis or maybe golf tournament with the CEOs where they’ll talk about a job that is already hers.

“I have never written a CV before, do I need it?” She innocently chuckles. Ha! Of course not, what is a CV when your family friends own half of this city? Or maybe daddy has somebody doing it for you sweery.

Currently, Lily’s on her third job and she hates it. She is thinking of starting her own company. Let it be clear that I said company not business.

Daddy supports her and asked her to write a proposal, which she tells me she already has a professional working on.

So, food for thought, as you blither away with people you call friends, do tell me, how’s the future like for your kids?

Anyway, this outfit was inspired by Lily, after all it was the reason we became friends in the first place and I thought why not?

Outfit and styling: Rage Craze

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Photography: Mikeart254

Choose You. Always…

I thought of writing today but as I stared at the blank screen, I realized I had nothing to say. They say every day is a chance to write your story but today I just couldn’t figure out what chapter I was on. I have literally been typing and retyping the same line like I am stuck in a loop.

For the first time in a long time I find myself in a place where I feel free. Is it because I have learnt to see things differently or is my quarter life crisis kicking in? At least one thing is for sure, nothing scares me anymore.

In the world we live in kindness is so rare, any good gesture raises an eyebrow. It is not easy to be your brother’s keeper in a game that is clearly rigged. The rules don’t apply anymore and it is almost as if our own existence like that of animals depends on the survival of the fittest, in our case the craftiest.

Recently a friend of mine asked me where I saw myself in the next five years, it was such a weird question I laughed. I mean who just drops a random question when right in the middle of a roasting contest, which I was winning. The last time I answered that question was probably during a job interview and of course the response was well thought and crafted. A lie.

It actually took me time to think about my life and understand the question. This wasn’t about having the best response and winning the game, it was about me. My life. My dreams. My goals. I couldn’t craft my way out of this, I felt trapped. Honestly, where was I really seeing myself in five years?

This useless question gnawed at me for days, I tried to block and ignore it but it always made its way back. The saddest bit was not that I didn’t know the answer, I did. My problem was that I wanted it to be perfect, a sure deal but I just couldn’t guarantee that. How can I plan where I want to be in the next five years when literally every single day is a gamble.

In my utopia, I am happy, fulfilled…Oh wait, of course rich. My only problem is how to get there. You see they teach you how to fish but nobody really tells you where to get the fish. Everyone is obsessed with the catch and filling their own nets. Which takes me back to the phrase, survival of the fittest.

I think after a month of avoiding my friend who was genuinely pissing me off the whole time, I finally had a response. I knew what I wanted and where I wanted to be.  I had decided that with every plan and every foundation I was laying there on, I was going to choose my happiness.

I once wrote an article on bullies and my takeaway was that we can’t control how people treat us but we can control and choose how we respond to them. I believe it applies when we are making our life choices, we can choose our happiness and control how we react to the issues around us.

That being said, are the people in our lives really mean or do we simply put a lot of expectations on them? Sometimes we set ourselves up for disappointment and failure without realizing it. Maybe if we lowered our expectations just a little bit, we might just realize how better life can be.

When you expect nothing from people, you lose nothing. An expectation is a like bet, only you are staking your heart, feelings, future, friends, life and many other important things. Like Dodinsky says: ‘The key to being happy is knowing you have the power to choose what to accept and what to let go.’ Choose you. Always.

And by the way have at least one friend who can keep you racking your brain and leave you feeling worthless once in a while. It pays off, eventually. Lol.

Back to basics, I decided to go with this beautiful outfit because I loved it. It totally has nothing to do with what I just talked about. Even the shoot wasn’t planned but I must say spontaneity goes a long way as you can see on the photos below. Let me know what you think.

Oblivion…

About a year before the film Fault in Our Stars was released, I read the same book by John Green. In one of the chapters the main character Hazel, who was battling thyroid cancer is forced by her parents to attend a weekly cancer support group to help her make friends. She hated it. Especially the fact that she had to listen to cancer survivors because they are on the same “journey”.

It was during one of these meetings that she met the love of her life Augustus whom she fondly referred to as Gus. Gus is a bone cancer survivor and has since been in remission. During the meeting, Augustus is asked his greatest fear and he says oblivion. He wants to be remembered for living an extraordinary life.

Jump cut. Sorry. Recently this book got me thinking how much we do to celebrate our own lives. Years from now the fact is that no one will remember us let alone remember our achievements. Oblivion is inevitable. Sadly. This keeps me wondering what the whole point is really, are we just born to pay bills all our lives and die?

I believe oblivion is the reason why people live like they do. People fear phasing out without making much of their lives. Some live such careful lives they end up doing nothing while for others it is YOLO every day. I used to be in the former group, doing everything carefully preserving myself for the future. What future?

I don’t mean I have no future literally, my point is I was letting my youth blow away into the wind. I was unwilling to take risks for the fear of failure. I was too serious. Even now my expression is still too serious. Everyone around me thinks I am a harsh person. Mainly those who don’t know me well I guess.

Sometime last year all this changed when I almost went into depression. I don’t like talking about my personal life, so I will leave it at that.  But it is after this experience that I realized if I don’t make myself happy then who will? I guess it’s true when you hit rock bottom your only way back is up.

Moving on, we shouldn’t let fear get in the way of the things we want to do. Give yourself a break and always remember you are doing the best you can. Spend every second like it’s your last one. I guess I have to end it here because I have nothing more to say.

As usual, I tried to connect my shoot to this amazing post. I even tried new poses as you can see to try and get out of my comfort zone. I think I have a career in the modelling industry.

P/S: I hate to spoil this movie for those who might be interested in checking it out but Augustus dies in the end. I don’t want anyone else to cry like I did…I mean mad crying.

Styling and outfit: @Ragecraze

Photography: @MikeDola

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My blooming olive…

‘Eyes on the stars and feet on the ground’ is a quote by Theodore Roosevelt that often comes to mind whenever I think of broadening my spectrum.

It is important to master the art of balancing your goals and actions in order to live passionately and do what you want in life.

We humans are dreamy creatures by nature and it is easy to lose focus of what we are pursuing especially when we have no clear idea of what we want.

Many a time we aspire for more than we can achieve in one go, ambition. Dream big, plan and execute they say, with little or no consideration to the yins and yangs of our desires and as a result we are tortured by the constant reminder of not properly guessing what makes us happy, failure.

I don’t want to indulge myself too deeply in the topic for I am no philosopher of any sort, but again, dreaming and having hopes makes life all the worth living but always keep in mind how big and far those dreams can go, olive yourself.

Olive speaks space and wisdom, it is a blend of green and yellow, which forms the bridge between the will and the heart.

The clarity of yellow enables one to see the direction of the heart (our desires) and the shade of green enables one to stand in their own power (reality).

That having been said, to nail the knack of stepping out in style I decided to go with this beautiful official outfit combo. A little bit of seriousness and a little bit of fun to kind of make the whole idea and outfit blend in.

Outfit and Styling by yours faithful, Rage Craze.

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Knock knock…

I recently watched the movie Joker and thought it the most crazy thing I have ever seen.

For those wondering, Joker is a mega classic DC comics villain loved by most and misunderstood by many.

Joker as played by Joaquin Phoenix is the ultimate representation of chaos and anarchy in society and the constant obsession of upsetting social order in all the movies.

My favourite character of Joker was in the film Dark Knight, the first thing that pulls you in is his psychopathic criminal mastery  and sadistic sense of humour. The experience is both disturbing and thrilling in equal measure.

Joker defines his course as having a connection to the Superhero Batman, to whom he is a villain.

I digress, the movie Joker gives the chronology of the supervillain’s warped life, breaking points and his first kill to mass murders.

Joker’s life is set up around bullies, an abusive and deranged mother, poverty, a pipe dream in comedy and depression. His whole life is drama after drama and he finds solace in crime.

The movie is a real depiction of our day to day lives, the simple things in life we tend to ignore gravely play an active role in moulding our true characters.

Every step and misstep takes us to a certain level of our lives, but the best thing to learn from the movie is that an unhappy life is a wasted life.

Other than Joker’s irritating laughing disorder and the slow plot, the movie is quite interesting, if you enjoy watching the ills of society.

“Knock.. Knock… You wanna hear another joke?”

Outfit and Styling by yours faithful, Rage Craze.

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Into the woods

Fashion is a deep sea of creativity and design, many dive in and few are victorious.Creativity is like an adventure into the unknown, to find your own identity while exploring infinite ideas in entities yet to be uncovered.

I am off to testing the limits when it comes to fashion because I do not want to sublimate my spirit to some kind of group identity, I believe in minutiae.We all need that one thing that identifies us from the crowd. I am a big activist when it comes to fighting conformity.

Life is full of many battles and we often forget to acknowledge and appreciate what we have accomplished. We often make wrong turns trying to reassure people that our costumes of identity are on straight.

We forget to live. Decide, first who you are, then titivate your path accordingly.

On this particular post I decided to put together a white on red combo, because the combination of these colours in a palette symbolizes creativity and idealism.

As I had said before, we need to live more and that having been said I dived right out of my comfort zone with my short skirt and long very long legs as you can see below.

Love life and life will love you back.

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Photo credits: Michael Dollar

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Game of Thrones

The great finale is finally here and we cannot keep calm about it. It’s been 631 days since Game of thrones last aired an episode, but who’s counting? This beautiful series is coming to an end and the feeling is bitter sweet; I desperately need to put my anxiety to rest, but the thought of finishing one of the greatest series of all time is heart wrenching.

Season 7 having had a calamitous finale, with the Night King demonstrating annihilative power and the two most sensible people in the series Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow uniting in their incestuous love, season 8 has a lot of revelations and uniting to do. The internet is rife with theories, conclusions and spoilers and the wait is excruciating with my worry addiction at level 10.

All in all, Game of thrones has had the best monumental style, with the show beginning with a night’s watch deserter being beheaded for abandoning his mates , in his quest to report the truth about what he had witnessed beyond the wall, something far much greater than humanity. If they cared to listen we would not be having a series to watch right now, lol.

Fast forward to season 8 after a series of deaths, twists, themes and connections it finally comes to pass: Winter is here, the leviathan wall has been destroyed, the night king is coming and I am shivering, he even has a dragon with him.

And last but not least as our long throneless night ends, I declare I am team the Iron throne, this diabolic series will not break my heart to the end all in the name of ‘Valar morghulis’.

If you haven’t watched Game of Thrones, you do not know what you are missing.

Happy watching Fam.

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Photo credits: Michael_Dollar Snr.

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Retro my style

Style and class attracts all kinds of crowds. Retro fashion is slowly creeping into modern trends, bringing back to life a century considered archaic.

Retro fashion existed in the 20th century, looks ranging from laced hemlines, funky graphic designs, multicolored oversize coats, bomber jackets and not forgetting the very popular geek spectacles.

This style is consciously derivative of trends, modes and attitudes of the recent past.

In a world full of many titanic fashion battles it is not baffling as to why these vintage ensembles easily paved way for modern trends; inspiring colors, cuts and even design.

In this post, I went with the 1950s high waist A line skirt, flirtatious as it sounds and simply feminine as it looks. Pairing it with a white off shoulder, which took me roughly an hour to put together.

I fell in love with this skirt mainly because of its drab colour, the medallion yellow, not to mention the fact that its fabric is made of wool and rayon blends, making it an all-weather skirt.

I consider this skirt a high fashion item on my craze list, because I can pair it with almost anything and its round and full nature adds more swing to my step.

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Discovering your path

Hello lovelies, it has been a while hasn’t it? The good thing is I’m finally back.

I have been busy learning and perfecting my tailoring skills, I only just bought a sewing machine and albeit the journey being rough, I feel compelled to include that the joy is in the struggle.

During any journey we are green and growing, expanding our scope is inexorable. Ultimately when we achieve our goal, the feeling is exhilarating.

Designing clothes has always been my dream and now that  I am able to stitch them too, I decided to begin my journey with a personal favorite, ruffle tops.

I absolutely love ruffle tops. Who doesn’t? Making these ruffle tops was easy and the outcome was incredible.

Ruffle tops have been there for ages now, however, I couldn’t resist adding them to my craze list.

I decided to go with Ankara fabric mainly because it is diverse in colour and motifs. And let’s face it, Ankara is avant-garde.

Check out the end result in the photos below and let me know what you think, will you?

Fashion is about image. Give them a long lasting one. Make them not just glance but stare.

Check out my post on the retro look, another off shoulder design.

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Intimate Chokers

I’m in love with classic looks. Why? Because they are timeless. You know the vintage type that will still be in style 10 years from now. One look that stands out for me is chokers.

Chokers were mainly made for high fashion purposes and were predominantly worn by wealthy French women in the early 18th century.

Today, chokers are still as trendy as they were back then and they are a great accessory to add to your collection. They can spice up your look and make them go from dull to fabulous in a snap of a finger! Whoever invented chokers was God sent.

Chokers are wonderful because they are simple to accessorize. This made them a must add to my craze list. They come in a variety of styles and materials like: silver, gold, metal, velvet, beads and even plastic. Perhaps you own a choker or two in your closet.

You can accessorize chokers in any outfit so long as they blend in, however, color blocking makes chokers more conspicuous. To give the look extra punch, you can even add a hair bow(s) (as I did in the photos below).

My fashion tastes are cut and twisted. I love to experiment with anything and everything. And what better way to explore this than to make my own fabric chokers. For this project with chokers, I decided to focus on fabric chokers. I was a little extra with the sizes of the chokers and bows.

It was an ambitious venture as you can see below but I always enjoy a good challenge when it comes to fashion.

The procedure was not much of a hustle although I failed several times before actually getting it right.It was all worth it!

Check out the photos below and let me know what you think, will you?

Fashion is all about image. Give them a lasting one. Make them not just glance but stare…

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Photography by Unilight Media

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Obsessed with Mittens

My obsession with mittens started when I watched Game of Thrones in April. It was winter and people needed to dress warmly, just but giving a few details about the series. But as I watched on, I saw an opportunity to try something new, different and crazy.

So what are mittens exactly? Mittens are gloves that don’t cover the fingers and may go elbow high. They are also known as open gloves and they come in various fabrics.

The first time I tried mittens, I felt uneasy. I felt smart but very conscious of my appearance. I couldn’t bear the embarrassment if people were to find them a fashion miss but I totally nailed it. I made heads turn and piqued peoples’ interest.

“Where did you buy those? They look fabulous!” a friend of mine complimented me. I couldn’t hide my delight and right there I knew mittens were another craze to add to my list.

So why should you add mittens to your list too? Mittens give outfits a sophisticated look and a girly touch. The simple manner in which they enhance your look is amazing and the best part is you can literally “freeze and shine” in mittens because they keep your arms warm and make your outfit look great all at the same time.

Mittens can act like bangles too. If you don’t know how to accessorize bangles, depending on the colors of your outfit, pair it with matching mittens and I promise you will not be disappointed.

Mittens don’t have to be bought. You can make them however you want and in whatever colors you desire, but ensure they fit your arms snugly.

The beauty of experience is in trying.

You may also check out my post on Game of thrones, to read about the series.

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Photography by: Unilight Media.

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Signature that colour…

From Gucci’s red and green to Chanel’s black and white,a long history of signature colours exists. Ever imagined you could have that one colour that defines you?A signature colour?

Of course not to be confused with a favourite colour, that is basically a colour we have idealized to find visually appealing.  We all have  favourite colours, that goes undisputed, however I will explain the nexus between the two later on.

Personally, white is my favourite colour, I am attracted to anything and everything white but  regrettably it cannot be my signature colour, though sometimes I wish it was 😦 .

White is a very difficult colour to work with, making it a signature colour can be a teeny weeny tricky. I try very hard to incorporate white in everything I buy and design but still fail to achieve ‘signage.’

So, what is a signature colour?

A signature colour is a colour that is  woven in over time to cultivate an ambience of belonging. A hue that makes you more vibrant, and can be easily identified as authentically you.

To achieve a signature colour, you must be able to identify a favourite colour and stick to it. Shopping can be much easier and faster when you know exactly what you are going for,and in this cutting edge era, researching and planning with colours we want is not exactly rocket science.

Knowing my signature colour has saved me lot of time and money, a lie, maybe just money because I don’t go buying anything that looks good. Which is a plus for me because I hate clutter, and no one loves bric-a-brac stuff anyway.

I am literally struggling to put my house together because my signature colour (white) is proving difficult to work with and it has been a haze  finding another colour to work around. So as it stands la lucha continúa (The struggle continues).

Tip: Find a favourite colour and just work with it, no shortcut here. Sorry.

The best colour in the world is the one that looks good on you-Coco Chanel