Beauty in the Mirror


The only way I can be of service to my country and the people around me is as an example of what not to do. I have made many mistakes, used the phrase ‘it wasn’t me’ to cover for my mistakes, then waited until it was too late to try correcting them. Here is one blunder you might learn from:

Ever since I earned my first mobile phone, a Motorola C113, I have evolved through the mobile world as one of those people without a specific liking for any particular brand. You give me a kabambe, I use it comfortably. There is a time I used an Infinix comfortably then I got myself a Samsung. I haven’t heard a first-hand experience of an Iphone yet but some of my friends do use it.

Therefore, even with my Kabambe, communication with my iPhone friends is seamless. At times they have requested me to sambaza them airtime from my little warrior, which of cause never runs out of power. I actually think a Kabambe is 10,000 mAh. Few times I chat freely with my Metallic partners (Infinixers) but like me, the Samsung ninjas will tell you that we all depend on the Oppo for better selfies.

The only challenge I get with my Kabambe is its first appearance. I know some of you have beautiful stickers on your phones. Some of you even hide the name of the brand with cool emojis. I recently came across an Infinix X something (I never quite get the difference between X555, x511. I prefer you say Infinix Note or Zero or Hot) with a Kenyan flag covering the Infinix name. It took a keen eye to know it was an Infinix.

What encourages me to stick to my Kabambe is the Oppo. Why on earth would you walk around town bragging with professionally plagiarized device? It’s good to be the ones in charge and truth be told, “we all love and enjoy being an expert in something,” says Emma. If you have to copy, then be the best at it. Copy everything from the physical to the internal appearance.

And talking of appearance, is it really possible to copy someone else’s inner beauty? Externally yes. You can always look at the other persons’ top, hair style, bag or shoes and order a similar design from Jumia. You can also stick around town and get a cheaper one from the hawkers along Tom Mboya or River Road. But when it comes to inner beauty, is it really possible to pull an oppo?

If it was possible, Emma would be the khanjo who walks along every street collecting Ksh. 50 from internal image oppo cats. As a matter of fact, the name Emma leaves one wondering is Emma a girl or Emma (short for Emmanuel) the boy who oppoed an exam in primary school, from the answers to the name at the top.

In this case however, Emma is not the oppo type. Emma is not even scared of oppo cats. She cares less about her external appearance. For all she cares about, people are free to oppo whatever pleases them. What scares Emma is the people with blanders like mine. People who will see an Oppo and think it is an iphone. Emma calls us people with a confused mentality. Somehow I wonder if people ever confuse my Kabambe for a Blackberry! Anyway.

“We all have it in us.” Emma says. That we see someone with a down to earth body type and think they are necessarily young. That we assume people with big bodies are older. We basically judge people because of their body shape and appearance. Does that ring a bell?

Let’s put it this way. Emma just joined college. She cleared high school last year and is now prime for a mature relationship. Her body is calling but her environment isn’t responding. The young men she smiles at and prays they smile back are playing dumb because rather than making that one move that her hormones crave, they assume she is a lecturer or a senior student in her fourth year doing attachment and so they let it slide. The baby inside her is left crying. Crying that perhaps someone will look at her and see the iphone she is and not some infinix or f oppo version.

Problem is most of us think the same. That if one is male, they are a man or even a lady if one is female. That a man with beards is mature or that a single mother was irresponsible in her past. We assume a rangi ya thao kind of girl is as pretty on the inside as she is on the outside and vice versa. Most of us judge the book from the outside. We forget that true beauty cannot be seen in the mirror. We forget that we can copy the outside, talk about the outside, tell stories about the outside, describe and even fall in love with the outside but unless we decide travel and visit the inside, we are not any different from the friend who saw an oppo and thought it was an iPhone.

Everyone I know has made such a judgment. Made a blunder like mine. Sometime whenever I tell some of my friends how old I am, they are like “boss you’re lying.”

“Kwani how old do I look?”

“Ukienda sana wewe uko 24-25 hapo!”

Then I smile and that slides. A friend I know once stood up to ask a question at a meeting. Those serious meetings where you all raise your head to see who was most attentive during the proceedings. She is the definition of the people you call short. So while she was busy trying to ask her question, someone from the back whispered “Mwambie asimame!”

That aside, since people around Emma decided to think that her big body meant she was older, that she is mature and a working class lady, Emma decided to put on those shoes. And trust me, from the look of it, they fit her perfectly well. Now while still in her first year, Emma commands more authority in college than her student leaders combined. Some in fact seek her help while mobilizing students for an activity inside college.

Her environment may have called her an infinix, or a Samsung or even my kabambe (I doubt that one). But Emma remained original and true to herself. She knew her beauty isn’t what people see in the mirror. They say an iphone doesn’t advertise itself. Is it true? I hope the people around her never called her an oppo though!

It’s Complicated – Pt 1



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