A Long Post About Life

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A beleaguered 28-year old chap emailed me saying (and I pull excerpts of that email that is relevant to this conversation), “…I used to read Oyunga Pala and when he stopped writing I stopped reading that column. But then Jadudi happened and I went to your website and read; thereafter I spent the next three days reading everything you have ever written on your blog, then I went to Mantalk and found you and you shamed me for being so wrong about you.  I admire you and how you have your shit [his exact word] together. [Then he talks about other things here]…so I’m at a crossroads, my career is stagnant, I can’t seem to find the right job, I can’t seem to find the right woman to be with and I feel like this is not the life I wanted to have because my friends seem to be doing better than I am. Also I have realised that to fill this void I go to the bars a lot with my pals to drown my sorrows, maybe one day we can share that whisky you keep talking about hehe. [hehe back]You are 38 so strictly you can offer me advice, taking note that I have…?” [OK, the rest isn’t too crucial for this conversation.]

So I emailed him that “Unofficial Goldman Sasch Guide to being a Man” which I had just read and loved and chuckled at. You read it too, right? I told him I was banging some urgent copy at the moment and when done I would shoot him another email. But then I forgot. He emailed again the next day reminding me, so  I started replying to  his email which started with, “ First, Tony* [not his real name] there is no such thing as the ‘right woman’, so stop searching.” Then as I wrote that email I started enjoying it, started getting deep into it and I stopped and thought, “wait, this should be a blog post.” So I emailed him and told him I would write a post as reply, boss give it a week, yes? Then I added a smiley to show that I’m friendly and I love trees and I believe in free and fair trade. Always add a smiley, you just never know what lonely heart it might warm.

First, a confession. I deeply dislike Oyunga Pala’s fans. They are like roaches – they are everywhere, lurking and waiting for me to rock up and ruin my day: I run into them in hotel lobbies, in bars, at private parties,  in my emails, in interviews, at the beach, in my house masquerading as guests, in restaurants, at the ATM, in my sleep and they never miss a beat to remind me that I’m “the guy who replaced Oyunga.” I’ve had it up to here! *Points at forehead* I can’t have peace. There is always that odd person I’ll meet that will tell me, “You are Jackson Biko? Oh are you the guy who replaced Oyunga Pala?” And I want to move within an inch of their face and shout, “YES, AND IT’S BEEN SIX BLOODY YEARS, GET OVER IT, PENGUIN-FACE!” But that can be misconstrued as aggression or psychosis, so I always offer a tight smile and say timidly, “Indeed it’s me.”  Everytime I tell Oyunga this he just chuckles (Oyunga never really laughs, he chuckles. I doubt he even sweats). I tell him, “OP, please tell your people that I’m more than just the guy who replaced you, I have feelings!”

Pan out to our 28-year old guy.

You think you aren’t living the life you thought you would be living? That’s hilarious. Welcome to the real world because not only are most people not living the lives they thought they would, they aren’t even living their own lives. We are simply living life for other people. Buying things we don’t need or can’t afford so that other people can see and admire. Buying yoga mats because it’s in. Going vegan because it’s cool. Living for other people’s approval. I have a friend who has swanky-ass golf equipment in his house, leaning strategically in the corridor as you walk in. He doesn’t even play golf, this cat. He has never played golf. Can’t swing for shit. But he keeps it there as a prop, as social capital. For the benefit of chicks. He figures a woman walks in there and sees this golf equipment and immediately wants to tear his clothes off because he’s so upwardly mobile. He figures the golf equipment would get her dizzy with lust. “Oh, Jamo, I didn’t know you play golf! How sexy! Come here, help me out of this bra.” (Eye roll).

You think that’s pathetic? Oh no, it’s not. What’s pathetic is that his little golf shtick works ALL the time. Like grownass women fall for it. He always says – tongue in cheek – that golf equipment unit has “made back” his return in investment. If you are ever going to take anything away from this paragraph it’s that nothing is ever what it seems. Nothing. This city is run on image and impressions; smoke and mirrors. Nobody is ever as happy as they seem on social media. Nobody is ever as beautiful on social media as they are in person. Nobody’s life is ever as rich and fulfilling as it seems online. Relationships and marriages aren’t as happy as they look. Nobody is as brilliant or as bold or as intelligent in real life as they are on Twitter. Social media is like a woman wearing a corset. Always remember that. Don’t believe anything you see around, it will make you feel inadequate, unaccomplished and empty. And it will distract you. This city, my friend, is one big costume party where people show up wearing what they choose, not what they have. So pick yours, just don’t believe that that’s who you are.

Did you write this lovely list on where you would be at the 30-year mark? Did that plan tumble like a pack of cards? Mine too! Scattered in the cold wind. You know, between you and me, I actually thought by now I would have a beach house, a very small deserted beach cabin, one bedroom, an open kitchen and a strip of beach beyond. A small man cave cast in a remote part of our coastline. In my grand plan I would go down every few months and eat fish and local vegetables, walk around shirtless, drink whisky, walk on the beach, go out on a dug-out canoe with Omar or Hussein and in the evening furiously write from the verandah until late in the night. That was the plan. It hasn’t happened.  I thought at 35 I would have three daughters; a roomful of progesterone, dolls and irrepressive moods – mine included. Instead I have one daughter and son, but they are the most beautiful and joyous children and that gives me tremendous purpose. I thought by now I wouldn’t be paying rent. Instead I’m still paying rent – I’m three years late with that rent-free dream. Also, I haven’t visited Dakar Senegal like I thought I would at 35. You know, visit House of Slaves – Maison des Esclaves and its Door of No Return and stand there and feel if indeed savagery has a pulse.  I haven’t backpacked through Europe either- I’m one year late with that one.  Am I feeling completely rotten about it? Only when I think about it while sitting in the loo at 3 in the morning, but during the day? Nope, it doesn’t make me feel bad, because I know as long as I’m wearing pants and I have breath in my lungs, all these things will happen. I could moan about them, of course, and overlook the tremendous blessings I have, but I refuse to. So don’t beat yourself over the head. Hell, maybe we can have that whisky that I keep talking about. Hehe.

You mentioned that you can’t find the right woman to be with? Have you tried Millionaires Club at 3am? Haha. No, I’m kidding. I don’t mean to sound like your drunk uncle but come on, looking for a girl at 28? What are you, a romantic? You want someone to be rubbing your back sometimes, tell you how great you are? Someone to stroke your beard maybe? (You sound like a beard guy, us beard guys know each other). You like kissing at the beach, huh? And staring at the half-crescent moon with your hand on her ass? Is that on your list? Actually that moon/ass thing should  be on your list.

Here is a truism: girls will always be there whether you are 28 or 68. So don’t ever worry about girls, it’s fruitless. The beautiful ones are yet to be born anyway. There is a chap I know, who while in college had zero success with girls.  Very nice chap, generous and all. He was from Ukambani, came to Nairobi with a small bag and a Kamba accent. Like Joe Black. He lived across from my door at some point in the hostels. Zero game, I tell you. He wore those shiny coats that when you stand in the sun reflects so hard it can start a bush fire.  He had one girlfriend who always made it look like she was doing him a favour. Then she left him during the third year. And I never saw another girl set foot in his room.

We graduated. I saw him on and off. He was doing some printing work. Still wore horrendous coats. Then he fell off the grid. Life happened.

Seven years later, I’m driving out of Sarit Center at the ticket-booth and who do I see driving in a sleek black BMW-X5 with an extremely HOT chick riding shotgun? Himselfo. (Always wanted to say that). His car and that girl were so inconsistent with the shiny-coat guy I knew I thought it was a mirage. So he sees me, sticks his head out of the window and insists “No, you have to drive back in Biko, come bana we have a drink it’s been a while.” But I know what’s going on here; he wants to show me that he has made it. He wants validation. And I’m a guy, I’m cool with that, I can’t deny him this moment. So I drive back in.

We sat at Hidden Agenda, his business card read Clearing and Forwarding. His own shop. Made his money at the port. No shiny coats anymore, just shiny shirts. (Kaos!) I was completely thrilled for him and his good fortune. He introduced me gallantly, like he was my employer:  “Jackson Biko? The guy who writes?” he told her proudly with a loving arm around my shoulder and that normally embarrasses me – the introduction, not the arm around my shoulder, that I rather like. Hehe. Here is the funniest thing, I could tell that that hot chick  had never heard of me or even read any of my work but she didn’t want to embarrass him or me so she smiled sweetly and then lied through her lipstick, “Oooh, nice to meet you finally.” Like she has been dyyyying to meet me.  I liked that level of bullshit. I really really did. She was a smart girl who knew how to align herself to the direction of the wind. Great people skills, that one, and an even better toe nails.

So, my point? Girls will come. You want a wife? A wife will also come.  Worrying about girls is the most self defeating thought you can ever engage in. And oh, there is no such thing as the right woman. Not really. The “right woman” is a woman who makes peace with your weaknesses before you do.

Ati you go to bars to drown your sorrow? The thing with going to bars to drown your sorrow is that you will actually drown. Don’t be that guy who drinks his life away. There are no solutions in bars. You will not find yourself or answers in a bottle. Clarity doesn’t occur on your 12th beer and if it does, you won’t notice it. The friends who can help you are not in bars. The only thing you will find in a bar, for certain, is a bill. So get out of the bar, boss. There is nothing there.

Don’t feel bad about being at a crossroads, as you call it. Everybody is at some crossroad or other. The 25-year old guy probably thinks he isn’t cool enough, so he wants to be the last one out of a bar at 6am to show how “turnt up” he can get. The 38-year old probably looks at 40 with dread and looks down the road at what he’s done and thinks he has done shit with his life. The 45-year old is guilted by the fact that he doesn’t own his own business as planned and now he’s imprisoned with school fees and mortgage. The 55-year old is probably losing his erection. And his hairline. The 60 year old wants to be 28 again. Crossroads, my friend are only a problem if you stand at them for too long. Don’t give age too much importance.

Talking of age. Tamms turned 8 yesterday. (cue: vuvuzelas). 6:05 am, I leave the bathroom with a towel around my waist and as I head to the bedroom I see her seated in the sitting room in her pink bathrobe. Before her is untouched breakfast. Boomerang is on TV. I never know how she wakes up, that one, sometimes she’s moody sometimes she’s chirpy. So you observe first before you make a move.

I tell her, “Happy birthday darling!” and kiss her on the cheek and she smiles shyly and offers me this one-handed hug. Like she couldn’t be bothered. So I thought maybe she’s depressed that she’s getting old, si you know chicks and age? Maybe she woke up and looked in the mirror and saw what looked like a stretch mark under her arm and now she thinks she isn’t beautiful. Hehe.

I sit next to her, put my hand around her waist and ask, “What’s wrong, darling?”  She says, “I’m fine.” Then I realise that as men we spend half of our lives asking the women in our lives, “What’s wrong, darling?”  and get the same answer. “I’m fine.” Then we spend the other half of our lives asking our daughters the same question and get the exact same answer. Dog’s life, I tell you.

Anyway, we both watch TV for a moment as I wonder how to say something that will elicit a lengthier conversation. “Are you happy?”  I ask. She says she is. Are you sure? I ask again. She says she is. I ask her, “When were you the happiest in your life?”

She looks at me and asks, “What do you mean?” And I say, “Between the time you were one year and now you are 8, when did you have the most fun, you know, and you were very happy?”

She thinks about it for a second and says, “When I was 6 years old.” I ask why, what happened when you were 6? And she says when she was at her former school in Shani Kito (I moved her to a different school.)

“I was happy because of my friends.” She says.

“Oh, you miss them?”

“Yes.”

“Do you like your new school?”

“Yes.”

“Do you like your friends in your new school?

“Yes, they are nice.”

“Which of your friends from Shani Kito do you miss the most?”

“Jewel.” [If she said Ian or Patrick, I would have had a heart attack and seizure combined and died!]

“What’s her second name?”

“I have forgotten.”

That made me sad, her missing her Jewel like that. Probably wondering if Jewel is fine, or if she married a prince too early. Here is a plea, if you know the parents of a girl called Jewel from Shani Kito, or if by some stroke of luck you are the parent and you are reading this, could you pleeeease email me ([email protected]) so that we reunite these kids for one weekend? Say a ka Saturday/Sunday lunch somewhere where kids can swing and slide? My treat. Thanks.

To send the 28-year old chap on his way.

I run in Karura Forest every Saturday morning, if I’m not travelling. I do the 10km trail.  Karura is gorgeous on a Saturday morning. I don’t run fast, just at a steady pace. Sometimes some skinny-ass guy passes me mid-run, literally zooms right past me, a blur of black, a “racist” no doubt, and I’m like, “Whoa Kipngetich, easy!” Sometimes a much chubbier guy passes me, or a much older guy trots past me and there is always that urge to catch up with them, to compete with them. I call it the Acute Subaru Syndrome. (ASS). It’s how Subaru guys behave on the road; they think if you overtake them that it’s an invite to race with them.

At Karura there is always that temptation to catch up because nobody likes being left behind. We all want to go to heaven, right? I realised soon enough that you don’t have to catch up with anyone. And for me I have drawn tremendous life lessons from running. Running – like life – teaches you to go at your own pace because you don’t know what those guys passing you had for breakfast. You don’t know if they are visiting from Eltoret. Hehe. You don’t know the capacity of their lungs.  You don’t know if they are on drugs. Go at your own pace.

Also, don’t listen to any voice apart from your own voice, the mind is a very powerful tool, it can be poisonous as it can be a weapon for success. You might run with other guys and you will sometimes run alongside people who talk a lot during a run. You will listen to people who might say, “Oh gosh, this is so hard, my chest is burning, I can’t run anymore! Why don’t we stop and walk for a while! I can’t do it. This 10kms was a bad idea!” Like life, those are the people to avoid running with. Going to a bar to “drown your sorrows” with your pals is very much like running with people who say negative things during a run, they never help the run. You want to run with people who say, “Shit it’s bloody hard, but let’s keep moving.” Or “One step at a time, we can do it.” “Or “We are almost there,” (Even when you aren’t). That positive vibe feeds into your muscles and lungs and you keep going even when you don’t feel like it.

The trick to running, like life, is to trudge along, one step at a time. Don’t think of it in terms of kilometers, but in little milestones; that corner coming ahead, that little uphill stretch ahead, that big tree ahead. There is great joy in fulfilling the small targets.

Of course it’s painful and gruesome (especially when having a hangover), but it’s fulfilling because nothing easy ever made an impact.

I notice a lot of people running with lovely sports gear. You see some rich-looking 50’s Somali guy in the full Adidas merchandise. Or the latest Nike running shoes. Does it mean they are enjoying the run more than you? Does it mean they are more committed or consistent? Will they finish before you because they have top of the range gear? Maybe, but also maybe not. That’s life, so stop looking at what your pals are doing, driving, working, wearing, dating, it doesn’t mean anything at the end of it all. Just do you.

Last weekend I did a 10 km while on this Jane Mukami 15-day detox madness. I didn’t think I would hack the 10 kms to be honest because I was hungry and weak as eff. But when I got to the fork of the trail that separates the 10 kms and the 5 km, Luis, one of the chaps I was running with said, “Just do 10 kms, boss, let’s do it, you can do it.” And we took the 10km trail. But then 8kms in I was burnt out, I was completely tired and I wanted to walk, but then I thought I’d disappoint the rest but I figured the rest weren’t on detox, they were on three meals a day, I was on one. So I stopped and walked for a bit then started running again and finished at 1hr 07 mins. Just as it is in running, it’s okay to stop and walk in life. Allows you to gather yourself, to recover, because sometimes you burn out in life, lose a job, get divorced, lose a special someone, and it slows you down, but then you don’t give up, you start running again. And you finish.

Most importantly it has to be fun.  I don’t go to a Karura to run because it’s a trend, this ain’t Larry’s show. I go because I love running, been running for years, clears my head, I come up with ideas as I run, I write intros on the trail, makes me feel alive. It’s fun – I wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t. So only do things that are fun in life.

Everybody who is determined to finish WILL finish a run. There are those who finish earlier than others. There are those who finish last. But when we are all lying on the grass, smiling, glowing with triumph, stretching our stiff limbs and someone walks up to the group, do you think they would know who finished first or last? That’s exactly how life is. It doesn’t matter who finished first or who finished last. They are all winners.

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    1. Biko your really need to say something about this first to comment bs. It ruins the aesthetic (to say the least). Like I’ll get to the end of a really amazing read hoping for for a nice wity follow up comment then this boneheads post that. It makes me wanna kill myself. After pushing them off over pale view point. #speakoutbiko

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  1. 1. Life is for the living.
    2. What Oyunga Pala fans do to you is what your fans will one day do to whoever takes over from you. I think it might even be worse.
    3. Started running with my bro late last year. Strathmore Uni drill happened. He fell. Then fell sick. Wasn’t allowed to run; doctor’s orders. So I kicked my running shoes under the bed in solidarity. He is better now. We should be resuming soon. And that Karura trail sounds like a plan.
    http://www.magunga.com/in-the-long-run/

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  2. “Just as it is in running, it’s okay to stop and walk in life. Allows you to gather yourself, to recover, because sometimes you burn out in life, lose a job, get divorced, lose a special someone, and it slows you down, but then you don’t give up, you start running again. And you finish.”
    Word 🙂 Thank you Biko for this reminder.

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  3. I haven’t made my new year resolutions yet. Last year was bad and I needed to figure out this year before making undoable goals. Thanks Biko this post is just what I needed. Anything is possible. Great read by the way!

  4. Wow, just wow. I don’t have enough adjectives to describe how wonderful this read is. I have to stop running and gather my self. For starters i will read “Unofficial Goldman Sachs Guide to being a Man”.

    Thank you Chocolate man i needed this, I owe you a whisky.

  5. Such a beautiful piece. ‘That’s exactly how life is. It doesn’t matter who finished first or who finished last. They are all winners.
    Image credit’

  6. Your articles; from sat magazines to true love, your blog everywhere, are always so on point….Very nice article, i can well relate to some of the things you have mentioned and i have learnt ( some light bulb moments) and laughed as i always do in many of your articles.Thank you.

      1. I never used to read your articles men. I’m one of the Oyunga palas fans, Wait, today you nailed it. Now, I’m Bikos fan period. This city is one costume party, you have killed it!!

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  7. I usually read and enjoy your articles thoroughly. Later in the day, my friend Irene will call and ask “did you read Bike’s article?”

  8. THANK YOU! I now have a name for the dick syndrome that all subaru drivers suffer from. This was great. Go at your own pace. I needed to hear that. Sometimes we get hung up on that instagram life that’s just full of posturing and posers.
    Great read Biko!

  9. Great piece; just at the right time when am at a crossroad..hehe too. And coincidentally am called Jewel so goodluck finding the little Jewel. Go on make Tamms happy!!

  10. This ain’t Larry’s show! Me thought you’d deliver your Tony guy to the flock and maybe play match maker here…. Hahaha

  11. Great as always. Sport on advice to the young lad, specially because it’s based on honest critical experience. And I have to salute this creativity in the line, “What’s pathetic is that his little golf shtick works ALL the time. Like some grownass women fall for it.” Amazing how you subtly point out to the ‘two’ golf sticks in one sentence with one symbolic of the other! Thanks Biko.

  12. Great perspectives Biko… one to bookmark & reference; A good reminder not to get caught up with keeping up with others; & to enjoy life, after all no one makes it out alive!

  13. I needed that too…been feeling like I haven’t achieved much without a family at thirty. Thanks Biko. Maybe I should start running on Saturdays around my neighborhood 😉

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  14. I am totally, absolutely inspired. Very timely at my current point in life. Am trusting my journey and will take the pauses as much as I need to. Thanks Biko and may Tamms find Jewel, and ‘Tony’ find himself..

  15. “Running – like life – teaches you to go at your own pace because you don’t know what those guys passing you had for breakfast. You don’t know if they are visiting from Eltoret. Hehe. You don’t know the capacity of their lungs. You don’t know if they are on drugs. Go at your own pace.””….how so true. I run and this made me laugh so hard…

  16. “The “right woman” is a woman who makes peace with your weaknesses before you do.”

    That sentence Biko, that sentence deserves an article of its own. Beurriful, just beurriful.

  17. Ooh, look who commented on this piece…. Magunga… Do you two know something about each other??? Can’t resist your pieces of work… I hope you usually meet up on certain satoz n have a bottle of whiskey N do the tosting like… “to our fans”.. Or something while OP is sitted on the counter shaking his head like…..” daaaamn.. Those two “… Hehe…

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    1. cate….Magunga uploads this stuff………..biko told, and they are like on a first name basis with each other………..and oyunga Pala…he who had a bee go up his leg on the bench with Jeff Koinange on Tv and dint sweat is probably their god father………..just saying

  18. I love how you articulate facts…. I have been on crossroads but as you said, you cant stand there for too long. Life is a race, you run, you stroll but you can’t stop. Keep moving and make memories while at it. #Godspeed

  19. I needed to hear this at this exact moment as I am in the same boat only difference is I am a woman and turning 27 in February.thank you

  20. If social media stuff was real, the marriages especially, they’d be telling us when they’re rock bottom, not only when they’re at the Eiffel Tower taking selfies. Wise counsel, God Bless you.

  21. Biko sounds like one hell of a dad. If Tamms misses Jewel from Shani Kito, Tamms gets Jewel from Shani Kito. (His treat no less). I wish Biko was my dad.

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  22. Biko… this is why I like reading your stuff. This is a gem, and is directly congruent with how I look at life. Although I have quite some accomplishments under my belt, I also know that deep down there is a secret and very sneaky voice which reminds me that I am simply not good enough… and I do not hesitate to yell ‘shindwe’ at its sneakiness and insidious message. A point of clarity though… as a Subaru driver, the ASS you allude to is not the result of a thought. The machine has a life of its own, the driver just can’t help it. I offer you my Subaru for a weekend.

    Sam.

  23. Never commented before…is there usually a trophy for the first to comment? I always silently see….’let me be first to comment “

  24. Thanks biko..just graduated…friends in blue chip companies and here iam with this company i started in campus because i want to build a business empire…things been rough lately…and been wondering if it was all worth it or should i just quit it and go get a job…sth i really disliked..this just put sh*t into persepective for me…thanks man

    1. I feel you Owira. I am in the same boat. We can do this, even those blue chip companies started like ours. Hang in there and continue to put in work

  25. While this is tormenting to women, we are able to talk about,cry about it and feel better. For men its a whole different science, how you kill yourselves and never reach out. Glad this 28 year old was smart enough to do it, anonymously but effectively. He will get good advice and no one will never know who the ‘sissy’ is. Oyunga Pala said some deep s**t the other day at the BIEA on the same topic (sorry I was his fan first). He gave his own personal experience on his earlier writing, his conflicted identity and finding himself. Deep stuff. Good job Biko!

  26. Thanks Biko.. this applies to my life in so many ways.. always nice reading your articles.
    Started running this year. Still taking those little walks in between but its all good right?? Will get there. Thanks Biko.. this is really inspiring. Happy birthday to Tamms!!

  27. “girls will always be there whether you are 28 or 68″….just wondering will the men always be there when I am 35 or 50?

    1. Christine,

      Unfortunately, no. It’s just the way life is. A 68-year-old man can choose from a wider pool of women aged 18 years to 80 years. A 50-year-old woman would most likely be looking for older men (who are probably widowed or divorced) or a younger man perhaps in his 40s (again widowed or divorced since most would be married by then). She can opt for the 18-year-old chap but that might not appeal to her either. So her pool is limited to late 30s to 70 years. Then again, that 38-year-old chap she may be eyeing may desire a younger woman esp if he hasn’t married before or had children. Something about biology and seeking a youthful woman to sire healthy children.

  28. Life is not a competition. In your own words … the guys passing you could be on drugs hehe
    You’ve blessed me with this piece Biko. So many truths and life realities. Thanks

  29. Wow,Resolutions summed up.Thank you for touching,brightening our hearts and for making us laugh at ourselves.Good work Biko

  30. Many people compare themselves to others i included it makes you feel like you have achieved something. I needed this thank you Biko

  31. Very accurate description of running in Karura. Could not have compared life in a better way!! Great Job Biko, will be getting out my running shoes….. again 🙂

  32. I remember one day *SIX YEARS AGO* I picked up my Satmag and opened to Mantalk, favourite column, followed closely by Flakes then the rest. I read through 1st paragraph, second and paused. It wasn’t Oyunga Pala. I checked, and sure enough it wasn’t.
    Hehe, kill me now..

    Someday, hopefully, we’ll do that to your replacement. “You are the one who replaced the guy who replaced Oyunga Pala? The one with the big forehead? No, not Oyunga Pala, his replacement?”

    hehe, I’ll get back to reading..

  33. Thanks Biko. Umegonga ndipo. You are heaven sent. Lord knows i needed to hear this. Age will always catch up with us, we all won’t get married at the same time or have babies at the same time. Like milestones in a child they are all achieved at different times because we are all unique.
    Having said that, hope i can find me that man to grow old with. In the meantime i shall have fun.
    Hope Tamms gets that play date with Jewel.

  34. What an excellent read Biko. That was some deep advice for the 28 year old and indeed myself. Its pointless trying to keep up with others when at the end of the journey we are all winners.

  35. Great read especially with the new year. It’s easy to look at your accomplishments and get overwhelmed by how much you are yet to work on. And also I love reading your work and I like that you have a different style form Oyunga Pala. I am guaranteed of laughing out loud at some point. By the way, You know how you say Everything is a story, I came across something similar in a book by Malcolm Gladwell – What the Dog saw and other adventures.

  36. This right here is chicken soup for the soul. Oh, how important it is to make peace with your past and focus on running your race. Thanks Biko!

  37. Thank you for the beautiful words penned and pegged in real life. This is as plainly put as it is about life. We get to points where we see all our peers doing ‘things’ yet we feel stagnant forgetting that all these happen in different stages. I salute you Biko and Happy New Year… i think this email should have come in as your first post but oh well..

  38. Thanks Biko…..I will take this as a birthday treat from you to me.
    Great piece for women as well ….nothing is what it seems. Run at your own pace 🙂

  39. Thanks Biko….staying too long at the crossroads is what’s a problem!! I like that….the going at your own pace thing reminded me of my journey up Mt Kenya and my team was the best. On the 2nd day things were thick but these guys literally took my hand and walked with me. Walking with the right friends is really important.

  40. “The trick to running, like life, is to trudge along, one step at a time. Don’t think of it in terms of kilometers, but in little milestones; that corner coming ahead, that little uphill stretch ahead, that big tree ahead. There is great joy in fulfilling the small targets.”….Hapa umenena kama wazee wote!!!

  41. I would still be waiting for my childhood friend to begin our morning workouts … When she began giving excuses I made a decision to continue without her 🙂 Now when we meet she goes like “you look good” and I go like “Ooh Yes!”

  42. This was not just for the 28 year old. It was mine too. Beautiful read. I am motivated.

    What if Jewel is a boy? These names, you are never sure.

  43. Nice piece .When you were starting out we were comparing your style to Oyunga Pala’s but now I love your blog more .Keep it up ,write more articles I am always entertained .You have a fan base in our office

  44. for someone turning 30 and has not ticked half of the list i made at 20,thank you!thank you for reminding me that life is not about what you see all around you but rather what you do with what you have.i am trully blessed but sometimes its hard seeing that when all you can see is those doing better than you.i will bookmark this to read on one of the bad days!cheers Biko,from one of your silent followers. 🙂

  45. In all your work Biko, this, I will read every morning. Speaks to me, at 24 at times I feel I am falling so behind. Such insight here for me

  46. I keep running out of words to describe how good you are! Thank you for this article. And thank you Tony* [not his real name] for igniting the wisdom that is expressed in this post.

  47. When i started reading the mantalk column…it was always Biko..never found this OP..when as a form one back in 2009…

    and loved the column as “eff”… 😉
    at my own pace though.

  48. at 22 this is what id like someone to tell me..best read this year…*seems that forehead has alot to offer*Godspeed Biko*

  49. Biko the counselor? We all sound like we needed to put things into perspective. It was timely Biko. Thank you. How old are you Biko? Just curious.

  50. I am an Oyunga Pala orphan and I do not apologize. Pala was in his own league. Pala’s style was completely different. Me thinks majority of Pala fans are now above the mid forties like yours truly. Maybe it’s a generation thing? Maybe we loved Pala because he is in our age group? That generation that went straight to Class 1 in the 70’s. Nursery did not exist back then. The generation that remembers Jomo Kenyatta speaking on Black and White TV. I think that generation is really cool. Most come across as calm, balanced and at peace with life. Running their own race at THEIR own pace. No groupies. No pressure to conform. Something else. They don’t harp about their age. They don’t show off. They drive smoothly (Heck, they probably drove theirs first car in the ’90s) They don’t covet. They ARE balanced. Demeanour speaks volumes about your age bracket. So do the things you say.

    About Tony? Oh, well. Reading and practising the words in Desiderata would be a good start. Then he needs to locate and have long conversations with a Male from THAT generation. He will regale you with tales about Life Lessons.

    1. I couldn’t have described this generation better. Maybe I can add somethings you left out like this generation like to social drink at Caribea, kilimani, in groupies; speaking some sheng you can’t get at all and they talk about 90s stuff alot like playing football at kibera, talk of places that were bushes back then but now you can’t afford the rent of the flat located there and some still live in those MF flats madaraka. To be honest they are peaceful but they don’t believe how much things have changed. I think its because they were literally paid while in main campus and never tarmacked to get a job in government.

  51. Great read Biko, and thanks for the counsel. I turned 33 last month, too many questions from folks about when am starting a family, I keep telling them I run my own race.

  52. Great read to begin 2016……better than resolutions. Stop looking at what other people are doing. it reminds me of thAT DESIDERATA line which i live by – Do not compare your life with others. you will either become vain or bitter…vain because there will always be lesser people than you or bitter because there will always be greater people than you. cheers

  53. God knows I needed this. At just 18, I feel that I’m at a crossroads of some sorts. Where i wanna be, contrast that with where some of my agemates already are at. I’m at that point where I’m walking and figuring things out first. Bless you Chocolate Man and a happy eighth birthday to Tamms. Cheers

    1. Some of us were never at crossroads until we drank all the loan money we had anticipated to start a business with

  54. Biko, I have been hear a couple of times, read your stuff and pretty much moved on but, on this one, I can’t. Let me say thank you, for everything you have written and for how so true it is. Keep doing what you do – keep doing you.

  55. Biko, imagine that article was dedicated to me. Being in my early twenties, just completed college, no boyfriend, no job. Yaani i feel as if am just stagnant as if there is something am doing wrong. But you encourage me greatly. Thanks biko. Happy birthday to Tamms

    1. Me too, at twenty three and I feel like I am at crossroads. Just graduated, no job and broke up with my campus boyfriend.But I feel that one day I will break the stagnancy. Biko is inspiring.

  56. This is an insight. I can literally relate to most fears highlighted herein; but more to the timely counsel. Feeling much better now with a new plan in mind. Thanks a Million

  57. Hehehe! Funny but with so much sense. I had been looking for something to start off my year and this is it. This is what I had needed to hear!

  58. Great piece Biko. For the love of me I have never known why many folks in Nairobi want to lead a life that’s not their own driven by trends and superficiality. I think I would need 2 lives to do that. I really wish people would keep it real ☺️

  59. Social media is like a woman wearing a corset. Always
    remember that…Indeed.I love reading your blog 🙂
    Thank you for reminding me that i should be grateful for what i have and all my achievements.Trust me i will be one of those Biko’s fans who will annoy your predecessor(praying not anytime soon).Happy Birthday to Tamms;-)

  60. That Tony guy sounds like a friend of mine, but a bit older. He is at a hell of a crossroads and am sure this blog post would definitely speak to him in more ways than anyone else can. Biko, bless you a gazillion times, you’re God-sent. Totally sharing this with a friend in neeed

  61. That Tony guy sounds like a friend of mine, but a bit older. He is at a hell of a crossroads and am sure this blog post would definitely speak to him in more ways than anyone else can. Biko, bless you a gazillion times, you’re God-sent. Totally sharing this with a friend in need

  62. We are all that 28 yrs old chap,you touched all our fears & gave us an antidote at the same time,thanks Mr “forehead”

  63. A lesson well taught.I started commenting by doing a citation of what touched me but realized I was rewriting this blog. My perception on age vis a vis achievements has not only changed but I am also wiser on matters life.life. Btw, I was also a OP die hard fan before I discovered you.

  64. Acute Subaru Syndrome. (ASS). It’s how Subaru guys behave on the road; they think if you overtake them that it’s an invite to race with them…So its a syndrome? Lol

  65. Totally inspiring at any age! About your Kao friend, I hope the chic is totally into him and it’s not about the X5

  66. The last 8 paragraphs didn’t see my tooth. I felt like I was in a lecture room. Serious talk there.
    To Tony, zingatia!

  67. Clearly Therapeutic especially as I start making new year resolutions its good to remember its not a race, every stride at its pace

  68. “Just as it is in running, it’s okay to stop and walk in life. Allows you to gather yourself, to recover, because sometimes you burn out in life, lose a job, get divorced, lose a special someone, and it slows you down, but then you don’t give up, you start running again. And you finish.” This words are oozing wisdom of about 10 wahengas. Thank you for them, and just because someone might need it 🙂

  69. “Just as it is in running, it’s okay to stop and walk in life. Allows you to gather yourself, to recover, because sometimes you burn out in life, lose a job, get divorced, lose a special someone, and it slows you down, but then you don’t give up, you start running again. And you finish.” These words are oozing wisdom of about 10 wahengas. Thank you for them, and just because someone might need it 🙂

  70. well done chief! was also dissapointed that i didn’t get to see the architecture in Prague before i was 25. But someday…

  71. The “right woman” is a woman who makes peace with your weaknesses before you do.That one is just awesome
    The piece was just meant for many of us who are still wondering what happened to love, good girls etc etc

  72. ” This city, my friend, is one big costume party where people show up wearing what they choose, not what they have. So pick yours, just don’t believe that that’s who you are.”……..very true Biko.

  73. “The “right woman” is a woman who makes peace with your weaknesses before you do.”……that right there is a challenge to us the female species.
    Great read baba Tamms, great article to kick-off 2016. Thanks for the inspiration

  74. Laughed my heart out while reading this article… but you are so right.. I will just do me! “It doesn’t matter who finished first or who finished last. We are all winners!.

  75. great read i like the way your thoughts are all over and am in the same position as tony,approaching 30 very fast and wondering whether am doing everything right but……am running my own race

  76. A lovely piece. By the way to me you are a better writer than Pala. He always had a way of putting women down. So am glaaaaaad you replaced him. Your writing is balanced. So may you live to write millions of columns….and the book we have been waiting for for ever!

    1. Such a delightful read! Biko you are a great dad. You also show such empathy – that is a virtue don’t lose it.
      @ Jane C – I also thought OP had a way of demeaning women; he is like our Tanzanian neighours and their insulting Kiswahili. Biko’s one issue, and which I totally concur with, is the hideous weaves Kenyan women love.

  77. Millionare’s club at 3 AM….just in case Vee decides to pick up a fight with one of her frenemies and lives her at the parking lot stranded with no means of transport..No Ok Bye….

  78. Brilliant,Brilliant counsel Biko this one…
    There’s so much about life,but those lessons on running,brief but very very real.
    Keep writing Biko.

  79. I had a lot of fun reading it. So true to most of our lives I wish I had read it 15 years ago when I thought girls will be finished! LOL

  80. I can remember being at this point in my life. I learnt to live a day at a time. N run my own race. N it’s been satisfying and fulfilling.

  81. Shiny and bright colours are what betrays us kaos. It is so that we announce our presence before we actually do 🙂
    Great piece.

  82. I can almost imagine how the Lady of the Manor will respond to this post. First it was the one on a random girl in a random cabin in a random secluded place, then this! Haha do you like friction? Is it your thing?

    “Girls will come…. And oh, there is no such thing as the right woman. Not really.” Happy wearing-down-of-the-couch Biko! LOL

  83. “This city, my friend, is one big costume party where people show up wearing what they choose, not what they have. So pick yours, just don’t believe that that’s who you are…” No one could have put it better

  84. this is the second best post ave read since visa denied,ave always wanted to meet Biko because i have always wondered if Biko is funny in person the same way he writes, ill be turning 30 in the next two months and to be honest it scares me simply because i haven’t achieved much as i wanted and i must admit that this post has really encouraged me thank you biko

  85. I did the same thing….after the Jadudi story I went and found all your blogs and read them religiously. I was hooked . You help me put things in perspective. Once again this post has given me a clear picture of how not to live my life…..thanks Biko. You inspire me.

  86. I am aching to say something clever and witty, and mind bending. But I think I shall stick with the unembelished truth. This post is like someone tickling my feet – I absolutely loved I giggling through the thing!! Thank you!!

  87. …I tell you. He
    wore those shiny coats that when
    you stand in the sun reflects so
    hard it can start a bush fire….really biko??….hehe!great post man i’m one of those experiencing quarter life crisis so thanks man for the pep talk.

  88. At 28 years myself, I found that I was the one doling out wads of advice. Until today when I realized that I needed to hear someone tell me the same thing. Thank you Biko!!

  89. And the year is just beginning.. I could go on an on reading . someone said up there we will do the same thing to the guy who replaces you as what Oyunga’s fans do to you. It’s z circle Biko. And venye i see it you like enjoying that.

  90. 1. I confess that it took me many years to read Mantalk again after OP left. But I appreciate the different styles you both use.
    2. Wonderful, wonderful post!

  91. ‘come here, help me out of this bra’ #idied! only you
    But on a serious note,I know this only too well. I recently bumped into some note I had written in highschool about what I want to accomplish by 28. i am very close to that age and the only thing I have accomplished is getting a degree. the rest, it’s a pitty. i also used to compare myself until i realized that life is about my journey so I stress less and focus more. great insights chocolate man. a good way to begin the year

  92. Truly inspiring.I needed to hear this.Thank you for being a sound voice for many “28” year olds at a crossroads.

  93. my name is tony, am 28 years old and am at a crossroads at this moment so thanks chocolate man kinda feels like I wrote you an email while drunk n couldn’t remember in the morning lool!

  94. This inspired me and put things in perspective. Especially that those people always putting you down are also running – the only way they know/were taught to.

  95. This is a brilliant piece, and not just for the 28year old.Each person can relate to it so well whether on their 30s,40s..name it. It’s about running your own race that is life, at your pace while choosing the right people to run alongside.Biko,you can’t compare to OP… you’re in a league of your own and I think people are finally seeing that.

  96. Just when I thought I had read the most important post then this comes along.
    This post makes me want to stop trying hard to be myself and just for once go in the costume of my dreams (probably not the intended message).

  97. I just love your writing…please write a novel already….yes…this is pressure for more. Thank you for sharing your art…for free…

  98. Great piece as always, at least you mentioned my name there hehe but I am disgrace to that name, I only do 10 km during the anual stanchart marathon, and yes I usually finish the race. Thanks man.

  99. Ever read something and go like….so I was not on the wrong path after all(self doubt was creeping)…this was that read.Now I can continue the path doubt free.

  100. This qualifies as motivation talk.Thanks Biko.I’ve always loved your style because you always elicit feelings.I have never believed you replaced Oyunga Pala you are you end of story.You were there at the right time.great read as always.

  101. Wow. That was amazing. I loved the encouragement in your blog. I don’t drink so the whisky thing is out but i’ll remember you in my prayers. #GodBless

  102. Quite an elaborate perspective … I have to also note that if this piece was to meant to coax me into plunging into a life full of uncertainties in readiness to embrace a mirage yet so inevitable, then i just swallow the hook line and sinker! In the Article so suave was the thinker…..

  103. Last year i turned 30 and worked myself into a state of near depression because i felt i hadn’t achieved a quarter of what i wanted to achieve. I had to speak positivity into my life, just as you said about either speaking success or poison into your mind.

    I’m much better now,thanks to pep talks from maaaany friends,relatives and acquintaces.

    THANK you for this post,you have no idea how many people you have and will inspire by it.

    PS: climbing a mountain will teach you the same lessons, if not more, that running does.

  104. “Worrying
    about girls is the most self defeating
    thought you can ever engage in. And oh,
    there is no such thing as the right woman.
    Not really. The “right woman” is a woman
    who makes peace with your weaknesses
    before you do.”

    So inspirational

  105. Amazing read,i am so glad i subscribed.By the way i am an Oyunga Pala fan,hi hi hi,we are HERE TOO,why not?you are the best there is!
    Much love from ATL.

  106. This resonates with everyone. Especially me and my current crossroad. You should have that whiskey with ‘Tony’ .. your treat. He opened this tap.

  107. “[…] I think about it while sitting in the loo at 3 in the morning.” Did you see what you let out there, bro? Biko SITS in the loo — and by “loo” he means to take a leak. Gals, now you know. There’re times some of us dudes SIT, too. Ha! Biko, tell them what else we must do in that position to ensure no jet of pee hits the floor. Tell, them, brother. Who’s going to say, nyef njef?

    1. Talk of someone who thinks differently from all other people.you read the post once?if so,u are really thorough

  108. On point kama nukta!! Every is running their own race. A fact that needs to be constantly drummed into my head. Thanks. Awesome piece!!!

  109. Daaamn Biko, you truly took up on Oyunga ‘s boots and really upped the ante! Your pun on words brings full imagery. On this article, you killed it

  110. Definitely we are not mentally the same, one of us has some problem and i wonder who it is?! but i belong to this other side of literary divide where we are many if the response is anything to go by! awesome work Biko

  111. *Bookmarks page to read whenever I find myself at crossroads, which I often do.
    *Also sends link to current mentor for discussion at next meeting.
    : )

  112. Wow extremely encouraging, everything in this post is the TRUTH! Hahaha I have laughed so hard this morning .. Thank you for an awesome post , hope the 28year old is in a better shape after reading this .

  113. The 25-year old guy probably thinks he isn’t cool enough, so he wants to be the last one out of a bar at 6am to show how “turnt up” he can get – This is so true. This was so Me at 25yrs.so stupid.
    Nice piece

  114. “Just as it is in running, it’s okay to stop and walk in life. Allows you to gather yourself, to recover, because sometimes you burn out in life, lose a job, get divorced, lose a special someone, and it slows you down, but then you don’t give up, you start running again. And you finish.”
    Great message to start the year with..thank you!!

  115. Am 29,but facing the same dillema’s as your 28 yr old chap. What an ispiration to face the new year, great article.

  116. Biko i would love to know you PB on that 10k run coz this kips and jeps from eltret need like 15mins to to finish that race…1hr 07 is not bad either,you are literally running your own race
    awesome read,cant get enough of your blogs

    1. Ai Jeptoo yawa, 15 minutes is the average running time for 5Km,Most elite runners do 26 minutes for 10 Km.

      My personal best for 10Km is 45 Minutes though i stopped timing myself and checking the distance. I just run to enjoy myself

  117. I literally don’t know what my life will be without this blog! This piece right here has touched my inner soul! * Is there anything like that?* I will keep on doing me. Like a toddler i will crawl then make baby steps one at a time. With time i will be running like a RACIST’, call me Kipotieno then like an eagle, i WILL fly bloody high in the sky! * Iko nene!!*
    NB* Penguin face and Patrick and Ian storo has killed me lol! Am dead! Mimi kwisha!

  118. ‘Don’t think of it in terms of kilometers, but in little milestones; that corner coming ahead, that little uphill stretch ahead, that big tree ahead. There is great joy in fulfilling the small targets.’
    Now this is how am going to tackle life from today henceforth by first breaking it down to small targets.
    Thank you so much Biko,am inspired.

  119. For us 23 year olds and just out of campus its an inspiration reading this and keep up with our own run tho not knowing where it ends…

  120. Jackson Biko aka chocolate man, you are an awesome writer. You keep me glued to the screen till the last paragraph. Thank you

  121. Good advice.
    Am 30 and single and tired of relationships (read men) for all those men I tell that
    and they still to get into my pants. I also feel stuck but from when I graduated there I have
    moved from earning 1K per week to much more.Most of my friends are married with kids. That song
    rudimentary free by Emeli Sande describes me . I have moments I feel down but most days LIFE IS
    GOOD. This world is not what my heart expected
    but am enjoying it.So Biko tell your young man to allow himself to just be in the present

  122. To him who introduced me to your articles…thanks a bunch, always looking forward to your reads like waiting for next episodes of an interesting series.

  123. Superbly written, completely true… Biko you are a blessing! Keep on writing. Totally as enjoyable as it is encouraging to read this. We are all winners, we just have to be determined!

  124. I really needed this kind of read especially now that I’m at crossroads of sorts. Looks like we can never be ready for some life’s eventualities and no amount of planning will really prepare us for that one occurrence… But this one part has made me feel better today…

    Just as it is in running, it’s okay to stop and walk in life. Allows you to gather yourself, to recover, because sometimes you burn out in life, lose a job, get divorced, lose a special someone, and it slows you down, but then you don’t give up, you start running again. And you finish.

  125. The good book states…..The race is not for the swift nor for the strong but for the one that endures!
    Pure wisdom on this post!

  126. Good read for 2016….Biko Asanti. I needed to hear this….Do you; go at your own pace…all are winners at the end of the race

  127. My new personal best of your blogs. Aaah-mazing read suitable for everyone living this life. Asante sana Biko. Btwy IMO u’re a better writer than OP by far. That one used to demean women alot he was just nasty on matters women. I’m one of the many who do not miss his writing at all.

  128. “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.
    What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.
    From the desperate city you go into the desperate country,
    and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats.
    A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind.
    There is no play in them, for this comes after work.
    But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.”

    – Henry David Thoreau

  129. What a way to start 2016. Insightful to the core. “This city is run by image and impressions ;smoke and mirrors”. The ‘right woman’ is the woman who makes peace with your weaknesses before you do.

  130. can’t believe am reading this a day too late. Read todays post that referenced this one..nway…
    great read about life. Rings true. “Tony” dnt beat yourself about it to add the cliché(its never that serious-I hate that statement btw.bt its true!).even Trump a billionaire is running for president and appears to have it all(I guess not).at no point in life will you ever say I’ve arrived.so live at your own pace as Biko advices.and those lying above abt how they will start jogging.wacheni uwongo..LOL

    P.S. Biko as an OP fan, I promise I shall not make comparisons btwn the two of you EVER ever again.hehehehe(not to your face at least).

  131. He lived across from my door at some point in the hostels. Zero game, I tell you. He wore those shiny coats that when you stand in the sun reflects so hard it can start a bush fire…really Biko?great pep talk though i’m one of those guys experiencing quarter life crisis.o

  132. Just what the doctor ordered for the once in a year inspiration reading for 2016 – enjoyed the parallels with running – will definitely print out for my wall of fame, enjoyed every word

  133. Biko, I have to say this, perfect timing with this article for me. I’m 25 and feeling lost, quarter life crisis I call it. But I gotta keep running. Here’s to 2016.

  134. the “right woman”.she makes peace with gis weaknesses before he does…thanks a millifor saying that.Igot closure on some issue.
    “just do you”..this one too…i ain’t competing with anyone

  135. hahaha “Someone to stroke your beard maybe? (You sound like a beard guy, us beard guys know each other)”.
    this got me cracked up….true true true

  136. Ha!The grey haired bearded ‘gentle’man will shall and copy paste this article at remoteroute.wordpress.com asap!Biko, has common sense ever been this uncommon? Let me first say a prayer for 28year olds..

  137. I notice a lot of people running with lovely sports gear. You see some rich-looking 50’s Somali guy in the full Adidas merchandise. Or the latest Nike running shoes. Does it mean they are enjoying the run more than you? Does it mean they are more committed or consistent? Will they finish before you because they have top of the range gear? Maybe, but also maybe not. That’s life, so stop looking at what your pals are doing, driving, working, wearing, dating, it doesn’t mean anything at the end of it all. Just do you.

  138. “. He doesn’t even play golf, this cat. He has never played golf. Can’t swing for shit. But he keeps it there as a prop, as social capital. For the benefit of chicks. He figures a woman walks in there and sees this golf equipment and immediately wants to tear his clothes off because he’s so upwardly mobile. He figures the golf equipment would get her dizzy with lust. “Oh, Jamo, I didn’t know you play golf! How sexy! Come here, help me out of this bra.” (Eye roll).”

    This got me cackling as per kawa..but I loe the advice you give. “Just do you..”

  139. I did the Stanchart Marathon last year and I ran at a steady pace for 8 of the 10kms I signed up for. And then I just couldn’t do it any more. I couldn’t run an inch further so I opted to walk. I remember because I even took a pic of the 8km marking; it’s somewhere in my archives. I’m in the same age group as the guy that mailed you his grievances, and in the same boat too it seems. But that 8km mark has impacted me so hard I couldn’t thank you enough for this post. I shall reflect upon it.

  140. Very well said Biko everyone has a race to run and each person should run his or her own race. It’s pathetic to compare because you will always come up short and feel like s… and the crossroads in life are real. I was talking to my friend today we were in the same class in high school her first daughter is a KCPE candidate, while I am still single. Imagine that, that’s when I realized I have my own race and there’s no need for me to compare myself with her. Thanks Biko for that piece.

  141. I love how raw you are.My hubby read your article out loud{I’ve forgotten the title}about a fortnight ago which was about your son &having watched your wife go through the whole ordeal,& it was so real & true & hilariously raw like you didn’t mince your words.& we just laughed through the whole article.I just got my baby girl on 24th December & before the whole experience I had asked a million questions, done my research, watched all labour & delivery YouTube videos but well,they all lied & made it seem so effortless.well,nothing prepared me for what I encountered. The 16hrs of labour,tthe delivery,It was like something out of a movie & I couldn’t wait to tell my girls the reality of things.But my hubby was with me from labour to delivery & seeing all that isn’t for the faint hearted. I salute him & men like you who are brave enough to watch it all,stand by your women, & still be madly in love with her after.I also salute you for keeping it 100% in that article & on this article as well and well,I’ve been an Oyunga Pala fan since I was
    13,but truth be told,he needs to learn to be raw.You are really good at what you do.{oh & that Jonathan article. Epic.Even linda,his colleague & longtime pal wouldn’t describe him to detail like that.

  142. Awesome piece! I loved the piece on running at karura forest ” imagine competing with somebody from eltoret! Each at their own pace….

  143. Brilliant and inspiring. I think it’s your best piece ever. Don’t ever stop or I’ll quit the internet. Write n’ Rock on, Bro!

  144. i dont set goals and timelines that i want to achieve them. i dont try to live like the Mwangis and Otienos no more. I dont fancy trends these times, and you know what? I am happier. I realised that the main goal in life i to love and to happy. Being with happy people and giving joy to without. nice read

  145. Then I added a smiley to show that I’m friendly and I love trees and I believe in free and fair trade. Always add a smiley, you just never know what lonely heart it might warm.

    Big up Biko Zulu. This was really, really cool!

  146. Biko you have set the bar high for 2016! This is a masterpiece! Anything you write and all the guest writers will have to top this one!! And that’s why the gang keeps coming back…..

  147. I am 25 – just got into quarter life crisis -it’s real. I think Tony is experiencing the same . Being in a country far away from home doesn’t make it any easier but I suppose it’s my ‘race’. Be away from everyone and figure out who I am.

    Maybe I will make a list, maybe….

  148. I’ve read this like thrice now. I loove this n many
    other pieces from you.
    Puts me back on track.
    You’re my hero Biko!

  149. masterpiece.. very inspirational ..and you still made me laugh, the shiny coat that cld start a bush fire!! lol.. and guys from Eltoret.. made my night!!

  150. Biko you have no idea how many people needed this!!! Nyasaye Ogwedhi Jathurwa… All of us going through this mid life crisis at this age of 25 have picked a lesson or two from this Im sure.

    reminds me of some quote I read some time back and it always rings in my head.. “It does not matter if others have wings to fly there, I will walk and I will still get there”

    To the gang…. Lets keep going, as long as we keep surviving we keep living and if it doesnt kill us then it definately makes us stronger.

  151. Reading this so early into the year is such a timely reminder for me to run at my own pace. Thank you for using your writing to inspire so many of us. You’d be surprised that quite a number of OP’s fans are now part of the gang. Like Tony, I was a huge mantalk fan till he left and I stopped reading. Then my sister sent me a link to “Now let’s bury a Kikuyu” and I was hooked!I’ve read most of what you have written including Msafiri and True Love. You’ve outgrown those shoes!

  152. This has got to be the most powerful thing I’ve read this year. Alright, that’s not a fair assessment, what with the year in its infancy, but nonetheless, the impact of this has got me thinking.
    Let’s do Whiskey when you’re on this side of town.

  153. Death is just an eventuality, but at conception each journey in life has a different set destination. So do your thing people because absolutely no one is going where you are going.
    Fantastic article as always, am a closet writer myself no balls to come out as it were, I presume someone will uncover my manuscripts 1700years from now and I will become what I could have been 🙂 but thats my race

  154. “…it’s okay to stop and walk in life. Allows you to gather yourself, to recover, because sometimes you burn out in life…” That line is epic, if all of us knew how important it is to do this, life would be so awesome. Lessons. Thanks Biko.

  155. Biko siku moja nitafutwa kwasababu ya kucheka loudly kwa ofisi. Thank you for reminding me a lot of things and for giving a phrase for those ‘Subaru Drivers’

  156. “I notice a lot of people running with lovely sports gear. You see some rich-looking 50’s Somali guy in the full Adidas merchandise. Or the latest Nike running shoes. Does it mean they are enjoying the run more than you? Does it mean they are more committed or consistent? Will they finish before you because they have top of the range gear? Maybe, but also maybe not. That’s life, so stop looking at what your pals are doing, driving, working, wearing, dating, it doesn’t mean anything at the end of it all. Just do you.”not sure if this is me, besides the age difference 🙂 Great piece, love the analogy about running and life. Hope we can do a 10 km together one of this Saturdays!

  157. am 25 and am never a fun of reading blog articles,ad rather go through my IG….. but this Biko!!! this got me on a good spirit. I have already bookmarked your site. Very inspiring read. Thanks man…

  158. I love this one. I read it twice. Cried a bit the first time round. Second time I really read it and took it in. Thanks Biko!

  159. I had a plan…,get married, start a family, do that MSc and probably PhD by the time I was 30. That was ten years now, ago when I had just cleared my undergrad studies. I’m not close to any of that,..I’m not going to sweat it.It will happen when it happens. To quote Steve Jobs, ” You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.”

  160. Wow!! This post is the kind of piece you frame and never delete, because it is good not only for our generation but for many to come… So many truths, inspiring, thought-provoking and funny too!!
    Wow indeed.
    P.S. Yoga mats because it is on Lol. I didn’t know. I do Yoga for the love of it, (hehe) but hey! 🙂 😀
    #goodstuff and great read.

  161. I thought it was a long post( and I don’t really read long articles) …that was until I got to the end and thought to myself ‘why Biko, why did you end it so soon’… Like every other piece of yours I have read, I loved every sentence.’ I don’t go to a Karura to run because it’s a trend, this ain’t Larry’s show.’ I see what you did there btw… JUST GREAT, AMAZING. 🙂

  162. 38 and scribbling about life.. .mhhh!, must have grown a really big pair to go nibbling after that hook, as usual interesting.

  163. thank you Biko, i’ll always add a smiley to show that i love trees and free trade, lol! but really that was a good read

  164. Awesome piece, this is a good way of starting a year when most people are still stuck on past mistakes which prevents us on moving forward

  165. Very sober perspective…..this post has made me think of the saying that equality is not always justice (and that image of a child, teen and adult standing on boxes to symbolize either equality or justice)…..

  166. Incase you happen to read this, kudos for the literacy skills.You have a way of painting with your words! Q; Are there charges to access karura for running?

  167. Okay, i am a great fan of Oyunga Pala at the same time your fan.i Feel Oyunga Pala VS Biko should never be a topic of discussion you all have different writing prowess.

  168. Word. Been at that walking phase and lingered a bit more at some crossroads. This is the lil’ nudge i needed to choose my road and continue running. Thanks

  169. Great piece but, some of these lines….?
    Do you come up them? If yes, fellow gang members…thats what is called wisdom, and its priceless.

    Thanks.

  170. I needed this just turned thirty and I was panicking trying to figure out what wrong choices I made in my 20s…., I can breathe sigh…..

  171. I’m glad this beleaguered 28-year old chap emailed you. He communicated what most of us, I included occasionally feel. You response? Phenomenal! Thank you for this piece.

  172. Thanks Biko for that and thank for introducing me to the Karura Sato plot. And Oh you forgot to mention that some people even run on the opposite direction as ours. It ain’t that they are lost. They have their own track. Such is life

  173. Hehe nice read here. Incase your google analytics show you a reader from West Africa. Thats my eyeballs rolling on your articles. I follow them and They capture me and take me to the slave island and through the corridor of no return. You need to visit this historical place.

  174. I really liked this piece. It was especially inspiring since my birthday is coming up in a few weeks and all those questions like “I’m i really achieving my dreams/goals” have started or rather always race through my mind. Thank you.

  175. ‘Brillianto’! My Wife insisted I had to read this blog post for the last week, Best read thus far in 2016! Very Inspiring! Now I need to catch up with all those posts I missed during the December Holidays! Keep Going Biko! 🙂

  176. Running – like life – teaches you to go at your own pace because you don’t know what those guys passing you had for breakfast. You don’t know if they are visiting from Eltoret. Hehe. You don’t know the capacity of their lungs. You don’t know if they are on drugs. Go at your own pace.
    hehehe..this got me Biko. Your advise is such a gem!!

    Biko you need to give us a show.Just to sit and talk.What say you the gang.
    Invite the gang!!

  177. Read this as I was seated in a mat next to a woman who probably has it together cause she smells nice… 2015 was my rock bottom year i lost everything at 22 (huge laughter) i am over analytical but recently i just think what would a cow do? Chew away its cud cause all these stresses we add in life arent necessary we just choose to make them so…Foid for thought: most cows live better lives than we do and they get murdered for a living before they take the euro trip. I love nature. Okay let me stop before i stop making sense. Be happy people. Just be happy and chew cud. 🙂

  178. Must confess Biko when you first came on I also was doubtful you would be up to the task (OP fan here). But I agree with you life is like running at the end of the day as long as you get to the finish it doesn’t matter who came first or how much time you took.

  179. In the thicket, a soldier dies
    By Emmanuel Taracha

    In the copse
    Lie many corpses
    Too many dead soldiers
    The enemy killed them like walkers.

    Like a knight
    He came in the dead of the night
    The lifeless bodies smolder
    A bullet is lodged in his shoulder.

    He lies in the fescue
    Who will come to his rescue?
    From this miscue
    He remembers the last barbecue.

    The smile of his daughter
    Happy family filled the air with laughter
    His people he so much misses
    The children and the missus.

    His mind wanders
    And he wonders
    Who will take care of his family?
    And give his children a homily.

    Today is his wedding anniversary
    But he is held captive by the adversary
    Is the war necessary?
    He prays the rosary.

    In this land far away
    If his life be taken away
    Will the angels carry him away?
    And God wash his sins away

    He feels like a sawyer
    He whispers a prayer
    He is no destroyer
    His work pleases his employer.

    He has survived many enemy clashes
    The National flag comes in flashes
    Black, White-edged Red, and Green
    Two crossed White spears, behind a Red, White, and Black shield

    He needs that shield
    But what will the war yield
    He knows they will not yield
    And flee from the battlefield

    He longs for an armory
    Full of artillery
    To revenge his fallen infantry
    With shots so fiery

    All this atrocity
    Who is in authority?
    He fights for the majority
    Surrender is no priority
    To his head thoughts flood
    To the last drop of his blood
    He will fight for his country
    As his fight will help annihilate the adversary

    Commander said not yet time to get out
    Today he lies in the bush bleeding out
    He remembers the day of the pass out
    His patriotism, the enemy bullet will not knock out

    He is exhausted
    His strength has been tested
    He hopes he will be appreciated
    And the enemy annihilated

    His body slowly gives up
    As he tries to look up
    Hi eyes feel heavy

    The world begins to disappear
    Under his closing lids he cant see clear
    Suddenly everything looks unfocused

    And then its black

    http://www.heremyinkdrops.wordpress.com