God Is A Gentleman


I perch at the end of the bench at Java, Aero-Club – Wilson Airport. The air is cold and crispy. It’s 9:17am – I’m 43-mins early for my meeting with Lydia Wanjiru Kiriti.

I’ve wolfed down my breakfast and I’m now nursing  a small tree tomato juice. I had been reading a story on The New Yorker on my phone which I have since tossed aside because it’s such a perfect morning to do anything but  sit still and soak in the moment. Small aircrafts across at Wilson Airport’s sit on the tarmac with wings messianically  spread giving the impression of flight even when static.

The interview with Lydia is on her strength of having survived a terrible accident which she shouldn’t have survived. “She is a Harvard case study,” my friend, Mumbi, had mentioned. “And she’s 40.” Problem was that when I called Lydia she mentioned that she wasn’t ready to tell her story. So I convinced her to at least meet me and decide after hearing me out. She had agreed but with a little caveat “Please don’t stare at me when we meet, pretend at least.”

Across the wire mesh fence, on the runway, the tyres of a small-engine aircraft screech briefly as it kisses the tarmac upon landing. A red light winks from the tip of its tail. A nippy wind blows through the garden.  

At 9:45am Lydia calls and says she’s “almost,” which is the Kenyan way of announcing one’s impending arrival: “I am almost.” Never mind they could be almost anything; almost giving birth, almost having a hernia, almost getting a root canal…

“You will know me because I’m the only guest seated at the garden.” I tell her.

“Oh, and I will be the chubby lady,” she says with a self deprecating giggle.

“I don’t think many chubby ladies will be walking through these doors this morning.” I say.

She laughs. “You never know. This could be their day.”  

“Well in that case, I will collar every chubby lady that walks through.”

She laughs and hangs up.

A man in a green apron motors a lawnmower behind me, disrupting the peace.  I get envious when I see someone mow a lawn with those lawnmowers; pushing it around, stepping on the warm mound of cut grass. Before I can ask him if I can help him push the mower a bit , a manager moves me and my sad tree tomato to the terrace as an old ugly black helicopter lands across the fence. The air  is suddenly full of  the sweet smell of freshly cut grass.

Lydia makes her entrance.

First, she’s not chubby, she has some weight yes, but it spreads evenly on her tall frame. I get up on my feet as she approaches and I immediately see why she had asked me not to stare. Her left face is disfigured; like it was folded and then on second thought, unfolded. Short brutal jagged scars cut across her skin, cutting across her left eye, down the ridge of her nose. She can see through her left eye but she has to pry it open to see, so she leaves it closed . Above the ridge of her nose is a round patch of skin that looks like a scald and it’s a different colour from the rest of her skin. Her jaws look weakened and slightly loopy.  At the base of her throat is a hole that she will tell me later she used to breath from for months. In general her left face looks like it was smashed and put back together.

“You smell so good,” I tell her as we shake hands.

“Oh thank you!” she smiles, a smile that miraculously defies the tale of brutality on her face.

“What are you wearing?”

“Pleasures, by Estée Lauder.” She says.

“It’s wonderful.”

She’s says it’s cold outside so we move inside and sit in a booth under a Bosch speaker. A menu is presented before her and she opens it like you would a book you don’t intend to read. She tells me that she doesn’t have any sense of taste or smell. “I lost all that after my accident.”

“So how did you pick your perfume?” I ask.

“Its what i wore before my accident.”


“I can taste sugar and salt but nothing else, no spice or whatever. If you boiled and served me grass I would eat it. I don’t know what good food is.”

“So you mostly taste food with your eyes, yes?”


I hold up a give-us-a-moment finger at the waitress lurking around our table. She discreetly recedes to the end of the cafe. We sit in brief silence as she looks at the menu. I’m honestly taken aback by her face.

“Stop staring, Biko.” She tells me while looking down at the menu.

Truth is, it’s impossible not to stare at her face. Half her face, at a first glance seems to me like a an abstract drawing done my 3-year old son: you look at it and pretend you know what it is but you don’t. You’re intrigued by it and it seems to whisper to your imagination and you think by looking at it for long you will figure it out, but you never quite do because it’s telling a story in a dialect you can’t understand.

“I have to have a proper look and you should let me,” I tell her. “ I don’t want to pretend that it’s business as usual.  I suspect that if I stare at it for long it will lose its intrigue.”

She slowly looks up and offers me a good view of her face, raising her chin in mock defiance, a small smile rippling on her lips. We sit like this for a brief terse moment, staring at each other. The Big Aero Club Stare Down, directed by Lydia Wanjiru Kiriti, age, 40.

She has long dangly chrome-like earrings that resemble a wind chime. Her hair is pulled back meticulously and held behind her head with two hair clips. (HER: “I have the longest and most beautiful hair, Biko. ME: I believe you. HER: Haha.)

“What happened,” I eventually ask her.  “Don’t leave out any details. I love details.”

For nine years she was an inflight attendant. In 2007 she landed from Lagos with the morning flight. As she pulled her luggage across the airport’s foyer she mapped out her day like she always had after landing at JKIA; she would buy Saturday Nation (“I loved reading Oyunga Pala” ) and Standard newspapers at the Arrivals stand, get home (she lived with her brother at Nyayo estate), take a long hot shower, get into bed, read the papers, nod off, wake up at 11am and leave the house to run errands in tao.

Outside a new company driver picked her up in a van. As the only passenger, she sat behind the co-driver’s seat. She slipped off her heels and decided that she would catch a quick forty winks, so she told the driver to wake her up when they got to the entrance of Nyayo estate so that she could give him directions to her digs. Bone knackered, she leaned back on the seat and closed her eyes and soon she was fast asleep.

She woke up two months later.

She had slept on January 27th 2007 and woken up March 29th 2007.

“I wake up and look around and think, ‘who told my brother to change the curtains and the colour of my bedroom walls?’” She tells me with a chuckle. “ I touch my hair and in horror I find have matutas! I was horrified, who does matutas in this age?”

“Such a woman.” I chuckle.

There was a woman at her bedside who jumped up in shock when she realised that Lydia had woken up, only to run out calling others. “Others” turned out to be more women wearing white, women who were jubilant and cheery. “I remember laughing and thinking ‘OK, since when did waking up become such an occasion?”

A nurse brought her medicine and she tossed it away because she wasn’t sick, she just wanted to go to tao and run errands. Unbeknownst to her, she was in St Andrew’s Ward at Nairobi Hospital, and she had been involved in a grisly accident two months back.  A head on collision that killed the driver on the spot and left her in a coma.

“The damage to my head was incomprehensible” she says. “At the scene of the accident, all my two eyes were out of my head. Literally. I had this big hole from my forehead to my mouth. My brain was coming out of my mouth plus I had a broken femur. Basically, I didn’t have a face.”

I try to imagine this and fail.

“So how…I mean, who are these guys who put you back together?” I ask.

“God.” She says and I just love the way she turns God from a common noun into a verb.

Her first surgery (one of numerous surgeries that would follow)  lasted 17 good hours. In that theater was a gaggle of medical heavies; neurosurgeons, ophthalmologists, orthodontists, dentofacial orthopedics, otorhinolaryngologists, maxillofacial surgeons and many more specialists whose names are just so long and too hard to spell correctly. We are talking our own Kenyan doctors, expensive she admits, but competent. (She has not once left the country for a single surgery).

“What is very special about these surgeons was that I’m told that my case was so unique and unprecedented that they would later operate on me while referring to these big surgical books!” She laughs.

The waitress shows up and she orders a hot dawa.

“Do you remember when you first saw your face after the accident?” I ask.

She says she had dragged herself to the washroom a week after coming out of the coma. She wanted to gurgle water, she went in and found a mirror and staring back at her was this woman with half a face and a skin as “dark as the back of my phone.” I ask her if the sight made her stagger back in shock (Yeah, I’m a little dramatic) and she says, “Imagine I didn’t take it so badly. I mean I was alive!”

She had just turned 30 and had to embark on a relearning journey; learning to write and walk and do what normal people do. Her 30’s were defined by a complex trail of emotions and teaching and tens of surgeries and realignment to a life with a new face and a new way of things. Basically she had her childhood face, her 20’s face and now the 30’s face.

“Do you miss your old face?” I ask.

“If my old face would come with this strong personality I have now then I would take it,” she tells me. “But I know my old face wouldn’t handle this new personality. So, no.”

“Do you sometimes look at yourself in old photos?”

“By the way,” She says. (Again it’s only Kenyans who start sentences with By the way. “I have some pictures of me before the accident, do you want to see?”

“No,” I say.

“Oh come on, you have to see,” she rummages through her fancy brown purse. “Aii, why don’t you want to see?”

“Because, well, this is the face I know now, you are who you are now. I think that’s enough for me.”

“Oh please. You have to see.” She removes a small photo album with a black sleeve.

“No, really, Lydia. I don’t want to see the old you.”

“If you don’t I will scream and people will come and they will see innocent me and think you are trying to harm me.”

I laugh and take the album from her.

“You are about the only person in the whole world who still has a photo album in 2017.” I say and she laughs so loudly.

I go though her old photos; photos of her when she just started out as a flight attendant; bright, dewy eyed and full of promise. Photos of her and friends and family. A studio profile of her with a beaming smile. Photos of her when she first went to the States, wearing these dreadful jeans that everybody wore at that time; frayed at the bottom.

“You were so skinny.” I tell her and she laughs loudly and says, “Oh thank you very much, Biko! Can you blame me?” As I go through her album she tells me that the doctors wanted to reconstruct back my face but they needed to know what they were reconstructing back, so they needed her old photos as a reference point.

“ I think they did a marvelous job of that,” I say she smiles and cocks her head cynically. “No, I mean it.”

“Do you feel that the experience has aged you, that you are more than 40-years of age?” I pose.

“No,” she shakes her head. “I feel 10 years old. You see when I woke up from the coma I was 30-years old but it felt like I was just born again. I feel like I have only been alive for 10 years.”

“That’s some deep stuff you just said, Lydia!” I say.

“Oh I can be deep!” She jokes and we laugh. She adds more seriously, “But when you face death you are just not the same. It changes you in many powerful ways. I don’t hold grudges for instance, I just cut people off. That can be a good and a bad thing.”

“How did the accident affect your friendships?”

“You lose people. My doctor told me not to take it personally because some people didn’t know how to deal with the new me. But then there are those who stayed.”

Nostalgically, Jack Johnson starts playing from the speakers  overhead and it momentarily takes me back to 2008 when I went on an assignment at Ngorongoro Crater in Northern Tanzania with a massively talented wildlife photographer from Johannesburg. She had played Jack Johnson from her laptop the whole trip.

“I have lots of metal in me,” she tells me. “My lower jaw here is a metal plate, I have a titanium plate over here on my skull, a have plastic on the side of my face, I have wires holding my cheeks together.”

“So when you go through metal detectors in malls and whatnot, do they go off?”

She laughs. “Actually, no. Those can’t detect them, but at airports, yes. But the tragedy is that when security guards at malls see me they never run those metal detectors against me. They look at me and their human empathy kicks in and I think they never want to offend me which is sad because I could be the best person to carry a bomb into a building.”

“Well, aren’t you dark.” I say and she laughs. “Do people stare at you a lot?”

“Oh people stare a lot.”

“Does it offend you?”


“I don’t know anymore. I’m used to. I guess.”

Lydia laughs a lot. She has these funny self deprecating anecdotes that rise from nowhere like fireflies. For example she tells me about this one day she was getting ready to go into surgery to correct a complication that came as a result of an infection. She had gone through many and she was tired of being opened up, of being prodded with metal.  She was tired of taking drugs and injections and waking up with a dry throat. All she wanted was to be normal again but it wasn’t happening and her spirit was tired. She knew she wasn’t going to come out of this surgery alive so she gave out her two phones and shoes and money (3K) to the nurses who took care of her. She told them thanks but she wasn’t going to make it back.

So she goes into surgery and they open her up and somehow she gains a bit of consciousness at the tail end of the surgery as they are cleaning and stitching her up and she hears familiar voices and she is sure she is dead and went to heaven. “I was lying there cold and but I was so happy because I knew hell was hot so I must have been in heaven but I remember being so happy because of the familiar voices, at least I knew people in heaven .” She laughs.

“Just how much of your face is connected to you as a  woman?”  I ask.

She thinks about it for a good deal then tells me a story.

“At one point I had a hole in my forehead and before it healed I used to cover it with gauze because cerebrospinal fluid would ooze out of it. If you removed that gauze and shone a torch in that hole you would see my brain.” I make a disbelieving face. “I’m serious, Biko. Anyway, this one time I really wanted to go to the salon and you know, feel like a woman and while there my salonist was afraid to put me under the drier so I called my doctor and asked him if it was safe to go under the drier and he said, ‘Lydia if that accident didn’t kill you, I don’t think going under a drier will. So I went under the drier and didn’t die. Even with the extent of the injury on my face, I still wanted to be a woman. I still wanted to do my hair and feel like a woman.”

“What does life mean to you now? I ask.

She thinks about it for so long. She doesn’t have an answer. She just stares at me through her good eye.

“I don’t know what to say.” She mumbles in a meek voice and for the first time I want to reach over and hug her.  

I steer the conversation to something sunny. “During this  post accident period, what is the one thing that happened to you that made you feel warm inside?”

“I met my husband.” She smiles.

Two years after the accident she saw a friend comment on someone’s profile update who had written, “Clearly nice guys finish last.” He went to his profile (this is stalking, people) and got his number which he had online. She smsed him and wrote, “No, they don’t.”

The next day she got a call at lunchtime from a man who asked, “They don’t what?”

“Who is this?” she asked.

“You sent me an sms saying ‘no they don’t.”

“Oh, you wrote that nice guys finish last and they don’t.”

“Oh that.”

That guy is called Andrew Gathii.

After speaking to this guy for a few minutes she said she wanted  to nap because she was tired and he asked, “You sound like an adult, why are you napping at midday?” and she told him she was recovering from an accident and he asked how bad it was and she said “I don’t have half of my face” and he said no way! He wanted to see her because he was curious so the next day they met at Steers, Wabera street. She carried all her CT Scans to show him the damage to her head. (“You are the first woman in the world to have ever gone on a first date with CT scans,” I told her).

Anyway, they met at Steers and three years later they had a small lovely garden wedding in the backyard of her sister-in-law’s house. She wore a white dress and black wedges that she told me not to write pinched her a good one.


I called Andrew and asked him what drew him to her, what he felt the very first time he saw her at Steers, two years after the accident, with her CT Scans under her armpits .

“First time I saw her I thought her face wasn’t as bad as she made it sound,” he says. “Yes, it was very bad but she had made me believe that half her face was gone. Admittedly she was different, yes, but then I like different.”

“What stood out for you about her?”

“Her zest for life,” he says. “She just had this hunger to live, to overcome everything. I liked that.”

“What did your friends and family think?”

“They were cautiously optimistic,” he chuckles. “ They wanted to make sure that I understood what I was getting into. Some were curious to know what my angle was, it’s unfortunate that we judge what we see,”

“I honestly  can’t imagine what the damage to her face did to her self esteem,” I tell him. “ How do you make her feel beautiful?”

“Wow, that’s a great question,” he says then pauses. “ Look, I always tell her that I chose her the same way I choose my investments; the ones that are undervalued, and people tend to overlook. She was an undervalued investment and she has turned out to be the best investment I have ever made.”

“The FB post that brought you together was that nice guys finish last, do you still feel like you are a nice guy and you are finishing last?”


He laughs at that. “ I was young,  I didn’t know any better. I’m 36 years old now and I have tried both sides and decided that being nice is good. Being nice isn’t that bad after all.”

“You are an outlier.” I told him.


One day Lydia was at the doctor’s reception waiting to go in. Seated across her was a lady who kept staring at her, eventually the lady came up and sat next to her and asked her what happened and she told her. The lady was so amazed at her courage and strength to face the world after her accident. She said she was waiting to see the doctor because of these pimples she had on her back which she said were “depressing her”

“When she heard my story she she said her she was ashamed for coming to see the doctor because of pimples! She said she didn’t have problems, so she got up and left. ” Lydia says with a smile.

Something extraordinary happened when we sat at that cafe. I realised – with shame – how shortsighted I had been to narrow her into a small corridor of her face at the beginning. And how powerless her face turned out to be compared to her spirit and personality. At some point I became blinded by the scars on her face because they became buried so deep by her buoyant personality, her laughter, her cheekiness and her tonic for living.  Her scars became little less than irrelevant and invisible footnotes.

I now realise that sometimes we are unfortunate to have our faces stand in the talent of our spirits.

As she embarks on the 40’s journey – or the journey heading to her 20’s – as she puts it, I asked her what’s the most important lesson she has carried over into her 40’s from her tumultuous 30’s and she said, “I have learnt that God is a gentleman: If you let him, he will take care of you.”

Do you know anyone in their 40’s who wants to share life’s lessons with me? People who want to TALK and go DEEP ? Email me on [email protected]

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      1. WOW! “I have learnt that God is a gentleman: If you let him, he will take care of you.”I love this…..Lydia you’re such a STRONG woman…I’m inspired.

    1. Whaaaaaaaaaaaa….!!!!!!!! This is deep and riveting. Taken me across an emotional roller-coaster but I ended up smiling and happy seeing pure love and victory in adversity. I cant help but love this power couple..Andy and Lydiah..God bless you and keep you. Biko , you are blessed in your field. #Baraka bro

    2. I’m encouraged. Her spirit makes me look forward to healing my own emotional scars. There’s a God for sure.

    3. Haha , when i got here: “neurosurgeons, ophthalmologists, orthodontists, dentofacial orthopedics, otorhinolaryngologists, maxillofacial surgeons”……i was reading the names like sjfkjkfjskf, hshjhsjdh, sdhjdhidsjhds, in my and am sure you all did.

  1. this is deep…a good reminder lest we forget so many things that we take for granted…I love her courage..God bless her. with God on her side, surely, nobody can be against her

  2. “I now realise that sometimes we are unfortunate to have our faces stand in the talent our spirits.”
    This is deep.
    It has made me realise how superficial we always are as humans.Am motivated to be different .
    Such a strong woman,may God bless her soul.
    Thank you Biko for the insights.

  3. Biko as always your stories embrace humanity as it is renewing my faith that there are plenty of good people out there….enjoyed every bit of Lydia’s story

    1. In high school, at some point my concern was a big nose and big lips (helpfully pointed out by a class mate); such petulant folly we allow ourselves to engage in.

      1. I never thought anyone would marry me! Thought I wasn’t pretty enough. Now, married 3years, I realize, you don’t join a look, you join hearts together….

  4. Wow!!! “If my old face would come with this strong personality I have now then I would take it,” she tells me. “But I know my old face wouldn’t handle this new personality. So, no.” I LOVE her strength.

  5. Her positivity is up there ☝.
    She seems like someone who has life all figured out. We have those ‘depressing pimple’ moments that we often allow to rob our lives. If only we knew better. Again, it takes strength to be frank on your side to reveal that you initially had confined her to talk about her face while she had deep stuff to share right there

  6. Every day you wake up, you learn some thing that brings in a new perspective into life. Something that tells you life is not what you think it is, and above all, thank God for small mercies, every single minute. Like they say in West Africa, Lord forgive me if am ever ungrateful….

  7. Am crying as I read this…..My heart goes out for Lydia but then I want to embrace Andrew and tell him” I didn’t know that men who see beyond the face exists,thank you for staying.”

    I thank God for giving Lydia a second chance to live, a chance to find a rare breed of men and a chance to empower and encourage a young woman like me.

    May our God Lord be with you always and may you find His goodness in the land of the living.

    1. All men are rare breed. We are unfinished puzzles who can only be completed by the right and fitting piece despite how it looks.

      1. Jack ur ryt but only a man in the Potter’s hand is truly a gem.Waiting for that gentleman that is heaven sent

  8. Life shrinks and expands in proportion to one’s courage… The more afraid you are of death, the less you’ll be able to enjoy life…

  9. Incredible, moving story, such a courageous inspirational lady. And Andrew, a guy who clearly knows how to invest.

  10. I was having stomach cramps so to ease the pain I was like let me read this new post of Biko……………I still have the stomach cramps and they are just as bad but I feel good!! Thank you Biko for sharing the story and Lydia for allowing us to meet her!

  11. We just have to celebrate you Lydia. This is a story for the record books. Being resilient is made of such moments as these. She found in herself what Camus described, ” In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer” Lydia, you are a great Kenyan. Stay fabulous!

  12. From last weeks post, i swore i will never compare myself with anyone and money would no longer be a thing for me. From today’s, am not sure where to pick from but i will. You might just mold me with this 40’s post.

  13. The ‘sweet smell of freshly cut grass’ is the smell of the surviving grass blades trying to heal themselves after a mower brutally cuts off their limbs and other parts.
    Also…. Does he finish last or nah?
    Lydia Wanjiru Kiriti, is a ten year old with much wisdom. She’s beautiful. I don’t know how someone can get that strength, moving through life with ‘half a face’ and yet be able to live so hard and so joyfull, it can be felt through a phone screen. I love how she loves God, it’s hard to reach that level of faith. And I’d really like to know if her hair is actually long or if she was playing on Biko’s probably minimal knowledge of women’s hair.

      1. I remember the last day I saw you Lydia. It was Dec 9, 2002. I was leaving my family for the first time in my life. Terrified I had never been on a plane. You recognized me and asked me if I was Imelda’s little sister. You guided me to my seat, noticing that I was a little nervous, you calmed my nerves, and gave me words of encouragement. You checked on me more than you should have, and when our plane landed, you asked me to stay behind. My connecting flight was a four hour wait. Worried that I’ld be hungry you gave me a bag full of food, goodies and soft drinks. You were very kind and helpful. After reading your story I believe God truly has a purpose for you. You helped me then, and now. Your story has given me so much strength and hope, during what I thought was a difficult time in my life.
        Thank you

      2. Lydia – I remember you from Mama Ngina. You are still the beautiful Lydia we knew! You are a strong woman who has through this post shown us that we definitely value the wrong things in life. I thank God for saving your life because he surely had a greater purpose for you and you had to go through the darkness to bring the rest of us into the light… Keep shining!

      3. You were always beautiful and had a dignified personality back in the days we briefly worked together. Your hair was long long and lovely too. Good to see that your strength and personality still shine. I read till half way before I realised it was you! So happy for you Lydia and keep the faith. You are a blessing.

  14. Whoa! What a touching account.
    The depth it carries surely makes many of our personal ‘hardship’ experiences seem awfully mundane.
    Thank you Lydia, for sharing your story. Maybe we just needed that reminder, that much as we worry about what the future entails, “God is a gentleman: If you let Him, He will take care of you.”

    1. “Something extraordinary happened when we sat at that cafe. I realised – with shame – how shortsighted I had been to narrow her into a small corridor of her face at the beginning.”

      Reminds me of something I reas about Alex Tizon, the Pulitzer Prize winner whose American-Filipino family owned a slave.
      “He built an exemplary career by listening to certain types of people—forgotten people, people on the margins, people who had never before been asked for their stories. Alex’s wife, Melissa Tizon, said her husband was always impatient with small talk, because he believed that all people had within them an epic story, and he wanted to hear those epic stories—and then help tell them to the world. “Somewhere in the tangle of the subject’s burden and the subject’s desire is your story,” he liked to say.”

  15. This stood out for me in a kind of ticklish way
    “Wow, that’s a great question,” he says then pauses. “ Look, I always tell her that I chose her the same way I choose my investments; the ones that are undervalued, and people tend to overlook. She was an undervalued investment and she has turned out to be the best investment I have ever made.”
    This is so lovely 🙂

  16. Just wooow! You really are going deep this mid year month. Lesson no.2. May we always be grateful to God even in times of hardships because He is indeed a gentleman.Thank you Biko!

  17. Lydia is such an inspiration. And the power of Biko’s pen is unrivalled. Keep up the inspiration.

  18. Wow.I wish I had that courage.I was depressed I had this pimpled face from being pregnant and felt ugly.how superficial it all seems now!! after reading this I’ll appreciate the fact that my pimpled face and stretch marks gave me a a healthy child.
    I also love the fact that the men in this story and last weeks are proving to us women that there are GREAT men out there ,and that’s good to know.

  19. “God is a gentleman, if you let him he will take care of you.”
    I will forever carry that in my heart and in my mind.

    1. Your comment* This is so exhilarating, Biko. Lydia, may our Lord keep you to accomplish His purpose. Andrew, you’re an angel and may God ever be with you. God is really a gentleman, the earlier we realize and accept this, the better for us. Great read, Biko.

  20. Oh! this is deep. every cloud has a silver lining, the accident may have scarred her face but she got a strong personality from it.

  21. May God bless Lydia. This is a very touching story. A story of hope. A story of new beginnings. We always take for granted what we have. There is more to humans than the little scars we have.. Life needs to be lived.

  22. Wow! You go girl , thankyou for sharing your story..
    “God is a gentleman” I love that.

    .Such good writing Biko, felt like I was sitting right behind you guys, eavesdropping

  23. Most of the time in life we chase after the “big” things and take for granted the basics of life.This is an inspiring story of a lady who has chosen to stand tall despite the unfortunate events that almost took her down.The bogest lesson that I have learned is that GOD IS A GENTLEMAN.

  24. Having grown up with this beautiful soul, I can attest to the fact that Lydia is indeed a truly inspiring and exemplary woman. What amazes me most out of all this, is that despite this “My brain was coming out of my mouth plus I had a broken femur. Basically, I didn’t have a face”…. is that when we reminisce about our childhood she remembers everything, including names of people. I am humbled to have her as a friend. God is indeed a Gentleman.

  25. This one has me balancing tears, Lydia has such a strong personality and Biko, you painted it all out with your words. Hats off.

  26. Which of the favors of your LORD will you deny!….this is way deep, it shows what matters in life and what doesn’t .

  27. I am yet to read a piece that has literally kept me glued word after word. Lydia..you are still here because God (the Gentleman) isn’t done with you yet.
    Biko…what a piece!!

  28. The first day of my personal battle to quit smoking and I am fully inspired by this great lady. Thank you, Lydia. I will not let you down.

    1. Yes Kenyan surgeons are the unsung heros! I was in a similar situation, only mine was courtesy of young men in my village. My operations were all high risk, but they tried, succeeded and here i am, thanks to people like Dr Guthua of NH. Strange my name is also Lydiah!!!!

  29. What stands out for me in Lydia is the spirit to fight on. I have lost two friends who gave up fights that should have never been loosing battles. Beautiful ladies, young, full of vigour and enthusiasm but rendered weak and vulnerable at the edge of life. Lydia , by the grace and mercies of God, was given a second chance when she woke up. But from thereon, she hit the ground running. Embracing life and throwing positivity and passion in its wake.

    Lets take a leaf from her.

    God bless her.

    And rest in peace Sarah and Lucyanne.

  30. its good to know guys like Andrew exist, and i love her determination to move on with life…“If my old face would come with this strong personality I have now then I would take it,” she tells me. “But I know my old face wouldn’t handle this new personality. So, no.”..the courage, Gods grace is always sufficient

  31. What a story… The world is full of brave and strong people like Lydia, the doctors, her husband, etc. I am happy she has found her place in the sun.

    Thanks for writing it up.

    Good, good, covfefe

  32. “I have learnt that God is a gentleman: If you let him, he will take care of you.”

    Incredible….just incredible!!!

  33. Wow! For a moment i didn’t know what to say after reading this. I asked myself so many questions, i began thinking about so many things. I got feelings, explosion of emotions and was just like wow! God is always God. Whether we understand Him or not. Thank you Lydia for sharing your story with us. You are a very strong woman. Your Husband is definitely heaven sent. He is gem. Like it is said, beauty is beyond skin deep. This piece has reminded me to be forever grateful for the things i take for granted in life. Thanks Biko for this.

    1. Inspirational, life has its own share of challenges but when you read what other people have gone through, your give thanks to God, he is indeed a Gentleman,. Thanks Lydia and Biko.

  34. Amazing story…from a beautiful soul. Love the sense of humour & positivity plus this from Andrew.

    “I have tried both sides and decided that being nice is good. Being nice isn’t that bad after all.”

  35. God is a gentleman indeed. We take so many things for granted.Lydia reminds us to wear gratitude like a cloak. Such a strong woman

  36. I cried through this. I suspect I have seen her somewhere and yes when you hear her talk you forget the face. But I also hope that Biko while you go through people’s lives like this you will not forget to remove shoes because “they are God’s burning bush moments for your life” literally. Enjoy writing but Get what God intends for you as well is my wish for you.

  37. “Bone knackered, she leaned back on the seat and closed her eyes and soon she was fast asleep. She woke up two months later.” This is most poignant part of this story.

  38. “God is a gentleman if you let Him, He will take care of you.” Such a powerful read, amazing how people’s testimonies and experiences can change how we see life and more importantly draw us closer to God.

    I am in awe of Him

  39. just read this heading into an exam, I have realised that life is a blessing. my prayer before the exam will not be to pass but to ask God to bless me with half the wisdom of Lydia. Thank you Biko.

  40. God is indeed a gentleman. I would love to know more about Lydia and Andrew… Damn, Biko, I cried reading this. Which is awkward because my workmates are staring at me…

  41. Wow! This is deep. I like Lydia….she has quite a zest for life….and then we also use the same perfume 🙂

  42. All my life i have faced challenges , sometimes i can’t take it anymore, but its true God Is A Gentleman indeed.I Salute Lydia. Thanks Biko for always enlightening me……

  43. Ephesians 3:20 “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us”
    God is indeed a gentleman.

  44. Biko, am sure you will no longer be ashamed of your big forehead… Lydia’s story, and the way you have served it, have been a journey through despair, hope, optimism and encouragement through life’s challenges.
    Deep lessons learnt.

  45. Lydia thank you for sharing your story. You have no idea how many lives you have touched. Biko thank you for continuously using this platform to inspire us.

  46. When you think life has really really f* you, you find this kind of inspiration that gives you hope that all isnt lost. Ilove these 4Os stories.

  47. I now realise that sometimes we are unfortunate to have our faces stand in the talent of our spirits….
    Wooow.. Deep things here and Indeed, God is a gentleman!!

  48. I lost my phone today and here i was cursing God and all… because that phone “is…. (was..?) my life!”
    until i read this post and thought to myself, “what is wrong with you Crappy???”
    I think she is the bravest woman i have ever “met?”. If it were me i don’t think i would have taken it as positively as she. I mean, half of my face is gone…!!!! I would have probably killed myself…
    Thanks for sharing this Biko, God is truly a gentleman

  49. “I have learnt that God is a gentleman: If you let him, he will take care of you.” ..that was inspiring Biko, Lydia must have been strong even before the accident because not everyone would turn out out the way she did… I dont think even Harvard can crack her case..

  50. If ever you have done a good series, they pale in comparison to what you are onto with the 40’s people! I’m floored by the Positivity of your subject in each piece!The inspiration goes a notch higher with every post…

  51. Interesting you decided to start this “40’s” tab Biko. Very interesting.
    Curious if you saw it all turning this way…..

  52. What more can be said. “I have learnt that God is a gentleman: If you let him, he will take care of you.”

  53. I go ‘through’ her photos not ‘though’ . Deeply inspiring story. I could feel the light inside her through the text.

    1. Seriously?! Like, Seriously????!!!!! You read the whole thing and the one thing that stood out was an ‘r’ missing?

  54. Romans 8:35,37 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”
    God is not only a gentleman, but also loving beyond our imagination. Thank you Lydia for sharing your story.

  55. moving…. so deeply moving. Lydia is quite a LADY. Her husband a rarity. Am challenged and inspired.
    Thanks Biko for this 40’s segment.

  56. I had to stop reading to avoid crying at the office – exemplary writing to an even greater story! Makes me reflect on what is important – spirit and personality!

  57. Wow wow wow. I live this life thinking that I have everything mapped out. But destiny is a strange thing. That what I just read is reality. I’m convinced that I could pick a path. Work towards it, but destiny is a strange thing. I don’t know if I would have Lydia’s strength. Wah! I complain about some imperfections, but probably that which I think is perfect is imperfect and that which is impefect is perfect. Thanks for this piece Jackson Biko.

  58. “I have learnt that God is a gentleman: If you let him, he will take care of you.” Amen!
    Lydia is surely a strong willed woman.

  59. Totally captivating. I still feel like I was the silent listener all through the lunch date. Andrew stood out for me; goes to show marriages are made in heaven and good guys finish last only because they make the ladies finish first.

  60. God is indeed a gentleman. He opens door for us even when we don’t deserve. Keep up the spirit, Lydia!

  61. This goes beyond…brilliant. This is one of the most heartfelt and gut wrenching pieces…indeed – God is a gentleman. Thank you, Lydia!

  62. In that theater was a gaggle of medical heavies; neurosurgeons, ophthalmologists, orthodontists, dentofacial orthopedics, otorhinolaryngologists, maxillofacial surgeons and many more specialists whose names are just so long and too hard to spell correctly. We are talking our own Kenyan doctors

    you make the world a better place

    thanks Biko .this is deeeeeeeeeeeeep

  63. The past two reads have totally made re-evaluate the things i prioritized….Inspired by both Lydia and Andrew

  64. Wanted so say ‘woiye’ but she doesn’t need woiyes. With her courage and beautiful hair, she may just outlive most of you.

  65. Wow! How shallow do I feel for complaining about really nonsensical body issues in light of this. In my defense you can only face your own truth in life. Good on you Lydia and good on you Andrew for valuing the whole person and not just the superficial cover!

  66. Human beings are the only creatures who know they are going to die, yet they are the most oblivious of the same. An encounter with death will reveal to you another person, a superstar, a star you didn’t know lives in you. But then again it will show you the hand and gave of God, and how gentle God can be, indeed God is a gentleman.

    Something that still is a mystery to all of us, what does life mean? Why does life ever mean?

  67. Every time I learn about someone who’s alive and happy when they have obvious reasons not to be any of those, I knows of feel a deep guilt for all the shit I have in life and the dismal thankfulness that I’ve given for it

  68. I love that she is brave enough to share this .As someone who has gone through a similar life changing experience I relate.
    I get what she means when she says that if she had to do it all over she wouldn’t change cos such tragedies tend to bring forth such strength than you thought you could ever muster . Without being thrust into such tragedies most of us(me) would probably have continued to live a mediocre life .
    You get to meet some pretty awesome human beings as a result of such events like how she met her husband but you also get to meet some people who are pretty much scum. Men who go for you cos they think you are a low lying fruit and get angry when you do not return the affection after all how dare you say no and you are damaged goods. Jobs you are overlooked for because you are not “qualified enough”. People who use you to make themselves feel better about their lives.And don’t get me started on the stereotypes(expectations that you should be well behaved because .. well because) . And the stares . Whole books could be written about tragedies and how it changes people.How in it you find kindred spirits , rebel spirits who refuse to be broken , how some people find god and some lose religion (myself)
    This is a beautiful story and I am happy that she is still finding herself and her happiness .Kudos

  69. “I now realise that sometimes we are unfortunate to have our faces stand in the talent of our spirits” Thats profound Biko. Great read

  70. After reading this, you wonder you can have any plausible reason to pick a placard and protest about anything in life; there is so much to be grateful for, there is no time to whine.

  71. A very sobering read. When you see someone who has literally come face to face with death, and has such deep scars to show for it- yet is so full of life, you are ashamed of things that stress you.

    Thank you Lydia.

  72. Wow. This is deep. I sat reading this 30 minutes ago and I still cannot move from the same point. I feel so many things at the moment. And as for my pimples, hehe I stopped worrying about them after completing this read. God truly is a gentleman.
    There is so much we take for granted.

  73. “I now realise that sometimes we are unfortunate to have our faces stand in the talent of our spirits.”
    “I have learnt that God is a gentleman: If you let him, he will take care of you.”
    Wow! those statements are profound. Thanks Biko.

  74. oh wow ! this is such a reminder to be thankful of the small things in life that we take for granted. Indeed God is a gentleman, if you let Him , He will take care of you.

  75. Today I have read your piece in bits. I don’t know why but there is so much to this story that necessitates indeterminate ingestion. She seems unbroken from the conversations and her humor can’t be downplayed. What better example of being courageous about life? And to make the best of the worst? In my opinion she is purified gold; a reality of the phoenix myth. A case of a person that let God be the gentleman he is.

  76. Thanks Biko for another 40s piece. This one hits too close to my heart. I’m forever grateful to Dr Guthua, maxio facial surgeon NH 1994. The most humble man to ever wear that white coat. Lydias are very strong women.

  77. Wow.Wow .God is indeed a gentleman.and her strength and resilience are out of this world.happy 40’s or 20’s gal.

  78. I may not have seen her, but she must be one of the most beautiful women to grace this earth with her presence. Strong, majestic…wise. Royalty. Love it!

  79. Am still staring at this article hoping that this will sink deep and be a lesson to myself.
    No words, she is beyond a hero to me.

  80. Wow, the human spirit never ceases to amaze me.It can take so much and not give up. Thanks Biko and Lydia for this.

  81. .. this piece touched my soul, I salute you Lydia, you and your impressively beautiful spirit; may God bless you abundantly

  82. Biko, man, you are the best with your pen. This is an incredible story. You change my life every Tuesday. Lydia’s story is the image of God. I’ve seen Him through this story. Wooooow!

  83. Wow,This is all kinds of beautiful.
    God really is a gentleman.
    Oh Boy, Lydia thank you for your story and Biko thank you for this amazeballs series.

  84. Really deep piece today…
    I liked it ……alot.
    When you mentioned those medical specialists, you left out anesthesiologists though you acknowledged that you left some out…
    Anesthesiologists are crucial because they make it possible for all those surgeons to do their thing(s). I know the anesthesiologists were there because they always leave behind that dry throat you mentioned..
    Keep churning out such amazing pieces.

  85. This has immensely changed me…..I now have a different meaning of beauty…..the inner beauty is more important. Not what people see, but how you feel. Thanks Biko!

  86. My my oho my. This was a real good read. Thanks Biko for never dissapointing. Lydia reminds me of Thalia in the book by Khaled Hosseini- And the Mountains Echoed

  87. Amazing story. You capture more than just the raw narrative, but the warmth and humanity of your subjects. That’s your great gift that I’m grateful you share with us so regularly. Keep on writing and opening up our minds and hearts. We all need it. Good work, Bro.

  88. Now i understand Why i mostly finish last in Those matters
    Truly there is More to People than What Meets the EYES
    Thanks Biko Zulu And Lydia

    1. Always remember what Lydia told her husband Andrew before they met.”No,nice guys do not finish last”

  89. Inspired by Lydia and touched by Andrew ( Didn’t know such men exist). Lydia has taught us to be grateful for who we are. I won’t complain about anything!

  90. Wow,am so inspired……..Lucy God loves you.I now have no reason to complain about petty things,your story is deep.

  91. Biko wewe ni mchawi i couldn’t even move my eyes from this article.I was supposed to go and do some work ,loved every bit of it.its as if you are here telling the story man.good stuff

  92. Surerly Biko,you were not to write about the black wedges that pained her much….

    Lovely inspiring beautiful story

  93. Lydia darling. Iets Juliana your classmate this just reminds me of us in primary school I just love the narration of your ordeal. I sat with you in hospital I used to visit you before I relocated.. same ol Lydia bubbly as ever thanks for sharing your story. Damn.. we are in our 40s ooops did I say that? Noo we are in parky… miss you big

  94. Eish, even me as a nyangau I am moved by this.. Thanks for this piece and indeed God is a great gentleman.

  95. Deep and beautiful story. This teaches that beauty is not in the eyes! Beauty lies in the heart. I haven’t seen Lydia but I perceive she’s really beautiful.

  96. I love Lydia’s spirit… She’s always been so strong and her faith, nothing to compare with…
    She’s jolly and always make’s a joke about herself that makes one comfortable if you were feeling sorry for her..
    Her love for bread and quiche….oops!
    Love you gal… Your captivating laughter….
    Thanks Biko for your lovely articles…well said.

  97. Wow, I luck words to Describe our Lord God Almighty. Makes me believe more and more about our Creator, God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son and the Holy Spirit. May Jesus Christ continue living in you.

    John 14:23. Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them

  98. Wow, Biko, what a poignant piece. Very well-written and thought-provoking. I am hurt. One of those that’ll stay with you for a while. Today I was busy carrying on a pity party. Reflecting on how a friend had an easily lovable face compared to me but Lydia has shown me how life should be lived. Out loud. Bravo Lydia, bravo!

  99. Boss, this story had me glued to my seat. Keep the 40’s stories coming, lot’s of stuff to learn.

  100. This writing is so conversational and honest….So intense…so emotional.
    Although we may not have full control over every situation in life, we can take quite a lot of responsibility for our personal level of happiness.Lydia, thank you for sharing your story

  101. Wow!!

    I don’t get why I complain! Damn!

    As it is said, for everything, give thanks.

    God is indeed a gentleman.

  102. A great read….a lesson on how to come back from some of life’s devastating blows.Lydia is truly a phenomenal Woman.

  103. Such a beautiful piece! I’m in awe…9 years without my face when my life is carefully crafted such that my face is my business. I can’t fathom that, hell no. But I now realize there is more to life than just the shallowness I have sort to embrace with my all.

  104. I come here every Tuesday, read and most times, the article will have me reeling with laughter, others will make me cry, while others will have me in such deep thought, but never in all my years of coming here(and I am a veteran) have I read an article twice, wanted to print it, hang it on my wall as a constant reminder to be grateful, to let go and let God & most importantly to seek God’s purpose for me here on earth!

    Thank you Lydia, for allowing your story to be told!

  105. this is huge and quite inspiring…. the will to live regardless of a calamity. Surely every cloud has a silver lining

  106. God is indeed a gentleman! Through and through. Lydia is such a strong and lovely lady. She deserves all the happiness in the world! I sincerely pray and believe that for her. Thank you Biko for sharing this; For the 40’s series. They have been so thought provoking so brazen.. they have saved lives.. well at the very least my life..in my 20’s I feel like life just got a whole lot better..

  107. ‘I now realize that sometimes we are unfortunate to have our faces stand in the talent of our spirits. ‘

    Deep!!! Thanks Biko, this article is life changing. I feel like Lydia needs to tell her story to the world.

  108. This is too awesome…and here we are complaining of pimples and dark shades and other stupid things….great read Biko!!!

  109. Our Heart is Restless Until It Rests in You
    ~St. Augustine of Hippo

    Its sad how people always narrow our focus of how we view things, and Lydia is an example of how we should view things, How He created us
    not only is He a gentleman, listening when we call, He also loves us

  110. Note to self: It’s never that serious.
    I thank and praise God for people like Lydia
    who remind us of God’s unwavering and unconditional love. May she continue to be blessed abundantly…God surely is an awesome gentleman!

  111. Another Masterpiece. Great insight into how to face up to life’s many challenges. And yes, God is truly a Gentleman.

  112. This is too deep,it’s those stories you read and you picture very word and after reading you find yourself on your knees thanking God for all your imperfections.

  113. Thank you Lydia for sharing and for the writer Biko, for being a little bit more persistent that she agreed to share her story. Very heart warming and inspirational..
    Looking forward to more of such for those in the 40s.

  114. Oh Boy (Biko) !. What a story, what an experience. God bless you Lydia for sharing this. And may you feel all the happiness in the world with Andy , he is such a special guy.

  115. I like a good tear jerking story. But even more I like the stories of those who overcome and those who rise beyond the curve balls that life sometimes throws us. I am so proud of Lydia for getting up, getting back in the ring and for fighting the loss and for giving herself a chance to experience life a new.

  116. Got me very emotional.
    How we whine over small things instead of appreciating God’s blessings upon our lives.

  117. Great story …reminds us not to put on more emphasis on the defects that we may have but to build on our strengths like character

  118. I had the pleasure of meeting Lydia at Nairobi Hospital after going through my third surgery after a car accident. I saw her and asked the nurse who was assisting me what her story was. Unknown to me,the nurse went and told her that I was asking about her and next thing I know she was in a room that I shared with another patient telling us, and my visitors her story. The self pity and pain I was experiencing was quickly reduced to appreciation. She mentioned, if I remember correctly, that she learnt that all of her 5 or so surgeons were all believers and that was not by design, at least not human or earthly. God is indeed a gentleman. And I can attest to her humor and very beautiful hair.

  119. Oh! My God. Words cannot fully describe this. I can’t agree more with Lydia, ‘God is truly a Gentleman’

  120. I have a tumor that has been developing in my head for five years now. It developed below my temporal bone of the skull of the head. Many times I find myself completely overwhelmed by depression — fears of what will happen to me tomorrow. If I will be hospitalized and get to a point of being unable to clear hospital bill, be a beggar and rely on people’s help 100%. During such moments in my life, only the grace of God and reading stuff like these gets me going. So ye the writer of this, just know that you found audience. Keep writing!

    Thank you Lydia for I will be reading this every time that feeling gets to me.

  121. It’s easy enough to get mad at whatever ghastly thing happened to us. But however justified our feelings, it helps to realize that anger and self-pity are such a waste of good energy. I can start over, no matter what. Above all else, this story shows this! Thanking this brave lady for sharing her story.

  122. ”I now realize that sometimes we are unfortunate to have our faces stand in the talent of our spirits” deep

  123. This is an outstanding story. God bless you for telling these stories, so beautifully. I believe they touch souls.

  124. This had me in tears and also on my knees asking God for forgiveness for been so vain just moments before reading this I was on phone deciding which picture to upload and none was right because well social media…, It has made me question how strong my spirit is and whether I’d have half the strength.

  125. 40’s is such an amazing read. From Andrew to Linda. Linda is such a beautiful woman, I can feel it. May God bless her. Am sure she will be more amazing in her teens..

  126. Wow wow wow what a story!

    ‘Bone knackered, she leaned back on the seat and closed her eyes and soon she was fast asleep.

    She woke up two months later.

    She had slept on January 27th 2007 and woken up March 29th 2007.’

  127. Wow! Her spirit and resilience are truly amazing. Indeed as the saying goes, “If it doesn’t kill you it makes you stronger!”

  128. Encouraged by Lydiahs story.through it all she hasn’t lost her faith in God.

    great Piece Biko.

  129. Wow, beautiful, incredible! Thank you for sharing this inspiring, motivating, life changing experience. Stay blessed.
    Great piece Biko.

    You see the things we take foregranted, someone else is praying for! We are so blessed but our eyes are so focused on the earthy things that we take God’s favors, blessings and graces casually, like we are entitled. At times you go through difficult/sad/painful moments, hit rock bottom… But then it doesn’t mean it’s the end, or that He has forsaken you. You know it is not our job to understand what God is doing in our lives, it is our job to trust him. Because like Lydia puts it… ” God is a gentleman: If you let Him, He will take care of you.”

  130. Wow! I have had the pleasure of meeting Lydia through my sister Mumbi. She’s an awesome lady. Happy. Easy to talk with. Thanks Biko for telling her story.

  131. Waah,too deep to absorb, God bless you Lydia and Andy,your resilience in the face of adversity is amazing. You have reminded me of the great power of God and having confidence that is beyond our faces.

  132. Lydia was an amazing funny full of life collegue.. the accident i think just renewed her in an amazing way… i think she still looks as pretty..if not more.. Lydia baby is just 10 like you..;-)

  133. Best real motivational speak ever. Lydia, you are an inspiration and thanks for letting us into your world. I now have a new outlook on life. I dare you Biko to get another story that would beat this one. I’m holding my breath.

  134. Lydia aka SHURIABAG…. you are an amazing woman! You have always been… from the first day I met you… full of life, joy laughter… you always see the positive and hilarious side of every situation even those that made us want to kick trolleys in the galleys and wanna go to the airplane toilet and scream our heads off before facing an annoying passenger again! You always find goodness in everything! We thank God for the grace he has given you and your lovely husband…

    Thank you for remind us that there is more to life than just looks and appearance.. totally humbled.

    Keep smiling babe…

    Love you babe

  135. “Just how much of your face is connected to you as a woman?” This statement got me thinking…

  136. This is deep, way too deep brother. Its an inspiration, an awakening. I already love this lady and her confidence. I mean i need such a heart, and the attitude not to question life, but embrace every stone it lays on my path and step on itvas to lift my brittle and shortsighted soul rven higher.
    Lydia, you truly are an iron lady. May He continue being the gentleman He has always been to you…

  137. Lydia if you read this I hope you know howhat special you are.Biko an amazing story..I really do hope you can turn the 40 series into a book,I would buy it.

  138. This is truly amazing; Lydia, thank you for being such a blessing through your amazing strength. Truly amazing, truly inspiring…..

  139. By the way in Uganda we also start sentences the same way, and many people claim they are “almost” and “about” (yes – even in THOSE circumstances!). This story, meanwhile, is being shared with all the people who I know like to cry and laugh at a good, uplifting tale of triumph in the face of trouble, adversity and pain…

  140. Lydia thank you for your story..and I worry abt silly things…God truly is in control of every situation…
    Nothing impossible with our God.

  141. Woooowwwww. Profound!

    I am so keen on what was going on in her mind while she was out for two months, for in that space is where God shows himself mighty.

    Truly God is a gentleman, if you let him….he will take care of you!

  142. God is indeed a gentleman, I recall my dad mentioning this very statement as I grew up.Iam absolutely in awe of Lydia’s courage and the reminder that all things work together for good for all those who love and trust the Lord.All the very best to her and Andrew ❤️

  143. I have a near perfect face except for a few moles and zits that are genetic n the occasional pimple that I always complain about, am now imagining all that gone in an instant, she is an incredibly strong woman, with an amazing strength, and I love how she also looks at the positive side after everything she has been through, its about appreciating everything,big or small,, and her husband is truly God sent, true love right there.. God is indeed a gentleman..

  144. I have read not once but three times. I have asked myself so many questions. I have questioned my courage and determination, but above all I have cried and prayed for you and I prayed for me.

    Lidya, you are my unsung hero. You’ve made me realise how kind life has been to most of us, how unappreciative we become of the little gifts we have in our lives, like just waking up and we are well.
    You have a higher purpose in life. I celebrate you and your family.
    In time I will be honoured to have dawa with you.
    In deed God is a gentleman.

  145. with no fear of contradiction i believe in fate and god has nothing to do with it when your death time has come no matter what you do you will definitely die regardless of how minor or serious the accident might be…like in this case does it mean that Lydia’s company driver’s god was not a gentleman simply because he died? certainly no.

  146. Really Lydia is VERY STRONG, her courage enCOURAGEs me.Like wrapping me in her own courage. I just admire her.

  147. I just want to meet her! She sounds like such a positive vibe of energy. Just what the world needs. Andrew is lucky!

  148. Thank you Biko.. And thank you Lydia for agreeing to share your story – which has turned out to be a great encouragement. Lydia – you’re an ANGEL!

  149. OMG!! … such an inspiring story … like for real 🙂 only in Kenya! but seriously Biko, I have read your pieces week by week … you have a gift of/for story-telling – simple, straightforward and riveting. You should compile a ‘short stories’ book. Looking forward to your next story.

  150. This 40s trail is a roller coaster. When you think you have covered all adrenaline points, another sharp bend appears edging your blood to attempt a marathon.

    Good job S.B.

  151. Wewe Boss,

    That part where you take the photo album from her should be “…going through”.. and not “going though’.. (At the start of that paragraph.)

  152. Amazing. Indeed God is a gentleman . Going through something similar. Difference is I’m just 28 not 40
    Facing death changes you.
    And I’m trusting God for total restoration

    1. Lydia you are an inspiration…..No matter what circumstances life throws at you with God you can overcome. I also went through a nearly similar experience but I thank God for what He has done in my life.

  153. Hey Biko, just being doing some reading on resilience and grit. My ohh my, Lydia Mumbi just blew me away. Resilient people like Lydia coolly accept the harsh realities, find meaning of life in terrible times and have an uncanny ability to improvise, making do with whatever is at had to build a better future. Loved that she also has a strong relationship with God.

    Cheers for sharing her story and just reminding us that even with the worst experiences, you can bounce back.

  154. Humbling and inspiring at the same time. It might be Thursday(so bogged down with work), but am glad I passed by your blog Biko.
    This 40’s series is soooo… on point can’t wait to catch the next episode.
    A` bientôt.

  155. Woow i just love her already even though have never met her, readying this story made me see myself in her being physically challenged i understand the ordeal of people starring at you and all the courage you have to gather to face the world everyday and put a smile and be happy

  156. All I can say to Lydia is “shalom” and may
    God give her more grace and strength she is a brave-heart ….

  157. I’ve just shared the story on facebook, I was about to comment on the story, to encourage readers, but realised I did’t have the right words to use. Anyway, thanks Biko for this piece, very inspiring.

  158. The 40’s series by Biko,might just be the turning point for all age groups. Lydia is a classical case of God being the only one who knows our beginning and end. He is indeed a Gentleman. I salute you Andrew! So inspiring…..

  159. But here is the thing though.And thats the thing i never seem to understand. A lot of people are usually like when you wake up in the morning and you are okay and sijui you have all you limbs and sijui no pimples broke out on your face at night just get on your knees and thank God. So now those who actually woke up and found the doctor sawed off half their face or cut off three of their limbs what they got to be thankful for ? Or are they put on these earth to remind others how they have so much to be grateful for ? Some of these things we say while well intentioned sometimes come off as a bit insensitive. I used to go to church and they would say thank god you woke up with all your limbs and what not someone today did not wake up with all their limbs so be grateful you did . And I would just be there like eh wait that’s me

    1. My point got lost in transitory.The point I was making is you can be grateful for whatever you have for the sake of itself without necessarily denigrating other peoples experiences.Like just be grateful you are alive because life is beautiful not necessarily because someone else did not wake up today.Be grateful you are fat because that means you have excess to eat not because someone else somewhere is starving

  160. I have read this again and again……..the approach to writing creates a sanctum within for healing and reflection. Be blessed.

  161. Thanks Biko for the top 40 series, indeed iron sharpens iron. Lydia thanks for your courage and strengh to share your story. Am inspired..

  162. “During this post accident period, what is the one thing that happened to you that made you feel warm inside?”

    “I met my husband.” She smiles.

    These 2 lines immediately made me cry for the rest of the post. My spirit has been heavy these past few days, but the thought that God is a gentleman that can take care of me, and that there IS genuine love in this world, has made my heart smile today.
    Lydia is truly a star!

  163. Thanks Lydia for sharing your story. It has enriched my heart to look at life from another angle. Yours life was a rebirth only GOD could give. Stay blessed always.

  164. This is so surreal!! I can almost visualize her face but then her personality overshadows it and all I can picture is this beautiful bubbly woman. Thanks for this amazing piece Biko.. and more thanks to her for allowing you to share it with us. I really needed a reminder on WHO GOD IS, no more worring about trivial things because God is truly bigger than anything. Just WOW!!

  165. This is one of the deepest stories I’ve ever read Thanks you Biko and thanks to Lydia for sharing it with you.

  166. Gentlemen finish last.

    No they don’t.

    Hahahaha and that is how it all started.

    What A Man!!! What A Woman!!! And ALL Kenyan!!

  167. I have this scar on my forehead that I always conceal with a fringe or do braids to cover it.after reading this I’m holding my hair in a push back and doing lines this week,like that girl who was worried about pimples just realised this is not a big deal!

    God is indeed a gentleman…. Great read Biko!

  168. Truly inspiring. Your narration is so vivid i totally feel like i was the third party in the interview…

  169. Deep. Touching. Challenging. Inspiring.

    Kudos Biko for being the bridge that connects mortals to such beauty in life.

    Kudos to Lydia for having the courage. For bearing the deep strength of your spirit for all to see. And touch. And feel. So that some on the precipice may return to life. So that some walking dead may stir to life.So that others may live.

  170. so inspiring….God is indeed a strong gentleman.There is more in life than just physical appearance.

  171. so encouraging ……i love her already I will overcome my scars coz of her strength and desire to push on…..truly God is a gentleman

  172. Biko, this is my story exactly!!! I need a favour, connect me to Lydia. I would love to draw some Strength from her. I have lived in the new me for 5 years and trust me its not easy.

  173. Biko,I thought this whole 40s thing was your way of dealing with mid life crisis but whatever your reasons for writing these stories,am glad you made that decision.
    Awesome awesome read. I needed the inspiration. Thank you.

  174. Biko, I have enjoyed your couple of stories about 40’s life. I am embracing the 40’s like a ninja…… nothing now matters to me more than my immediate and nuclear families. it feels sooo different to my 20’s and 30’s where I was consumed by the need to please and be liked by others – mostly so-called friends who I realised would let me down time and time again. People can be so fickle and most friends turn out to be fair weather companions who will suddenly be unavailable during difficult moments in your life but during good times they will be out in numbers to ‘help’ you in celebratory events and times of wealth and heartiness. They will be professing their friendship and commitment as long as you feed and water them and keep them inebriated in the drug of their choice, more often than not, this being alcohol.
    Looking back to earlier decades, the 40’s is a place where you arrive feeling tremulous and apprehensive and really beginning to understand your mortality. Most 20 yr olds feel immortal and untouchable. There’s always the thought that someone or something will save you from your own devices and misadventures, be it parents, relatives, doctors, witchcraft or whatever.
    I lived through a haze of hope and promise in my 20’s, believing that my upbringing, education, family, friends and a myriad of other safety nets would somehow carry me through life. My 30’s were mostly spent in realisation that the previous decades thoughts were merely daydreams. My partner cheated and left in my late 20’s, my education fell through as outdated and most of my friends took sides with said ex-partner and deserted camp. My ‘in-a-relationship buddies also suddenly became very busy probably in a protective mode from the suddenly single friend who may at a whim steal their husband/partner/boyfriend away in a large bespoke handbag designed for just such a purpose.
    I have weathered the storm and come out the other side all shiny and happy and renewed.
    40’s, a decade where less f*cks are given and nonsense not condoned. Chilling out, living for yourself and only concerned about nearest and dearest. Mortality acknowledged and reality recognised.
    Lydia, I salute you and Andrew for soldiering on amidst a world where people are getting increasingly shallow and looks are valued above integrity, love, sensibility, decency and plain old good-heartedness (if that is not a word, it should be)!. Ang’owa??

  175. I read this post smiling all through because that is just how Lydia is. She is the most positive, energetic and sarcastic colleague that I know and does not take life seriously. She takes each day as a gift and not as a challenge. Her story is never new but ever amazing because it shows the power of God and the strength of this lovely woman. God bless for sharing this with others.
    Working with her is awesome and fun – Kanono (she gave me this name:) )

  176. God is indeed a gentleman. He wipes away everyones tears and particularly me. I have come from far and wherever I am, God knows. Thanks Bikozulu for this nice piece of article.

  177. This story has spoken to me in many ways. I was in a bad road accident some time back and i am no longer the same… physically, mentally & emotionally. i remember one question i was asked when one day i was lamenting in the hospital bed:”why not you?” Lydia is a beautiful soul and yes i agree with her God is indeed a gentleman if you let him. It is like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly-that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp…beautiful story Biko. Barikiwa.

  178. I typically don’t comment on stories, but this one is probably one the best you have written. It touches deeply into the human Spirit and connects to something that is sometimes difficult to explain. Some sort of transcendental moment where as human beings we glimpse eternity and beyond. I enjoyed it, I know someone very close who has been through such an event…this is the first time I have heard it spelled out so well.

  179. “When did waking up become such an occasion…” An inspiring story told with so much mastery and tact. Lydia you are an inspiration!

  180. oooh am in love with her strength, her positive outlook on life, such an inspiration, an eye opener. True a beautiful face is just that, a beautiful face… But beauty that comes from deep inside is the greatest possession of all. Lydia God continue giving u great tidings..

  181. I am awed by this incredible read.Lydia i believe u r reading this. I would love to meet u plz.my no.0721952650.Biko excellent work

  182. Wow! Am I resilient? No…thanks Lydia for reminding us to let God be the gentleman in our lives!
    Well done Biko for this article..

  183. Awesome!! What an amazing woman you are Lydia!

    Our God is indeed a gentleman.

    Andrew was behind me on the voting queue today and speaking about you with a friend of yours. The pride in his voice; wow!!!!!

    Be Still; He is God.

  184. Awesome…ave just turned 40…I thought ave gone thru so much…till I read your stories and think am nothing but a toddler….one reads these stories and your view towards life just changes within minutes….

    You are awesome. I wish one day you can make a 40s bash…..we just meet all these amazing people who share their stories with us….Caroline, The knife….waaaaah am speechless

    Stay blessed.

  185. Wow, just wow. This is truly inspirational. I will complain a lot less about my shortcomings and enjoy my life a lot more. God is indeed a gentleman!

  186. Andrew….i want your kinda eyes…the kind that sees the ruby in the dust. Hats off to your person brother. and Lydia, you woman…you…..i have immense admiration for you. You lady are a heroine, you are an inspiration. you belong in the podiums…inspiring and giving hope….This God that says you must live…scars and all, with a dark sense of humour, confident, resilient…most definitely has your life mapped out. I have no doubt in my heart. I know that i know that He has you engraved in the palms of his hands. He has made you perfect in His sight. You are the perfection of His works and He looks at you and smiles….and He says, my beautiful child……This God of Heaven, with an equally dark sense of humour is amazing and omnipotent and loving and yes, gentle and He…… is not done with you. Watch Him.( Then report back to me…lol. I was preaching to myself as i pecked on this keyboardl. No seriously…this is inspired word….and its Nov. 2018).

  187. This is the second time I am reading this story. It really touches me. Lydia is something else. I have total respect for Andrew for not judging a book by it’s cover. I salute you sir!

  188. Wow Lydia,God is indeed a gentleman…you are a beautiful soul..God bless you and your husband for being different in a gentle way.