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'Hold on to what is good, even if it's a handful of earth. Hold on to what you believe, even if it's a tree that stands by itself. Hold on to what you must do, even if it's a long way from here. Hold on to your faith, even if it's easier to let go. Hold on to God's hand.''

Friday, December 30, 2016

Goodbye 2016 - Not Without Some Appreciation

Dear 2016,

Wow, it’s just a few hours before we bid you goodbye and as a tradition I have to appreciate you.

Let’s just say you have been really fair.  I really don’t want to complain too much about you. You took a good friend in the beginning of the year. However. In you I got some of the best memories to keep for a life time! From the many coffee dates with loved ones, to Mt. Kenya challenge to the MM walk…to grandma’s Birthday, to awesome road trips with friends…! Above all I am glad I touched a few lives, traveled, loved, laughed, made new friends, lost, experienced Gods faithfulness and above all got lots of good memories which are more than the bad one.

I would indeed be a liar if I said you didn’t slap me on my face with a few surprises. Manze especially the last quarter of the year. Let’s say I was not ready to spoil my year. So yes I paved way for myself in the midst of the many arrows and here we are. I am sure you too underestimated me too. We both can laugh about it now coz yes I made it and thus far it’s God.

Cheerio 2016.

Kind Regards

Wa Muthuka 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Controversial Bill - Sexual Consent Age

Dear FIDA,

Greeting from the Village Girl!

Straight to the point! I am extremely disappointed with you! This is what I ran into on 27th December 2016 from the Star.

The Federal of Women lawyers has defended the controversial bill that aims to lower the age of sexual consent from 18 to 16 citing that it is meant to protect teenage boys.

Just before you think I do not understand where you come from, I got it very clear! Very clear and to say the least I am equally concerned about the teenagers whose lives are wasted in the prisons. However I do not understand why you had to support the reduction of the Sexual consent age!!!  It bothers me a lot. As a young girl, I was not ready for sex at 18 years old; forget the age of 16 years. My body was changing rapidly, my hormones overpowering me, teenage hood was not easy for me! I did not know who I was and what was good for me. I had all these men and boys interested in me! It was fun…But I just needed the attention and the truth be told, I was still not ready for sex and yes I never wanted to get involved. Then I was 18 years, they told me they loved me to the moon and back and I lost myself to this illusion. But wait …..No….. They did not love me, they just lusted after me .They knew I did not know what I wanted then!  I refer to your below comment from the Star:

“Josephine Mongare, FIDA national chair, told the Star that the bill aims at protecting young teenagers who have suffered long sentences of 15 years and above for sexual offences that involve girls of their peers. “If you do an audit now in our prisons you will find young boys of 20 and 21 years serving jail terms over sexual offenses involving their peers and their life is ruined, this bill is meant to save teenage boys who the law leans on them alone when it comes to sexual offenses,” Mongare said. She further pointed out that the law as at now provides that sexual offenders be listed on a permanent register, a situation she says has ruined many teenagers’ lives. “Once you are profiled on the sexual offenders register, then you are unlucky,” she said.

Did you really think how I will be exposed to more challenges as soon as I get to Form 3? Did you think how possibly my friends and I will focus on other “issues” now that we shall be of age to have sex and forget our books? Did you think of my final year in Secondary School and how it can get affected? How about my grades? Why on earth would you expose me while someone protected you at my age? Okay maybe all this is not very touching to you! Let’s try this …

Are you a parent?  Do you have a teenager in your house like me? Did you think about the early pregnancies at form 3? Oh, for your information that will mean a minimum of 3 years out of school for me while my peers will have proceeded to college?  What about the STDs I am likely to encounter? Do you think I even have the confidence to walk to a health facility for medical attention? Why doesn’t this make any sense to you?  I could go on and on….

Oh wait, I understand you are concerned about the “sentence period” for the teenage boys! Great! That makes the two of us. We needs laws that protect all equally. So why not focus on the current punishment to the teenage boys in prison? They too should not be allowed to have sex before that are ready either. It will equally affect their future.  

So what am I asking you to do? Do whatever it takes to protect us!  Talk to the Law makers, let them make more laws if need be, addendum's if needed …. Let them go back to the drawing board and just protect us! 

It should never escape your mind as you make the laws that I am still a child until I am 18 years. My parents and “I” prefer it that way!


The Village Girl {Ndunge Wa Muthuka )

Founder – Young Jewels Foundation

Sunday, September 4, 2016

JAMES QUEST R. NZUKI -The Reminiscence

The Reminiscence
August 2013, I heard about James Quest…! A few days later I received his first email   quest@james-quest.com” and yes I confirmed who I was about to meet.  “A white guy in skinny jeans and high level self confidence”. At lease I was not wrong on the self confidence.
James Quest, Photographer + Filmmaker <quest@james-quest.com>

Hey Dinah
Thanks for the invite, my apologies for the delay in replying. It would be an honor to join you for your pitch. Count me in.
Also, this might be of interest to you: check out a book called PITCH ANYTHING by Oren Klauff. Amazing guy this, with immense World experience and proven ideology on pitching. You might find it useful. Am working out some logistics as regards DareToFearLess and I shall be coming back to you asap to follow up on your willingness to participate. It’s great to have you as a part of this.
Thanks again for the invite, God bless you.

And yes …he was there for my Spark * Accelerator pitching event. I barely knew him at this point. He was pleased with our work at Young Jewel and immediately joined our school mentorship visits the same year. Within a year you would think we had known him for years... “Chic you are doing a great Job with the kids” He always reminded me.

Quest was many things, from being very silly, stubborn, to a great guy …. But above all he was a supportive friend, full of life and a big heart for humanity. He then shared the ‘Dare To Be Fearless’ concept; his intention to share African stories; normal people doing small things with passions and great hearts. So he came with his expensive cameras to capture the story behind Young Jewels Mentorship Program. We bonded over the few years.  He was a great guy, we shared coffee and endless talks about everything… yes everything. Beyond the Mr. Fix it all, Quest was very human, he had his lows too and unlike you would imagine, he talked about them too… but occasionally! Quest was special, to some extend I felt like he was a public possession*. He was there for everyone and anyone! On my first bike ride with him along Thika road, he got out of his way to assist a lady driver whose car had been hit by a bus along Thika Road. The most interesting part was that it took us more than 3 hours to sort the lady and he was extremely patient. We only left there after the lady was through with the Police. As we left the police station he asked if I had picked the lady’s number which I had! “Kindly follow up on her tomorrow, I don’t want her to think I am hitting* on her” He said….and yeah mission accomplished! On a separate day, on our way from Machakos school visit, Quest jumped out of the car, we all thought he was going to get something. But No! He jumped out to sort traffic at a junction in Machakos town. We had to pull over the road to wait for him to sort the traffic. And yes he only joined us after the traffic was flowing. That was Quest for you! Our own *Transporter*! Do good, walked away!

Now Quest, on that fateful day I was so sure you had this entire prank* planned out. I knew you were capable of doing it. So I did not mourn on that Friday because I knew it was all a big bad joke! I had already planned how hard I would be on you for pulling such a bad one on everybody!  But the Saturday morning was very different. I talked to Riverstone, he was very broken…He confirmed my greatest fear!  It dawned to me you will never hit my doorbell again ever! The pain was too much; I wouldn’t say it’s easier.. at times I really miss you. It never passed a week or two without SLYD and I talking about you. Actually we got lots of things to share with you! You made many friends at Young Jewels, we miss you a lot Quest, and the gap is highly felt. Every day we celebrate your life. You should know, SLYD has become such a good photographer I really hope you see his work from there! You are always in our hearts forever!

In his sleep, Quest has taught me to live life to my fullest, to drop anything that does not brings joy, to appreciate friends more, to be 100% there for others. To know life is a gift and that service to others is eternal! To dare and be the best I can be! Meanwhile I am doing my best at it!
James Quest - Dare- Fear-less 

Written By: Dinah Muthuka
Young Jewels Foundation
P.O BOX 47754 00100. Nairobi - KENYA
http://www.youngjewels.org,Facebook:Young Jewels Foundation, Twitter: @jewelfoundation

Monday, April 11, 2016

Friendship is Valueless

Do not get offended just because it rained in the morning and you did not have a car to take your to work. Rather appreciate the fact that the weather was not 40c . It could have been worse. Now this is just as it is . The same sea that can be breath taking today can still turn out to be a tsunami tomorrow. That's just the way things are. The same friend that was happy for you yesterday could turn out to be your worst nightmare at some point.

My point ; just smile despite all. Look at the positive side of events. Look for a different boat to get to the other side. Do not allow things that are beyond your control to hold you hostage! Take that leap of faith and set yourself free. And while on the other side mind your own tiiiiii business. Life can be tough at times. Things may not turn out as we always plan and this can be sightly frustrating. All the same look at the positive side of the situation. Am not down playing some serious facts...of course it is tough when your friend today turns out to to be a stranger tomorrow. That does not mean they were never a friend. May be they were..... Maybe they were but you no longer the same, maybe they were but circumstances changed... May be they were but you became too boring for them... Just may be it was all just for a season or a lesson. Look at the positive side.

Now I have come to learn anybody can change to be anything they choose to be.Circumstances make people change...get bitter ...and finally get really hurt. Hurting people hurt others. Its not easy to cope with all the cares of this world. Circumstances out of our control cause people to change. Its a competitive world and once in a while people gauge themselves with others. Which is very wrong. They keep wondering why on earth you got all they need... It is not really easy on them...or rather... "Us"... We are just Fighting some battles...its not your fault its the fact that we are suffering from the disease of unhealthy competition. While you bank with the high end bank ... we somehow found ourselves with a bank on receivership, You are barely our age group and on your forth job while we are on our first and promotion is not forthcoming. We are on our 6th relationships in less than two years while you now walking down the aisle. We are living above our means while you always got that extra cash to take great holiday. You got solid friendships while all we got is a few colleagues who at times talk shiet* behind our backs. You are sober and content with it ... While we are always high and fake happiness behind the influence. And the list is just endless. So anytime you smiling we* are hurting.

So often we find ourselves in similar situations ; a very unfamiliar ground. Just make sure to keep a positive attitude and smile as long as it is beyond your control. Friendship is valueless just do what you have to do to keep your true friends. Any time you find the relationship strained be the first to say I am sorry and further ask what you could do to change things. A true friend however mad they are will listen to you. If they do not give you a chance that's okay too. Its beyond your control now. Just keep a smile and relax. Wish then well even when its obvious that their intentions or actions are otherwise. They are still a friend ; a friend that changed their mind and friendship is valueless!

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive,and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born."

Wa Muthuka

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

It's not Your Fault!

It was the ‘loudest’ I had ever heard in a long time. It was freaking scary. I wanted to close my eyes but couldn’t because at the same time I wanted to witness what happens. The bus that carried my friends and I loses control and flies over a ditch. Only my friends are hurt. Myself, the driver and the rest of the passengers are not affected. The driver looks at me with an indifferent face and immediately tells me that I was to blame for the accident. He then jumps out of the bus and calls the other passengers at a distance. They starts talking is low tones. The driver comes back and tells me I was NOT to blame for anything .He then orders me out of the bus and takes me to sit on a raised rock a few meters away from the scene while the rest of the passengers are discussing in low tones.  Guilt conscious creeps in; I am scared, confused and I can no longer see my friends. One of the passengers walks towards me and asks, “why is the driver blaming you for the accident?’ I raise my head up and told her I did not understand either. She then goes back and joins the rest of the passengers. The driver walks back to me again and assures me that I was not to blame. He soon goes back to the crowd and continues with the discussion. Soon I see one of my friends who was slightly hurt and I ask her to go ask them why they blamed me for the accident. As soon as she gets there, the driver and the passengers turn against her with stones. She then runs towards me …shouting, ‘let’s run, let’s run, lets run Dinah….’ The crowd is very fast and they are almost catching up with us! I immediately wake up .., looks at my clock and its 3.36 AM. Phew! It was just a bad dream!

I soon recall that during the week I had came close to an accident and it could have influenced my dream. So I sit up and reflect on the dream and relate is to the many ‘accidents’ that happen in everyday life. The truth of the matter is that sometimes things just happen; we find ourselves involved but cannot tell how... Many times we blame ourself for things we have no control over. Whether it’s the accident or the passengers talking in low tones, or other factors in life.

Once a mishap happens in our life, we tend to feel so crippled. Our emotions are drained, relationships strained, finances depleted.  That’s normal. Its very obvious you almost want to blame yourself for what you did or did not do. Do not do that .It’s okay to cry, mourn or feel sorry about the accident. Do not be ashamed of the tears, even the strongest person needs someone every often to take their hand and assure them that everything will be okay.  All the same we cannot stop living because an accident happened; No. we have to move on and yes I understand sometimes it’s very hard to move on, but once you do, you will realize it was the best decision you ever made. When mishaps happen in life God will send friends who will run with you during that time. These friends are not always seen just like the starts; however they are more visible at night when you need them most.

So what to do after an accident, you ask? Keep going, do not stop traveling ever. Keep at it.... It you can not run just walk...just make sure you are on the move. Travel as much as you can, as far as you can, as long as you can. Life’s not meant to be lived in one place. But above all embrace reality that an accident happened .Sometimes you have to accept the fact that certain things may never go back to how they used to be. All the same No winter lasts forever, no spring skips it turn; nobody can go back and begin a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. ‘It’s never too late to jump into a new bus in life. 

Love unconditionally, forgive easily. If you are the driver, a co-driver or a passenger in the bus, do not blame anyone for any accident in life. It was not their fault. Practice kindness, it makes you the most beautiful person in the world no matter what you look like. Be a rainbow in someone else cloud. Be nice to all including those who do not like you in the bus of life. That’s does not make you fake, it only means you are mature enough to tolerate their dislike. Sometimes life accidents make us stronger because we have to be. So be strong. You will realize most strong people in life may not have an easy past.so you are one of the strongest of this world.

Never, ever get rid of the desire to climb a tree just because you fell once. Never lose sleep over something that isn’t worth staying awake for. It’s absolutely OK to appreciate that some days are just harder than others.The truth is that It will soon be just another chapter in your success story. The best revenge in life’s accidents is the success in overcoming obstacles

It’s now 5: 24 am and I have to go back to bed.

By Dinah Muthuka

Monday, March 30, 2015

Rules to the Simple Good Life!

Yes it actually exists. What is it? It’s that kind of life that you have more up than down moments. The kind of life you find joy, peace of heart and happiness just following you for no reason. Now am sure you are just about to say it easier said than done. Not that I don’t know. But I know how possible it is to simplify your life. People are always looking for this kind of life in all manners of things. What they forget is that this kind of life is not found in anything, it is actually created from nothing. As simple as that. However simple it is, we find very wealthy and elite members of our community lacking this essential. I have found 5 simple rules that lead to a simple good life as narrated below:

1.      Love God.
Only fools say there is no God! The good book has everything we need in this life. Ensure you pray and thank God for everything in your life. Whether you got it all together or not. Just thank God that you got the opportunity to breathe; it is the only precious gift you don’t get to pay for. It feels good to be always inspired by the Maker of the universe who gives a hope and a future. This is my number one priority in life even during the many times my priorities get messed up yes it is! Love God you are guaranteed a reciprocate for sure. He loved you before you loved Him!

2.      Give yourself a value.
Love yourself and be content with what you have and who you are! People who enjoy their simple life treat themselves as kings and they know their value. They take themselves out, buy that nice original designer perfume for self and have a hobby or two. Please just get a few activities/sports that can get you go wild. It’s very important. Learn to enjoy your own company every now and then. Give yourself the permission to walk from the crowd and listen to your inner self every once in a while. Live within your means, by the way we shall not care, so don’t try to impress us. This is a mean world. It will hurt you more. Now please give us a break on those loan attached depreciating assets, and you know what I am talking about, huh? A self value is not what you have but who you are! Get it right and you will not regret.

3.      Guard those who care about you with all your heart.
Treat your friends and family with all the care and genuine concern. Please learn that all the people in your life are never an accident. It was the define will of God. Do not forget that they may not be permanent there either. Everything for a season! Learn to listen to the small still voice when it comes to people. If someone walks out of your life, do not be quick to chase after them. This will not make them less important, trust me if they want to be in your life the small still voice will do the magic. In a blink of an eye everything could change so make the most with those who mean the most.

4.      Cut drama in your life.
If you ever find yourself in the wrong ‘story line’ buddy please leave peacefully.  Do not stick when all you get is drama after drama. Once in a while call for a meeting with self and cut the unnecessary from your life. Most importantly you should learn to be okay with that and never be apologetic for doing what is really good for you dear.  Be patient with others just like others are patient with you. Give plenty of second chances but never forget you aren’t no saint so set Limits too. Imagine life is so simple with less drama in your life! Just close your eyes and picture a baby smiling! …it is that simple. Smile your way off all drama.

5.      Identify your purpose in this life.
Why on earth are you still alive? I can assure you it’s not just for you to have a good job. There is some level of fulfillment you get from your purpose that you will not get from a good job and a big bank account. If you still don’t know what your purpose is start by doing something for someone who can never repay you. Make sure to live for something, it will make you feel better by far.