This Month in Music (September 2017)

Music is such a central part of my life so I’ve been thinking about how to incorporate it into my blog. From this month, I’ll be sharing a monthly playlist with you- a curation of what I’ve been listening to. Music that’s made me smile, think, cry and dance. Some old tunes, some new.

Queen Alia International Airport, Amman

Happy new month, friends! Here are the songs that took me through September. Enjoy.

Track List:

Magic (Medley)- Maleek Berry

That’s The Way It Is- Celine Dion

What Lovers Do- Maroon 5 ft. SZA

My Love is Your Love- Whitney Houston

Overnight Celebrity- Twista

Angel- Shaggy ft. Rayvon

Versace on the Floor- Bruno Mars

You Gotta Be- Des’ree

Acapella- Kelis

Seduce Me- Ali Kiba

Faithful- Me’Shell Ndegeocello

Million Voice- Muthoni Drummer Queen

 

T

© Tessy Maritim

Summer Seventeen Debrief (Audio Post)

captured by my babes, Vimbai

Introducing my monthly ‘Debrief’ in which I subject you to a little ramble about how my month went. Basically, new format to my previous ‘Thank You’ posts!

I hope you enjoy it! Press play, below:

References made:

T

© Tessy Maritim

Working Through

When work is difficult, it’s natural to feel like you want to stop. Difficult work requires the best of you and it’s not always effortless.

If you find yourself in a difficult space, struggling to push through and deliver what you need to do, it’s perfectly fine to pause. A pause doesn’t mean you’re quitting. A pause means you’re giving yourself the room to feel inspired again; the room for an influx of new energy to recharge you.

When it’s difficult, work through it, engage and confront the tough issues. There are things you won’t be able to run away from- because any (good) work will require you to reach far and wide and pull your best self in to action. I’ve found it useful to have quiet moments to talk to myself and ask the critical questions- What’s going on here? What are you not happy with? What can you fix? What’s the next step?

If you find yourself facing something big and difficult, find a way to unpack it- divide and conquer. It works every time. For me at least, anyway.

But it’s also necessary to realise when you should walk away from something big and difficult. You don’t have to work through every situation that comes your way. Sometimes, leave it alone.

I’ve said this before here– even the things we love to do are sometimes big and difficult. I’m learning the discipline of putting my head down and just working through the difficult things that come my way. It’s scary and sometimes very overwhelming. But I try to see the discomfort and pain as a process- shedding my skin and growing into something new.

One of my favourite songs on Sampha’s album, Process, is Plastic 100°C, where he says:

It’s so hot I’ve been melting out here
I’m made out of plastic out here

You touched down in the base of my fears
And that’s when your beauty appears

The analogy of the sun (or fire?) and melting plastic is poignant. Sometimes the things that awake our fears are vessels for the growth of new and beautiful in your life. I’m learning to not be afraid of the heat, the pressure- it may be good for me.

But, as mentioned earlier, I say this with a caveat- don’t burn out. Step back when you need to. Your life, your health and your happiness are far more important.

I’d also like to always remember that even the work I love to do will be difficult, stressful and exhausting. That doesn’t take away from the fact that the work is still worth it.” | Alliance Francaise, Nairobi

I hope you find your rhythm again and may things come together for you!

T

© Tessy Maritim

This Month in Music (August 2017)

Music is such a central part of my life so I’ve been thinking about how to incorporate it into my blog. From this month, I’ll be sharing a monthly playlist with you- a curation of what I’ve been listening to. Music that’s made me smile, think, cry and dance. Some old tunes, some new.

Have a listen, let me know what you think.

 Track List: 

Too Fast- Sonder

Holy- Jamila Woods

Got Til it’s Gone- Janet Jackson

Teenage Love Affair- Alicia Keys

Lovestar- Common

Remember the Rain- Kadhja Bonet

Rendezvous- Craig David

Rivals- Usher ft. Future

Papa Lolo- Mose Fan Fan

This Kind Love- Patoranking ft. Wizkid

Rara- Tekno

 

Enjoy!

T

© Tessy Maritim

Facing A New Direction

 

For a time when I refused to look elsewhere.

 

My eyes were fixed. Fixated. Captured. I refused to look elsewhere.

It was gone, but I refused to look elsewhere. As if my gaze would make it reappear.

Your gaze will not make it reappear.

Your eyes will hurt. Your soul will hurt.

Look away. Or close your eyes, at the very least.

 

It’s gone, but you are here.

Listen- there’s nothing good for you there anymore. Look away.

Take your gaze elsewhere. Your eyes are not captives. Set them free, baby.

A new direction. A new bearing.

We’re looking for more. We’re looking for different. We’re looking for ourselves, again.

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43:19) | Eldoret, Kenya

 

Your eyes will stop searching. Your eyes will stop seeing the same thing in a different place.

It won’t follow you forever.

A new direction. A new bearing.

 

T

© Tessy Maritim

#faves: Instagram Feeds

It’s always interesting to see how people interpret the world around them through photos. Visual stories inspire and challenge the lens through which I see life. Most of the content on my Instagram feed is: architecture, design, fashion, food and travel.

It’s been a few months since my last #faves post, so I thought I’d share the content creators/platforms I love on Instagram.

ARCHITECTURE

@dezeen

@etna_11

DESIGN

@propercorn

@a.a.k.s

FASHION

@trevor_stuurman

Meet the Browns. 📸: @bobthestylist

A post shared by Trevor (@trevor_stuurman) on

@lulamawolf

Imbokodo ✊🏾. #Gmg17

A post shared by Lulama (@lulamawolf) on

FOOD

@shivesh17

@wrightkitchen

TRAVEL 

@asiyami_gold

Never put a price on experiences that enrich your soul. #tbt

A post shared by Asiyami Gold 🇳🇬 (@asiyami_gold) on

@lafrohemien

|The Wait|

A post shared by Sarah Waiswa (@lafrohemien) on

Hope you enjoyed this list! As always, would love to hear some of your recommendations!

T

© Tessy Maritim

In Case You Missed Me

Friends,

It’s been a while.

…so, I just wanted to say:

In case you’ve missed me- I am well. Just up and down, left and right- all over the place really.

Working, mostly.

My friends say I’ve lost a lot of weight! I don’t see it. But then again, we’re not always privy to the change that happens to us. Sometimes the people around notice before you do.

A time like this last year, things were really bad for me. At least, it felt that way.

A crisis.

My research proposal was not holding together like I hoped it would. Actually, things in general, were not holding together like I hoped they would.

Nothing I tried was working. I was drawing blood from a stone. Looking outside from the library to the Meadows, everything seemed far away- and yet the end was nigh.

I was trying to be calm but I was looking for help from everyone I came across. Hoping they would tell me something to soothe things because I truly felt lost.

I remember the feeling so vividly and often walk through it like it was yesterday. It was tough!

I’m telling you this so that in case you’re going through the same you know that you can make it through. As I tell you, I’m also reminding myself, for future reference- you can swim, when it feels like you’re drowning. Take it a day at a time. Don’t rush yourself.

2016 started off really well. And then crashed somewhere in the middle. The end was restorative, refreshing- desperately needed.

I’m hoping this year will end with a clean break. I don’t think I’m quite there yet. But seeing how far I’ve come since? Eish! I’ll make it through. At my own pace.

This life is full of roughness. But roughness comes with so many beautiful things that I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

 

For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay” (Habakkuk 2:3) | Nairobi, Kenya

So yes, that’s it. Just wanted to let you know, in case you missed me.

T

© Tessy Maritim

 

p.s. I have an event coming up on Saturday 29th July, please come through! Details here:

All the Mentors Attending Social Changemakers #MatchMentor | The Arena Kenya

T x Free Mind Sessions

As mentioned in my previous post, I had the pleasure of being a panelist for the Biashara edition of Free Mind Sessions. Free Mind Sessions is “a community that comes together once a month to chat about emerging issues as Creatives and Thinkers alike. Free Mind Sessions stands for something unique and powerful – being able to generate solutions together, as we grow each other.

photo by Kreative Vault

They host the event every month at The Yard which is inside the compound that hosts The Alchemist and several food trucks. It’s fitting that they host it there because the vibe and audience sync wonderfully- it’s chilled, expressive and vibrant. The team do a fantastic job with the event set-up.

 

photo by Kreative Vault

I was on the panel alongside some great people:

  • Charlene Migwe, Managing Partner at Considr, an innovative research and Monitoring and Evaluation firm that works with non-profit organisations, donors, corporates and government departments providing specialized services
  • Dean Okonji, Co-Founder and Business Development Director of Magiq Lens Kenya, a collaborative photography agency
  • DJ Andre, a deejay
  • Kevo Abbra, a fashion stylist, prop master, set designer and location & talent scout
  • Muthuri Kinyamu, Chief Evangelist at Metta and Co-Founder at Turn-Up Travel
  • Patricia Kihoro, Singer, Actress, Radio Presenter, Improv Comedian and Sporadic Blogger

We shared so much but here are some of my key takeaways:

  1. Don’t be Afraid of Time– Sometimes we are scared of the time it takes us to achieve. Time teaches us so much- to be patient, to be relentless, to be strong. There are important things we find when we allow time to take its natural course- so don’t rush yourself- relax and do your best
  2. Trust your Dopeness– Believe in yourself, believe in your work
  3. You Learn by Doing– The only way to learn the career that’s right for you, the type of food you like best, the kind of partner that suits you, is by doing- and that can be frustrating. But, by doing, you learn so much about yourself and open yourself up to the best opportunities
  4. Sometimes You Need to Put People in their Place– When you’re young, and particularly as a woman, some people feel that they can push you around and disrespect your time and work. Although I understand that it’s important to have ‘thick skin’, you can’t take everyone’s shit. Sometimes, you have to assert yourself and call people out. This can work out great and set a boundary for a future working relationship or it can put you at a loss. It’s up to you to assess what’s most important to you in the particular context
  5. Ask for Help When You Need It– Recognise when you need help and open yourself up to it. You can learn from other people’s involvement in your work and sometimes the best work happens through collaborative effort

 

photo by Kreative Vault

It was a wonderful experience- much gratitude to the Free Mind Sessions team for inviting me.

T

© Tessy Maritim

Thank You, May ’17

Life moves quickly. So swiftly, that it’s easy to miss the things, people and events that make life worthwhile. I’ve decided to create a new section of my blog, to share, appreciate and reflect on each month.

I’m grateful for:

  • A Trip– After a super busy April, I was delighted to have the opportunity to travel to Geneva for work. I’ve been wanting to go to Geneva for the longest time and feel so blessed to have had the chance to visit this early in my career. God continues to be so good to me!

 

  • A Lagos Babe– I met Yagazie Emezi! If you read my #faves: African YouTuber‘s post, you’ll remember me mentioning my love and admiration for her. She was in Nairobi for a series of event’s with Everyday Africa and I got the chance to meet her after a panel discussion she was part of. Yagazie is so lovely and sweet! And yes, her hair is just as wonderful in person.

 

  • An InterviewI was invited to Citizen TV’s Power Breakfast where I shared The Arena story, how I got in to student politics and why I’m so enthusiastic about our generation. Watch the interview here.

 

  • A Big Conservation Lie– Everything I knew and understood about conservation was picked apart and turned upside down after I attended a lecture by Mbaria wa Mbaria and Mordecai Ogada based on their book ‘The Big Conservation Lie‘. They questioned the hegemony of a conservation model that undermines the rights of local communities and cultures. They asked, “Have you ever seen a black man on Animal Planet?“, demonstrating that black people are largely absent from conservation discourse. I’d encourage you to get the book but you can start with this for context.

 

  • Free Mind Sessions– Thank you to Free Mind Sessions for inviting me to be a panelist at their ‘Biashara edition’. I got to share alongside some really cool people who I learnt so much from. I’ll do a feature post soon on some key takeaways from the event.

 

The main thing is the you beneath the clothes and skin- the ability to do, the will to conquer, the determination to understand and know this great, wonderful, curious world. Don’t shrink from new experiences and custom. Take the cold bath bravely. Enter into the spirit of your big bed-room. Enjoy what is and not pine for what is not. Read some good, heavy, serious books just for discipline: Take yourself in hand and master yourself. Make yourself do unpleasant things, so as to gain the upper hand of your soul” (Web du Bois in a letter to his daughter) | Geneva, Switzerland

Thank you May, you’ve been good to me! 

T

© Tessy Maritim

At Your Own Pace, Babes

We’re on our way to church. My mom is driving and we’re about to cross Waiyaki Way. She’s concentrating because it’s a busy highway. There are people behind us hooting- she’s moving too slow and they want her to cross quickly. My mom looks across the car to me and says;

“Mummy, when you start driving, don’t let anyone rush you. Take your time.”

She looks back at the highway. Someone behind us is still hooting.

My mom is right. Take your time.

We live life with a tremendous sense of urgency. Like everything will be taken away from us if we slow down. What are you running to? What are you running away from?

My mom says that it’s important to slow down and take your time when making decisions. Give yourself time to internalise information and familiarise yourself with context. How does this feel? What is this doing for you?

Sit with it. Meditate on it. Let it sink in.

Don’t rush yourself. Don’t let anyone rush you. If they’re threatening you, let them know that they must wait- or, they can leave.

Part of living life on your terms is knowing how to express your needs with those close to you. Often, they don’t mean harm. They just want what they want. But if it’s pressuring you, if it’s hurting you- make it clear to them. Ask them to give you time. Ask them to give you space.

Give yourself time,

to heal

to move on

to start your career

to finish school

Don’t be afraid to pause. Pause so that you can engage, dissect and understand- what is this really doing for me?! 

Haraka haraka, haina baraka” (Swahili proverb) | Geneva, Switzerland

Let no-one cheat you- this life is yours. Make what you wish out of it.

I’m learning this everyday.

T

© Tessy Maritim