1 Week to 30: This is how it all started

Greetings, dear readers,

So it’s almost my birthday, 1 week left and I’m going to share a few things about me. Why you ask? cos I can 😛

Seriously though, this is a milestone birthday for me and not just age wise, but mentally and emotionally. I don’t usually make a big deal out of it, but this year, as Churchill would say I celebrate me.  🙂

This is how it started.

The story is told, of a young woman, of 23, in her second year of marriage. Heavy with child, her labour of love. This woman, beautiful and proud, bore her load with her ancestors pride. One evening, the little one she had nurtured within was ready to see the world. I wonder what she thought at that time. Did she want to tell her child to stay in, to wait a little bit longer. Had she encountered the harshness of the world and she wanted to spare her. Or maybe the world had been kind to her so far. After all, she was practically newly wed and about to have her first child. And maybe she couldn’t wait to introduce her little one to the beauty of it.

So it was, she was basking in the glow of her wondrous journey. She was sitting in the back yard of the house set on a cliff, feeling the salty sea breeze cool her, when the first pain struck. But she, being new to this, ignored it. It was too faint. And she knew, her gift to this world would not come with such a timid call.  Several minutes later, there it was again. And this time she couldn’t ignore. She knew it was time.

Haha. Ok, maybe that’s not really how it happened.

From what I’ve been told, it was not an easy birth. I was born on Monday evening, after many hours of I’m sure , painful labour.  The first-born child of a young couple in their early 20s. My father worked in Nairobi at the time so he wasn’t there for my birth. Though I’ve been told of how  my dad was so happy when I was born he used to stare at me for hours –  true story-  until my great grandma complained. It is taboo in our culture to over compliment a new-born lest you give them the bad eye. I was born in Mombasa,  raised in Nairobi. What a clash of cultures.

They say my name Aisha was taken from my mum’s aunt but hers was the proper Swahili one Mwanaisha. I hear she was a good woman; pious, a good wife and mother. I hope I have carried her name well, and I too will be remembered kindly. My uncle, mum’s older brother remembers her the clearest. He calls me the original one. And he’s the only person I don’t correct. I prefer Aisha.

The life expectancy of a Kenyan woman is about 60, so it makes me wonder am I middle-aged already? That is a sombre thought. I’ve not even finished being young yet! But it sort of keeps stuff in perspective. When I think of how fast the first 30 years passed, it gives you an idea on just how life is short. How life is not to be wasted.

For the last couple of years I have been dreading each birthday, each addition of years. I wasn’t scared of growing older per se, it was more a matter of my age in line with my goals. I felt that I hadn’t been able to achieve what I felt I was supposed to, what I had wanted to when I was a kid. It’s in the last 2 years that I started to learn that I am exactly where I was supposed to be, exactly how it had been planned, doing exactly what I was supposed to.

So happy almost birthday to me.



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  • amondia  On April 18, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    The countdown begins 🙂

  • Twinklettues  On April 18, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    TOOOOOOOO SHORT u left me yearning for more. wish it cud continue wallahi. happy almost birthday to u my sweet sister. ❤

    • bintimswahili  On April 18, 2011 at 2:22 pm

      Aaw babes, yaani mpaka leo you commented! lol..

      Thanks hun, and I’m writing 7 posts so usijali

  • mwende  On April 18, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    happy almost birthday! so happy for you and your growth and peace. wishing you mad peace and contentment and more faith to keep you rock solid

  • ndinda  On April 18, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    “We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey.”….. all the best in this journey dear. You are walking it well. Keep walking

  • kabee  On April 18, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    This line….”It’s in the last 2 years that I started to learn that I am exactly where I was supposed to be,…” I’m happy you can say that. Mwaaaah.

  • QQ  On April 19, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Happy almost birthday. M glad u feel ur where ur meant to be 🙂 We need to stop Givin ourselves deadlines and timelines and just be.

  • kile  On May 27, 2012 at 3:12 am

    i love the article. when i was pregnant i was very drawn to the mwanaisha. Maybe i just wanted to give her a swahili name to keep intouch with my birth country,i love the name but not certain of the meaning. Can you perhaps help me in this regard,Asante sana

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