You’re not just celebrating a New Year that is coming about, you’re yearning the new decade. Every single person I know is hoping and praying for it to be better than this one that’s about to end.
I’m not on that bandwagon, though. As grateful as I am that this decade is ending, I am more grateful for everything it has taught me.
I’m about to drop some bars with my truth about this decade – this is not a post that’s going to highlight my year the way I used to write from 2010-2017 (I didn’t write one last year because I genuinely didn’t feel like it. Now that I think about it, maybe a tiny note would’ve been nice 🤷🏻♀ But meh).
2010-2019 what a roller-coaster! My highlights from each year seem a little different now compared to the big stories I’ve linked as the year below. Guess as you get older, your perspectives change.
I was 21 in January of 2010 when I got back on radio, and I had no idea my life was about to change. Hosting Saturday Breakfast was one of my favourite shows on Sound Asia FM (SA). It was a spin off from my show on the same station in 2002 – Razz-Matazz Kids Club Show. On Saturday Breakfast, I used to go all out with the entertainment. Stand Up Comedy clips, music from around the world, brain teasers, the online interactions etc. I joined The Drive Time show later that year. Of course being on air led to being at the dopest parties and concerts in Nairobi.
My Twitter blew up. I connected with international artists and other radio personalities from all over the world via Twitter and is TO DATE my favourite online platform.
On the personal front I just remember getting a phone call during my Saturday show in March from my mum saying that “there’s a proposal that’s come in for you. They’re from Mombasa and they want to see you today before they leave”. I was like WHAT THE FUCK?! Anyway. Mum said “it’s your first “viewing” don’t say no to your first one”. So I did it. I wore a Pakistani outfit, I sat there shy and embarrassed. I didn’t have to make the tea, though. Present was the guy, his parents, the lady who brought the proposal, my mum and aunt. They legit just asked me ONE question, and they all kind of shut up after I spoke and said what I was doing with my life at the time. When they left, I told my mum… “First of all NO! Secondly, I’m never doing that again”. And I’ve never had to. (Oh, we both rejected each other and his reason was that I’m too tall 😂).
I really don’t remember anything significant about this year – Strange.
I quit Sound Asia FM to join Radio Africa Group (RAG) and worked in the Creative Department as a copywriter and producer. Basically, I left SA as a top rated personality, who worked 4 hours a day 6 days a week, for KES 2,000 more to work 8-5 behind a desk. Not the best deal but I worked my ass off to “climb up”. I got the Events & Lifestyle slot on XFM. Then got my own show on XFM – Fondly remembered as THE REMEDY on Sunday’s from 3-6PM. Later on East FM let me do sound bites for some of their online campaigns and report the Kenya National Rally Championship live from location and then gave me an evening show on Tuesday’s (I can’t even remember what time it was 10PM-Midnight or something).
Kenya Nights (KN) celebrated 3 years of the brands name and threw our first ever event. KN story here.
After the Westgate Attack, I went on YOLO mode. I went sky-diving, white water rafting etc. Started going out more and LIVING LIFE! I was pushing boundaries because I came that close to dying. I legit feel 2014 was the best year of my life because I really did not give a fuck about a single thing. So much that I made the decision to quit my job at RAG.
East FM were going through some changes. They shifted all evening shows to weekends. Which affected me because I gave away the Saturday 10AM-1PM slot (I thought I was being a good friend) and took the Sunday 12-3PM slot giving up my show on XFM which was 3-6PM. I couldn’t be on 2 different stations, one after the other, on the same day. That’s what Head of Programming at RAG said. As challenging as that decision was, it made more sense on the international front. And so Urban Charge was born and I fucking loved that show.
Handed in my resignation the day we opened offices. Served a 3 month notice instead of one as per contract, because I’m nice 😝 However, I pretty much begged to keep my radio show because I was quitting the desk job, but fuck knows why they didn’t let me stay on air. No one knows this, and I’m sharing it now… Whatever I had planned for after quitting my desk job, went to absolute shits. So I quit my job, my resignation was accepted a month and a half after handing it in (maybe they thought I’ll change my mind within the notice period) and just a little bit before my time was up, my plans fell apart. BUT, I had made a decision and I wasn’t going to turn around. I was done and tired.
I did a crowd fund on Go Fund Me (because I couldn’t afford to travel) and had been wanting to get out of the country for as long as I can remember. I left Kenya for the first time in my life as a 26 year old and went to South Africa. Johannesburg and Cape Town were the best thing EVER. I just want to say a big thank you to these amazing people who helped me make that happen (on the site and off it): Anjum, Kathi, Johannes, Ritesh, Rehmat, Muna, Shamim, Shaishav & Rachit, Samir, Sahil, Cathy, Rahim and Dhruv. Whatever contribution you made toward my trip is highly appreciated now and forever. And my amazing hosts in South Africa – Elene, Tamara and Maurice. You all gifted me Wanderlust!
I came back from South Africa to nothing in Kenya. The YOLO mode faded away. I slowly started to slip into depression. I, even while being a slug, started my own Consultancy because I needed to make money and my first ever paying client was Bikram Yoga Nairobi.
Went on a road trip to Jinja, Uganda for the first ever Nyege Nyege Festival, and that was epic fun.
Feb 2016, road trip to Moshi, Tanzania for the first time.
Went back to Nyege Nyege in 2016 and that was the last time I attended the festival and another solo adventure in Diani for 8 days.
The year is bit of a blur as I hit depression real deep. Just remember surfacing a little bit after September.
First time in Lamu and 3 weeks later in Stone Town, Zanzibar for Sauti Za Busara.
Took my mental health seriously and got therapy.
The DIPLO & Walshy Fire show in April 2017 in Nairobi. It was the first large scale event we did as Kenya Nights and we just stood there and asked what the fuck have we done 😂 I had FOMO, because I worked and didn’t really party, so I went to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to relive it all over again 😂 And Riz went to Kampala, Uganda.
Basement Jaxx’ Felix Buxton wanted to shoot a video after his KN show in Nairobi – so we shot Celestial Being – Nairobi Story. With a background in Radio & TV Broadcasting and Production, it was a super fun project to be part of.
I started hiking mountains and hills around Kenya.
Things that truly stand out – I turned 30 and the Major Lazer show in Nairobi AND Diani!
I honestly feel like this year has been the year of death. And I don’t just mean people actually dying (I lost 2 people within 4 weeks while away in Zanzibar in Jan-Feb), but I’ve had tons and tons of friendships end this year, and I’m not sad about it anymore. I’ve had contracts end. I’ve had projects end. I’ve had emotions and a part of me die too. And I slipped into depression again. Not once, but thrice this year.
2019 was a tough year and I had no one but my mother and brother help me through it (imagine asking your own mother what the easiest way to kill yourself is 🤷🏻♀).
I never got therapy again mainly because I felt I could pull myself out of this one in particular. And then a friend of mine, currently in South Africa, Marianne, started a Life Coaching Course around April and asked on her Facebook if anyone would like to be her guinea pig, and I dove right into her DM! I was kidding myself. I couldn’t do it alone.
I had ideas and ideas and my mind was all over the place and she guided me through it all until our sessions were over.
And, there were amazing things that happened as well 🙂
I launched Music & Chai.
Open Mic Night at The Alchemist Bar continues to thrive every Wednesday.
Kenya Nights celebrated 10 Years and it was epic! Come Dance with us one last time on NYE 🙂
Like I said at the beginning of this post, it’s been a challenging decade, and this year even more so, but I am so grateful for it all, otherwise I wouldn’t be the person I am today.
I write these posts not just for you to read, understand and maybe, hopefully be inspired a little bit, but more me to reflect and see how far I have actually come and stop doubting myself. Why put it up online and not just diary it? Well… I was on a roll since I started this blog like 10 years ago, so thought it would be a nice way to wrap up these end year blog posts 😉 Next year, I intend to blog more often. With perhaps a different style too. So hit that Follow Button on the Menu above for updates 🙂
I wish you a wonderful festive season and an amazing New Year and Decade ahead!