Our Girl, Lupita

 Her warmth, her eloquence and the confidence she exudes is remarkable.
Her warmth, her eloquence and the confidence she exudes is remarkable.

I chose to hold off. I decided I would not talk about it until most other writers move on to other stories. I mean, she was everywhere in the media. Her warmth, her eloquence and the confidence she exudes is remarkable. Like a wild bush fire her name quickly spread across the globe. Every woman, every girl, every ambitious individual, every parent and every child with a dream connected with her. Lupita Nyong’o is an example and an inspiration. I have tremendously enjoyed her speeches and talks, enjoyed her personality and the manner in which she carries herself. She has a way with words that captivates me each time I watch her.  Continue reading “Our Girl, Lupita”

A Tribute to Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela
“Today, he’s gone home….he no longer belongs to us, he belongs to the ages” Barack Obama. (Photo credit: Festival Karsh Ottawa)

Last Thursday we lost a great man, a hero like no other. An icon who dedicated his being to bettering the lives of others. He struggled, suffered and fought so that we would see a brighter future. He fought so that you and I, could learn to love one another. So that we could accept even those who are different from what we know. He challenged us to embrace our differences.

This great hero, Continue reading “A Tribute to Nelson Mandela”

The Danger of a Single Story: Chimamanda Adichie

English: Chimamanda Adichie, Lagos 2009
English: Chimamanda Adichie, Lagos 2009 (Photo credit)

In Rediscovering Africa, my intention is to allow my readers to view Africa in a positive light. That despite all its shortcomings-which are present in other continents- Africa also has a lot to offer. I need the world to understand that Africa is not a continent always calling for ‘enormous pity’ as Chimamanda Adichie explains in her talk. Within those hardships and life’s challenges there are tonnes of hard-working people with big dreams, and high achievers changing lives everyday. Chimamanda Adichie goes on to share an encounter with her University roommate in the United States who wanting to sample her music was astonished when she produced contemporary Western music.
There is a great extent of normalcy in Africa which many seem to be surprised by. Not every region is characterized by starvation and homelessness. Many Africans understand and use technology, they live in massive bungalows and mansions, drive posh cars and take their children to good schools.
This is not to say that the negative issues should be ignored, but that there are many sides to every story. As you will hear in the video, talking about only one issue affecting a community creates the dangers of a single story. I want you, as a Memoirs of a Kenyan reader to have a deeper understanding of Africa so that you, unlike most people can have a ‘balance of stories’ as Chinua Achebe, another Nigerian writer describes it.
Continue reading “The Danger of a Single Story: Chimamanda Adichie”

Meet the Founder

Val Chela1. Name and Title

Valerie Chela N. Founder of Memoirs of a Kenyan.

2. Something random about yourself

I am generally not a fan of pets but dogs terrify me. My idea of a pet would be any animal that can be caged safely away from me. I could probably live with a pet fish, I think.

Lake Victoria: Rediscovering Africa

Source: greendiary.com via Holly on Pinterest

Lake Victoria is the second largest freshwater lake in the world. It is also the largest lake in Africa. It covers 68,800km^2 which translates to 26563.8 square miles. The lake was named after Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom by the first European who discovered the lake. Lake Victoria is also the chief reservoir of the River Nile which is regarded to be longest river in the world. The river Nile originates in Burundi then flows through northeastern Africa into Egypt and then finally drains into the Mediterranean sea.
Lake Victoria is a tourist attraction for Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. When you plan your African safari be sure to visit East Africa to see this incredible water body and the wild life such as the different fish types, hippos, birds and butterflies. River Nile is also a breathtaking site to behold. Continue reading “Lake Victoria: Rediscovering Africa”

Egypt's Great Sphinx of Giza: Black History Month

English: Great Sphinx of Giza, Egypt. Español:...
English: Great Sphinx of Giza, Egypt. Español: Gran Esfinge de Giza, Egipto. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Third on our charts this month is Egypt’s Great Sphinx of Giza.
Did you know that ancient Egyptians built the Sphinx and laid it in front of the pyramid to guard the tombs?  The Sphinx has the head of a man, the face of a pharaoh, a hawk or a ram and the body of a lion.
Egypt is known for its astounding Giza pyramids and the pharaohs. At memoirsofakenyan however, we choose to highlight Egypt’s Great Sphinx of Giza, the world’s largest monolith(a single gigantic rock) statue. It is the most famous Sphinx in Egypt. This phenomenal piece of architecture is as spectacular if not more, than the pyramids of Egypt. The Great Sphinx of Giza has greatly influenced tourism in Egypt along with Giza Pyramid Complex and ancient history of the pharaohs.

The Renowned Statesman, Nelson Mandela: Black History Month

English: Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, Gaute...
English: Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, Gauteng, on 13 May 1998 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Did you know that United Nations declared Mandela’s birthday July 18th an international Nelson Mandela Day dedicated to promote global peace, and to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s great legacy.

South Africa and Nelson Mandela inevitably go hand in hand. One cannot speak of South Africa without the mention of Nelson Mandela or at the very least, the thought of him in that context. Nelson Mandela was elected South Africa’s 1st president in 1994-1999. He went on to become the most democratic president, jointly winning the Nobel Peace Price with Frederik Willem de Klerk following the termination of the Apartheid.

Coming Soon: Rediscovering Africa!

Graphic: African continent
Celebrate the beauty of a developing continent. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Join us in the journey to rediscover Africa. Lets share with the world what a wonderful place it really is.
As part of the memoirsofakenyan family we urge you to drop in frequently and hop into the discussions on the positive aspects that the continent has to offer. Lets make this fun and lively, send in your pictures, share your experience and do tell your stories. No contribution is too insignificant or too vague. Anything goes! Let us by all means, celebrate Africa!
A lot is constantly reported about Africa. There is persistent media coverage and advertisements on the issues faced by its people;  wars, famine, poverty to mention just a few. What many do not realise, is that Africa is a sensational continent.
Our intention is not to argue with the numerous studies and reports that have shown over the years the problems faced in the continent. They really do exist. However, just like there are two sides to a coin, Africa has both challenges and serenity. So much is being said and done about the negatives but not many people reflect the good. Perhaps it is because conflict sells better than good tidings, but the bottom line is Africa needs to be rediscovered.
So that is our goal, to rediscover Africa! To create fresh awareness for the positive attributes of the continent. Things such as decent roads, advancing technology, education, big cities, beautiful sites, water bodies, wildlife and the wonderful culture of the people. We resolve to counter the negativity, to reduce our ignorance and most of all, to celebrate the beauty of a developing continent.
Your thoughts and opinions on this subject are more than welcome!
~Val