a very pilgrim chic typa post

“Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.”

― Julia Child.

Like good food and cute cafes, maybe? 🙂

waspy

waspy2waspy3

This is essentially a Saturday shenanigans post but it’s also a very pilgrim chic kind of post so guess which title won the battle (for the title)? *grin* I love good puns. Some of you may think it’s lame and I don’t blame you, you may be right. But this little space on the internet is where I get to share my lame jokes with some random nice people, and there is no harm in that. In fact, I find great joy in making lame jokes on the internet 😀

This past Saturday, I had brunch at Wasp and Sprout with my friend Idil and Sauti Sol. Well not exactly… Chimano of Sauti Sol walked into the restaurant just as we paid our bill and were about to leave. After a brief whispery-not-so-whispery debate between Idil and I as to whether it was Chimano from Sauti Sol, she seemed very sure and because she’s such a cool person I knew she must be right so naturally, I awkwardly walked over, with my characteristic half giggle and said, ‘Hello, are you Chimano from Sauti Sol’? To which he responded, that yes he was. ‘I’m a fan of your work, you guys are amazing’, I said. ‘Thanks’, with a huge grin on his face. It’s almost like he didn’t want to draw attention to himself, seated at a tiny corner table with both a hat and some quirky sunglasses on. I guess even Sauti Sol peeps need some alone time in cute little restaurants on Saturday mornings. I hope I haven’t disclosed his secret spot. But then again, other than my close friends and workmates that I pester to keep checking my new posts, who even reads my blog? 😀
He seemed friendly enough, so I high-fived him and then walked away. And that’s the end of that.

Idil and I decided to meet up after what seemed like months of exchanging texts on the lines of, ‘we have to meet up soon, it’s been too long’. She’s one of my people people, you know? My kind of person 🙂

We listened to Ed Sheeran’s new album, Divide, the whole drive to the restaurant, past the slightly intimidating Kangemi (I’ve heard of people getting carjacked and other horror stories) and into the more serene Loresho suburbs. I’m going to buy a house in a similar neighbourhood (Loresho) in the near future one day. I just need to have about 50 million Kenya shillings lying around somewhere first.

The entrance to the restaurant is quite discreet – Idil had been there before and we both seemed a little lost until we got out of the car and spotted the distinctly redone school chairs with tailored kitenge cushions through the plants, and we knew we’d finally found the place. I’m not even exaggerating when I say it’s the best darn breakfast I have ever had in any restaurant in Nairobi. I truly mean it, and my mouth is watering just thinking about it. So good.

Idil ordered the American style French toast (am I the only one who finds this giggle-worthy? American style French toast 😀 ) with strawberries, black pepper pineapple, strawberries (yes, the menu states strawberries twice and with good reason), creme fraise and organic honey. I ordered the sprout omelette – which is two eggs, caramelised onions, baby spinach, mushrooms and quark – with their delicious cinnamon bagel on the side. Quick switch up to Kiswahili – mi sijui quark na creme fraise ni vitu gani lakini zilikuwa tamu. Mi najua quack ya Donald Duck na cream fresh. Ebu Google? Hizi hapa. Back to pilgrim chic 😀 We both had iced chocolate to drink, and, because both dishes were so good and served in great portions, decided to split half and half – omelette as both our savory dish, and the French toast for dessert. Tamu tu sana.

The prices were great too, 2600 Ksh. for two iced chocolates, three bagels, the sprout omelette and divine French toast *slurp* Time just seems to fly in such beautiful spaces, for us at least; chatting away, taking about a hundred pictures and Boomerang GIFS in three hours. No regrets people, non je ne regrette rien.

Wasp and Sprout Cafe.

Check out their website here.
Google maps link here 🙂

Chat more soon?

saturday shenanigans six

Some pairings just have the perfect balance. Peanut butter – jam, blue jeans – white shirt, and art galleries – coffee shops.

Nothing profound in today’s post, I just happened to have a lovely Saturday with my friend Magy last week.

 

1234.jpg

We started off the day searching for old film cameras, sauntered over to Sno Cream (where I had enough ice cream for three *burp*), then to Uhuru Park where we walked around and got on these tiny boats for fun.

It was my first time experiencing this characteristically Nairobian weekend activity, and it made me realize how unfit I’ve become since I finished Uni. I’d made it a habit to jog every evening after classes, and now thirty minutes of leisurely paddling seemed to be torturous for my knees! I loved how relaxed the park was, Magy mentioned we came on the right day because it is flocked by church-goers on Sundays and larger masses during public holidays. A cacophony of sound, smell and colour – vendors in white coats asking you to buy ice cream, photographers encroaching into your personal space with cameras and albums, horses and camels walking around with their handlers. In one corner, there was even an inflated pool for children to swim in.

We still had some time to kill so we decided to learn a few things about history and culture at the Nairobi Art Gallery, which is right opposite the park. It sits in the old PC’s office, a lovely colonial building complete with oval skylights and a coffee shop outside. Joseph Murumbi’s collection of African art forms a majority (if not all) of the exhibition, with a separate room for other artists to display their work for sale.

Magy had to leave for football practice after so naturally, I decided to stay behind, read some poetry and have some iced coffee *grin*. Anyone know similar places I could go participate in anti-social behaviour, have a coffee and read my book in peace? *covers face* I’ve got nothing interesting planned out for this weekend, I might get some new books though 🙂

PS. Art gallery ticket stubs make for perfect book marks.

viva la vida

“I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you.”

– Frida Kahlo.

13.jpg

When I first read the above quote about four years ago, I knew Frida was talking to me. I don’t quite remember how I came across this excerpt from her journal but it was probably on one of those late, sleepless nights I’d nurse my nostalgia by endlessly scrolling through my Tumblr timeline. Naturally, this was followed by hours obsessively poring through Frida Kahlo hashtags – images, quotes, basically anything and everything even remotely associated with Frida.

This woman was phenomenal, it’s no surprise she still has an almost cult-like following to date (Queen Bey included). I think people love her so much because despite all the pain she went through in her life – both physical and emotional – she did more than just survive, she thrived. She made art, and magnificent pieces at that. She’s become one of the quintessential images of a woman who embodies strength – a strong spirit despite her frail and aching body. A woman who didn’t define herself with her life circumstances – a survivor. An artist. Fully embracing the liberties that come with artistic expression – from her honest work depicting her real life experiences, to her personal style and choice of bold jewellery and facial hair – she would purposely darken her eyebrows and upper lip hairs – she lived her life to the fullest.

22

To give you a better understanding of her life, here is an excerpt of Frida’s life from Wikipedia.

Frida Kahlo de Rivera (July 6, 1907 – July 13, 1954) was a Mexican painter, born in Coyoacán. Perhaps best known for her self-portraits, Kahlo’s work is remembered for its “pain and passion”, and its intense, vibrant colors. Her work has been celebrated in Mexico as emblematic of national and indigenous tradition, and by feminists for its uncompromising depiction of the female experience and form….

When Kahlo was six years old, she contracted polio, which made her right leg shorter and thinner than the left… On September 17, 1925, Kahlo was riding in a bus when the vehicle collided with a trolley car. She suffered serious injuries in the accident (you make skip the next few sentences if you have a weak stomach), including a broken spinal column, a broken collarbone, broken ribs, a broken pelvis, eleven fractures in her right leg, a crushed and dislocated right foot, and a dislocated shoulder. An iron handrail pierced her abdomen and her uterus, which seriously damaged her reproductive ability.

Although she recovered from her injuries and eventually regained her ability to walk, she was plagued by relapses of extreme pain for the remainder of her life. The pain was intense and often left her confined to a hospital or bedridden for months at a time. She underwent as many as thirty-five operations as a result of the accident, mainly on her back, her right leg and her right foot…

Wikipedia.

What I’m trying to say is if you can overlook the morbid and traumatic description of her life and see the woman that did more than just overcome her challenges instead, we can agree on a few things. The thing about life challenges is somehow you easily get overwhelmed and think you have no control over your life anymore. We get stuck in, ‘why is this happening to me’ and forget, instead, about ‘how can I fix this’. Because the truth is you have the power to fix whatever it is that is brought your way, it all starts in your mind. Whenever I read Frida’s story, I am humbled to tears just thinking of how this woman overcame all that life brought her way and became a legend in the process.

32

You may have heard so many times from your elders, ‘stop complaining about this and that, someone out there is wishing they had what you are complaining about’. Case and point – F to the mother loving – rida Kahlo. Be grateful for life. For health. Can you read, see, smell, breathe? Can you understand what I’m writing? Can you think?  Be grateful for a healthy heart, an intact spinal chord. If you can read this, then you are more blessed than millions of others in the world.

My early twenties came with what seemed to be a sudden loss of control of time – everything seemed to be moving terribly fast and it seemed as though my luck was ‘running out’. It was all new, and everyday reminded me of this newness. There was no script, no high school teachers to grade homework on an almost daily basis – keeping track of my progress and calling my parents over to reprimand me if it seemed that my grades were declining even in the least. Increasingly, it became clear that and all I had to fuel myself was myself, and in all honesty, I struggled.

For somebody who endured so much pain in her lifetime, Frida sure was a positive person. Most of the time at least. You see, there is no such thing as luck running out. You take what you can out of every situation and make your own luck. Legends like Frida have to be strong, because, in Beyonce’s wise words, a winner don’t quit on themselves. What if I told you that you can be great? That you already are great? That it all starts in your mind?
I am trying to break down the self limiting beliefs I have picked up over the years and rewire my mind to be better and enable myself to do more. Be more. Be better.
If you fancy an elaborate read about her, please check this link out. And while you’re at it, whether you’re a fan of Lana del Rey or not, listen to her new song! :’)
With Frida’s last painting aptly titled ‘Viva la vida’, I think I will take her advice – live life.
Peace and love ❤
44.jpg
A big thank you to Joyce and Magati for helping me actualize this concept in recreating iconic Frida Kahlo pictures.
Concept and styling: Fatma Sultan (myself).
Photography and art direction: Magati Maosa.
Makeup: Joyce Osodo. Podoa by Joy.
Skirt and blouse: Moderne.
Jewellery: Alan Donovan | Location: The African Heritage House.