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November 18, 2018

5 Days, 4 Women And 3 Lessons

Caroline Mutoko
Caroline Mutoko

I have had the sort of illuminating week that makes for long journal entries, several aha moments and a realisation that it’s time I started writing. No, not here and not in my journal – but publicly. It’s time to start a blog.

 Don’t roll your eyes at me, I can see you. Yes, yes, you have asked hundreds of times that I do, but I’m not one to do anything if my heart and mind aren’t in it, doesn’t matter how much sense to makes to everyone else.

If I don’t feel it, or believe it, I won’t do it – simple. To do so is to consign the project or idea to failure. There’s a time would go with the flow just to be nice – but now that I know better, I do better.

 That said, I’ve set that ball in motion – it’s time. The blog cometh in a few weeks. Promise. You see, I’m always meeting amazing people and learning wonderful things from them; sadly and selfishly, I don’t share and then wonder why a few weeks down the line when I meet yet another group of people and wonder why they don’t know what I know or what those people know.

Well duh Caroline, you only know what you know and unless I put what I have learnt out there, then I can’t wonder why no-one else knows.

So, four women three great lessons from my past week. Two I didn’t know before the meeting and two I knew, but didn’t know this warm, incisive, therapeutic side to.

 Enter, woman number one. She has been looking to meet me for 10 years. One day at The Junction, she gets a mighty shove from her sister and finally comes up to me, we exchange numbers and two months later we finally sit down to lunch.

Lunch started at 1pm and ended at 4:30pm. What a soul. Smart, funny, warm and also very introspective. Strangely, she didn’t want anything from me.

She wanted to chat and talk and share. Lesson from this woman. Learn to smile through the madness. Plan for the future and never leave yourself behind.

Too many women get caught up in doing things for everyone else – their bosses, their children, their husbands, their church, their work, their chama – when they finally get out of the fog and look around, they realise no-one is putting that much their way and they get mad, heck even a little sad.

When they do voice their objection to being ignored while “doing” for everyone else – people get puzzled. They didn’t think she needed anything. In fact in dismay they are asked “kwani you had dreams and needs?” Hatukujua! Don’t leave yourself behind.

 Woman number two also invited me to lunch. She wanted to know how to go about applying for Harvard and I was more than glad to talk her through it.

However, once that part of the conversation was done, we talked about the new seasons in our lives. I’m currently charting mine and so is she.

But as we got to talking about the challenges that face our growth and the need to heed our inner voice and follow our hearts, she made me realize that going after the energy vampires with a few bullets and machetes is a waste of time. All too often we are told “keep your enemies closer than your friends” we rarely take that seriously until it’s forced upon us. We know who our enemies are and we naturally are adverse to them – wrong move.

We must massage their egos, help them with their insecurities, build up their sense of importance and even help them on their way.

You see, their poison is inside them. It will never leave, in fact it will eventually kill them – however, you need to be close enough to know what new pain they have and how they visit that pain on you. Knowledge is power. Keep your enemies happy, close and confused.

 I had a meeting with woman number three and four. These were business meetings that naturally morphed into conversations about work and life and the need to support more women and especially young women to realise their full potential.

The conversation that had me stumped and speechless and made me realise why I need to start writing and also allowing other people to add their voices to the conversation was when woman number three had tears in her eyes up as she told me how her sister had announced proudly that she was done with school and working (she is yet to graduate and won’t go to university anymore). What she really wanted to do was “find a rich man to marry or live off”.

 The girl is 30- gasp. I find it shocking and sad that I found myself saying I would have been okay with that statement if the girl in question had been 21 years old. In three years, life would have dealt her a nice blow and she would have woken up from that silly dream. But to hear that there are grown women aged 30 and above holding out for the mythical rich man was beyond sad.

 The question she wondered is, where did we go wrong, where did the impression come from that this is a viable option (other than television of course) and how do we undo this notion before it’s too late and this 30-year-old girl gets the wake-up call before it’s too late. Please note, she’s very clear that she hates working and doesn’t want to.

 Not only is this an incredibly unrealistic plan for any lady but what many women don’t understand is that there is no way there are enough rich guys for every girl that wants to marry one.

The supply just doesn’t match the demand. Another thing that women don’t seem to understand or appreciate is that rich men are the farthest thing from gullible, which is why they are rich in the first place – duh!

 It’s time to either start telling a new tale or eradicating the fairy-tales and soaps on television that send the crazy message that these story-lines have any baring on real life.

Question is, where to start and are we too late? It’s a new day and a new week and I can’t wait to see whom I meet and what lessons this week bring my way – if nothing else, I hope my lessons inspire your day.

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