Yes! I’m here and I’m doing this! I wanted this so bad… an opportunity to interact with journalists and media professionals on a daily basis in Germany. To see if i could really fit in, the workload and generally… the journalism world abroad. There’s a saying that goes… Believe you deserve it and the universe will serve it! Nothing can ever beat this quote because it runs deep!
NDR is an abbreviation for Norddeutscher Rundfunk… the biggest in North Germany. It’s a reputable media house that runs several radio and Tv stations and an Online department. Getting the opportunity to be affiliated with such a big, renowned brand was and will always be a big deal… a dream come true!
The Summer school has been running for 3 consecutive years and we were the third group; its main aim is to give aspiring journalists or people with media background, who have immigration status an outlook on what professional journalism is all about in Germany… NDR to be precise.
I sent my application on a saturday afternoon as soon as I saw the advert on Facebook. That was a day after the deadline. Luckily, I still got selected to be part of this years Summer School… better late than never!
The Summer school has been exciting! Alongside 13 other colleagues, all with immigration backgrounds, I’ve learned so much! Conducting an interview, Editing with professional and high-end softwares, everything to do with production; both Radio and TV not forgetting online content creation… just to mention a few! We even got voice training from a professional… Ulrike. The 2 weeks were so intense with daily programes running from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. Exhausting but totally worth every second.
In the 2 weeks each participant got free accommodation (lunch and dinner inclusive) and train tickets. One time I had to leave for a few hours for a job interview, one of our amazing facilitator Jörg, handed me train tickets for the trip. Although the trip was solely for my own benefit and interest. I mean he didn’t have to do it. I was both surprised and touched in equal measure by his kind gesture. Indeed no act of kindness, no matter how small is ever wasted.
Having had the chance to be on radio and listening to myself thereafter, I’m unstoppable now! Don’t get me wrong, I have a bachelor’s degree in Communication and Media Technology but my university had no infrastructure comparable to what I’ve seen at NDR! This has been like heaven on earth for me and an eye opener.
I’m forever very grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of something so beautiful and purposeful. I got to meet award-winning journalists like Andreas Cichowicz, top NDR management and amazing staff members! Our chef was particularly amazing… haha (I’m a foodie)
To the brains behind the Summer School, our facilitator; Jörg, Regina, Andreas, Andy, Andrea, Hilke and Ulrike…Thank you for being there for us all through the Summer School 2018. Your guidance meant so much. The Hanover Stadts tour was very educative and totally cool. Thanks Jörg for organizing it.
As I walk out of the NDR Hanover premises, I’m a very happy person, but above all; I walk out more confident, motivated, inspired and well equipped for greater things ahead. I leave with the knowledge that I can do anything I set my mind on with the right tools, team and guidance.
To my 13 colleagues; it was great meeting you all and working together. I wish you all the best in your future endeavours. Cheers!
Zitat: No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid –Lupita Nyongo.
“Mum… It’s Bella, I’m here mummy. I’ve come to see you. I’m here now. It’s all gonna be okay”
Half scared and smiling, I utter these words to my mother’s lifeless body lying right before me. She’s fully covered in a very clean white cloth. The morgue attendant is friendly and even cracks jokes as he uncovers Mama’s face for me to view. My cousin Warda is touching her head and her lifeless body looks as hard as a rock. She looks so peaceful, her eyes gently closed like in deep sleep. The embalming process is about to start because tomorrow, she’ll begin her journey to her final resting place; her grave.
I’m still in denial and shock because my immortal mother can’t be dead! How dare she leave us on our own! In my 25 years on earth I’ve never seen my mother sick! Then she falls sick and in a span of six weeks she’s gone? How unfair! Just when our stars were beginning to shine. Right when she was starting to enjoy the fruits of her children’s sweat and hard work! The pain in my stomach is getting unbearable by the hour!
On this one, there’s no chronological order. I’m writing as my memory can best serve me. Read on as I share my pain brought about by my mum’s death.
I’m undergoing the grieving process and I’m currently at the 3rd stage which is the “bargaining” stage. Constantly thinking what I could have done to save my mum. Was I the best daughter I could be? Did I do my best to ensure her days on earth were beautiful? Did she spend her nights proud of me? Bare with me for being so selfish, only thinking of myself yet mama had 4 of us biologically.
A tear drop gives way to an ocean. The woman sitting next to me probably wonders what could be troubling my young soul in a foreign land. Could it be visa issues or matters of the heart? At this point I’m too glued on my phone typing anything I can. I’m actually writing this post. It’s a few weeks since I got back to Germany after biding farewell to mama. My sunglasses are not helping much with the tears so I take them off and let the river run. I’m angry and sad!
I flashback to the fateful day of her demise! Weirdly enough, I was from a job interview. Thereafter, I headed out to the city to enjoy the sunny summer afternoon. sat by the terrace of a small restaurant sipping a glass a prosecco alongside some relaxing music by Suzanna Owiyo. I played a particular song (Minwa Mary) over and over again. After my second glass I headed home very happy and energised so I decided to make some delicious Kenyan meal… Chapati and Beans! That was 20th June.
Carlo, my husband joined me in the kitchen to help out and I remember imitating my mum’s dough-kneading style to him. As I rolled out the first dough piece, placing it gently on the pan, my phone rang. My brother was calling… That was very normal as we speak very often. I picked up and he asked if I’d heard the news. For a minute I was shook! “What news?” I asked “Mama otho (mum is dead)” said my brother. I could tell from his voice…he was in shock.
My whole world came to a standstill. My tummy hurt. God I needed to sit and breath. All I remember is running to the living room and grabbing my Kenyan phone to call home (Kenya) and confirm the news. My brother lives in Dubai. I saw my dad’s missed call and immediately knew it was true. Dad had tried calling me 13 minutes ago. I called back and he confirmed that mum was no more. In the background I could hear my sisters painfully weeping. I still can’t believe I’m telling this story, but I’m glad I’m ready and doing it.
I vaguely remember my husband trying to hold me but I pushed him away. My tummy continued hurting. I was crying so much. The other thing I remember from that night is going back to the kitchen and cooking the rest of the chapatis. I even had dinner! Before I started comprehending what had really happened. Mum was gone!
Let me take you back to how we got here. Mum had been complaining of headaches and loss of appetite but she brushed off my suggestions to go to the hospital for a check up. I believe that’s because she didn’t think it was anything serious. Probably just malaria or thereabout. I wish I had insisted some more. Maybe she would still be here today. Well, her condition didn’t get any better so she finally agreed to see a doctor. She was thereafter in and out of the hospital in a span of 6 weeks and on her final admission she made it out… dead.
On her first hospital admission I travelled to Kenya to be with her. To date, I’m very happy I did. Because that last goodbye and that last hug will forever keep me going.
One thing for sure is that death comes when you least expect it. So love hard and don’t miss the chance to show your loved ones some affection for it might be the last time.
20th June Mum took her last breath
21st June I had work trials. I showed up and did my part. I know mum would have wanted that.
25th June I started my B2 classes and honestly I have no idea how I did it. But I must say leaving the house and mingling with people really helps.
8th July Accompanied by my husband we flew to Kenya for mum’s send off.
13th July My graceful queen was laid to rest. On this exact date in 2017, my mother bid me farewell at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport as I relocated to Germany. So ironic that exactly one year later I was biding her farewell on her final journey here on earth.
Mum’s funeral was beautiful. We honoured all her wishes. She had three beautiful requiem Mass services and the last one was celebrated by her favourite priest and friend… Father Charles Wao. She was a respectable member of the society, served as a board member of the local high school and till her death, run her own catering business. She was a giver. She loved and lost, but never left. If love could have saved you mummy, you would have lived forever. Heaven is lucky to have you and we’re very lucky to have had you as our mother. No one can or will ever replace you for you were one of a kind.
It was so unfortunate that exactly two weeks after laying mum to rest, my maternal grandmother (her mum), passed away from shock and depression. She was fine until she learned of her daughter’s demise. On 17th August, Dani as we called her was laid to rest. I turned 26 this same day!
I miss my mama every single day, sometimes I see her in my dreams. Two beautiful souls lost in a span of Two months. Unfair huh?
I’m sitting here staring into space wondering where mum’s soul is. Is she singing with the angels? Is she always beside me? Trying to wipe away my tears and telling me all is well? Or is she just peacefully resting and reuniting with her departed parents, friends and relatives? Well… no one knows!
Losing a mother is second to none. To anyone going through the same, I’m sending warm hugs your way.
Rest now my love. Forever in our hearts Arosy! I love you. My best friend is gone… I’ll forever mourn you mummy. I miss you so much it’s killing me.
To my husband Carlo, thank you for being there for me all times regardless! Thank you for being who you are… The very best!
To my in-laws Conny and Stefan and the entire family, thank you for being very supportive always! I Don’t know what I’d do without you guys.
To my friends who came all the way to my village (which is very far from civilization, lol) Beryl, Shamim, Ningel, Anne and Tony: Thank you so much! You showed me what friendship is all about and I’m forever indebted.
To everyone who helped us give mum a befitting send-off either financially, emotionally or physically… thank you.
To my siblings Juliet, Timo and Elmad; mum is always watching over us. It’s gonna be okay. I love you guys so much! Hang in there.
Zitat: The trouble is, you think you have time – Buddha
The pain, torture and anguish. Long days and sleepless nights filled with promiscuity. Yet you’re still my run away lover.
I call you a coward because you gave me no closure. It hurts… How do you just walk away like a thief in the night? Walk away from your home… a home we built together! You handpicked all the interior construction materials. I guess you don’t remember anymore. I look at the kitchen counter and remember how excited and confused you were as we went from one store to the other looking for the exact porcelain and quartz counter tops you had envisioned. Didn’t you stop for a second to think of how this would affect my life? The toll it would have on me? After 5 years of everyday life together? You disappoint me my lover.
Is it because of our cancelled wedding due to my cold feet at the eleventh hour, the cancelled vacations or the times I spent with the boys over the weekends and not at home with you? My long working hours maybe?
I’m full of regrets but I must say I wasn’t ready. I found in you the answers I never thought to ask, but was that worth a lifetime’s commitment? I did you bad, I know… but I always kept it real with you. You always knew my stand on marriage and such traditions.
You said your clock was ticking… So was mine! Why did you listen to what your girls and the society had to say? We had our own plans and we promised to live by our own rules. Why did you change? I wanted to give you my all but maybe deep down I knew you deserved better. With your hourglass silhouette, wit and brains… you definitely did!
The gods of my ancestors know how much I adore you. I would do anything humanly possible for you except of course committing to you in marriage before God and our families.
See, I’m not a creature of habit. I hate rules and being tied down has never been my forte. I wanted both of us to have the freedom to live our lives without feeling inclined to making constant compromises and sacrifices. I wanted us to make my fantasy our reality. But as they say, the fantasy world is just that… fantasy, maybe fun to see. Fantastic!
Sweet is love… but love is tough. You’re spending your nights in another’s arms and that’s a bile I painfully swallow. I look at you together and see how mediocre you look. He doesn’t deserve you my darling. It’s safe to say neither do I! At least I’m the devil you know.
Was it because of loneliness? Why did you jump a ship that could only land you on an altar? Is that all you want for your life? A white costume in the name of a dress? Millions and millions of hard-earned money for just a day’s show? Don’t you know there’s more to life than having a man’s last name? You disappoint me my love, but that’s what I get for trying to be different… disappointments!
I can spend the rest of my life wallowing in sadness, depression even. But I leave all that to you when reality beckons and you get to face facts. I was and will forever be the man for you my sweet girl. Don’t get me wrong, I care so much about you and wish you well always.
I’m only one call away and I’m no superhero but for you my run-away lover, I’m willing to go all the way to save the day. I haven’t changed, I’m still a man of my words. So believe me when I say I’m willing to adjust my ways for you and our future together.
Don’t bury the memories you made with me. The blue ticks game is not fun anymore. Actually it’s growing old and boring. You’re a strong ambitious woman, just answer my questions and tell me you don’t need me anymore. I promise to let go if only I can get closure from you. Is that asking for too much?
The locks to our house are still the same. Do you still have your keys? In fact, I got the construction company to redo the bedroom windows as you’d always wanted; large exquisite corner windows with no visible frames, panoramic views, lots of natural light and aesthetic appeal. Everything is so different without you my love… please come back home. Home is here, where your man is!
Hello hello my loves… I’m back! Well, let’s dive right in. On this post I want to get up close and personal… in short, I’ll tell you about myself and what Bella is all about. It was about time, I think!
Though she be but little, she’s fierce! That describes me best. Born in Nairobi, raised up in Migori and Kisumu I have an amazing, infectious smile and a banging body…confidence my people, afterall charity begins at home… hahaha.
I’m 5’4 ft tall, weigh 49kgs, clothes size XS/S and wear shoes size 37, (Just to give you a clear picture of my physic. Oh! and my birthday is coming up soon so in case you wanna buy me gifts in form of shoes and clothes you’re sorted. Hahaha).
My friends and family call me Bella, but on all important documents I’m Christabel Achieng Odhiambo… should change it to Munaretto as that’s my husband’s name but the process is too long #rolls eyes. Too much paper work in Germany! Phew.
I’m 25 years old, atleast for the next two months… haha, old age is slowly catching up with me. But if you think I’m still 20… I don’t mind, haha. But seriously where has time flown? I still feel 23! Is someone living my life on my behalf? Or, are the years getting shorter and shorter? Touchè!
I’m married and May 5th was our first wedding anniversary #cute face. I live in Braunschweig, Germany with my husband and have no kids yet. Maybe in the near future, who knows?
I have a bachelors Degree in Communication and Media Technology and currently learning German with an aim of joining the University for my masters degree in the same field in the next few months… God willing. I love everything Public Relations and Communications and that’s the career path I’m on. Very exciting!
I’m a third child in a family of eight kids. Well, my beloved father took God’s request to multiply and fill the world literally and seriously…hahahah, sorry daddy, pun intended!
I’m a fashion lover, music junkie and a bar/restaurant/club sampler. I enjoy travelling and seeing new places. I enjoy nature but not too much. I prefer travelling and exploring fashion stores than castles… oups! Oh and I really love fancy things without spending a fortune on them so I’m a SALE lover… yeah, I’m that girl!
I could publish an encyclopydia about myself but to sum it up and not bore you my reader, I love social media, attention, my family and friends. I’m very talkative but you’d have to interact with me more than once to confirm or experience this.
I’m very picky with food, a poor eater (since childhood), for this reason I tend to cook a lot as I enjoy my cooking best…Witty, caring, loving and too generous also describe me. I tend to be very opinionionated and always have a stand regardless of the situation. Having a stand makes life easier from my perspective.
Chillies are small but they’re hot! That’s Bella when she’s mad. Ofcourse being human means we all have flaws. I’ll leave it at that.
Thank you for taking your time to read my posts. Should you have any questions or comments, feel free to post them right away in the comment section. Lots of love!
With overwhelming love I write this letter, hoping it finds you happy, innocent, healthy and naive. I’m typing this in the comfort of my flat; which I share with my husband. I have so much to tell you concerning dating, love and marriage life, but that’s a story for another day! Or better still, that’s for you to experience when you’re much older and kind of wise. #wink.
For now, kindly lend me a few minutes off your busy schedule and read this to the last word. You probably have homework to finish or dishes to wash, but before you lay your tiny self to bed, please read this. Feel free to share it with your friends as they may learn something from it too.
You are BOLD and beautiful; a force to reckon with. Your intelligence is extraordinary. Never doubt that; even for a second. Just like the Sun you shine bright and powerful. Your rays can harm and heal… Blissfully Pure.
You are a gem; very rare to find and not for everyone. Gracefully poised. Your husky voice doesn’t need shouting to be heard. When you speak; mountains bow, birds hush and rivers stop. Your smile is not too wide, it’s perfect and that broken tooth (you’ll get it fixed in a few years), doesn’t make it any less beautiful. So, smile and bless mankind with it.
Your voice is your power, your body your tower and your mind is your anchor! Your positive energy and attitude towards every situation are your shields. Fight for what you want; your dreams. Speak and make them listen! Never let go of what’s rightfully yours and work hard to leave a mark wherever you go.
Stop second guessing yourself. Take those risks and learn from the experiences. Go hard or go home because where you come from… nothing comes on a silver platter and to get where you wanna go you must work twice as hard. Form that dance group, model for fun, take photos and write those articles…build on these talents and be open to explore. Talk to that girl you look up to; trust me she’s your best friend waiting to happen.
Put your best foot forward at all times, regardless. Don’t let anyone bring you down or dull your sparkle; even that Math teacher, because life is not all about figures and graphs! And you’re not a looser (a math looser maybe, haha). Remember not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted. Even with that said, you must take your education seriously because Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world -Nelson Mandela.
The world owes you nothing but its yours to concur. Be who you want to be and never apologize for that. Choose your battles wisely and carefully listen to your heart.
Family comes first always. Remember, blood is thicker than water and your parents love and care so much for you even though they may not say it out loud as often as you’d want to hear it. Men and friends will come and go but family is constant.
Don’t be shy. Wear whatever you like, whatever makes you comfortable. It’s not your job to be likable, its your job to be yourself -Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
There’s only one version of Bella in a world inhabited by millions of people, and that’s your power, use it! Make yourself proud and live according to your own terms.
I’m on a mission! A mission to find a good luck charm…Yes, and I’m serious about it!.
What’s a good luck charm? Well, anything that brings good luck your way! Could be a button, a ring, a necklace, a coin etc. In some cases even a person! In their song “Eminado”, which means good luck charm, Nigeria’s Tiwa Savage and sings Don Jazi’s good luck charm.
Lately lady luck hasn’t been coming my way and that has really got me thinking… hard! I’m in several Facebook groups where people constantly suggest ‘Novena’ prayers for luck and solutions and I’m yet to try that out. Though, after a discussion in class last week about good luck charms, I was intrigued, hence on this mission.
The only challenge is the fact that I’m such a fickle person! In respect to clothes, shoes and jewellery, I’m not a creature of habit. Maybe… just maybe, I need several good luck charms. haha
As kids we played with lady birds and I can vaguely remember believing they brought good luck. I’ve been told that the rainbow is a sign of good luck too. Some people use padlocks, others believe that the ‘four-leaf-Clover’ too, is a sign of good luck. Well, people… led by myself are really full of superstitions. Like Marilyn Manson said, “But what’s real, you just pick the lie you like the best”
Come to think of it… I know a few people who have good luck charms. For instance my paternal grandmother never parts with her rosary, same to my mum (we’re a Catholic family)… My mama constantly reminds me to have 3 rosaries; one for the car, one for my handbag and one in the house. Truth is, I have none, lol.
Right now I could really use some luck. Should I be successful in my quest, I’ll wear my good luck charm like a badge of honor.
Do you have or believe in good luck charms… or luck at all for that matter? If yes, does it work? If no, why not?
Feel free to indulge me in the comment section! Looking forward to reading all your insights on good luck charms!
Zitat: You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step –Martin Luther King.
Happy new year my lovelies. Have I been missing in action for long? Well, I was still adjusting to a couple of things… January blues!
A quick recap of events; Christmas was great and so was new years. For new years eve, I went out dancing, yeeeey! and I think I looked super good. Plus all the fireworks was just breathtaking.
Back to reality now. School resumed and is ending soon anyway. So back to early mornings. The job hunt is still on; at least I got one response from the tens of applications I had sent and still sending. My plants are very healthy, I still enjoying cooking and love fashion. I’m still me!
Ever wondered if you’re in the right place in your life? Do you sometimes question why nothing seems to work out your way? From jobs, school, relationships e.t.c. Good news! you’re not alone!
For a while now, I’ve been having trouble deciding what I want to do with my life after language school. I have options like enrolling for a masters degree, getting a job or continueing with language school till C1 level. Truth is I need one, more than the other two. Education sounds good but it’s more complicated than I’d anticipated, because I’ll have to study in German. Then it hits me that difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. 🙂
News flash; I’m not 20 years old anymore. My needs are definitely more important than my wants. I need a job… Reality check!
I’m not here to tell you what to do. I’ll just share my opinion which is solely from my experience.
I classify these situations into two categories; Needs and Wants ∗Needs – Something you must havefor you to survive, i.e Shelter, food, basic healthcare and clothing. ∗Wants – Something you would like to have, i.e a big car, big house, expensive vacations etc. I believe that more often than not, life gives us what we need and not what we want. And that’s totally OKAY! Ever wondered why there are only countable billionaires in a world inhibited by billions of people? It’s simple… we all can’t be billionaires. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t work hard or we’re less smart, it simply means everyone isn’t born for the same purpose. Even our fingers are not the equal.
I stand corrected; but I believe life is meant to be lived, not survived. It’s totally okay to treat yourself to some wants along the way, but only when you can afford it, and enjoy these wants as the extras they are. Be grateful for what you have and work hard for what you want.
Value what you have. ⇒Many a times we overlook what we have and we may even feel deprived of the things we want because we are not able to afford them. take your time and look around you. You’re most likely to see how lucky and blessed you are with the needs that you already have. Don’t waste too much time counting the stars lest you lose the moon.
⇒Take time and reflect on all the ways you’re blessed. Then, decide whats really important to you and go after it. Many people talk about wanting to do this or that, but they never actually try to make it happen. Take the challenge and make things happen. Walk the talk!
Don’t follow social media trends blindly. Half the things you see on social media are fake. This hurts but it’s the truth. Don’t believe everything you see people posting on social media platforms or let it intimidate you into going out of your way trying to keep up, because you may end up hurting yourself. Such silly competition will lead you nowhere. Avoid tricking yourself into feeling deprived when you aren’t. Stay true to your cause all the way and have your own definition of success. Don’t get broke trying to look rich.
Have a realistic budget plan. Come up with a realistic plan and act on it. You can only budget with the money you earn or have at hand. Above all, remember to save, save and save, for a rainy day is on it’s way.
Look out for sales. The word “SALE” is the love of my life! haha. I refer to my style as “Champagne taste on abeer budget“. In short, I have expensive taste but I shop cheap! I always know when there’s a sale in any store in Braunschweig … yes! Many people mistake me for a spendthrift, but truth is, I only shop during sales so I spend way less on like five items than I would on one, on a normal day.
So looking out for sales is a good way to spend less and save more.
A relationship is awant
Iconsider it so because you don’t need relationships to survive. Sure love makes everything beautiful but it’s not worth your time or breath if it’s not reciprocated. I’m no love counselor or relationship adviser, but I believe that you should never get too atached to anyone unless they feel the same towards you. Because one sided expectetions can mentally destroy you.
Lastly, the topic of Needs and wants is so broad and I could only write about it from my perspective and understanding. My parting shot is simple; if dogs are entitled to treats, who are we not to have treats? After-all, no one is leaving alive…right? Have fun as you figure out your needs and wants. Prost!
Zitat: Needs are imposed by nature. wants are sold by society – Mokokoma Mokhonoana.