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Archive for September 4th, 2010

Trying to fall pregnant?

Posted by Administrator on September 4, 2010

By Joy Wanja

Have you been trying to conceive in vain? The solution could lie in a few tips that you could have been ignoring in the last few months. However, according to Dr Gathari Ndirangu, a gynaecologist, at least three in every 10 pregnancies end up being lost in the first trimester.

“Our bodies have a way of rejecting pregnancies that may not necessarily result in a healthy baby,” Dr Ndirangu points out.
And in some cases of the early miscarriages, the woman may not even be aware that she was pregnant in the first place, he adds.

First women hoping to conceive must ensure optimum timing when their bodies are ready to carry a pregnancy to term. When below 18, the body is not fully prepared for child bearing while those above 34 need to consult a doctor who will monitor your progress during the pregnancy.

A two year space between pregnancies is advisable, he says and adds, “Avoid stress-free lifestyle.”This can be reduced by avoiding unnecessary squabbles at home, at work or elsewhere. Stress often affects conception.

A new study in the  UK, has revealed women were less likely to conceive when they showed elevated levels of a stress-related substance called alpha-amylase.

It has been suggested that stress may increase with the disappointment of several failed attempts at getting pregnant, setting off a cycle in which pregnancy becomes even more difficult to achieve.

If you are on a contraceptive method and hoping to conceive, Dr Ndirangu advises that upon withdrawing from it, fertility should resume within 24 hours in the case of hormonal methods like the injections and implants.

However, this could be dependent on the duration that one has been on the method, the type of method and the individual’s reproductive system.

People who have chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension should also visit the doctor before they fall pregnant or immediately they realise they are pregnant in order to advise them on better management of both the baby and themselves until full-term while keeping the condition in check.

Medical check-ups are also healthy at this stage as some underlying conditions that had earlier not been detected and can be diagnosed and medical interventions given at this time.

HIV positive women should enrol for the Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission in order to be advised on healthy living that will prevent the child from contracting the virus.

For families where genetic conditions like albinism, sickle cell anemia, diabetes, heart conditions among others are known to exist, Dr Ndirangu advises that couples go for genetic counseling to be advise on chances of having a child with the inherited condition.

Diets rich in vegetables, fruits and minerals like iron and folic acid are essential at all stages, the doctor advises.
Folic acid prevents conditions like spina bifida. Iron and calcium are also crucial components of a diet.

Once a woman realises she has conceived, it is important that she begins ante-natal clinics in the nearest health facility where she can be advised further.

“By the 12th week of pregnancy, one should have visited the clinic at least once even in remote areas,” the doctor advises. Male involvement, especially the partner is also crucial, as it is the support network for the woman during the nine-month period that the woman’s body is undergoing both hormonal and physical changes.

And if one does not conceive at all, then Dr Ndirangu advises that the woman should visit a gynaecologist for further tests and information.

Source: Daily Nation

Posted in Analysis and Opinion | Comments Off on Trying to fall pregnant?

Stop the mad rush and smell the flowers

Posted by Administrator on September 4, 2010

By Jackson Biko

Nobody relishes an analogy involving rats. But that’s what our lives seem to have boiled down to; rats running a wheel. Life has become like a treadmill and we’re working up a good sweat, only we aren’t moving. Not literally at least.

We ravage life with an unsettling urgency. Nobody stops to pick and smell a flower.

Where is the time? We drink and drive. We eat foods that will not see us to old age, foods that will make our kids diabetic at 12yrs.

We have sex without condoms. We spend more time in the trenches chasing the penny than we spend with our loved ones.

We don’t exercise. We drink. Daily.

We don’t kiss our children enough and we leave them to grow in the hands of strangers. We don’t pray. Church passes us in a head-splitting daze of hangover.

Our friendships are fleeting and uncertain, but even when they hold we refuse to actively nurture them. Where is the time? We are possessed by consuming ambition, and we unapologetically step on anyone or anything that stands in our way.

We have replaced virtue with passion and it seems to offer a reason to all the ills that burden our lives. This is our life; it’s the only life we know but is it quality life? Is this the ultimate redemption, this relentless pursuit of hedonism?

Felix Murathe had a heart attack three months ago. He is only 30. A freelance web developer, he often burnt the midnight oil pushing on until 2am. Lucky for him, on that fateful night he had decided to sleep at his girlfriend’s house.

Naturally, he carried his laptop (he carried it everywhere, he admits) with him to do an hour before turning in. They had dinner at 9pm; beef, potatoes and rice. Shortly before midnight he propped up in bed and started working. The pain came an hour later.

“It felt like someone was squeezing my heart in their fist, the pain was out of this world,” he explains.
He remembers waking up in the hospital five hours later, and for the next month, he lay in a hospital bed having come an inch of death.

Felix isn’t overweight.
“Coming so close to death is a moment of clarity. Everything that you thought and imagined as important all of a sudden becomes so trivial.”

He says sipping milk from a wine glass in his house. “ I always had what I call my “Pivot of 35” agenda, which is basically to have my own a successful web development company at 35, and everything I did was tunnel-visioned towards this target.

Nothing else mattered; when I wasn’t working I was drinking or sleeping.
After this heart experience, Pivot of 35 doesn’t seem too urgent anymore, I let it possess me and it nearly killed me.

My doctor sat me for an hour when I was being discharged and he told me, I was killing myself, that I needed to pay attention to my body.
“So what has changed now?” I ask.

“We fuss over things that really aren’t worth much. It’s a sad way to lead your life because it imprisons you. I’m free
Felix is a product of city living, an overwhelming rat race, a life driven by what you have… which in turn speaks to who you are in the pecking order in the rungs of society.

But the beast that is city life dictates that you aspire for greatness, that you keep moving or else it swallows you like quicksand.
The city calls and everybody comes to feed their ambition. Nobody comes to the city to fail. And therein, perhaps lies the death of the soul.

“Our lives will always remain empty if we ignore to nourish them,” Pastor Mark says, “ It’s not even about spirituality, it’s beyond the bible, it’s about knowing what is good for you which perhaps is the greatest wisdom.

Most of young people are so focused on the wrong choices that they miss to recognize so many greater opportunities. There has to be more about life than ambition because ambition left to roam is destructive.”

Sospeter Midamba, a 65-year-old senior citizen and still a socialite in his own right says the shift of priorities in recent times has been anything but rapid.

“I have been living in this city for 50 years and one noticeable difference now is that younger people are more competitive and more anxious about life and what that has done is that is has killed other important value system , like the importance of family, for instance.”

Sospeter believes that the quality of life hinges on family. “Being a part of a strong and stable family unit is the most underrated quality of urban living, not any amount of money or affluence can replace the loneliness of isolation.”

Talking of isolation, I met a monk for this feature. Yes, a real monk from Amanda Marga Mission in Nairobi’s Mountain View estate. The mission runs a children’s home and every Sunday they organise a feeding program for underprivileged families.

His name is Dada Suba. He is a strict vegetarian. He doesn’t take onions or garlic, tea of coffee. Dada doesn’t know what alcohol tastes like. He doesn’t even listen to music.

“That doesn’t leave much to live for Dada,” I tell him, a joke that earns me a stony look. He is seated on his verandah with his legs folded under him in that yoga stance. He, like other monks in his mission, wears orange.

What is your idea of quality of life? I ask him, a question that brings out a drilling stare that suggests that perhaps I have asked him a trick question.

“This is the quality of life,” he says somberly nodding ahead at something. I follow his look.
“Uhm, a tree?” I mumble puzzled.

“No, serving humanity is quality of life. There is no greater service, service to humanity and service to God is what quality of life boils to, and to arrive to that point where you put your own selfish needs and ambitions aside requires a discipline of the mind, body and soul.”
Dada says Yoga helps him get to that point. “I practice yoga two hours daily for mental strength, physical fitness and spiritual elevation. Once you serve and see the fruits of your service in others, your life becomes more purposeful, more grounded, more fulfilling.”

“Someone told me that having family is the epitome of quality life.” I tell him.
“Maybe so, and family is just a name to define a group of people who have something in common, so yes.

But if you mean siblings, then I differ because I don’t have a father or mother or brothers or sisters and yet I’m living a quality life.”
“Where are they?” I ask irrelevantly, more out of curiosity.

“It’s been 25 years without any relation.” He offers simply as an explanation.
But quality of life seems quite subjective and is shaped by circumstance as it is by our environment.

A lady who I will call Jennifer, a struggling single mother of one, says quality of life is largely being comfortable.
“I’ve heard people who insist that quality of life is a peace of mind, that it’s inherently the state of mind. That is such deception,” she spat.

“You can’t lead a quality of life and the so-called peace of mind when you have to work to your bone to feed your baby, to take her to school and medical care with a meager salary. For you to get to a point of peace mentally, you have to be able to feed yourself and cloth yourself. I’m not materialistic, but I’m realistic when I say quality of life for me is financial freedom.”

Rose, a financial consultant with a portfolio that includes some real wealthy folks is quick to point out that quality of life has nothing to do with finances.

“It’s all a big assumption by people who aren’t wealthy that money brings about quality life, but the reality will shock you. I think quality of life is about a value system and how to apply your money towards those values and it’s only then that the shift from liquid money to tangible benefits will occur. It’s about using what you have to achieve the end. But I can say that quality of life is intangible and the more tangible you start making it the less useful it is.”

Faith Odemba, a nutritionist, puts down quality of life to good health. “Everything else means nothing if your body is ill. A sick body in turn infects the mind. My first priority is to set the body straight, after all it’s the temple of God, then the rest can follow. Eat right and rest, and of course drink lots of water. Nourish your body because when it stops working for you, no amount of money will bring it back to its original state.”

It might all seem convoluted or even rhetoric all these prescriptions, but one maxim that seems to constantly buoy through this clatter of opinion is the need for a more sober spirit, or mind.

So in short, they say, tame your urges. Love genuinely. Drink water. Give back to others. Pray. Eat your vegetables. Pray.
Nurture relationships. Expect less from human beings because they will break your heart. Find contentment in things with longevity.

Develop your chi more.


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Are you really wife material?

Posted by Administrator on September 4, 2010

By Njoki Kaigai

A good friend of mine is on the brink of suicide following a bizarre twist of events. She had been dating this fellow for a decade in the belief that one day, he would marry her. Shock on her when the guy invited her to his wedding – with another woman.

My friend is devastated and feels misused, duped and accuses the guy of wasting her precious time. I sought to understand this cruel behaviour. According to my male pals, there is nothing illogical or unfortunate about how the whole matter has been concluded.

Male reasoning dictates that one should use two separate criteria to choose partners to have fun with and life partners – and apparently, women do not seem to understand this. So what are the key ingredients for the perfect wife material?

There was general consensus that for a woman to become a wife, she must score highly in the baby and home-making areas. Even if your boyfriend admires how efficiently your liver breaks down Sambuca shots, chances are he is not considering you as prime wife candidate.

He is looking for the woman who is a home maker – not the hot babe who considers the bar counter to be her second home. A man will dump the party girl at the drop of a hat when he spots that woman.

Nesting patience

If you are the kind of girl who is more worried about the impact of the baby on her figure and career, then it isn’t your number your man will be picking come marriage time.

Find a smart way of letting the man know that you believe in having babies and that you have enough nesting patience to match that.
Men expect the woman they marry to give them a better brand value.

This is the kind of woman who is good for their image especially when it comes to moving up the corporate and social ladder. These guys explained that while it is okay to date the run-of-the mill girl next door, when it comes to marriage, a man must seek to wed someone with a name.

When all is said and done, it helps one’s career or business if you are associated with a well-recognised brand. A man who wants to be strategic will therefore do all he can to put a ring on the finger of a woman who has brand value to put on the table.

Those women who were not born with or who have not acquired the right brand category can compete if they can excel in other criteria such as excessive loyalty, reliability and dependability and in some cases bedroom skills.

My male pals explained to me that being cute does not in any way guarantee you a spot on the wife slot. To be considered for wife status, one must display habits that do not, in any way, create obstacles in the guy’s life and career.

Drama queen characteristics are deal breakers therefore those women who want to become wives must hone their forbearance and forgiving skills.


They must be able to see the big picture even when the small picture has more drama and theatrics that the future picture. A woman who is wife material must have the good sense (in the man’s view) to overlook small misdemeanours like too many late nights with the boys, the untidiness that is inherently wired into Kenyan male DNA among other things.

She must be also be non-judgemental especially when the man’s potential and actual reality are miles apart.
According to these men, a woman who is wife material does not whine and act desperate when it comes to wanting the big wedding band.

She does not keep dropping hints every time Valentine’s comes around or whenever there is some festivity going on. She does not send emissaries to talk to the man about when he plans to settle down and she never drags him on those annoying wedding rounds in the hope that he will get the hint. This woman let’s nature take its course.

For me, the ultimate clincher was the revelation that any man who hasn’t proposed by the 2nd year of a relationship never will.
Get the hint and move on.

From the above, I realised my friend stood no chance of being selected as a wife. She was the fun material who is discarded immediately wife material comes along.

Source: Daily Nation

Posted in Analysis and Opinion | Comments Off on Are you really wife material?

Celebrating the life of Pharis Kariuki Gicheru

Posted by Administrator on September 4, 2010

Mr Pharis Kariuki Gicheru who passed away in Kenya on September 2, 2010

Mr Pharis Kariuki Gicheru who passed away in Kenya on September 2, 2010

It is with humble acceptance of God’s will that we announce the promotion to Glory of Pharis Kariuki Gicheru who went to be with the Lord after a short illness yesterday 2nd September 2010.


Though in mourning, we are celebrating and thanking God for the long life of our father and Grandfather to many.

He was husband of Margaret Wanjiku Kariuki and the father of Isaac Gicheru Kariuki of Diaspora Messenger (Maryland USA), Miriam Wangare –Mama Mugure (California USA),  Catherine Nduta Franzke (Germany),  David Kamau Kariuki, William Njoroge Kariuki, Sammy Gicheru Kariuki, the late Nyambura Kariuki, Nyawira and Nduta all of Kenya.

He was father in law of Agnes Kariuki of Diaspora Messenger (USA), Michael Franzke(Germany) and Catherine Wambui. Grandfather of Jimmy Kariuki (Virginia USA) Michael Magua, Maureen Wanjiku and Kenny Kariuki (California USA),Brahm Kariuki,David Kirui,Robert Ithongo and Joyce Wangare (Maryland USA, Irene Mugure,Tracy Wanjiku, Janet wanjiku, Ronny Kariuki, Margaret Wanjiku, Wairimu, Joseph Kariuki, Murage, Mbugua, Wambui and others (Kenya). He was Great grandfather to many.

The Kariuki’s family will be leaving for Kenya next week to attend the funeral. Funeral arrangement will be announced later.

Friends and family are meeting daily for prayers from 7.00pm to 9.30 pm at:

Isaac Kariuki’s residence:

18713 Curry Powder Lane, Germantown Maryland.20876.

Tel: 301 528 4689

And in Kenya at Isaac Kariuki’s mum’s house:

Margaret Wanjiku Kariuki.

Riara Road, Masai Court

Tel: David Kamau 0733 426 380.

Your prayers and contribution will be appreciated.

If you like to make any contributions, you can do so through…

Account Name: Isaac Kariuki

Bank Name: Bank of America

Account #3919698102

Other Contacts:

Fredrick Karanja————-240 838 1282

John Ngotho—————–240 645 8374

Julius Mwangi—————-443 653 0389

Miriam Wangare————-714 600 7449

Jimmy Kariuki—————-703 398 5221

The Lord gives and He takes. Blessed are Those Who Die in the Lord – Revelation 14:13

Posted in Obituaries | Comments Off on Celebrating the life of Pharis Kariuki Gicheru

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