Thursday, September 25, 2014

Remembering Idd Salim

One year ago yesterday, Idd Salim passed on. He died of Tuberculosis.

Sadly, I must have been living under a rock at the time because I only got to know of his 'Disappearance Act' months later, in June 2014.

Thus Spaketh Idd Salim
To me, Idd Salim Kithinji was one of the outspoken tweeps I just couldn't ignore. I very frequently read his blog - Thus Spaketh Idd Salim. Inasmuch as it was the kind of blog you would never read aloud in the presence of your parents or impressionable kids, it was and still is such a joy to read.

Even from his grave, Salim still makes me laugh and reflect.

His opening lines and quips in most blog posts were salacious, yet funny. Salim was brusque, but based his assertions on fact (mostly). He would pontificate yet be profound. Consider the following:

On Robert Alai's arrest:

On the type of women to avoid:

On how Kenya cannot match Silicon Valley in USA:

On how local coders are conned by foreign 'investors':

Most Enduring Memories

What I remember most about Salim was his protracted beef with Robert Alai. At one time, Idd Salim and some friends planned to launch TechMataa to counter Alai's TechMtaa.

Also, there is this very deep post Salim wrote about faith, prayer, merit and their attendant problems. Too bad I cannot get this post on How I wish I saved it on my hard drive :-(
Last, and in no way least, he did this post about not being employed. This was in fact his penultimate blog post, and was inspired by a question raised by @RoomThinker.

It is a detailed post, and I urge you to go ahead and read it. Salim ends the post with the following timeless words:
“Employment is cool” I tell people, “especially when that is the BEST you can do”. But if you can do better, please never give up.

Chase your dream. Daily. Daily. Chase it.

Thus spaketh Idd Salim.

Fare thee well brother. I'll always fondly remember you Salim.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Free at Last, Free at Last

Yesterday, I let go. And it feels good!

For the last couple of months, I have committed a great deal of precious time and substantial resources on what has now turned out to be a wild goose chase. In essence, I did find out only yesterday that the juice was no longer worth the squeeze in this particular situation. And hasn't been for many days, only that I wasn't aware.

At a time when I remain quite unwilling to countenance the shenanigans of a busy-body, I did the difficult, yet worthwhile thing - to quit while still ahead.
Interestingly, my new-found freedom obviates the need to get involved in some half-hearted commitments in the name of fulfilling societal expectations.

Letting Go, Cleaning the House and Moving On

That done, I must confess I took one long look back at what was, and immediately embarked on what is, inspired by the following words from Paulo Coelho's The Zahir:

...there are always some stories that are 'interrupted,' and they are the stories that remain nearest to the surface and so still occupy the present; only when we close that story or chapter can we begin the next one...

That is why it is so important to let certain things go. To release them. To cut loose.People need to understand that no one is playing with marked cards; sometimes we win and sometimes we lose.

Don't expect to get anything back, don't expect recognition for your efforts, don't expect your genius to be discovered or your love to be understood. Complete the circle. Not out of pride, inability, or arrogance, but simply because whatever it is no longer fits in your life.

Close the door, change the record, clean the house, get rid of the dust. Stop being who you were and become who you are.

Admittedly, the feeling one gets is akin to what Andy Dufresne felt when he left Shawshank..

Freedom Songs 

From the song Free by 1NC,  I too, am now free to lift my hands, smile again, live and not die.. and much more.

And here's yet another song about freedom by George Michael.. go figure.

Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty I'm free at last!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Changing Lives through Spoken and Written Words

In the past few weeks, I've been thinking about the role words play in shaping lives as I work on Complitly Connect Magazine's enduring comeback.

From October 1, 2014, Complitly Connect Magazine (CCM) returns with writing that has meaning, makes a difference and adds value.

CCM aside, I also happened to watch The Harvesters last week, starring Diane Luby as Rachel Pierce, an affable widow.
Looking at her page on IMDb and official bio, I realize that Diane is also a writer, and the founder and Executive Director of Get Lit, a non-profit organization whose stated objective is to increase teen literacy through classic and spoken word poetry.

In January 2014, Diane gave a TEDx Talk in Pacific Palisades titled Claim Your Poem: Claim Your Life.

Diane's 'Get Lit' is a most noble initiative. It reminds me of Hilary Swank in the movie Freedom Writers, where she and her 150 teenage students used writing to change themselves and the world.

Many years ago, Lord Byron described words this way:
But words are things, and a small drop of ink, 
Falling like dew, upon a thought, produces 
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.

Looking back, the written word has changed my life in no small measure. I decided I wanted to be a writer at age nine, when I read my father's copy of 'The River Between' by Ngugi wa Thiong'o. A year later, I read 'Things Fall Apart' by Chinua Achebe which was my sister's High School literature set book Another sister brought Elechi Amadi's 'The Concubine' home, which I gladly gobbled up. I fondly recall reading Emile Zola's 'Germinal' and Barbara Taylor Bradford's 'A Woman of Substance'. Even the humongous 'The Ring'  by Danielle Steel was a very welcome read.

In addition to literary fiction, reading non-fiction to satiate an ever growing thirst for general knowledge has along the years provided valuable insights in life. In-depth writing at Longform, Longreads, Brain Pickings, The Edge and other sites where ideas are exchanged have made me a much better person overall.

It is on this premise that the CCM team and I have renewed our passion, redirected our resources and channeled our focus on sharing valuable information as well as adding value to information.
We purpose to foster positive change through writing that helps you learn a thing or two, articles that make you pause and reflect, copy that enlightens as well as entertains.

Join us at the Complitly Connect Magazine (CCM) site for our Monday and Wednesday blog posts, the podcast of the week every Friday and The Weekend Connection every Saturday.
And every first day of the month from October 1, 2014, the monthly edition of Complitly Connect Magazine.

At CCM, you'll read, learn and share original, useful, timely and valuable content that will help you connect with what matters to you. Complitly.


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