This goes to my one and only talented young brother Justin, who is only 12 right now and doing amazing things already. This kid is destined for greatness, Ayiii! Check him out.


My name is Bart Henry. I am a punching bag to others. I am an aberration. I am a disposable human being.

I am going to tell you about my life from the beginning. It all started when I was born, my mom had cancer and she died a few days later. Then my father followed. He got shot in the head when I was six years old. Before I knew it I lost all my family members.

I was an orphan for about five years, that until someone adopted me. I had lived with him for as long as I can remember. He loved and hated me at the same time. I was scared, really scared, but happy. The worst times was when he was drunk. I hated it when he did that.

At school, all my classmates stunned me because I wasn’t popular. Older kids used to beat me up. Crying was my everyday ritual. I had been bullied for like eight years. When I turned twenty years old, I suffered from a mental illness. Must have been all that bullying I got. I was taken to REHAB. The only people that used to visit me were my imaginary friends.

After a few years, my illness got better and I was free to go. In the age 36, I still kept on getting threatening messages from strangers saying ‘I will kill you, I promise!’. I got so scared that I starting thinking to myself saying, ‘if people don’t like me, then what’s the point of living’. I picked up a knife and started counting. Three…two… one…

Before I knew it I was in the hospital. I was told I had remained with only one kidney. I had stabbed the other one… While in the hospital, the only people visiting me were my imaginary friends. I cried and bled. Days passed.

I one day had a heart attack. They said my stress had caused it. Was breathing heavily. On my last breath, I saw the light. I WAS DEAD. I was later on buried by the same people who hated me. How nice? They had tossed my coffin as if it was a ball. They took pictures and posted them online. The only friends who came to the funeral were my imaginary friends.

Advice to my young self in another dimension and all of you. Be happy with what you have. Spend time with those you love, and actually, care about. Before you know it they will all be in and out without even noticing.



Let’s call her Queen Hatshepsut

CEM 25/05/2017, DSM

I opened my eyes hoping that it was only a dream. Ohh, Lord! Plz, let it all be a dream. I did not go out yesterday. I did not drink my ass off until my kidneys cried out for mercy. I did not end up with a one-night stand whose name I don’t even recall. Ohh, Lord! Have mercy.

‘Babyy! You up already? I have been waiting for you… I woke up a little early. And have been staring at your cute face ever since. You know you’re cuter when asleep than normally would.’… WTH! What a creep! Who stares at someone’s face for over two hours. Girl! You know that meant nothing to me right? I hope you do.

But Lord! Why didn’t you let it be just a dream? Now I have to deal with this one. Offload her before everyone is up. They will start calling me a manwhore after all these one night stands. In my defence though, I never asked for this. I mean the market is super tight nowadays. And nobody got time for dinner dates every other Friday, in hopes of finding the one after six months. To be honest with you though, it’s all about the economics of sex. Simply put, I need occasional sex but can’t afford it via the long route following relationships. So would rather immerse myself with that 4k NYAGI, 10k for club’s entrance fee, 20k for the CAB round trip, and I’m ready to go.

‘Ohh yeah?! How sweet of you? So how dyu feel now?’

‘I am doing fine thanks for asking. You are so sweet… PLZ marry me! Be my husband? I need a husband like you.’…After seeing my face she was like, ‘Just joking bwana! But Ohhh Lord! That was good. THANK YOU SO MUCH. You really good at it. And sweet. And with dancing, Ohh Lord! Don’t get me started.’

I smirked. Looking at her straight in the eyes, while petting her hair. Credits to her hair though. This goddess had it good. It was really long and natural. Smelled good too.

‘You know I didn’t like you when I first saw you. I mean you’re cute and all, but you ain’t my type’… She was clearly referring to my height. FUCK MY 5’6 stature!…’But after dancing to you with that Kenzo’s song (kamatia). Bruh! I didn’t wanna let go. Hivi ni pro-dancer au?’

‘NAH! I am actually really bad when sober. I guess it’s one of those talents that needs drinking for activation.’

‘Can I ask for one more thing?’…Me: ‘Morning s** au??’…’NO!!! Hell NO! I have had enough. That was enough for the whole month … I just wanted to have a shower with you. I have been fantasizing about it for long.’…’Hizi movies zatuharibu ati. Damn you HOLLYWOOD!… Let’s go lakini’… We ended up with another session in the shower and back in the bed.

Called a CAB for her, and she was gone. I had to take a two hour nap to reassemble my system.

Two hours later, I was on my bed looking at my phone screen. Trying to catch up quickly and answer all the texts, emails and missed calls. Whilst doing that, I started reminiscing about earlier yesterday. Reminiscing about a girl who had my heart pinned for the first time, from the first sight of hers. Reminiscing our first awkward acquaintance to our first kiss and all the things we ended up doing. Crazy that all that can happen in one day. God, I love my life!!! SOMETIMES.

Right from the start, I knew she was different. She was the one. I mean I have been around, and I have seen a lot BUT there was no one like her. EVEN CLOSE. God, she was hot! This one was all I have been looking for all these years. This one was all a guy can ask for. This one can make a guy change his religion, disown his family and abandon his kids. This one is worth a thousand pages of description. This one was the one. She was definitely the one.

‘You’re Clevance!’….’Yeah! How dyu know me?’. Acting all defensive…’Instagram!’ took a step forward and continued ‘I’m that ******* you have been liking her pics’…. ‘Ohhhhh!’…’Yeah!!!’….’You look different in person’….She frowned. Looked at me straight in the eyes, as though she was demanding for further clarification…’OMG! NO NO – I meant you look much better in person. You should fire your photographer already.’

Phew, what a save!

Not so fast… Before I could do anything, we were hit with another awkward moment. I was stuck and so was she. All standing in a desultory fashion. Staring at her, and her doing the same. It was as if we were in a staring contest. I have been in such situations a lotta times though – I know I’m weird like that –  so this was nothing, I was definitely more than prepared for the challenge.

Laughsss …. ‘What are you doing? Ohhh boy you are one of those’.

That hit me hard. I mean you finally meet the most beautiful girl, alluring, stylish and elegant, and there I am doing nothing. The girl initiated the convo for Pete’s sake – that never happens to me 🤷🏽‍♂️ . DAMN YOU INACTIVE AND DEPRIVED BRAINS. Do something! Say anything!

She freaking approached me! Did I say this never happens to me? SAD LIFE. I am about to screw this up, ain’t I? Anyways, it wouldn’t be the first time.

‘Ain’t you gonna say anything? CLEVANCE!?!’…’Listen ***’. Let’s call her Queen Hatshepsut for now. The girl got that Queen Hatshepsut vibes if doesn’t supersede her. GEEKY STUFFS 🤦🏽‍♂️. ‘Listen Queen Hatshepsut! I have never met a girl as beautiful as you are, so I guess this is me acting like a star-struck teenager meeting his/her celebrity crush.’…’You are cute!’…Ohhh shit! It’s happening. (Victory Dance)

In my little to nothing years, I have been lucky to meet a lot of people. Have acquainted with quite a number. It has reached a point where I get called with people I don’t recognize – I know, impressive -; but never have I met a girl like Queen Hatshepsut.

Queen Hatshepsut was different. Queen Hatshepsut was the one.


The prison of our own design

It’s that time of the year. Finals are here, and my super motivated self from the beginning of the semester is nowhere to be found. And now, procrastination has had the best of me. So, what do I distract myself with? You guessed right. I google the first thing in my mind – why people cheat? Not so fast. You will be surprised with the number of articles, research papers and blogs that are written on the topic. I got 44,000,000 results to be exact. Seems like something that a lot of people care about. More than ‘why am I such a loser?’ which gave 27,900,000 results.

Anywho, back to the point. So why do people cheat?

We all are aware of the famous joke of all time, right? Moses comes down and says, ‘I have got good news and bad news. The good news is I got him down to ten, and the bad news is “adultery” stays’… If you haven’t got the joke, this article is not for you. READ NO MORE! I will not be responsible for the next three to five minutes of your life that you’re about to lose.

Why would students, teams, politicians or couples cheat? Why do they cheat in situations with little to gain than losing? Why, in other words, would one break a rule that they were specifically warned about beforehand? Well, before I mislead you in any way, I am going to limit this piece to non-marriage relationships kind of cheating, and it should in no way be matched to my identity and beliefs. Everything is purely based on research. I mean a fifteen-minute research to be exact.

At a surface level, it seems as if people cheat because they are unaware of the exclusivity discourse that the relationship entails, they find the other person desirable, they are seeking for what they are not getting in their relationship, they are seeking for materialistic opportunities (with boss, professor or T.A), it’s in their genes, for payback reasons, or simply because they are just addicted. However, research shows otherwise. In fact, it is more psychological than one might realise, and of course, applies differently to men as it does to women.

Research shows that women cheat because of mere disappointment from their counterparts and the relationship at large. So they use cheating as a way of ending the relationship by making the man end it. Others argue that they cheat so as to fix their relationship, with the belief that the guilt from it will act as a reassuring factor to keep their feelings in check. Sometimes they meet someone who is a lot more caring and remembers their birthday (guys please don’t forget your girlfriend’s birthday! with google calendar and facebook in place, there’s literally no excuse).

When it comes to men, research suggests that their cheating is linked to the need for control more than not. This issue is especially common among men who are financially dependent on their girlfriends. The trend persists when there’s performance anxiety at bed or when it comes down to just casual flirting. It can also be seen when there is a need for re-assurance as far as masculinity is on the check, to state the least.

Of course, this problem is bigger than stated above, and there is no way I could address it wholesomely in an article as short as this. My main intent is to trigger a debate amongst my readers (friends) or just a chain of thought to independent thinkers. Please feel free to reach out if you’ve got suggestions, critiques or any rebuttal.

In the spirit of the biblical narrative that we all know by heart, LET US SWEAR ALLEGIANCE to the seventh of the ten commandments – ‘Though shalt not commit adultery’.

~Cem~ 05/05/2017


Your global citizen…COUGH! COUGH!

From public to private to international and lastly Yale university. How did I make it? I have no fucking idea. Others say it’s smarts, but we all know one or two smarter dropouts out there. In fact, who gets to define the standards of smartness? What if one had a bad day while taking them SATs or ACTs for that matter? What if one is just not that good at taking tests? I guess we shall never know. And what about the intelligence quotient scores? What was the inventor Lewis Terman and Alfred Binet IQs anyways? Well, at least with the IQ scores, studies show that it measures developed skills, not native intelligence. Don’t say anything about a person’s intellectual limits, and can change dramatically over one’s lifetime. ( see here )

I consider myself very lucky to have reached where I am. Let’s go with fortunate though, after all, we don’t wanna scare off them anointed elite liberals who are paying for my fees now. We don’t want them to think that they have got a wrong representative for their institution (which they did, between me and you). You gotta admit though, we all need luck in life. Well, unless you Nicki Minaj – she ain’t lucky, that goddess is blessed.

From public to private to international.

Around March 2014, at the Kilimanjaro international airport. Pissed AF. I had missed my flight. Just a minute late, the plane wouldn’t have gone for another half an hour, and this Chagga security guy wouldn’t let me pass. I mean I understand the whole three hours too early, one minute too late narrative as Shakespear phrased it. But we’re in an airport as big as a classroom , in Africa, where’s African time at bruh?! Lemme give him the benefit of the doubt, the poor guy might have lost his NYANYA for Pete’s sake. I mean who knows.

Anyways, I unapologetically dragged my ass to the FAST JETS office. Five minutes later and I was listed in the next flight. Thanks to the low demand back in them days, I didn’t have to pay a single cent…FAST JET! Y’all are the real MVPs.

I now had to wait for more than five hours until the next flight. With little to nothing in my pockets, I could afford to treat myself with a beer and ZEGE. After all, that two days straight interview was no joke; the least I could do was to treat myself. As the famous KINGA biblical line goes ‘thou shalt treat thy tummies with yummy cuisine and beverages’, I savagely immersed myself in that praiseworthy -goldest- of the Usambara fries cemented in the midst of three worth of scrambled eggs, to only which is mouthwatering to WABONGO.

Whilst enjoying myself like no one’s business, my phone rings. THERE’S NO WAY THAT’S MINE. People never call me. Wait, what? God damn it, it’s mine. Arghh! – Dig me a grave, bury me away and don’t invite auntie Joy to the funeral reception – Who is this selfless and undeserving of my time son of a man dares to ring me at this time? Why do y’all gotta be like that? 

‘Hallo! Shikamoo mama?’….’How’s it going?’…..’What?’…. ‘You’re kidding right?’. ‘There’s no way they chose me’…’OMG! Thank you so much’. ‘This is such good news’. ASANTE SANA MAMA! It must have been all those night prayers you had me do. I really appreciate your efforts. Ni nani kama mama?

So, just like that. I was in. Who would have known that I would one day spend two years with the children of our very own ‘top one percentile’.

MOVING ON… Three years after, I present to you my reflection on my time at the International School of Moshi, ISM. Btw, this is gonna be a featured interview in the upcoming ISM’s student-led SUMMIT magazine.

What has been the greatest advantage of studying at ISM?

To me, the greatest advantage of studying at ISM has been the exposure to the whole new world – which for the sake of clarity and lack of a better term I will lamely dub it as ‘internationalism’. I recall having a pretty skewed view of the world before my coming to ISM, partly because my former school’s syllabus was a lot more hesitant at nurturing their students into becoming global citizens. However, in my two years’ period at ISM, I had grown to be a well knowledgeable and multifaceted individual as far as global affairs were concerned.

How do you think ISM prepared you for Uni life?

Needless to say, University life is a lot harder than high school life, but ISM through its curriculum (IB) has done quite a good job at preparing me for the workload. The IB curriculum is without a doubt one of the best high school educational systems in the world, and to most this will only become evident once you reach university where most of the assignments are writing intensive.

Another thing is on the out of the class lifestyle. ISM being a cosmopolitan school that it is had prepared me well for the culture shocks that the very diverse American community brings to foreigners. The exposure I got from my teachers and some of my fellow students from Western countries gave me an idea of what to expect in university and US at large.

How do you think ISM is ideal for building up a global citizen (with you as an example)?

As I mentioned earlier in the first question; by the virtue of having a community as diverse as ISM has, international schools tend to be very effective at building up a global citizen. To me, ISM was an eye opener when it came to the celebration of different cultures and learning how to appreciate my own. With the school’s greater focus put into having a concern for integrity and honesty as well as open-mindedness, ISM students are bound to succeed at any institution where global citizenship mentality is celebrated

What do you remember and (probably cherish) most about your time at ISM?

My time at ISM was very exciting. There is a lot of memorable moments (if not all) that I will always cherish. What made my experience at ISM so special is the fact that every day was an adventure of some sort. One never knew what to expect, whether in class or out of one. From devoted teachers to the kind and loving school support staffs, ISM never felt foreign to me.

I recall having endless debates with my fellow students in the dorms, dining hall and at the DUKA . Playing soccer and basketball pickup games in Karibu Hall. Sometimes just hanging outdoors by the swimming pool. All these memories and experiences were very transformative and broadened my outlook in life.

~cem~ (01/05/2017)

The stoics perspective on bad endings

In the pursuit of happiness, perfection is overtaking our everyday rituals in ways that create more miseries than intended. It seems as if today’s perception of the theory of right action in maximising our happiness and pleasure is merely on the right track. It is as though everyone is too prone to indiscretion. Most of us think of our lives as being more distasteful than the next person around, BUT of course won’t admit it before the masses. I mean who would? Social suicide is a real deal in the new hashtag generation. ONLY IF WE DID THOUGH…life would have been so much easier, don’t you think??

In the pursuit of happiness, one must have heard of the philosophical doctrine known as stoicism. In layman’s terms, the doctrine means the endurance of pain or hardship without a display of feelings and complaint. On the other side, the anointed elite liberals will complicate things as they normally would, claiming that the doctrine implies happiness and judgment are to be based on behaviour, rather than words; that we don’t control and cannot rely on external events, only ourselves and our responses. Only if it was easily attainable…life would have been so much appealing, don’t you think??

In the pursuit of happiness, the stoics will tell you “Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.” – credits to the Emperor Marcus Aurelius’ (161-180AD) quotes. Back to my point, the stoics claim that sometimes even if we know or believe that the future is doomed, or we are bound to fail, or that rationally speaking there’s no point of doing something in which the odds are more than ninety-nine percent against you; one should still pursue it. Because in the words of my late granny, ‘it is in the most unexpected moments that we find the most cherishable moments’. Only if we all we had this kind of mentality…life would have been so much trouble-free, don’t you think??

In the pursuit of happiness, the stoics will tell you that it is okay to take calculated risks. Sometimes they will even disregard the ‘calculated’ part, making it a more risk inclined narrative to the numbers where the majority are risk averse. Seems unreasonable right?… Not too fast my friend. In the baby boomer generation moving forwards, isn’t everyone’s fantasy of the perfect guy or girl compiled with a partner who’s sweet yet unpredictable, loving yet adventurous, humble yet brave, etcetera, etcetera. All these attributes align with a risk taking or even a deliberately risk-seeking individual. We all want to feel safe with our partners, yet desire dangerous traits in them. Only if we were all not brainwashed by romantic novels and Hollywood’s narrative of a perfect guy/girl, and knew what we actually wanted…life would have been so much glamorous, don’t you think??

In the pursuit of happiness, the stoics will tell you bad endings is a myth. As with every comparison based adjunct, no word has a concrete connotation. Everyone’s interpretation of bad endings will vary from somebody else’s, as the term has a relative undertone intertwined with one’s knowledge, experiences and beliefs. Remember just like the stoics will tell you that judgments are to be based on behaviour not words; we must all understand that we don’t have control over external events. What’s the point of whining about what’s out of one’s control anyway? So if we are to focus on ourselves and our responses, then we will have no grievances from the bad endings. And what if we are anticipating a bad ending before committing? One might ask. The stoics will tell you to hell with it, roll up your sleeves, and go with it. After all, there is no absolute certainty in anticipation. Only if we always acted informatively. Only if we put our knowledge into daily use…life would have been so much angelical and wholesome, don’t you think??


The undocumented history

African history has for centuries been confusing to scholars due to some missing dots on what seems to be a puzzle now. This has made it hard for historians to come up with a more chronologically sensible and well-documented past. Disregarding the history of Africa during and after colonialism when it was all well documented (thanks to the colonial powers’ historians of the time), modern historians have found it challenging, however, to document the pre-existent ideologies in the form of arts and culture from the pre-colonial era. There is still a lot of cultural and artistic heritages that are yet to be discovered or simply not well researched for the case of the discovered artefacts. This is especially true with the sub-Saharan Africa.

Looking at the Northern Africa; the likes of the ancient Egypt civilisation and the once Arab conquered kingdoms through the stretch of the Saharan desert have attracted a lot of research and study by historians from all over the world on the region; and for that reason, their history is an almost complete puzzle. But that only involves the likes of modern day Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Western Sahara which hardly makes a fifth of the continent. So what about the other four-fifth? And what about all the richness that they possess?

Looking only at the amount of historical information that has been decoded from the heritage of the ancient civilisation of Egypt, it is indicative of the bulkiness of the information that is yet to be discovered from other cultures across the continent. Africa has fifty-four independent countries, and with each country comes hundreds or even thousands of ancient kingdoms, and yet all that we know of her past has been the generalisation of the few uncovered artefacts.  there is still a lot of work to be done with regard to the other part of Africa and its past.

So who is to blame on this? The western??? – As much as I would want to blame them on this one too (the way we do on other problems) solely on the basis of their introduction of the imperialist systems in the name of colonialism, I am afraid this one is ours to take. We cannot afford to be fully dependant on the west to study what’s predominantly ours. It’s time we take on the wheel with regard to our motherland related issues.


>On the light of Africa arts, here are two amazing pieces that have really caught my eyes<


The mean principle



Many of us tend to look at things with the perception of extremities as far as anything is concerned. We stretch every ideology that there is with a focus of the far opposites: right and wrong, black and white, good and evil, and the list goes on infinitely. But is this how we ought to approach things? Is this any right by any sort of set standards if there is?

Aristotle answers this with an observatory doctrine that he dubs as ‘The mean principle’. The principle goes like ‘it is not that there are shades of grey between moral black and white – good and bad aren’t opposites at all. Rather, the good is a ‘mean’ that stands between two bads: that of excess and that of deficiency. Courage, for instance, is the mean between the excess of rashness and the deficit of cowardice. Mercy is the mean between the excess of vengefulness and the deficiency of surrender’.

The mean principle is a really signifinicant and brilliant ideology that utterly changes one’s perspective on how to approach things. With this principle in mind, the idea of ‘too much of everything is harmful’ is afterall true.