Hey! Hey! Hey!
Happy August everyone!
My previous blog post touched on death but today, I would like us to celebrate life. This post is an ode to my great friend Val; full name Valerie Lwile Sambu, whose birthday is tomorrow. I am intentionally putting up this post on the eve of her birthday because Val is very particular with dates as she is a very sentimental person.
Val and I met nine and a half years ago when we were both in campus. We lived together for a while and we’d spend most of our evenings either trying out new restaurants, partying the night away or simply enjoying fun-filled conversations indoors.
Val and I had a couple of things in common; we both shared a love for avocados (avo-kachumbari or avo-ugali-veggies for the win!), we were both foodies with monstrous appetites and we shared a passion for the English language.
Did I mention our knack for style and our colossal collection of stilettos? I could go on and on…
I fondly remember Val taking me to my first thrifting experience in Nairobi. I had never used public means to go anywhere and I recall how Val took me through the tips and tricks of getting around the Nairobi cosmopolitan. I was born and raised in Mombasa and this huge, fast-paced city of Nairobi was new to me. That fateful day, we went to a flea market called Ngara to get some linen trousers and chiffon blouses because Strathmore University does not condone casual wear. After wrapping up our shopping rendezvous, we bought some avocado in preparation for Ugali night. Ah! The sweet joys of campus life! That day is vividly etched on my mind.
“Ma” is the nickname that I endearingly call Val because when I first joined campus, she graciously took me and my bunkmate up as her babies, and together, we formed a sweet little family.
You’re perhaps wondering why you should keep on reading about Val because you may or may not know her but here’s the thing, there is always something you can learn from or about a person.
Val is the first person I met who went on a 21-day no-junk fast when we were in CAMPUS! I mean, who even thinks of such things in campus? French fries were my daily staple at the time and I relished the Friday nights Val and I would go to WestMall to have fried pork with some ugali … Yum! Then I was meant to forfeit all those treats for close to a month? Nuh-uh! But this is Val. Val does the strangest, most amazing things that you would think back and go …”She was way ahead of the rest of us!”
Valerie knows what she wants and sets out to achieve it… with a plan! She sets goals then breaks them down into achievable and measurable targets. She had set her sights for Media Director this year and you know what? She attained her goal! She keeps stuntin’ on ’em!!
Val may not know this but she challenges me a great deal. She is a very consistent person who means what she says and says what she means. Tell her to show up at 4:00pm and best believe that she will be seated by 3:57pm. Her laughter is loud and rumbustious but definitely infectious. I like it!
Val’s English is impeccable and I love listening to her. She speaks with so much soul and I love how intentional she is with her words. Furthermore, she is absolutely funny and I love me some funny… 🙂
My friendship with Val is not the quintessential type where we call each other every day but we connect in a way inexplicable.
Happy Birthday Ma, your kababy loves you!