Ten Step Strategies to Relieve Stress and Strain

You know you are under enormous stress because you overreact to relatively trivial things. You are increasingly tired and restless. You laugh less. You also have recurring headaches from unknown source.

These are symptoms of worse things threatening to knockdown the wall of your fragile heart.  Try out the following ten ways to relieve stress and strain.

  1. Source of Stress

“The mere fact of knowing what hurts has a curative value,” Dr. Hans, world famous expert on stress says. How do you know what is hurting?

Ask questions to pin down the things which produce stress in your life.  Then set about discovering ways to alleviate the stressful moods. Your immediate concern is relief from the uncomfortable situation and feeling.  So, stop and study the situation. 

  1. Stop, and Smell the Scent.

Ask.  “Why am I worn out or torn apart by this incident?”

  1. Speak to Yourself.

If you’re determined to ask and answer, “How do I react to change?” Stress and strain will be kept at bay.  Mind you, it’s  your reaction to the situation at stake.

  1. Synchronize the two Personalities.

Tell yourself two things.  One, you have natural hidden talents within to handle the task at hand.  Two, remind yourself of still available reserve strength you posses to deal with emergency cases. You’ve done this many times, why not now?

“The body’s range of power automatically enlarges the mind’s pace automatically increases…” James Gilkey, the author of the book “When Life Gets Hard,” wrote. Allow the body range of power to overcome stress obsession.

  1. Stress Obsession.

You’ve never heard original swear words until your car conks out in the middle of the road down town. You don’t have a car, ask those who do. Drivers honk horns, flash car headlights, as if you planned for the car to break down. This is one big emergency and everyone is in a hurry to clear the area in a flash.

“Hey you, how did you get your driving license?” one driver yells on top of his/her voice as other drivers crane their necks to see who is slowing the traffic down. 

“…must have won it through lottery,” another bored driver comments.

“…do you know where the ignition switch of your car is?” These are rude remarks which precipitate stress if left unchecked.

  1. Set Your Standards.

“Don’t push the river – let it flow,” one life proverb says.

If you’re caught up in traffic, whether you’re driving or driven, all you can think about is delay. Why not use the time to meditate, listen to motivational talk on the car stereo system or plug your headphone to the Smartphone?

You’re a writer.   This is a great opportunity to shift through the rubble of new ideas for writing in the mind. Engage your creative mind in a productive activity to fill up the void and kick stress out of your system.

  1. Slot in Productive Activity.

Do you ever think how refreshed you are the next morning having gone to bed dog tired the previous night?  While you’re dead asleep the body system goes to work to repair and replace tired old body tissues. Next day, you’re as good as new.  Your body system works in the same way as a car engine tuned up.

Your body needs regular check up all the time. You should do the same to the mind. The mind never sleeps, never takes vacation, and doesn’t stop for tea or coffee break during the day.

Your brain is the only broadcasting station that never goes off air.  Isn’t that good enough reason to constantly renew the mind and to steer clear from stress and strain? The apostle Paul wrote,

“And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewal of your mind…,” (Romans 12: 2). The surest and safest way to renew your mind is to feed it with positive mental images.  Study does a good job of renewal of the mind. 

  1. Search for Alternative Ways.

Which is the best way of dealing with stressful situations in life? No one can answer this question better than you do. You alone hold the key to the combination lock of stress and strain slowing you down.

  1. Slow Down.

Where is the problem?”  In the story lead in the previous article, I suggested you relax. Try it out. Think of the stressful situation as little segment of activities in your regular life.

  1. Segment Activities.

“God broke the years to hours and days.” This first line of the poem by George Klingle, “Hour by Hour,” summarizes the importance of tackling tasks in bits.

Make the effort to put out of your mind, past failures, frustrations and fear of the future. Let go of the concerns of other people’s affairs with the ten step strategies outlined in this article and enjoy life.  You don’t need college degree to do this.  This is organized common sense, pure and simple.

P/S Special thanks to you for making time to read this blog post. Keep the comments coming.

Seven Steps to Steer Clear from Strain and Stress

There is time for everything. There is time for work, time for relaxation and time to laugh your head off.  If your life is tied to hustling non-stop, you run the risk of smiling less because every activity is serious business.

“Lighten up, just enjoy life, smile more, laugh more, and don’t get so worked up about things,” Kenneth Branagh suggests. How do you do that? Take these seven steps to avoid strain and stress in life.  

First, Let Go Pity Me Club Membership. 

Tom along time friend called on me at the college and met Daugherty.  The lady was so flown by this young man’s charm.  She made arrangement for a private dinner for two within a week.  Tom on the other hand wasn’t into Daugherty that much.  He made no secret of it.

“I can’t handle this rush to nowhere,” Tom lamented one evening as we sipped coffee downtown.

“Wo!Wo! Wo! You are losing me on this,” I interjected.

“What’s bugging you buddy?” I had to ask straight out.

“If it is cash, I can bail you out,” I added knowing Tom’s financial position.

“It’s Daugherty, she’s driving me up the wall,” he explained with elaborate hand signals.

“I cut my ties with finality,” Tom concluded. “…meaning?” I inquired hoping he didn’t mean to turn his back on the lady so suddenly.

“Daugherty and I are …no more, zero, kaput” he said taking a deep breath of fresh air. I realized the quandary in the making knowing how Daugherty valued this relationship. Daugherty wound up in my rented apartment tears streaming down her face and I wasn’t surprised.

“Sam please hug me,” She pleaded stumbling inside the ten by ten feet cubicle.

I contemplated jokingly responding with something similar to, “Just fall apart, we’ll put you back together again.” But I realized that would have been a sick joke in bad taste.

“Is someone, close dead?” I asked opening my arms wide open, which Daugherty gladly rolled into. She wrapped her arms around me so tightly; I thought she would crack my ribs.

“No matter what happens, I shall be there for you,” I said. That assurance wasn’t a smart move. She took those words literally and I paid the price in full with time. She momentarily stopped crying. Her eyes blood shot from hours of weeping, she announced,

“I shall not be going back to students’ residential halls today. I can’t stand being alone, not tonight anyway,” she added.   Trading sympathy for a broken heart, I carved in under pressure and became a member of Daugherty’s ”Pity me Club.”  I should have known what I was getting sucked into.

You’ve been through painful moments.  All you could think of is “Why me?”  The loss of loved one, serious sickness, financial setback and relationship break up are familiar incidents which result in stressful moods.

Second, Learn from Suffering.

My head swam. Enormous pressure kept building up each day with full recovery remote and distant. But no matter how I felt, life continued.

Looking back, it’s hard to explain how I managed to accept, adjust and cope with three physical challenges. I learned a great many lessons from this suffering. The following refrain from a contemporary gospel tune became a constant source of comfort and encouragement to my heart.

He didn’t bring us this far to leave us,

He didn’t teach us to swim to let us drown,

He didn’t build a home in us to go away.

 

It’s behind me today.

Third, Leave the Past Behind 

Not everyone is privileged to know and live on purpose. Those who do, take necessary steps to achieve their dreams in life seriously.  Majority who don’t simply drift along with the crowd until something drastic stops them dead on the tracks. You don’t have to wait for the disturbance of your life’s nest to find a new perspective.

Heed the prompting of your inner voice today and a brand new world of opportunity is waiting in the future.  The new perspective could be a slap on the face by calamity.  Bottom line, take your place of purpose on this universe by leaving the past behind.   Don’t let the past hold you hostage.  Move on to new and greater heights of achievements.

Fourth, Lean Not on Your Own Understanding 

Nothing stands still.  The earth moves on its orbit.  This is evidenced in the change of days, seasons and climate. Movement of tree branches and leaves is caused by wind.  Human beings are constantly in motion. In the quietness of your body, the mind is continually on the go.

Fifth, Look to Divine Intervention 

In diverse ways the Supernatural Infinite Power intervenes and injects new life and vitality into life.  When discouragement and despair from pressure seek refuge in your heart, look to God for sustenance.  Thrice, God pulled me out of the jaws of death, set my foot upon solid ground and gave me reason to live on purpose.

When daily supplies dwindle and worry creeps in God miraculously provides in ways unimaginable.  Isn’t that reason enough to link up with the source of energy and celebrate God’s faithfulness?

Sixth, Link Up with the Source of Energy 

You’re made in “God’s image and likeness.”

Do you doubt the image starring back at you on the opposite side of the mirror is yours? If you do, try wiggling your little finger on the right hand, and make faces.  The image will do the same things.  This proves that’s your image alright.

The spirit, the life containing anatomy, which is the real person within you, transcends the grave, just as God transcends time and eternity. The spirit within you is the image of the Universal Infinite Power.

“…for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal,” Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 2:18. Your physical body that is seen is temporal, but your spirit not seen by the naked eye is eternal. 

Seventh, Leapfrog into Future Life. 

Athletes, cooks, fisher folk, writers, actors visualize outcome of future events. The same is true in relationships, business, health, personal, professional and finance.

The one aspect which could do with visualization of the outcome of future event is self improvement in dealing with stress and strain.  Leap frog into stress free life by linking up with the Universal Infinite Power. Think of the stressful situation as little segment in a series of activities.

“God broke the years to hours and days.” This first line of the poem by George Klingle, “Hour by Hour,” summarizes the importance of making time to relax.

 

Relax and Float

I needed one extra credit hour for undergraduate degree graduation. There were few one hour credit courses available which intrigued me.  I settled on swimming with a tinge of fear for water. The first day of swimming lesson, I nearly passed out because of fright at the pool side. All along the fear of mass water presented grave challenge to me. There was also the big size of the class.

The instructor couldn’t be bothered with students who had to overcome fear of water, on top of learning to swim. I engaged a private tutor to make the grade. The payment package included the cost of private pool, plus lunch and a drink. Despite the pain of extra payment, I still couldn’t float on water immediately.

“Sam you’re not willing to learn,” Margarita my private instructor told me.

“Oh how do you mean?” I defensively responded.

“The secret is to surrender, relax and float.  You’ll enjoy swimming,” Margarita politely explained.

“Just like that huh,” I chided. Margarita gently led me to the deep end of the pool,

“Now here is where it all begins,” she announced, turning round to have eye contact.

“Oh yeah,” I said in mock indignation. I wasn’t sure the lady meant to drown me like a puppy.

“Alright Sam, close your eyes,” said she.  “Relax.  Concentrate. Imagine seeing your body floating on top of water,” she whispered. I took her up on this advice knowing time was quickly running out. And…

Viola! Swimming pool water took me up on its teeth.  I opened my eyes to see Margarita beaming with joy.  I could hardly see through the tears of joy. All along I had been tense. That changed when I relaxed.  Expanse of water wasn’t the issue, not the instructor.  Relaxation was the key which unlocked that door of joy.  To be continued….

 

Old Age Freaked Me Out

Reflection on the Day I was Born 60+ Years Ago. 

Bill Cosby’s hilarious comedy show prepped old age and made fun of it in its hey days.  No hair on my head had turned gray.  Are they white or gray? None grew out of my ears.  I had no need for a second pair of eyes – spectacles.

These physical changes were for the generation of my father.  Today these modifications are part of my new identity. It would take a generation for old age to catch up with me, I thought. I was dead wrong.

I freaked out when gray/white hair started spreading on the head and chin. I took up a sharp razor to clean up the mess and fight them off. What a waste of time?  Clearing the remaining white hair on my chin and dabbing my head in a cap to shield the scorching sunshine only multiplies white hair and rapid hair loss on my head.

Gray/white hair came out in droves, outnumbering blacks. In no time, the territory was under siege and domination of gray/white hair. My once shiny black hair has been driven out of town to unknown destination, never to return.

None of these physical changes had a similar effect on my personality as the receding hairline. I should have seen this one coming three decades ago.  I chose to close my eyes or did I simply look in another direction.

I took screen shots of the front page of my passport and national identity card to send out to one online money Booker the other day, and couldn’t trace any resemblance between the two photos. My B/W passport photo looks like an ad campaign compared to my true self-image on the national identity card if you catch my drift.

I wonder if the online bank would notice and reject the two photos don’t belong to the same person – me. But that is a different story for another time. I hope one of our grandchildren won’t turn around and run from me soon. It has happened before in the family, it can happen again.

Hard to believe I have been around for more than half a century. Is that the bad news? Here is the good news. I have the best last ten years of my life ahead if you believe what the good book says, “three score and ten years.” Do the math.

Time has a way of bringing life full circle.

How to Prevent Presentation Disasters

Three Ways to Avoid Presentation Disasters

I nearly died of fright during 15 minute radio program presentation two decades ago. The material I had labored to write for hours lasted five minutes. I was embarrassed wouldn’t’ you?

Presentation drains every ounce of energy from your body. You’re tuckered out at the end of each session. You wonder if you can take any more beating of the heart by straining to match the competition.

“Quit.” No. That doesn’t solve the problem. “It’s not the end of the world,” the small voice whispered behind my ears. What do you do to prevent presentation disasters?

You’ll be home and dry at the end of each presentation session by observing top three top simple rules. Understand your Stuff; Underscore the Importance of Planning and Unleash the Potential Within.

1. Understand your Stuff

“Mastery of content is necessary foundation for effective communication, “one of the principles of communication states. If you don’t know what to say, how to say it, you might as well kiss the dream of becoming a good presenter good bye.

“Know what you wish to say, say it …and then sit down.” In public speaking lectures, you learn tips and hints on effective delivery of the message during presentations. That doesn’t mean every public speaker turns out as the perfect presenter. Bottom line, it boils down to one rule of thumb my college lecturer Dr. Murikwa put crudely as,

“Stand up, speak up, and shut up.” You can’t do any of these three things unless you know the stuff, get into the flow of presentation through,
• Eye contact – Eyes are windows into the body. Keep in touch with the audience at every level of the presentation.

• Elicit Feedback – You get instant feedback from the audience to assist you make appropriate adjustments during the presentation.

• Electrify the Presentation – Spice up low peaks in the presentation by throwing in anecdotes. Short stories oil the rusty joints of facts in your presentation notes.

How well are you conversant with the subject/topic of presentation? I was passionate about breaking into radio broadcast. But without knowledge and skills of the stuff required in the field, this was an attempt in futility. Don’t fall into the same trap. Plan and visualize the outcome of your presentation in advance.
2. Underscore the Importance of Planning

“Prior planning prevents poor performance,” you’ve heard this statement umpteenth time.

A child learns on his/her own. No amount of hustling by parents makes a big difference. Teachers ensure the child understands learning material in equal measure. But it’s up to the child to grasp the lesson. It begins with planning.

Life presents lots of instructions for the adult learner. You don’t wake up one morning, sprint to the meeting and make a powerful presentation without prior planning. In the dreams, you do. In real life, prior planning precedes perfect performance. Make time research, rewrite, meditate, and rehearse the presentation if need be in front of a full length mirror. If you don’t have one, in the house, a glass window will do just fine.

Make no mistake. You’re your own best instructor and role model. You’ve immense responsibility to unwrap the potential within through the presentation.

3. Unleash the Potential Within

The human brain is at work 24/7. However, tired you are at the close of the day, the brain continues to synthesize zillions of thoughts as the body goes to rest and repair worn out body tissues at night. Your brain is the safest, most secure, best protected data storage facility.

• Information Store House
Scientists think most people use only 5% of the brain power. 95% valuable brain potential is underutilized. You can reverse this trend through engaging the audience during presentation sessions to benefit both parties. Set yourself free from…

• Inhibiting Thoughts

The mind is capable of holding good and bad experiences for long periods of time. The way to get around negative thoughts is to reprogram the brain to throw up data needed to make the presentation a success. You’re unique, so is everyone else. You can’t lend or borrow brain power potential from someone else.

Whether you’re presenting a business proposal to potential financers, making your maiden presentation for a job vacancy or addressing a gathering in church, political rally, it’s inevitable that you understand your stuff, underscore the importance of planning and unleash the potential within.

“It is the child…that is the source of …uniqueness and creativeness, and the playground…for the unfolding of …capacities and talents,” Eric Hoffer observed.

 

 

Is blogging the next big thing?

Yes it is. You can write about anything in the blog. Talking about writing anything is similar to asking (apuodho), upcountry girl,

“What will you have for lunch in a posh restaurant down town Kisumu City? In most cases, the answer is “anything.” There is no type of food on the menu called “anything.” You ask for matumbo (tripe), roast meat, fried fish, or a mixture. Not “anything.”

In writing you need to curve a niche. Whether you’re fashion, travel, and health and fitness blogger, the common denominator in blogging is writing.

That is where the big bucks are buried in the treasure hunt to make a living hammering unique blog posts. You can’t borrow creativity from anyone. You can’t copy and paste content from other blog posts. That is plagiarism. Let’s not walk down that path in this post.

How do you go about setting up, launching and running a successful blog post? Does John Morrow of ProBlogger ring a bell? How about, Carol Tice of Making A Living Writing? Mary Jaksch and Jeff Goins giving tips and techniques of A life time at Blog Writers Boot Camp.

I could go on name dropping spree and throw up top ten blog celebrity list. The list trickles down to the little unknown blogger, struggling to get the act of blogging together. You.

You love traveling, have no qualm spending days, weeks or months away from home, as you travel and write. Travel writing is your ideal scene. Blogging is gaining momentum as an Income Generating Activity and pass time in the writing industry. And the nice thing about blogging, you don’t need to dress up to write.

You’ve read of bloggers making six figures on sponsored travel writing trips, tasting wines, getting second and third helpings of different cultural cuisines on the house and thought,

“That is a lucky lot.” Nonsense,” You can do it too. Why not you? You deserve the best. Bloggers are the most highly respected persons with a base pay ranging from $50 to $400 per blog post, depending on how good you’re.

Imagine what you could do with $400 from writing one blog post. Not to mention the benefit of visiting exotic places, sleeping in VIP suites with around the clock Wi-Fi all paid for. In addition, you get a whole bunch of take away freebies on the house. Sounds awesome, doesn’t it. That’s the rub.

I did a travel piece, for no pay. You think I am too generous with time and talent. I needed to get a foot inside the door. Next, I pitched for the lowest travel writing blog post, and got paid $10 for two 700+ words. Now you reckon, I need my head tested.

Did the client rob me blind? Nah! She gave me the next asterisk big thing in blogging – buy line. I was enlisted in the big league with the best bloggers. I got the ticket to stand shoulder to shoulder on the platform with other celebrities in front of key decision makers. Two stars to my credit. Not bad for a guy who never thought much about blogging.

Opportunity for blogging is here with us. You’re convinced blogging is the next big thing. Prepare to jump right.  But, don’t sell yourself cheap, writing a blog post for $5. Let’s talk about three tricky bits you need to take care of for the blog post to sprout wings and fly……

Talk soon!

Five Super Simple Strategies to Achieve New Year Resolutions

 

What is new in 2018 that didn’t happen in 2017?  You slept and woke up as usual. You’re you.  You’ve haven’t changed save for putting on extra 3 kilos over the festive season.

Have you noticed any change in your partner’s sleeping pattern? No. Your sex life has taken a nose dive. Let’s not even get started on that. There is nothing new about 2018 or is there?

“This time, I’ll put my act together,” you encourage your heart.

“This is the year of action.”  Well said.  The flame of the New Year’s fire is high up in the sky before the rubber meets the road.  Family obligations soon creep into your busy schedule. You’re pulled apart in all directions. Hammering out a five hundred average word article becomes a tall order.  Days slip by without putting pen to paper.

“I’ll make up for the deficiency over the weekend,” you think. The weekend arrives to deposit a load of activities. Your New Year resolution to finish writing the book manuscript in three months begins to dwindle.  You become a commitment phobic.

Mid-March you’re burned out. What happened to all that fire for writing in the belly?  Borrow a leaf from Napoleon Hill, the writer of Seventeen Principles of Success, 

“Feed your burning desire with images of your successful self.  Stoke its flames so high that they burn your seat, so you won’t be able to sit back in your chair and take it easy when you ought to be following up on your work…” Priceless distilled words of wisdom.

You want to achieve New Year resolutions, make it part of your life this year with Five Super Simple Strategies.

  • Simplify Complicated Projects through Segmentation.

Farming has taught me valuable lessons in the past 15 years. It’s not how much time you spend on the farm, rather the regular commitment on a daily basis.

What is the secret?  Break down complicated projects into smaller activities. You clear the field.  Dig up small sections on a regular basis.  In no time, you’ve done an acre. How do I know this?  I have done it now for over a decade and gained food sufficiency and sustainability.

  • Spiteful Projects Stimulate Procrastination

You would rather watch television and listen to music than take up regular exercise to keep in shape and size.  You need more than passing interest to lose weight.

You don’t need to join a gym to shed off the extra baggage.  Improvise.  How much time do you need to go for walkabout?  An hour, two, at most plus you get the opportunity to go out of the house environment, breathe fresh air, bond with nature and get regular dose of exercise.

I have done this for the past 15 years and gained control of my limbs back again. I started with ten push-ups under enormous difficulty and improved to 300 push-ups in three weeks.

Bob, a local community member was into weight lifting. He used natural stones as weights.  In six months, he had threatening biceps.

  • Sort Out Stuff

I live on a 2 acre farm land. The house and kitchen garden takes up quarter of an acre. The rest is available for farming.  I dig it up using the hand.

I do regular house office hours in the mornings and attend to the farm in the afternoon.  This is to ease brain overload with toiling on the farm. Priority requires making time for each of the two main activities writing and physical exercise inclusive of time to rest in between.

  • Indecision Spurs Procrastination to Life

I am not patient with people who are slow to decide one way or another.  My reasoning is simple. If something is worth doing, time spent without action is wasted. Time wasted is never recovered.  Don’t even entertain, what if question to achiever New Year Resolutions.

A lot of people spend time starring at the screen of the phone waiting for a friend to call. What a waste of precious moments.  Imagine what you could do in half an hour of free time. If you can spare time to communicate with friends.  Get on with it. Make it snappy. People are busy.

  • Drop Humdrum Habits

It’s easy to spend time on activities that are easy. Tough luck if you’ve to shed off sweat to get through tasks. I dreamed of setting up a house office prior to building my upcountry house.

It took meningitis bout to get me back on track to pursue that dream in earnest. The meningitis put me into a two week comma and handsomely rewarded me with a hearing loss.

Procrastination follows you around everywhere in studies, workplace, business, marriage relationship and social life.  It’s the New Year!  Drop humdrum habits, before they drop you six feet under by steering clear from procrastination with Five Super Simple Strategies to Achieve New Year Resolutions. 

“Great people do things before they’re ready… doing what you’re afraid of, getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks like that — that’s what life is,” Amy Poehler observed.

 

 

 

 

 

Four Reasons to Steer Clear of Roadblocks through Self-Discipline

You can manage to change a flat tire. But if all four tires of the vehicle are deflated by spikes on roadblock you’re grounded.  Roadblocks are mounted to stop motorists for over speeding, check out whether the driver has license, the vehicle is road worthy and the list trickles down to carrying illegal items. How do you remove stumbling roadblocks to success in life? Here are four clear self-disciple ways to avoid self-discipline roadblocks.

  1. Self-Discipline is Neutral

You’re looking at hours of delay to reach your preferred destination and possibly miss out attending the event if you run over road block on the road.  The spikes have no mercy on the vehicle tires. You could be on the way to launch a product/service offline in a different location.  Take no chances with roadblocks to business startup, or part time because your life depends on it.  And that is where self-discipline comes in.

Self-discipline is not restricted to any geographical location, confined in any language or dominant in a particular culture, or race. Self-discipline is neutral. So why is self-discipline difficult to achieve?

  1. Self-Discipline is Difficult to Achieve

You’ve heard people whining that self-discipline is difficult. This is an excuse many use as a weapon of defense rather than face facts of life.  Excuse me!

You’d rather wake up than spend another hour in bed. Waking up on time is the right thing.  But you yield to signals of fatigue from who knows where.  Allow these signals take root and you’ll be late for work. The boss will be on your case and the day is ruined from start simply because you ignored self-discipline to kick off the blanket and get on the road.

  1. Self-Discipline Isn’t Contagious

Self-discipline isn’t an infectious disease you catch off someone.  It is not from outer space. You acquire good habits by generating traits of self-discipline. “The soul never thinks without a picture,” Aristotle noted.

Your 3 personalities, physical, psychological and spiritual are part of the equation of good self-discipline.  That’s it. Leave out one and self-discipline is an uphill task to inject into your system.

  1. Self-Discipline is Associated with Pain

You don’t make a scene in public. You’re self-discipline individual. Self-discipline is a habit you can’t leave behind when you leave the house, go into the office, or enter into public recreation amenities.

You wake up from sleep in a foul mood, go through the heavy traffic jam on the road, and attend office meetings with obnoxious colleagues without losing your cool.  Imagine the excitement of delayed gratification you stand to gain from self-discipline in accomplishing a task at hand. Self-discipline doors of opportunity to success in any field because it’s neutral, easy to achieve, within your powers and believe or not there no pain involved. What is standing on your way to succeed?

 

 

 

 

Muhoroni Town: Center of Cane Production, Trade and Transportation

“A promise is a debt,” the old adage says.  I promised to continue giving you success series on this blog post.  Do you have something to celebrate?  Is your heart bursting at the seams with excitement that you made the right business move this past year?  That is all that matters. “The rest,” as they say is “history.”

Organized Common Sense isn’t just the name of this blog; it is also the driver of success.  I shall get on the details in a bit.  For now, allow me first to share with you something about Muhoroni my home town.   Does the name Muhoroni ring a bell?

Muhoroni Town:  Center of Cane Production, Trade and Transportation

You enjoy a hot cup of coffee, tea, with sugar.  Muhoroni is associated with sugar cane plantation, manufacture and distribution of refined sugar. Three aspects give Muhoroni Township its place and prominence as a household name in Kisumu County.

  • Cane Production
  • Center of Trade
  • Communication and Transportation

In the wake of independence, founders of the Kenyan Nation with assistance from British settlers embarked on an ambitious one million acre settlement scheme plan. This one million acre settlement scheme idea has paid off over and above our forefathers wildest dreams. Muhoroni is the name of the settlement scheme, town, sugar factory, division, district, and constituency all six rolled into one.  Not bad for a name of place of cane production.

  • Cane Production

There aren’t sweet jobs in sugar cane production.  It’s all tough, hard work growing, cultivating and waiting for harvesting in 1½ – 2 years.

Sugar cane is grown in large scale for commercial purpose in Nyanza and Western Provinces.  Muhoroni District has three Sugar Factories, MUSCO, CHEMELIL, non-operational MIWANI sugar factories, Agro Chemical, and Homa Lime Factory within 50-70 kilometers proximity to Muhoroni Township.

You imagine cane farmers in Muhoroni Settlement Scheme are laughing all the way to the bank with successive cane harvests.  That is the ideal. Real situation on the ground, small scale framers wait 6 months to a year for cane proceeds to mature, yet refined sugar go downs are empty and the factories are crushing 24 hours except during maintenance.

Track loads of sugar cane arrive at Muhoroni and Chemelil factory Weigh Bridges from across Muhoroni District extending from Fort-Ternan to Kibos, ten minutes’ drive from Kisumu City, and 100 kilometers away from Muhoroni town. So why is payment delayed?  Bureaucracy and bottlenecks, short simple and sour. Who residents of Muhoroni Settlement Scheme?

The second generation of Muhoroni Settlement Scheme came into a land flowing with milk, honey and game meat in December of 1964.  This is the generation of fathers who put down Kshs. 1,000/- advance payment to acquire ten acres of land subdivided into 7½ for cane production and 2½ for subsistence farming. Every farmer was given 2 graded cows, a wheel barrow, iron sheets, nails to build a house and was put on Kshs. 30/- salary a month.  Jonam Otieno is from the third generation settler of Muhoroni Scheme.

“This place was all jungle,” Otieno says as he scans the horizon we hunted deer, and antelopes for game meat.  Muhoroni Scheme population has tripled in the last four decades.  Households have turned into villages.  But Muhoroni town growth remains stunted.  Majority of residents of Muhoroni Scheme today are of the fourth generation of settlers.

“Time flies away quickly. I was a lad when dad brought the family out here.” You couldn’t walk alone from Muhoroni town to the settlement scheme. Today, Muhoroni is home as well as center for trade, for locals and traders.

  • Center for Trade

Sunday is a big day in Muhoroni town.  A visit to the market is the highlight and show stopper in this rural town.  Sunday market day in Muhoroni is similar to a zoo.  The only difference, women, men, children and not game trip over one another, shoving, shouting and pushing to buy or sell.  Traders jostle for space in the tiny market sandwiched between kiosks and food canteens. Do your food shopping and eat in the same venue. Saves time.

Order a plate of ugali and meat stew for Kshs 70/-, 2 limbs of chicken for Kshs. 80/-, nyama choma doused with bile for Kshs. 100/- provided you’ve the nerve to sweat like a pig eating in the crowded 10’x10’ food stalls in the blazing sun.  All cooking is done inside the small room seating 30+ hungry eaters. You eat in relays and move out to nearby shops for cold soft drinks to regulate the body temperature.

Permanent structures in Muhoroni town are the minority in the ratio of 1:10.  Majority of housing are corrugated roof and wall sheets for low cost income residential quarter. Muhoroni town has no drainage system, no running pipe water.  Water is hauled in from Muhoroni and Agro Chemical Factories public water points one kilometer distance away.

  • Communication and Transportation

Four dirt roads feed Muhoroni town center main dusty street with traffic from Londiani/Kisumu road– the gateway to Muhoroni Township. Muhoroni Township is served by road transport.  The new tarmacked Londiani Kisumu road joining Muhoroni town to the main Nairobi/Kisumu Highway has given Muhoroni town a new lease of life.

In the past days, when we first arrived, the defunct East African Railways (EAR) was the main mode of transportation.  Today you can catch a bus to Nairobi or Kisumu Cities from Muhoroni town.

Cane production has changed lifestyle in Muhoroni Settlement Scheme in the past 50 years, so has trade and communication.  There is one pure and simple reason why Muhoroni Town has earned its reputation; it’s the home of the best quality brown sugar in the market.  The idea of one million acre settlement scheme in Muhoroni is the outcome of “Planting an Idea, Harvest an Industry.” This is also the running theme in the success series. In case you’re wondering where this blog originates from, you’ll remember Muhoroni town.