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DOUGIE

Douglas wakes up and gets onto his beloved motorbike. It’s a small Yamaha. He leans his bike on its stand at the office parking slot at about 8am, stops to chat briefly with the sunny guard at Lonrho East Africa on Uhuru Highway, where he works as a marketing executive. He has a client to see in two and a half hours. After tea and a ndazi at his desk, he gets into the company car, clips in his seat-belt and eases the car out of the parking lot into the 9:40am Nairobi traffic, and drives up to the roundabout where Uhuru highway meets Haile Selassie. The radio is on. His diary lies on the passenger’s seat. His window is rolled down and Nairobi’s sounds waft into his car – hooting cars, street chatter, bicycle bells and matatu touts hollering and banging their open palms against the body of their vehicles.

 

He sits there thinking of nothing in particular.

 

Unbeknownst to him, these are the final moments right before he loses his sight. He is 28-years old. He doesn’t think of death or anything bad like that happening to him. He lives in the land of great invincibility where men live and bad things don’t happen to good people. There is a commotion to the right, some men are having an altercation with guards near a building. Gunshots ring out, or what he thinks are gunshots, but are actually stun grenades. He imagines these are Nairobi gangsters who are shooting their way into that building. People surge towards the drama. He sees a man running away from the drama.

 

There is a big bang.

 

“What does it feel like to be blown up in a car, by a bomb?” I ask Douglas Sidialo. We are at the Barista Café at Simba Corp’s chic Aspire Center in Westlands. On the floor below us is what they call a Car Spa, a long line of modern service ports where BMW, Mitsubishi and Renault car owners take their cars to be “pampered.” These car owners come up to wait at the Barista Café (cozy, rich tan leather seats) or outside in the  very high-ceilinged all-glass house outer café (colourful seats, blue sky through glass above) to wait while reading newspapers, drinking coffee or working from their laptops, like that chap across in alligator shoes, peering at his laptop keenly. Must be a BMW owner. I think only a BMW owner can pull off alligator shoes.

 

“I don’t know what it feels like to be in a car that gets blown by a bomb., he says. “Actually the only thing I remember is that loud blast and the feeling that the car was shifting, and this happened in milliseconds, not enough for you to be completely aware of it. Then I remember nothing else.”

 

The chaps who drove the truck into the American Embassy on August 1998, had 400 to 500 cylinders of TNT, ammonium nitrate, aluminium powder and detonating cord, all packed in 20 sealed wooden crates. That means the seismological readings indicated energy of between 3 to 17 short tons of high explosive. The heat from that blast was channelled between buildings towards Haile Selassie avenue blowing up commuters in buses, matatus, sending shards of glass flying, glass that sliced through the body parts and organs of anyone within a radius of 800m. Men and women burned in vehicles stuck in the jam. Ufundi house collapsed into rubble. The devil had descended.

 

“I woke up two days later at Kenyatta Hospital, with bandages around my eyes,” Douglas says. Ward 7 was like a warzone with people moaning and crying. People with lost limbs and people with glass in their heads and in their tummies, people with legs hanging high, in slings. There were Israeli, German and Kenyan doctors touching and injecting and dispensing and saving. “I actually thought I would see when they removed the bandages. Little did I know that the retina on one eye was damaged and the other eviscerated.” (Who uses such words in conversations?)

 

“When the late Dr Gondi mentioned that I might not regain my eyesight, I didn’t believe him. People from the Blind Society of Kenya came to the wards to talk to us and I would not talk to them because I refused to see myself as blind. I would say, “Oh, talk to the other blind chaps, I will be fine. I will see soon.”

 

So the day he goes home after the bandages have been removed, he touches where his eyes were and there is nothing inside the sockets. “I was angry and bitter.”

 

He had only been married for two years and had one daughter. “My wife’s friends started persuading her to leave me,” he says. “She was young and beautiful and they told her, ‘Why would you throw away your life taking care of a blind man for the rest of your life? It’s a burden. Cut your losses and leave now, you can still get another man to marry you.’”

 

Our food is set on the table; chicken curry with green vegetables and rice for both of us. I’ve had this meal here before and it didn’t disappoint. Menus are wasted on me. I’m the kind who will order almost the same thing for months then when I finally get tired of it, move on to the next item on the menu and never touch the previous meal again.

 

I don’t know if I’m being rude, but I lead his right hand to the cutlery and then tell him where the juice is. It’s hard to know when you are being helpful or annoying when you are in the presence of people with visual impairment. He touches the rice with his left thumb to locate it on the plate, then scoops it with a spoon. The curry is in a white bowl, and he repeats the process. On one of the lenses of his sunglasses is a label – Ross – which, throughout the interview, I resist the urge to peel off. I can see the guy who sold it to him, telling him, “Douglas these are original Boss sunglasses,” because this is Nairobi. It’s a bit twisted; someone sold him Ross instead of Boss.

 

“Did she leave you?” I ask about the wife.

 

“No. She didn’t.”

 

“Why?”

 

We both chuckle at that question.

 

“There is a history here,” he says. “There was a time I wanted to become a Catholic priest because I was very active in church activities. We were dating then and so I left her because I wanted to become a man of the cloth. But my parents weren’t keen on it and they convinced me not to. So I went looking for her but she didn’t want anything to do with me because I had broken her heart. She couldn’t trust me not to leave again, so she said no. I kept trying until she said yes and we dated and later got married and had a child.”

 

His hands move towards the juice and I watch, ready to grab it in case he knocks it over.

 

“After I got her back, I vowed not to leave again and I became this man who basically did everything for her. I washed clothes, I cleaned the house, I bathed and fed our daughter and I didn’t mind helping her go shopping for groceries in the market. I helped around the house and really took care of her. Basically I did what is considered unmanly. What I didn’t know then is that I was investing in the marriage and in my relationship with her, I was building a very stable foundation for the marriage and when I lost my sight and the storm came, I realised the foundation I put up is what saved me; it kept the marriage solid.”

 

“She could have asked herself, why would I stay with this man? And she counted the ways…which included; he washes dishes.” I say tongue-in-cheek. It’s meant to be a joke but he doesn’t laugh.

 

“Teresa remembered all these things I used to do and decided that I was worth sticking with, in spite of the lack of eyesight.”

 

“So your investment paid off.”

 

“Yes. Because sometimes when push comes to shove you will be judged by not how much you have in your pocket, but who you are, because who you are doesn’t change but what you have does.”

 

The chicken has butter. I can never tell what’s in food. There are people who can eat and say a dish has capsicum or green peppers or whatever. I never can. I can only tell for sure if it has salt or not.

 

After going through rehabilitation he – together with some victims of the bomb blast – formed an organisation to champion the cause of other victims and their families, and he was the chairperson. That came to nought after three years, he says. In 2000 he led a team of Kenya’s bomb-blast survivors to Oklahoma City after the bombings to offer support to the victims of the blast. He then wrote a book – When Tears Unite A Country – and started speaking in churches and universities. “I was a man of interest,” he says between mouthfuls. Then September 11 happened in the US and a year later and to mark the first anniversary he was invited to Ground Zero to ride a tandem bike from there to the Pentagon, a 500km stretch – that’s easily from here to, well, a little past Mombasa.

 

Then the bug bit.

 

He started pushing the envelope. In 2005 he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, making him the first blind African to reach the summit, 5,895 meters above sea-level. One day, sitting in his house he thought, why not do something more challenging? So he went and did the Old Mutual joBerg2c, a nine-day off-road mountain biking exercise that starts from the south of Johannesburg and ends at Scottburgh on the KwaZulu Natal coast. In 2007 he cycled the length of Africa, through ten countries in 95 days in Tour D’Afrique. That’s 12,000 kilometers in case you are wondering. He was the first blind person and the first African to achieve this feat. He has also participated in all top cycling majors in Kenya. This year he also participated in Sani2C mountain bike challenge as the only visually impaired participant. Next year he is doing the toughest mountain race; the Cape Epic, which attracts all the big girls and boys of biking from all over the world. It’s a monster of a trail that starts and finishes in the Western Cape of South Africa, lasts eight days and covers 700 kilometers. That’s like cycling from Nairobi to Busia, having a quick cup of tea and cycling back to Nakuru. In most of these events he is the only one with no sight.

 

“Why are you doing all these crazy things,” I ask him as the plates are cleared away. Alligator shoes, meanwhile, is looking at the menu, maybe thinking of having a dessert. The gigantic TV screen covering a whole wall plays adverts of beautiful BMW cars meandering around a picturesque mountainous locale that looks like the French Alps with happy, laughing and smiling people in them. Even the dogs with their heads out the back windows are happy. Car manufacturers make us believe in commercials that cars can make us that happy. I haven’t seen one guy in a posh car smiling that hard in real life. People in big luxury cars are always frowning. Maybe you have to go to the French alps to be happy; something to do with the altitude.

 

Oh, but I digress. I had asked Douglas why he keeps doing these crazy things.

 

“Life without challenge is life at a standstill,” he says. “That’s my philosophy in life.”

 

“So given that having to go about without your eyesight was a challenge you overcame, is it that you are always on the lookout for the next thing to overcome?”

 

He cocks his head for a second like he’s thinking about that, and says, “Yes, plus I want to also show people that what’s in you is much stronger than what’s in your way.”

 

“I love that,” I say. “What’s in you is much stronger than what’s in your way.”

 

He also travels the world as a motivational speaker representing companies like Proctor and Gamble, Unilever and Nestlé. He started a Kilimanjaro Blind Trust after conquering the mountain. He has also given a TED Talk.

 

“So that bomb going off when it did enriched your life in many ways,” I tell him. “Do you ever imagine how your life would have been had you not been in that car at that moment near the American Embassy?”

 

“Let me tell you a story,” he says. “Way back in 1994 there was a madman who used to hang out near the Riverside footbridge, at Chiromo,” he begins.  The madman would chase passersby. Douglas became close friends with this man because he used that road daily when walking from home (Riverside Drive, then) to Consolata Shrine in Westlands. He’d take this mad man his old clothes. (I just wrote that in my head as clodhez, as Ugandans say). One day the madman fell seriously ill; a boil in his stomach had burst. “I spoke to our priest who organised for him to be taken to Consolata Hospital in Limuru for medical treatment,” he says. “But three days later he died.”

 

He didn’t have relatives, this madman, and the only person who knew him was Douglas. He filed the necessary papers with the police and talked to the fathers of the hospital to have this man buried in their cemetery. “They buried him in this same cemetery where fathers and sisters of the hospital are buried.”

 

“He might not have led a dignified life but he got dignity in death,” I say, because I love to make these commentaries which I suspect must annoy the hell out of some interviewees.

 

“You know what I think?” he says.

 

“No.”

 

“I think – and many people who know this story say the same thing – I wouldn’t have survived that bomb blast, given my proximity to the embassy at that moment. I think my deeds towards the madman saved my life.”  

 

I ruminate upon that.

 

“I think the deeds of man,” he proceeds, “ the good acts of man, are rewarded in ways that we can’t start imagining.”

 

“True.” I say.

 

The waiter asks if we want desserts and we say no.

 

Waiters are always trying to get you to eat dessert. I suspect the pastry chefs must lead such miserable lives now that most people are always saying, ‘no dessert for me.’ At the end of their shift they must look at their tableful of untouched and rejected desserts and feel a deep sense of failure. At home in the evening their wives must ask gently, “Did anyone eat your desserts today, baby?” and they shake their heads and start sniffing. “Why don’t they want my dessert? What have I done?”

 

“It’s not you, babe. It’s not you. You are a brilliant man…with beautiful biceps.”

 

“So why don’t they eat my desserts?”

 

“I love your desserts. I think you make the best desserts in the world.”

 

“You are just saying that because you love my biceps…”

 

So anyway, we turn down the dessert offer and as our waiter recedes to break the news to the chef,  Douglas says, “You know had that blast not happened I would have continued with marketing.  I’m glad it happened because life is so much better now. The things I have done now I wouldn’t have been able to do with my sight.”

 

“I’m running the Stanchart marathon next month,” I blurt out. I don’t know why, maybe I needed validation now that I’m not cycling 700-Kilometers.

 

“Oh great, I was the Seeing is Believing advocate from 2013 to 2015, Stanchart Rift Valley Odyssey,” he says. He was also the chairman of the Kenyan Paralympic team of 2008 that scooped 5 gold, 4 silvers and 4 bronzes.

 

You will be relieved to know that when he was not climbing mountains he was also making babies. His daughter who was two years when he lost his sight is now 21, a big girl who just finished uni. He has another daughter who is now 17-years old and a boy who is 4-years old.

 

“When your children are born and they grow up and become cognisant of their environment, what kind of conversation do you have with them when they realise their father can’t see? How quickly does that happen?” I ask.

 

“Of course at some point they will realise that daddy keeps walking into things or missing things he wants to hold. My son asked me; ‘Daddy why can’t you see, what happened to your eyes?’ and I told him told him I lost my eyes in a bomb blast and that got him really curious, what is this bomb thing that took away my father’s eyes. They are fascinated by this white cane. [Chuckles]. But they grow up and they accept it, children accept people much easier than adults do. They love me like this because this is how they know me.”

 

“You say such nice things, Douglas.” I sigh and he laughs. Isn’t that nice? They love me like this because this is how they know me.

 

“What are you struggling with as a 46-year old man?”

 

He thinks about this a great deal, smiling hard. “What am I struggling with as a 46-year old?” He says it over and over. “Moving around,” he says uncertainly. “I can’t get to my appointments on time when I need to, and the fact that sometimes I need the help of people to move around in public.”

 

His answer surprises me because of it’s simplicity given that he’s a man who cycles for hundreds of kilometers and climbs the tallest mountain in Africa.  

 

“What do you fear the most?” I ask.

 

“Fear is just fear itself.” he says cryptically. “Fear is nothing.”

 

“Listen, there are some motorbikes here in the showroom, BMW motorbikes. When was the last time you were on a motorbike?”

 

“In 1998, on the morning of the bomb blast.”

 

“Would you like to check them out?” I ask.

 

“Sure!” he says excitedly. So we stand up and he places one hand on my right shoulder as I lead him out of Barista Café. Alligator shoes looks up and stares at us. We go down a ramp and into the showroom where a BMW C600 Motorrad stands. I care little for bikes. I love the idea of wearing helmets, though. I find it very mysterious, like those Daft Punk fellas. If I could drive with a black helmet on, I would.

 

Douglas touches the bike and  as he and the showroom sales executive O’Brien Kipsowe ( his real name) start jabbering about motorbikes I wander away and stare through the windows of the BMW X4. Although great looking cars, I don’t like the asses of the BMW X6 and X4. If a car has a wrong ass, I won’t buy it. But the X6 is a beautiful thing; massive, solid, sexy and its grill appears to have that slight snarl. A little gentle beast with its heart in the right place. It’s a great car with the wrong ass. I see Douglas has climbed atop the motorbike and is handing O’Brien his phone to take pictures.

 

Later, when they have finished their mad motorbike talk, I ask him to come over. “There are two cars here,” I tell him, “one is on the left and another on the right. I want you to touch both and tell me which you would like.”

 

“Are you buying one?”

 

“No, two.” I say and he chuckles.

 

So he walks over to the X4, and runs his hands on the hood, and moves along the breadth of the body, feeling it with his palms, like he’s rubbing oil on it. He touches the side mirrors, runs his hand up the windows, over the windows. He’s now smiling. He runs his hands down towards the back and onto the curves of the ass, goes round, touches the blinkers and asks, “Where is the spare wheel?” and O’Brien says it’s inside the boot. He goes round the car still caressing this car, feeling its curves and shape and bends and asks if he can sit inside. The door is opened and the smell of a new car, the smell of leather and wealth and privilege spills out as he climbs behind the steering wheel. He is smiling hard now and asks how much the car is. He holds the steering wheel. “Wow.” he says. “Can you take a picture of me?” He hands O’Brien his phone and I ask him, “Why are you taking all these pictures, it’s not like you will see them later?” and he says, “Oh, I will put them up on Facebook for my friends to see,” and we all laugh.

 

He then comes out and goes to the X6 and just as he starts running his hand on the bonnet and up the curve of the front windscreen he says with a smile, “Oh, this is the one, this is the car….this is the one!” He doesn’t go to the back but asks to sit inside where he says,”This is the car I’d love. I prefer it to the other one.” I ask him why and he says, “Because it’s sleeker, it’s much sleeker. I love how it feels. This is ndege ya barabara.”

 

Ndege ya barabara.

 

“Do you miss driving?” I ask him.

 

“Honestly, I do. I wish there was a field I could go and drive around and around, you know?”

 

[Well, BMW?]

 

“How much is this car?”

 

“Anything from 13.5million,” O’Brien says.

 

“I should get this for Teresa [the wife], and hope that no man runs away with her and the car.” He laughs.

 

We leave.

 

As he waits for his driver, he asks me what my biggest lesson has been from our chat and I say, “That thing you said about turning things around. I think it’s powerful.”

 

I had asked him the biggest lesson he has learnt in life following his blindness and he had said, “There is nothing a human being can face that he can’t turn around. Anything can be turned around with the right attitude.”

 

I tell him that it’s amazing how he is living his life now. “You are seeing more without eyes than you did with your eyes.” I tell him.

 

***

If you are in your 40s and you have a compelling story you want to share please ping me on info@bikozulu.co.ke [By the way, is there anyone out there who is in their 40s who is raising a set of four or more daughters or a set of four or more sons? Children either from their wombs or from their hearts? Tell them I’m looking for them.]

 

150 Responses
  • Rael Tomboy
    19.09.2017

    I think life becomes a beautiful adventure once we learn to understand and accept this: “Life without challenge is life at a standstill,” he says. “That’s my philosophy in life.”
    http://www.shesatomboy.com




    22
  • anonymous
    19.09.2017

    First One here 🙂




    1
    • Die-hard fan
      19.09.2017

      There are bigger things in life, other than this, to think about.




      11
      • Fridah
        19.09.2017

        Do not under estimate the power of being the first.Its all our parents wanted us to be. ukifanya exam ukuwe number one,sawa baba?




        20
    • Munyambu
      19.09.2017

      smh…here, have a cookie




      5
    • Eddie
      24.09.2017

      PESA OTAS HERE DEFINITELY. (MONEY IS PAPER)




      0
  • Mwanamali
    19.09.2017

    Oh Biko, how does it always get better with you?




    14
    • Mutanu Bacia
      19.09.2017

      This Douglas guy, wao. I really don’t know what to say except, he’s already in heaven. His vision is out of this earth…And Biko… I actually laughed… especially where you were ready to hold his glass of juice in case it felt… very funny.




      1
  • Demakufu
    19.09.2017

    K.




    0
  • Ed
    19.09.2017

    3rd




    0
  • Bazenga
    19.09.2017

    And here we are yet again…keep brightening my dull self




    2
  • Mark
    19.09.2017

    When you’ve been reading this post secretly during the meeting then your boss asks you what’s wrong with your eyes.

    “Allergies,” you say. “Allergies.”

    https://thispostisabout.wordpress.com




    74
  • Monique
    19.09.2017

    Wow, lovely story. I guess you can face anything in life with the right attitude.




    8
  • I Odumbe Kute
    19.09.2017

    Biko. Great story. Please say hello to Douglas for me. I was the one who developed and carried out the ICT training programme at the Kenya Society for the Blind after the 1998 bomb blast. Douglas was one of the folks who undertook that training from those who had lost their sight or were visually impaired from the attack. A great guy, and full of drama too. I’ll look him up next time we’re in the same part of the world.




    67
    • Bertha Karanja
      21.09.2017

      Isaac Kute. I will recommend you to Biko. You also need to do a piece with him. What! with your sense of humour you guy. Miss ya!




      1
      • Norah Akinyi
        25.09.2017

        I thought of issac I read this!! He’s my uncle through marriage




        0
        • I Odumbe Kute
          27.09.2017

          Hey you – ebu wacha kupotea hivyo. Ati we’re in the same town. How are you my dear.




          0
      • I Odumbe Kute
        27.09.2017

        Miss you too my dear




        0
  • Sonnie
    19.09.2017

    Oooh My God…..this is amazing….changing things around with the right attitude…..
    big up Terry(his wife) for holding his back all through..




    13
  • Clement Ndege
    19.09.2017

    Good good Post Biko.




    1
  • Jay Double Arap
    19.09.2017

    “My wife’s friends started persuading her to leave me”…..See how women misguide one another?




    11
    • Sintoh
      19.09.2017

      If this is the only thing you took from this beautiful story I am very sad for you.




      24
      • Ocampo
        19.09.2017

        You sound like one of those friends persuading her to leave him, why are you being defensive of your saddist self??




        3
        • Sintoh
          20.09.2017

          Sasa wewe? Lemme me just leave you alone




          0
    • That’s why one has to be careful about the friends they surround themselves with. Good friends should be able to be a buffer of support to lean on when push comes to shove; and not to encourage one to jump ship when challenges arise.




      11
    • Odemi
      13.10.2017

      life Depends on the angle you decide to view it…………Having the right attitude and coming back from a road despair and fallback is the strongest will somebody should adapt.




      0
  • Wesh - Peter Wesh
    19.09.2017

    Doughie has the banter of a motivational speaker. Throwing quotes around and being all deep in a normal conversation. It is admirable in a way. For some reason I kept imaging where he’d be if he never faced the tragedy. A path seemed to have opened from a rather unconventional end of life. And like he says, “what’s in you is greater than what is in your path”. I have no words for his appetite for life though! Too much fun and crazy for one person. Or my life probably just sucks because I ignored a mad man somewhere. (God forbid!). Oh, and the alligator shoes guy seems fun. People who wear such shoes have bewildering stories and philosophies in the bulk of their foreheads.




    69
    • Patrick Thuo
      19.09.2017

      You can’t bring foreheads into this Peter. Not when BIko is thinking about driving around in Helmets but he woukld have to get a custom made one: The forehead.

      Dougie though makes me feel lousy. This whole 40’s Series is doing that to me. It keeps telling me I should stop sulking about nothings and get a life. I will keep reading until I don’t to be reminded anymore.

      And Biko you can always drive around in helmets. We will judge you and say you are becoming nuts. And probably try help you out getting a blessing while at it.

      Matters Beamers, I would still take X6 even if it’s ass was flat as a door (opr maybe not because it would be different) but the way that thing purrs, I just want to sit on the leather seat, lean back, close my eyes and wait for the rapture.




      22
  • Elvis Mayaka
    19.09.2017

    Yes. Because sometimes when push comes to shove you will be judged by not how much you have in your pocket, but who you are, because who you are doesn’t change but what you have does.”

    This is so true.. too bad most people value money more over humanity




    30
  • Ian
    19.09.2017

    “Yes. Because sometimes when push comes to shove you will be judged by not how much you have in your pocket, but who you are, because who you are doesn’t change but what you have does.”
    Feels…
    Douglas truly showed what’s in him is much stronger than what was in his way.
    Feels…
    Great story sir.

    http://www.ianwainaina.wordpress.com




    6
  • Naomi K
    19.09.2017

    He is quite a well of wisdom. Also, he could have allowed blindness to become his weakness but he chose to make it his greatest strength. As he said, ‘Fear is nothing’. This is an insightful read.




    6
  • Muchemi
    19.09.2017

    This is truly inspiring.




    2
  • Dikki
    19.09.2017

    For some reason, i paused after “these are the final moments right before he loses his sight.”

    There’s a victim mentality that affects us Kenyans that required i brace myself for a sad story. But then i guess that with the right attitude, anything can be turned around.

    Thanks so much Biko. Your pieces touch and impact on your readers in so many ways than i can count. Even team FIRST TO COMMENT. You give them something to look forward to. Every Tuesday.




    23
  • Stephen
    19.09.2017

    You don’t like that ass on the X6? I think it’s great. Reminds me of some biology teacher back in high school who looked like a wasp.




    8
  • Amazing story of fortitude, and testifying to the strength of the human spirit.
    It makes one wonder, what are they doing with their sight?
    Teaches us also to keep sowing good deeds for in due time we’ll reap a harvest.
    Bravo Mr Dougie!




    13
  • @clif_the_tall
    19.09.2017

    Wow powerful read !
    I have learnt the following things…
    1. Some of the most poisonous people come disguised as friends.
    2. Choose your friends wisely, they will have a tremendous impact on your life.
    3. Children accept people much easier than adults do. Facts only.
    4. Most women want a man who is already successful: a strong woman will be part of his struggle, survive it, succeed together and build an empire.
    5. “Fear is nothing.” Make your vision so clear that your fear becomes irrelevant.




    76
    • Wesh - Peter Wesh
      19.09.2017

      Very accurate. Couldn’t be put better Clif.




      5
    • Malaika
      20.09.2017

      When a man makes a heaven for his woman and makes her feel loved and secure… she is sticks stronger than a tick to a cows back.




      11
  • Jacque Ngure
    19.09.2017

    Poor dessert chef.. Hahaha I’ll try eat dessert a little more often




    3
  • Christine
    19.09.2017

    Biko, i think you love asses so much…hahaha.
    Always such a good read…thanks for my making my day…now, back to asses….oopppsss!!!!




    5
  • Joyyy
    19.09.2017

    How life happens…sigh! Douglas, you are an inspiration.Mountain climbing and cyling and all those things we whine about on a daily basis-that they are impossible feats to most of us.Well,new perspectives!




    1
  • Jetoloxd
    19.09.2017

    Its such a paradox that a blind guy can have such clarity of vision. Doffed hat to the wife that stayed though _ heart and heart !




    18
    • I Odumbe Kute
      19.09.2017

      Actually, I see it differently. The vision is inspite of him being blind. As humans we just take things for granted until we get to experience a different version of life. It’s common to attach a premium to a blind person having a “vision” because its oxymoronically simplistic.




      2
  • Christine
    19.09.2017

    Have also learnt that in life, you should be content; whether poor or rich or whether in sorrow or in happiness.
    It’s also true that if you do good, someday your goodness will be paid back…it just happens.
    Lastly. let nothing hinder you from doing big things.
    That’s a powerful read Biko.




    7
  • Kim
    19.09.2017

    A very good read. Thank you Biko and Douglas.

    PS: Biko, your love for asses is overwhelming. There are 20 “ass words” including those in Embassy, glass, selassie, passerby, massive, and the ass itself. Those are too many in a single story.




    15
  • Kola
    19.09.2017

    These lessons are too valuable. There’s nothing one cannot conquer with the right attitude!




    1
  • Ivalin
    19.09.2017

    “what’s in me is much stronger than what’s in my way”. this 40’s theme has really been inspiring…




    2
  • Anne
    19.09.2017

    Am I the only one who thought that Douglas would walk away with that sexy BMW X6? When i get chums that will be a must get car for me. I love it




    2
    • Charles Kagana
      19.09.2017

      I think you must have confused this blog with that morning radio show, where a certain braggadocio host – the one who sells land high up the Aberdares ridges – gifts such things to his self-deprecating side-kick (can’t recall their names). Where do you want Biko to steal the money from?




      1
  • Wa Mso
    19.09.2017

    As they say, life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to what happens to it. It’s amazing that Douglas has a clear eyesight when blind than when he had two eyes. Keep going champ!!
    As always, great read Biko. Keep the inspiration burning.




    2
  • Junerean
    19.09.2017

    It is so amazing how God uses our defects to better us in life.We get to realize we have the strength we never thought we had. Dougie I love your ambitiousness. Good job you are doing Biko. I am sure quite a number who’ve read this will have their hope for life rekindled.




    0
  • ryan
    19.09.2017

    “Life without challanges is life at a standstill” true indeed challanges are what makes life worth living




    0
  • Aly
    19.09.2017

    All I could think about as I read was, what if I lost my sight?! God knows it would take heaven to build up the kind of attitude Douglas has. He’s such an inspiration with an amazing wife. Lord, the things we take for granted.




    4
  • Riri
    19.09.2017

    There is something I love about this guy; attitude! We have asses* (Biko’s influence), who go on and on about their degrees and wander around like stray **** saying how nothing has come their way. Go look for something for God’s sake, ANYTHING!!! And Biko you are weird, you don’t care about bikes but you love helmets, lol!!! And what’s with you and asses?

    Where can we get that book ‘When Tears Unite A Country’?
    And we are also running StanChart, you can meet and greet us. Inshallah!!




    3
  • Angie Ngugi
    19.09.2017

    I love how he treated Teresa before and how he talks about her now.
    Though I’m curious Biko, they say when you lose one sense the others are heightened, is it like that for him?
    PS: si I’ve been waiting for your post all week. Tuesday never comes soon enough.




    5
  • Merci Jowi
    19.09.2017

    What I didn’t know then is that I was investing in the marriage and in my relationship with her, I was building a very stable foundation for the marriage and when I lost my sight and the storm came, I realised the foundation I put up is what saved me; it kept the marriage solid.” Wow! Brought hot tears to my eyes, he paid it forward.




    3
  • Wairia
    19.09.2017

    “You are seeing more without eyes than you did with your eyes.” So true.. An amazing story




    0
  • Wango
    19.09.2017

    What is in you is much stronger than what is in your way!




    1
  • Emmah Njoroge
    19.09.2017

    Touched most by his deeds to the mad man. We should all be challenged by that.




    3
  • Kenneth
    19.09.2017

    Wow! Quite an inspiring story…. “There is nothing a human being can face that he can’t turn around. Anything can be turned around with the right attitude.”..Lesson learnt.




    0
  • Miss Mukatia
    19.09.2017

    “Yes. Because sometimes when push comes to shove you will be judged by not how much you have in your pocket, but who you are, because who you are doesn’t change but what you have does.”

    Inspirational




    2
  • Mercie
    19.09.2017

    Could we have the facebook name too? Thank you for the lesson.




    0
  • Sam
    19.09.2017

    i know one with 4 daughters




    0
  • Magero
    19.09.2017

    ”The good acts of man are rewarded in ways that we can’t start imagining”




    0
  • Kui Ngugi
    19.09.2017

    Every story you write , challenges me to be better person , the world has great human beings , I will have to have an honest conversation about what my story would be as I move to 4th floor in a few days. ”There is nothing a human being can face that he can’t turn around. Anything can be turned around with the right attitude.” Truly inspired and tearful offcourse!




    1
  • Nick26
    19.09.2017

    Maybe Rick Ross finally has a sunglasses line Biko.Nice read kudos




    1
  • Habo
    19.09.2017

    An encouraging story it is @steve biko




    0
  • Selina
    19.09.2017

    I am not fully leaving my life , I have put invisible limits and ‘fear which I have learned its nothing’
    “There is nothing a human being can face that he can’t turn around. Anything can be turned around with the right attitude.”




    1
  • Nimusiima Susan
    19.09.2017

    The lesson about investing in relationships? Taken to heart. Here thinking though, how can he be so big with his eyes closed?




    0
  • Fridah
    19.09.2017

    Someone is chopping onions in here. So, sometime last week i read some quote ‘what would you do if you had no fear ? Then go ahead and do it’ .This might sound absurd but atimes i wish i would get fired so i can step out and turn my life around. Heaven knows am scared of quiting yet its what i want.I am scared of so many things that i sit and pray for that shove,that bomblast ,That loss..but if there is anything i want to take home from this series is ‘whatever is inside me is greater than whatever is in the way’ .Please God dont answer the prayers i make in foolishness




    10
    • Anne
      19.09.2017

      Fridah i think you are my long lost sister. I feel you, I also ask what thing can make me or my life to turn 360 degrees? And yes, i ask God not to answer my prayers that i too make in foolishness.




      3
  • Albert
    19.09.2017

    Great read Biko…I wish such came through every single day….its moving




    0
  • June
    19.09.2017

    Wow! You are seeing more without eyes than you did with your eyes.
    Bravo Douglas, live on…




    1
  • Charles Kagana
    19.09.2017

    “Did anyone eat your desserts today, baby?” Holy Lord!




    0
  • Naiko-Oloyieu
    19.09.2017

    It’s an extraordinary story of resilience, endurance, fortitude and true love.. You have a wonderful wife Dougie.




    3
  • °ed°
    19.09.2017

    “You are just saying that because you love my biceps…”
    Funny that little chef-wife conversation.




    2
  • Dottie
    19.09.2017

    Lesson learnt stop complaining and be grateful for all you have:Dougie God loves you so much and to you Biko God bless you and give you more wisdom,exellent piece as always and very very inspiring




    1
  • Dottie
    19.09.2017

    Lesson learnt stop complaining and thank God for all we have,Biko God bless you with more wisdom!
    Dougie, God loves you so much, I pray for good health for your family especially Teresa in order to continue taking good care of you.




    0
  • Dottie
    19.09.2017

    Biko am still looking for you and still want to meet you




    3
  • abdullah omar
    19.09.2017

    Anything can be turned around with the right attitude.”




    1
  • Dove
    19.09.2017

    And such makes me wonder what is in me that I haven’t unlocked yet? Also I pray that it doesn’t take a misfortune to get it utilize.




    2
  • G.Oriwo
    19.09.2017

    O’Brien Kipsowe …Nyosna …..Will pay a visit to have a look at those alligator shoes……… Hujafa hujaumbika…




    1
  • Brand Lubian
    19.09.2017

    Teresia deserves that X6 for sure…“There is nothing a human being can face that he can’t turn around. Anything can be turned around with the right attitude.” ***drowning in the deep end of thoughts***
    I would wish to meet DOUGIE some day.




    0
  • JB
    19.09.2017

    This part gave me goosebumps.
    “The heat from that blast was channelled between buildings towards Haile Selassie avenue blowing up commuters in buses, matatus, sending shards of glass flying, glass that sliced through the body parts and organs of anyone within a radius of 800m. Men and women burned in vehicles stuck in the jam. Ufundi house collapsed into rubble. The devil had descended.”




    3
  • G
    19.09.2017

    “I think the deeds of man,” he proceeds, “ the good acts of man, are rewarded in ways that we can’t start imagining.”

    Powerful….




    0
  • The Duchess
    19.09.2017

    I am deeply humbled. My faith in the future is restored.




    0
  • Benson
    19.09.2017

    You listen to peoples lives and can’t help but feel really unappreciative.




    0
  • Carol
    19.09.2017

    “There is nothing a human being can face that he can’t turn around. Anything can be turned around with the right attitude.”… Just took a long breath after meditating on this…It’s gonna be my mantra…Thanks Biko for sharing and thanks for having the interviewee for the sake of the gang.




    1
  • Claire
    19.09.2017

    Powerful read Biko, ….attitude is everything . To Douglas , you are a hero….your attitude towards life crowns everything. Be blessed in abundance.




    1
  • Josephine
    19.09.2017

    Right attitude…




    0
  • Job
    19.09.2017

    Moral lesson……………. 1. provided the heart doesn’t go blind, man must live and live abundantly
    2. live today like you will never live again




    0
    • Frashier
      19.09.2017

      “Life without challenge is life at a standstill,” he says. “That’s my philosophy in life.” great read




      1
  • Ocampo
    19.09.2017

    My biggest credit goes to the wife, guy wouldn’t have found his feet at this point if she had left or had stayed with someone who puts him down with comments and stuff. He would have actually gone to depression mode, its great to have that kind of support on our weakest point. Again for not leaving him, besides being persuaded by her buddies – it takes a strong head to stand up to peers, and not allow yourself live like you are on trial. And this has nothing to do with the things he did about washing clodhez and stuff……..its about the personality of his wife. And of course giving him more kids!!! Big Up Terry Gal!!




    1
  • Gabrielle
    19.09.2017

    Truelly inspiring piece. Big up Dougie.




    0
  • Renée
    19.09.2017

    Inspirational stuff right there..
    Some of us lost our parents during that blast.. Mom crumbled down with that ufundi Sacco building. We all died a little that week when her body was recovered from the debris.

    I love that Aspire Center show room by Jove!! I walk in go say hello to the sales agents and walk right into my car for the day and just seat inside for a few mins thinking about life.

    Batista cafe is so pretty tho’. Especially when you seat outside and have dessert, always ice-cream sundaes

    This post made me happy.




    2
  • Elvira
    19.09.2017

    Attitude is sure the determinant of altitude. Very inspirational.




    0
  • Low lying fruit
    19.09.2017

    Hii story imenigusa. I like the guy. Attitude and not letting whatever trials in life change him.

    Sasa …..The fact that the parents and friends wanted the wife to leave him shows that most of us don’t marry for love but for practical lessons.Cos if it was for love that issue would not keep coming up




    0
  • Karen
    19.09.2017

    Wonderful read




    0
  • Carol Ohonde
    19.09.2017

    “You are seeing more without eyes than you did with your eyes.” This is so true of all that overcome adversity!
    Bomb blast day changed so many lives…. most never overcame unfortunately……




    0
  • bourgeois
    19.09.2017

    Profound




    1
  • liz
    19.09.2017

    I don’t like the asses of the BMW X6 and X4- Me too




    0
  • nimo
    19.09.2017

    “Why are you taking all these pictures, it’s not like you will see them later?” ………… 🙂

    “children accept people much easier than adults do. They love me like this because this is how they know me.”” powerful

    good read kama kawa!




    0
  • Miriam Mwangi
    19.09.2017

    Haki Biko lol!! A deep story but you digress in such a funny way. You would drive wearing a helmet? Loool.
    (I just wrote that in my head as clodhez, as Ugandans say). I know that always made me laugh.




    0
  • Imani
    19.09.2017

    “Yes. Because sometimes when push comes to shove you will be judged by not how much you have in your pocket, but who you are, because who you are doesn’t change but what you have does.”




    0
  • Kami
    19.09.2017

    The things we take for granted. Everytime you right, a new bulb is lit! Thanks for this perspective of life…




    0
  • Kami
    19.09.2017

    The things we take for granted. Everytime you write, a new bulb is lit! Thanks for this perspective of life…




    1
  • Douglas
    19.09.2017

    “In life there are challenges that want to knock us flat onto our backs but we must confront those challenges head on breaking them and living a life full of purpose”.
    To know my purpose in life invite me for a speaking engagement to your church,your school your company,your NGO or any institutions that requires inspiration and motivation…




    1
  • Douglas
    19.09.2017

    In life there are challenges that want to knock us flat onto our backs but we must confront those challenges head on breaking them and living life full of purpose
    To know my purpose in life invite me for a speaking engagement to your school, your church, your company, or an institution that requires inspiration and motivation




    3
  • Vincent
    19.09.2017

    Amazing reads! “Life without challenges is life at standstill” Thanks Biko for lighting up my week. So far, Alex The Gasman and Dougie stories are my best picks from the series.




    0
  • Eric
    19.09.2017

    There is nothing a human being can face that he can’t turn around. Anything can be turned around with the right attitude…. I like this too!!




    0
  • Rose
    19.09.2017

    I heart it. Inspirational!




    1
  • ojijo
    19.09.2017

    Omora. Okwodo wiya, omako dhoga. Onega kod paro matut.




    0
  • Jennifer A. Okech
    20.09.2017

    People in big luxury cars are always frowning.

    “What’s in you is much stronger than what’s in your way.”

    “There is nothing a human being can face that he can’t turn around. Anything can be turned around with the right attitude.”

    Great read, very inspiring, thanks Biko




    0
  • Ochieng
    20.09.2017

    Nice Read.. so touching..
    … when push comes to shove you will be judged by not how much you have in your pocket, but who you are, because who you are doesn’t change but what you have does……




    0
  • Ray
    20.09.2017

    Because sometimes when push comes to shove you will be judged by not how much you have in your pocket, but who you are, because who you are doesn’t change but what you have does.

    I rest my case




    0
  • Jennifer A. Okech
    20.09.2017

    Just remembered this: “I just wrote that in my head as clodhez, as Ugandans say” hahahaha, blame it on Insomnia, hahaha, I can’t sleep so I’m busy thinking about today’s great read, but Biko, only one Ugandan tribe says clodhez, most say clotheeez, hahaha, and the Baganda say clotheeeeziii because of the vowel factor, but now we know most of your Ugandan friends say clodhez.

    Great piece, I couldn’t help re-reading it




    0
  • Malaika
    20.09.2017

    What a man! What a positive attitude. He is eating life with a large spoon. He has done a lot of living than us with the 5 senses intact. Challenge noted and accepted…no more excuses.




    1
  • Liz Wambeti
    20.09.2017

    There is nothing a human being can face that he can’t turn around. Anything can be turned around with the right attitude.” This is just what I needed to hear

    I’m always amazed by car ba’hinds. If the ass ain’t cute nothing else matters




    0
  • Kenyan Lawyer
    20.09.2017

    Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see




    1
  • Em'
    20.09.2017

    Attitude is critical in this journey called life. This story confirms that life is not defined by what happens to you but rather how you respond to it. Great story Biko! This 40’s series has been deep.




    0
  • Susan
    20.09.2017

    Nice read.
    Anything can be turned around with the right attitude.




    1
  • Jess
    20.09.2017

    This article moved my soul… He sees the world in such a beautiful perspective.




    0
  • Suleiman
    20.09.2017

    A thrilling story.




    0
  • yvonne
    20.09.2017

    Beautiful story! God bless him




    0
  • SilentNoise254
    20.09.2017

    A good story, I am inspired.




    0
  • christine
    20.09.2017

    “Yes. Because sometimes when push comes to shove you will be judged by not how much you have in your pocket, but who you are, because who you are doesn’t change but what you have does.”




    1
  • nelly
    20.09.2017

    I know Dougie and his family. Teresa really is as amazing as she sounds.




    0
  • lilian mimi
    20.09.2017

    Always an awesome read , so insipiring




    0
  • Mugabi Patsy
    20.09.2017

    Not to be petty or anything, but on behalf of the avid Ugandan readership here , myself inclusive it surely is exciting(exziting like Kenyans say)to say clodhez;

    I am in of Douglas’ story, This indeed something for millennials to ruminate on;turn things around.Okay, we alrady do this,and we end up slapped in the face pretty hard, But to turn thing around like Douglas,not only demands for one to be hopeful enough,but also full of unbridled passion for life after things take a toll for worse.




    2
  • Mr. Chambers»
    21.09.2017

    If you ask me, that wife is the real MVP. Sticking along through thick and thin, she’s the real definition of loyalty. A rare breed that one




    0
  • Tråcey
    21.09.2017

    All sorts of sinspiring and moving altogether…I don’t know why, but I teared up when reading this. Thank heavens I didn’t actually cry in that lousy bus, they’d have thought badly of me!v




    0
  • neelah
    21.09.2017

    his story got me emotional sometime back when he was invited to churchill show….this is a big encouragement……Teresa baraka tele…..good work Biko,as always




    1
  • Robert
    22.09.2017

    Next time when your kid asks you where God is when bad things happen, ask the kid to read this story. In every darkness God’s light shines




    1
  • Dan
    22.09.2017

    Beautiful writing as usual. And perfect marketing for BMW. Love your pieces.




    0
  • Angie
    23.09.2017

    I always look forward to reading your posts. There is something with the way you write. For instance this particular story is like a parable. You read and it leaves you thinking about life.Thank you BIko. And thank you Dougie for shairing your story.

    “Life without challenge is life at a standstill,”




    1
  • ndiklas
    24.09.2017

    Everything happens for a reason even the with the biggest setbacks, you just have to keep moving forward. Adults should be like kids accepting people for who they are ………………..




    0
  • Pastor Ngoya
    25.09.2017

    And to think that I can’t even ride a bike for the life of me! It’s for shame. I need to meet Dougie. So full of life and vision.




    0
  • Joy Rugz
    25.09.2017

    “You are seeing more without eyes than you did with your eyes.” I tell him.

    I hope Dougie didn’t find this final quip annoying.




    0
  • Moraa
    27.09.2017

    I know best what it means to loose good health and fight with adversity.Thankyou so much for the inspiration.




    0
  • Rosa
    28.09.2017

    A wonderful story….we can turn any tragedy into a hopeful existence




    1
  • It beckons a tear. Equally, it motivates too




    0
  • MIckey
    13.10.2017

    If a car has a wrong ass, I won’t buy it. My sentiments exactly!
    Lovely reads as always, I feel 40




    0

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