PHOTO: Tatiana Karanja. LOCATION: Circle Art Gallery

You guys. My brother, Jeff, turned 27 this week.

27 on the 27th of November in the year 2017. If that’s not a golden birthday, I don’t know what is.

For the longest time, I thought of my brother as a nuisance. Because of him, I had to split my candy in half, go to bed earlier than usual and get spanked for being next to him when he did something naughty.

He was a nightmare.

There’s only a year and eight months difference between my brother and I so whereas he started off as my nemesis when we were younger, he quickly became my best ally the older we got.

Today, I don’t know many people I’d rather be next to as I navigate through life and it’s ups and downs.

Here’s 15 reasons why I’m grateful for Jeff:

  1. Thanks to his dreadlocks I never have to look too far for a hair band because for some reason, mine tend to sprout little legs and run away never to be seen again.
  2. He has such a beautiful, strong connection with my daughter, Naila. He first met her when she was about two months (he was in South Africa for those first couple of months) and Naila was in this phase where she wouldn’t let anyone else (besides me) hold her for more than five seconds without bursting into tears. In fact, I had gotten so used to explaining this to people that I was midway through my speech when I realized she was peacefully resting her head on his shoulders where she lay for the rest of the evening. Their connection was instant and undeniable.
  3. I’ve not met many people as driven as he is and when you happen to grow up next to someone seeking greatness and pursuing happiness without shame or fear, you’re bound to be your own kind of great.
  4. I know exactly what his weakness is which means it doesn’t matter how much stronger or faster than me he is, all I need to do is place my foot next to his face and BOOM. I’m telling you, you’ve never seen a grown man crumble faster. Feet are his kryptonite and I’m glad I’ve got two to make his life a little less comfortable when I need to. Ha.
  5. He makes me laugh harder than anyone I know. (If you want to see why, watch this).
  6. I’m glad I can be my absolute self around him without fear or judgment. We all need people like that in our lives.
  7. He does a great job of putting things into perspective and making sure I’m not swallowed whole by whatever problem that’s before me.
  8. My Instagram will never be the same thanks to all those times he waited patiently for me to get the perfect food shot.
  9. If it wasn’t for him, I don’t know how I’d have been able to get rid of all those snails that found their way into my space over the past two decades. I’d have probably been running a snail zoo by now because let me tell you something, I am never ever ever going to touch a snail. So either someone moves it or the snail and I live in peace for all our days to come.
  10. I’m grateful to him for being my partner in crime and stealing loquats with me from our neighbour’s tree back when we lived in Kariobangi South. And for that time we climbed several fences and found ourselves in someone’s back yard only for mum to come home and serve us a nice little whooping.
  11. He introduced me to Grand Designs which is one of my favourite shows now. A must-watch if you’re fascinated by architecture, interior design and the labour of love it takes to build a home from scratch.
  12. Not many men would have listened to Destiny’s Child’s album in concert without going mad. Growing up, I think I played that DVD 23,781 times. I’m glad that my love for Beyonce has trickled down to him and that there’s one more fan in the world. Although, Jeff, don’t think I didn’t hear you hesitate the other day when someone asked who’s better between Beyonce and Adele. I’m going to blame it on the fact that you hadn’t had lunch yet because I didn’t spend 27 years playing every Beyonce song only for you to forget who the Queen is. Thank you.
  13. Thanks to him, I’ve always had a chance to learn some the weirdest things about this beautiful, strange world of ours. Whether it’s the different theories on the pyramids, or most recently, the types of emotions that different foods leave you with. He’s such a curious being and I adore that about him.
  14. He’s always been up for an adventure! (pronounced: ad-ven-chah) Whether that may be zip lining across the forest or getting lost on the streets of Istanbul.
  15. Despite being younger than me, he has taught me so much about hard work, resilience and selflessness by embodying these traits and tirelessly pursuing his highest calling.


For the month of December I’ll be sharing 10 blog posts as part of my This Is Essmas series! I thought a great way to start this off is by giving thanks for and honouring a man I have grown to love and respect dearly.

I’ll be sharing more posts during this festive season including YouTube videos so you might want to subscribe to my channel. The first video went up today (Taking Stock – video edition) and you can watch it here.

Have a fabulous month and see you on Monday!


Photos were taken at the Circle Art Gallery. I’d highly recommend heading over there and treating your senses to an explosion of art, creativity and passion. They’re currently running an exhibition called Stranger Times and the piece of art that Jeff and I posed in front of is by the talented Xavier Verhoest. Trust me, the colours are even more breathtaking in person. 

6 responses to “In Which He Turned Twenty Seven on the Twenty Seventh”

  1. Beingrosemary says:

    He is such a beautiful soul where would I be without mine,despite the fights he holds me down like no one else.
    Great post 👍🏾

  2. Pumzi says:

    Awwwww such a sweet, heartfelt post!! And that is indeed a golden birthday! I turned 26, on the 26th last year but I didn’t think about it being in the year 2016!! Damn it, lol.

    Snails can miss me, PLEASE!! I can’t stand those of slime balls 🙁

    I’m all about This is Essmas! Totes dig that series name, haha 🙂
    PS: I’m in the middle of watching the Taking Stock video, I reckon you should definitely do more!

  3. Sindiso Moagi says:

    Happy belated birthday Jeff. This is such a beautiful dedication to him. I hope you spoiled rotten and pampered him like never before. I have seen him support your passions wholeheartedly on Youtube… Looking forward to Essmas

  4. Stella Kimani says:

    Happy belated birthday to Jeff! Looking forward to #ThisIsEssMass series on YT. I love the relationship you have with your brother. My twin brother who’s 4 minutes older than I am..(he LOVES to say he’s older, HA!) is my best friend in the world.


    Happy belated birthday Jeff

  6. Dhvani Tombush says:

    Your relationship is great and it is so important to sit down and appreciate the ones we love! so so worth it


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