Category Archives: Africa

Ngong Hills Hike #MtKenyaChallenge2017


Ngong hills

The last preparatory hike was Ngong hills now we were ready to take on the #MtKenyaChallenge2017 and the team had already firmed up. This was going to be a laid back affair since Ngong ni hapa tu…

As usual our meeting time was 5.30 so that we leave at 6.00am. I was in town about quarter to six and meet other members who were ready for the challenge. It looks like it might rain and Nnena our newest gang member needs to get a few items for the day that will be. Some random guy passes by with his rain cover, Brian the Magician swings into action and starts chatting him up to convince him to sell his rain cover since we’d be out there in the wild and Nnena would need one talk of team cohesion… The guy is adamant and refuses, it was a nice shot though, Nnena is in luck as Duncan has pochos and she gets sorted.

Everyone is finally assembled and Yvonne is not yet here, on calling her she is still at home, at 6.00!! Now it is playing delaying tactics to see how much time can be bought but long story short she caught up :-).

We get to Ngong town about 7.30 am and wait for Rachel who was to link up with us there. After refilling a second time with breakfast we start our hike. We get some armed escort for the hike and after warming up where Jeremy pulls an unforgettable toe stand move I should get a camera with quicker shutter speed to get some of these moments…

It is all foggy and you could not see more than a few metres ahead of you. I would hear lots of noises only to be told they were windmills. On getting closer is when you got to see them but with the fog that was there you could not paint a proper picture. What I liked about the Ngong hills was that there were so many people who were there hiking and especially older mature coupes, how beautiful is that? When you are probably in your sixties you take the love of your life out there to take a walk as you try to keep fit, life does not sync more than that does it?

Ngong hills has this amazing view that cuts across Kajiado and Narok Counties when the mist clears up you want to keep going round to take it all in and register those memories. One thing you get to notice is that it is very windy. And not just any wind, strong winds that will blow sand into your face that you actually feel pain, it is like someone stinging you with toothpicks, aha, this then explains why even Kengen decided to put up the wind powered generators.


The view coming down


Some clean energy here…

We have our lunch and get briefed about what to expect during the #MtKenyaChallenge2017. Thereafter we have a session of Zumba with Beatrice and Maryanne leading the team. People got turnt like real turnt, this team has just reached new levels of team cohesion… You can see the bush zumba video below. The #MtKenyaChallenge2017 continued….


The Ngong hills are absolutely amazing #Hiking #MtKenyaChallenge2017

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Karura Forest #MtKenyaChallenge2017

After my first hike on Kiima Kiu in preparation for the #MtKenyaChallenge2017 I realized I was a mess. Let me take you back a bit, I don’t know if I mentioned this, but the real motivation behind hiking was, because, iwastiredoffatshaming, “you have grown so big”, “you should be having a family at this size” gosh is this you Kel?” “Naona maisha inakupeleka poa”… Something had to give and it had to be the fat. What I needed now was to do something I had never done before to shed weight like I had never shed before. It had become apparent what I used to do before was not taking me anywhere especially since I did not want to divorce some simple pleasures of my life like my daily dose of chapatti…  So I join the weight watchers club with my main activity being hiking at least once a month.


2017 we are dropping it like it’s hot. Maybe a potato; chips! Operation make the buckle visible again!

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On top of nearing 90 kilos here I was not able to maneuver a small hill without panting like a donkey. I had got fed up of the mandatory wardrobe changes every four months. As we were coming back to Nairobi Yvonne mentioned Karura, I had heard about it but never had it occurred to me I should try it, so this time I jumped in on the idea. It was quite some distance from where I live but they say nothing easy comes easy right? Saturday and Sunday mornings would find me there either cycling or running my ass the longest track I could find. The bicycles provided me with the flexibility to change my route and take as many detours as opposed to running, you feel like you will drop dead when you thought you had finished your circuit only to realize you are on the Limuru gate and you need to get out of Kiambu road one, that is a cool 8km.

The struggle is real fam…. At least the moobs stopped vibrating as I run, that is good yes?

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So Sensei @b_kimtai is this good enough? Or with that time I should have done 40kms? Haha

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The magic started happening and I would take to my instagram page to brag about it. I am proud to say from nearing nineties at the beginning of the year, I managed to hit the seventies in three months and still get my chapos, I know I know had I dumped gluten I would have lost even more, but for now, I will have my cake and eat it. Each weekend the circuit felt easier and easier, I would push so hard that my knees would start squirming. In my mind this was only a sign I was getting ready for #MtKenyaChallenge2017 but only time would tell. At that point and time I needed to start working on a better method of running and landing to avoid more injury…


Another week another kilo. 28km done, 2 km short of target them I plateau….

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Elephant Hill Hike #MtKenyaChallenge2017

The #MtKenyaChallenge2017 started to take shape after Nathan and Kenton Hills, people start evaluating whether climbing Mt Kenya is something they want to pursue or let go, Elephant hill was what was going to tell you if your body was ready for a thrashing. I confirm the second time, after all I promised myself to take up on all challenges and take up all opportunities that pass my way this year. It is better to look back and say you tried something and it didn’t work out than think how you were too scared to even try, comfort zone is an ass…


Elephant Hill
Photo credits: @mackel9

The Mountain Gear Checklist is provided to all of us who were interested, and boy oh boy when I went to Nairobi Sportshouse it was costing a small fortune, my friend and colleague, Chris would joke I did not need to break a bank, I needed two banks to get all the gear! I created wishlists which I would cross out whenever I got cash. The beauty of Xtrym is they informed us where to get gear at affordable rates. For the frugal like me we were given Gikomba and Toi market options. We had a Gikomba date and I hopped in on the first call, last minute purchases have left me high and dry before and I would rather have enough time to weigh my options, I know you are seeing the planner in me STOP. In Gikomba we spent half day there and got much of our gear at 1/8 of the price, it was unbelievable. I got most of my gear and whatever remained was a few items that I could get from Chris of Tembo wear or Toi. Before I forget, if you do not know what to look for, Chris is your guy, he has everything you need under one roof.

Elephant hill stands at 3600m above sea level and this was what would tell you if you were ready or not for the #MtKenyaChallenge2017. Here is where you would get to dance with altitude sickness, the stories we were told were just scary. So we needed to have atleast our shoes and rainproof gear ready for this one.

The meeting time was 5.30am so I assumed we would leave at 6.00am in the morning as always, as my boss always says assumption makes an ass of you and me haha. I assumed bad. I had stayed up until 2 am which was not an excuse so when I leave the house at that 5.30 I get a call 15 minutes later from Duncan asking me where I am, I tell him Muthaiga he says I should have been there at 5.30am, utawachwa Kel tu. I laugh a nervous laugh because I have been stranded several times but on different and unrelated occasions. Anyway I make it 5 minutes to six on the nick of time just as the bus was about to leave. I board and find my seat next to Brian the Magician (I will explain this on a later post). As we talk he realizes I got late because I cannot leave the house without breakfast, he remembers he had packed his and shares his juice, free food fam fee food we don’t say no to free food, the coffee in my stomach has not settled and I add on that juice on top…

I fall asleep on our way to elephant hill, so to this day I cannot for the life of me tell you what direction it was. We arrive at the foot of the hill at around 8am, we had been given a target to make sure we summit the hill by 2pm. I have been praying hard for no rain for inasmuch I have the gear I do not find the idea of walking around drenched in mud very enticing.

The hill looks like an elephant and we are told that it is located on the migratory path for elephants and other wild animals and they had passed through about a week before we got there. We start at the rainforest which is pretty easy to walk through, next we go to bamboo where the steep climb begins. Geography classes come alive as we go alive as we cover more distance going up. We had been told that if we could not be able to make it to the point of despair by noon we would have to come back. The thought alone of not being able to finish was painful so I huffed and puffed panting like an overloaded donkey on that hill. The Flora changes beautifully the higher you go, I am in total awe and every so often I would stop look around and take it all in. It felt like therapy.


At approx 3300m asl at Elephant Hill. Beautiful panorama ey?
Photo credits: mackel9

Altitude sickness starts to hit at around 3300m asl Ivy gets affected and Dedan help out with her bags, we struggle slowly and finally we make to the summit of elephant hill, 3600m asl. It is 1.30pm and we take many pictures smiling which make Duncan mad, he feels we have cheated, the gods of favorable weather seem to be on our side and he wonders how, he wants a repeat, repeat HA! Never ever! Ask Floyd Mayweather if he would accept a repeat with Manny Pacquiao after he beat him… Not going to happen.

We have our lunch snacks and begin our descend, the toes bear the brunt of steep hill, they keep bumping the front of the shoe you just want to sit remove the shoes and throw them  away. I mean there were high school girls who we meet going up barefoot!!! Others were wearing bata ngomas. How do they manage that with those?!!! I have nothing but much respect for them.

When we get to the edge of the bamboo Ivy realizes she has dropped her phone. We stop and James our guide asks if we can go and start looking for it. I am beat but if she says yes we are going. She thinks for a moment and thinks through the hustle and decides it is too much work it can stay. Miriam offers her a phone until she gets hers as long as we don’t have to go back up. That is how gruesome the climb was. Luckily we meet Tsuma who works at KWS and he assures us that we would get it, since the hill is well secured.  With that assurance we continue our way down. Many a times Olive and I would wonder if we were on the right path because we never seemed to be getting back to the bus. After many many minutes maybe hours we got to the bus. Someone called Tsuma and told us that the schoolgirls we had met going up barefoot had found Ivy’s phone, what better news than that?

Elephant hill was real. Tick tock :-))))

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We begin our journey back to Nairobi, I sleep most of the way, I hope I was not farting in my sleep, we had been told burping and farting help you alleviate altitude sickness, so you should not hold it in. We get to Nairobi some minutes to Seven, it was a good day. Third preparatory hike, check, the #MtKenyaChallenge2017 continued…



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Kiima Kiu Hike #MtKenyaChallenge2017

The seed is planted

We were coming from the short Christmas break (do you wonder how before you go for a break, time appears to be a lot and you plan to move mountains during that period only for the reality to show you how it is never enough?). So where was I? Yes, we were coming back to the big bad city when my cousin, Cece told me of this group of people who organise regular hikes and that they had planned to climb Mt. Kenya in April. That piqued my interest and I wanted to know more about them. After two days of letting it percolate in my brain, I go to their Facebook page and there they had several preparatory hikes lined up for the #MtKenyaChallenge2017 in Easter of 2017. They however had a disclaimer this is not for first time hikers, you should have seen the sneer on my face, “my forefathers went to South Africa and back to trade and you are telling me I can’t climb a small hill? I’m going to to show you what I am made of”.

No First timers ey?

Quit playing let’s do this!

The D-day came and we had to meet at 5.30, if you got late you would be left behind I’m thinking, who are these guys, if only they knew I am an owl rather than an early bird. True to their words we were on the road and by 8 we had started our 9 hour hike. I would look at the hills we were set to conquer and think, “this will be a breeze in the pack”. The first two hours are fun and games, we are making new friends, chatting animatedly, taking selfies and all that, it is fun…


This mole hill looks easy to climb or is it?

Oh boy, what did you get yourself into?

The second part of the bike was now the real shit, doing down depressions and climbing steep slopes. A pattern starting coming out, people would talk during the descend but during the ascend, everyone was mum and everyone for themselves, probably wondering “what did you get yourself into?”. At some point during the climb I just stopped midway arms akimbo and wondered how I’m heaven I would finish the remaining 4 hours. My fellow first timers were the people I would fall back on, they had the grit, the most amazing people I got to interact with, P was on a goal to lose weight and Y had decided to stop procrastinating on her plans this year and climbing Mt Kenya was a good way to start. There were other amazing people who I also got chat with, one gent had done Mt. Kenya and Kilimanjaro and he felt that he had “over-prepared”, well let me over-prepare so that I can tell first timers that as well haha.

I got out alive!

We had been asked to carry three litres of water which I had carried two and was given o one extra litre. By midway I had finished all my allocation, thirst is real my friends in the scorching sun and you need to obey yours…

Too much heat can I swim here?

Well long story short, I finished, we all finished the hike. When I saw a cold Fanta I threw caution to the wind, I mean the calories wouldn’t cut all my gain that day would they? And I tell you as it went down my parched throat it felt like heaven, I will remember that soda that day, it quenched a thirsty man.

I didn’t die! Woohoo!

We made a resolve to start working out every week and right now we are on track. The next hike by xtrym adventures and safaris will find us prepared. Mt. Kenya; I am ready for you.
P.S. It’s my birthday today and I don’t know how I should be feeling… All gifts to my M-Pesa are welcome 😉

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Its been six years! Happy Anniversary Mackel9's Blog

Happy 6th Anniversary to Mackel9’s Blog! It is now 6 years down this line of random stories from the experiences all around the world. I would like to thank all of you fam and a special mention goes to @Woolie he is never shy to leave a trail. That is not to leave out the ghost readers, I always see you in my stats, Thank you! 🙂

Happy 6th anniversary @mackel9'sblog

Happy 6th anniversary @mackel9‘sblog


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The rape of proserpina. Source: Google
She was home alone
First year in college
She went to catch a movie in the living room
In her nightdress
Midway she fell asleep on the couch
He was her father’s friend
A family friend
They played with his children
He felt like family, well almost…
He got in and called out for her father
Nobody seemed to be in
He got to the living room and
Saw her nubile body breathing peacefully
He unzipped his trousers
Chocked her and threatened
Dare she scream
And she’d be dead
She couldn’t believe her eyes
This was a person she had trusted
All her life
How could he be doing this to her?
Why her?
Did she do something wrong?
Was God punishing her?
Was this the way she was going to lose her virginity?
Her dignity was destroyed!
The pain in her heart was deeper than the abbrasions caused by his zipper and penis to her privates and groin
When he was done with his deed he left without looking back
She sat up and sobbed uncontrollably
Why why why why is all she could mutter
But there was no voice giving the causes
She thought about taking her own life
What was the purpose of living? She didn’t know anymore
A month later she misses her periods
She visits her close friend
“I think I have missed my periods”
“Someone has been naughty”
She breaks down and cries
Her friend hugs her and probes to find out what is up.
She tells her the whole story
Whenever her father’s friend visits she feels like vomitting
And a lot of fear too
They go to the doctor and tell him
He asks if they have reported the matter to the police?
They say no
He tells them that they should… They still don’t
She is too scared since he has clout
They procure an abortion
And know that, this is a painful secret they have to keep every single minute they live
They had gone for a party
Everyone was making merry
He was too, but he was a teetotaler
She would be refilling his glass of juice whenever it was empty
He started feeling funny
He went to a wall and tried to support himself
She came over and asked how he was feeling
Not so well he said
She told him she’d show him where he could rest
She took him to a bedroom and his head was fuzzy and his heart seemed to be pumping faster than usual
He could feel his pants being removed
They were now three different figures he could see
They had cuffed his hands on the bed
They would each take turns at him
When he told his friends what happened later
They laughed it off and told him how that was a man dream
Three women, a quadrasome
He felt humiliated but couldn’t keep on telling people
Because he never seemed to even get sympathy
People thought he was “lucky”
And wished they could get same “opportunity’
He was too drunk after a night out of fun
He decided to remain in the tent as others went to the campfire
One of the guys offered to remain behind and keep watch
As the camp activities were going on, one of his boys decided to go back to the tent and grab a sweatshirt
He finds their friend who was left behind to keep watch over the drunk friend kissing him
He grabs him by the collar and gives him a few punches
He calls the other friends and they rain on him with blows and kicks
They however decide they are never going to tell their blacked out friend what went on jn that tent
She had gone to sleep over at a friend’s
As the weekend whiled on, more boys and girls dropped by
They brought with them drinks
Discussions became debates
From politics, economy to general life
When people started leaving she went to retire in the guest room
She was drunk but conscious
One of the guys who had remained behind slipped into her room
He started fondling her
She told him to stop
He though no means yes and yes means yes
Such flawed thinking
He went on and undressed her
And molested her
She was too drunk to fight back
She told her host in the morning
He did not believe her
How now? They had been boys since time
She had to carry her burden on her own
Getting STD tests, Post Exposure Prophylaxis and emergency contraception
But after that she developed trust issues
How could people you call friends treat you like such?
They were at a popular park
Time rushed past and soon it was dark
As they were leaving they were arrested by cops on patrol
They were told it was illegal to be in the park past 7.00pm
They pleaded and pleaded
On deaf ears their pleas fell
They made calls to their family and friends
The cops took them away from the station within the jurisdiction they were arrested
Their friends couldn’t find them
In the tiny cells the police officers had their way and let them go
On reporting, nothing seems to be happening
The process of seeking justice was made frustrating for them
They cannot walk alone in the dark any more
Parks are not places for picnics and fun anymore

Posted by on October 1, 2016 in Adult, Africa, Breaking Loose!, Just Random, Nairobi




My barber quit and moved, so did I, now
I am keeping my hair. Do you know how long it takes to get a good barber who understands you. Who doesn’t ask why don’t you like “cuts” he shaves you to your liking without many madoido and you never get those bumps and ingrown hairs afterwards.

Finding a good barber is like falling in love, you keep testing the waters until you meet them. Maybe I should keep locks ey?