I Am Not Superman #1
the insane confessions of a hopelessly romantic man
By Ng'ethe Githinji
Some years back a
very good girl friend of mine and I were starting out in
our professional careers and we were struggling with all
the things that life throws at you, and in the midst of
one of our many conversations I remember saying, and to
be honest I cannot remember if I actually said it out or
simply had the though, “I am not superman”. Sounds like
an insane thing to say right? Well, let’s have a look.
Guys, You know the
drill, men don’t cry, buckle up sonny boy, be a man,
what’s wrong with you, be a man, how many notches on
your bed post, who what were how did you do it with her,
who else . . . blah blah . . . and the beat goes on . .
. To be honest, Ladies, even you know this drill, you
expect it from us, say to each other you don’t want
‘weak men’, men who show their emotions, sometimes you
even go ‘hunting in packs’ . . . if you cant scare us
into being the highly successful, rugged, motorcycle
diary Ewan McGregor kind-a guy, sporting designer
stubble . . . you will intimidate us with your sheer
numbers . . . we fuel it, we laud it from the roof tops
of our over priced, over paid, mortgaged flats, to the
inner sanctum of our match stick size homes and bedrooms
that let us afford the prada knock offs and the Wacky
way Oakley shades . . . from the hype cocktail bars, to
the highly rated morning noon and night hot radio
stations, to the articles and agony aunt stories we all
read and smile or smirk about in the papers we read in
the seclusion of our rooms as we hope to high heaven
the agony aunts response will be useful to us even
though we dare not admit it, we NEED the answers too . .
Imagine that! Ha! I
would never date a man who is sensitive…. What do you
mean he cares about how he dresses or looks????? He must
be *&^! We all do it . . but here is the question . .
Are you man enough
to handle it all? Or will you kill yourself trying to?
What’s the straw that’s going to break the camels back .
. . will you stay in a miserable marriage just to
fulfill on some notion of you must be married and have
children by the time you turn 40 or whatever age it is.
. . . The cheesy questions at your cousins, brothers
sixth cousin twice removed wedding . . . Your Aunty was
wondering what is going on with you and that girlfriend
of yours. . . . Is everything okay? All the time really
wanting to know and not daring to ask the question we
really want to ask . . . is your mojo working mate?
Will you deny your sexuality and one day, maybe, when
you cannot take it any more… you know how that one ends
. . . spend your night driving up and down K street
looking for a pavement princess or prince to comfort
you, scratch the itch, fill the void, even for an hour .
. . we know how this ends also . . . STD, venereal
disease. . . . He passed away after a long illness
bravely fought (my foot, it was bravely fought!).
From the time we
are children old enough to walk and run, this notion,
ideology, maybe it’s a superstition to be honest; this
is engrained in our psyche, it is now the very fibre of
our being. . . . So many decades and centuries has it
been drummed into us men, that now, without any
struggle, effort, thought or consideration we can fly
this plan on auto pilot, and there is no black box to
tell us what happened after it happens by the way . . .
AND THEN the same thing happens to our sons, brothers,
husbands and lovers . . . its like a shampoo, apply,
wash, rinse, repeat, apply, wash, rinse, repeat, apply,
wash, rinse, repeat . . .
Now, you may be
wondering what the correlation between what I have just
said is and the phrase “I am not superman . . .” well,
consider this, and by the way you probably already know
this and I am by no means an expert on this, just a man
sharing my insane confessions, friend or foe. Let’s
have a look. Superman always flies in to save the day,
women love the notion of a man fighting for them,
doesn’t matter if your up against 30 hooligans and all
you have with you is a single red rose for her, she
wants you to swoop into karate kid cum Jet Lee cum Chow
Yun Fat action style, save the day AND not break the
rose or lose a single petal, and still have your shoes
shiny and the ironing crease of your trousers intact . .
women love his pseudo personality. Look, it does not
matter what you do during the day or what you look like,
it’s what you wear, clothes and scent by the way . . .
your action plan at night and how you execute it . . .
what special effect have you employed, which CGI
technology have you worked from, who’s your stunt double
in case of high flying action . . . that, that is what
is most probably going on in the background that will
carry the day… Clark Kent proved that, bad glasses by
day, super hero and fly guy by night. . . .You could be
the store keeper at any shopping centre/mall/biashara in
town, have the IQ of Einstein, the creativity of Martha
Stewart or the comedy of Ellen Degeneres, as long as
you’re wearing your overall and thick black rimmed
glasses. . . . As long as when you step out at night
you’re wearing a designer T-shirt or crystal white shirt
with pinstripe non-pleat trousers, a designer jacket and
cuff links to die for, it does not matter if you
mortgage your parents plot in huruma to get it, you will
not get recognized otherwise . . .
Superman is strong,
never shows weakness, works long hours and still manages
to sweep the girls off their feet, have you ever seen
him take out a wallet or credit card to pay for stuff .
. . the brother does not need money, now that’s classy,
recognized everywhere, never paying bills in front of
anyone, ask and ye shall receive . . . (Side bar – the
man does not have pockets for a wallet or credit card,
lets not even go into the wearing of tights and your
underwear above them . . . that’s a story for next
Okay back to
business, so far he is the perfect man right?
Well, lets get
serious for a bit, and this is where I want you to look
and see if you recognize this man. . . . Imagine what it
is like for a man, your son, your brother, boy friend,
lover, father of your kid child. . . . Imagine walking
around life never saying what’s really going on for you,
the fear, despair, desperation . . . imagine spending
your days always looking over your shoulder wondering
who knows what about god knows what you had to do to put
food on the table, pay school fees . . . Consider the
nights your man does not come home as early as you want
him to . . . yes sometimes there are men out there
drinking themselves into an early grave for the sheer
pleasure of it, BUT consider there are men out there
simply waiting. Waiting till everyone in the house is
asleep, and then they can come home. The fear of failure
is an innate human characteristic; we don’t want to fail
. . . AND add on to that the expectations we have of our
men/sons/brothers/lovers to be the best not that they
can be, but be the best we want them to be . . .
I AM NOT SUPERMAN –
I am a man - sometimes I cry when I see bad things
happen to good people on the news, sometimes I cry when
I watch really sappy, cheesy movies on satellite
television, when I have the flu I want to lie on the
sofa fetal position, under a duvet, drinking hot
chocolate, I don’t want to brave the world and go to
work like a soldier marching off for the glory of a
nation.. Sometimes I am so scared of failing that all I
can do to hold it together is to sit in silence and pray
to god you don’t ask me, are you okay . . . because
that may be the straw that breaks my back. . . .
I want to sponge on
a sofa, I want the person I love to come sit with me,
talk meaningless nothing about life . . . laugh at
insane comedies, lie on the sofa and not have to think
Oh My god they probably expect sex any time now because
that’s what every fiber in my body has been taught—men
and women cannot just be
friends?????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Since when?
Now, I am a lucky
man to be honest, and if you’re reading this brother man
and want to know salvation, then listen to me brother
men . . . I have some of the best guy friends I could
ever wish for, we talk about bad relationships getting
worse, and we talk about vicious cycles of
relationships, why do I always end up here. . . . We
talk about how come you’re not in a relationship. Do you
want one or not, either way it’s cool. . . . I have even
had conversations with some of my guy friends about who
they should or should not date, sleep with, have sex
with (2 different things by the way!) Now I am not
saying by any means, I am perfect and have perfect
friends, what I am saying is . . . if you’re brave
enough, can muster enough courage to take the first step
to authentic guy relationships, and thank you very much
I am not referring to the homoerotic kind, you will not
only be surprised how liberating it is but also what the
gals know and never told you about . . .
Sometimes what it
takes to make it through the day, week, marriage . . .
is a wine and chocolate and ice cream session at your
friends’ house in the middle of the night, or the
crying, yes, crying into the plush cushions on the sofa
on a Sunday morning after she leaves you that will make
the difference . . . god knows I have . . .
So, as I whoosh off
into the sunset, off to save another day, find the love
of my life, companionship, and maybe, just maybe if am
lucky, a couple of really great guys and gals to hang
out with . . . I leave you with this . . . here’s my
motto for the week—a good whine deserves a great WINE .
. . take a deep breath, stop for a minute pick up the
phone and save someone’s life . . . Ciao’
Ng'ethe Githinji graduated
from Coventry University in the UK with a Degree in
Graphic Design. He has worked in Advertising as a copy
writer and art director, in Kenya’s fast growing mobile
telephony industry as a project coordinator, and he now
works for myself in graphic design, client relations and
event coordination. He is also an Introduction Leader
for Landmark Education here in Kenya.
Education). His passion and commitment is
that people have successful lives and are proud of who
they are no matter what
posted 7 July 2007
* * *
* * * * *
Super Rich: A Guide to Having it All
By Russell Simmons
Russell Simmons knows firsthand that
wealth is rooted in much more than the
market. True wealth has more to do with
what's in your heart than what's in your
wallet. Using this knowledge, Simmons
became one of America's shrewdest
entrepreneurs, achieving a level of
success that most investors only dream
about. No matter how much material gain
he accumulated, he never stopped lending
a hand to those less fortunate. In
Super Rich, Simmons uses his rare
blend of spiritual savvy and
street-smart wisdom to offer a new
definition of wealth-and share timeless
principles for developing an unshakable
sense of self that can weather any
financial storm. As Simmons says, "Happy
can make you money, but money can't make
* * *
Civilization: The West and the Rest
By Niall Ferguson
The rise to global predominance of Western civilization is the single most important historical phenomenon of the past five hundred years. All over the world, an astonishing proportion of people now work for Western-style companies, study at Western-style universities, vote for Western-style governments, take Western medicines, wear Western clothes, and even work Western hours. Yet six hundred years ago the petty kingdoms of Western Europe seemed unlikely to achieve much more than perpetual internecine warfare. It was Ming China or Ottoman Turkey that had the look of world civilizations. How did the West overtake its Eastern rivals? And has the zenith of Western power now passed? In Civilization: The West and the Rest, bestselling author Niall Ferguson argues that, beginning in the fifteenth century, the West developed six powerful new concepts that the Rest lacked: competition, science, the rule of law, consumerism, modern medicine, and the work ethic. These were the "killer applications" that allowed the West to leap ahead of the Rest, opening global trade routes, exploiting newly discovered scientific laws, evolving a system of representative government, more than doubling life expectancy, unleashing the Industrial Revolution, and embracing a dynamic work ethic.
Civilization shows just how fewer than a dozen Western empires came to control more than half of humanity and four fifths of the world economy.
* * *
update 15 December 2011