Inside the famous women’s “chama”: A cocktail of Joy

Article By: Winnie Jeruto

The amount of joy you experience is directly proportional to the actions you do. Much like fruits on a tree that you have to climb to get to, joy is pretty much the same,being intentional in working towards it is the first step; working on your platonic relationships just as you would the romantic ones.

I often find myself reminiscing the many good times I have had with my girlfriends. For a long time the society has painted girl friendships as a gossip Hotpoint or some sort of cult. Men being anxious about what number they are given on a scale of hotness or snatchy body. Relax Paul, no one cares if you have a nose big enough to finish air in a room, just love our friend properly, as she deserves. Describing these kinds of girl friendships “manyoks” makes you think backstabbing and betrayal stands to be the basis of girlships. I mean, come on even snakes have friends too right?

The world can be unforgiving and overwhelming sometimes, one moment you are happily cruising through life and the next moment life throws a blow at you so hard that you immediately fall apart. It is hard stand alone, we say it takes a village to raise a kid but it also takes a village to survive this life. Even Joan, my extremely introverted friend has a friend who has the same interest of staying in the house all day. Contrary to what people’s perception on girl friendships is, it is one of the most important relationships one can ever form in life.

It stands on the deepest and purest forms of love support in times of grief, bad days, dull days, heartbreaks.  In African families heartbreaks are never a reason to be all mopy and sad but girlships encourage you to cry your eyes out, talk about it and get it out of your chest, I think it’s beautiful.

Oh the fun ,good times: a little bit of gossip , a pinch of debate, multiple bets, advice ,a glass of wine, okay, several glasses of wine,chipo mwitu dates, dance!, girls night, a pool of happy tears. The only place you can ever get honest opinions is here, from life to relationships to behavior to lifestyle. Faith, work on your temper and start communicating like a person! Most of us have siblings…… or not, there are some discussions you would never feel comfortable talking to your sister, mom, brother or uncle about, who needs therapists when you have girlfriends?

I joined campus with so many ideas pumped into my head about bad company,drugs,malicious friends ,the common insha lines finally hit home “vijana walijibwaga katika maisha ya anasa na mihadarati”, unfortunately the only thing people told me that remotely sounded good was the freedom and sleep. Sleep? In the city that never sleeps? Please hand me a manual on how to do that sir. I tread carefully in finding friends, scanning them through my naïve notions of what good people should look and sound like, I wouldn’t say it didn’t work but man, was I wrong. I found friends in the most unexpected circumstances and among that was my cushion of girlfriends who turned out to be my second family to say the least.

I would be lying if I say that there weren’t any bad moments but one thing I realized is that a girl ship is important. Find yourself that ship and stick with the crew through the storms, hails, sharks…..and even when the ship is stuck, make sure you don’t give up on in, find ways to revive it. OH, and a boy-ship also works, so I have heard.

The  kind of positive energy that radiates from a joyful person is a space that everyone needs to be in and marinate in it and most of it is found in meaningful relationships.It is usually the most natural thing that comes off after a successful day,an interesting conversation, a newborn baby. The list is endless.The bible equates the fruit of joy as  the result of hard work and if you think about it,it is true.


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