HUDUMA NAMBA/NIIMS (WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT)

The very first time I heard about it I was like, “What is it all about? Do I really need it? No, aren’t gonna register. “Actually I thought it was the high school registration NEMIS. Perhaps you are like me, confused with lots of questions with no one to expound . Recently there’s been several myths surrounding the huduma namba/NIIMS(National Integrated Identity Management System) . Well, I’m here to demystify them as I try my best to get you in the clear in the simplest language possible.

MYTHS

  • Huduma namba is 666

These are 2 totally distinct things. There’s also issues with the Obama medical bill which people up to date insinuate to be 666.Let’s go back a bit to the book of Revelation 13:18, “Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

First and foremost, the fact that it needs wisdom to decode should ring a bell that this is not a literal number (Huduma namba is literal). Second, 666 is the namba of a man(Huduma namba isn’t a man).

  • Huduma namba and 2022

It has also been insinuated that this is a form of rigging the 2022 elections using impersonations, a point which is totally false.

  • Huduma namba and DNA

Hehehe… Let me first laugh coz it’s like we’re forgetting we owe some money to China. Do we know how much DNA costs? So it’s not feasible for the country. Rumours have been going round that blood samples will be required for DNA testing; not true. The only things required are any primary documents such as ID or alien card, passport, NHIF and NSSF cards, Driving license as a form of identification and the physical presence of the individual being registered since biometric data(photo and fingerprints) will be collected.

FACTS

Having cleared the myths, let’s now try to understand why the government deemed it necessary to come up with this system which has cost billions to implement.
For the longest time we’ve been used to a manual disintegrated system of registration. This has forced us as Kenyans to be walking around with almost every document.You reach an m-pesa,you find out you forgot your ID, you are taking a patient to the hospital, you can’t even remember where you placed your NHIF card.You need a birth certificate, you must go back to your home. Plus applications for these documents take ages with the same information required everytime. With the huduma namba in place, we won’t have to worry anymore as it will act as our, ‘single source of truth’. Having all our details integrated into one system, we won’t have to walk around with several papers and delivery of services will be much faster . Just a mention of your number and all your information appears. It will also enable easy tracing in case of lost and found persons or accidents. With an unconscious patient, their fingerprints can be used so as to access their details.

The costs of these manual systems have also proved to be high in the long run hence this will help the government in cutting these costs hence channel the funds to other sectors.

Another beckoning question is whether the huduma namba is mandatory /a must. YES IT IS!!(The court ruled yesterday that it should be optional though). It will help the government to cover the loopholes that have been there before hence enable efficient planning for the benefit of the population in all areas especially in the execution of the big 4 agendas (Food Security, Affordable Housing, Manufacturing, Affordable Healthcare for all).

In short, the huduma namba will facilitate access to all government services, e. g transmission of funds to the elderly, orphans and vulnerable people. Thus it is important for everyone living in the country both foreigners and citizens to avail themselves for the process. It will also reduce embezzlement of funds and improve national security. Business people especially farmers will be more efficiently catered for through provision of fertilizers, seeds and irrigation schemes where necessary.

So who is eligible for registration? Everyone and anyone residing in the country can register. Children below 6 years will not be registered biometrically as their fingerprints are still forming.

So come on, let’s get on-boarded.

#HUDUMA NAMBA

#KWA HUDUMA BORA

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ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DEPRESSION AS A MENACE(SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS)

According to World Health Organisation (WHO),more than 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression. It is the leading cause of deaths among 15-29 year olds of which more women than men are affected (this caught me by surprise as I thought it was the other way around). Approximately 800,000 people die every year due to suicide with depression as a contributor.

Most of the time it goes unnoticed and untreated. This is due to the stigma hoovering around mental illnesses plus ignorance in a major part of the population. Health professionals have come up with a system of diagnosing it termed as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V). It consists of a list of 9 signs and symptoms. If a patient exhibits 5 of the symptoms, then depression becomes the culprit.


1.Irritable moods

Every little thing annoys you leaving you exasperated.


2.Loss or decrease of interest in most activities
This will manifest in isolation. I for one loved spending time with my friends,them visiting me as I do the same. I loved social media especially whatsapp because of the many groups I was in.A day could barely go without me being online. Life was fun. Then it all stopped, came to a sudden halt. All I wanted to do was stay in my room, in my bed, no friends, no phone calls, no chats, just me. I could make up any excuse to not go out. I didn’t feel like doing anything. The discussion groups I so much enjoyed became a burden. I remember before I could walk into class and start greeting my classmates from the from the front all the way, but now, I would walk in when the lecture is just beginning and be the first to walk out when done. I remember at one time the lecturer asking me, “Catherine, you used to be so talkative,what happened, or people grew up? “


3.Loss of weight /appetite
We were created differently and as such, when under stress some people will gain weight while others lose. Some will drown in excessive eating, especially junk food in order to drown their sorrows. Others will not even want to see food anywhere near them as it makes them ‘nauseous ‘.
I had an average body,some would call it a bit big, but I was good. This drastically dropped with time. I experienced a great loss in weight that I myself couldn’t explain. Most of my clothes looked like borrowed clothes on me. In fact if I were to really gain that former weight now, my current clothes wouldn’t fit. It’s not as if I wasn’t eating, I was. I usually try not to skip meals coz mummy raised us in such a way that even on your death bed, you’ll eat. If you like you can throw it up, she’ll provide a basin.
Definitely people talked. Some even thought I was intentionally slimming down. You can’t imagine how it sucks when everyone is like, “You’ve cut, what’s up? “(It still sucks). Well, some didn’t have the courage to face me and would inquire from my friends. The funniest part is that even my friends would ask the same question. They just couldn’t understand what I was battling with. Anyway, how could they, when I didn’t understand it myself. They actually withdrew because I wasn’t as interesting as before, talking to me became kinda hard. My usual reply was, “stress za maisha”(the stresses of life. It’s a common phrase that my friends and I use.


4.Exaggerated feelings of worthlessness
When you feel you are a burden, that the world has no need for you, you are better off dead. These are some of the thoughts that run through a depressed person’s mind. You feel useless. It is such feelings that lead to suicide or thoughts of death as living doesn’t make sense anymore


5.Insomnia
This would have been a good thing during exams when people struggle with staying awake, legs inside basins full of cold water, coffee on the table as you skim through every page of your notes/handout.Hehe…funny life of a student, full of last minute rushes.
Well, a depressed person will spend many nights awake. I’m sure we’ve experienced sleep less nights at one point or another when under some stress. It sucks, doesn’t it? You really want to sleep, to dream, get out of reality for a while, but your eyes just won’t shut aaaaaaargh!!
Just like I previously mentioned, people are different, so here also some can really oversleep. I remember there was a time in campus when I had a cat so I told myself I’d wake up quite early to finalize my reading. Do you know I reached the exam room 30 minutes late after the paper started!!


6.Restlessness
Ever been in a place where you aren’t comfortable? How did you react? Pacing up and down, standing up, sitting down, tapping your feet, fidgeting hands. In this case you might just be as comfortable but still experiencing these, reason… None at all. You don’t understand. All you want to do is leave.


7.Extreme fatigue
This usually happens to me when I don’t get enough hours of sleep or I sleep past my usual sleeping time. Depression can lead to decreased energy levels. An active person becomes ever tired,not wanting to participate in anything. Cleaning, cooking, they all become hectic. These are the times you wish that early morning class can be cancelled so you can tuck yourself in.


8.Lack of concentration /creativity
It can reduce you to a zombie. It’s as if you are there, but then again you aren’t. You are physically present but psychologically very far away, you are day dreaming. If you loved to write, you find you can no longer come up with any content, it’s all gone. You can’t seem to grasp anything in class or it easily fades away .At work you can’t perform as efficiently as before.


9.Suicidal thoughts

Every night I tune in to catch the latest events in the country, a suicide case never lacks. I was even shocked the previous week on hearing that a certain grandma intentionally jumped into a pit latrine to end her life. Other times it’s a child or parent. A parent can kill his/her child for a small issue like eating avocado or losing some £1.A child will commit suicide after a little argument with the parents. Several youths have lost their lives in our institutions of higher learning to suicide.


Note:Only one or two of the above signs doesn’t mean you are depressed, you have to experience at least five of them for a consistent period of two weeks. If you suspect it, seek professional help.Depression can and has killed!!


ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DEPRESSION AS A MENACE

It lurks in the most beautiful of smiles, most radiant of faces, the brightest of corners. One look at me and you can never tell. Perhaps get a little bit closer and you might sense it.Depression is a monster that creeps in so stealthily and just like the devil, it comes to steal, kill and destroy. It is not a myth, like some presume, it is a form of mental illness. It can drive you to the unthinkable limits.

As a person you might not even realize you are affected. Sometimes not even the people closest to you notice it(might be coz they don’t really get what depression is). They may take it as a normal shift in attitude or bad day effect. It’s only a seriously concerned,exposed and keen individual who might spot it. In my previous article I mentioned counselling. When a friend mentioned it I literally brushed him off despite his efforts. Then came my siz with the same views to which I was quite apprehensive. All that was running in my mind was, “I’m ok, I’ll be fine, it isn’t that bad, nothing’s wrong with me, these people are crazy. Seeing a counselor, like those sessions I see on tv, no way!! “That was a trained peer counsellor talking… Hehe. What does that tell you? No one is immune to depression. It is no respector of persons.

I couldn’t discern it at the time. It never even crossed my mind. I’d often heard people make phrases like, “I’m so depressed “(to mean sad), not realizing these two things are distinct.
Never in my wildest dream had I ever imagined falling a victim. This I would come to realize much much later after the episodes passed .

So let’s draw a clear line between these two; sadness and depression.

Sadness is a normal shift in emotions experienced by every person at one time or another. It can be triggered by a disappointing, challenging or hurtful experience. When the hurt fades, the sadness also goes away. Compared to depression, it takes a much shorter span.

Depression on the other hand is an abnormal emotional state. It affects our behaviors and thinking in pervasive and chronic ways. It can be triggered by a series of events or lack thereof. Depression can make everything seem meaningless including life itself. If sadness creeps in for two weeks continuously, then it might just be the culprit.

According to statistics, Depression has been on the rise and one of the major causes of deaths especially among the youth. We shall delve deeper into this in the next articles focusing on the signs and symptoms, personal experiences from individuals and a way out. Stay tuned.

Your turn

Do you know anyone who’s ever suffered from depression? Are you a victim yourself? Are you willing to share your story? Do reach out in the comment section or email coz you might just be of help to someone.

A LITTLE MIGHT JUST BE ENOUGH

“We must give more in order to get more. It is the generous giving of ourselves that produces the generous harvest.” ―Orison Swett Marden

“Madam si uninunulieko chakula,”called out a voice.
I was from church and had to meet up with someone in town. Just when I’m almost there, a text pops up, “sorry, let’s meet at …pm. “That sucks right… I mean what am I supposed to do now that I’m already here, going back is not an option. So I decide to hang around sportsground as I wait. I choose my spot,buy bundles ready to pass time browsing .
Barely a few minutes later, before I can enjoy those bundles, a young guy walks up to me. From the looks you can tell he’s one of the street kids with a bottle of gum in his mouth.
“Madam si uninunulieko chakula”.(Madam can you buy me food ).
“Leo sina pesa,siku nyingine,I say. “(I don’t have money today, next time).
He doesn’t relent but instead sits down next to me.
“Madam please buy me ugali and omena. You’re lucky you have a roof over your head. ”
“Yeah, I’m lucky and I thank God for that, but I’m broke, I can’t really buy you food today,”I say.

We moved from food to other chats, with me asking him his name and some history and background checks. I’m usually curious to find out their reasons for being in the streets. He was quite open with me and soon we became bffs (best friends) chatting, doing high fives and lots of laughter. This drew the attention of people around. I bet they were wondering what it was we were discussing (you could tell from the glances). Some even started doing rounds back n forth in abid to overhear… (Hehe… The lengths people go to) .

There were some guys nearby and when they couldn’t take it anymore, they came to join in the conversation. I remember one of them saying he knew the young street boy to which the boy blatantly denied. They left shortly after before we could go back to stomach issues.
“Buy me watermelon, a big one, then we come eat it with you here or chips there at chicken palace.”
At this point I tell him I thought he wanted Ugali, I need to get him something that will leave him full enough for the next day. He convinces me and off we go to chicken palace. I’ve never even stepped foot in there save for today.
You can imagine the looks we get once inside. He says only rich people eat there so we should do take away as he’s scared people will look at him.I oblige to his wishes. I thought he’d be off immediately I hand him over the food, but no, this one was a different kind. He inquires whether the person I’m waiting for has called already. He also tells me he wants to go and watch a football match, his team is playing today and asks if I’m a fan so I can join him.Obviously I’m not a fan but I can’t just turn him down.

Joseph(that’s his name), starts pronouncing God’s blessings on me. He adds that if I have I should be ready to help not only him, but anyone in need. What goes around comes around. The best part of it all was once we reached the play ground. Another kid was also watching, younger than Joseph. Joseph does the unimaginable. He walks up to Joshua(the other kid) and welcomes him to share in the meal. This really shocked me, like what has happened here? Is this real or am I dreaming? In my entire time of dealing with street kids I’ve never seen such generosity. The usual trend is always grambling for the food, but sharing, no.

Honestly, it touched my heart, really really deep. It also got me thinking, if these kids don’t have, they depend on well wishers but they can still afford to share, what about us? I was even embarrassed for while I was telling this kid, I can’t buy him food, it’s not that I didn’t have anything, I only had a little money, of which I had budgeted for. I was thinking more of my needs than his. I cared more of my tomorrow than his today.

I had to literally commend Joseph for his act. I even asked him how he could afford to act so kindly and his reply was, “we have each others backs”.

Yet ours is a man eat man society, every man for himself but God for us all. What a pity!!

Joshua is a bit timid and has some trembling effects of the gum. From nowhere he looks at me and quotes Jeremiah 29:11,” For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. ”

To this I become so emotional almost shedding tears. It’s like God put those words in his mouth to assure me He still has my back.

Well these people gave my Sabbath a good ending and I couldn’t just sleep without sharing. Joseph didn’t even want me to leave. They sure left me with some life lessons the greatest being, “It’s never too little to share”.Just like the Zarephath woman, your bowl of flour and jar of oil will never run out.

THE FREEDOM OF FORGIVENESS

Forgive and forget. I have heard that a number of times.It often comes from a third party, some of who don’t even understand what that is. It is so easily said in words than in action. Have you ever caught yourself telling someone you have forgiven them only to realize later the resentment is still very alive?
Forgiveness is something that varies from one person to another. Some people are quick to forgive while some are not. Some actions are easy to forgive,others not so much. What is even harder is forgetting the incidence. Each and every time you recall, all that anger and pain come back fresher than ever before.
Maybe you want to let it all go, free yourself from all the negative energy and bitterness. Problem is every time you try, it backfires on you. I remember a friend of mine asking if I had ever been hurt before and whether I had accuited the person. I told him, yes, I have been hurt, deeply cut to my veins and I was yet to forgive the offender. He was like,”how do you know you haven’t forgiven? “.This brings me to the forgiveness tests;

1.First thought test

When you think of this person, what’s the first thing that rings in your mind? Is it their actions which led to your pain?

2.Helping hand test

If they had a problem and you had an opportunity to help, would you freely lend a hand or outrightly decline.

3.General thoughts test

Is there anything positive you think about them, their strengths, something nice they ever did to you, or are you too clouded with negativity?

4.The vengeance test

Given a chance, would you give them a taste of their own medicine?

5.The failure test

Hehe… I once did this one. I remember fervently praying to God to make the person suffer.I was so filled with anger that I didn’t even realize God never answers such prayers. Thank God I took a right turn. Do you also make such prayers?

Now the pieces of advice come flowing and I go like, “Honestly xx, I have tried to forgive to no avail. I left it in the hands of God. “Next thing I heard was that he knew a very confidential counsellor who could help me in the healing process (I’ll talk more about this in another article).

That’s just a glimpse of how one can struggle with forgiveness and yes, it’s not easy .You cannot just pretend it never happened, fact is, it did. You will never forget it but you can forgive because forgiveness doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have any more feelings about the situation. It also doesn’t mean you are excusing the other person’s action. Think of it as a wound. In our bodies we have injury marks, with some having many others only a little.A fresh wound can give you quite excruciating pain which subsides gradually. When a wound heals it leaves a scar.This scar doesn’t increase but instead diminishes over time. Others even completely fade. What happens every time you see the scar or someone inquires about it….?It takes you back to its cause and might probably make you emotional depending on the ordeal. Then there comes a time you can actually just brush over it without being sad. Some scars are even worthwhile, think of the BCG vaccine we were given as new borns. It leaves a permanent mark and I heard it’s checked when traveling abroad.

What am I trying to say? Take your time. It takes time. No matter what it is, it is forgivable. They don’t even have to apologize(saying sorry and meaning it really takes courage and lots of humility) .Just do it for yourself. Do not let someone get room in your head without paying rent, save yourself the baggage. Have a willing heart and your efforts will bear fruit. If you are a believer in God, I can say, ‘Bow your knees in the presence of the King. He is faithful and just,sees deep beneath us and saves from the uttermost. He did it for me, He can do it for you.

Thus said, here are some of the steps that helped me in the process ;

1.Meditation

Deeply think about what happened, absorb the pain, mourn, cry if you want to, then accept it all.

2.Lessons

Try to draw some lessons from it, both the positive and the negative. Everything in this life happens for a reason.

3.Think of the other person

What might he/she be going through? Try to empathize by fitting in their shoe, perhaps they were going through a tough time, or even dying of guilt. Maybe even think of their positive sides.

4.Pray

If you believe in God, pray, pray, pray.You can’t do it alone. Prayers go a long way. Ask for His help, for the strength to go through it and to let it all go. Remember, you can’t forgive if you aren’t willing to.

5.Forgiveness

Free them from your head, free yourself from the bitterness. Take back your life, release yourself from that prison. You deserve it. You will feel like a heavy load has been lifted off your back.

Remember, if all seems not to work, it’s okay to seek help.

Your Turn

Have you ever struggled with forgiveness? How did you go through it? Share with us as we learn. Meanwhile, like,comment,follow and share.

THE PAUSE

toddler with red adidas sweat shirt
Photo by mohamed Abdelgaffar on Pexels.com

Does it ring a bell somewhere? Let me presume we have all heard of it. Perhaps most of us if not all have used it. Back in Primary it was a major subject of interest when writing. I don’t know if you can recall grammar class where we would be given sentences to punctuate using commas or analyze and give out the differences… It was quite an uphill task for some but not for the linguists.

So back to the present.In our day to day interactions and communication, do we use the pause… OK, I know you are like “hell yeah”,but just listen on. I am not talking about that comma you put in your sentences trying to catch some breath. What I do mean is do you ever stop to think before uttering that word? Or are you the yapping type who talks on and on without even listening to yourself?

Not once have we heard of the saying, ‘Silence is golden ‘.The tongue devises mischief, like a sharp razor, working deceitfully.
Many a times have job opportunities been lost, relationships destroyed because of the lack of courtesy in our speech. It is often said that if you want to really get to know someone, push them to the wall.
Come to think of it, how many friendships could have been salvaged if we would just practice the pause.

Are you mad?Feeling offended? Everyone experiences that every now and again. The difference lies in our response to the situation. A little ritual that I’ve learnt to practice over time is to take a pause,just taking some time off, sitting down with myself and really thinking hard. I know how fuming mad I can get and the words that will follow. Instead of talking just breathe in, breathe out. Think about what you want to say, scold the person in your mind. You can even write it down.Then later after you have cooled off,reassess if you still want to utter the same words. Most of the time you will find there is a total change of heart, why? Anger clouds our judgement. We feel we have to retaliate (brings to memory the physics action and reaction force). We have to release the anger, give them a taste of their own medicine. Funny part is we cheat ourselves of feeling better after doing this only to start those lines of “I wish, if only”.Later you can address the issue soberly(underline issue, as most times we attack the person with ‘you‘ instead of ‘I‘ statements).

Dearies, words are like smoke. They escape into thin air never to be retrieved.
It is not easy to filter our every word, but it is worth a try. Why don’t you give someone a dose of your own medicine today (a quiet and gentle spirit, healing words of wisdom). Remember, the tongue of the just is as choice silver, the heart of the wicked is little worth.

Your turn
Have your words ever cost you before?
How do you handle anger

Please share in the comment section and we could learn from each other.

STUCK

It’s been 4 years down the line,4good years of no writing.It’s not as if I was this one epic writer(but at least one article  got me a whole box of sanitary towels and being published in daily nation 2009),no,but I loved literature.Set books were my thing,especially dramatizing them(not actual drama,just vocally with the tonal variations trying to impersonate the characters.)I loved poetry,would often go for the music auditions which I passed but would quit midway coz I kinda found it hard to balance with book work.So during my free time after exams I would sit down and write.

You know high schoolers are so crazy about secular music,we wanna know what’s the latest hits and get a grasp of the lyrics.Thus it wasn’t a surprise to find people busy with song books and magazines,trying to cut them out for decoration purposes.Well,that wasn’t my cup of tea.I would sit down with my poetry book and delve on my creative side.I wrote a few,and actually one got a chance to be featured in the school magazine(yeey).My best was one on highschool experience which I named ‘until when’.
Ok,too much on that history.Let’s go to the real deal,where did the rain start beating me?My poetry book got lost,just as I finished my last kcse paper.You can imagine how I felt.To make it worse my back up,the soft copy which was on my sister’s laptop also vanished,she was robbed.Hehe…you are trying to fit in that shoe now or perhaps you are like,”she wrote those poems so she should have them off head”,but no,it doesn’t work that way,at least not for me.It’s just like this article,I’m writing it but I can’t recall every bit of it.So that was the end of my journey.I lost my passion and completely stopped writing.The funny part is that my mind didn’t.If my thoughts could be decoded,several articles would be the result.
It’s not as if I didn’t want to write,but I just felt stuck.Like my creativity was gone,I wasn’t good enough.You know those pessimistic thoughts,putting yourself down even before other people do…let me leave that for another day.
So what motivated me to start writing?Recently as I was attending a certain program,alx,to be precise,I was requested out of nowhere to write the daily digest.This is a summary of the day’s discussion and your personal take out from it.I did write it and people were like,’it was great,how did they know you are a good writer’.I was shocked and they were too when I told them I don’t write.So a friend of mine,Elizabeth,counselled me to stop wasting my talent.It has been several weeks and I finally got that courage.I asked God to help me put down a piece today.He was faithful enough to do just that.Starting right from where I stopped,”the why behind it.”