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I asked Rogers to tell me about Dee. Then I asked Dee to tell me about Dee. The responses were identical. That struck me as adorable. That kind of friendship (where someone can describe the other with such a high sense of know-how) was last seen in Memphis, Tennessee on 3rd April 1968. It manifested when Ralph Abernathy gave an eloquent and generous description of his best friend, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the introductory remarks. Those were the days when Dr. King was traversing America fighting for equality of all races and giving speeches that still echo in our minds today. On that instant day, when Ralph did the introduction, Dr. King gave his now famous speech “I’ve Been to The Mountaintop”.  
I have been mulling over how to frame this story for days. Actually, since the time Dee requested for the Q and A. I have thought and re-thought and came to the conclusion that the prelude is best heard in her voice, in first person that is. It would be great travesty to the story if I proceeded and rehashed it from my perspective. Some stories are told but others tell themselves. This is the latter.So here we go.
“My name is Diana Seruya. You can add Waka if you like. I like it because it sounds fire-ish. So that makes me Diana Seruya Waka. Some people call me Dee. That’s fine with me too. I am a second born in a family of two. That’s just a long way of saying that I am a lastborn. What it also means is that I am everyone’s favorite, like all lastborns out there.
My left eye doesn’t see. I was born with a visual disability. Growing up looking was never an easy thing. For the better part of my childhood, my disability was always looming large like a colossus. Some kids used to call me funny names while others mocked me and laughed. Some ridiculed me. They made it so difficult for me. My self-esteem was wounded.
 I struggled with confidence during this period because of the mockery, ridicule and verbal abuse. It wasn’t unusual for someone to outrightly tell me that I am ugly or refer to me as ‘macho chongo’ instead of using my name. It could get devastating. There are times it was just so heartbreaking. Looking back, I often wonder how I survived those vile abuses from people, some of whom, I didn’t even know about.
I remember a time when it was so overwhelming till I decided to get an eyebrow piercing. Most people may think that the piercing on my left eye is for beauty purposes. That may be true but only to a small extent. The primary reason why I went for it was to divert people’s questions. Prior to that, I’d meet someone for the first time and the first thing he or she would ask was ‘why is your eye like that?’ I was always at a loss for words. I didn’t, myself, know why it was like that. I mean, I was born like that.
As time passed, I learnt how to cope. I developed a very strong personality so as to survive. I had to. Or else I was going to crumble like dried bread. Slowly and steadily, my confidence rose. Today it is unbreakable. I have come to learn, over time, that all those people who were mean and unkind to me at some point had more problems of their own than with me. Their stinging words were never about me. It was all them. It took me time realize but eventually I got it.
Anyway, there’s more to me than most people know. As a young kid, I wanted to be a news anchor. This was never to be however. In Form Three, things took a turn. My interest took a turn too. I got expelled. My class teacher framed me. What saddened me most is that I couldn’t defend myself. As cliché as this may sound, that incident made me desire to do law. I knew to myself that there are others out there who get falsely accused of things they haven’t done or framed up by malicious people. Someday, I want to help souls like that. Someone has to stand up for them. They deserve to be heard.
I have a number of talents too. Art is my thing. I love music. I can sing. Fashion intrigues me. I am particularly into designs, creating them and following up on new trends. Culinary arts is also something I want to take very seriously in the future. Above all, I like interior design. People have told me that I can’t do all these things at ago. I know myself better though. I know what I can do. Besides, people have tried putting me down all my life. I always have my way of rising.
I may look like an extrovert but deep down I love solitude. Of course I have a few friends who I love very much. I would do anything for them. I know, for sure that they would reciprocate too. They are my people after all. We share amongst ourselves the strong bonds of family. We fight and make up. We cry and laugh together. But most of all, we live and love.
That’s a short glimpse of my life”
Enters the Q and A session
Dee. Glad to have you here. It’s festive season. You got any plans?
Not yet. Something will come up though.
What do you love most about your small family?
We are so close. Sometimes we fight. We always make up though.
What ingredient never misses in your kitchen?
Turmeric. It adds flavor to food and its health benefits are numerous.
Do you remember your first fight? How old were you?
I was nine. I don’t even remember what it was about. But I won, that I remember. Lol.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learnt this year?
That the only way out of darkness is through it.
Interesting. If you had a checklist of things you want to accomplish in 2020, what would top your list?
To get my music out to the world.
Which people have had some impact or inspired you so much this year?
Hard question. How many should I name?
As many as you wish
Nekesa, Mitchelle, Cherop, Sarah Suzzane, Rogers (definitely), You (Brandon), Herbert, Derrick, Bettina, Charlotte, Jane, Mageto, Simon, Milan and most importantly, a certain pair of brown eyes that I will not attach a name to.
Woow. That’s a long list.It is. They are my family away from home.
Ice or fire. Which one describes you best?
Definitely fire. Even my name says it.
What kind of songs do you compose and sing?
I want to say Afro-fusion but I’m not really sure what genre they fall into.
Do they express your emotions or they are just for entertainment?
My emotions. You’d be surprised how emotional I can get.
Can’t wait to listen to one. What would you say to a secret admirer reading this?
Well..(Laughs) I really don’t know what to say. I guess I’ll just tell him to be strong.
Kisumu or Machakos. Take a pick. And give a reason for your choice.
Kisumu. For the fish obviously.
What do you like most about Greta Thunberg?
How fiercely she fights for what she believes in. We have a lot to learn from that kid.
Would you disappear to Maldives for a lifetime if such an opportunity ever came?
Yes. Just me and my cat. That would suffice.
Have you ever written a letter to someone post-high school?
What was your primary school?
Racecourse Primary.
What sucked most about the place?
My class eight Class Teacher. She never liked me.
Do you like Chimamanda?
Yes. I like how she writes. He book, Dear Ijaewale, is close to heart.
What’s your favorite cuisine?
Chicken accompanied by more chicken. Then dessert and more chicken.
Complete this: Roses are red, Violets are blue, Dee is…..
Do you have any Knock Knock jokes off head?
No. Ask Toby or Rogers.
I rarely give people such a chance. Do you have any question for me?
Yes. What have you learnt or gained from these Q and As that you write? What impact have they had on you? Are you a better person than you were before?
Good question. I can say that through them, I see people for who they are, what they aspire to be and, sometimes, for what they can be. I am a lover of people. Their lives and perspectives intrigue me. Plus I also enjoy the fun that comes with the Q and As. They remind me of what’s good with humanity.
Well. I’m proud of you and how far you’ve come.
Thank you Dee.

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