When the idea of writing this letter to you came up, I struggled. I struggled because I was angry at you. Angry that you had let yourself be someone who you really weren’t for so long.  The closet is a lonely place and I wish you had people earlier in life around you to help you navigate that space that would have led to more self-love than self-hate.

You are ok, Kevo. There is nothing wrong with you. There is nothing wrong in the quirky simple, funny, stylish, creative, individualistic, and gentle things that you enjoy doing. There is nothing wrong in being different, not conforming and laughing loudly!  There is nothing wrong in speaking your mind and sharing your thoughts.  You are a lot smarter than you think.   It is sad that you’ll discover that you are intelligent only after you’ll have gone through 12 years of the laborious education.  Our beloved 8-4-4 won’t give you that opportunity to thrive. You already know rote learning sucks!

Cut down on those Nice biscuits, California cookies and brush your teeth twice a day.  That sugar, bruh, might ruin your smile!!

There is nothing wrong with you.  You don’t need to keep on beating yourself, offering supplications to heal you or hide your heart and please, do take off that mask. There is nothing wrong in trying, failing, and trying again or even walking away.  There is nothing wrong in just doing things because you want to. You only have this life.

Even though I occasionally pity you, I want to thank you for the times that you’ve let yourself shine.  It is those moments that have helped me tap into the real me. Thank you for loving physical fitness and running. Even though you were shattered by the Ben Johnson doping scandal in 1988, your love for running and athletics never died. I remember your first road race Sport Aid in the same year and how running the streets of Nairobi brought you such joy. Your feet will take you far and save you.  Your love for travel whether by bus, mathree or plane opened your mind to new cultures and people.  You weren’t afraid to explore.  You are making yourself a rich man. Though, judge less, be more open and risk more. 

Dance more.  You know you’ve always enjoyed it. Don’t just leave it for the disco. You have the ability to be a contemporary dancer. Don’t worry about what other people think, you can make a career out of it. Ignore the nay-sayers, they are the ones with two left feet.

Keep being friendly and loving to people in only the way you do, but know that there is no shame in saying NO.  You can’t win everyone’s approval and you’ll discover that many times nice guys do finish last.  Don’t be afraid to lead and there is place for the type of servant-leadership that you espouse to.  

By the way, don’t subscribe to the ‘be a man’  mantra.  No one still really knows what it is to be a man.  I know friends who are struggling with the marriages, families, relations, vocations and more so with themselves.  Stoicism, anger, being emotionless and stubborn are lauded more than being kind, gentle or authentic.  But be vulnerable, don’t be afraid to shed tears nor seek help when you are hurting or struggling. That way people will know how to help you.  Our hearts, even as men, still bleed.

Thank you for your love of history, reading and storytelling. Those will take you down a path that may or may not surprise.

Finally, trust yourself a little more and love yourself doubly more.  Forgive even faster. Carrying grudges weighs down the heart and please don’t stop smiling. You’ll be fine.


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