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Marriage at 87 has given my life more years of happiness

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Rev John Lewa, 91, is a living testimony that old age with all its attendant glitches can be tamed into a near normal phase in life. The nonagenarian, who goes about his daily chores unaided, reads the Bible without glasses and manually tends his farm, surprised many when he remarried at 87.

Rev Lewa still has strong teeth to eat anything he fancies, even roast meat and maize. His dental formula is amazingly sturdy and healthy-looking.“I have lost six out of 16 back teeth,” he says of his molars and premolars, flashing a smile that displays a white set of un-breached incisors and canines.

He adds: “The rest of my teeth are intact.”“Conventional toothpastes cannot match charcoal and salt in dental care. I have no cavities,” he says in anticipation of my next question.

He enumerates the secrets of healthy ageing as active daily routine, eating healthy and avoiding reckless indulgences. He cites alcohol, cigarettes and promiscuity among habits he jettisoned long ago.“I last tasted alcohol in my youth at a push from my father and I vomited until he sympathised with me. The last time I ever smoked was in 1958 before I went to study theology at African Brotherhood Church (ABC) Divinity school, Mitaboni, Machakos in 1959,” says Lewa.

“A happy marriage prolongs life. I lived with Sella, my first wife and mother to my nine children continuously for 51 years until she died in 2012.

What followed were three turbulent years during which I languished in loneliness until 2015 when I met and married the Rev Phyllis Munini. She has since spruced me up. You can see that I do not look groggy.”What prompted Ms Munini to accept him at 87? ”Call it an act of God,” says Mzee Lewa with a grin that eases his wrinkles.

“She had initially turned down my request, conveyed through two African Inland Church (AIC) pastors who were friends to my family. She was 59, a nun in the church who had committed her life to God’s service without distraction until I came into her shadow.” “I also had an input,” chips in his son, Prof Peter Lewa. “Mzee had cautioned me, his only living son, that I would not escape blame if he died of loneliness. I helped identify Phyllis,” he brags to hearty laughter from us all.

Phyllis, with an aerie chuckle, recalls: “Back home after setting my eyes on him for the first time, I went into prayer to tell God that I did not want ‘that old man’. But he continued calling me. He was not the type to surrender midstream.

Vision from God

“Then one night as I slept, I saw a vision. God told me, ‘I delayed you for the old man. He is the one I have chosen to be your husband,’” recollects Phyllis adding: “I had no option but to say, ‘yes’ and the rest is history. We have lived happily together since.”In AIC nuns are free to marry.“I was over the moon when she accepted my hand. Without hesitation, I took cattle and goats to her parents and cooked in keeping with the Kamba tradition, followed by a fabulous wedding ceremony at Masue African Brotherhood Church (ABC) on October 17, 2015,” says Rev Lewa proudly, describing the event as “unalloyed miracle”.

“It was my second miracle since my late wife and I narrowly escaped death in a horrific bus accident on the Kitui- Machakos road that claimed 65 lives, including those of our two daughters, in 1963,” he says, sadness permeating his face.On his enduring oomph and energy at a time his few living peers have withered away like singed flowers, Rev Lewa says herbs and a disciplined lifestyle have played an important role.

“I am a herbal expert. I have helped many people surmount health challenges and have not forgotten myself. Hence, I am not shy to declare myself as fit as a fiddle in my physical and mental faculties,” he says with laughter.Prof Lewa says his father’s health has improved tremendously in the four years that he has been married to Phyllis. “They are both reverends and true birds of a feather. Dad is proof that elderly folks need trusted partners to walk with deeper into their sunset,” he says.

He describes the three years his father spent groping in lonesomeness after his mother’s departure as “pretty trying” to the entire family.Born in 1928 in Mukaa, Kilome, Machakos District, to Lewa Manyi and Susana Syekonyo, Rev Lewa was the first of 12 children.He went to study theology after primary school education to Standard Six level and has mastered practically every verse in the bible.

By Standard

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Entertainment

Eve D’Souza is officially off the market

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Eve D’souza, the sassy actress and former radio personality, has had her success story told over and over but in the many interviews never disclosed anything about her love life.

In the beginning of the year she introduced Simon Anderson to the world as the love of her life.

Anderson describes himself as a traveler and experience seeker, food and wine lover and a sevens rugby fan.

With only weeks left before the end of the year, the Anderson took D’Souza across the globe and proposed to her in Candolim Beach, Goa, India.

D’Souza she said yes and soon after shared the good news with her fans on social media.

“The entire universe conspired to help us find each other and it was truly worth the wait. Once in a lifetime, you meet someone special who changes everything. I can’t wait to marry you and look forward to a lifetime of adventures and special moments together,” D’Souza wrote.

In an interview with Nairobi News in March 2017, the Varshita actress said she Mr Right had no yet come her way.

During the interview, the 40-year-old explained that the reason she has never gone public about her relationships is because of the way her family approaches relationships.

“The way my family approaches relationships is, until it is dead serious I don’t want to introduce anyone. My self-esteem has always been based on my career and not on relationships. It’s not like I’m dying to show off a man,” she said.

By Nairobi News

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Entertainment

US-based Kenyan DJ Ivy makes it into Forbes 30 Under 30 list

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A US-based Kenyan-born DJ has been listed in this year’s edition of the annual Forbes 30 Under 30.

Ivy Awino, aka DJ Poizon Ivy, who was the first woman ever to DJ a National Basketball Association (NBA) all-star game, was named among the 2020 class of sports world’s brightest and youngest stars.

“I’m just here to make my mama and Kenya proud,” Ivy captioned a photo of herself in celebration of her latest achievement.

Ivy, who is the official NBA’s Dallas Mavericks team entertainment manager, was listed by Forbes alongside Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner, Ryan Bishara (Los Angeles football club VP of business and data strategy), Julie Blanc (Director of Corporate Development Drone Racing League) and Team USA figure skater Nathan Chen among others.

Ivy, 28, was born in Kenya before she moved to the US with her family when she was just five years old. She started deejaying at the age of 19 while in college.

“After I relocated to Dallas after college, I started working with the WNBA team and a friend advised that I ‘shoot my shot’ with the Mavs, who at the time had the position filled. A few months after my inquiry, the position became available and I got the call,” Ivy told Daily Nation in a past interview.

She bagged the Best DJ in East Africa Award at the Afrika Muzik Magazine Awards held in Texas in October this year.

BY Daily Nation

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Entertainment

Call me ‘ugly’ but my looks earn me good money – Simple Boy tells it all

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Fame first came to Steven Otieno, alias Stevo Simple Boy in form of a meme. Someone took his mugshot, inserted a cheeky message and shared it on Facebook, teasing him for his looks.

The year was 2016. Within a short time, there were variations of the meme, but the theme remained the same: they thought his face was interesting. The comments on his photo bordered on cyber bullying, but Otieno says he stood unnerved despite the many times people said he resembles a baboon.

“It was not the first time I was being called names for how I looked. It was worse when I was growing up. Children would make up songs about how ugly I was. They would block my path and call me a squirrel. I am used to my face getting all the attention,” he says.

Submissive woman

He has been called many things on social media and off the net. There are people who face him and tell him he is ugly and scary. On social media, the abuses he gets cannot be put in print.

His experience is perhaps what led him to release the song: Inauma Lakini Itabidi Uzoee, that was released last month. He sings about how life situations can be unfair, and that what cannot be changed must be endured.

On whether he is dating, Otieno says he is yet to meet a woman who meets his standards. He is looking for a submissive woman, born again and not afraid of being with a man who is in public space.

“For now, I am not thinking so much about women. When the right one comes, I will get into a relationship, he says.

He says his face, as unattractive as people have often pointed out, is his selling point.

The more people call him ugly and follow his social media platforms to mock him, the more famous he gets.

“God created me like this. What do people expect me to do?” he asks during an interview at the Made in Kibera production centre in Kibera, where he produces his music.

It is a temporary structure made of iron sheets, but he says it is where his dreams took off.

When he released the song: Vijana tuwache mihadarati in 2017 to warn youth about the effects of drug abuse, he never imagined it would fling him into the world of social media fame reserved for socialites and celebrities.

He is currently at more than 700,000 views on YouTube with his mihadarati song. His latest release is edging towards 500,000 views, a feat even established musicians who have been in the industry longer, are struggling to achieve. Many believe the fascination with his music is not so much on the lyrics, but on the face behind the music.

“You look at his face and how he talks and you just want to watch what he is doing. I have watched his videos many times,” says Saumu Ahmad on her Twitter account.

His producer Geoffery Ochieng says Otieno has been getting invites to perform in shows and the reception is unexpectedly good.

“If he is making some money from his art, it does not matter if people are calling him ugly,” says Mr Ochieng.

At 29, Otieno says he has never allowed the negative energy thrown at him slow him down.

He is aware of the burden of having many followers and the scrutiny it brings.

He remembers an incident when he wore a robe in a photo and he got a lot of flak, with people questioning if he is on the drugs he cautioned his fans from using in his mihadarati hit.

“I sometimes look at the comment and I have to remind myself that people will say whatever they want about you. You cannot control that,” he says.

The young artist is changing a few things about himself, not for the vanity of looks but because he believes a man should be allowed to do things that bring him pleasure.

“People have been asking about my new hairstyle. It is called buruwein,” he says with a chuckle.

He also got braces to align his teeth and improve his pronunciation. He also changed his wardrobe, and has added more jeans and casual wear to the mix.

Progressing in life

“You can see how he is progressing in his personal life and as an artist,” says his social media manager Erick Matunga.

Mr Matunga admits that being his manager, he has had to shield Otieno from the extremely hateful comments that he gets, especially on his Instagram page.

“There are people who are just mean. Fortunately, he also has a lot of supporters and they are the ones who fight the online bullies,” says Matunga.

Otieno started his music career in 2008 when he was working as a watchman in Kibera. Anytime he had a break, he would call children around him and sing for them. They provided a good audience – they were non-judgemental and they would dance to my songs without talking about his looks.

His break came almost a decade later when Ochieng, a producer from the Made in Kibera initiative discovered him singing at a bridge they were constructing.

“I was amazed at how music seemed to be flowing from him without much effort. I told him to come and we recorded him without pay,” says Ochieng.

Otieno has plans for the future, and he is thinking of doing big collaborations with musicians he admires. His numbers keep growing and he has been getting followers from all over the world.

In a few years, he believes he will be a force who competes with top musicians and artists.

Until then, he continues to focus on inspirational music and block out voices that tell him he is a one time wonder – including the ones who whisper that he is mentally ill.

By SDE

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