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How I became an unconventional author

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“I always wanted to be a lawyer, especially since I loved debating growing up. I did manage to get my law degree though. This was after becoming a single mother at 19 while in first year and muscling through school while juggling motherhood and holding down a job as a marketing officer for a garage,” Joan Thatiah explains.

Joan learnt early on that the world owes no one anything. So spurred on by the fact that she did not want to be a statistic, just another young mother, she finished school.

While still working at the garage and doing her usual newspaper perusal, she came across a feature and thought that she could definitely do a better job. So she went out, interviewed people, wrote her first feature, which was published instantly.

She would start working as a features writer with a local newspaper in April 2011. She was drawn to stories about women and womanhood. After five years of strong interviews and write ups on womanhood, she decided to write her first book, Things I will Tell My Daughter.

She describes it as a collection of all the knowledge she had gotten through her experiences and her interviews; things she wished someone had told her when she was younger and all the things she had also been told.

Shot in the dark

“My first book was a complete shot in the dark. Everyone I spoke to told me Kenyans do not read. A woman I looked up to asked me why I thought I was qualified to write about womanhood at just 27 yeans. But I had information that I needed to offload, so I wrote anyway. Everything that came after was a pleasant surprise,” the mother of three further explains.

Being in the newsroom enabled her to rub shoulders with literary giants who helped shape hen into the writer she is today.

She credits King’wa Kamenchu and Ng’ang’a Mbugua with shaping her literary voice.

Great influencers

King’wa advised he to just write and ignore all the writing rules while Ng’ang’a helped shape her first manuscript into a book.

Her family are also great influences in her work. She was raised by a strong mother who imparted a lot of lessons.

She grew up as the only girl alongside six boys. She credits most of what she knows about manhood to the six brothers and her strong father.

“My father who passed away last year was quite unconventional. He allowed us to be whoever we wanted to be. He encouraged me to speak my mind and I do this all the time. This also comes out in my writing,” Joan elaborates.

She describes her way of writing as the big sister, tough love style. She hopes that with her work, she not only entertains, but also helps more women see themselves in a better light, and inspire her readers which ever the gender, to want more from life and live life on their own terms.

Joan went on to pen Letters to my son, I’m Too Pretty To Be Broke, and Damn Girl Stop That. She self-published all four books as most publishers were only interested in books they could sell to schools and the only publisher interested in her manuscripts needed her to change her writing style.

But everything has its silver lining. Joan explains how self-publishing has allowed her to be in control of her own brand. She has a team she guides through all the decisions regarding her books.

“It is a truly incredible journey fraught with challenges and highlights. It has been incredible to have so many people read my book and be moved, that is always the highlight for me.

The main challenge was getting my name out there. I was little known when I started out and it took me a year of marketing to start making steady sales. The other challenge was setting up a distribution channel.

The big bookshops were apprehensive about working with me at first. But as the readers kept asking for my books, I slowly set up my channels which I have used to sell subsequent books. Also, publishing is a capital intensive affair,” she elaborates.

Master planner
Joan is intentional with everything she does. She expertly juggles being a mother of three, a wife, a journalist and an author by being a master planner. She explains how she has a time set for everything. She is most creative in the mornings, so she wakes up early to write her creative works, then switches back on to mummy mode after which she heads off to work.

She blocks off weekends as her family time and also credits her supportive spouse, Roy, to helping her balance wearing all her hats and competently too.

Joan has her debut creative fiction novel named, Guilty set to be released on October 2, this year. It is published by Quramo Publishers in Lagos, Nigeria.

To budding writers, Joan urges them to be deaf to the naysayers. “Don’t listen to them. If there is something that you want to write, do it. There will be someone out there looking to read it,” she concludes.

FACTS ABOUT JOAN

• Joan Thatiahs published books include, Things I will Tell My Daughter, Letters To My Son, I’m Too Pretty To Be Broke, and Damn GiriStop

• She hopes to write more books, both creative non-fiction and fiction

• She admires Chim- amanda Adichie’s way of writing; it is simple, almost poetic.

• Her spouse, Roy Monano, is supportive. He buys the first copy of each of her books when they come out and is the constant figure at all her book launches and signings.

• She is a mother of three children aged 12, 10 and two who love reading though none has shown an interest in book writing yet.

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Entertainment

‘Second wives never stay long!’ fan tells Corazon Kwamboka, she responds

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Corazon Kwamboka and her baby daddy Frankie Kiarie are living their best lives.

The social media power couple has been displaying their affection for each other online to the annoyance of many.

Frankie and Corazon

Well, Kwamboka posted a photo goofing around with Frankie and confessed her love for him.

‘I could make this into a long essay about how much you mean to me, I’ll just say it in a word; FOREVER,’ she wrote.

The fitness trainer and father of three responded to his lover’s post and he wrote,

Forever & a Day 🖤

One of Kwamboka’s followers criticised her relationship with Frankie.

Hata Maureen alikuwa hapo. same story. I got only one word for you, second wives never stay long, out of experience. But I wish you nothing but the best.

The mother of one clapped back at the critic, telling her off.

‘And so? My friend, if you want to hate have the balls to just do it, not coat it with “you wish me the best bla bla” I don’t need your wishes. I’ve lived my entire life without them cheers,’ read Kwamboka’s response.

Corazon kwamboka

More reactions from her fans include;

queen_d16 Love has become complicated. If you was raised by both parents in the house, why would you want your kids to be raised by a single parent? Ego is what makes us break up most times and have excuses like we are not compatible or never meant to be! Wouldn’t it be nice if we never had kids with a knowledge of we will anyway not be together in the near future???? Just a thought.

abdulradii I’d also say much but let me just say…Now I know! A woman worst enemy is a woman!!

1234dace Forever is not a promise!

donslim52 Yule mzungu pia you did tell him the same damn thing.

by Mpasho.co.ke

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Entertainment

PHOTOS:Sharon Momanyi talks about her anxiety while showcasing her baby bump

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KTN news anchor Sharon Momanyi has shown off her baby bump is an exquisite photo shoot.
She announced her pregnancy is a cute way. She took to her Instagram ad wrote,

“Oh Look! It’s my adorable, little co-anchor 🥰🥰❤️❤️❤️”

Adding,

“#BestGiftEver
#Ohbaby.”

Now, she has done a photoshoot that has been accompanied by a beautiful prayer for her baby.

Sharon wrote, “A prayer of thanksgiving. That God, the universe, has allowed a person as imperfect as I, to experience and live this moment of perfect love and pure joy. I am incredibly humbled.”

She continued,

“A prayer for good health and safe delivery… for all of us women going through this journey during a pandemic and with varying degrees of access to good health care. I don’t know if you’re as anxious as I am, by faith it will be well!”

In conclusion, Sharon in her applications added,

“A prayer for anyone who may be trying, or waiting for the best time, or the right partner, circumstances or whatever. May it be, just as you wish it to be.”

Check out the photos from the photoshoot.

BY Mpasho.co.ke

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Entertainment

‘It hasn’t hit me yet,’ Shix Kapienga talks about being fired for her radio job

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Media personality and actor Wanjiku Karanja known by her the street moniker Shix Kapienga has spoken about how she found out she had lost her job at Hot 96.

Speaking to Adelle Onyango on her latest podcast, Legally Clueless, Shix detailed how her work life was like from the beginning all the way to when she was let go from her radio gig.

“I took up a job for reggae, not because I knew reggae music, but I told God, this is an opportunity that has been given to me, can I do it? Yes, I can. I was like, I don’t know anything about reggae. I did not know. I learnt, and I was good at it and I became good at it and I would learn every day. I made it my job to learn and I did. I think it took me a few months and I was good at it. I made a few blunders on the radio and on-air, I did a couple but I managed and that is why I was on the radio for 7 years.”

Shix Kapienga
Shix Kapienga

Shix explained that her zeal to work on the radio was dwindling.

“At the beginning of this year, when I went back to work, I was actually from leave, I had come from visiting my sister (in France). I was too frustrated in 2019, and come this year I was going to start afresh, but when the D-Day for me going back to work came, I was like can I extend my leave? I even called my boss and asked. and she was like it is about time you came back to work.”

She added,

“I went back to work and I was like, do I really need to be here? I’m I giving my all, are my bosses okay. it was not good because I was jumping from show to show, I was losing relevance on my show, since July I was on people’s shows not on my show.”

Maribe and Shix Kapeinga
Maribe and Shix Kapeinga

She continued,

“I wanted everything to be perfect, I did not want to be blamed for something going wrong I felt like I was not good enough for it there are times I would get sick… I used to have migraines and my voice would go. Only to find out it was tension and stress. I had lost weight. I started having panic attacks. I was panicking I couldn’t do anything, I was shaking.”

She later went to work and that is when she learned that she had been let go.

Shix said, “To date, it hasn’t hit me yet that it happened. I’m thankful that a girl raised in Kangemi has gone on to rub shoulders with influential people who have come to be good friends.”

by Mpasho.co.ke

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