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The kids who need the most love will ask for it in the most unloving ways.

Russel Barkley
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Promise yourself Tomorrow will be Different

“The dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.”

This was me, daydreaming of my house with a white picket fence well-trimmed, bougainvillea fence. This was definitely me, picking up every overtime shift like a maniac to save for my dream house; 4 rooms, all en-suite with walk-in closets plus an open, American-style kitchen. I sacrificed so many weekends to work instead of taking my family out for a picnic or swimming because my daughter, Nia is a fish in human skin. All my monetary savings were directed towards one goal, rent-free life. Nothing else mattered except breaking up with my landlady for good.

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Eventually, after 3 years I unlocked the front door to my dream house turned into a serene reality. I’ll never forget this day because the sunset never looked more beautiful and welcoming as I stood on my porch taking in the fruits of my crazed workload. Furnishing my new house was a Pinterest-influenced affair. I had to get the right shade of white and my futon had to be placed strategically to balance things in the living room. I just had to. After all, I had given my all to this house and the decor had no right to fail me.

Did I mention that I took time off work just for this? My daughter couldn’t believe it!

Coming home at the end of a long work schedule was a therapeutic process that I savored each and every single day. Life was good! My mind was free to focus on other things. I could now plan for Nia’s education and save for a holiday to Dubai. Maybe I could pick up a stainless-steel spice rack for my kitchen. I knew exactly where to place it!

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But life sometimes chooses to be cynical and pull the rug from under your feet when you least expect it. One Thursday morning, I’m at work, preparing for a meeting with my bosses during which (rumor has it), I’ll be getting a promotion when my phone rings. It’s my domestic manager calling and I immediately getting this sinking feeling in my gut. “Mama Nia!”, she screams into the phone when I pick up. Sweat has never formed that fast on a human being! Who has died? I’m afraid of mouthing this question into the phone.

“Nyumba inachomeka! Moto iko kila mahali!” (The house is burning! There’s fire everywhere!) Damn! So it’s my house that’s dying as we speak? God! Everything else from this point will always be a haze in my mind. Adrenaline shoots through my body and I’m suddenly on overdrive. Somehow, by some miracle, I find myself outside my house with no injuries because I’m sure I endangered many lives as I was driving to my house. I can’t prove it but I’m more than 100% sure.

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Nothing is salvageable! Everything has been damaged by smoke or actually been burnt to ashes. Why? Why didn’t I insure my house as advised by my daughter’s father? That’s my last thought before collapsing to the ground.

When I eventually come around, I’m forced to deal with the harsh reality of my beautiful home that is no more. Back to my landlady I go, on bent knee mark you. The first thing I do this time around is pool enough resources to insure my new furniture. Once bitten…

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How can you protect your most precious assets? Do you know of any story that you could share to help educate other people on the importance of this?

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