I wasn’t always passionate about capturing memories and therefore what you see now is a product of love and support. Long before the birth of Picha Booth, I was confused, depressed, sad, discouraged, had resigned from four jobs in one year … I struggled to find my purpose and was uncertain about a lot of things; self-doubt was a close companion. For years I walked around with a broad smile and easy charm, but my inner life told a different narrative.

There was a man though, Edward Waiguru Muya aka Baba Wangeci, who always believed in me. It will be 3 years since his passing this July.

This year the growth of Picha Booth has been exponential, but that success feels somewhat incomplete without Baba Wangeci to see it. He would always tell me I can be anything and do anything; saying I had spank, talent and a personality for communication. Uncle said there was something about my voice and ability to convince people. My uncle believed in me for years even when I didn’t hold the same sentiment toward myself. I always thought the words were just him being an uncle because, you know, uncles are meant to say such things.

What made his words different though was the faith behind them, a faith that there was something significant in me even when I didn’t see it. I’d often feel like telling him, “I wish I could see me as you see me”.

Uncle always followed up and always showed up for every milestone whether big or small. He was present for happy times, sad times, and even regular times, ever there and willing. In his eulogy, they said that his favourite saying was “Do good because it is good to do good.”

With everything I do, I’m reminded every day of him and wish he could see what I have become. I remember seating at the funeral service, numb and unable to cry, wondering if Baba Wangeci could die, what then is life? In my brokenness, I was aware I had lost a cheerleader. It was then that I said to myself, “You win! I promise you, from this day forth I will be that person you’ve always believed in me to be.” I vowed to push myself and be the best that I could be for him. For him, I promised to start. Because he believed in me, I would not let him down.

From that day I’ve kept swimming, moving and keeping the faith in his honour.

This post is in honour of Baba Wangaci. Even in his death he encouraged me to want and be more. In that phase of our lives where we are lost, confused and unsure that we’ll ever amount to something, even the smallest of encouragement goes a long way. I hope I can be someone else’s cheerleader … because sometimes that’s all one needs; a reminder that you are loved, wanted and are enough.

Baba Wangeci, I now see what you saw, and your efforts are not in vain. Thank you for always being there for me. Pushing and encouraging me, following up on me and for your kind words and warm smile. I believe you now and wish you were here to see it. Even in your death, I can still hear you cheering me on. It’s hard to imagine you not here for many other moments, but I hold on to the hope that we will meet again and it will be like you never left … Thank you Uncle, sleep with the angels. 

 

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