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You: Hey! How are you?

Me: I am fine thank you, and how are you doing?

You: I am great, thanks.

 Are you fine? Am I really fine? Are things even great?

But oh well, isn’t it easier to stick to the old script, submerge your emotions and swerve the “awkward conversation”?

What if I said I am sad, I am confused, I am angry? Why are you surprised by my response? Aren’t we human beings who have ups and downs?  Or are we automated beings that just wake up, dress, eat, go to work and sleep?

What if I said I am frustrated, I am scared, I am overwhelmed? Did you really want to hear me out? Or is by you asking “how are you?” just but a mere greeting?

Because how I see it is that those three words ‘how are you?’ bear a whole lot of responsibility than we could possibly realize; so if you just want to greet someone and exchange pleasantries, you would rather say “Good afternoon.”

But what if the person you’re talking with is ready to carry the weight of asking you how you are? Will you willingly say “I am not okay”?

“I am fine thankyou!” will still suffice as my response. It is what is right. It is what is polite. It is what is acceptable. It is what is easier. They said.


I don’t want anyone to worry about me. I don’t know if I can handle the difficult questions they might ask me. I am scared they will see my tears, my scars, my weaknesses. Can’t you see how hard it is to lay myself naked, to strip away and reveal my secrets and to share my vulnerability?

That may be so but let me share my two cents.

Yes, I know we are told to trust nobody but ourselves. I know it’s hard to discern who is genuine and who is not. So here’s something for you… Hope a little! Open your heart a little more! Let someone else carry you through. Let someone else walk by your side. Let someone else help you when you need it the most.

 As it may be more natural for that ‘someone’ to be your family and friends, who may be more willing to listen and genuinely help you, ‘someone’ could also be a stranger. Yes, a stranger. It might sound weird telling a conductor “Leo imekuwa ngori sina doo”, and in spite of his response “Sasa unataka nifanyee, nikohoe mamilioni?” atleast utatoka na kicheko hata kama si pesa.

So folks, next time this is how it should at least go.

You: Hi! How are you?

Somebody: I am great!

You: Why are you feeling great? I mean, what’s this making you so happy?

Somebody: It is because I am here today doing what I love. Siku mpya,siku njema.

Aha, for what it’s worth, you have:

  1. Connected with a fellow human being –just like it was meant to be.
  2. You have learnt a new way of seeing life- siku mpya, siku njema.

The ‘why’ question is really important because we can really take a moment to reflect and personalize our responses instead of automating them.

While on this topic,  ushawahi uliza mtu habari yake akakuambia “Habari zangu utaziweza kweli?” That’s why I’m telling you that you have to be sure what you want to say… is it good afternoon or how are you?

…you nah mean?

SIDE NOTE: I know someone will want to ask…ati na waiter akiniuliza ‘how are you?’ nafaa kusema nini? Mimi sijui. Wewe unaona aje?


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  1. Sooo… true! A friend some time ago asked how I was doing and I said, “ Am fine kama kawa. ” And he asked what I meant and I told him that is how people always reply, because no one ever wants to start awkward conversations with people😂

    But then again, I saw a post somewhere that said if you’d like to rant or open up to a friend you should first ask them if they are in the right headspace for that. Some food for thought.

    You’re doing such a great job bringing up such conversations😊

    • I love this! It’s true. It’s important to ask the other person if they’re in the right headspace to deal with the information you’re about to relay.

      Thankyou so much!

  2. Exactly !!! That’s why I started asking my friends or anyone why they said “they’re okay” it’s more engaging.

  3. If you’re falling apart tell the waiter you’re falling apart and you came to the restaurant to break down in the bathroom. Ni sawa!!❤️

  4. I really like how this brought a different thought process to the situation cause heaven knows I’ve been needing that new perspective

    Love love love

  5. This is amazing. Sometimes when people ask me how I am I just say okay but I’ve seen it’s beneficial to express how you really are and ask people the same.