I try not to share my personal stories in this column. However, today is different. I will make an exception because I consider this day to be a milestone in the history of this column.
When I began writing City Girl, never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that this column would come this far. It began as a crazy idea — an experiment — which required me to tread into unchartered territory with no manual or experience. All we had was an idea, a rough sketch of what it would look like to have a City Girl column.
I grabbed the opportunity with the uncommon energy and enthusiasm of one reaching for a lifeboat on the Titanic. Week after week, I doled out fiery, hard-hitting columns, earning myself the sterling reputation of a troublemaker, with my editors taking the heat on my behalf most of the times.
The column courted controversy in an unprecedented fashion, poking just about anyone and everyone that came to mind, essentially putting me on the receiving end of a massive tsunami of opprobrium and vituperation from both fan and foe.
Many of my critics accused me of boorishness and critiqued my allegedly ill-informed ideologies and jaundiced perspectives. In fact, what amazed many was not the outrageous columns, but the confidence with which I broadcast my views. A good number of you also thought that I was writing on issues that I perhaps was too young, too inexperienced and too ignorant to tackle.
MY PERSONAL SPACE
It has been a tough three and a half years of writing this column, characterised by a steady stream of small victories punctuated by occasional missteps which I have used as learning opportunities.
City Girl has changed my life in extraordinary ways, more than I could begin to explain in 700 words. The consequences of courting controversy are beyond debate, and I must say that City Girl has opened more doors of opportunities for me than I would ever have imagined.
It has made me a more confident individual, stronger and certainly feared by members of the opposite sex who live in the perpetual horror of appearing in this column.
This column became my sanctum, my personal space where I would vent my anger on the bad days and express my joy on the good ones, and I must confess that there are fewer things better than being able to express your feelings in writing.
I started out as a young and naïve columnist in her early twenties, straight out of college with nothing but a dream of making it to the highest possible apex of my career. I still have a dream, and I have been making one or two strategic strides that hopefully will take me to the next level.
WITTY, BOLD, SASSY
Which brings me to the sermon of the day, the real reason why I am boring you stiff with my nostalgic reminiscence.
To avoid change is the surest path to ruin. People grow, interests change, priorities shift and dreams become bigger. We cannot afford to remain on the same path where we began, and we must keep challenging ourselves and pushing our intellectual boundaries to realise the pristine deposits in us that we never knew we possessed before.
Human life is to be experienced in phases, each occasioned by growth and more importantly by change. I am, without a doubt, growing and changing.
My life right now, is solidly ensconced in a different path from the one I was in when you first laid eyes on City Girl. Equally, my mind has been undergoing an interesting re-arrangement and repositioning, which has indubitably transformed my areas of interest and certainly scaled down significantly the zeal of my writing approach as some of you may have noticed over time.
It is not lost on me that the column has acquired a particular fan base that appreciates the bold, no-holds barred approach. This is why I promise my readers that even as I continue to grow into the next phase of my life, and even as they see a different type of content and approach, the witty, bold and sassy Njoki Chege will remain intact; only this time, she will be speaking a different language.