Confessions of #LondonSufferers

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I hope you had a fantastic week and that your weekend was great. Students at Cardiff University and other universities in the United Kingdom (UK) are preparing for exams or finalising their end of semester assignments. It is a lonely and quiet phase, even in our house 😔😔. All my housemates are either at the library or holed up in their rooms, with books spread all over the place. It’s sporadic when you find someone in the kitchen, which has evolved into our common meeting place.

If anyone told you pursuing a degree abroad is an easy task, please ask them to repent🤦🏼‍♀️ Being a student is a sacrifice, one that requires total commitment. I hear people go like… Patience you write 1500 words for your blog in two hours, what is 5000 words to you 🤭 Whether 500 or 8000 words, please let me say this, academic writing is not blogging, neither is it journalistic writing. Scholarly writing is different, very different.

Student Life= Books (Reality on the ground)

Academic writing requires you to show some intellectual understanding in your chosen profession. Unlike blogging, it requires you to have evidence of your thought process, displaying coherence and open-mindedness in every word. You have to think through your language, grammar, punctuation, plagiarism and citation. Academic writing requires you to prioritise reason over emotion. And that is where the catch is. Reason! My blog is about my perspectives in life, my worldview as I see it through Patience Nyange’s lens. You know what I mean. So, don’t imagine, I am having it easy. I am studying hard and at my age, it’s not easy. Studying is generally not easy for many people, right?

My mother loves a Swahili saying that goes, “Ukiyavulia nguo, itakubidi uyaoge” loosely translated, if you undress ready to shower, then you have no choice but to get wet. Well, I am trying to enjoy my time as a student. Occasionally, I am tempted to sleep for 12 hours, but I wake up feeling guilty. I want to read my books (not academic related) over the weekends without having to set my eyes on my classwork, but I feel guilty. I want to go out and lazy by the malls or just relax in one of my favourite coffee shops observing people, but then I remember this voice from Kenyans😷😷 “We expect nothing but a distinction from you,” Well, be notified, I don’t do well under pressure 😅😅😅! Drop those expectations. I promise, I will do what is humanly possible and getting a distinction is a possibility. Those who get distinctions look like you and I. I hope we are together on this.

With today’s blog post, I am here to thank you for your kind words after sharing my London experience last week 🙏🏾🙏🏾So far that blog post has elicited more reactions in comparison to the other posts. Your love has touched me. I am gratified by all who reached out to ask if they could send me some cash to see me through the month. Really, I did not expect that kind of feedback. I am truly humbled. Thank you for your concern, but please, it is not as bad as you thought. I am a student and I get a stipend from Chevening, so I am ok. It is ok to be broke as a student, right 😅😅

Train Transport System in London

It is also evident that my blog post offered an opportunity for many people to share their London experiences, most of you feeling like this statement was the best consolation ever, “Nobody will get a Nobel Peace Prize for mastering the London transport system” Hahaha! It looks like many of you have been suffering in silence thus placing some truth behind the statement that “Misery loves company,” So now you are in the same WhatsApp group with me and you feel at home- #LondonSufferers 😎

“Patience, kupotea njia ndio kujua njia. I told you, you have to get lost while using the tube to learn your way around London” Consoled Brian Osweta, a Cheverner from Kenya.

“Uuuuuiiiiii, you were using taxis in London? I now understand why you are broke. Next time, make sure you have a city mapper, then use a tube or the bus. It is called putting on an adventurous cap and embracing technology.”  I hear you loud and clear Joan Mbugua.

“Patience, your blog post has brought me bad memories. I dated this white boyfriend for four months, online. Finally we agreed to meet at a given restaurant. I looked for that restaurant for almost two hours, all along I was telling him my bus was yet to get to London. I looked for the place until I could no longer walk in my high heels.

Two minutes before I found the restaurant, a message came. It read- “Such a disappointment. I am not interested in these games. Sad it had to end even before it could start.” He blocked me immediately. That is how my Prince Charming dumped me. One year later, I am still single nursing a break-up. Narrated Abebi from Nigeria. Weuh, when I thought I had read it all, this happened.

“I got lost in 2018 and I nearly missed my graduation. I was so late I kept passing the venue but I made it in the nick of time and learnt to follow directions and instincts keenly. In London, you must use both” commented Joan.

“Patience, I am reading your article about London. I am so sorry you felt that way. Please feel free to get in touch next time you are in London,” remarked Alkueny, a Chevener from Angola.

Of all the people who reached out to me, allow me to single out Chevening Cohort 2019. You see, we are about 1800 students from 170 countries spread across the UK. If you have or you are yet to apply for Chevening, there is a question they ask you about your networking skills. It goes like this.

“Chevening is looking for individuals with strong professional relationship building skills, who will engage with the Chevening community and influence and lead others in their chosen profession. Please explain how you build and maintain relationships in a professional capacity, using clear examples of how you currently do this, and outline how you hope to use these skills in the future.”

2019 Chevening Cohort from Kenya

We all had stories to write. I am grateful for the fact that whatever story you wrote still haunts you. Most of us confirmed we would be part of the Chevening network and we would be there for each other because we are scholars for a year but Cheveners for life. Many of you who reached out to me, offering me a place to stay or offering your newly acquired tour guiding skills, felt the urge to help me because you are a Chevener like me. Thank you for keeping true to your essays, whatever stories you wrote in those essays, may they haunt you, forever. When you see me blogging each week very dedicatedly, it is simply because I promised to do so;

“I hope to revive my blog with my experiences as a Chevening Scholar, which means I have a virtual networking platform to engage with the Chevening community, before, during and after my Chevening experience.”

2019 Cheveners during the Orientation in London, October 2019.

I am trying, so far so good and I am glad we are all living true to our words. When you put something on paper, it binds you. Cheers to more networks in 2020.

Imagine I will be going back to London at the end of this week. Hahhahaa! Let’s see how it goes 😍😍

See you again next Monday, Inshallah!

#IAmChevening # MyCheveningJourney

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Patience Nyange

I believe in a just society and I am a strong believer in Ralph Waldo Emerson words: “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate and to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

18 thoughts on “Confessions of #LondonSufferers

  • 13th January 2020 at 10:20 am

    this is good and makes people believe in themselves ,know the expectation out of them and plan towards them.

    I also love your purpose of life and how you have break it down for us .

    • 13th January 2020 at 10:30 am

      Thank you. Happy New Year to you. Cheers to many more years ahead.

  • 13th January 2020 at 10:53 am

    Another good read, loved the reminder of the Chevening promise and like you said, its good to know others are there even just to offer a word of encouragement

    • 13th January 2020 at 12:26 pm

      Yes, yes! I was so touched. We are #ChevenersForLife.
      See you soon.
      Thank you for passing by.

      • 13th January 2020 at 5:32 pm

        Your word your bond…
        Keep being true… I enjoyed reading

        • 14th January 2020 at 3:08 pm

          You have it right. Your word is your bond. Thank you always stopping by and leaving your comment.


  • 13th January 2020 at 11:23 am

    Beautifully written and engaging. Your dedication to your weekly blog post is admirable.

    • 13th January 2020 at 12:25 pm

      Thank you Malik. For always finding time to read, thank you. Greatly aprpeciated.

    • 13th January 2020 at 6:19 pm

      Thanks for the candid stories. Keep them coming.

      • 14th January 2020 at 2:56 pm

        Thank you Jeremiah Kinyua.

        Happy New Year.

  • 13th January 2020 at 6:29 pm

    the break up story wins it for me. Your choice of GIF makes it better .

    All the best in your exams Patience . And as usual your consistency wows me!!!

    • 14th January 2020 at 2:58 pm

      Dear Naomi Sang,

      Your consistency in reading my blog, wows me too.
      Thank you.

  • 13th January 2020 at 11:40 pm

    Interesting reading!!..

    The tube..Reminds me of some sad but hilarious moment, some few years back.
    I was on the District Lane, heading to WestHam from Acton Town (Yees, to satisfy my football curiosity).
    Somewhere in between, memory escapes me, but I know it was just past Westminster(maybe Temple?) this old Caucasian lady gets in and sits next to me. Along the way , she starts a conversation.

    Lady : “Are you from Africa?”
    Me : “Yes maam. Am african to the core!!”
    Lady: “Wow.. How did you manage to reach London?You have aeroplanes and airports?”
    Me: (I could feel some kiwaruu{google it!!} rising up..But again, I breath in and out slowly..then respond). “No maam.. We don’t have airports at all. There is a tall hill in the middle of this village called Africa. You only access the top by riding on an elephant or a giraffe. Once you reach the top, there’s a tree you climb and wait patiently for the aeroplane to descend to the tree’s level then you jump in once the doors are open”.
    Lady: “Oooh my God!!. Isn’t that dangerous??”(Looking clearly shocked).
    Me: “Nope..We eat wild lions for breakfast. That’s a small thing for us!!”.
    Lady : “So, you actually have lions around your homes?”
    Me: “Ooh yes!!.. I can get you one or two if you want..They aren’t that costly!”
    Lady: “How much is a lion cub?”
    Me: (That time, am struggling not to laugh aloud 🙂 🙂 )..”Just some 500 GBP. I can get one for you if you want.You just need to pay a deposit to show some commitment and I will process the rest for you”.

    And just like that, I was 100 GBP richer!!. I wrote on her booklet a random number with a +260 code(Incase any Zambian friend has been getting calls to deliver the promised lion cab, mwambie am soooo sooo sorry!!).

    Lady alighted at WhiteChapel I think.. All I know is, I was singing Kumbayaa for the remaining part of my tube ride!! 🙂 🙂

    • 14th January 2020 at 3:06 pm

      Hhahhahhahahha Allan,
      We know your ways. When they come for you, we will disown you very fast.
      That was a hilarious post.

      Thanks for reading.

      • 16th January 2020 at 11:11 pm

        Vitu kwa ground ni vidifferent my friend.

        Keep the writing going. 🙂

  • 22nd January 2020 at 9:50 pm

    this has to be my favourite blog thus far . “Misery loves company “Weuh acha tu . Maybe my misery has led me here on this blog ,loneliness is real and having laughed on this blog just made my day !But again Pesh you did use a taxi in London ,and expect not to be broke?You did just kid yourself .

    • 23rd January 2020 at 12:31 am

      Hahhahahah! I am ok being broke. As long as I do not have to go through the pain of getting lost in UK’s capital city. One day, one time. I will hack it. No pressure.

      Thanks for reading and for your feedback. Enjoy.

  • 27th January 2020 at 6:20 am

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