“Leap of faith”

I woke up one fine morning and I decide I want to skydive. Spontaneous. Right? I have a list of items I would love to do so bad like sun basking at the Bora Bora beach, swimming with dolphins, live in abroad for a year specifically a country where people are perplexed by my skin colour and hair.  You know those chaps that have no clue where Kenya is located on the map? Those that ask interesting questions like how comes we can communicate in English, if our natural habitat back home are tree houses or if we see lions roaming around everyday.  Yeah, sure we do see lions all the time. In fact, the other day we made a hearty meal out of one after my little brother had a successful hunt. Some of these questions are unbelievable.  I have always wondered why some people do not know Kenya. Don’t they watch the Olympics? We have been rocking the Olympics for a long time.  I imagine the conversation going like this..

“You want me to show you on you-tube how we kicked your country’s ass during the world’s marathon challenge?”

“But my country was not represented Riiba?”

“Hey. It’s Rioba. And even if you guys were there we would have still kicked your behinds. Ask South Africans, you do know South Africa. Right?” and then from the confusion on the person’s face I will get frustrated and say “Ah! Never mind. Just know Kenyans are conquerors and Africa is NOT a country.”

Anyway it’s weird that all over sudden I want to go skydiving. I want it so bad that I share it with a couple of friends. “You are nuts!” was her my best friend’s response.One of my colleagues said, “So 30th December is the day you decide to die huh?” Another colleague said “Dude! The adrenaline is crazy. You will puke your dinner from days ago.” Another acquaintance says “why are you living like white people.” He even goes ahead and calls it “white peopling”. I spoke to Linda Matama of When in Roam Kenya (Instagram) and she encouraged me to do it. While we are at it, check out Linda Matama on IG. Yes, you will be green with envy and no, I will not judge you. She is my IT definition of travelling. Seriously, check her out. She is real life travel goals.

I Google articles on skydiving to get a rough idea of what to expect. By the time I was done with a few articles my palms were sweating. The feeling is almost similar to when you google mild headache then the internet suggests you have brain cancer.Did I mention the nightmares I had about the experience? Yes. Nightmares. My friend Chebet kept telling me I am too dramatic. Chebet just know that 12000 feet up is dramatic. Well maybe I was being a little dramatic. I guess I have always been dramatic especially about the unknown. I was seventeen the first time I was asked to be someone’s girlfriend, I tossed in bed the whole night. I kept myself up at night wondering what it meant. What if I wear heels on our first date and I end up being taller than him? Yikes!! Ideally, my biggest predicament AT 17 was worrying about being taller than a dude. I don’t fancy surprises. I like to know what I am getting myself in to.

I go ahead and click on those face-book links that have been spamming our timelines to find out about my personality. What? Don’t judge me. People do weird things when they are anxious. So anyway I click and the results are perfect. “Winnie Rioba is a brave person who will not run away from a conflicting situation out of fear.” Guys! Even the internet knows I’m about to be brave and it believes in me. Again. I shall not be judged.

30th December is here. My friends Chebet, Abdul, Millie and Keith accompany me. After  I dress up, one of my friends is like “Aih Rioba…si you are a diva. Unavaa hivo ukienda sky diving.” I roll my eyes. If I am going to disgrace myself out of fear during the jump, I better look cute. We had gone out the previous night so I am a couple of minutes late. Abdul drives us to the venue.


Tip 2: Ladies, do not wear a top that shows your cleavage. You  don’t want your bosom flying out of that plane as well.

Immediately we walk in some random dude yells “huyo ndio tunaenda kurusha nje ya ndege?” Moreover, Chebet adds, “Are you out of your mind jumping off a plane?” PERFECT! What I want to hear before I jump.I get to the reception and I get introduced to my “new best friend” Mr. Sergey.

“Let’s do this”

He has been skydiving for 7 years with at least 3300 jumps. Trust me to ask”why on earth would you do that? I think once is enough.”

He says “let’s have this discussion after the jump.” then adds “If we survive.”

I say “I’M SORRY?!!!!” He chuckles and taps my shoulder saying “I’ll do well”.

I am asked to sign the waiver and this is where it gets real. For me, signing the waiver was so terrifying that I could not refrain myself from shaking during the signing. If there was anything that was going to change my mind about jumping was the waiver. In the process of signing, I look up and see a screen with names. I see my name next to Sergey under “LOAD 1″ This cracks me up but when you think of it, sisi ni mizigo.

As if my thoughts are not enough, Sergey sees it fit to ask, ” Do you think we need the parachute?” The horror on my face must have been priceless. Finally, our ride to Ukunda airstrip is here. We get in and I sit next to a nice old lady. I remember thinking this woman has got more guts than most young-lings. So much for motivation.


Tandem skydiving is awkward from the word go.  In the jet, Sergey says “Come sit between my legs.” First I crawl into a tiny jet with no seats only to get strapped to a complete stranger who will be spooning me through out the dive. This is the literal meaning of the phrase “I got your back.” A few minutes before we jump, the sky divers start fist bumping each other, I’m not sure if this the tradition but sisi kama mizigo, join in the fist bumping.

“our ride”

As we are going up, I magically calm down.I think at this point I know I have no choice but to jump and I seem to have made peace with it. The view is stunningly beautiful. In the midst of enjoying and recording, our Russian hunk feels the need  to say “How old are you? You are cute” Sky divers are wickedly funny and unbelievable. Should he not be saying motivating things like, you will be fine? or you got this? What kind of distraction is this? At some point I forgot about the jump. Who I’m I kidding? It’s impossible to forget. That jet’s engine is too loud. It’s like it was put there to remind people like me to question their life decisions.


Sergey gives me instructions of what I am meant to do before and after we jump. He repeats the instructions thrice. The first load jumps. Then the nice old lady jumps next. It’s not funny watching people jump before you by the way.

“My reaction when the first load was about to jump.”

I’m next. Sergey repeats what I am meant to do then we jump. No on your marks, get set sijui nini. You just jump! This might come off as weird to some of you but the free fall was my best part. The ADRENALINE is intense my GOD!! Too bad it lasted only 55 seconds. I could feel the gravity pull us down mercilessly. You know how you stick your head out of a window of a speeding car? The feeling is like three times that because we are falling at a speed of 150km/hr. I loved every bit of it. I was kept yelling “WOO-HOO” and  “AWESOME” but the wind was great at being the chief enemy of progress.

“How composed is Sergey though?”

We then achieve stability and I hear I did well. We are right above Indian Ocean. The view is breathtaking. He does some amazing stunts and I am yelling “THIS IS AWESOME!” . You’d think awesome is the only English word I know. We are actually having a conversation at about 7000 feet and I cannot believe I was scared of this experience. After a couple of minutes, we land and I want to go back up there and jump again. I have a chat with Peter (the dude who jumped first) and he mentions that he is going to pay and jump again. I wish I had that luxury.


Remember earlier I mentioned that Sergey said we would touch base regarding why he has jumped over 3000 times? We did have that chat and honestly, I would jump again. And again. Is sky diving safe? NO! you are jumping out of an air plane. However you will probably not die because tandem skydiving is the safest form of skydiving. If I may add, It’s safer than driving in Nairobi.

“Smooth landing.”

p.s Don’t forget to subscribe using your email address in order to get an update of my next blog post.

Till next time.




Comments (45)

  1. pamela January 6, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    That dude is cute….

    • Miss Rioba January 6, 2017 at 6:05 pm

      ???? and congratulations to me maybe? For you know. Overcoming my fears and stuff?

      • Joanne Wamutinda January 7, 2017 at 12:53 am

        Congratulations aRi , I love 🙂

        • Miss Rioba January 7, 2017 at 9:41 am

          Thanks Joanne!

  2. Millie Bellucci January 6, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    Amazing experience!

    • Miss Rioba January 6, 2017 at 7:27 pm


  3. Es January 6, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    The guts, I salute you mama!!

    • Miss Rioba January 6, 2017 at 7:27 pm

      Thank you??

  4. Pamela Chemelil January 6, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    Walalalalalalalalala!!!!I want to jump too….I want to be a load….just cos Mr.Sergey is ?????…I can’t believe you were ‘sittings’ between his legs.?
    I expected you to pee yourself.Thank God you didn’t.Good job.
    Take me next time.Thanks.

    • Miss Rioba January 6, 2017 at 7:28 pm

      ???????? typical!
      Next time we are on☺☺

    • Min Jowi January 6, 2017 at 7:19 pm

      ?????? typical tumo lol

      • Miss Rioba January 6, 2017 at 7:33 pm

        ?? ni shida ya maji.

  5. Judith January 6, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    I love the post Miss Rioba
    Especially the part where white people think Africa is a country. ????

    And a skydiving treat will be really nice. (birthday Coming up soon)
    Congrats for conquering your fear miss thing. am inspired

    • Miss Rioba January 6, 2017 at 7:29 pm

      ??? ignorance at its best.
      You are welcome.
      And thank you for passing by.

  6. Vivi C. January 6, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    Hahaha this cracked me up! Great post.
    Who called you a diva btw? Was it Millie? LOL
    Now the feeling of wanting to skydive is back with a bang! Thanks a lot Rih. Take me back to Diani!
    *crying in so-broke-I-can’t-function-properly*
    And I still insist, you’re dramatic, sometimes.

    • Miss Rioba January 6, 2017 at 7:30 pm

      ???? It was Abdul. Smh. You are up next.
      Thanks for motivating to do it.

  7. Yvy Jakaila January 6, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    First of all congratulations on overcoming your fears!!! I’m not sure i’d sky dive because,fear of heights.
    Halafu Sergey ana kaka ama cousin?Lol 😀

    I like how you write.
    Also, Linda Matama is absolute goals!!!!

    Nice read 🙂

    • Miss Rioba January 6, 2017 at 7:31 pm

      ???? Eish. Huyu Sergey jamani. Sitawaweza.

      Thank you.
      We are getting there soon.

  8. Liz bina January 6, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    When i come home i would love to skydiving

    • Miss Rioba January 6, 2017 at 7:32 pm

      You should. You will love it.
      Thanks for passing by Liz!

  9. Min Jowi January 6, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    your blog is awesome!!!!!! ????????????

    • Miss Rioba January 6, 2017 at 7:33 pm

      Thanks for passing by mama Jowi.
      Always ☺

  10. Edgar Kevin January 6, 2017 at 8:13 pm

    Nice blog. ??

    • Miss Rioba January 6, 2017 at 9:12 pm

      Thanks ☺

  11. Marie Saru January 6, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    I want to skydive. Can we go with you soon?…. OK not too soon…. Well probably never. Lol. OK. How much is it seriously? It looks like fun. Problem is if going down the lifts scares me, skydiving je? #iwillconcurmyfear.

    • Miss Rioba January 6, 2017 at 9:13 pm

      Yes. Do it. Do it. Do it.
      You will surprise yourself.

  12. Chep January 6, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    Am jealous ??… This must have been AMAZEBALLS!.. get it??

    • Miss Rioba January 6, 2017 at 10:00 pm

      I see it. You are nuts. ?

  13. Mishael January 6, 2017 at 10:32 pm

    True leap of faith… Kudos to you… I fear bees.. I doubt I’d hack jumping out of a moving object at 16000 feet ????In the wind pushed back the skin on your face… Was it easy to breath?

    • Miss Rioba January 7, 2017 at 9:42 am

      Well. I was breathing normally.
      The instructor did ask me to before we jumped to breathe normally.
      Thanks for passing by☺

  14. betty January 6, 2017 at 11:07 pm

    Interesting blog,,awesome!

    • Miss Rioba January 7, 2017 at 9:43 am

      Thank you Betty☺

  15. Paula sue January 6, 2017 at 11:48 pm

    That was intense… U giving me the adrenaline too to go sky diving….

    • Miss Rioba January 7, 2017 at 9:43 am

      You should do it ☺

  16. Martin January 7, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    you think you had a fun experience… the white dude needs to tell us about his lol

    • Miss Rioba January 25, 2017 at 2:10 pm

      Go away Martin

  17. WILMAH January 8, 2017 at 10:10 pm

    OOH Heavens,what a nice read!and yes girl some people will even want to touch your skin just to know how it feels,and Africa is totally a country,i actually one day had to explain to a classmate what an AFRO COMB is,its more serious than you think.Its all fun till somebody asks you if you have supermarkets in Africa.Anyways skydiving next on my bucket list.
    Winnie you are such a good writer keep doing this.Congrats girl.

    • Miss Rioba January 25, 2017 at 2:12 pm

      Thank you so much Wilma. And please do. I bet you’ll love it

  18. Shiko January 13, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    haha first and foremost Kenyans are conquerers LOL!!. I got asked so many times how comes i have really good english and am from Africa!!. always responded because africans are smart, also am from Kenya, africa has 53 countries and yes i know who your president is, but i suspect if you know mine! its not mandela :p haha your post made me laugh!

    • Miss Rioba January 25, 2017 at 2:09 pm

      Hahaha. Thank you Shiko.

  19. Florah Muthaura March 4, 2017 at 10:23 am

    Love the article winnie, that was such an awesome experience. I have to include that in my bucket list. I encourage you to continue writing, your very good at it

  20. ritchie March 13, 2017 at 10:55 am

    good read

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