Friday, 21 April 2017

WHY DID I MARRY NJERI?

I don’t even know how to describe her eyes
When she looks at me when I arrive at 6.30 pm
Sometimes Njeri says a word or two
Sometimes she’s just as quiet, like she’s absent
I know she’s counting days when she’ll say,
‘ENOUGH IS ENOUGH’

She ran down the business I had started for her
I did it for my undying affection for her
And she sunk it, thousands of shillings down the drain
Surprisingly, without any guilt or remorse
Tell me, doesn’t she have the capability to finish me?

The first thing she asks in the evening is money
The money I have toiled for in the baking sun
And if I beat the curfew, which I often do
She kisses me like she’s afraid of being seen
Like we are two teenagers hiding
And then she cooks that tasteless food of hers
I wonder where my money goes

At night she turns her back on me
She’s ever tired, and with a headache
I haven’t inquired if she’s cheating around
Though I am too scared to suspect she’s cheating
But I have heard of a young man
I know even the government introduced free education
And it’s illegal to deny a young man education as my Njeri does

I dread being doused with hot water
I dread being openly stripped of my dignity
As a respectable member of the society

And as a loving husband to Njeri

FALLING

What is it with love
That men can’t control falling
Trusting a devil’s calling
And they hurt their damn brows

What is it with loving a woman
That a man gives up everything
For the beckon of her single pleasure
Even when it’s disguised in ruins

What’s with a woman’s adoration
That men fail to think straight
How they stand by the gate
Of happiness and eternity


Tuesday, 18 April 2017

IF IT MAKES SENSE

I haven’t stopped thinking about you
Why is it a little special? Because-
Because you may never know
And I am not proud of this secret

It nags my mind, constricts my veins
Knowing too well that you could be
The one coursing through to my heart
And transporting oxygen to my brain

How would I even bribe my self
To bring me into telling you how I feel
That you are the most awesome human being
And that my life would be lit by your smile

Sometimes I wish it were as easy
As walking a supermarket and picking stuff
Then I’d pick words and walk to the cashier
And the words would be ‘I want every piece of you’

But then I am here, missing what I don’t know
Figuring how it would with you snoring beside me
Knowing you’d be there for the longest time

And life, in its shambles, is complete, in its own way

Dear Egla


I don’t know if I got the name right
She pronounced it like that, Sandra did
She called me in the middle of the night
Can I talk to Egla? She asked like you were asleep beside me

Did you bewitch Sandra dear Egla?
That she should call strangers in the wee hours
Asking to speak to you dear Egla? Did you?
What business do you do in those satanic hours?

I told her it was wrong number
She hang up apologetically, nice voice she had
I almost told her Egla was out a little

So I could buy time to tell I am single 

CLASSROOM CHRONICLES


And because a curvy woman has become the epitome of marketing, I want you to picture one, with curves in all right places. Picture her exquisitely sculptured body, a being God designed with particularly savory relish. Let’s move on a little deeper, picture a silhouette of her nakedness against the moon light. Do you see those boobs, that nicely shaped behind? Now implant that image in your living room. Picture her undressing sensually in front of you, touching her vital body parts in that ecstasy inducing allure. Picture her dropping the last piece of clothing as she glides towards you….now stop the imagination.

Now picture the two of you lying down close to each other, gazing into each other’s eyes, exhausted from pleasure. Picture yourself caressing whatever body part, that upon its flicker, heavens opens its doors. Picture seeing a tattoo of your name on that favorite body part of yours. Now let your mind wander to the seventeen years it took you to win her, to penetrate into formidable fortress. Picture the places she has taken you, without even hinting that she liked you; Mombasa, Maasai Mara, Kisumu, Kitale, Mombasa again, Mombasa one more time….

Get back to the real world. You are the six star Kibandaski, and a plate of steaming madondo commands your attention. Beside that plate, a brown envelope, which hold the most precious document in your entire existence-your degree certificate (the woman you pictured). Having tucked it in place where no vermin can reach, where a nuclear disaster won disfigure, you settle for the hearty meal, more in celebrations for the deadlines you did beat, the exams that you surprisingly passed without preparing for, and that research that your supervisor didn’t let you off the hook, (she could kiss your ass, you are sorry at that thought).

Even in its beauty, with curves in the places you like, a certificate is almost nothing because it prepares many for an ideal world, not the real world. There’s so much arse-licking in the real. Basically you have to take shit, you will be lucky to get a boss who won’t insult you because a woman rejected his advances or any stupid thing which you will only contemplate. A certificate will not insure your dreams. May be the only place it can get you is an interview room, answering questions from people who’ve been taking shit for decades and are hell bent on making you look like an academic wannabe, someone who moonlighted as a student, and most importantly enjoy seeing you getting whipped by the town, where they have mastered their way. In fact, a certificate is a mere assurance and with a keen eye, you’ll notice there’s an ‘ass’ in assurance.

**
For 17 odd years, I have chased this paper, trying all I can to be number one. No one told me much about education except to wake up and be number one. For 17 years, I toiled only to be told I actually didn’t have the power to read and write all that time, close to two decades. Isn’t that incredible? 17 years of mind breaking exams, only to learn dismayed, that I didn’t have the power to read and write.


Enter class room chronicles, a journey through the 17 years. 

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

The Quiet World

Related Poem Content Details

In an effort to get people to look 
into each other’s eyes more, 
and also to appease the mutes, 
the government has decided 
to allot each person exactly one hundred   
and sixty-seven words, per day. 

When the phone rings, I put it to my ear   
without saying hello. In the restaurant   
I point at chicken noodle soup. 
I am adjusting well to the new way. 

Late at night, I call my long distance lover,   
proudly say I only used fifty-nine today.   
I saved the rest for you. 

When she doesn’t respond, 
I know she’s used up all her words,   
so I slowly whisper I love you 
thirty-two and a third times. 
After that, we just sit on the line   
and listen to each other breathe.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

A BROKE MAN'S MUSING

A boy named Kelvin. An exotic name back then when it wasn’t fashionable at all to be called by your first name. It was one of the greatest insult, everybody guarded their first name (English name) jealously, like nuclear launch codes. Once your enemy (back then enemies were easy to make) got hold of it you were dead meat. It made you long for invisibility so much so that you even hated your own shadow. Kelvin was different, he had embraced his name like a badge of honour. He wasn’t Kalenjin, should have been a Luo or Luhya. Kelvin had a naturally goofy face, hips that were a little too pronounced for a boy, which naturally excused his lousy football skills; he kicked the ball like a girl. We never counted him in as one of the team members unless he volunteered to be the goalkeeper. We endlessly teased him, and eventually gave him a nick name, Embe Dodo.

Embe Dodo was unusually clean, different from his brother, who seemed to originate from a whole different planet where hygiene was frowned upon. Embe Dodo’s brother knew how to play football, but wasn’t very good in class. One time he mused about being number zero when we were about to close school. When he received his report book when school closed, I heard him exclaim ‘I knew it. I knew I would be number zero!!’ Looking back now I fail to fathom how someone can be number zero, but I still believe he was.

Unfortunately, by events which I couldn’t explain, I ended up being Embe Dodo’s desk mate. I ceased teasing him, called him respectably. That was back in primary school, class five, back when Kale’s were battling post-Moi depression, although soothed by Kibaki’s free education incentive. Before then parents rarely afforded 950 shillings which was school fees. It didn’t matter the number of kids a parent had, some six or seven yet the school was generous enough to allow those parents to pay only 950 shillings. I don’t know who came up with that idea, he must have inadvertently warmed his ass on something illegal. Kibaki injected life into the country. It seemed he even procured oxygen because the air felt fresher than usual.

Embe Dodo would tell me stories about the movies he had watched. I listened with glee, though without any intention of retaining what he told me. One time he went to the toilet and came back with a sad look on his face, you could think he had dropped his penis into the pit latrine. Teachers rarely came to class and we had plenty of time to make noise. With his sad face intact, coupled with his goofiness he spoke slowly.

“I am not going to eat honey anymore,” he told me.

“Why?” I asked.

“I saw a bee in the toilet,” he said. “I didn’t know honey is made from such dirty ingredients.”
I didn’t say a word. I was a little convinced. Embe Dodo knew much more than I did. We closed school and Embe Dodo never showed for the next term. His parents must have spotted greener pastures and found it fit to migrate accordingly. We never met again and even if we meet now I wouldn’t recognize him. I am tempted to think he is a casual labourer somewhere in Eldoret Town, either pushing carts and if he turned out successful he must be operating a boda boda.

Fast forward, a decade and a half later (damn time really moves), I recall Embe Dodo, in the wee hours of the night, a rare time when one can hear dogs howling in Nairobi. Nairobi dogs are little sophisticated, they don’t bark for long, not unlike village dogs which rent the night with long howls like they are ululating or worse still mourning a departed dog. They often scare me, those long howls. It makes the night pregnant with danger, a form that you only feel, impalpable. A decade ago I wouldn’t have imagined I would be a journalist or rather a journalism graduate, actively on the lookout for events of grave misfortune to humanity. If I had chanced upon the path I would take I would have dismissed it with a deep Kalenjin accent, ‘Waja mcheso!’ and that’s how life rolls and rolls and rolls, without stopping.

I am awake in the wee hours of the night, hours our high school principal christened satanic, not because I have to but because I am broke AF, wishing I could afford an embe dodo. A church mouse would sneer at me and even spit on me, and I wouldn’t raise a finger in protest. Its Tuesday, no Wednesday and the only tangible food my stomach has accommodated (have always misspelled this word) since Saturday has been two loaves of bread. Only two. I am like a scientific experiment, trying to prove that man can live on bread alone. And porridge in between. It’s not fun.

A thing about money I have learnt since, is that when you actually really need it, it’s never available. Another thing is that Jomo’s stern stare makes you think it will last forever, just like people have learnt to imagine about life. Especially a brand new note, the one that’s so stiff you can use to chop onions, only onions so that you can cry tears of joy. Damn, I miss holding Jomo’s face, give him a deep kiss. I don’t care if you think I am gay, to hell with that. Lastly, about money, contrary to the notion that ladies love money, she (see I am pro-punany) has been calling me, talking to me softly, asking how I am and even offering suggestions. She’s a different breed of ladies but among the types that think that as soon as you get a lil’ paper, you look for a yellow yellow. Such kinds of ladies hate to see their men make it. I think she loves a broke me.

The first lesson, about money disappearing into certain unreachable crevices, being broke finds you at your worst. You have debts everywhere. You find you’ve okoad jahazi in all your lines-safaricom, Airtel, orange, Yu. On top of it you have joined the list eminent personalities, of men and women inducted into CRB’s hall of fame. You remember how it started, just like a joke, with Safaricom messaging you that you are eligible for a 1000 bob loan. Being a skeptic you wanted to prove Bob’s men aren’t goofing around Michael Joseph Centre, scratching their balls and asking for nudes. It turns out they weren’t. Before you knew it you were making a contribution of 75 shillings every month to Safaricom. One time you decide to say fuck it Bob, do whatever the hell you want. A series of texts, first giving you a plan on how to pay the debt, then threatening that you’d be listed by CRB then a resigned one asking you to clear your name with CRB. All for a loan you never actually needed in the first place.

It’s not that I am completely broke. A couple of people out there are holding on to my money, some go way back to when they had a blind date and desperately needed some cash to please their objects of desire. Now these objects are the farthest things in their minds and probably they have moved on to five other boyfriends or even married. Others for jobs I did like a century back, only that I have been too preoccupied with shit to ask them for my money. And that’s how a nigger pays dearly complacency.

Upon close scrutiny of my assets, I gather that I have twenty bonga points, just enough to redeem for four SMSs. It’s here that I make a list of people who can bail me out, motivated by the thought of steaming ugali and matumbo at the Kwa Atieno’s Kibandaski.  Atieno’s matumbo is fried just the way I like it, plus she is a woman with ‘sura ya upole’ not like those braggart Luo ladies out there. Back to making the list. Just like Ocampo’s, I outlined six people, then whittled down to four, and after a trial, two escaped trial with replying my text by starting with the word ‘waaah’…a message like this never has good news. It will never come like ‘waaah, I’ve just received money by mistake and I have been wondering how to spend it.’ Instead it launches into a long winding excuse, often about how the sender hasn’t had breakfast and how he won’t have supper a week from now…shit like that.
With two messages remaining, I spend plenty of time crafting a message that won’t sound too desperate, just enough to make someone reach their pockets.  I make sure it doesn’t have any grammatical errors, cross check it twice before I hit send. Both messages are delivered instantly and I decide to take a walk around the house, to the kitchen open the fridge and promise it some company in a few minutes. I get back and I find one message replied. It said something about the end of the week.

The last one arrives shortly, a curt reply, ‘sina’ with space in front of it. I wonder why he didn’t begin the message at the margin. I am enraged by it, not the space but by the message. You see it was from a guy who works in place where he handles the money, not less than ten thousand in a single day, he told me and I don’t believe he can lie. He’s a good chap, never gambles, doesn’t drink, clueless about football, not a womanizer, I don’t know what interesting thing he does.  On top of it I am man who keeps my word. We’ve done business before and I was pretty sure my credit standing was pretty good.  He’d be the last guy to fail me but then he sends a message with space in front of it. So injurious to my pride.

My rage thaws and flows to things I did spend money one, things that were completely nonsensical. Once I gave a street kid 20 shillings, numerous times I did buy one Kao chic lunch who openly disrespected me, the bundles my phone had gobbled just to ensure I ogled at ladies with huge asses online. Luckily I didn’t regret the many vodka bottles that lined up in my closet. I can fondle them, fondly because they made conversations between me and my demons a little interesting, which wasn’t a bad thing at all.

‘ sina’ (note the space)didn’t get completely out of my mind. It kept sneaking back, through porous places I failed to seal. I cursed that word with its space in front of it. It sounded derogatory, every curve in the letters that make the word. And that space.  

A close scrutiny of the word revealed subtle engravings in it, which read ‘get your shit together’. I want to revenge on that guy, by parking a black Subaru Legacy, with fancy black rims just in front of his work place, where I will rev the monstrous engine three and half times and alight with a undetectable pride,  circumnavigate by baby and spank its dusty posterior just like those dudes do on blue movies. After the short performance, I will saunter into his place of work and engage him in a chit chat then tell him to approach me in case he is in a tight financial situation but first he must declare his friendship, just the same way Don Corleone demanded. Like Amerigo Bonasera.

Before departing, I will rev the engine three times again, then alight, open the bonnet and check something. I will go back and call him, telling him that the engine has a weird sound and ask him rev it for me so that I can put my ear close to it. I will ask him if he can detect the weird sound, which of course doesn’t exist. He will say no. But I will curtly tell him that it says, ‘FUCK YOU!’ with space in front of it.


Sunday, 12 March 2017

AS LONG AS MY AMBITIONS HOLD YOU

The world looks                                                                                                                                          beautiful from below
Cloudless starry nights such a delight
Which we can watch and talk about dreams
And what holds our ambitions tight

Partly, mine is to rise to the zenith
Dine with the movers and shakers
But it will take time to get there
Rise with you, and probably meet the makers

But how long will you stick by me
How long will my ambitions hold you?
Before you bolt for the proverbial greener pastures
How long will you find my love true?

As long as my ambitions hold you
We could starve and you might like it
We walk not because its healthy, we have to

For at the end there’ll be something sweet

Saturday, 11 March 2017

PATIENCE FOR LIQUOR


There’s too much to worry
And a lot to be sorry
Hand me a bottle of patience please

Let the bottle top escape with a pop
More like an amen to damned hope
Let’s toast to a glass of patience please

I am gonna stagger home tonight
Drunk AF, every shitty thing is a delight

What potent drink did I consume? Patience please

Thursday, 2 March 2017

THE PHONE CALL

She sounded cold; detached and distant
Between odd stars and light transfixed
Ponders I, with a tinge of care and regret
For in today’s world heroes are few
And I am many

She sounded cold and aloof, unemotional
Like someone was prodding her breasts
Her mind unwilling, her body yielding
And she struggles to balance the battles
Without betraying the background in her voice

I fumbled for words through the call
Unsure what to say to her troubled brittle soul
Seemingly beckoning sympathy
I struggled but my coldness wouldn’t allow me
I accepted long ago, I am no hero

She hangs up almost too quickly without byes
Just the way I wanted it, the way I always loved
It fills the space and time between us
I am accorded precious time to indulged in vanities

And write letters to ghosts that have stopped visiting 

Sunday, 26 February 2017

GHOSTS WATCHING TV

Photo:Courtesy
He loved a life, where many sane people, even those who harboured the most-wicked intentions in their darkest of minds, would frown upon, and without imploring their own dark souls, conclusively declare him a Satan incarnate. Eric loved being on the periphery of things, wicked things, cheering bloodied bodies, headless human bodies freshly beheaded and most importantly the wail of people, deeply affected by the atrocities inflicted upon their loved ones. It sounded deeply romantic, and he enchanted, danced like he was hypnotized under the moonlight. He loved humans writhing in pain, he adored when they couldn’t take it anymore. He loved their stillness, their breathless bodies sprawled on the cold floor. He loved when they couldn’t protest anymore, the moment before plunging their damned souls into an abyss they called eternity, which to Muslims masked as heaven and the rest hell.

He kicked the bucket, like every other mortal, though with seriously obstinate hope that he’d live forever, that he would see the world end. But it wasn’t to be. Every passing day he got closer to his death, like a lover stalking and asking for a date. Sometimes he would think about him, after his mother warned him that he would be cursed by the Turkana’s whose kids he loved to bully/torture. That had sent a precedence of fear and he’d wake up in the middle of the night sweaty. There was no light to switch on, no electricity, except a paraffin lamp which always ended in his mother’s bedroom. One time he was too afraid that he slept in his mother’s bedroom, having been too scared to sleep alone. Then he was a young boy aged 10 and that was fifty years ago.

Eric now is immortal having conspired with evil underworld forces to return back to earth to haunt and act the hand of god. He had pleaded his case, of how it had ruined his childhood, robbed him of happiness and he had been chosen to return back to earth because of sympathy and because other aspirants of the envied role had been murderers before checking into the underworld. He had been coronated in one big ceremony, where human skulls and blood donned the place. Some were hoisted upon long thin sticks, some were laced with gold, silver depending on their seniority in the underworld. These were witnesses to his reincarnation as a ghost, who would roam the land of the living, and act the hand of God.

And he loved to roam, dear Eric. Sometimes for fun, sometimes to conduct prefeasibility studies. His ceaseless wanders, as the air, always took him to an apartment in Hurlinghum, called Mursik. He loved to visit house number A7, where he’d slip through the gate as silent as the wind, pass by the ever unconscious watchman and up the stairs. Sometimes the aroma of food would hit him and he’d wish to join the owners in partaking the meal. But then it would past mid night, maybe he would risk the ire of a fellow high ranking ghost. Protocol had to be strictly adhered to or else he would be cast among those who have been eternally damned-child rapists, sodomites, politicians, drug dealers and a few doctors. Those would never be reincarnated into anything beyond street mongrels, to be kicked about by everyone, and cursed by their own names. Then they will die a slow painful death and misery, and therefore, eternal damnation.

Eric rushes up the stairs with lightning speed to house number A7. Its 2 am in the morning, a time when everybody is asleep. The scantily furnished room, two single seater coaches, one three seater coach and a table. A small TV stands low at the corner. There’s a residual smell of cigarettes in the air. A newspaper spread is on the table, which had acted as the ash tray. He can also detect a faint smell of perfume, which leads him to conclude that a woman is in one of the rooms fulfilling a man’s most basic need-sex. He can hear the heaving, the sighs and the moans but that’s not what he is interested in. He just wants to pass time in front of this small JVC TV. He switches it on.

Previously someone had walked up to switch it off. Twice in fact. He heard him curse in his thoughts. The next day he switched of the sockets on the wall and he didn't have a reason to be there anymore. He didn’t want to leave finger prints on the wall. 

Monday, 13 February 2017

LATELY

Lately her words seem to point at affluence
Like how she just moved to a bigger house
A house she can’t afford since she’s jobless
Her survival isn’t just a mere fable but scientific

Lately she’s taken to taking mirror selfies
Ass first, ass the point of focus, she loves life
The many hashtags belie her peasant upbringing
A huge makeover, a sudden metamorphosis

There’s so much happiness in that sneering voice
Castigating my hustle, demeaning the man I am
The brain sometimes fails in outwitting the heart
And it works overtime to stay intact instead of leaving

Valentine ’s Day is steadily approaching
She’s hinting at nothing less than a Bomas Inn night out
Previously we would stay indoors and drink mursik
Lately she wants none of that, just champagne

Lately she’s hinted at her being miserable
At a place where it had become home
Out of the blues, Kipruto’s rickety car looks so beautiful

Even when we loved trekking, talking all the way

Monday, 30 January 2017

DO YOU?


Do you, in the stillness of the night, wonder
And crave a text or even a call from me
Do you wander to far off lands in daydreams?
With me in tow, plucking flower with abandon

Do you crave a moment of reckless abandon
Unhinged and without regrets at dawn
When you wake up beside me, entangled
Do you crave that smile that you’ll wake up to?

Do you crave that I crave you
Do you think about me in moments of solitude
Like I do often, like every time I breathe
Do you crave a poem, written for you?

Yes, I crave you in the stillness of the night
Indeed I see you often in my day dreams
I crave your touch and you lingering smile
And most of all I want you to crave me

Why I wouldn't want to date

Photo:Courtesy
She said I’d meet someone, she who would knock me off the apex of my loneliness or the craving of the same. For me it’s more about the craving to be alone, be reckless, sleep at whatever position I desire and most importantly lock the outside world from intruding into my sanctuary. Not so an exciting life but just worth the introvert in me.

A relationship has so much hassle in it. You won’t be able to repeat your socks, leave them wherever you want, sprawl dirty laundry however you feel. It has perks though, but with a price. The price is commitment and sometimes you pay with your own freedom. It constricts your life, fitting into a narrow prism of a woman’s mind, her stupid and nonsensical ideals, aimed at molding you into the man she wants. Shit, I don’t want that.

And her problems become your problems or at least expect you to be the super hero, chase after the villains and deliver her to a perceived heaven. Be it financial, emotional, physical (which you have to insist about her beauty every morning) and even political. She’ll tell you about all the problems she has had, what her mom has had, her father, brother, sister….pretty much everyone in the lineage of their family. When all has been said and done, you wonder what the F was it all about. Nothing changes.

Often, you must fit her into your schedule no matter how tight it is. You must check on her all the time. Woe unto you if you don’t. You aren't supposed to busy and more so broke. Where do you suppose money come from if we keep responding to your stupid texts? Then she goes to a broke guy with time in his hands, gets disappointed and leaps to the greener pastures, the octogenarian sponsors, staring at their graves.

Enter social media. She’ll ask why a certain girl keeps liking your mundane posts and photos. She’ll want to tell the entire world about how relationship is the best, the envy of everyone. She’ll advertise you, tagging you in everything she does. That’s the epitome of insecurity. We don’t need to be everywhere on social media. It’s a ‘keeping up with us’ kind of shit. Nobody has to know about how happy we are in the relationship, which, thankfully, research has disapproved, terming such kind of uncouth behaviour as that of a very unhappy couple seeking validation and approval from strangers online.


I love the peace of solitude. I love looking at my phone with pride, knowing there’s no girl in the entire world whom I am obligated to check from time to time. I love the peace that comes from not being involved in another’s problems. I love doing things the way I want it done, the way it pleases me. I love not the torment of being accused for something I haven’t done, just because she’s in love with me. Relationships just suck. Nothing but bunch of compounded problems. 

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

SHOULD I GET RICH

Should I get rich, and I feel it’s imminent
I will buy all the things I don’t need
So that others can also buy what they don’t need
Mind you, I will carry myself like a dignitary

When times of spending on a budget are over
I will traverse all the golf courses in the country
And overly indulge my soul in the boring game
Just because the rich can afford the swing

I will track down Vera Sidika, for heaven’s sake
Everybody thinks she has a million dollar vagina
I will make an attempt at it, not to hit it
But to turn over screenshots to desperate bloggers

Should get rich, and I feel it’s imminent
Judging from my unbridled love for sleep
I will vie for an elective post and steal form Kenyans
How they love people who steal from them

Should I get rich, just for fun and pleasure
I shall erect a giant middle finger statue
Next to my ex’s home, their front yard

To remind her of the zero fucks I give 

Sunday, 22 January 2017

I SAW YOUR CRUSH

I saw your crush, the one named Lydia
She looked emaciated beyond Libya
There was no gleam in her eyes
The kind that lit up your thousand skies

She was with a pot bellied guy
A rich man at that, brand bags don’t lie
Mr. Price on the right, Chicken Inn on the left
Ah! How you were royally financially bereft!!

The thighs and ass that we obsessed over
It’s gone man, like it was overran by a land rover
In its place seemed to be patches of meat
Wobbly and, disgustingly, indiscrete

She doesn’t look anything like the video vixen
That graced your favorite song, Seventh Heaven
She walks like a ball of human flesh
It’s blasphemy to walk to her and say ‘Sasa mresh?’


THE DECEIT

Just as the world watched the greatest nation on earth inaugurate a racist, misogynistic, sexual predator and most importantly a braggart billionaire, Fiona too was inaugurating, or getting inaugurated into the cruel world of deceit, and worse, from the person who would be the last to abandon her. It’s during her hour of need that she’s thrown into an abyss of uncertainty and self-loathing. Her instincts are reduced to a single question; why me?

On the day she learnt that that her parents were no longer willing to pay her rent, she also learnt that her dear Eric was a dead beat father and a debt ravaged human mongrel. She had lent her entire savings to the man she trusted, the man she loved and the man she thought was overly and totally crazy about her. It’s not good to snoop around, it lets you into a treacherous trait of deceit from people you totally gave all your trust. The cover ups, the lies…damn the world.

She’s laid awake at nights the entire week, thinking and thinking about how all this could happen to her. Why does she attract bad guys? Why do they end up betraying her trust? These and many other questions walked briskly in her mind, with Trump-like carelessness and outright disregard to the virtue of trust and may be the biblical or whatever the phrase originated from, that we should treat people the way we wanted to be treated.

Sitting at Smothers Restaurant, Fiona would occasionally stare blankly, thought with intent and attention of a watch repair man, at nothing in particular. She’s pretty and has the potential of driving men crazy, a chauffeur without a car. But that isn’t a guarantee an upright man will walk into her life. Fiona sips her tea, it tastes salty. Her palate is rebelling against the tea. It’s here that she sees clearly the lies he often told, about having been bereaved, about his salary being delayed and how that sneaky bastard, whom she hates to admit that she deeply loves, could dupe her into digging into her savings, albeit little by little, until she depleted her coffers. After all, she thought, he’d get through tough times and they’d be happy together. That wasn’t to be.

Eric had had a major fight with Lisa, his baby mama, having spent the entire Christmas period with her. Fiona cringed at the thought of Eric spending her money buying diapers. The fight had made Lisa confiscate his phones as any woman would, when the man her man wasn’t providing for the kid, a three month old at that. Lisa had seen it all, alone. The cries the baby made at the time when was beginning to enjoy her sleep, a reprieve though temporary, from the thoughts that had eaten into beauty and weight. She no longer had the luxury of ‘pimping’ herself and she now looked like that gunia strapped on the back of a street man, collecting precious yet discarded materials. Lisa can’t remember the last she made her hair. She can’t remember the last time she looked beautiful. Motherhood eats into your time, your social life.

Lisa had gone through Eric’s phones and had found out about Fiona. She thought about how she was ‘eating’ her baby’s diaper money and most of all her man. As any woman would do, she had opted to call her to warn her or just to inform her of the man she was getting involved with. Lisa thought there’s no limit a man would go to if he can abandon his offspring. She informed Fiona of that, with the hope that Eric would see the light and man up to his responsibilities. But hope is a dangerous thing, it can kill a man for Fiona had no thought of breaking up with him. It’s also through that call from Lisa that she learned that Eric was/is a playboy, a man with who couldn’t keep protuberant tool under control, in the presence of a skirt. It’s also through the call that she learnt that Lisa fell pregnant accidentally, the usual crap. No one trips and falls on a dick, no, it takes consent. Lisa was just being reckless, hiding stupidity under the term ‘accident.’

It’s that call that informed Fiona the kind of man she was getting involved with. She was at crossroads. Her meager earnings as an intern wouldn’t sustain her. The rent would eat into her allowance leaving her with nothing. Her savings would have come in handy at times like this. She had gambled it with a man, although expecting the same amount back. It wasn’t too much a risk, was it? It’s not like those sport betting firms, at least she would have been assured of a profit or worse still lose everything. The worst is losing to man, her world, he pillar, her steady rock during storm and most of the man she immensely adored. She consoled herself that at least she isn’t pregnant with Eric’s baby, a playboy, in local terms an esteemed member of the infamous mafisi Sacco, though he’d be expelled once word got out that he had breached one among the many rules of this club of mongrels-borrowing money from a woman.

Fiona got out of Smothers Restaurant, and made her way to Koinange Street where she would dance part of her night away. It’s seven in the evening. Street lights give the city a serene look, a semblance of sunset. It’s somehow looked romantic. She crossed roads and streets, fearful that a reckless driver might knock her over. All she could think about was salsa. She loves salsa. It relieves her mind, makes her think clearly. She would forget about Eric for awhile, no, about the money she’d lose in the event Eric decides its worth more than the pussy he was getting. She would immerse herself in the steps, the swirling around and the kizomba music that played softly in that salsa only club. She regarded this place in the same manner a believer would to a church or the confession chamber. Here she’d find refuge.

As she descends down the stairs, into the basement, the location of her temporary refuge, Fiona’s mind can’t think of anything except how to recover her money, and possibly get back at Eric, mortally wounding is pride. She thinks of planting cameras in her bed sitter, to capture him on the throes of passion. She thinks of cheating on him on the same bed and making sure he knows about. With this thought, an easy one, because a pretty girl like her can never run short of admirers, who will be at her door upon a moment’s notice. But with all these men hovering around her she could afford to mess with this mongrel of a man in Eric.

She’s thinks of slashing his car tyres.  But then she doesn’t know if he truly won’t pay her money. He promised to at the end of the month, ten days to go. At midnight the dance was over. And she traced her way to her abode, and into her bed, that grew progressively colder every single day. She fell asleep too quickly, owing to the fatique. Last night she had left an event at 2 am in the morning, affording the fewest hours to sleep. She slept soundly.


WATCH OUT FOR PART II 

Friday, 20 January 2017

I HAVE NO CHOICE, I DECLARE HER YOUR WIFE

Barely home from a night of bingeing
Hardly asleep yet someone’s knocking
With fury and intent of breaking it down
“Open the damn door you useless clown!!”

My mind is in disarray, fumble with the blankets
Look for clothes to wear among the water buckets
The intruder is quite now, he’s heard the noise
He can break the door, but he’s reserved that choice

As I struggle to adjust my pupils to bright light
With bloodshot eyes betraying my nocturnal delight
He pulls me by the collar of my shirt, furious
Like a short changed drug dealer, dead serious

“Son of nobody with brimstone down your loins
How dare you lure my daughter with coins
And cooled your burning down the coveted stream
Now it’s dry, with nothing to hold to, without a dream”

In tow is his daughter cowing with fright,
We’ve met before, in fact spent many a night
The inevitable had finally happened
Thought I ‘A rough ride here, seat belts must be fastened’
“Isn’t he the one?”  he turns to her once pretty daughter
I cursed her, she couldn’t tell me she was sired by a monster
Chit, my whip would have cowed with fright
May be I would enjoying the sleep I forewent last night

“You leave me no choice but to pronounce you
A husband and wife, find a way to get through
You can have her for the rest of your life

Should she set foot in my home, your neck will stop a knife”

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Open letter to the proponents of Uthamaki

I trust that you are enterprisingly well, in health and business. I am fine too, except that I am heavy with thoughts as we approach the election year. I know you are gathering your number, even from unspeakable places (we’ve heard of your ancestors coming back to vote), as mass voter registration kicks off. That’s not a big deal, for you know the value of numbers.

What bothers me the most is the fact that you are overzealous about the presidency. Why are you are so apprehensive that a leader from another tribe, especially the lake region, may usurp to the presidency? A self-righteous man, of upright moral character doesn’t have a reason to be worried. Kenya belongs to all of us. The recent attempt by the president to alter history of our heroes worries the crap out of me. Tell me, what is it that you are sacredly scared of? Tell me in a language a toddler in your region so understands, that they spew hatred to others.

In all honesty, we love your enterprising spirit. And you, in the numbers scattered all over Kenya, speaks volumes on your role in uplifting and promoting the economy of our beloved country. Your unity as well is what the Luhyas should readily emulate.

Born out of the need to fend off political scavengers, UhuRuto bromance blossomed and strolled to the house on the hill, with their youthful digital swagger and vigour. The duo boisterously claimed that ‘they’ were aiming at locking them out, or rather sought to benefit from their downfall, which brought two fiercely antagonistic tribes together, The Kalenjins and The Kikuyus. Will you stand by this friendship up to 2022 assuming that UhuRuto rides through the NASA storm? Or will your prove that this was just but a friendship of convenience?

As your leaders marshal you to register in mass, does it ever occur to you that, by trying to keep ‘the other’ from ascending to power, you support plunder of public resources? Your leaders exercise blatant disregard for you as lowly, poverty stricken people, brainwashed by Uthamaki bullshit. What do you gain from it? I can bet my ass its nothing, except willfully watching your people die from the biting doctor’s strike, as you proudly exclaim “wacha mtu wetu akule!!” 

I know it’s futile to attempt to make you see beyond your narrow tribal prism. Be glad though that you are not alone in this. You have Kalenjins, the Luos, the Kambas….pretty much everyone is tribal, so much so that Aden Duale can claim that the results of the presidential elections will have been concluded once IEBC releases the voter register in March. But there’s something beyond power that grips you, that blinds you. You need protection from what? Does the constitution favour other tribes that you so crave and need protection from your own?

As a parting shot, we want a Kenya that has equal opportunities for everyone regardless of their ethnic and social backgrounds. We want a Kenya where everyone is united by their unique differences. We want a Kenya where no one is scared if they are doing the right things.


Friday, 13 January 2017

MY LOVE, I HAVE BOUGHT A TRANSISTOR RADIO

When you go to Ravine, dear reader
Or pass by the place
Please find my love Cheptoo, and tell her these
If she doesn’t a phone, that is,

Oh you are asking how you fill find her?
They live in a mud walled house before the stream
Or ask a renowned drunkard in the area
They’ll lead to her father, there you’ll find her

Now that you know where to find her
Please tell her I’ve bought a new transistor radio
And two bi speakers, 
So that she can tune in to her favourite station
Also, my small brother finished school
And left me his mattress, its more comfortable now
Tell her she won’t complain of back pains when she visits

Tell her, this is important, that my uncle promised me a job
Not a fancy one, but in the great city of Nairobi
I will a security guard, with my own uniform
Tell her I will come for her and take her with me
So that she can know what it means to miss mursik
And eat thin transparent chapati by the road side

Please don’t get jealous, please deliver this message
She’s is my light during the day and even the night
Tell her I think of her like Kiprono thinks of gold medal
Tell her I dream of her like Raila dreams of presidency
Tell her I will cling to her like Mugabe to presidency
Tell her I miss her and she must visit me soonest
Or else I find someone else, like I have done sometimes

Tell her none have been comparable to her, of course

A WEED PEDDLER FOR A ROOMMATE

He wore a distant look on his face, silky smooth baby face, like he made it up every morning. From it I deduced that he was scared more by what he knew than what he didn’t. Had I not troubles  that bothered me, I would have walked up to him and asked him what was bothering him, except I had more things bothering me too.  You must be troubled by something if you crave solitude, right?  There were only two of us in the back yard of the hostel, communing with hanging lines and singing hymns that came with the wind, and the constant traffic that flowed along Lang’ata road. He didn’t even notice me, I’d learn later. He could have been high on something illegal. Later on we’d pass each other along the corridors, not ever occurring to us that pleasantries were meant for human beings. We didn’t notice each. His world was much busier than mine though.

Later on, we’d meet again as roommates. My name is Dan, he said. I told him mine. By bad luck a fresha had occupied his bed, and he gave an eviction notice, effective that very moment. The fresha tried to protest but he was resolute, and being a newbie he knew unconsciously that they were rules-rules that weren’t written but dished out randomly, like kanjos and policemen do. The only thing he was asked of was respect and obedience. Those two virtues can take you far. And so Dan had his bed. 

Dan. The Dans I have met before have been unruly; people who operate by the own rules. I didn’t expect any change since I am the type of person who concludes that all Dans are the same or anybody by any other name who has particularly unsavoury habits and traits. Call me the king of stereotypes, but trust I do not go about telling people all girls are the same. No, only those with particular names that are the same.

Anybody by the name Lucy strikes a cold chill down my spine. Not now but it used to. The first Lucy I met was actually a bully who loved to beat the crap out of children, for no reason at all. We were young then, and Lucy’s father owned a kiosk. If you were sent to buy something from the kiosk, you began crying in advance, maybe mother would pity you and send someone else. Sometimes she didn’t, almost all the time and that’s when you prayed that you don’t find Lucy lingering around the kiosk. I think she was mentally challenged. I’ll ask around one of these fine days.

Back to Dan, the baby faced man, slim and slightly tall; a Whiz Khalifa look alike- same height, same body and same mannerisms (hip hop junkie and weed smoker). He had a Creative hoofer that he jealously guarded like a kid would to his or her dolls. You didn’t touch it, you didn’t move it without his consent. Sometimes he would lend out to some of his friends, upon return he would whine about how people don’t know how to ‘protect’ people’s things. ‘You lend them in good faith, then they break it,’ he would curse, after he had repaired or feigned to. No one knew.

And just like every other kid brought in Nairobi by working parents, Dan had a penchant for night life. Every Friday he would plan with a few of his friends on their nocturnal get away, often a club in Westie. Once everything was settled, they’d contribute money, buy liquor (Smirnoff vodka) and a stash of weed. They’d call a few babes and agree their meeting point. They planned it meticulously, like soldiers planning an amphibious dawn attack on its enemies’ grounds. It worked, sometimes it didn’t. It turns out there was always one broke guy who depended on the rest once the party got started. There was always that one guy who passed out and didn’t have cab money. Thanks to God there’s Uber now. Dan and his crew don’t have to pay a lot.  Often Dan would come in the morning having lost his phone. A few days later he would buy another one, even more flashier, but then he would lose it a week later and the cycle continued until he learnt his lessons.

One very ungainly trait of his was laziness. Being in a hostel that had a 10 pm curfew in place meant that he had to plan in advance so that he can leave earlier than that. Almost all the times 10pm would find him still looking for clothes to wear. On one particular day, he left it late and was denied exit. The caretaker was resolute, stuck to rule like his job depended on it. So he hatched a plan, got a deep voiced guy around the hostel who acted his father and claimed they had an urgent family meeting in Karen. His ‘dad’ ordered his immediate release from the hostel claiming he has sent a taxi to pick him up. And that’s how he left proudly. He would later regale the story to me about how he had a date with a chick, had even bought liquor and everything, the only thing remaining was him availing his ass to the agreed destination.

He was one of the few people who never got along with others. His schedule was different from the rest, sleep during the day and stay up during the night, playing loud music the entire night. How he loved Whiz Khalifa music! In addition to these he was also a weed peddler, and had successfully managed to convert our room into a weed smoking joint. Every one smoked in that room, he claimed boastfully and if he gets caught all of us will go down. He had me buy cigarettes to even shit out, for when the axe fell, I wouldn’t want to have an excuse.

His stint as the upcoming Pablo Escobar didn’t last long. I don’t know what it is with drugs that once you in it you inevitably develop enemies around. Is it that your clients cant fathom your success or just have the feeling that they are being short changed?  First, he never used to attend lectures and his parents summoned him home one weekend for that matter. I think I heard him complain about not having chosen the course he was taking. It should have been one of his enemies who set him up.
One day, on a Friday, I got a rude shock. As I made my way into the hostel in the evening, I noticed luggage heaped near the reception. I remember wondering why someone would check so late or either leave the hostel so late in the evening. I made my way to the room and found it locked. It was normal with Dan, a smoker even though smoking and drinking were against the rules of the place (I don’t want use the word illegal). He loved locking himself in but on that evening frantic knocks yielded nothing.

A few minutes later he showed up distraught. He told me that our room had been cleared, and all our belongings taken to the reception. It turned out the luggage I had seen earlier belonged to us. It turns out that he had talked rudely to the manager after he was caught with a stash of weed. Apparently the manager knew exactly where he would find it. A brief quarrel between him and the manager ensued, in which he told him that his father is a lawyer and that he can defend him perfectly well. I am still baffled as to how the manager got the idea that he must clear the room and take the entire luggage to the reception. It’s not clear to me yet.

We grouped ourselves, having both received a briefing from the drug peddler and trouped to the office to claim our luggage, and he to defend himself. We were to claim we don’t know who the weed belonged but it was an open case when we got there. Everyone knew it belonged to him but we wanted to act like we didn’t to offer him the match needed solace. We knocked and entered the office. An old motherly lady, with creases around her face welcomed us uncharacteristically.  We sat there meekly, the same way errant children do, after breaking the family’s priced utensils. We had our rehearsed answers scripted by the drug peddler himself, Don Dan. We didn’t want to let him down, either by making the punishment less severe or making him avoid it entirely, an impossible feat one might say. Truth of the matter is we didn’t actually care. He had been a pain in the ass for far too long.

The old lady began interrogating us, excluding the drug peddler.

“Why didn’t you come for your luggage?” she asked.

“We didn’t know it belonged to us,” the other roommate answered.

“You never even bothered to ask where the room key is,” she asked trying to pin.

At this moment we knew it was a closed case. The jury had already delivered the verdict. She just wanted to toy with us, threaten us ‘because it was a serious case’ which could warrant the presence of law enforcement officers. It’s illegal, she had said, and it can attract a jail sentence of not less than ten years. We weren’t bothered by her threat of law enforcement. Weed was smoked casually almost everywhere. For us it was perfectly normal to find someone at the laundry puffing away the holy weed. Once you’d meet them, after a bout of the holy puff, arguing who would jump from the fourth floor without breaking a limb. And how philosophical they become. Suddenly they’d suggest ways of beating the system (rich kid felt screwed by the system) and how to make school fun.

Realisng that her threat failed to hit the intended target, she resorted to our parents.  I remember being visibly distressed. You know those fathers who you can’t argue with. Being associated with something as grave as bhang would have the same impact as being the owner. With him a small mistake isn’t small at all. If you get suspended from school, the best way to tell him was you’ve decided to unanimously abandon the pursuit of education. It would attract the same wrath. If he intended to kill you he would, no matter the misdemeanor.

And so I fidgeted uneasily on my chair, wishing to gain the courage to tell the old lady to claim that the bhang belonged to me. I think adults derive a certain devilish relish seeing a young man conquered, pushed against the wall to the point of doing whatever they willed. I could tell she loved it. She beamed like a young girl being approached by that guy she’s always admired. She asked numerous times whether she should call our parents. We both shook our heads. In turns out both of us had been involved in small misdemeanors in the past and she had had the front row seat in witnessing our parent’s unbridled wrath.

With us beaten, she finally turned her attention to the man of the day. He didn’t have the bullish and confident face he had before. He fidgeted anxiously as he claimed that someone might have left the weed in his locker, since, apparently, he leaves the door open.

She wasn’t interested in that narrative. She asked him what he told the manager when he found him with the weed. He resisted for a while and realized that she wasn’t going back on her quest. Finally he caved in and said feebly.

“I told him that my father is a lawyer and that he can defend me,” he said with his face staring at his shoes, the same way a man would beckon God above.

The old lady called his brother and instructed him to take him straight home. I never had a clue where their home was. I didn’t care for finally we could get rid of the man-vermin and finally live in peace. It turned out the manager had left with the key, ensuring that no one entered the room. That night, I slept in a store, fought with starved bedbugs and mosquitoes the entire night.

The next day the Dan was swiftly evicted, there being no case to answer as he did put himself. So many people were relieved by his swift exit, even those he owed money. At least he’s gone, one guy had lamented.

A few months later we’d meet near the damn hostel and he asked me if I still reside in the hostel. I  affirmed, and he let out a long sarcastic smile as he disappeared around the corner of the mall.