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.




Monday, 9 January 2017

THE LAST OF BRANDY

When the world’s misery usurps my mind
And if a glance around me, walls I find
I promise I will rush the liquor store
And buy brandy just as I’ve done before

Should my love ever doubt my undying love
Even when it seems it just descended from above
Then, without a second thought, I shall buy brandy
For stupor shall make my dejection handy

Should I ever achiever the biggest milestone
After numerous forays into the hours of dawn
I shall have no choice but to pop brandy
And make merry as a kid would to candy

In times of happiness and unimaginable sorrow
Of uncertainties and nothing to hope for
Each of those moments I’ll take a sip

Of my beloved brandy, it guarantees a peaceful sleep

Sunday, 8 January 2017

A.B.C.D. [A BOYS CARAT DREAM]

It’s the last year of the century, 1999, to the uninitiated. As the sun sets that fine day, you drive the sheep to their shed, satisfied that you weren’t tempted to drive them early so that you could afford uninterrupted play. You remember the time you risked your mother’s ire by forcing the sheep into their shed in the afternoon and marveled that they've ‘entered by themselves.’ But that was you, being the kid that you were, you never saw the bigger picture. Somehow instant gratification was what drove your decisions.

On this day, a Thursday, it’s special in some way. It’s a market day and mother doesn’t usually go the market often. You think maybe she’s gone to buy fruits for the family or maybe vegetables, being January, the driest month in the region. It’s all you can think. At sunset she arrives with a baggage. Your siblings were the first to spot her and ran to her, helping her with the baggage even though they couldn’t manage to lift it off the ground. They try and try and finally give up.

Mother places the yellow paper, sits down and asks for a cup of water. In the mean time you and your siblings forage through the bag, claiming the goodies that came from the market. You fight over one thing until mother decides whom it belongs. If it wasn’t meant for you, you either sulk or go through the bag one more time; maybe you can find something meant for you. On this day you don’t find anything special for you. Instead mother rises from her chair, and dips her hand into the bag and fishes out a maroon sweater and then asks you unceremoniously to try it. It fits you perfectly, of course with plenty room for improvement. You look at yourself quite amazed for speech.

And that’s when it hits you. It dawns on you that you are finally beginning a chapter whose ending you don’t know. No one knows. You contemplate asking your mother why she’s punishing you, for the tales you’ve heard of school weren’t appealing. Teachers were bad, they beat people for no reason. There was no joy in school, except a ceaseless routine, day in day out. Go to school early enough, sit in class, break time at certain intervals and then lunch time.

The following day you accompany your mother to the trading centre. There you meet a tailor with a ‘bad leg,’ he has a walking pole, one that was fashioned out of a blamelessly straight tree. He takes your measurements. He engages your mother but you are too busy smelling the aroma of mandazi that rule the entire place. Back then a mandazi was everything. I think it was easy luring a kid those days. All you needed was a mandazi. How they packaged it in empty flour bags!! Shit you loved it more than anything else. Put it in your dairy, grown ass man, mandazi was your first love.

A week later the uniform arrives mysteriously. Mother didn’t leave home that day. She accosts you before you go to bed and orders you to try the uniform. A pair of dark blue shorts, a light blue shirt and a maroon pullover, there were no shoes. The shorts are tiny as hell, but you are tiny as well, just six years old. The next day the journey of schooling began. You and your brand new uniform, accompany your mother to the nearest school. Mother enters an office with you in tow, your name is scribbled down on an old tattered book by an old bespectacled man.

Kipchirchir Kiprop.

That’s your name. No fancy English name. Back then you hated that name that it was almost abusive, it was actually an expletive term to call someone by their English name. You guarded it like nuclear launch codes. Any moment someone discovered it you were doomed, just like Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As far as you were concerned you didn’t want destruction. But then richer kids used their first names, the sons and daughters of athletes that lived within the precincts of the school. Of course this was a temporary arrangement before being  shipped to better schools.

After a few exchange of pleasantries, mother is instructed to take you to a classroom near the gate. There she talks with the teacher, and the leaves. You are scared shit of being alone. It dawns on you that the only place you were assured of security was being your mother. Now you are all alone in a sea of unfamiliarity. You want to cry but she assures that it will okay. At that moment your pour all your hatred on your mother and douse her with unspoken juvenile expletives.

The teacher turns out to be motherly as well and ushers you to a class full of kids. That’s when you realize you are the tallest among them all. You don’t remember but for once in your life you had to ‘borrow’ permission to shit. And there was a designated place to shit too. Back at home the bush came in handy, for the hole in the pit latrine looked huge. It looked like you could slip through it and die a slow painful death, corroded by feaces. The ‘borrowing of permission’ was the hardest part. Unfortunately there was no manual for that. Now, you wish you could tell people that you didn’t shit on your brand new uniform on the first day of school.

The saddest thing about school then was that you didn’t know the reason why you went to school. It felt like you went there to wait for holidays. Or get promoted to the next class after a year. Nevertheless you gave your best shot. You learnt how to hold a pen and scribble things down, though incomprehensible. It was deemed a good step towards progress.

Then came the singing. Endless singing. When you thought you were done, then came more singing. About alphabets, numbers, days of the week and months. The only singing you truly enoyed was the one before you went for lunch.

Naskia sauti, sauti ya mama
Sasa ni saa sita, sasa ni saa sita
Kwaheri mwalimu
Bye bye teacher
Mungu akipenda tutaonana kesho na tusome

********
A few years later you make friends who you played with, went home with for lunch. And as you grew, it became apparent that you didn’t deserve the kind of education offered in that school. Your parents begin head hunting for a new school, where you’d get quality education. But that wasn’t what was on your mind. It was a matter of affluence. Relatively rich homes didn’t keep their kids in day schools where they scored 200 marks. No, they aimed big. They take you to interviews in schools so far away from home, schools hidden in the bush that to reach you must board matatus, alight and board another before you get there. It seemed god was reading your mind for the interview was as hard as Wabukala’s next job.

When everything had been exhausted you went back to your school.

“Are you sure you are not transferring?” asked the teacher, a slightly bulky woman. She doesn’t want to enter you into the class register. She knows somehow, that your parents have already handed in a transfer request.

“I am not transferring,” you reply back. As far as you were concerned passing interviews were a mirage. Even if there was one in the offing, you were sure as hell that you would not be offered a place.

The next day you fail to show up for school. There’s an interview to attend. You don’t give so much thought about success. The last three amounted to nothing but failure. In your mind you’d be back to continue with the same people you’ve known all along, get your 200 marks and live an adulterated village life, a life without too many complications and ambitions. But on that day the gods were on your side. You passed the interview. All of a sudden, you were going to a new school, an academy, and most importantly a boarding school.

A new chapter began in 2005, six years after you began school. With new friends, new mode of teaching, and getting used to badly cooked food and doing your own laundry. In class a few were curious about how you used to perform in your former school.

“I was number two,” you blurt with a sense of triumph. You saw the disappointment in her face. It meant she has to be pushed further down the performance index the next time an exam was done. But then something nags her and she asks the marks you got.

“296,” you say with a sense of pride. Truth is that was the best performance ever in your entire upper primary education. A new comer had beaten you. She settles to her book assured that you are not an academic threat.

A short, slim man pops into the class room and hands you a 200 pages exercise book. There’s fear and reverence that abound the man. You later learnt that he was dressed in a pullover, a hand knit brown turtleneck one, that spoke of his foul mood. When you spotted him in it you watched how you breathed lest your violate one of his many unwritten rules. You would curse the day you were born, the one who bore you and the canal you passed. He was a Kisii by the way. You promise yourself to look for him one of these days, get to know him on a level you aren’t afraid of him.

Three days later, the slim man pops into the classroom with anger. Everybody in class stiffens up as he grabs you by the collar. A sigh of relief ripples through the classroom when you are picked and man handled like someone who just murdered a brother over a plate of ugali. The previous day, the class had been given a composition to write and apparently you had written nonsense.

“What is this?” he fumes, pointing at a single page of the nonsense you had managed to craft.
He flogs you with vengeance. Eight strokes fall on your buttocks. You don’t flinch or budge. The strokes fall one after the other, you don’t even bother to count, you classmates do it for you. You don’t shout, you don’t cry.  When he’s done he tears the page and orders you to rewrite the essay. You rise, dust yourself and you are greeted by something more than awe. They had never witnessed someone who would withstand the man’s wrath, without flinching. You stare at the page he just tore and slowly put it back into your locker desk. He never asks for it later on.

A year down the line, you score 400 marks. You can’t tell the joy that rippled through your being that day. Lagging behind for the better part of your infancy at the school, made you realize that everything is possible, of course with a few floggings here and there. Two more years and you manage decent marks that enabled you to join a secondary school, a provincial one, where you began seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Good grades and your life was all but a guaranteed bliss. You had to surmount the challenge of chemistry and physics. There was no way you could defy the laws of physics because there was no chemistry between the two of you.

Thank god you emerged victorious at the end of the gruesome battle, drained but at least breathing. For the first time you breathe a sigh a relief, you dad’s money didn’t go to waste. Many times before you entertained the thoughts of how best he could have used the money he spent on your school fees. He could have visited every holiday destination around the world, or probably have bought a mansion at Beverly Hills Los Angeles, singing to Jay Z’s Forever Young. Attaining grades that ensured direct entry into university wiped all those thoughts away. For once he asked you what you wanted to do with your life (he never did before).

*******
The devil is always out there to rob people of their happiness. He just can’t stand the sight of people being happy, even for no reason or just for reaping what they sowed over the years.  Right now he’s waiting to rob you a chance for a job, a prospective lover, a dream you’ve held since you grew conscious of your surroundings. The devil is always there waiting for a chance to strike. And strangely the devil is sometimes hidden in us, within us, probing us to make decisions that are conducive for his growth and manifestation.

Before you have digested the results, your parents, having not gotten so used to your presence at for longer periods, decide that you need to do computer studies. Your father sends you to scout for a college within town and off you go, one fine morning. While in town, still prospecting, not actually prospecting but finding a way of writing a receipt to reflect the amount you've told him, and of course pocket the rest, he calls you and triumphantly announces change of plans.

“I have changed my mind. You will study a diploma course. I want you to help your sister out, “he says when you get into the car.

Just like that you find yourself doing a course in purchasing and supplies management. But this time round you are commuting from home to town, an hour work and another hour in a matatu. For a seven am class, you had to be up by 5 am lest you be late. That’s the earliest legal time you’ve had to wake, not forgetting the chilly mornings, plus morning dew.

Amid all the angst, the hating, the skiving of school and the eventual spanking, you decide to man up and complete the course. There you found love that you still doubt if it is, after that really bad let down from her part. After a year you had your diploma, something you couldn’t even celebrate. In it you lost the meaning of learning of education. But you had, it belonged to you and nobody else.

Enter university, the last phase of life. Here you take journalism, a roller coaster and the struggle to beat deadlines. The hardest part of university is deadlines. Nothing else. And worrying about exams and cats. It’s here that you finally taste the night life, the fable that had been narrated in high school and for once it hits you that it’s for those whose wallets are faint hearted. The night is prone to brawls from mean who, after taking three or four bottles decide that every man wants to snatch their woman, or because he sees himself as the undisputed heavy weight champion of the world.

*******
Officially you can sing Kanye West’s song Can’t Tell Me Nothing.
Class started two hours ago
O am I late?
Nooo, I already graduated

Suddenly you learn that there are no jobs. Nobody tells you this in university, you learnt to write a business plan though but for the purposes of examination. Right now you have no clue of what you wrote about.



And that’s your ABCD of life; A Boys Carat Dream

Monday, 2 January 2017

TELL JEPLETING TO STOP SEEING THAT BASTARD

Tell Jepleting to stop seeing that bastard
He is not worthy to make me a granddad
Tell her about women who drive cars
Tell Jepleting about women who are the stars
And rule the night with an iron fist
Tell her slowly, this I insist
What do they discuss with a chang’aa addict
A class seven dropout and a failed athlete
Lalang’ told me how she’s smiles with him
When he told her he wanted to take her downstream
What do they discuss if not about babies I’ll raise?
Tell her clearly, let her senses arise
And that bastard too, Jepleting might be stubborn
Tell him I’ll come for his balls at dawn
Before he deposits filthy things in my daughter
Tell him to look for daughters of chang’aa addicts thereafter
Tell that bastard I’ll gorge his eyes out
Tell him when he’s sober, at dawn before he’s out and about

UTAWEZA?

Fair maid posed, utaweza?
Complexing a simplicity.....

Got I feeling....

Like am about to take off to the moon unaided
Like am trying to dispute the law of gravity

Like am about to find the cure for ebola
Or better yet raise the dead from their graves

Like am about to come up with a mathematical formaulae
to explain how people fall in love

Like am trying to break down the Da Vinci code
Like am just about to think of inventing a new planet within earth

Like am harbouring intentions of hitting on Malia and Sasha
Or pee on the gates of White House

Keep calm and let me manufucture heaven right here
Am no God but For YOU imma be one

DEAR YOU

I think about you to a point I don't miss you 
Yours is one of the very few precious memories 
My little gem that defines my worth 
You take me places, most of which I rarely know 
Save for the want to be where you take me 
-it's exactly where I want to be 
Where the stars cease shining, dimmed by your smile 
Where the oceans touch 
And that's where I find the most of peace
Manage somehow a sleep of peace
You are my muse, dearie
Am glad you are