Sunset. And Sunrise


A 2017 welcome message is written across the sunset of 2016. Endings are beginnings. As the credits of 2016 roll, you can’t help but reminisce. You’ll either smile or bark out a ‘good riddance’. For many, it is hardly a case of either…or…There were victories here and there but still, defeats and beat downs managed to raise their big and stubborn heads.

For me, there were moments I wanted to live forever in and others that brought me to a boil and filled me with pangs of disappointment. With celebration and regret, you summon a brave face and trudge to 2017.

You are no longer the innocent kid who used to subscribe to the ‘New year, New Me’ platitude. You are a grown up, with a beard or two, humbled by life. You know resolutions are a tricky affair. This ending year, I actually had one resolution, quite a simple one. I just wanted to know the difference between osmolarity and osmolality. My ninjas will attest to how I have struggled with this thing. Neither acronyms nor the biggest of pharmaceutical books could come to my rescue. With just a few hours to 2017, I still can’t put a daylight between these two terms. You are welcome to tell my dad that he sold his cows to educate another cow, one with two legs this time. Please, don’t tell Dr. Matiang’i about this.

With the winds blowing the sands of time to 2017, you are seated with your family in the living room after the evening meal. I don’t know whether it is called supper or dinner. This time, the family is bigger than the usual quota of three because your aunts, nephews, and nieces are visiting. You are having a family meeting of sorts. Everyone is sharing their resolutions. My turn comes and I regale the society with big talk of career, entrepreneurship, and altruism. You make sure it an artful show of passion. Everyone is the room is enthused by how this recent graduate is well articulate but your aunts. With those ‘Baba Anatosha’ lesos wrapped around their waists, all they want to hear is “This year I’ll look for a wife”. They don’t say it but their eyes do.  No, thank you.
A wife?  Not yet. You wonder why…

You know so well of my imbroglio (Yes, I used that word) with the chief’s daughter. The one I allegedly inflated. She is casting a huge, dark and pregnant shadow over my life.   I can’t move to the next order of business until I manage to free myself from such tentacles. After my ‘kumwaga nje’ defense was inadmissible in the village court of law, I had to hire legal counsel. Since then, my army of lawyers (My old man and my sister) have been brandishing terms like paternity test, injunctions, and subpoenas whilst the chief’s daughter’s excuse of advocates have been flapping their gums to the sound of terms like ‘child support’. The blunt fact of the matter is that I can’t afford a paternity test until Sportpesa responds to my coquetry. In the meantime, my legal think tank is buying time by engaging in side shows like paying off village drunkards to take responsibility for the chief’s daughter’s pregnancy. Oh…And it’s working.

Furthermore, I don’t have an appropriate keja at home. You all know of my famed circular, windowless and grass thatched mud hut. The one with old newspapers on the walls as decoration. But wait…It has electricity and tap water. Alar! (The government is overworking). I need to transform my keja to keja 2.0 before I can bring someone home.

I also have to throw about the ‘I’m not ready’ weary line. I am not ready to come home in the evening only to find a female spitting fire and in a ‘this means war’ attitude just because I left my toothbrush facing a whole 180 degrees away from hers in the toothbrush container. Not now.

No to resolutions. No to wife. No to the chief’s daughter.

But, I can make one simple resolution for 2017.

I know the conditions on this site have been below average on a good day. You have been reading articles while sitting on wooden stools. That will change effective immediately. From now on, this site will be furnished with leather couches to boost the reading experience. The kind lacking in most of your homes. The type that massages your ego leaving you feeling like a million bucks. You will also be entitled to drinks of your choosing the entire time you will spend in this haven. Be warned, that there will be no cheap liquor.

I have also received complaints about the deplorable conditions of the pavement leading to this site. It is poorly lit like the ones leading to some drab downtown club. Worry no more. From now on, floodlights will illuminate this way. Besides, I will plant flowers on both sides of the sidewalk. I think those yellow-green flowers dotting the village are a perfect pick.

Once you enter this blog, there will be a personal guide to escort you to your seat. Gentlemen will have feisty women for guides while lofty men will handle the ladies.

I know there is a particular lot frowning at me because there is the conspicuous omission of shisha pots in this our joint. Be troubled, not. Just email me your favorite flavors.

What am I forgetting?

 

P.S.

I look forward to sharing with you excerpts from my book titled, Pages of Denis. It may not be a New York best seller but one worth a read.

 

Cheers.

Happy New Year.

God Bless You.

 

 

 

 

 

TODAY


 

Forget about a successful man’s morning routine of waking up at 0300hrs, going for a morning run, reading a book, meditation yadda yadda. Here is my morning routine. My alarm goes off at 0600hrs. Half awake, outstretching my arm, I hit the snooze button then go back to sleep.  After ten minutes, I repeat the sequence. This game goes on till it’s 0700hrs. I then slothfully get out of bed then head to the kitchen to gobble up yesterday’s ugali. Mama told me to always thank the Big Man upstairs for the gift of life before getting out of bed but I keep forgetting.

You had a late night yesterday in the Stock exchange. You had to monitor your stock’s performance before going to bed. You pick up your phone and head straight to your inbox to re-admire and soak in your stellar performance in the stock exchange. Your bookie sent you a couple of congratulatory messages. Your bets were on point. The plunder is great. “Whoever said gambling doesn’t pay is obviously not giving it a chance”, quips your cheeky subconscious.

After that, you head straight to Facebook to witness the day’s self-glorification and political correctness. Scrolling through loads of filtered selfies, political rhetoric and gambling lamentations; you notice several HBD’s on your timeline. You go to the Notifications section where Mark Zuckerberg reminds you that it’s your birthday. 29/09. Damn. You mean I don’t know my own birthday. This is not unique to me. I know of my boys whose birthdays pass with no notice and no noise. To you it is not a birthday as such considering you were in such a hurry to terminate the mother-fetus relationship. You couldn’t just wait to change your physical address from womb to outside world. You are a premature birth. Your birthday is an escape day, per se. Many times, you just wish you could stay in there for the remaining two and half months for the warmth and protection. The world is so cold and cruel. Mama, I want to be born again.

To you, birthdays have been feminine occasions except for that one time in Class Four your sainted mama threw you a birthday party the village still talks about many years down the line. That was your first time to put on cool khaki side pocket trouser and a denim shirt. Nillitesa kutesa. The village remembers that day not because it was your birthday. No. They remember it because of the amount of juice that was present. The juice was enough for the whole village plus the two neighbouring villages for two days. Don’t ask if we converted water to wine, oops, juice. (God Bless that saint)

In as much this day doesn’t present parties and gestures in all their bloated grandeur, I must admit that there are some ‘highlight reel’ moments in between the normalcy of a life mired by dull routine.

This is not that day for those rare, laconic and terse phone calls from your father. You know he normally calls to quarrel me regarding my run-ins with the chief’s daughter in the village. The one I allegedly inflated. On this day, your phone rings and you know there isn’t any war, just a father and son reminiscing. There is all that talk of how far you’ve come and so on.  However, the worst part of the conversation is when he reminds you that you are no longer a child. What a polite way of telling someone that they have some growing up to do. The best part of it all is when he sends you kakitu. You know you lost those privileges when you cleared school.

After so many years, your high school friend Gody calls. Back then, this guy was the poster boy for bad boyism. In that league, he was the real MVP. While other fake bad boys from Nairobi were sharing gaps in the school’s perimeter fence with rats, dogs and squirrels to sneak out of school to go to some club is Kitale town to consume Kenya Cane and Safari Cane and dissect Boomba Train by E-Sir and Mtoto Mzuri by Nonini and make out with girls from neighbouring schools, this gentleman pulled a classic. This guy wouldn’t sneak. In the evening, he would walk outta school right through the heavily guarded main gate. He used to bribe the security guards with chang’aa. He would then go to Kitale town, not to club, not to quench testosterone toxicity but just to have a cup or two of coffee, smell the scent of freedom then head back to school. Mark you, that Coffee House was owned by one of the teachers in the same school.Currently, he is a servant of God. At 23, his name has more titles than a 15th Century king. You know those titles; Bishop, Doctor, Liutenant of God, Commander-In-Chief of Operation Enda Heaven etc. Huyo jamaa anachapa injili acha tu. So he calls and wishes me a happy birthday then quotes me a million Bible verses while the only one I know is “Jesus Wept”. I just know it is somewhere in the Good book in the New Testament. He then invites me for a revival kesha to celebrate my main day. I think I’ll go.

So, Dr. Governor, who claims to be a friend finally hits you up after one solid month. The last you heard of him was that time he came to your place and couldn’t help but admire your various infrastructural improvements. At the time he thought you were reaping huge from Sportpesa. Somebody fooled him that real money is made not earned. He went ahead and gambled with his rent money and got burnt. I am told he lost weight. So he reached out today. His text read, “Tunataka nyama bwana”. That is how boys say ‘Happy birthday’.

Another friend, Otis after sinking into oblivion finally calls. The last time I heard of him was when we were still in school. We were classmates. He called me one week to our final exams. Apparently, he was in Tanzania with his Rwandese girlfriend blowing his father’s money while us poor kids were busy cramming our way out of poverty. Otis Mungu anakuona. He had called to tell me to study well so that he could sit next to me during exams and demanded nothing less than an A. This spoilt brat. He never even said Thank you afterwards. Today his call went like this, “Tunakunywa wapi wewe mtu”. That is another happy birthday wish.

Uncountable people have wished me happy birthday without actually wishing me happy birthday.

Jemo wa Kinyozi’s text read like this, “We msee kuja nikunyoe. Endelea kuzeeka”

I have someone in contacts saved as Mike Butchery. He sent me this text. “Leo lazma jamaa ukujie kilo zako mbili.”

On this day, you restore the password to your phone. Mwende must not at any cost see those sweet messages particular divas are sending you. You know those long and sweet texts that you can’t place for birthday messages or I-miss-us messages. And they are punctuated with like thirty smiling face emoji with those love signs in the eyes. Mwende is still digesting your recent line, “Over any girl, I would pick you any day of the week, twice on Saturday and thrice on Sunday”. You don’t want to ruin that.

This is also the day your sister and legal advisor digs the family archives for a photo that captures the essence of your long faded innocence. That photo you took while joining high School. You had a baby face. Now you have a poker face. You couldn’t even kill a fly. Now you kill dreams. You had a soprano. Now you bark like a rabid dog. You were a nice guy girls used to friend zone. Now… Much has changed. Much has remained the same.

The photo crawls into social media. She then captions the photo with a long emotional message that gets you misty eyed. You have a rare Aaaaaawww moment.

KCB also wished me happy birthday. If KCB’s CEO Mr. Joshua Oigara is your father, uncle, distant relative or friend, tell him I said Thank you. Also tell him as a result of my recent SportPesa blessings, We need to talk. I need to make sure the many zeroes bouncing in my KCB account are safe. I need to be sure that there are no moths in their safes. These moths will bite off the edges of my notes. I also need to tell him to buy  bigger padlocks for the banks main doors. Nothing is to be left to chance.

P.S.

Thanks so much for reading my blog. That is enough for a birthday gift. I hope you will come back for the next blog post.

However, if I could, I would get myself a dragon for a birthday gift. A dragon can fly. That is a very convenient way of beating these Nairobi traffic jams. I just hop on it saddled back and off I go. You also know that I have set foot in an airport but never in an airplane. Who needs FastJet, Fly 540, Fly Emirates when you have a dragon.

Furthermore, a dragon spits fire. There are people and bridges I need to burn. For instance, this girl Faith I met last week. We talked and there was exchange of phone numbers. After two days, you call her and you could faint at the voice on the other end of the line. It was a daktari kutoka Tanga. Those ones who have posters plastered on all electricity poles in Kenya. Those ones that treat, Nguvu za Kiume, Mume Kurudi Nyumbani, Kupata Promotion, Kushinda Sportpesa. Faith, we (My dragon and I) will cuddle you with fire.

I share a birthday with Google. Google was conceived 18 years ago, today. According to Kenyan law, Google can now consume alcohol and have a driving license. Welcome to the club, Google.

 

Solia Deo Gloria. (To God Be the Glory).

 

Edited by Denis Jr.

(The writer can be reached through denisokova@gmail.com)

 Feel free to share your thoughts and comments in the comments box below.

8-4-5: ABOUT TIME WE PART BUT THANKS FOR THE LESSONS


                            

God forbid. If I died today, I’d have spent 86.77% of my life in school. For me, schooling began since I can’t remember when and I have been a student till I can’t forget how not to be one. This day marks my second day of ‘freedom’. Yes, I just slayed 8-4-5.  I smell freedom. I hear freedom. It is freedom and more freedom. Assuming I were a prisoner, then consider this my jail time epiphany. Strangely enough, I don’t know how not be a student. I am yet to figure out how not to worry about CAT’s. In campus, I did over 300 of those. At times I felt like I was running a factory off a dying candle. I haven’t reset my 0630hrs go-to school stubborn alarm. Today, I woke up and even prepared for school only to realize that there is no more school. No more sitting at the back bench with my ninjas and talking shop as we wait for the lecturer. No more FACEBOOKING and betting in class to the tune of a boring lecturer. No more nearest neighbor analysis method during CATs even if they were seated two metres away. I am still learning how to introduce my classmates as “former classmates”. After a long march of time, that phase is over.

They say that the only constant thing in life is change. Well, true but I feel the need to make school another constant. School and by extension education has been an integral part of my life. The meritocratic and bulky nature of our education system notwithstanding, I am not one of those bimbos who believe that education and schooling is a waste of time. You will never find me lamenting how Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates being school drop outs yet ended up making it in life. School played a major role in molding them in one way or the other. Education forms the brick and mortar of who were are. Education is vital.

My student life brought along with it plenty of lessons, some valuable, others negligible but all lessons nonetheless in whose absence my entire edifice would collapse. Being a typical human being, I tend not to learn but here are a few lessons I learnt.

Education is not preparation for life. Education is life.

Most of us are crippled by the ‘after school syndrome’. We have plans and voracious dreams whose implementation we reserve for after school. I am not ignorant of the fact that school can be too grueling to allow for pursuit of other dreams. But one thing is for sure, school is the best place to start working and perfecting your trade. It is the phase one is allowed to make rookie mistakes without major consequences as opposed to ‘out there’.

Your life doesn’t stop when you join school. Life is fluid. Life continues. In fact, life is what happens when you are busy planning and dreaming. Education isn’t preparation for life but rather life itself. Life isn’t just about getting to a destination, it is about how you live along the way. There is no future, this is it.

A classroom is one of the multiple places you can get an education.

Time without number, getting an education is associated with a physical classroom; the four-walled room with metallic chairs, a chalk or whiteboard and an educator. But that is not the case. Come think of it, most lessons are learnt outside the classroom. Not many lecturers will teach you how to handle adversity when life tends to knock the winds out of your sails. In fact, some things aren’t teachable. They are better experienced, then lessons drawn from them. It is safe to say that life has multiple classrooms.

There is always someone better than you…Like it or not.

Right from kindergarten through primary and secondary school all the way to campus, I have had to deal with the fact that I am not the brightest crayon in the box. That I am not always the dog with the sharpest teeth. I have experienced this first hand considering I have had a privilege of having some best brains and personalities as my classmates. There is always someone who will record better grades than you, be more eloquent and confident than you, more likeable than you and so forth. But it is okay because that person is facing the same challenge too. Everybody is uniquely unique. You can’t be them and they can’t be you. Stick to your lane and run your race.

Life favors the hard workers, not the brightest

Being bright is a cursed blessing. At any given point, listen not to those people telling you that you are bright. It will get into your head and encumber you. You will be lulled into complacency by the glitter of your own achievement. Hard work has no substitute, whether one is bright or not. When you want something, you have to get it the old fashioned way, through hard work; blood and sweat and even tears for some.

Be a lone ranger at you own peril

Whoever invented friendship was no fool. At every turn, you will need help. Who better to turn to than someone you know, a friend? Being a lone wolf will make people ice you out of their lives and when trouble calls you will be a classic island.

We live in a world where the phrase “I know a guy who knows a guy” is currency.

Friendship is a damn long bridge you burn at your own risk. Before you burn it, make sure you are not just a good swimmer but one who can swim in an ocean packed with bloodthirsty crocodiles and sharks.

You won’t always get the girl

At times, in life no matter how hard you try and push, you won’t get what you want. And it won’t be because your efforts were insufficient. It is just life, suck it up. There is nothing to be weepy about.

In the end, you are all alone.

After our final paper, there was a sigh of relief. There had to be plenty of nyamachoma, cheap liquor, complex carbohydrates and other toxic products. Christmas had come early. It was time to tell a big sorry to our beaten and overworked bodies and minds. Rightly so. There was endless fist bumping with the ninjas and celebratory hugging it out with the ninjaresses. However, when all that died down and the dust had settled the crowd had gone. It was every man and woman for themselves. It was every person for themselves and their dreams. Life has a way of boiling down to an individual level. That is just life. It is when you realize that there is no final end. The end of one phase marks the beginning of a new one.

Time for a new phase!

P.S.

A round of applause to everyone I interacted with throughout the system. You added value to my life. Thank you.

To the Three Musketeers, Thank you & Thank you. In you I have a family I don’t deserve.

To the Girl who broke my heart. You did a good job.I learnt a lot.

It seems the frequent trips of our village’s witch to Nigeria didn’t work. Sorry. God is great.

 

 

 

THE ART OF DODGING FATHERHOOD


dad

Being the only young man in our expansive village to have reached university, my prospects have been growing by the minute. Respect is in spades. My ‘doctorness’ has extended beyond humans to chickens and cattle. To the villagers, when it comes to health issues, nothing is beyond my realm. And I don’t disappoint. Mimi si mtu ivi ivi. In the spirit of respect, over the holidays, my father no longer forces me to be his de facto herds boy. He treats me as an equal, if not a superior.  He too acknowledges my grown stature in the society. That automatically tells you that during holidays, I have so much idle time on my hands.

Our chief’s daughter, Assumpta, a girl too old to be in Form Three is the major beneficiary of my idleness. Let us not talk about the protruding succulent appendages in her pectoral region and the angle theta her dimples assume as her face curls into a smile. Ooops. That would be unprofessional considering I am her personal tutor. I am the only man, the chief can trust her daughter with. He considers me a man of integrity beyond reproach. He also says that I’m the only teacher Assumpta understands. This is an endeavor I take so seriously. Talk of giving back to the society. I can say without fear of contradiction that I am doing a good job. In just a short time, I have transformed her from an E student to a D student and I’m not done yet. I know she learns in slow motion but I know things will get better. Now you know why she used to spend the entire day in my grass-thatched round mud hut. Nothing per usual. By the way, mine is the only mud hut in the village with electricity and tap water. Don’t ask how that happened.

When schools resumed, I went back to the capital with an air of accomplishment, my teaching expertise being put into perspective. Last week, while still basking in my air of societal transformation, Assumpta called. I thought it was the usual, ‘Huko Nairobi kuna mvua?’ phone call. It was business and trust me business wasn’t good.

“I am pregnant”, she said in staccato then hang up. Such is an example of a moment when I was supposed to be happy that she could finally speak English, but I guess, I had more serious issues to handle. You could have heard the loud silence from my end of the line. Yours truly was hobbled by confusion laced with more confusion.

There is a mountain difference between someone telling you “I am pregnant” and “You gonna be a dad”. The first one reeks of trouble. It is a sad sentence. It is an effective euphemism for, “I know you don’t like me, just parts of me. You think I am a nincompoop and you’d rather have a child with a dragon than me but WTH, I am carrying your child. Gotcha. Karma is a b****. Huh!”

Launch or no launch?

Yes, I can’t lie, the idea of being a dad has crossed my mind more than enough times. I am particularly jealous of how my friend Juma, an economist with a soul of a writer flaunts his son on social media. He claims that his two year old son is already the Editor-in-Chief of his famous village newspaper called The Village Times. I also remember crying one tear when Mama Mboga’s son once called me dad.  Things are worsened by the fact that my father keeps reminding me that when he was my age, he had already launched my eldest brother. So far, the only thing I have launched is my curved TV and my bedsitter. Please don’t ask how boys launch their bedsitters.

Being a dad wasn’t an alien idea. I just hated the current circumstances in play.

“How and when did she get knocked up?” I thought. Without so much struggle, it all became clear, crystal. I recall that day after using all tutoring tactics and countless hours, she finally was able by herself to solve for x in 2x + 4 = 6. She really got excited. The same could be said of her teacher. We had to celebrate this moment in one corner of the round hut. Plus, it was a way of the teacher paying himself considering I always put 120% effort to tutoring her while she only brought forth a mere 20% on a good day. Compensation was in order.

I remember that is the same day that some villagers saw smoke coming from my grass thatched hut. I had scored a three-pointer without even trying. My fingerprints were all over the crime scene.  Oh no.

Village newspaper

I explored all angles but my bag of tricks seemed tapped out.  So, I phoned Shifwakili, the village newspaper. He gets wind of all the rumors in the locality. At first, he was playing hard ball with information until I promised to grease his palms with traditional brew. That got him parroting. He informed me of how the chief was announcing in all the barazas, with unbridled optimism how a doctor was going to marry her daughter and how he was going to be a grandfather. I got to know of how the chief was planning to give the child some name that begins with letter Z and has about twenty other letters, in case it was a boy. In the event of it being a girl, he was planning to name it after his first deceased wife. She was a dreaded witch. I was totally fried.

That reminded me of how my South African inamorata Tricia and I had already named our two kids in our count-the-stars moments. A boy would go by Denis Jr. and a girl by Denise or Trixie or Tisha or Tia (We are still debating). The deck was stacked against me.

My conversation with the village newspaper hit a level of oddity when I noticed consistent inconsistences in the rumor mill. I noticed that the chief was feeding the village a sack full of stories. His imaginarium was doing a good job. Assumpta was three months knocked up. The chief had a theory and now he was testing it.

Infinitesimal

Looking back at my dates and armed with my scientific calculator, from all the mathematical formulas on earth combined with several Calculus maneuvers and even borrowing some equations from Chemistry like The Schrodinger Equation, chances of me being that child’s father were not infinitesimal but rather a statistical improbability. The chief was thrusting an innocent child upon me. He was gate crashing into my future.

I knew why. The chief knows all too well that the Range Rover parked in my laptop as a screen saver will one day morph into a real thing. The situation is not helped by the fact that recently Sportpesa added a bunch of zeroes into my life. He wants to be in close proximity with royalty. Bwana chief, io bet yako iliungua.

That wasn’t a bullet I dodged. It was a rocket propelled grenade.

Three years ago, the chief unsuccessfully pulled off such a stunt with my brother. We let it slide. This is becoming a trend. We’ve reached our quota of forced fatherhood.

Bwana chief, you have effectively killed three years of fake peace and neighborhood. You fired the first two shots, now wait for a reply. I know your chickens haven’t laid eggs for the past week. My mother’s cockerel no longer mounts your chicken. They too, are upset by your actions.

And that is just a warm up. Buckle up for the marathon.

DIVIDED BY TRIBE, UNITED BY RUGBY


 

Our National Rugby Team, with their emphatic and historic main cup final win against Fiji, gave this country a much-needed break. A break from the long, tired and dark cloud-esque story that traditionally hovers over our heads. The one of political innuendos and rhetoric. The one where politicians make too much noise while we foolishly applaud. Politics is our albatross. Politics divides this country into a billion pieces that would take a miracle to be glued together. Being dysfunctional is our resting state.

But all those ethnic and political fault lines disappeared when our Rugby Team wrote themselves into the global folklore with that win. That was a timely breather. Kenyans from all walks of life ditched their well-documented differences to savour the moment. Not many people know much about rugby but who cares? We had won. You could have seen the joyous explosions on Twittersphere and other social media outlets. I had forgotten how patriotism smelt. The feeling of patriotism coursing through our veins was unburdening as it was therapeutic. If you were in the capital, you could have witnessed those beautiful rugby jerseys flying off the shelves. The country had gotten her soul back. Let us not even talk about her moonful doe eyes.Her beauty was admirable. There was a certain poetry to it.

le beast

Politics was no longer crippling the eyes, ears, hands and the legs of our minds. It was all pure and logical congratulatory messages. There were glimpses of how much we could achieve in the presence of unity. Damn! I live for such moments. Moments when we dance to the evil orchestra of our politicians, no longer. Moments when we desist from responding to posts on social media as per the devilish dictation of our surnames. Moments when you can say “Najivunia kuwa Mkenya” without second-guessing yourself. Moments where we don’t give politicians opportunities to thrive in our discourse. In fact, they had no choice but to fake patriotism and join their puppets in celebrations. You don’t get to see a country so united this much. This was an eclipse.

But in the midst of the celebrations, deep down, you know all too well that the dust of it will settle in a few hours and normalcy will resume. Our normalcy is madness at best. We will go back to our favorite sport of divisive tribal politics. Yes, we didnt invent it but rather finessed it. You know that this Rugby unity is just a band aid to a more serious underlying problem that needs a cast. It was a much needed palliative to an incurable malady that yearns for cure.You know painkillers don’t treat cancer. We will forget the unity and go back to the antediluvian “us versus them” mentality. Back to chewing ‘them’ and spitting ’em out. We will go back to war for our tribal kingpins forgetting that in the evening they meet on some balcony to smoke Cuban cigars while marveling at our fertile disjointedness. How we will have missed our daily bread of name-calling and useless non-developmental politics. We will gladly invite the hangman to return the noose round our necks so that we can continue to strangle logic and replace it with this dragon called tribalism and all those small town mentalities of –isms, all being evil offsprings of bad politics.

How I wish Sports was a substitute for politics. Were that the case, then we would be so united, a people. I wish. I wish. I wish. I wish.

Indeed, we are an enigma that can’t just find its correct form.

God Bless Kenya.

 

DUMPED THROUGH THE WATCHMAN


 

dumped
This my campus chic. I don’t even know her name. And before you start the accusations, she wasn’t a one night stand. Thing is, she has many names (of course, the fancy ones) that technically, in terms of names she is a total stranger to me. In the morning she can be Zoe Morgan, at mid morning she is Jules, in the afternoon she is Ginger Lumiere (this is the part I throw in etc…) The worst part is, she expects me to use all these names failure to which she catches feelings and throws tantrums like it is her stock and trade. Continue reading “DUMPED THROUGH THE WATCHMAN”

FORGIVE ME LORD… IT WAS VALENTINE’S DAY


 

blo

14/02/2016. Valentine’s Day. I don’t wish to engage into politics that come with that date but rather to chronicle and immortalize my escapades of this Red Day.

That Sunday morning, I woke up formless as never before. I know you are all wondering what happened to my patient turned barafu ya roho, Mwendee. Things between us were good until I realized she was the Mercedes Benz of chics, high maintenance. Even my SportPesa exploits could not sustain her luxury lust. But thanks to my SportPesa exploits, I managed to move from the sorry ramshackle I was living in to a state-of-the-art bedsitter in an almost leafy address. At least there, she visited me as frequently. Recently, in SportPesa I have really been getting burnt. The economic sun was so hot. The final nail on the coffin was on Saturday when I failed numerously in my bets. This meant that Sunday, Valentine’s Day was an alien land to me. No Money, No Mwendee. She went to greener pastures.

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Booty call

Strangely enough, I was still upbeat. I had plans but there was no way I was going to be my own Valentine’s. I checked my long list of girlfriends and smelt hope. To most of them, V day was equivalent to Independence Day, they were so single. But there was still a problem. Money was missing in action. And also being a proper gentleman, I considered it disrespectful to booty-call a girl on Valentine’s Day no matter how plot less she was. My mother raised me well.

I decided to go to church hoping my palpable frustrations would be preached away by the able Fr. Lance. It was Sunday and it was Valentine’s Day, I told myself I had to dress up. Psychologically, I was out. But physically, I wasn’t. I have this white mtumba shirt, the kind that you iron for like thirty minutes for there to be an observable change. I spent 37 minutes ironing it. Then, I have a decent black trouser. Don’t ask me where I bought it and at what price. You won’t believe me. Let’s us talk about my shoes. They are dark tan sharp shooters, sharper than a Maasai’s panga. In my house, they are the second most expensive item after my electric kettle, which my father bought me so as to save time associated with cooking tea blah blah blah, you know I am a student of pharmacy, at a university of choice. I brushed those shoes for like 27 minutes. I even went to the extent of applying Vaseline on them. I could technically see my reflection on them. Damn.

Diamond Mark Of Quality

That day, I didn’t beat passport as is routine. I spent a good amount of time in the bathroom. I dressed up and according to my own opinion I looked goddamn good. But my opinion wasn’t enough, I had to seek a second, third, fourth, up to a tenth opinion. So much for being formless. I tokeleze-ad in my balcony pretending to be combing my hair. It was morning and many tenants were basking in the sun from their respective balconies. Coincidentally, they were all ladies. They put a pause on the basking and stared at me, as if to approve my razor-sharpness.  This was a KEBS Diamond mark of quality. The expertly-ironed mtumba shirt really did me justice, so did my foot apparatus which were matched by a waist gear of the same color. I knew I was in god-like form. I waved at them cheekily and confidently and went back in.

Let me skip the part where the konda  was calling me mheshimiwa. He made sure I didn’t sit on the sambaza as is always the case with the overloaded matatus. He created for me a decent space next to deree.

Beauty and the Priest

I went to church. I took a seat and mass began. Besides me was a space which I didn’t pay so much attention to. I began paying attention after it was filled by a lady with a perfectly chiseled body. I thought she had walked straight out of a fairy tale. After she took a seat next to yours truly, I don’t recall anything that happened in church expect the time when Father said, “Turn to your neighbor and wish them happy Valentine’s” and the time I removed my offertory of five shillings. The rest I can’t recall, for obvious reasons. I was staring at this girl’s short hip-hugging dress which left her clearly yellow thighs as food my eyes. She was such a piece of art. I was seriously building castles in the air. My thoughts moved far away from the shores of reality with no notice. I saw myself taking her out for a serious date in a serious place. My mind travelled and travelled and travelled. I was almost taking a victory lap in church when I was jolted out of my stupor by the offertory song.

fisi

MAFISI SACCO

My princess, was sitting between me and some guy who from first sight, was clearly a top official of MAFISI SACCO. Let us in this case, code-name him, “The Hostile”. The girl had the same effect on him, as she had on me. I think he was planning to steal her right under my nose. I couldn’t let this happen.

I had to make my move. I scrambled a plan in place. Time of execution was during the sharing of sign of peace where faithfuls are required to shake hands. I did some warm-ups internally eagerly waiting for the time. The time came. I greeted all the surrounding people saving Target X for last. Call it saving the best for last. The hostile made a serious tactical blunder. He gave her a clumsy hand shake and only wished her peace. When my turn came, I can say without fear of contradiction that I assassinated it. I looked her in the eye, firmly shook her oh-soft princess hands and wished her peace. Mwanaume ni effort. I didn’t stop there. I complemented her. You could have seen the angelic smile that spread on her dimpled face. The hostile gave me the, “I will break your bones” look. I gave him a victory stare.

I knew this wasn’t over. The hostile had to try one last ditch maneuver. I had to keep vigil.

Done Deal

The mass was approaching the end and the time for final blessings came. The Father was busy giving the final blessings and the hostile was busy receiving them. Yours truly was busy not receiving blessings. He was busy consolidating his position in the new colony. As people were finalizing the final sign of the cross, Target X was finalizing a smile brought forth by my second complement. The hostile knew the girl was gone. This was one of those days I considered myself a top gun.

The mass ended, the hostile walked out in dismay, I walked out with the girl.

We continued our conversation outside. Below is an excerpt.

Me: Btw…I am Denis.

Target X: I am …I gather from your sharpness that you are heading for a date?

Me: Not really, I usually dress up on Sundays.

Target X: You are a bad liar. What is your plan, like seriously?

Me: This is the plan. You are my plan.

Target X: (She blushed) OMG.

There being no further ado, just like that I got a plan for V Day. That is the bright side. The flip side is it that was all that was choreographed in God’s Holy Place. It is like your neighbor beating you up inside your own house. Forgive Me Lord.

How did I finance the plan? I had to go in debt. Oh No!

 

 

 

 

 

15 SIGNS YOU ARE DATING A REAL WOMAN


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“Men are dogs”. This a political statement made by we know who, to imply that there is a serious shortage of real men on this good God’s earth. Simply say, there is need import men from Mars or whatever hole with a men surplus. Maybe, maybe not.

But, zig can’t exist without zag. Yang can’t exist without ying. Real men are just a myth, so they preach. Does it mean that real women exist or are they just as extinct as the white rhino?

In this generation where plastic and mere appearances are the new normal, how do you tell real from mediocre? Case in point, you are dating her, how do you classify her in the category of real women or otherwise.

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Here are 15 signs you are dating a real lady.

  1. She may be Nicki Minaj cute but she knows all that has an expiry date. She appreciates that there is more to life than just a promising chest, remarkable behind and honey-dripping hourglasses.
  2. She doesn’t hold her hips, roll her eyes then shake her neck in a peacock fashion to demand for respect instead, she earns it. She knows damn well that respect is a quid pro quo as compared to a benevolence commodity.
  1. You are not father-zoned. She doesn’t expect you to settle all her bills, she can stand on both her feet okay.
  2. She radiates class. She doesn’t dress skimpily or go on useless power trips to get attention.
  3. She does just well with or without your compliment. She doesn’t need validation, she knows her worth. She had a man before you and she definitely will get a man after you, if and when you show signs of wiping the floor with her worth and undeserving of all her awesomeness. You don’t trifle with her!
  4. She has grasped the concept of “Be a boss, Date a boss, Together you can build an empire”.
  5. She is a realist. She knows that Cristiano Ronaldo or Theo Walcott or Olivier Giroud has great legs (whatever that means) but they are off-limits and unattainable.
  6. She doesn’t do shallow. She sees things in their multi dimensions.
  7. She is direct. Her YES is a YES. Her NO is a NO. She knows the cat-mouse game has limits.
  8. She is not always the feelings, emotions, tears and even more tears kind. She will tell you that hearts get broken by the second but no one has ever died of a broken heart. She doesn’t partake pity parties and drums and drums of tears.
  9. She is level-headed, very. She listens to Chimamanda Adichie for the right reasons.
  10. She understands to the every inch of it, the maxim of meeting you halfway.
  11. She is fiercely wedded to the concept of loyalty. She ain’t flaky and she expects the same of you.
  12. She isn’t a victim of the X syndrome. Her texts aren’t contaminated with xaxa, xema, xawa, thanx. Xoxo etc
  13. You want her? You earn her!

Tastes, preferences and abilities vary from one dude to another. When you are sick and bored with that gold digging toothless hag, who guzzles several bottles of cheap liquor like soda, DREAM BIG. One of these fine days, you will stumble upon THE WOMAN, wrapped in a nice little package. You will be a simpleton to let her go. Such, is a rare occurrence, an eclipse per se.

But do they exist really?

A LETTER TO PRESIDENT BARRACK OBAMA


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Dear Mr. President,

The most powerful man on earth. The leader of the free world. The occupant of the oval office. The tenant of the executive mansion. I am writing this letter because I am not a V.V.I.P. You won’t see me coming to welcome you as you alight the Air Force One. Neither am I one of attendees of the Entrepreneurship summit you will grace. I also don’t work for any major media house. I will be following your activities in Kenya through my pay TV. Mark you, it is quite a struggle to pay for it. I would have wished to tell this to you in person but I have no illusions because I know the secret service won’t let me. I almost wrote a letter addressed to: The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W, Washington DC 20500, but then I remembered I have a blog. Who doesn’t blog nowadays?

malia

Don’t worry Mr. President, I am not planning to ask a hand in your daughter’s marriage. Already two men have done that. One man offered 50 cows, 70 sheep and 30 goats. The other one went a notch higher and offered 500 cows as dowry. From that, it is clear, crystal, that I don’t have a fighting chance. I can’t compete. I don’t even have a single cow. My parents sold all our livestock to take me to school. But if you want to invest in my potential, that is fine by me. And if, my girlfriend from this place called Nyeri (Ask President Uhuru about Nyeri) sees my previous sentence then I am a dead man writing. Just so you know, knives in that place have a new role besides just chopping vegetables. (Again, ask President Uhuru about this)

Politics is like an amputation

I am a Kenyan student struggling through life but optimistic of a better tomorrow. I am a normal guy and I want a normal and successful future just like many people in this country. But sadly, this is being threatened by this multiple-headed and fire spitting monster called bad politics. Politics divides this country right through the middle.

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To us, politics is like an amputation. It leaves us lacking and never able to function as before. I know you will definitely meet His Excellency, President Uhuru Kenyatta. I know you will also meet Rt. Hon. Former P.M. Raila Odinga. I also know that you gentlemen will smile a lot for the cameras. After the smiles, please tell them that they should be careful not to steer this country into oblivion. They are the ones with the greatest political capital, hence they call the shots. Remind them to put a restraint on their well-crafted innuendos. Whichever direction this country takes, they have a bigger say.

Gargantuan ego

Also, please tell our other politicians with their primitive and gargantuan egos to stop holding this country at ransom. They are the greatest peddlers of tribalism. That is the only way they remain relevant. On politicians, please congratulate for me Machakos Governor, Hon. Alfred Mutua on his good work. He rose above mediocrity that is synonymous with other governors. Tell the latter that servant leadership is all this country needs, not just flaunting titles and swimming in tax payer’s monies.
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I know I am asking a lot but with your permission, I will continue. Stop me if and when you want. Please hammer some sense into the heads of the Kenyan electorate, the common mwananchi. Tell them that they are always mere pawns in a larger chess board played by politicians. Remind them that they are a mere statistic. When politicians address them, they don’t see people, instead, they see votes, power and tax payer’s money. Tell them, they are guilty as charged when it comes to promoting bad governance.

Also remind the young men in Nyeri that the bottle can’t replace Eve.

Prof. Olive Mugenda

Prof. Olive Mugenda
Prof. Olive Mugenda

Finally, congratulate for me a leading Kenyan Scholar and an administrator, Prof. Olive Mugenda. She is the Vice Chancellor of Kenyatta University, famously called K.U. In this country, K.U. is one and the same to your alma mater, Harvard University. You should see the heights the institution has hit under her stewardship.

Much obliged.

Yours faithfully,

(Signed)

A Kenyan student.

P.S.

   barack-obama-you

In your rousing speeches, please don’t forget to add hope to the equation. I am told that hope is the only bee that makes honey without flowers.

THE YOUTH ARE THE LEADERS OF TOMORROW: FACT OR MYTH?


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There is this nice girl called ‘the youth are the leaders of tomorrow’. We describe her with the best of terms. At times, we even run out of adjectives. Each time we talk of her, the feeling of ‘the future is secured’ renders the air. The promise of Utopia looms. You should listen to the youth speak of their transformative goals. What crosses your mind is a mature democracy, a nation where its people aren’t constrained by the small town mentalities full of –isms; tribalism, nepotism, favoritism, cronyism, sexism among many. That begs the question, is it just the usual game-spitting of the youth or do we really mean business?

Tribal cocoons

Is it real or are we engaged in the war of talking the talk versus walking the talk? For instance, we demonize tribalism, yet we’ve mastered the art of retreating to tribal cocoons. In times of national crises, it is so humbling how the #WeAreOne hashtags trend on the social media universe, all courtesy of the youth. All statements during those times are filled with unity talk. Let us not forget the young generation leaders who give powerful and rousing speeches calling for a nation to stick together. After a week, Boom! Goes the dynamite. You hear top politicians involved in scandals worth billions of tax payers, hard-earned cash.

Youth from Writers Guild, Kenya
Youth from Writers Guild, Kenya

Filthiest of epithets

It is crushing how the youth take positions on the opposing sides of the spectrum and start throwing maladroit, inelegant and primitive weapons at each other. Those are the times when social media needs thorough sanctification. We are ant-busy defending swindlers, just because we share a dialect. And, we are hurling the filthiest of epithets at the ‘rival tribe’ because they are unfairly trying to crucify our son. We’ve forgotten that to them, we’re just mere statistics. It is a case of older men declaring war then instructing the younger men to fight and of course……die. So much for the change talk.

Killing the vibe

In our moments of sanity, we may accuse politicians of being outright larcenists and rightly so. Do we really condemn that vice or do we accuse them of being less smart thieves? We talk of how we want to be developmental politicians and leaders in future, yet in the same statement, we kill the vibe by saying that we will be stealing part of the allocated development money.

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Ambitious Pharmacy students

Private developers

It’s been quite some time since I met a young individual who doesn’t want to join politics. We all want to join this game. Oh! It is so nice. Don’t we just love it. We all talk of how we want to be MCAs come 2017. We have done our research well and have known they earn a third of a million and they control a development kitty worth millions. It is these many zeroes which attract us to that position. Yes, we want to have change in our wallets, we don’t care about general societal change. ‘Private developers’ of tomorrow? Probably. The duty of the youth is to challenge corruption, not to be accomplices in its execution. We should stop believing that politics is the only vehicle for transformation. We just love it because it is a vehicle that pays well.

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 Photoshop loyalists

We are religious subscribers of ‘form over substance’. We are busy chasing vanity. We care so much about how many likes, shares and comments our photoshoped photo fetches.  We go into depression each time these aren’t forthcoming. It is all about fake smiles and pauses. We are experts in facades. We are trying to emulate China’s philosophy of ‘fake it till you make it’. It works but not always. We have enough plastic leaders, why add to the tally?

Easy peasy

That not being enough, we want quick fixes. We don’t want to use a staircase to the top, we are after using the elevator. Easy peasy. We are profoundly impatient. Eventually, we learn, the hard way, that we are too large a number, to fit in the carrier. Air supply is strained, we start gasping for it. Only a few make it out alive. Those who survive, come out with amnesia, they forget what they wanted. Dreams die, all that remain are nightmares.

Up-to-the-second

We also do the wildest of things in the name of fun. It is all about the cheap liquor, sniffing and smoking pernicious substances. The in thing is the staggering, puffing the weed smoke into the God-given air and bragging how up-to-the-second we are. To us, organized fun is equivalent to backwardness.

Rolls-Royce

There’s so much potential in us but we need a reminder that potential has a shelf-life. It  needs conversion to actual results. Outcomes that are synonymous with us being the leaders of tomorrow. We should be able to mention youth and the future in the same sentence, comfortably, without fear of contradiction. We aren’t doing this Rolls-Royce engine in us any justice. It deserves better.

Representing us well
Representing us well

We are maggots

There is a good number of our own who really walk the talk, but really one man can’t change the world, as the late Nelson Mandela wisely put it. We need to be in this business of a ‘better world’ together. We are like maggots, we pull each other down. That needs to stop? Definitely.’

 Zero-sum game

There is no point having two factions of youth pulling on contending sides. We need to play in the same team. Time we ditch this zero-sum game. Who builds a future on QUICKSAND?

A great mind once stated, if somebody swept their door and everyone else did…the whole world would be swept at the end of the day. Let’s us play our part.

“Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind; it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and supple knees; it is a matter of the will, quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions; it is the freshness of the deep springs of life.”   Samuel Ullman