Wangu

​Dear friends, I would like to introduce you to Wangu. I could spend my time here trying to get you warmed up to her, but quite frankly I think she’ll do a great job of that all on her own. All I will say is, if we play our cards right she could end up being a regular contributor here (read part of the ass kicking team).

Friends, I give you Wangu.
 I am not super talented. I am no hippie, no bohemian, no gypsy. I am no Afro chic fayyah mama or wherever the labels go on to.

I am, well, I’m very honestly, odd.

I am uptight with my freedom, extremist in my inner African, rigid with my 77 beliefs in the Christian God, reincarnation, Buddha and ascension into higher beings and I’ll stop now. I am intuitive yet somewhat intellectual. 

Yet in all this uptightness…deep within, I’m wildin’, I flow with the energy of the Earth and others. I have no fixed belief. I choose to not know. I am more intellectual than intuitive (this is less of a compliment in the Earth religion and attaining higher self world by the way). I want to write but don’t know on what. I want to sing but don’t know where. I like to paint but I have no money (I can feel Van Gogh turning in his grave). I want to dance but Solange has me thinking you need a big ‘fro and a goddess for a big sister. I am several beings. An architect, in love with the science and art of buildings. In love with old buildings and their gargoyles but still guilty of being in love with Le Corbusier’s cool name, signature and glasses. I forgot the buildings, those are cool too. Sometimes even the words construction and design give me goose bumps. An architect, with the dream that someday a thought I’ll have will be planted on earth until the aliens come and think of destroying it but won’t because it’ll be so cool and will have it as their capital instead.

 Please go back to sentence four. I was honest from the beginning

I am an artist, fully driven by the desire to be color without as I am within, this could be literal, I sometimes eat paint and I’m sure I have a ton of graphite in there. I want to reek of oil paint and have it hard to find a piece of clothing that did not suffer the wrath of my brush.  I want my friends’ kids to think I’m crazy when they come over and I serve them canned soda with the cans already painted. A dancer, transcending into a divine being through the music and movement of my feet, hips, waist, hands and soul. The Africana, dressing in head wraps and colorful beads, beautiful print clothes, that ‘fro (oh please grow already), all of Africa held in her eyes, the woke girl knowing it all but still there’s a flow, just being in knowingness. It’s all a paradox really.

It’s Wangu.

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The rat race.

In every man’s life there comes a time when you are at the threshold between childhood and adulthood. A time when you’re thrust into the world headfirst and all the support you had enjoyed for all your life prior to this moment is stripped from you without a moment’s notice. A time when your qualities as a man are put to the test and you finally find out your true worth to the world. I am talking about entering the job market. Ah, Yes! The rat race. Now, I could spend my time here talking about how it’s so stupid and unfair that we are raised our whole lives being encouraged to read and pass our exams  and generally live boring and exhausting lives and aim for this insanely high standard only to end up having boring and exhausting jobs, but I won’t do that; mostly because I’m not some hippie who thinks that capitalism is the love child of the devil and the government. (But do you know who IS the lovechild of the devil and the government? Wyre the love child… ughh. Hate him.) Instead, I think my time here would be better spent telling you about my foray into the rat race.

In the beginning of this year, I found myself with a lot of time on my hands. Four months worth of time to be exact. I had many plans about how I would spend my days of freedom. I had somehow managed to lie to myself that I could stay in my parents house for four months and actually have a good time. On the first day of my supposed ‘fun-having’ my parents in true parenty fashion sat me down and explained to me that they would not have a man (yes, I was suddenly a man) who is fully fit and able to work sitting around and eating their food (yes, suddenly it’s their’s) for four months and that I had to get a job or get my own food. Which is basically parent for ‘Get a job or fuck off.’ They drove a hard bargain, so I went to work job hunting. It turned out to be surprisingly easy to get a job. All it took was one call to my uncle who is in the business and by that evening had an internship. Just like that I was introduced to the most important weapon one can have in the rat race, Nepotism. Don’t shoot the messenger.

So on the next day I woke up bright and early (well, it was more like dark and early) and proceeded to the frogs kingdom where I….. Let’s skip this whole class five composition first paragraph montage and get to the part where I get to work.

I got to work at around ten in the morning which was two hours later than I was supposed to report, I just figured fashionably late should work. So I walk into this office all polite and confused speaking English all proper trying to look polished hoping they’ll ignore the fact that I’m two hours late on my first day. After exlplaining myself to the receptionist I’m handed over to the General Manager who is basically a glorified discipline master. The GM takes one look at me and could not be bothered to hide her disgust. Our conversation goes a little like this.

“Hello, nice to meet you. My name is Mike, I’m supposed to be starting my internship here today.”

“Mmmh… well Mike do you happen to have the time?”

“Actually Mrs. GM I’m not sure time is something that can be ‘had’ per se seeing as it doesn’t occupy space nor does…….”
Ok here is what I really said.

“Yes it’s ten o’clock.”

“That means you’re two hours late, right?”

“Errr….. I didn’t know….”

“Ignorance is no defense. Not only are you late on your first day, you are also wearing shorts and a sweatshirt. What kind of firm do you think this is?”

“Errr… the kind where the value of your output is not determined by the clothes you wear?”

“Ooh, you’re a funny one eh?”

“If you say so Mrs. GM.”

“Listen here Mike, and listen very closely. This is a serious firm. Everyone here takes themselves seriously, if you think you’re incapable of doing this maybe you should look for work elsewhere. Work starts at 8 o’clock and ends at 5 o’clock, if you’re ever this late again I will fire you. The dress code is strictly official, if you ever show up in whatever you’re wearing now I will fire you. Understood?”

“Err, yes I totally understand. Sorry for my tardiness.”

She then turned abruptly and left the room and I took this as a cue to follow her. She leads me into this big office that sort of looks like a posh cyber café. It is currently occupied by about ten youngish looking people, each on a computer. I later learnt that this office was called the studio, and it was made up of interns and people who had left school about five years or less prior to this. The GM leads me to an unoccupied computer at the far corner of the room and instructs me to sit down. She doesn’t dally around waiting for me to settle in, the moment I sit she turns and leaves. That is how I was introduced into the office, there were no discussions about my work ethic or payment hell, no one even asked me if I can turn on a computer.
The people in the office looked approachable, I wanted to ask what I was supposed to be doing here all day. But everyone had their earphones on, and I didn’t want to be the weird new kid making people remove their earphones because he had no idea what he was doing at an office. So I did what any reasonable person in my position would have done, I connected my phone to the WiFi and started stalking people on instagram. When that got old, I watched funny videos on youtube. I think this is a fairly accurate description of my first day at work. Youtube and Instagram with a one hour lunch break in between.

As the days went on, I started getting the hang of office work. It was actually rather simple. I just played around with archicad (the software architets use to design buildings) all day while listening to young thug’s stories about his bestfriend and his digits. As far as internships went, I felt like this one was pretty ok. On Fridays work ended at 3:00 pm and after this guys went to play football and to swim. I only participated in this on the first week though. As a working man I quickly realized that 3:00 pm on a Friday is prime drinking time and thus it always found me on my way to the watering hole.

I worked at that firm in kileleshwa for two months. Eight weeks, five days a week, nine hours a day. Well, worked being a relative term, I mean between instagram, whatsapp, twitter and my new friendship with young thug, I ended up working about two hours a day. Therefore you can understand my surprise when after two months of working for those bastards they refused to pay me. I had given them a solid two hours a day and they repayed me by not paying me?(acknowledge it). I was livid. I wanted to have discussions with everyone who was involved in this gross act of employee non-payment. I had a very solid verbal agreement with my employer that on completing two months I would be paid. But when I went to collect my dues I was given the run around, what a befitting end to a rather abysmal internship. Just like that I was introduced to another aspect of the rat race, Bosses can be dicks about verbal agreements.

I never went back to that office after that. I knew I was supposed to give them a one week notice before I stopped going, but since this had also been part of our verbal agreement, it meant shit. A real man doesn’t give notices before he quits, he just ups and leaves. And that is exactly what I was, a real man. An unpaid real man. An unpaid real man who had bought official clothes for that internship. I’m starting to feel less like a real man now.

But putting aside the whole unpaid thing, I didn’t mind the actual job. The people I worked with were actually pretty fun, and the office was really laid back, so that’s something. I’d go back there again if they agreed to pay me beforehand, or if they just agreed to pay me and put it in writing beforehand. And that is the long short story of my long short holiday. Pending Babu Owino’s approval of course.

Writing; a story.

I have always been an above average writer. Ok Ok, I know what you’re thinking, and honestly you’re right, but you have to understand, modesty is a virtue to be upheld and therefore the fact that I choose not to state the undisputable fact that I have always been an amazing writer here is wise seeing as this could be interpreted as being a tad big-headed on my part. We shall therefore settle for above average. Agreed? Agreed.

Allow me to take you back a bit dear reader, and place you in my shoes (they weren’t as big then) if only to give you deeper understanding of my beginnings as a writer.
******

The year is 2005. You are a nine year old boy in class three. There is nothing remarkable about you. You are thin and have weirdly protruding knees (the gray shorts you wore daily to school failed miserably at hiding this. Not that you didn’t try your best to make them.) You are tall for your age and have a large forehead (Or is the forehead thing only reserved for Biko?) You are in a school called Sukari Presbyterian Academy, which might I (or is it you?) add is very much as shitty as it sounds. You aren’t the most athletic kid in your class and neither are you the smartest. In other words, you are an average kid who’s not used to being the best at anything, a fact that you have made peace with.

Enter a teacher whose name I(you?) have currently forgotten but who for the purposes of this post shall be referred to as Teacher Nancy. Research has shown that this is the most common class three English teacher name, and who are we to argue with a sentence that starts with the words ‘research has shown…’? Tr. Nancy was a woman who loved stories. She loved narrating long tales to us, tales so long that the lesson would end before she finished them. We would beg her to finish her story, even if we were eating into the maths teacher’s time, for we didn’t understand how learning about fractions and how to convert days into months could be more important than finding out if the protagonist of Tr. Nancy’s story survives the ogre. After all, what is a fraction’s story, what is its purpose in life? What challenges has it faced? How has it overcome them? What are its inspirations? Its fears? And most importantly, can a fraction survive an attack by an ogre? I don’t think so. But plead as we might, Tr. Nancy would never cave. She would always start packing her books the moment the bell rang and she would leave saying she would complete her story during our next lesson. But she never did, during the next lesson we would learn about vowels or she would start another story. In never occurred to our little  class three minds to ask her to finish her story, because we figured that if she finished that story, there would be even less time for this new one. So we always let the stories go with no idea whether the ogre finished our hero off or not. But it always irked me, not knowing what happened. Was a story without an ending really a story? At least fractions finished each other off. So one day, I decided that I had had enough. If Nancy wasn’t going to finish the story for me,  I was going to finish it for myself. So, after she had narrated one of her stories to us in school I decided I would give it my own ending, if only for closure. Mind you, the only compositions we had written up to this point had titles like ‘Myself’ and ‘My family’ and when Tr. Nancy was feeling particularly adventurous ‘My school’. Therefore I was trying my hand at creative writing for the  first time. I wrote a story that spanned two whole pages. (Obviously not A4 pages, I was in class three) and I gave it to my mother to read. She said it was one of the best stories she’d ever read and that I should give it to my teacher to mark. Obviously, I knew my mother was exaggerating. I mean, one of the best you’ve ever read? Really mum? She always had to go overboard. And being a boy who had moved from Eastlands less than a month before this, I knew that handing in work that hadn’t been given to you in the first place was a crime that could only be rivalled by snitching on your friends and I wasn’t no snitch.( Let it be noted that I have done neither of these things to date.) But even I had to admit, that story was pretty fire(sic). And here is the story for you to judge for yourselves….
I hope you weren’t so gullible as to believe that. C’mon, could I still be in possession of a story I wrote when I was in class three? And even if I was, would I really post it here? Shame on you. You’re better than that. Moving on swiftly, this was the first time in my life I really felt like I could actually do something, and do it considerably well. The class eventually proceeded to writing creative compositions and mine were right up there with the best of them (toot toot). And all through my life, as everything changed and most shit got turned upside down, the one constant for me was writing. I became fat then thin then fat again and finally settled somewhere in between, leaning more towards the latter. My awkwardly protruding knees became…. less awkwardly protruding knees and my forehead… well you get the general picture. But through all this I knew that even if you woke me up in the middle of the night, gave me a piece of paper and stuck a pen in my hand, I would be able to come up with a decent story.
*******

And then you finished high school and opened a blog. That’s when everything went to shit. It started off pretty well, you banged up a few short posts in the beginning which at the time seemed pretty good but on looking back, you realised were utter shit. (Am I using the word ‘shit’ a bit often?) You made promises that you couldn’t keep, saying that you’d post each and every week. You ended up having 21 posts the whole year. And some quick arithmetic tells us that this means that the weeks you didn’t post anything add up to…. very many weeks. Maybe you should’ve paid less attention to Nancy and more to your maths teacher. The fire was gone and it felt terrible (like shit). Once you have a blog, you quickly realise how hard it is to stare at a blank page for long enough to conjure a good story out of thin air. (How thin is this air?). You start to understand that promises are broken just as easily as they are made. You go for months without writing and you and your writer blocked friend start saying that you are on sabbatical and you laugh about it to stop you from pitying yourselves. Only a writer can tell you that a writer’s block is worse than a cock block, because there is always a better girl, but will there ever be a better story? And anyway, research has shown….

This year I will make no promises, apart from that maybe I will try harder. Some of you might have missed my writing, some may not even have noticed that I was gone and for some this might be the first post of mine that you read (A man can hope). I can only hope that you and I have a long and happy relationship.

P.S. I may have shifted rather carelessly from first to second person narration in this one. Forgive me, it takes some time to learn the ropes again.

P.P.S I had a secret reason for starting this blog. I always hoped that some girl (preferably a pretty one) would stumble upon this blog and see how stupid I am and fall hopelessly in love with me and we would get married and have pretty, stupid children. (Children who are both pretty and stupid, not children who are pretty stupid. Do try and keep up.) But although there have been some close shaves, this is yet to happen. If anyone does fall in love with me, shoot me a mail (always wanted to say that. The mail part, not the love part.) atmikelaria7@gmail.com. Thanks.

Cheers everyone.

 

Of texts and stars.

You hated it when he talked about her. And he knew that you hated it, but rather than stop him, this knowledge only encouraged him to talk about her more. You had disliked this girl from the very beginning. It was something about her demeanour. She looked like she had walked straight from a villain role in those cheesy soap operas that are aired daily on Citizen. Not to mention, she had the crazy eyes. Everyone knows the crazy eyes are a deal breaker, and you had told him this so many times, but the poor chap was in love. In all honesty, she was hot. Smoking hot. On a scale of one to Beyoncè(She’s a ten. Beyoncè is a ten), she’d be like an eight or a seven. She was pretty, in a Jennifer Lawrence kind of way and she had an ass in a Jennifer Lopez kind of way. You see why she gets a seven or an eight? (Allow me to digress a bit. In reality there is no woman who is a nine. As a personal rule, you skip the number nine while rating females so that there can be a clear difference between Beyoncè and everyone else. In case you didn’t get it, She’s a ten, Beyoncè is a ten.)

His face always lit up when he talked about her. He suddenly became happy and he started fiddling with his hands and he sat up straight. And for the first time since you became friends, you saw him love something more than he loved football. He would never admit it of course, but you always new.

When in highschool, people do a lot of dumb shit and when in love, people do a lot of corny shit. So naturally, he did a lot of dumb corny shit. Every night,  after the evening prep, as everybody else walked to bed exchanging war tales of how they were caught napping and had to endure six of the best from a drunk teacher on duty, he always stood outside class and looked up at the sky. He told you that it was because he knew that wherever she was, she was doing the same thing and that at that moment, although they were so many miles apart (kilometres just doesn’t sound as sexy, does it?), at that moment it was like they were together. And you wondered where this man got enough dairy products to be so cheesy.
On her birthday, he woke you up at midnight. He then forced you to look at the moon with him for five whole minutes before he whispered happy birthday under his breath and went back to sleep. And for a moment you questioned this man’s sanity. Did he think that doing this somehow connected him to her? You didn’t know if this was sweet or just sad.

You remember the second term visiting day like it was yesterday. You remember it so clearly that you can write a whole paragraph about it on a blog post.(hehe) It was the first time you had felt your  your life long(figurative) stance against relationships falter, and you didn’t like how it felt. On that day, he had swaggered over to the place where your folks were parked with an ear to ear smile and his phone in hand. He had greeted everyone in your visiting party like they had been long lost friends and then proceeded to tell you to take a walk with him. He had given you his phone and told you to just look at the whatsapp thread between him and her. And you’ll never forget that moment as long as you live because for the first time ever the first time ever, you wanted to be in a relationship. Our girl had texted this guy every single day for close to a month. She had known that he would only get to see the texts when he got his phone, but that hadn’t hindered her. Every day she sent a long ass text describing how her day had been and reminding him how much she loved him and wished he was back home. As if this wasn’t enough there were also some very long voice notes, about six of them in all, which described in pain staking detail her love for him and what not. After you had gone through all the texts and voice notes he asked you what you thought, and you told him that it was good that the girl was just as cheesy and romantic as he was, because this proved that he wasn’t gay at all but merely a lesbian. And you laughed about it and moved on. But deep inside you craved nothing more than to put on your phone and find a hundred texts from the girl you always think of when you look at the moon. At that moment you wanted to find love so bad you might as well have been Julia Roberts in indonesia in the movie eat, pray, love. (Now you sound like the gay one.) And then something dawned on you, a realization so profound that you wondered how you hadn’t seen it while it had stared you in the face for so long. You understood why people did such dumb and corny stuff (also known by the street term ‘romantic things’) it wasn’t because of their sexual orientation, far from it actually. It was because of the feeling one got on realising the said dumb and corny stuff had been done for them. This feeling of sheer bliss washes over you, a wave of euphoria takes you and you feel connected with someone else. You feel like everything will be alright in the end, as long as you have this dumb corny person by your side.

You slowly came to terms with the fact that no one was looking at the stars and thinking about you, no one was taking their time to text you every single day for two months knowing you’ll only read these things another month later. And although this had never been a problem for you before, you suddenly felt this emptiness. And if at that very moment a girl, any girl who you knew well and didn’t exactly hate had walked by, you would’ve grabbed her by the hand gone down on one knee and proposed. If only to get someone who would have thought about you while looking at the stars.

To be honest, you were shocked that your unfaltering war against relationships had been so easily faltered. You had really thought that you would be more assertive. Turns out you were wrong. But then something happened to give you a reason to believe again. ( Is this starting to sound like a Coca-Cola advertisement?) The world is a mysterious place. Sometimes, it realises that someone has lost their way and it sends you a sign to get you back on track. It has some kind of self correcting mechanism. And in your case, the world realised that you were getting too dumb and corny. It realised that if this continued, you would end up making some random girl too happy for her own good. In it’s infinite wisdom, the world realised that you would be too epic a boyfriend and that it wasn’t ready to handle such awesomeness. Therfore, it sent you a sign. On the very day that you closed school that term your friend was dumped. He had put on hos phone on getting home only to find a long text which could be summarised into four words, ‘You’re not good enough’. Ok ok, that was a lie, the words were ‘this can’t work out’.  You had warned him, told him about the crazy eyes, but did he listen? It was poetic justice that he was dumped over text. Turns out the world does have a sense of humor.
If anything could have brought you back to your senses, this was it. You started seeing clearly again and you went back to your very noble war. For a time, your friend crossed over to your side of the war. He was still nursing his battle wounds and naturally, he buried himself in the world’s best wound healer, beer. He didn’t last long though, you know how these relationship people are, they can’t last longer than a couple of months. In the end he went back to his ways and you stayed with your war, waiting for the world to tell you that it was ready for you. Just a tip world, a clear sign would be Beyoncè leaving Jay Z and moving to Kahawa Sukari to start a new quiet life. Thanks in advance.

Tea on Koinange street

It had once seemed so far away. it had lingered over the horizon, just out of arm’s reach. At some point, you had even given up on it because  it had become mythical, a legend that was only talked about in hushed tones on dark alleys by people who had hoods that covered their faces. You had almost come to terms with the fact that it would never come. After all, it’s a very thin line between unshakable faith and insanity and there was no way to know which side of the line you were on. But alas! You’re faith had paid off. It was finally here. The end of you’re first semester. It felt better than you had expected. This feeling you had, it was’t simply joy, no it was more complicated than that. It was a feeling of achievement, of success, you had completed what you had set out to do. This feeling, it washed over you. You tasted it in the air, you felt it around you, it was practically tangible goddammit. You know how in Harry Potter if you want to conjure up a patronus, they tell you to focus on a single memory brings you enough happiness to be able to fend off the dementors?  Well, you  had never known what memory you would have chosen, but now there wasn’t a shred of doubt in your mind that this was it. Those dementors didn’t have a chance in hell now. ( OK this is a tad exaggerated)

There had been times in the semester when you had looked at your workload and felt tears come to your eyes, there were some mornings when you had wanted to smash your phone against the wall after the alarm had gone off. There had been times when you had stood on university way at the crack of dawn with your fingers freezing and your teeth chattering and asked yourself whether all of this was worth it. But had you given up? Had you thrown in the towel? Even at these trying times had you asked for a break? Did you even once complain about the workload? No. (well except for that one time you wrote a blog about it.) You had kept your head down and served your time. But it was over. (also a bit exaggerated)

Therefore, no one could blame you for wanting a cold one to kick start this short but well earned holiday. You call your friend with whom you share a name, and who just happens to be a man of the grain. He is famed for his talent of emptying long necked green bottles and is therefore the perfect partner for this expedition. You agree to meet at lifestyle. Now, you normally try your best to steer clear of places like these, more so when high school kids are home but it’s the most convenient meeting place for both of you so you do it.

You meet up and quickly discuss your financial situations, it’s a good day, you can afford to drink at a proper place. No underground bars on Moi avenue today. Your friend happens to know a place along nearby Koinange Street and so you walk there how men who drink beers at bars on koinange street walk, slowly and with a certain spring in your step. You  arrive at the bar and feel a certain tinge of disappointment on seeing it. It’s one of these bar and restaurant places where there are more people drinking tea than the people taking alcohol. But this isn’t the cause of your disappointment. You had hoped for a smoky dimly lit room with bar maids(not bartenders) who wear short black skirts because that would have made for a kick ass story. But now you have to make do with this tea serving bar on koinange street. It could’ve been worse, it could have been on Moi avenue.

Immediately you step into the bar you sense a change of atmosphere. A certain quiet has enveloped the room. You feel the stares of tea drinking men on you. Even the bar maids… I mean waiters stop to look at you. You must look really out of place if the waiters have to stop their very important television watching to look at you. This however, isn’t your first time at the rodeo. Your shorts and t-shirt attire don’t really scream ‘beer drinking man at a bar on koinange street’ But who are they to judge you? They are bloody tea drinking men. So you continue with your spring in step walking towards the bar part of this bar and restaurant and settle on the bar stool with your friend. A waitress walks up to you to take your order. She has on a short black skirt, this might make for a good story after all. She makes to give you the menu but you tell her you have already decided what you want. A nice cup of tea. She asks if you will take sugar with that and you tell her that it was a joke.  Your friend takes this opportunity to flirt with the waitress before telling her you actually want two beers, each. Mrs short skirt liked the flirting, or she is a good at pretending to like flirting. She goes off to get your beers.

You engage in the usual banter with your friend as you watch the IAAF World Championships on the TV. Usain Bolt has just won in some race, how surprising. You pay little attention to his mini speech after the race. Up next is the javelin finals. The black guy never starts in these things so you watch as some white guys throw a stick across a field. Not a very sporty sport this one. Then our man Yego steps up to throw. The bar suddenly grows quiet as men look away from their tea to see the YouTube man’s throw. You don’t know much about javelin but according to you he records a pretty good throw. But apparently it doesn’t count because he had stepped on the line thingy. However after this throw he starts celebrating. Which is weird because the throw didn’t count. But then you hear some guy tell the bar maid (accept it) that Yego had already recorded some world record breaking distance and therefore he had already won even before he threw this last Javelin. Amazing sport that javelin. Yego makes his victory lap and there is some scattered applause within the bar. You thought guys only applaud football results, but it turns out you never know where you stand with tea drinking men. Our drinks ended as abruptly as the applause and others soon followed.

More talk about women follows and the next time you look up, the steeple chase finals are underway. The people in the bar are laughing at the Indian woman who is trying to break away from the pack. The poor indian chick fades away and at the last fiftyish meters there is a dash between a kenyan and some two other ladies from weird countries. Everyone at the bar holds their breath,  Jepkemoi somehow manages to beat the other two to the finish line. The bar erupts into applause with everyone saying how close of a call it was.  At this moment you feel proud of your country. You feel connected to the people in this  bar…. and restaurant. You feel your problems fade iinto oblivion. There is always a bigger picture and applauding Jepkemoi for winning the steeplechase with strangers in a bar and restaurant in koinange street can help you see this.

Maybe it’s the dementors, because I’m suddenly craving some tea.

Is it ever that serious?

You sit there, looking at your watch every thirty seconds, hoping against hope that time slows down. You can barely see outside because the rain has made the windows misty and you can’t wipe them because you’re in a matatu and no one does that. So you sit there, you know beyond any doubt that you’re late, now it’s only a matter of how late. You found your phone on the floor next to your bed when you woke up. The back cover, the battery and the phone were no longer one. There are two possible explanations for this, either you knocked your phone off the bed as you slept or the much more reasonable one, there is a ghost that haunts handsome sleeping men, and takes apart their phones as they sleep as something of a gag. Anyway, handsome men haunting ghosts aside, your alarm didn’t ring in the morning which is why you’re in this conundrum.
You sit there and try to guess where you are right now because you’re too proud to wipe the matatu window. You listen to mwalimu king’ang’i on the radio who, let’s be honest is the real star of the show. The other guy is just there to bring in the female demographic. (For my foreign readers, I like to imagine I have those, Mwalimu king’ang’i is a symbol of national unity in this our country, you have to be there (or here)to get it.)
You chuckle to king’ang’i’s jokes.( Wow that was a lot of apostrophes.) You don’t even count the cash today, your too depressed for that shit. King’ang’i does a good job in making your day a little less shit, but then the bamba TV guy comes on and fucks everything up. (I hate that guy. Ati professor bamba. Nkt.)
Let us remember that the phone was disassembled by the ghost and therefore the charge is at 35%. Being the mathematician that you are, you tell yourself that if you set it at the lowest brightness and switch off the data connection maybe it will survive the whole day. Therefore, for today your phone will only function as your watch. Instagram is a complete no no. There will be no man crushes on this Monday.

The jam has started flowing now, well, better late than never. But this changes nothing, your ass is still late for class.
Now, let me explain something, you may be thinking that I’m one of those guys who are never late for class which is why I’m making such a big deal out of this. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
I’m always late. Like always. It’s just that for this particular unit the genius professor decided that she’ll give everyone three strikes to be late. I’m on strike two. If you get strike three you sit out the rest of the semester at home. Obviously the professor could be bluffing. Maybe there are no such things as three strikes, maybe it’s all an act to get stupid students who actually believe that such a thing is possible to class early. But I’m not a gambler (Sportpesa doesn’t count) therefore I’m not willing to find out.
We’re at the stage now, the rain had stopped, the cold decided to stay. You quickly pay the driver, who doubles as the conductor. You pray to God that you have a 100 bob note because nothing drains your energy more than having to wait for this guy to look for change for a thousand shillings especially when late.

You now start walking at an incredibly fast pace. Note, not run. If you were too cool to wipe the mist off the matatu window then your definitely too cool to run in town. You try your best not to hit everyone on your way as you pass them, and fail miserably.

Let me just ask, who else has this problem where you have to walk with your head bent so as not to hit the hanging sign boards. Aargh, I hate this shit so much! Especially in Tom Mboya street near the fire station. It’s like they wanted to  keep tall people off that street. If you think you’re so big you can walk on the road like your fellow cars. I seriously cannot be the only one who has this problem. Aii OK.

So you finally reach school. You’re sweating and panting like crazy. You climb those stairs in tripples without caring how you look. From outside, you hear that the class is very noisy. Two possible explanations. The lecturer has either decided to become funny for the first time in her miserable life or she hasn’t arrived. You walk in and surprise surprise, no lecturer.
A feeling of relief washes over you. No strike three today. You sit down and try to catch your breath. Wow! That was close. You talk to a couple of people. Make fun of yourself for running through town like a mad man. It’s all jokes.

Slowly minutes turn to hours and you realize this woman isn’t coming. You realize that this was all a lie. That even if you had walked leisurely through town appreciating all the sites, you would be in the same exact situation you are in right now. If after discovering what the handsome men haunting ghost had done to your phone you had continued sleeping, there would be no difference in your life. You have go the whole day with no instagram now. You missed out on counting the cash and keeping it with classic 105 for nothing. It was all vanity. Maybe all of this is professor bamba’s fault. Either way, you can’t change anything now. It is finished. But hold on, there is something you can do. You can stop giving a fuck. Like completely. No matter how late you are. And that’s exactly what I’ve decided to do. It is never that serious. If I’m late I’m late. No more worrying. I’m too old to run to class anyways.
If you’re looking for a moral lesson to this story, I’m sorry there isn’t one. OK it’s done.

Finally the football(note, not soccer) season is back. I blame the off season for my writing drought. I assume that things will get better now. Anyway cheers. Till next time. Whenever that is.

My dad is everything. #forthedads.

Ok. Here we go, this is the last post for the #forthedads trend that never was. Well, we had fun here, some of us discovered we could write, and some…. thought that 500 words were just too much for the men that brought them into this world. No hard feelings though, at least your reading this.
I’m sorry I didn’t post for the last twoish days, things are thick.

For the writers of these pieces, thank you. My posting 3 pieces here together signifies the end of this fun ka-ride. I hope you enjoyed this. Till next time comrades(Apparently when you here this word in Nairobi university, you know a strike is looming.)

First off we have Njagi Njeru, who likes to shun his English name to sound cooler. He has got one or two mentions in my previous posts and now here he is, in the flesh.( Well sort of) This was apparently an emotional piece for him. One for the tear works we have here. He is also one of my serious supporters. And with no father ado, (Did I spell that right? Another word that has absolutely no meaning by the way) here he is.

He stands at 5’8 ft with a almost completely receded hairline ( read bald) that he desperately camouflages with his weekly if not fortnightly visits to Ashley’s in Upperhill. Forgive me for the long introductory sentence but I really have a lot to say.

Intellectual.📖
“Kijana Mlofa Boy Skulu” ( I don’t really know what language this is, nor spelling of the four words). Either way when I was much younger my dad would sing me this every time we would meet on the hallways of our, read his, abode in Buruburu. He has always been a firm supporter of education. He believes in education as the best way to solve world problems. He is intellectual. In fact…at his age that I choose to withhold he has decided to go back to school. (Trying to be modest) he got a division one in school. ☝
What about me ? I’ll answer that later.

Discipline ☀
I have had my run ins with indiscipline cases. My younger years were full of corrective violence nights and wet pillow cases. He carved me to the young,independent man I am today. I don’t know if I’d be anywhere close to what i am today if it wasn’t for him. Nilikuwa mkurutu i cannot even lie. He never,however, got tired of telling or rather advising me that a successful man will only remain successful if he is disciplined. Kwa kiboko, nilijua lakini kwa mawaidha , nilifunzwa.

My Dad, Alfred Sammy Njagi Njeru, is a remarkable man. I have never told him any of this really. How can I ? His face can be represented with accuracy by the emoticon 😑 (-_-)  and you can never really know if your sentiments will be welcomed.

Anyway, the pressures of being the only son of an almost perfect man are immense. I, honestly owe my life to him. Its not about his XY chromosomes even nor genes but what he has taught me will forever be engraved in my heart. For sure i will pass all he has told me to my children ( God Willing I get kids. Hehe)

Id like to write more but I’d rather not continue lest i shed a tear or two. Lol.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad.
(Hopefully if he see’s this his  representative emoticon will change.)

Ohh and btw so just you know… I LOVE MY FATHER TO DEATH

I promise to FURTHER my achivements just so as to make my FATHER proud and i pray to the Almighty FATHER that all this will come to be.


Njagi Jnr.

Next up, we have Tevin Chege Mungai. A queer man if ever there was one. He is simultaneously the weirdest and funniest man ever. (You get the hyperbole right? I mean, ever?) He used to be our class English representative. Which is saying something seeing as I was in this class. I don’t mean to toot my own horn but… toot toot. Oh did I mention that this is was one of those guys who know the weirdest facts ever? Anyway, here he is.

Mr Kefa Mungai Njenga. Well ours is a complicated story. And unlike Wanjiku wa Ng’ang’a, I fear that 500 words may be too much but I believe in effort so here we go. This right here is a man who we can say doesn’t belong. Going by the laws of Kenya, he lost his citizenship and is still not a citizen of the United States of America where he has been residing since I was two months old. Well I guess by now you get why 500 words may be too much. So in October 1996, two months after Tevin Chege Mungai was born (that’s me) Kefa left the country to go further his studies in the medical field in the USA. A proud moment for his wife (or mother of his son) and entire family. When I say medical field it’s common to believe that he’s a doctor or big name surgeon but he is actually a nurse. A fact that I lived in denial of for pretty much all my primary school life but that I have come to embrace and own. I have a nurse for a father, so what. I am still unsure of much pertaining to my feelings towards my dad but I am sure that I do love my dad. Reason being only one he has sacrificed everything for me and my mum. Working his ass off day and night to obtain my fees and pay all our bills (and I mean all, even my mother’s tithe) while still funding the tough legal issues that come with seeking a green card for his family.

But even though he is so far away. My dad still makes it to call on a regular basis. Give me some father son advice. The most important yet being about sex. He actually told me to use condoms, which if my mum heard she would flip and knock his teeth out before realising he actually made sense. For those who may be wondering. I have actually seen my dad once. The time August 2001,the place, Karatina. We used to live in an apartment block with a store for tanks next to the houses. I had just gotten home from school, itwas the closing day. So I see mum at a distance standing outside the door to the store and she tells me I have a surprise for you inside the store. I thought I was finally think am getting a bike but I go in and can’t find my bike. Then suddenly this older version of me appears and hugs me lifting me high in the air. It was my dad. And for the next two weeks we spent every day like it was our last. That was the only birthday I have spent with my dad and it is my best birthday ever.

It hurts me more than anything that my parents have to be so damn lonely just to ensure my future is as bright as it can be but it’s an opportunity I will take advantage off and use it to bring my dad back to my mum and give them back the last two decades. But life does start at 40 so I believe they still have there best years ahead. I love my dad. And I do miss him. But most of all. I appreciate him. HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO YOU DAD and all other father’s out there.

Last and definitely not least, we have Joy Cleo Wangu. I have no idea whether or not Cleo is her real name, but it’s how she is saved on my phone so I’ll go with it. She was once my most fierce critic, until her phone started having “problems”. A gamemasters regular, she also gives the best advice on books to read. Here she is. Oh, she is also very funny.

I don’t know much about my dad. Probably because I was born in the 21st century where I expect him to express himself in words and selfies and a photo of a leaf on Instagram with a poetic quote on the book he’s reading while he,well,you know 20th Century lifestyle,he’ll have a drink with the guys and I should automatically figure out his favourite colour,car and  that you shouldn’t tell mum how much he had to drink  and all that stuff you need to know about  dad when you go shopping for his birthday. But I’ve got away with this every time because I was either too cute for a gift or, in a hell hole far away where I was deprived of sugar that even the thought of his birthday cake would send me into a seizure. That wasn’t funny. Man,it’s hard to intend to be funny. Anyway,back to the old man. Pops or as my mum likes to call him when she’s talking behind his back “mbruce” this is slang my brothers used when they were in the university. A moment of silence for their fading youth. Pops is conservative,well,to us,his family. He’s like Bruce Wayne on steroids with his words! You get a max of seven words in a day “Hi Wangu,how are you today? Sawa”😂😂😂
He’ll only speak more if he’s giving some economic report to Robin (this is my eldest brother,his favourite. I said it)
Next point on the anatomy of George Munge,he’s so selfish. That point’s validity is questionable though because he did choose to have children,right? Ok. So shall we rephrase to,besides the basic needs pops is selfish😂😂😂? He’ll get dark chocolate for mum and I but we don’t even like chocolate much! Or when he gets me white chocolate with coconut (Dad loves coconut). White chocolate. I LOVE white chocolate. But uhh,dad,I’m allergic to coconut😐💆 For the 17th time  this month.😂 I had a reaction to it on time 16 when I ate that piece you had and my face got rashes at time 16 and 22 hours. But what do you know, You like coconut,it’s the 18th time today😂
Throughout my life in school this was the motto “Wangu,single digits only” and hence,perfectionist dad. P.S. Single digits in terms of class position not grade.
We don’t eat out often,like,new restaurants and all. Because of perfectionist pops. “My bacon isn’t crispy(He never has breakfast meals at hotels for this reason btw).Your glasses are chipped. Wangu is your food cold?” “no dad,it’s warm” “HER FOOD IS COLD!” So anwyay, this perfectionism kept us all in line,no mess ups , for my siblings at least  (insert the whole Ben Carson success story for them,for me,well,Amy Winehouse at the peak of her career will do. Haha) Well would you look at that, from no words to 500,this is the point where I told you “acha nicount” Mike. Haha. So anyway. We’ve got through a bit of old man Munge. Two points only. If you noticed,you are too serious a reader and I charge you to go read a Roald Dahl book,laugh a little. If you read the two points and thought they were three…

there is no hope.
My dad would probably have stopped reading at the two points part and call me “Hujui ni nini unaandika? Number your points!”
“Dad endelea”
“Aaah,haha, So I have no hope?”
(Note,he used seven words in every instance)
He’s used fourteen words on me today!
I am now the favourite.
I think it’s only just that I mention that dad is still the most,ok, he’s the one God chose for me. I love him, from our comfortable silences, to our laughter during ads (except when the Durex ad comes on.haha). Know what? He is the best dad. Happy Father’s day pops.