The amount of pepper in her stew nearly choked me to death. I was sneezing and tears were gathering in my eyes like I had run through Tom Mboya street when the police had just engaged hawkers with some teargas. She was laughing profusely at me. Later on in that house party, I saw her drinking something really hard. Something with a photo of a tiger crying. Or was it a lion paradoxically sweating beneath a wintry mountain?
She used more swearwords than an annoyed Tupac Shakur. She was cool. Great company. She was fan to be with. She was funny. There was a carelessness with which she carried herself and her crew that evening that was both scary and inviting. A friend leaned towards me and told me.
“Huyu ni dame wa Eastlando,achana na yeye”( That is a girl from Eastlands, leave her alone). Of course I am familiar with her type. They are the most derided in Nairobi. They are known to open a soda with their teeth. They can pop open a beer bottle with another beer bottle, what is generally considered a masculine thing. They can raise an offensive finger your way if they don’t feel you vibe.
In a night club, whenever a woman dances too physically, more so to Ragga music, she is presumed to be from Eastlands. They are known to consume hard stuff in transparent bottles and know something about the economies of getting high cheaply. They are practical. They are unpretentious. They are simple where it is required to be simple and sophisticated where it is necessary. One of them pushed me violently when catching a Matatu home, because it was about to rain and she cared more about her hair than the next innocent person rushing to the Matatu. Suffice to say she was super beautiful and corporate.
Eastlands woman or one from the ghetto is a product of where she has been born and bred. She is rude, only because she deals with men who are repulsively rude and uncouth. She possibly grew in a needy family and knows not to be extravagant with her finances. Hence the ritual of drinking hard stuff before making it to the club to buy better lesser alcohol and have her fun as affordably as possible to her and may be her group. Until may be some randy loaded man shows up.
She speaks the latest version of Sheng straight from Dandora where it manufactured. They like Reggae and Ragga as opposed to the pretentious Neo-Soul listened to those from the other side of Uhuru Highway. She knows how to talk to the police when she is in trouble, unlike her counterparts who will use some annoying English and convert a simple traffic mishap into a full blown and protracted case. They have no qualms eating Mutura, regardless of the hygiene conditions where it is made without the risk of food poisoning.
Given a rich woman and one from Eastlands, I will go for the one from the Eastlands. A woman from a better off background sometimes can be a bore. She is insecure going down River Road to make a bargain and would rather be ripped off along Moi Avenue. She scorns certain eating joints and sometimes can be unrelenting with their unending demands on their men.
A man can afford to be honest with a woman from the Eastlands. But many men might be forced to lie or go into debts to make it happen with a woman from a wealthy background? See for the woman from Eastlands, you have to say, ‘Sweets, let’s do fries and chicken from Moi Avenue than Galitos’ and she will understand. Women from the other side of town might frown upon this; thus he will have to feign that he is busy or unavailable for the lunch, until he finds some money.
Hence, those who poke fun at the Eastlands woman should be considerate. While they are a minefield for humour, they are by far more interesting to be with because they are very practical about life and it is easier to be yourself with her