Why the thought that we might go to war just sucks

The peace messages being traded around are really pissing me off. Unfortunately, they are inexorable

Hate him or love him, Boniface Mwangi, the award-winning photojournalist turned activist and doubling as political pundit lately is a different kind of man altogether. His heart-wrenching post-election violence pictures have been pinned up enough times around the country while others have accused him of commercializing the whole post-election violence business.

His haranguing the political establishment by calling them Vultures and the graphic graffiti that he painted the town a while ago earned him accolades as well as unsavoury comments apropos to the agenda of those funding such initiatives. But he has weathered the storm and cynicism with which him and his ilk have often been treated with. Kenyans are a skeptical lot and apathetic towards any ideal political situation that some of these activists espouse.

But truth be told, the idea that we can go to war real sickens. Roundabouts in Nairobi bear messages of peace and cohesion. There are television adverts that talk about Kenyanism and every talk show is fraught with all manner of rhetoric of the 2007 elections and the unforgettable outcome. It is like the election which is supposed to represent renewal and better promises now represents doom.

How did it happen that we have grown to fear each more and more over time? I mean over the last five years, we have amicably stayed together, done business together, worked together and everything in between. Yet I am being advised to relocate from my residence to a much friendlier environment, just in case something happens come March. It is a fear shared by many Kenyans and in deed most individuals will have to travel mostly to their ancestral homes to wait for the outcome of the elections.

We are inextricably linked to each other, yet there is something blinding about politics that awakens the worst in us. If I can share my mundane daily experience which is applicable to a million others, here is how it unravels. I work in a neighboring country with a team of Kenyans from all tribes. What binds us there is that we are all Kenyans who have somehow opted for greener pastures to provide for our kin. There is no politics on how we got there, other than the widespread unemployment which affects every Kenyan.

Back in Kenya, my landlady going by her name is presumably a Kamba lady I have never seen. I only deposit the rent in the bank and through her caretakers we are housed quite comfortably. Other than Kenya Power, and may be the little overpriced flats, I have no complaint whatsoever because that is how life is in Nairobi for a million others.

My immediate neighbours include a woman and her daughter who most likely are from Central Kenya or Eastern. We hardly cross each other’s line and for one and half years we have enjoyed a cordial neighbourliness. To the left is a Luo gentleman. I occasionally drop by his house to catch up some late night soccer. His wife doesn’t quite fancy me but that is because I always overstay my nightly visits long afterwards the matches are over. Like all men, we turn into soccer pundits and start regurgitating everything that we have just witnessed. It is a bad habit that women detest. But all in all we are good neighbours, it has never mattered where I come from or where they come from.

Occasionally, I pen a piece and mail to three editors I have never met. Going by names, one is Luo, another one a Kamba and the other Kikuyu. We all come from different places yet we interact anonymously bound by the entity called Kenya. One or two Kenyans will react to the pieces and we communicate as one community.

I schooled with different people from all walks of life. In university I had all sorts of friends. I have attended funerals in Rift Valley, visited families in the Coast and a wedding in Central Province. We always help each other in times of need and nowhere is this evident than when you lose a colleague at work. We effortlessly work to ensure a decent send off for the departed.

Yet, as we approach elections, there are people forcing me to perceive other communities as enemies. I insist on judging people on individual basis. There are people from my community I would kill for less, if killing was legal. They are not angels as some would have me assume in the short run. The corruption scandals in the country have big people virtually from each community in Kenya.

It was the American First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson who once said that every politician should have been born an orphan and remain a bachelor. These guys can drive one nuts. I hate their ability to disunite us and unite us at will for their political gains. Their spell on us is so poisonous, yet we cannot explicate ourselves from them.

The real problem as Achebe once put it in his novel A Man of the People (1966) is that we are swayed by our stomachs and not our heads. That is the reason the most annoying politician is the most popular among the Kenyans if opinion polls are to be believed. The quality of politicians in charge of the city where you would expect more learned people who should know better is to say the least, appaling. Yet the educated middle class sit pretty in their houses cursing on Twitter and their bar-room punditry where they would rather discuss the stock, weddings and holidays. Yet they the most vulnerable, possibly a salary away from brokenness.

Achebe also proclaimed that in our societies it is whom you know as opposed to what you know. Works all the time for those who know people. But for countless individuals who don’t know anyone in high places, it never works. Only the constitution and equitable sharing of the resources will ever alleviate the deplorable state.

Now as we grind ever fast to the election date I am being persuaded by ‘dark forces’ to start perceiving my dutiful mama mboga as a rip-off, the matatu conductors as an extortionist, the handful and rowdy Gor Mahia fans will represent the entire Luo community, conveniently forgetting my endlessly helpful Luo neighbor. My girlfriend is not welcome at home for the moment. My colleagues and friends from different tribes who often call me to check a job advert in the paper or contribute to me when I am bereaved are not friends anymore but people from different tribes.

Until we learn that elections come and go, but the neighbourliness, the connection and above all friendship stays. We need each other to make this country a better place. It takes some travelling out of the country, especially Africa in order to appreciate that Kenya is among the best countries in Africa.

So this back and forth regrouping of politicians is what Kenyans needs to look at and ask if do we really need the same bunch to dictate how we run our lives? It is the same script, same cast. You just get tired of these things


The Deal

Ten years ago today, a friend died. I was devastated. If you have ever lost someone young and close to you, you will understand that mystifying moment that can last a few hours or forever if it is someone like Job.

Job was a special friend to me. He had a big heart, physically and metaphorically. His heart was big and one could see and hear it beat. He had battled with Rheumatism and that had left him badly weakened ever since he was a child. He was thin, weak and exhausted. He could not do any physically exhausting task. Just walking the kilometer to our primary school and around the market was enough to have him whimpering, panting and his heart beat beating dangerously fast.

His was the saddest and tragic short story I know to date. We only met in class 7 and our friendship was to last …

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Remembering Job

Ten years ago today, a friend died. I was devastated. If you have ever lost someone young and close to you, you will understand that mystifying moment that can last a few hours or forever if it is someone like Job.

Job was a special friend to me. He had a big heart, physically and metaphorically. His heart was big and one could see and hear it beat. He had battled with Rheumatism and that had left him badly weakened ever since he was a child. He was thin, weak and exhausted. He could not do any physically exhausting task. Just walking the kilometer to our primary school and around the market was enough to have him whimpering, panting and his heart beat beating dangerously fast.

His was the saddest and tragic short story I know to date. We only met in class 7 and our friendship was to last  only four years before the death struck. We had an unusual friendship and coupled with precociously informed minds, we would discuss and analyze world affairs and his quick incisive mind was a puzzle to me. He took a philosophical outlook at life and he had accepted his fateful and terminal body condition in good and cheerful faith. Once or twice, he confessed to me that he won’t be long in the world and that never really prepared me for the news that fateful Saturday when Sam broke the news to me that he was gone.

He had a juvenile fascination towards Foday Sankoh, the rebel leader who was the face of the Sierra Leone civil at the turn of the millennium. He didn’t know better then but we have all had this misplaced captivation towards scumbags such as Osama Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and Charles Taylor. Same way women, hanker after Lady Gaga, Rihanna and more empty headed ones like Nick Minaj, or wait, the Kardashians and their entire family.

Job was intelligent, sharp witted with quick humour, bold in spite of his weak built and stature. He was never afraid of anything or anyone. Particularly, I remember when we were selecting schools in primary school. The preceding class had not performed well in the national examination and our teachers were adamant that we must select schools from within our district. Personally, I wanted Starehe for a national school (haki don’t laugh), then Kanga Boys for Provincials. The teacher responsible was crystal clear on that: ONLY A SCHOOL IN THE DISTRICT SHOULD TOP THAT PROVINCIAL LIST OF CHOICES.

Of course I was in a D.E.B school where making it to a national school was out of question. I gave in to the teacher’s stern command and settled for the best school in Gucha District.

Job did it differently. He wanted to go to Kisii School and he selected Kisii School. KCPE results came. He came second; I came third with a difference of about ten marks. He went to Kisii School. Then I went to Nyamagwa. Nyamagwa, was a good school, save for the name. And the location. Nothing is so far in Kenya than that school. I envied Job for sticking with what was on his heart and he always poked fun at my school, given that it was a cadre below Kisii School. I learnt a special yet simple lesson: To always follow my dreams and ignore dream cock-blockers.

Had he gone on to finish, he would have been affected by the 2004 cancelling of the KCSE examination due to irregularities at the school. 197 students were affected by the Ys, but if you critically think about it, not everyone in a classroom can cheat. There are always selfish guys, bright guys and saved guys who don’t cheat. On that one I am sure that the blanket condemnation affected innocent students. Nevertheless, he would have passed in the second round and went on to pursue either Engineering or Law. Either way, he would made a distinguished engineer or lawyer.

That was never to be.

I remember in Form one went to Kisii Agricultural show, purposely to meet him. We must have written each a letter, or I can’t remember how we were to meet. But we met anyway. President Moi was to preside the opening of the show.

Then I did the most incredibly and laughably stupid thing that I would regret later. As we were getting into the gate, many people wanted to gatecrash, literary by breaking the gate to get in for free. I was with Job as the scuffle begun, given that he was weak and could not run, I had to stay with him.

Then the policemen in their horses unleashed their whips and started to rein them on the crowd. Afraid, I ran and left Job behind. In the momentary confusion coupled with the dusty and anxiety, I lost my mind. Somebody had in the meantime unstrapped my pullover or is it called a sweater from my shoulder. I had actually borrowed the sweater from a friend.

After 15 minutes I went back to the now settled scene to search for Job. I found him in the adjacent building, calmly watching guys getting into the show ground. I went there and this is what he had to say;

“Silas, why did you run and leave me behind? I am weak, you know I can’t run and you leave me behind! Where is your sweater?”

I was ashamed of my shameful act. I regretted. I was stupid and cowardly. Job, the weaker had proven the one with balls.

“You didn’t have to run that far. I just stepped back to this verandah and watched as people were being whipped,” he said enjoying his brief heroic moment.

We spent the rest of the day talking just about everything under the sun. We didn’t have money for any food or snack, but he was such a magnificent friend and a good a conservationist that food didn’t really matter. In 2001 and 2002, I went to the often historic annual Adventist Rally for students held in Kisii School every third Saturday March (hope I am right on the date).

Purposely, I used to go there to meet him and just talk, talk and talk. He was the brother I never had. In 2003, he died in January and even though I went for the rally it was never the same and I don’t remember attending the 2004 or 2005 one.

During the December 2002 holidays, I had gone visiting my grandmother and I had not seen Job. It was after Christmas when I went back to my home market with just about a week to go back to school. On the last Saturday before opening school, I saw him with some other boys and we were both excited to see each other. His jovial, charming and infectious smile is still etched in my mind, as he called me out.

“Yaa nkai konye ore?” (Aye, where have you been?).

We were both excited to see each other. But it was running late, we couldn’t get to talk at length as we always did. I was with my senior cousins and we about to walk up the hill to home. We agreed to meet before reopening and catch up. That was never gonna be.

On Saturday, January 25, 2003 as I was supervising students prepare for the Saturday inspection I saw Sam come through the door. Sam was my best friend in school and we came from the same place and had gone to the same primary school. It was not unusual for him to drop by in my dormitory for a word or two. But that late morning Saturday face he was wearing had bad news written all over it.

He came up to me, and he was forthright,
“Have you heard anything about Job?”

That was it. He didn’t have to tell me anything. It was done. Pity. Job was gone. He had developed a complication that moved pretty fast and took him away. I was dazed and I had to stop my prefecture and delegate the duty to somebody else. For a whole week, I was mourning Job, waiting to hear the date of the burial. We learnt the date and since it was impossibly difficult to secure permission to go and bury a friend, we had to cheat that he was a cousin and luck for Sam and me, we were given that permission to attend the funeral.

Seeing Job in that Kisii High School uniform in the casket was a painful experience. He lay there, quiet and seemingly at peace with the cruel world that had sent him away too fast.

To me, it still hurts why he had to die too young. Job would have probably turned up as a one of those chatty nerds. Would have probably loved hip-hop by Nas, Common and all those bearded rappers and neo-soul artists. He would have gone to the University of Nairobi and would have possibly landed himself a good job like that. So bright, greatly gifted, yet he had to die before he even turned 18. God will have a lot of questions to answer.

Every so often I do take up my album and look at his picture just but to remember the best days we had. I will miss him and can never forget him. He taught me to be thoughtful of those who are weaker, not just physically but even emotionally. He taught me how to put my selfish interests aside and sometimes help others out as much as possible. He taught  me, no matter how ill or disabled one is, never lose your good cheer. It is the life and happiness that we put into our lives that matter and not the number of days we live that matter.

Once, he bluffed me that he was after the prettiest lady in the market. I felt a twinge of jealousy and asked him to pass her up. He wrote a letter, and in the letter he stated that I should know better than take him seriously. He said, he was too weak to pursue her and told me I should go ahead. He signed out with some French phrase, which I forget. From the letter, I learnt yet again that I was irredeemably stupid to have not seen his bluff.

All in all, I hope he is in heaven. And if I need any motivation to go there, I can give anything to see Job again. To talk some more. To laugh again as we laughed when we were young.

Keep smiling down on us boy. Keep smiling. RIP.

Miss you big.

A Coastal Chips Funga…versus a Nairobian one

There is a Nairobian Chips Funga. And there is the Mombasa Chips Funga. And they are all as different as a mango is from a tomato. Let’s call them CFs for simplicity.

Bill knows this. And he doesn’t like it.

A lot of Literature has been done about the Nairobian Chips. We know who she is, how to identify her and that is pretty much settled, but a recap will help to put the following comparison in context.

Mostly, she is ageless. You can’t tell her exact age. She looks young, possibly in the mid-20s, more often beautiful especially when you are mid-way the fifth bottle, and the dim club lighting. Most like claiming that they in a college or a university; MKUs, Kimathi, KEMU, Daystar, Catho et al. Actually a good number are and can be surprisingly candid about their schooling. And mostly they are small bodied.

You simply identify her by what she takes. Unpolished ones mostly stick with Black Ice and announce their intentions by dancing aggressively, shaking their bum, whether existent or not. She can dance with any man who shows up and does not mind doing socket or a shocking lap dance and an unsolicited kiss. If you see her with the man for the first time, you will think that they are an item. They move pretty fast these ones.

Then there is the category that goes for Kingfisher and Wood Pecker. Those bottles drive me nuts. They have the worst shape ever invented after condom shoes. I will not even discuss them here, but a woman who drinks Kingfisher, will most likely not demand a Taxi or a cab as they call it, if she decides to go with you.

Then there is the pretentious crowd that goes for Red Ice or orders wine or those things they serve with lemon slices. This one will most likely demand a taxi and can even offer to pay if the man looks too fidgety with the charge.

What is common however among all the Chips Funga is their calculated naivete. They make the man see that he has gotten himself an easy lay, while they actually lead a man on.

What is funny is how men get rid of them the morning after. Unless, she colludes with others or herself decides to take you to the cleaners, mostly they exit your house early enough. She just wakes up around 6.33 am, reaches for her hand bag, fishes out a ‘teeth-brush’ if she carried or just swallows a fingerful of Aquafresh in her mouth, straightens her hair and head to the bus stop to catch the Matatu and get to Church early enough. As one of the funniest Kenyan on Twitter put it on Twitter, ‘some Chips Fungas are so perverted that they buy P2s along the way to church and use the wine to swallow them.’ The thought itself is mortifying.

The act of carrying a Chips Funga is the ultimate casual sexual exchange. Here two random souls meet for a purely carnal exchange without even a single string attached. Wait! May be a drink or breakfast if the man somehow has a heart. Most men actually chase them in the morning without even raising their heads, pretending to have a hangover. Unless ‘he’ is up the morning and feels like ‘moaning’ glory before sending her away.

Now officially, there is a class of young women who are servicing young employed men who stay in flats in Lang’ata, Dohnholm, South B, South C, Zimmerman, Roysambu, Kasarani etc and any other estate that struggling middle-class men have settled. They don’t want much. They don’t even want to know your first name, or even your number. The first rule is to never get emotional or demand a replay unless you both enjoyed the sex.

Trying to engage a CF in a constructive conversation will make you dump her faster than real fries can be wrapped at Sonford. They have this thing about struggling with college, business or ‘jobo’. They invariably sound like those girls on beauty pageants when they try to be intellectual; like insisting that they like swimming, travelling and reading novels. Anyone who believes them?

If you frequent the same joint, you might bump into your CF in the days to come and you will Hi 5 each other, if you will remember each other, that is. Since she will be in the company of some bespectacled nerd who she will whisper to ‘He is a colleague,’ or whatever she might designate you on the spur of the moment, you could be the movie guy, you know. Some CFs as are so famous that they are known in clubbing circles and their profile has gone down given that they know the insides of more houses in all suburbs than the busiest Water or Electricity man.

You walk with her to the club and she is offering familiar hugs to men along the way to the dance floor. And that is the Nairobian CFs. Disciplined, subscribes to the age-old dictum of no-strings attached. Now over to Coast.

At the Coast, it is a different ball game altogether. My visiting old buddy, Bill decried the terrible state of affairs down at the Coast. Since he was transferred down there, he has learnt the hard way that Nairobi is different from Mombasa in a million ways.

Apparently, at the Coast if you succeed to get a CF, you are in for a shocking morning after. No, it is not about the paranoid myth of Jinis. No, they can’t disappear with your electronics into thin air. For one most women in clubs at the Coast, are after the dandy, old, white men. The old white men do outrageously bad things but at the Coast, one is for the money anyway.

Chips Fungaing has not really sunk in to the levels of ridiculous permissiveness it has in Nairobi, but it is not uncommon to occasionally get a decently young and beautiful chicka you can wrap hot and get home to devour.

The really drama starts in the morning when she wakes up and the pillow talk goes something like…

SHE (In the Coastal Swahili Accent): Sasa tutazaa watoto wangapi?
HE(Confused): Mmmh
SHE:Kanionyeshe jikoni na uniwekee nguo pamoja nikaoshe…wapenda wali wa nazi kwa kiamsha kinywa…
And along that vein…
That is what befallen good old Bill. Thrice, the women have demanded a ring in the morning and a show of commitment and enough drama to fuel the gossip of the gossipy, lazy Coastal people who are his neighbours.

Some things we only learn the hard way.

We will marry, but what kind of wife is in stores?

5 categories of women available for marriage but with defaults…

Five women sat around a table. They were talking loudly through the din in the club. A bottle of whiskey, I couldn’t figure which one, lay horizontally on the table. A dozen brown bottles gave a standing ovation to the seated ladies, if I may call them so. Have I said that it was the tall table and they sat on those long, manly stools? And they were eating ribs, probably goat. Cheerful. Buoyant. One was actually puffing away defiantly.

They were tearing the stubborn meat away, quite deviously and dexterously, laughing throatily and heartily. Boy, they were having a good time. While I had had a few and was a little light- headed, this was a sobering moment. I think I sobered up immediately. Something passed me while I was buried in the deserts in Northern Africa.

That women can meet around a table, order brown bottles and a Viceroy, meat and Kachumbari, no less, is one of the most direct attacks on the male being. Later I saw another bunch arriving, crowded in a Probox and shouting. The designated driver was a woman. Actually, they abused us. We could not trade back the insults. We played civil, though I personally felt slapping one of them like thunder. Thank God I am not violent towards women or even men for that matter.

Nonetheless, these are probably our future wives. While I gravitate towards eternal bachelorhood, I can’t rule out yet that I will never marry. Being an ideal man, I still dream I will ever meet a woman with the body and cheerful excitement of Kelly Rowland, playful, intelligent and funny as hell. A fresh pair of legs is an irreducible minimum. Someone wake me up from this stupid dream.

Jokes aside, when you have not dated seriously for a period of time and you are inching closer to the yuppified years where aunts would wish to see your kid, just in case something bad happens to you (read death), it becomes a project. Always on the lookout. I don’t know why they always blackmail us with death or why it is always the female relatives who are pushy.

Quick things I have been told about women and marriage lately include; whether I am celibate or not, my future wife is a Vasco Da Gama of beds in the city. As one puts it, ‘Silo, they are eating the D, rather badly.’ Another one says, ‘there is a higher likelihood that we will marry baby mamas or those who have seen it all.’ Yet another one tells me that the ideals that I hold will vanish with age and sure I have been revising the standards I expect of a woman. Currently, there no standards that I hold.

Another one puts it crudely that all I need is a vessel to get my genes out here for posterity. A divorce is an ever present likelihood or she will cheat. Such is the level of skepticism among my male peers. I am yet to meet a man who will say nice things about marriage, even the married ones. The world has changed, women have changed, and men have changed.

Just yesterday I was having one for the road with my boy Bon-I at Tribeka and it was crowded and more than half the crowd was women. They looked professional and if in a skirt, wifely- morphologically speaking. I often seem that I was born in wrong times. Honestly, I can’t stand the sight of a drunk woman. I firmly believe that a woman’s place is nowhere near the bar, or where a football match is.

With the exception of Carol Radull, women should be nowhere near a stadium, or restaurant cheering a premier league team, certainly not Manchester United. I tend to think that women who support Manchester tend to have attitudes and habits like those of their men. Loudly opinionated, chest-thumping, stupidly authoritative and irritatingly annoying.

Undoubtedly, what I thought about marriage one or two years ago, has been realigned with reality; namely women will drink, screw around and will hardly settle in a conforming marriage so I better start dealing with it. The traditional school teacher or nurse who was recommended for men of my tribe are no longer the most viable as they are among the most tough headed nowadays.

My cousin Patrick tells me that at my age considerations such as beauty are out of the way already. Now I should just train my eyes on anything that will remotely look like one. That is: respect my relatives, merely acknowledge the existence of my male peers and serve them something in their regular visits to the crib and while at it don’t make a fuss if they turn up with smelly feet. But the current available woman falls into any of the following categories and if I have to marry I can’t have it all.

Let us examine the available woman for a man of my caliber.

1. Good, but from the proscribed tribe

Don’t get me wrong, there are actually good women out here. But to me and most of my friends, we just can’t seem to get one from our tribe. Naturally, let us not even pretend, the first call is to a woman from your tribe.There is a lot of wisdom in that. Locally, that is the first compatibility test. Men from Western Kenya(all the three major tribes) are warned and re-warned to steer clear of women from Central Kenya. Statistically, 80% of those marriages hardly function to fruition; you know things like kids, living together to old age until death separates the you. The reasons are the subject of stereotypes and we can’t delve into them here without offending the sensibilities of my readers. But I suppose the marital contempt of Central versus Western is mutual.

But for me I have scarcely gone out with a woman from my tribe. And my best dates so far have been from Central. Some of the best women I know who I could marry are from Central. I am not alone. Most of my friends are in the same situation. They are dating across tribes and they have the finest women you can meet. But for longer term commitments, it is always that shrug that says ‘don’t dare.

Personally, I won’t be deterred by tribe, but I know my folks will certainly ostracize me. And there is something about curses when you go against the will of the folks. Yet no one cares to explain to me why there are so many dysfunctional marriages within my tribe. If a marriage fails and you married outside your tribe, tribe will be the first culprit. But our generation will defy that old n and stupid notions to boot, hopefully for the better.
2. Beautiful but bitchy
Any man would go for beauty over behaviour. But even the old songs and proverbs on noticing the rarity of real beauty coined several proverbs that composed songs that lauded behaviour over beauty. It works. Beauty and good conduct rarely make good companions in a female being. A beautiful woman is permanently obsessed about her beauty, is jealousy as hell towards any competition and they have this thing of assuming that beauty is eternal.

So you can marry the looks, but when the looks are gone after 7 years, you will be bored stiff. Very few men have gone for beautiful women when settling for marriage. You will have so much competition and often they can succumb to the pressure to cheat…
3. Exciting but careless
There are a dozen exciting women I know who are beautiful, funny and outgoing but they lack the requisite wifely demeanor. They hug too close and too much and if you are an insecure prick like me, you will never trust her even with your friends. Thing with outgoing women, they hardly know the limits. And men who know how to exploit them will always have their way.

An outgoing woman is easily upset and you must always strive to excite her in all manner, yet men in our nature, we like our quiet moment. Even when you are just shutting up to get your inner peace, she presumes that you are sulking. She starts thinking whether it is something she did or said. Consequently, she might end up doing something irrational, to hurt you for hurting her ‘feelings’. And women have never known how to give a corresponding punishment for simple misdemeanor.

  1. 1.    Average but nagging

The most average looking woman is normally trouble as I argued in this blog some years back. You can find a woman who by looks merits just above average and tolerably acceptable for marriage, but she can be whiny. This is the woman who is notorious for curfews. She will hate your friends, will possibly fall out with your sister, abuse your mother and might refuse to serve your older brother a warm meal.

Average women have this thing of overrating their looks, their intelligence and their tastes. Look at the bunch of plastic things making noisy in a Galitos or Steers. They suck, really bad. They will order Snapp(or whatever it is called), instead of Kingfisher, will claim to be having cravings for Pizza or the KFC chicken. What were they craving for a year ago before KFC set foot in town?

If we must guard our environment let us first rid the city its many plastic women and the odd phoney men.

But they make good wives when they decide to pretend and the standard looks makes them quite presentable to peers.

   5. Average or beautiful boring

These ones belong mostly to the church or are of the melancholic or phlegmatic temperament. They are mostly quiet, will never make any noise even if you cheated on her. They offer no challenge whatsoever. Will cook and eat what you always wish for and will be a perfect house keeper.

Men hate boring women. This lot have a habit of letting it go after the first kid and will be incredibly fat by the second child and only 34. But they are a good bargain for a man like me who often prefers his moments in solitude. I strongly favour this category because they don’t have too much drama…Yet again!

Anyway, I will wait. May be God will send me an angel. May be not. But I will still listen to my R&B, hope I will stumble upon the few remaining women. In the meantime, lemme be listening to Antony David and India Arie’s Words, which momentarily is my best number.

Aging: the pains, the realities and the whys

It is my birthday. I am knocking on the 30s. Where do the years go? Instead of a cheerful face, I’m rather forlorn. Lately, thoughts have been consuming me rather badly. Almost to a cancerous level. There is an incompleteness about my life that I have never known how to deal with my entire life.

Earlier on today, I went to a VCT to check my status. I have never gathered courage to walk into that quite dreaded place. I thought on my birthday, the best gift to me was to know my status. So with a distressed and nervous head (not in any way tied to the VCT visit), my heart in mouth (if things turn out ‘bad’) and a good attitude I asked my best male friend to accompany me, for the psyche. You might need a shoulder to lean on if the test turns out the other way. Not that I mess around to be deeply troubled about my status. That is not even a point anyway.

My never scared friend tried to encourage me even further decides to be tested as well. Given that we are actually like brothers, we walked in together. After explaining ourselves, the soft-spoken lady asks if we partners.


You should have seen the expression on my friend’s face. Actually as a journalist I have done a story on homosexuality and such a possibility had crept upon me as we walked up the stairs but I perished the thought pronto. I come from arguably the most homophobic community in Kenya. My travels, readings and my writing job have made me understand this gay business in Africa and I have become somewhat tolerant towards them. But this does not prepare you for the instant when you will be mistaken to being one. I had to calm my friend so much and explain that we are in Nairobi where homosexuality increasingly becoming looming reality.

Only yesterday I learnt that a close and respectable friend is bisexual. While in a way disappointed, I won’t in any way discriminate him or be so judgmental. I have to be more careful and more politically correct with my comments around him. Actually, there is no moral or Christian rationale of judging them. The same Bible forbids fornication so widespread in the city. Abortion is surely sin, from a Biblical point of view. My Christian faith certainly conflicts with the present day realities but we must strive to find a balance and revise our opinions and prejudices accordingly.

Any way after virulently dismissing her claim to the point of swearing and demanding an apology from her, we do our thing and walk out and to join the Nairobian rat race. Actually, there is no better relief than knowing your status.

Having finished my first business of the day, I go back to my depression. Is it just me, or there is a point in life where nothing seems to make sense. There is no appetite for food or anything. Beer does not make sense. Women even with their nicely displayed cleavage, skimpy dresses and absolutely well tucked bottoms, begin to look like the next electricity post. They don’t elicit anything. Actually, they begin to piss you off and every time you are talking to them there is a disdain and hatred you can neither contain nor explain.

You become insecure around friends. You begin to drift apart and ideologies shift completely. You discover that whereas you have fixed stuff together in the past, here you are on your own. All your humour and good cheer is gone. If you rely on creativity to earn a living, all your creative juices cease to exist.

You start questioning God a lot of things. There so much that goes on around; especially in Africa that needs a lot of explaining. If I have to go to heaven, then there is enough motivation for me to go and ask God, why we have the present quality of politicians. Why DRC, a country richer than USA and the entire Europe combined is the one of poorest in the world. Its citizens have never known peace. I have lived in Sudan and I have seen old people really suffering. They lived their entire lives fighting and with freedom came a poverty they can never extricate themselves from. There is something tearfully disturbing when you see a wiry and wrinkled old woman struggling to get a potion from the World Food Programme. Yet there is a woman who leaves her pizza untouched in an overpriced Nairobian Pizza joint.

You wonder what you really should do with your life. Suffice to say that the problem is not even money. You simply cannot have your peace of mind. Music doesn’t make sense. A vacation won’t do you any good. You feel jaded. Enclosed in your own tiny world. And so on.

That has been my life for 12 months now. I have come to learn until the heart gets what it wants, you can never settle in life. Living an unfulfilled life is so common. I see many unhappy people condemned to bad marriages, bad relationships, yet they are so beholden to them because of money or fear of what the outside might hold for them.

I have friends stuck in jobs, not because they like but because they must pay rent. We are normally born and life is thrust upon us just like that. Some are born depressingly ugly and will always be physically derided. Some are born infinitely stupid you wonder does the world really need such.

Smart women make the dumbest choices in men. Smart men will go for lesser attractive women to the chagrin of the more attractive women who were after his genes and wallet. Preachers preach water holding wine glasses in their hand. Church elders kiss the asses really stupid politicians who are responsible for running this country down. Some individuals turn gay to get the monies being poured to support homosexuality in Africa. Really disgusting! I never knew that your sexual orientation can earn one some cash.

Your male pal will deny you some Ksh 3000 that would have gotten you out of shit and proceed to buy a woman alcohol and food worth Ksh 6000, possibly motivated by a possible lay. She will a third of the food, waste the wine or expensive rum. You should see the horror look on his face when it turns out that it is that time of the month. Or she flatly refuses. A cougar will spend a lot of cash on her hot-blooded stud and it turns out that her expensive car is what the stupid man uses to ferry younger women around as he sleeps around. Nothing makes sense.

So much crap around than you can pretend not to care. Nothing makes sense. I have come to the following conclusions.
 When a man marries, he loses his humor, intellect and good judgment. Whatever marital sex or lack of it causes, I can’t tell. Yet having a woman you can look forward to at home is the best thing that can happen to a man.
 Male friendships have become more fickle and unreliable. There were days when men were men. They said what they meant and meant what they said. Nowadays, many men have become bitchy, gossipy and stupid.
 If you have to spend on a woman, make your intentions known from the word go. Women, lately have an annoying sickness of deciding that you are good friend, after you have spent a dime.
 As you make your bed, so you must lie on it.
 There are three types of friends; those who, if you die, will come all the way from New Zealand to bury you. They will take long breaks from their jobs and ensure you are accorded a deserved send-off. Then there are those, who will write on your Facebook wall pithy but meaningless things. And there those who will learn several months later.
 A caring woman, be it a wife, sister, girlfriend is the best gift of nature to man
 When you put earphones in your pocket, they take a life of their own.
 Nobody gives a damn about who you are, what you do or whom you know. So if you have shaken Obama’s hand, stop broadcasting it to the world. You dating a minister’s daughter…Sawa! She PMSes like any other woman.
 Alcohol is bad. The sooner you stop the better.
 If your woman will cheat on you, she will. Nothing will you do to stop her.
 Men of our generation must be ready to deal with cheating wives. It is inevitable.
 Life goes on, whatever you do; never ever assume that if you are not there things will stop. Ask Muammar Gaddafi, Husein Mubarak or any other dictator who thought they were indispensable.
 There are a lot average women around here who are becoming increasingly paranoid that they are being stalked. They tell you and you wonder what the stalkers could be seeing in them. One told me so two years ago. And recently many more have told me as much. May be it is real.
 When in shit the guys likely to bail you out are guys you rarely talk to. You know those true friends we rarely call or exchange any pleasantries?
But the last one year has been a helpful learning curve. A time to know what adult life entails. From the start, all I can feel or sense, it is a lot of emptiness. Could it be the reason many of my peers a year or so older than me are into alcohol and sex like it is the end of the world? As in both men and women, married or not. I hope this year I will find out.