2014-It is a wrap

2014 was one of those years. I sat in an office for a greater deal of the year, a first one for my peripatetic self. At some point in life you got to settle down. Few rolling stones ever gather any discernible moss.

So I spent this year holed up in SG, selling words. It is a demanding job. That means the blog suffered. I managed only 27 blogs in total. I posted infrequently. Many were the weeks I woke up with a blazing hot idea, started writing it, then got late for work, and temporarily shelved it (for later). But later never came. Essentially when you have a full time job as a journalist, your creative-self tends to be eroded. Partly because the full time job pays and the blogs does not. In Kenya blogs are yet to earn individuals money.The other bit is journalism is such a thankless job as you grow older.

Chasing after interview and leads can wear you off. Kenyan respondents are hardly cooperative. They will ignore your calls, turn down your requests. Then it hits them that the interview or mentioning them in the paper will serve them somewhere and they call you two months, give you a cock and chicken story about their having traveled to God-knows-where and offer to meet you on your terms. Some even have the gall to pass you a few notes to grease your hands. It is spiteful. I never knew that journalist, we occupy the lowest rudder in the corporate food chain.

But man must live. Each day brings its set of challenges. So you know which side of your bread is battered. While the blog is more rewarding given the creative space it accord me, it is yet to pay any bill. So you abandon it until you have a minute and potentially fired up. However, still I gave you a few particularly good blogs that got me substantial feedback.

I wrote about my favourite night club (Mojos) and it was well received. Then I wrote about Imara Daima Estate, it circulated not to a viral scale but it taught me that good writing is all about something that guys can easily identify and relate with.

But the mother of all blogs must be my assault on the Agikuyu Nation’s favourite food Mukimo. Hardly my best creative effort, it surprised me that 48 hours later it was being shared in Whatsapp messages. Checking on the comments and the statistics, I was overwhelmed. While much of the vibe from Kikuyus was typically negative, my intention was more to entertain than tom offend, but clearly humour or lack of it is a relative issue. I was accused of many things include fanning a genocidal vibe. Me, of all people that I was campaigning for the mass murder of the Kikuyu people!

Any ways I learnt my lessons. Especially after I took myself to TV making what must be deemed as the most disastrous TV appearance of 2014 and in deed the decade. But all in all, it was a good year in my writing career, though I was not as prodigious as I would have wished. I procrastinated too much. Hope 2015, I will procrastinate less.

2014 was a painful year. On Friday 8, August, my boy Ray bought me a beer at Psys in town and we shared a quick word before I left him with his fiancée. The following Friday, exactly a week to the minute he had bought me the drink, I received a call from his brother that he had been involved in a fatal accident and died on the way to hospital. Ray’s death was one of those that overpower you with emotions. As in, he is young, so full of life, and has a bright future, then kaboom! He is gone.

It reminds us of how fleeting life is. That death taught me the reality and brutality of death in recent times. And a week prior to Christmas, another fine young man from the village where I grew up was knocked down at City Cabanas, bringing the number of young, fine individuals who had died in accidents in two years to three.

Such is life. So 2015, start living. Drop negative people. Exercise. Eat well. Drink water. Love your man or your woman. Be faithful, Aids is real. Exercise, even if it means walking every few kilometres daily.

Here is to hope that we will all make it to 2015. And to hope the blog will morph into a website. And to hope that I will finally publish a book or two.

I thank you guys for having been part of the family. For taking time to read, comment. I cannot be more grateful.

See you in 2015. Keep well.

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Rafikiz. Lang’ata. And the art of clubbing in Nairobi

WARNING: LONG POST AHEAD. DON’T START UNLESS IN TRAFFIC OR AT HOME.OR YOU HAVE AT LEAST 20 MINUTES.

You don’t need a kindergarten certificate to know that the alcoblow killed all the night clubs along Lang’ata Road. Even a goat knows this fact. Lang’ata, if you will, is an estate of wannabes. A stop over estate once you move from Eastlands (Umoja & Donholm) on your social climbing to Kilimani or Kileleshwa. A very useless of all estates of Nairobi. Ask a Lang’ata person where they stay and they let out ‘L.A’ slide from their mouth, you would think, they do not overlook Africa’s biggest slum.

L.A. It is aspirational of Los Angeles. Wishful thinking at its worst. In deed Lang’ata has its fair share of attractions. Uhuru Gardens, the most unkempt park in Africa. Lang’ata Cemetery, the most overcrowded cemetery in Africa. Carnivore, the only joint of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa, very overrated of course (I know because they do not have cubicle urinals, as respectable joints that sell water for the price of beer do). Lang’ata has Wilson Airport, which word has it that it will be grabbed in our lifetime, so save those memories for the children.

Lang’ata has an army outpost known as Maroon Commandos who the average Kenyan does not know what they do-neither do they really care-except that they used to have a band that used to churn some good patriotic songs before Nonini and his ilk revised patriotism to mean removing panties from women. All these young men sing nowadays is imaginary wealth, imaginary haters and imaginary bitches.

Lang’ata also prides itself of the National Park. If I was the president, there is no way animals will lead better lives than human beings, the park will have to be relocated to somewhere in Isiolo, that land will provide more value as a residential or corporate space than what is being used for. They will be poached. Besides, tourism is not what it is cracked up to be any more in the wake of insecurity and overpricing of the entry fee. Many tourists have discovered paying Sh 1,300 to go see one lion in its cage is not the best way of spending your money when the National Geographic does a better a job. Besides, it is cheaper down South.

Enough of the estate, now to its people. If you are a parent and you have a daughter aged 19-35, and she lives in Lang’ata, just insure her liver. Those Lang’ata women can outdrink EABL’s production capacity. Only Lang’ata women go to the bar in sleepers and talk about their ka-‘local’ with a certain regal air as if all their locals are red-carpet affairs. Lang’ata packs the highest of women who drink without male company. And they drink manly, tough whiskeys. Incidentally, their men drink the sissy green-bottled beers, in their casual wear.

Lang’ata is inherently middle-class and the headquarters of the chips-funga business. More women are chips-fungwad in Lang’ata than any other estate in an African city, north of River Limpompo. The young men there, with their apartments, plasma-TVs, velvet carpets and humongous refrigerators, can funga any college girl from Strathmore and Catholic Uni. That stuff in the household is what they aspire to. Equally, Lang’ata clubs often pack a higher concentration of beautiful women than any other partying place in Nairobi. Westlands attracts ratchets. Hurlingham is generally for Nairobi’s has-beens (male and female).

That brings me to Lang’ata. Back in campus, when we outgrew clubbing in town, some disappeared to Westie. Back then there was Rezorous and that notorious stretch where women used to be fingered on car bonnets and bhang smoked in the wee hours of the night. Those dating cougars or sugar daddies naturally ventured to Hurlingham. And people like me used to come to Lang’ata. Back then, my boy Omosh used to drive and we could pass by Nairobi West for cheap liquor and pork (everyone in Lang’ata does that) before venturing to Lang’ata. We would go Psys. Cool, decent place that used to park pretty mamas. I remember Nelly, a lawyer buddy, in his late 30s, but well kept, getting it on with a female stranger (she was young, possibly 21, college going). She was short, but beautiful and a body as a man you would wish to ravage. Especially, her waist, hips and butt were exceptional. And she danced like a genie.

She was in the company of another chick and another young boy who looked like the friendzoned chap, who massaged their feet and fetched Mara Moja in the morning when the two ladies were nursing a cruel hangover. Nick made a move. He bought the boy Pilsner (that beer for young men who are decidedly rebellious of the national drink-Tusker). Actually, he bought him two. He bought the other chick Kingfisher or Wodpecker or some drink in a hideously short and fat bottle. Here is the thing, a woman who takes Kingfisher or Woodpecker is a) beginner drink, b) short, c) in college, d) chips-funguable, d)no class, e) all of a-e. And the young pretty lass took Black Ice whose effects are known to have helped men get laid in this town since 2002.

They didn’t decline. I went out, when I came back; Nelly was fishing with his tongue deep down her throat and she hang on to Nelly as if he was giving her a life-saving kiss. It was the wettest, erotic kiss I have ever seen in a club. I could see her toes curl. Nelly held her sizable butt with such a treacherous dexterity, massaging them gracefully; I had to look the other way since other body parts in me were getting aroused.

At Psys, my boy Omosh ever sliced me a lady I had brought along. But given Omosh was driving and buying, the woman shifted her loyalty. I’m used to these things in this sin city. Then Off-Road came along. Good club, spacious. But it arrived too late in the day. And then there was the strippers club. I once peeped in and saw a naked lady with a potbelly and boobs that gravity had flattened. I was asked to pay Sh 500. I bought fries and chicken instead in the nearby fast food joint.

But all the time I clubbed in Lang’ata, we deliberately ignored Rafikiz. We did pass by once or twice but I never quite had a beer there. It was always too crowded and half the crowd were guys I knew from college. Mostly, classmates. Female classmates were always in the company of ugly men. And male classmates always in the company of beautiful lasses. Rafikiz had class. At some point, Kidum-at his peak-used to perform there on Wednesday and 28-35 year-old women had all the fun in the world as they sipped their Amarula or Tequila-Rose or any creamy alcohol that is so beloved by stable women.

Don’t know what happened to Psys. But I recently gathered that they relocated to T-Mall. A month or so ago I accompanied my boy Stan to Psys and the place was so full, I could only find a place for one leg. It was packed by the college types. You know these young, portable women who float around the club restlessly like atoms, with smartphones chewing gum, smokies, samosas and anything chewable in a club. They are annoyingly aggressive, full of hormones and pheromones. The type that comfortably gives lap dances to their broke college boyfriends as they wink to the bloke across the table, whom they give the number in the loo, 43 minutes later. Meet him for coffee on the following Tuesday, where she deny and denounces their boyfriend like the biblical Peter when he was approached and asked if he was Jesus’ mate.

By Saturday, the man takes him to a bigger club where beer goes for Sh 300, hence no chance of meeting the college bloke who probably will be drinking Kenya Cane in his college room, wondering where she is (she told him she is going to visit her aunt in Kawangware), but he knows it was a white lie. Needless to say how the story ends.

Anyway, you can only stand on one leg for so long, we left Psys.

Anyway, last Saturday, my homeboy Nyambega Gisesa asked me to accompany him to Rafikiz. He was with his missus, one of the finest in Kenya with an equally beautiful lass from Central Kenya with an ass from Nyanza. So outrageously good and round, she must have been fathered by a Luo. So we venture to Rafikiz.

9.47 pm, we check in. The place is soooooo boring from the get go, it hits me that despite their recent revamping, the club is dead. Even if Beyonce performed there naked, it will never rise again to its peak. Its best days are behind it. Kenyans have moved on. And Kenyans are an unforgiving lot. Once they move on, they carry on. While their renovation and remaking is marvelous, (the décor is world class). The counter lighting and bubbly glassy stuff (don’t how it is called) gives the club the some touch of class. But it was boring. They could not even afford a live DJ and settled for a recorded DJ Andre CD. How disrespectful. It played music so randomly, so unthematic that at 12.37 or was it 12.38, a random Celine Dion blue played. That is how uninspiring the place was.

You can tell a club on its death bed by the faces of its waiters. If they are tired, jaded and unsmiling, it is because they are painfully aware of the fact that their jobs are at stake. There were a handful of folks who had just bought their first drinks and realised that the club was not going to pick. We even got one of the lounge chairs and settled for our drinks. In most Nairobian Clubs, lounge chairs are all taken by 6.10 pm.

As usual, I’m too stiff and too shy to dance, I settled to study the guys in the club. There was a couple seated across on the high table. There was beautiful, dark and averagely tall chick, in a floral top and dark jeans pants. Averagely beautiful and a shapely body while at it. She had her natural hair short and tied to the back by a band or string and wore simple shoes. Her man was the nerdy type, with a chocolate complexion. He wore those small, professional spectacles and had one of those slim and long smartphones that he fiddled with even when his lass shoved her boobies his direction. They were both in their 20s.

The chick seemed so desperate to please the boy. And the boy seemed so determined not to reciprocate. Either she had cheated on him and the man could not find it in him to forgive her or the man is just stupid. He was so casually disinterested that at some point she tried kissing him, but he pushed his head aside making her to kiss the air. At some point, she tried to shove her ass on his groin, but he sat facing the other way. I have seen sheep behave better. At some point she even forced a few selfies with the man, but the man cooperated albeit reluctantly. The man was either prick, a eunuch or a coldhearted SOB. Or the chick had committed such grave offense, could it be an abortion?

Anyway, they were there up 1.03 am. At around 1.20 am, the club kept filling up. In walked some Nigerians with their overbearing swag. One was dressed in all white and men who don all white attire or white pants are either drug dealers on human traffickers. But what intrigued me was the woman tow. She was tall, dark-skinned, slender, and leggy (with enough meat on her legs to caress). She was beautiful, not exceptionally so though. She had some braids wound on the head. She looked like one of those chicks who are bright, and study something tough like accounts or Bio-Systems in University of Nairobi. She was in the shortest black dress, I have seen all year round. It barely covered her but and two inches of her thighs in the front. The type that you yank off or pull up when you get home, all drunk and horny. Definitely, she was giving it up that night, despite the etiquette and false sense air of importance she accorded herself. One of our prime preoccupation as men, and I mean all men is seeing a chick who is so professional, full of airs knocked up. It restores hope in humanity that at least there is a man who hits it raw. It is only fair.

The Nigerians were dancing like villagers in the Hausa Province or Igbos exorcising ghosts in a forest. They were seedy. Lord, I hate their guts. At some point I saw a bouncer violently hurl one of them out of the club. And I hopped he will come for all of them. I saw the man fetch a stool, with a cushion and give it to the woman. It was a deceptive sense of chivalry, but I saw the woman so happy, I knew she would give it up that night. Works all the time.

In the other table were two black and huge women. Possibly Luo, given their guts and one of them was not afraid of shaking what she got. They were probably sisters. They took after each other so much. They were drinking some whiskey or gin, whose name I couldn’t possibly make out. One was in a figure-hugging dress that revealed where the rift-valley of her ass runs through, leaving little to the imagination. She was stiff, and scarcely danced. She seemed like she recently arrived from the UK or some European destination that requires her to be condescending. But they were old. In their very late 20s or early 30s. They kept exchanging words with some men who could be their cousins, neighbours or male peers. Or shagmates, not that I care. But they had a certain animal magnetism about them. The type that as man , you need five boiled eggs, three Redbulls and Viagra before you can brave them. You can tell the amount of energy you need in kilojoules for you to satisfy a woman from the way she dances, The more vigorous, the more the energy. I for one, will never date a Jaimaican dancer.

And in walked the most beautiful woman of the night. She was short but with 100% facial beauty. Young, possibly in her early 20s and in college. She wore some figure-hugging grey dress that did all the justice in the world to her ass. She was in the company of a youngish, tall man who had dressed up to for the club-neatly pressed white pants and a black shirts. They looked quite a couple. I tried to sneak glances at her. I hoped she will follow me to the loo as they often do. Or outside. She had those eyes. Eyes that tell you she can play her man. Or was it the boy. I know them. She looked at me. I beckoned her out. As I stood out, she kept looking at me. Again I went to the loo, she saw me. Looked at me, read my mind, but chose to ignore me.
***
Disappointing night. Anyway that is clubbing is all about. I like studying couples. Those who likely to give it up the night, possibly raw. Those to likely to give it, possibly under protection. You can tell by how she is dressed and how she dances. If skimpy dressed and daces vigorously and they are both drunk, then you know who is hitting it raw that night. I mean in the club, it is all about alcohol and sex in undisguised fashion.

I can tell couples who are not getting along at all. I can tell a man straining to buy drinks, possibly drinking his rent. Or school fee. Or on a debt. They are always sullen and keep looking at their watch. You can know the man who is being played. You can know a man who is not sleeping with the woman for that given night. I know what it feels like drinking with a woman who at the end of the night pays for her cab fare and kisses you on your cheeks, yet you are so randy you have to pass by Koinange or another club and funga some chips.

I like seeing the naked intentions of men. When they touch and fondle with the bottoms of women. I like seeing women getting aroused on the dance floor or in the club as the alcohol works through their veins. About the time they start kissing strangers and giving them lap dances and exchanging numbers where they save them as Deno-Rafikiz and he saves Sharon-Rafikiz. You know those times, around 4.30, when guys are leaving the club, the waiters and waitresses are tired as a snake that just gave up its poison, or a man who just came –in bed-. Those times when someone is fingering a woman in a corner like he is exploring for oil. Some even have attempted sex, to disastrous consequences, either from the bouncer. Or she got pregnant.

I like it when Sauti Sol’s Sura yako plays and electrifies the club, getting women to gyrate like there is no tomorrow. All in all, we all go to clubs for various reasons. Some to get wasted. Some to dance. Some to get a lay. Some to get over a break up. Some to escape the prison that is the walls of their apartments.

The best thing I have seen in a club was a man dancing to the Lingala ya Yesu in Dallas Club in Kisii town last August. The tall man, wearing the cap like the one Pitson dons in his video. The man danced to song so well, at times, simulating the parts of ‘ukipewa ka guitar tu’. He was so happy with himself. Smiling and having a good time. I suppose that is clubbing what clubbing is all about. A life that happily I’m leaving behind as I pursue other bigger things in life.

As you party this Christmas, enjoy responsibly. Accidents and AIDS are real. Be your brother’s keeper. Merry Christmas and thanks for the company this year so far. I have one more dispatch next week as we wrap up the year.

Keep it The Deal.