Culture, French, Kenya, Life, Love, Prose, Travel

Odysseys, junkets and business trips: woes and pleasures


I try hard not to smile but I'm happy..clap along...no? ppshhhh
I try hard not to smile but I’m happy..clap along…no? ppshhhh

Ever had an idea hit you and actually makes you wonder how dumb you must have been minutes before it occurred? No? Happens to me every 6 months as I look back on my life. And I laugh at how smart I thought I was then. This is what recently happened when I realized that I have never written of my travels despite having visited a couple of countries. I am not yet the “Up in the Air” type but still I have been to India. Yes I like mentioning that because in my planned travels as I grew up, that was never in the plans. I have passed through some really hot (and not in the beautiful kinda hot way though they are) places like Qatar and the UAE. I left my jaw at the Ethiopian airport. I wonder how the Ethiopian men maintain their sanity with that much beauty floating around them. No wonder they are always doing long distance running. One has to get a way to get rid of the dhaaaasttt you know. 😉 And I have been to countries where my French versatility really came as a great help. But never have I ever been at a loss like I am where I am now. To be surrounded by people whose only knowledge of English are the words yes and no. Not really their fault. I should have learnt Portuguese. But for now I have to contend with loads of sign language and “Portuguese-lised French”.

My woes started as soon as we landed, it was funny at first but then it became very annoying. We landed in the middle of the airport. About 2 kilometres from the actual airport. (I am not sure about the distance, I have said before on this blog how messed up I am at estimating distances). You see the thing is, we had come in the huge Boeing 777-300ER and the Luanda airport could not accommodate it till some planes moved. So we had to stay right smack in the middle of the runway and wait. But tell that to the travelling group of about 40 Chinese guys. No. They stood up and started getting their luggage and heading to the exits. This was despite the explicit instructions from the pilot to stay seated. The flight attendants had to get each one of them back to their seats but 10 minutes later they were up again and at the doors. I laughed my heart out to the chagrin of the cabin crew who were very annoyed by now. I kept wondering why they were in a hurry to get off the plane. Was Angola moving and I didn’t know? I am rarely in a hurry when I have no control of the factors influencing time.

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We finally made it into the airport and we got to queue as usual at the passport control/immigration. I have never really cared which is which. I had 10 of the Chinese clique ahead of me, fast talking in Mandarin, (I think) while carrying bags so big they looked like they were KDF in training. I try not to judge or be prejudicial based on race, tribes etc. But something happened that had me chewing on my spectacles (yes, I still say that instead of glasses) to avoid spilling the bile that built up in me. I had more venom on my tongue than a cobra that has its flute hypnotist playing the “Toklezea” tune. You see as we got in, they were checking for Yellow Fever cards before ushering you to passport control. Many of the Chinese guys did not have theirs or had put them way too deep in their big bags. (Yes, that happens to someone with so many fanny packs, they look like they have the Batman utility belt. 🙂 ) Anyway, most of them were behind the 150 t0 200 or so other passengers. Soon some of them started coming and checking with the 10 ahead of us (you know language barrier and all, yes I thought I had it bad till you see a Mandarin vs Portuguese conversation). I don’t know how it happened, neither do the other passengers as no one complained. But 15 minutes later, all the 40 Chinese guys were ahead of us. SAY WHAAAT??!! That single moment almost made me hate a whole race. But I am a pretty rational person so I simmered it down when I remembered just 4 years ago I had a really huge crush on one of their ladies. 🙂

 

That aside, for the first two days here, I had to drink juice yet I really wanted water at the hotel. You all know “Water thirst” is unquenchable any other way. Poor me. Only one receptionist speaks English and he works during the day when I’m off to work. Finally my Wi-Fi worked and I Googled the word. I felt silly. Again wondering how stupid I was 2 days ago. Aqua would easily become agua. SMH. But that was not to be the end of my woes, coming from the office very late at night one day meant, I had to take a motorbike as the actual taxis are very expensive, like a 100 dollar expensive and they offer no receipts. This would mean reconciliation wars back in Kenya so I opted for the cheaper 200 Kwanza option. A friend from work negotiated the price and told the driver/rider the hotel name then he left. So 5 minutes later, we are cruising on a highway, no helmets on and me holding the motorbike carrier so hard I almost pull off the mesh. My Kenyan man genes can’t allow me to put my hands around a man’s waist. I’d rather die (almost quite literally as that is what would have happened if we hit a pothole or bump). But I was more worried about the guy not having gotten the right hotel name and then I would have ended up disappearing in Angola and working in a diamond and oil mine to save enough money to get back to Kenya. Of course my family would want me back but I guess the more interesting search party would be Sanaa Book Club running tags like #BringBackTheMane #KeepTheBandit on Twitter. This might seem like a joke but it almost happened in Vadodara, India. Having been to more urban provinces like New Delhi and Bangalore. I ended up wandering past the “English literacy” zone. So I was stranded outside a market, jewellery, sun glasses, saris in a paper bag trying to explain to 5 tuk tuk guys where my hotel was. Never felt tears sting the eyes so much but I couldn’t cry. They finally flowed from relief later at the hotel as I hurriedly packed for a flight that was at 1 AM if I remember well. I had got back to the hotel at 11 PM having cleared at the market by 7 PM.

Is this what Anto Neo Soul is singing about?? lol.. Sari sari sari sari...
Is this what Anto Neo Soul is singing about?? lol.. Sari sari sari sari…
I got late being a celeb. They thought I was from the States. :)
I got late being a celeb. They thought I was from the States. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They tell you that certain gestures are vulgar in certain cultures. No one told me about English words (I thought they all meant the same everywhere) and so surprise…..surprise when everyone looked at me shocked and in disbelief when I asked about the clubbing scene. So apparently, a club in Luanda is a brothel or are brothel like. And not chips funga brothel-like. Like naked or 1/16th dressed people kinda brothel. House parties are the norm here for most young people. I am yet to confirm this. Nairobi men would thrive in this kind of environment. That is unless the below happens but I hear that is rare here. 🙂

Phone yake imeenda mteja... lmao
Phone yake imeenda mteja… lmao

 

One thing I have learnt from travelling is that home is not just where the heart is. No. Whenever I travel I miss my country so much and I’m nostalgic to the point that the “Bonoko” audio file I have on my phone provides solace. Home is where I’m understood.Home is where my jokes are laughed at. Home is where my family is. Home is where my best and oldest friends are. Home is where I love with a fierceness that scares even me. With the corruption, the lies, the blood, the tears, the potholes, the afandes. I love my home. Blood will flow for the moment but we shall be peaceful again. Home is in my prayers.  Home is where I love so many people even those I don’t tell, those I can’t tell, those I won’t tell. Home is Kenya. Home is 4 days away. 😀

And now for some shots of the worldly me. 🙂

 

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MVP…. 😛
Brrrrrrr.......
Brrrrrrr…….

 

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It’s like I fell in a Vaseline bucket… 😦
Awesome team...worldly..
Awesome team…worldly..
The gym does not know timezones..
The gym does not know timezones..

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Never felt like such a pimp...hehehe
Never felt like such a pimp…hehehe
Prose

A game of thongs


The great people of Westeros after having reconciled to serve under one king or rather queen…Khaleesi Daenerys Targaryen decide to conquer more of the world. They arrive at Metropolis ready for war but they find the Justice League waiting for them. The Khaleesi feeling that there should be no blood shed offers the Justice League a chance to surrender.

Daenerys: We have dragons. Surrender and you shall not be harmed.

Nightwing: We have Superman.

Tywin Lannister: We have loads of kryptonite found in our mines at Lannisport. You really have to know when the war is lost.

The Flash: That is if you can get to it before I can.

Red Priestess: You cannot outrun the Lord of light.

The Flash: puhlease…I can break the speed of light.

Lord Varys: My little birds tell me if you do that now you would die.

Batman: Your little birds cannot find out most of my secrets.

Tyrion Lannister: Son, never forget what you are. For the world will surely not. You are an orphan. Say it!

Batman: I’m Batman!!

Jaime Lannister: What a bunch of sissies walking around in tights.

(Renly Baratheon whispers to The Knight of flowers, Loras Tyrell): I do love their look. Especially that Robin boy. Boywonder I hear they call him *sniggers*

Wonder Woman: If I call my sisters, your army will be no match for us.

(Robin Arryn to his Mother): I’m hungry. I want to feed from her. *Points at Wonder Woman’s bosom*

Aquaman: Watch your mouth boy.

Jon Snow: I have known a better woman than yours fish boy.

Ygritte: Awww…

Martian Manhunter: You know nothing Jon Snow.

Ned Stark: Bring me Ice.
*Theon Greyjoy brings forth the Valyrian Steel sword.*

Ned Stark: I mean ice for my ale boy!

Ramsey Snow: Let’s castrate them all. *Psycho grin*

Superman: We don’t recognize the Kingdom of Westeros. And we are very much against incest. *Throws a glance at Cersei.*

Joffrey Baratheon: Treason! Kill them all! Treason!

(Daenerys looks over to Daario Naharis and Ser Jorah): What say you my trusted advisors?

Daario: Valar morghulis.

The fighting starts. Littlefinger stands far away humming: “Chaos is a ladder….”
He feels the cold blade at his throat and then the renown chilling words. “Why so serious?”

Deep and overstood, Hip hop, Life, Love, Prose, The Teenage Years

Music alone shall live


All things shall perish from.

Under the sky.

(Music alone shall live.)  x 3

Never shall die.

The above was a voice practice verse that we used to do when I was in the mixed Alliance and Alliance Girls school choir. I know it’s hard to imagine I ever sang. Actually I still do. However, with a very raspy voice, thanks to years of screaming at rock concerts, football matches and of course the accompanying cold Milele (that’s Kenya’s greatest beer – Tusker – for those who might get lost early on in this post.)

I listen to very many genres of music. I have a favourite in at least each one that I know of. However growing up, this was not always the case. I grew up in the MCM and Channel O era. They say if she does not know of this, she’s too young for you but hey, girls my age are married or having kids 😀 . This meant the choice of genres of music was not that much and we did not have that fast internet we now pride ourselves in nor the easily available torrents and music DVDs. So do not judge the fact that I had a crush on Aaliyah, Mariah Carey (used to call her Maria then not Maryah), Britney Spears and Janet Jackson. I really did not have that many singers to choose from. However, in a weird way, my greatest crush was always one, the Late Lisa “left eye” Lopes. I have a thing for tomboy-ish girls like Keri Hilson, the old Rihanna etc. WHY AM I TALKING ABOUT THIS??

It is no wonder that R n B was most predominantly my genre in my primary school life. I knew of the existence of Hip Hop but growing up in a household where the word kiss was almost taboo, how were you going to be singing along to Ice Cube, Dre, Mack Dre, Xzibit and Lost Boyz? You would probably spontaneously combust and end up in a heap of cussing ashes. (Yes I love writing curse that way). By the time I was joining high school, the Godfather of Genge (Nonini) , the best there ever was (E-Sir), Mr Lenny, Mr Googz, Vinny Banton and of course Nameless were becoming part of my life. We had the girls too. Wahu, Amani and I remember one Melissa de Blok. She was awfully cute. She still is. 🙂 Local Kenyan music became a big part of me and my patriotism made me shun foreign music. There were older groups before that but I was too young to have known their music like Limit X. And can someone remind me who sang that “Niongeleshe” song?

I especially hated rock music by then which I deemed noise. That was up until the beat dropped on the chorus to “It’s my life” by one Jon Bon Jovi. I am not good rather not great with rules and here was a chorus I could relate to. And thus my love for rock was born. In came Matchbox Twenty, Creed, Blink 182, The Corrs, The Calling, Maroon Five etc. I still hated Hip Hop. It was not as poetic as I found rock to be. Someone should have pointed me in the right direction.

This was to change so fast. I was barely out of high school when I encountered a Jay Z Album followed by a Nas one, A Common one and Talib Kweli’s “Beautiful Struggle” afterwards. I could barely believe how much I had missed all these years. All genres were dropped as I got accustomed to Hip Hop. I was listening to everything. From local to international Hip Hop. Even French Hip Hop. I started writing poems with punch-lines and I could hear the beat in my head. Its fiery lightning buzzing in my ears.

I am that guy that goes physically and internally crazy when parts of a certain song come up. I have had other songs that make me clench my fists and almost scream as the beat drops since Jon’s old rock song. I don’t know how many of these are anyone’s favourite but I will list them just as well.

Let's go bananas!!!!
Let’s go bananas!!!!
  • Imagine Dragon’s Radioactive the first verse part where they make a breathing in sound.
  • Maroon 5’s Harder to breathe. The first drum set just before the song starts.
  • Macklemore’s Can’t hold us . The first 4 lines that go like: “

Return of the Mack, get up!
What it is, what it does, what it is, what it isn’t.
Looking for a better way to get up out of bed
Instead of getting on the Internet and checking a new hit”

Take that rage, put it on a page
Take the page to the stage
Blow the roof off the place

  • Creed’s Lullaby
  • Nas’ Hate me now as the beat drops at the start of the song.
  • The last line in Jay Z’s What more can I say?
  • Swedish House Mafia’s Don’t you worry child. The whole song because of the fact as the group was splitting up. I felt like this was an ode to their fans. Telling them not to worry as they left the world music scene.
  • Avicii’s Wake me up when the beat drops after these lines:

I didn’t know I was lost
I didn’t know (didn’t know, didn’t know)

Of course, after all is said and done, the most current, blood-heating, bone-chilling, heart-bursting, dopamine-gushing, insanity roof-breaking song remains Idina Menzel’s Chorus from Let it go in Frozen immediately after these words:

My power flurries through the air into the ground.
My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around
And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast
I’m never going back; the past is in the past!

For goodness sake there’s the word “fractals” in the song!!! I had to Google the word when I heard the song for the first time.

 I have been in this world for over quarter of a century. I have listened to as much music as I can. From the best of Bob Marley to the Waterworld of Handel and the New Age of Enya. I have gone insane listening to Mozart, playing an invisible violin to Lindsey Stirling’s Crystallize. I am a child of the world. I exist in colour, in words, in art and most importantly in sound. They do not speak of the earthly bodies in heaven, these dust to dust bodies. There is no talk of paintings or murals there too. But they talk of harps, trumpets, singing etc. One thing is for sure. Music alone shall live.

I seen a rainbow yesterday
But too many storms have come and gone
Leavin’ a trace of not one God-given ray
Is it because my life is ten shades of gray
I pray all ten fade away
Seldom praise Him for the sunny days

And like His promise is true
Only my faith can undo
The many chances I blew
To bring my life to anew
Clear blue and unconditional skies
Have dried the tears from my eyes
No more lonely cries – Lisa Lopes/ TLC

Love, Prose

Cheater’s player


Girls love bad boys. And nice guys always finish last. We have heard all these cliché quotes before. And no my title is not a mistake for those who have heard the ragga song by Chris Martin. I am here to discuss fidelity, cheaters, players, forgiveness and moving on. I told someone minutes before I typed this out, that we will never be finished products. We learn from mistakes. We tweak ourselves to become better. We leave behind some of our beliefs. Change our dogmas as life moves along and we grow up, for some of us just growing old is the only benefit. I am up at 5 am typing this because that is just who I am. Sometimes I don’t get any sleep at all. And on a night like this or rather day as it is morning, I get an idea to write. It is in a writer’s prerogative to never keep an inspired thought for another day. I decided to start writing prose so I can explain my life in a more direct fashion that people could understand better than the poems I have written since I was a wee kid. Moreover, I can get to calm down the turmoil in my mind. It is also just right as I have been known to talk quite a lot. When in the mood. At other times, I am so quiet that people actually think I am sick. I am that guy who will be overjoyed and making noise when you visit but three hours later I am spent and quiet and wondering when you will leave.

On this blog, I have written various poems and articles. Themes have ranged from love, religion, family and odes to a crush. 🙂 . Today I hope to open another door. I hope to educate not just entertain. People listen to me. People say I give great advice. On schooling, relationships, career. I am not saying that I take my advice. The point is I listen and I give you an honest opinion that applies to your situation. YOUR SITUATION. That is one big reason I don’t read self-help books. I don’t believe one person’s account or opinion can apply to millions of people. You can only be the best help to yourself. You have the best chance of understanding yourself. The guy who designs the car knows how it works better than the mechanic who later services it. That is just my opinion.

Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. These are the best known trademark steps of grief and being cheated on. I have cheated before. I could not understand the pain the other person was going through despite having been cheated on before. I am so indifferent and nonchalant at times it even shocks me. That might also explain why I don’t attend funerals anymore. But that is a story for another day. The point I hope to discuss today is that last step. The acceptance part.

Acceptance has been heavily linked with forgiveness and moving on. People toy around with the forgetting part and that’s where I draw the line. I don’t forget anything. Because that is where the lesson is forgotten. The hurtful decisions and mistakes are swept under the rug and we hold our noses to the stink. This goes out mostly to the ladies. They are the most probable victims of this. Men are somehow wired to be so jealous and egotistical that forgiving let alone forgetting is almost impossible. Without betraying any gender unlike one Mr. Steve Harvey who I still have a bone to pick with, I will explain why.

Let me put this in perspective. First, you need to get this into your mind no matter how short, fat, “ugly” or low-born (Game of Thrones influence) you think you are. You are the best of you there is. You are the star in your life. And you will always be the catch no matter who you friend or date. This means that you should never ever settle for less than you deserve. The same respect and love that you give should be accorded to you. You are not in this life to please anyone. Leave ass kissing to…well…the asses..I mean donkeys. Part of your life goal would be to make someone happy. But make truly sure that you are getting the same thing out of it. I speak from both sides of the spectrum. As a cheater and a victim.

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Below are the most common thoughts in the mind of the two when people choose to forget.

CHEATER

  • Mmmh I am this great, I actually did this and she still wants me back?
  • Is she dumb or something, maybe I should look for someone better.
  • She has not forgotten, she just wants to punish me. I really need to look for someone else for when this goes awry.
  • Now that I already cheated, she wants back in so she can hurt me the same way by cheating. That means I should just continue cheating to avoid the heartache when she does.
  • I am the King of the world.

VICTIM

  • Is there something wrong with me? Why did he cheat on me? Am I fat? “Ugly”?, stupid? On that last one, you probably are if you go back.
  • I must have made the mistake, why would he have been talking to another girl?
  • I need to better myself for him to keep him.
  • I guess now I’ll start cooking and cleaning for him.
  • I can’t be faithful to this kind of person but I really need him in my life.
  • I am the punishment of God.

From the points above, you can see that the outcome on both ends is not healthy for anyone. So, I am here to make you understand one thing. You should never go back and you should never forget. A person who cheats on you does not love and does not care. Maybe they once did but not anymore. No matter how physical or emotional the cheating is, what it means is that at that one time you were playing second fiddle to someone else. Ironic, considering someone was probably playing with his fiddle. It means that you could easily stop being number one in his/her life again if the opportunity presented itself. You, my dear have become what he is settling for. For the moment. Of course there are exceptions. Not in my book though. And they are rare as a truly great CW series. Do not gamble. And if you have to, make sure you are not an amateur at the blackjack table.

cheat

Some people just give in because of their age. Don’t do that. No matter what. Do not settle. Life remains the longest thing you ever have to do. One man had his first book published at 96. If you forget you don’t learn. And if you don’t learn you never grow, mature or model yourself to be able to have the right instincts. You also never get to learn how to handle certain challenges. Always remember, you are the star of your life. Don’t let anyone tell you or make you feel any different.

Love, Njeri, Prose, Woman Power

Mama knew love


The chorus to Anthony Hamilton’s song by the post title goes like this:

Mama knew love like the back roads.

Used to fall asleep daily in her work clothes.

Mom I swear you never have to worry again.

Last Sunday was Mother’s day. Throughout the week, I got to catch up on several blog posts that I follow that had articles on lost parents written recently or in past years. Some of them had tears welling up in my eyes. This post is not only about mothers though it might lean a lot towards this earthly angels. Aleya’s story on her mum losing her father and her realizing that her mum was a daughter just like she was gave a new perspective on how many shoes one can occupy in a lifetime. A child will grow up to be a daughter, a mother, a sister, an aunt and a grandmother. She will experience emotions on several tangents and axes but one thing is for sure. The graph will always remain the same. Biko worked around the same theme. He brought his daughter into it. Her resemblance with his late mother – God rest her soul – is just the slightest projections of how the life force is transferred from one being to another.

Owaahh stepped outside his listicles and history zone to bring us a new side of him. The loss of an uncle who understood him. That one relative you know gets you despite being a generation or 2 apart. Suprisingly, he has no fear of death despite being a free-thinker (I use this because I still have no idea whether he is an atheist or he is agnostic) just like me a true Christian believer. The final piece I read by Magunga had a tear roll down my cheek (I can’t say I sobbed like Ruto on an election winning Sunday because that is unmanly of African men). He not only lost his dad but the burial happened to be on his birthday. I have since re-assured him that if we were to consider burial as a celebration of his dad’s life. Then he should be proud of sharing this day with him as 2 lives get celebrated on that day. One for the life lived and one for more years to come ahead.

I am lucky to have both my parents alive. And these 4 have given their existence new meaning if at all I never knew it. As the typical Mama’s boy and a last born, I shall mostly talk of my mother. As most African men know. The relationship with our fathers is a grunt stew spiced with a “Where did Stone Cold go?” rhetorical question here and there. It is not an Aromat moment. My dad once kicked a football to my stomach while we played against my brothers and his best words of consolation is to get up or we might lose the game. Dad, you are the best!! 😀

Now this woman Njeri, she is the apple of my eye. She has literally been there every single step of my life. From a sickly kid, through school, through life and she continues to be there. Her words, her prayers and her Bible have been a morality tower for as long as I can remember. Of course against her yardstick, I am as bent as a Vera Sidika shoe rack. She does not get yet how morality applies in my generation. Every generation keeps falling a level below.

The year is  1994. I am lying on her lap in a Limuru hospital. I have lost so much strength from throwing up all my food, all week. This was an illness that had plagued me since I was either 5 or 6. One last time and I had no more strength to hold onto consciousness. All went black…………… I woke up about 2 hours later. My mum was holding me on a hospital bed. She was all cried out. Apparently, at a certain time, the doctor after several tries at reviving me had given up and told her to expect the worst. I was back from the “dead”. It would take another 3 years before the illness finally went away. Never got a diagnosis. And by then she put at task the project to fill up my skinny bones. In a year I was the “fluffiest” in class. 🙂 . A “condition” that would follow me till running after some hard ball with curved sticks at the Alliance High School would finally burn up all the Fluff (Not you Zo).

This woman here is a Superwoman. Literally!! Seen here with the man who inspired my hair. “Mum, I heard you hating on mini skirts recently huh?”

That photo would need carbon dating were it not for the clear date below it.
That photo would need carbon dating were it not for the clear date below it.

She never got to University and with her college education and her teaching career, she decided that all her kids will have to excel. “Education is the key” was and still is her motto. It would open doors that would enable you to unlock your potential. She was up by 5 everyday. To heat water for us to wash up. Tea and bread was always ready and lunch packed for the day. Our parents’ generation has told and re-told stories of having to walk miles to get to school in the morning dew and cold. I can proudly attest that I went through the same. The only difference being that I had shoes and some pretty warm clothes on. But my mum always knew deep in her heart that, that might be the way it began but that was not the way it was going to be at the end.

That is why immediately my KCPE results came out, she was up and about checking at national schools whether by any chance I had been admitted to one. The dream school was The Alliance. Hers and mine. But with some points off getting to the 600 mark, I was sure that dream was dead. So shock on me when she came home from Kikuyu one day with a list printed from the principal’s office. I had been selected to join Bush as we fondly (some less fondly know it. Starcherians and Mang’erians I see you). Selection number 116 out of 182. She had been worried for nothing but what a better thing for a parent to worry about. We had always had plan of how I could…no..would become a doctor. That was never going to happen for me as soon as we dissected that frog in biology class. But I am still a doctor of words. The Doctor Bandit? Close enough mum? no? ok.

We all have had those silly moments we think we hate our moms. Mine was probably because I missed a lot wrestling matches in primary school. She would try to explain to me how those guys were working and making money as I lost a chance to read and achieve my goals. But I would hear none of that. How could guys who seemed to be having so much fun be paid for that? Plus it all seemed so “REAL”? So it is was definitely a shock when later in campus I would miss watching football matches to go study while giving myself the same reason. Lesson learnt mother.

Homework time. Now what the hell colour is this?
Homework time. That’s the kind of head I cover with this hair.

Fast forward to the present. She wants me to shave (This is notwithstanding the fact that she used to pay for my hairdresser all the way through college and campus). She also wants to see a consistent/constant girlfriend. ( Someone should tell her of Celesste – see my last post – then maybe she could pray for a miracle 😀 ) I am trying mum. Not really but oh well. She also wants to see my kids. I always counter this with. “You have 7 kids, and I am the last born yes?”. To which she nods. And then I ask, “Only 2 of these kids have given you grandchildren and yet you still insist on mine?”. She tries to convince me that she is getting old and seeing the last born’s kids would be a good chapter to close at. At this point I pull a Balotelli face.Why always me Njeri? :D

She has a myriad issues with my piercing. Not actually the piercing itself but rather the sizes of studs I stick through it. I know how quiet and solemn dad is. So this eccentricity I posses definitely came from her. Try and convince her of that. Refer back to mini skirt above. I naturally revel in not following the crowd and stepping out of my comfort zone. It is no wonder that my favourite quote is: “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail”.

In the end I have allowed work, fatigue and all other excuses I come up with to make my visits to her less often. I used to go home every 2 weeks. Now it is every 2 months. And the wife/wives (You never know new Kenya and all) and kids will only make this duration longer. I may not see her often but I never fail to tell her I love her. I have had enough friends and experience to teach me on the importance of the time we have with our mothers in this world. It is almost sure that rarely does a parent bury her child. And with this conviction that she might and probably will leave before I do. It is upon me to celebrate her in any way I can and when I can. She has seen me through to the ripe age of 27 and she still hassles me when I don’t tell her I have a cold. It is innately in her to do this. You will never be nothing more than her fledgling. My mastery of this language I write in is from her careful but stern hand that guided me through Hallo Children, Read with us and the then popular English Aid. Who gives a kid an Encyclopaedia Britannica at age 10? I have tried to use my poetic prowess to immortalize her in words but always failed miserably. Words cannot describe her. She can only be loved, be thanked and be remembered. In this literary annals of the Internet I can leave this note. And hopefully generations after can find it or the aliens when they finally find an intelligent species on earth (my money is on the cat, otherwise how do you explain being such an insolent pet and still getting the best of treatments?). In the immortal words of Tupac Amaru Shakur

Pauline Njeri

Ain't a woman alive that can take my momma place
Ain’t a woman alive that can take my momma place

Crush, Deep and overstood, Life, Love, Prose

THE ECSTASY OF HER ESSENCE


“I am a poet!!”. That is what I told my friend last night when she asked me to write this prose piece about my current elevated heart rate. No, I am not suffering from HBP. Never have, thank God. Even when I was ultra “Fluffy”. You see the cause of all this hullabaloo is a girl. Who knows not my existence or my name. Ok, maybe my name. My pen name. But I will tell you about that in a moment. I am essentially a poet. I like rhythm and the ups and downs a poem goes through. I can feel the music in a piece. Know whether it should be a Hip Hop or Rock song were it ever to be used as so. Another thing is as a poet I don’t have to feel all naked to the whole world. I can hide within my persona. Say something means something different. Also, partly, us poets look down on prose writers. Hehe don’t burn me at the stake. We inherently believe that ours is a superior art form. Why, I don’t know. Anyway, this was one of the few reasons for the strong refusal to write a creative piece especially one that is factual, in prose form. In the end Shiku won. First I would like to thank her for listening in the first place. Though I had/have to part with 2 burgers (What this woman won’t do for food). She is lucky she has the “burn calories like rubber” gene that one.  But I digress. So Shiku agrees to listen to my love (more of a crush) woes in exchange for 2 burgers and tonnes of eye rolling and those silly tear-filled Whatsapp laughter smileys. By the end of it all I have typed over a thousand words (my estimation skills are really bad). I have like a hundred typos. Courtesy of typing on a touch screen phone. This I will never get used to. I miss my Nokia E6-00. Yes, I am that ancient. It is then that she suggests I make it a blog post hence why we are here.

This story needs a simple back story. I am picky as hell. Ok, hell isn’t so segregative maybe heaven. But in my entire life I have had 3 real relationships. There is a 4th one I don’t count because it was forced on me. That trick girls pull of telling all their friends you are the one before you even kiss her? So you have to become the boyfriend to avoid looking like an asshole to a bunch of people you have known for less than 24 hours? Well, never falling for that again. Let me be labelled an asshole but life is too short. I have a friend, Neema, who has worked in a morgue and is the proud author of the Morgue Chronicles. She drilled into me (Zosi would shout “phrasing” at this point) the fact that you get easily replaced when you die way before EABL had that idea (Awesome Ad by the way). You will notice how easily I get off topic. I am such a scatter brain and possess the attention span of the offspring of Dory from Finding Nemo and Chowder.

Errrmmm..where was I?
Errrmmm..where was I?

You will therefore forgive me for all the comments in parentheses. But that is just how my thought process is. So back to being picky. My 3 relationships. No breakup is easy. Last one was harsher than all. So I kind of gave up on love blah blah. But that is not what the post is about.

This post is about poetry, crushing and She. We shall call her Celesste (Don’t mind the spelling 🙂 ). I started writing poetry at the age of 14 in Form 2. That was almost 13 years ago. Yes, do the quick math of my age. Anyway, my poetry writing teenage self was motivated by a crush at the school across (We actually used to call it Across, Ax for short). This was the famous Alliance Girls high School. She was a class behind in Form 1. So the crush, had all the Shakespearean poetry I had read in an Encyclopaedia Britannica by the age of 12 come crashing down around me. I wrote and I wrote on some old exercise book. My love poetry is too strong. It has so much hopeless romanticism in it, it would have the strongest of girls running for the hills. I told Shiku that last night when she proposed I tag this new damsel in the poetry I have written for her (You can find the 3 poems here, hapa and ici). I however don’t know how I knew that then but that Form 1 girl never got to read the odes dedicated to her chocolate skin or her eyelashes and body in a maroon uniform. When her name was mentioned I used to lose my appetite. It was no better that my friends started calling me by her name. It’s no wonder I grew so thin (I have proof, I look like I will keel over before my next meal). Lack of appetite, hot ears, cold sweats and a sweet throbbing headache were just some of the symptoms of liking or maybe over-liking a girl for me. I thought it would always be like this. It is a sweet sickening feeling (like the smell of Dinitrogen monoxide, wooii I am such a geek) that you hate the fact that you love it. But that was not to be ever again for 12 years till 5 days ago. My thoughts are now re-grouping and I think I finally get why my boss calls me 106.5 FM (I will explain that on another post if this prose thing works out). Let me introduce you to Celesste.

The following events take place between 1900h on Saturday 2nd May 2014 to 0000h on Sunday 3rd May 2014. I had just arrived for the BAKE Awards at the Intercon (Thanks so much for this Ray, without you, I would not have known of BAKE, registration or obtained a ticket. You are God-sent. Add that to getting to lay eyes on this Celesstial-my spelling- creature). This was my first time. I had not been so willing to attend because sometimes I enjoy my company and my inside jokes (The Divine and Bandit are an awesome comedic duo). However I had to show up for this one. My friends Owaahh and Liz Lenjo Kagz were on the list of nominees and I would never be anything less than supportive. For Owaahh mostly was to make sure the plagiarists(not Ghafla) did not win or something like that. For Liz, it was finally about getting a sit down with a friend/sister I had known for over 9 years but barely got to meet ever so often. So we get there at 7 PM with Zo and she leaves me alone to go change into her awesome boots (Seen here). That meant I got to choose where we were to sit as we waited for the rest of Sanaa Book Club members (We call them InSanaaNites and we have a Facebook Closed Group, Twitter account and a WordPress blog) to arrive. Being my first time, I was overly eager to see what happens so I chose the second row, center, right in front of the dais. I am barely paying attention to the room by then because:

1: I have over 4 Whatsapp groups active and I don’t want my messages to pile up

2: Despite not being shy, my eyes really are. I have the notion that you might learn all I am thinking by looking into them and so they avoid other eyes unless when they want the person to really know I mean what I am saying.

However soon enough due to the constantly ON Internet activity, my phone soon beeps at 15% power. So I switch off data, engage power saving and pocket it. Then for lack of something better to do I start admiring the decor and looking around for anyone I might know. I have enough writer friends. But before I could find one I knew, that’s when I saw her. Seated on my extreme certain direction (Yes because right or left will reveal her identity) was the most beautiful person I had seen in live form (3D anyone? No? OK ).

She is somewhere in this crowd...sigh...Give me a like if you see me.
She is somewhere in this crowd…sigh…Courtesy of BAKE FB Page

As in really, I am not exaggerating, that was and is still my perception. I understand that people see things differently so leave me alone and my opinion. She was busy talking with the lady she was sitting with and so I had no way to catch her eye. I added that to the night’s checklist though. I had no idea who she was. My mind tells me celebrity, socialite, radio presenter etc. No prejudice or negativity but I ain’t got time to chase around that kind of woman. They have their kind of men. To each his own.

Time for that? No, we have none to spare.
Time for that? No, we have none to spare.

It is later in the night. She has eluded my no longer shy eyes till now. Then a certain blog wins a certain award and she stands and walks to the dais. Yes, right by my strategic sitting space. Oh madonna mia!!………………………………………………………..That was how long JP and I had our jaws on the floor. Zo now practically hates us. As in really, 2 guys who were supposed to be her dates. Owaahh is looking down. Pretending to pray (the atheist he is or is it agnostic?). He knows there are eyes boring a hole in his Megamind (Not a joke on the size of his head but his mind, really he is a genius… 🙂 ) daring him to look up and make a comment. Oh the intricacies of this book club. That has never discussed a single book to date I dare say. All we do is drink and give each other writing ideas and also get each other jobs. So all in all it works.

Celesste looked amazing. Yes, I now knew her name. She was given a chance to say thanks and her voice had me singing “Alouette” by Gilles Dreu in my faux catatonic state. When she walked away to go back to her seat. I swear, this Carlos Santana and Chad Kroeger verse played:

Like a gift from the heavens, it was easy to tell

It was love from above that could save me from hell

She had fire in her soul it was easy to see

How the devil himself could be pulled out of me

She sat back down and my eye game continued. She finally looked at me and smiled (This account might be fictitious, she could have been smiling at a bulb for all I care). I was in a different world by then. I got totally wasted on her (Phrasing!! hehe Zo). I mean I was drunk on her. Ok, is there a better way to say this? I was feeling drunk the rest of the night from the experience of having seen her. There!! Anyway, time moved slow and time moved fast (This sounds like the Charles Dickens’ “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” phrase). The night was over, she had won. People ganged around her. Taking photos, saying congratulations etc. There was no way I was going to walk over and say hi to her in all that melee. Hold up before you judge me for being timid. There is one thing guys are afraid of when approaching a girl. Not the lady, not the rejection, no. It is the rejection in front of people who know you especially silly, blogger type Sanaa (yes that is the short form of the club not SBC) people who would not let you hear the end of it. So I hoped for a chance alone that never came. We walked out of The Intercontinental at the same time. Of course with my “entourage” giggling at my torment.

Fast forward to this week. I have found myself reading a blog that is not so manly in this century. I have written 3 poems about her but not to her. My ears still burn hot, my appetite goes away and I break into a cold sweat when my best friend who for some reason we work together with calls me Messi (that is not his spelling). He spells his as Messy, a play at the first poem I wrote about her “I am a MESS”. I have hope that she might know of my existence one day. For what is life without hope? The hope to wake up tomorrow. The hope to get promoted. The hope to get some supper. The hope to get some 😀 . The hope to live to see another day. All I can do for now is exist in this state. Write out all I feel and maybe kill it like I once did in form 2. But I know it will not be easy. It took 3 years then. I wonder at this stage in life how long it will take.

This is not sexual attraction, not a kind of love. No, it is a crazy need to know her, hear her speak again, exist in her interpersonal space and show her the crazy levels she has taken me to. All this might never be. But as I told my insomniac partner last night. It really does not matter (Though even if she does not fall for me she might still fall for my hair, hers is longer than mine hence no jealousy like I have faced before).

Manes people...manes!!
Manes people…manes!!

 She has done wonders just by her existence. Because of her I have regained some discipline and self-control I had long-lost in campus. I am back to working out at 6 AM. I am back to doing the few karate katas I learnt in high school. I am not taking sugar anymore. I am writing a post at least every week. And most importantly she has rekindled that hopeless romantic, belief in soul-mates that I had lost. It does not have to be her. All that matters is that if she could make me go nuts as I have now. Then in the future someone else would too. So for now I say thank you Celesste.

This is The Divine Bandit writing on behalf of Edwin Mukabi. 🙂