Deep and overstood, Hip hop, Life

The rest are in pieces


“I woke up this morning and figured I’d call you
In case I’m not here tomorrow
I’m hoping that I can borrow a piece of mind
I’m behind on what’s really important
My mind is really distorted
I find nothing but trouble in my life
I’m fortunate you believe in a dream
This orphanage we call a ghetto is quite a routine
And last night was just another distraction
Or a reaction of what we consider madness”

Living in my mind
Questioning the queues of pain that we file ourselves in
The life we live, we compare
With others, tell ourselves we’re better because someone is worse
We are the devils we see in the mirror
We hope that we know ourselves
Better than we know our health
Going mental
Asking God for better cards
Sometimes in anguish wondering about his existence
Which we greatly applaud when better times arrive
Even for a second
Looking at the last time we were truly happy for 24 hours
With a smile that was not triggered by memes and sitcoms
Getting nostalgic because reality has hit you
It has become a nightmare you dream of each night
Cuddle your demons, let them snuggle closer
Then feel them massage your back as you kneel down for prayer each morning
Wondering why you’re looking through the window when He said you should knock
Out there hunting wondering whether that counts as seeking
It’s a sickness, a cancer hiding in your left ventricle
Playing poker with your newly formed clot
Your heart keeps skipping beats for the wrong reasons
Staring up hoping to see Him in the sky
But getting lost in the melting of your sunscreen by the glare of your sins
Trying to find the definition of success in your bank balance
That leads you to your payslip and injections of investments
Leaving tracks on your once strong arms that are now too weak to carry the weight of the world you have shouldered
Do the measly coins handed out to street kids add up to your tithe?
Is your soul as successful as the grated cheese falling off your abs?
Or are you the new Gluteus Maximus Meridius looking for revenge where Genghis left off?
Do you end up in this hell on earth because you’re not using your God given talents?
Would you be happier writing rhymes for a living and taking 4 vehicles to get to the only home you can afford?
Do the lies you tell yourself of how Cole and Kendrick are your inspiration make you breathe easier?
When you know you were still loving, living and lost in the alliteration of poetic injustice years before they put track on record?
Does it not hurt everytime you try to make sense of everything?
Try to have a happy and fitting ending to these thoughts that you call poems?
When you’re simply just:

“Tired of running
Tired of hunting
Answers to life
But retiring nothing
Your driver just veered of a cliff
Hands on the wheel, who said we wasn’t?
Dying of thirst
Dying of angst
Dying of lust”

The Divine Bandit ’17 ft. Excerpts from Kendrick Lamar

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Deep and overstood, Life, Love

I don’t know how to spell ♥


See I don’t want a luh..luh…..love like Common had never seen.

Nor one like Shihan’s thinking of you thinking of me thinking of you kind of love.

The sun came and set on Maya and I am still a long way from home.

Because I refuse to walk anymore till the mist is gone.

I don’t want to learn how to love, I want love that learns who I am.

I need a love that needs me for longer than I have needed it.

I don’t write this with a bowed head of a proud African man.

I don’t even try to rhyme because this love will force a rhythm.

No, I don’t want a love that makes me Koo Koo.

Because I want my mind to be fully alive as she purrs and I coo coo.

I don’t have to count the stanzas.

Because we are not prosing just proposing.

This is not a poem, it’s just a mind blowing theme.

I am not the Lion King, my dad’s not Mufasa.

I just decided to slow down as was tired of moving faster.

And there will be no love to feel tonight.

When I spread my arms this time don’t be confused.

My heart will go on but this is no Titanic.

See I want a love that one language cannot explain.

Because I don’t feel in one culture nor express myself in one way.

I need that kind of love drug that makes you almost see sounds.

You can harness the power of music and recreate a moment to each aspect.

That kind of love that makes the past ten minutes a nostalgic event.

Makes you want to go back and this is no throw back.

You want to live in the present love but you still want to see what it looks like in future.

Do the emotions overlap and become a melee of heart beat skips?

Or do they become parallel comrades that see each other but never ever meet?

This typing is just us talking, I am not having a monologue.

I am asking you this because you said you have fallen in love.

You hold my hand and want to stay in the moment.

But you see, I am a different kind of person, weird even.

I believe in being unique and making you part of this life of words.

I want you to be that one song I never get tired of and never want to turn down.

You are the painting that looks its best because of being incomplete.

The knots I feel in my stomach are the ones I want to tie.

We will then add colour to the life we create but we won’t dye.

I will add you to my favourite humour, honour and endeavours.

I need you to be smart enough to see what I did there.

But see the most important fact is that I need to be smart enough to get you.

I need to dress smart enough to impress you.

See, making you happy is not a goal.

It is a constant life choice of which instead of kicking away I will hold onto.

I am not writing this from my thoughts.

Each morpheme here is a heartbeat and I am yet to run out of breathe.

We are writing in what we have painted.

We are strumming a future lullaby on the ukulele.

This was not meant to rhyme but I will be with you milele.

My dreams are not sick, no they are valid.

In fact they are not dreams just future realities.

I traverse this life as a child of the world.

I am a writer, a dancer, a singer, that’s why my brow is never unfurled.

I’m a thinker, a doer and in the dance of love I will have you twirled.

You can be my last word, my last note, my last dance step.

Because each day, we write a different plot, a new song, you are my new choreographer.

Every moment we are together is Kodak for the sun has become our photographer.

The moon is the shrink who listens in on our conversations.

You have become my new priest for this love confession.

Living while loving you are interchangeable but still my new profession.

When we soar above, we smile with the stars and admire our progression.

When I put down the last word on this note, it will not be the end.

Because as you teach me how to spell love, we will create a trend.

My mind is a maze that I’m lost in but have you as my compass.

My mind may amaze but I choose to reside in the heart of this lass.

I get lost in your eyes and find you in the brown dunes of that teary desert.

Words are an illusion, promises are a farce so I can only prove my love if I never desert.

My words are never ending.

Our thoughts are ever blending.

You, I’m ever defending.

And as we hold hearts and start ascending.

The earthly definition of love, we are transcending.

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
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