Fireplace Wits

We crouch together below his feet. Tugging, poking and unintended slaps are heard within the hurdle. One calling the other heinous names and others laughing it out. Another lamenting the loss of the spot they occupied last week. Yet another squeezing tightly to get as close as they can. Together the ensemble of 30 plus children form a circle around the burning fire. The owl that circles the night skies probably shakes its head at what men would do just for a taste of something it would never understand. This pulling, pushing, pinching and face making is something not too old to us. In fact I remember it being there by the time I joined the assembly. When after having a family meal and dutifully taking the dirty dishes to the kitchen we would scramble for all the available space next to the fire. At the extreme end is the royal chair, that chair that none of us has ever sat on as much as temptations to risk it run high. My granddad had said that just as the fruit at the garden of Eden, anybody who occupied this chair will know something they wouldn’t have liked to know. A Pandora’s box should be left shut, he said. And like all dutiful kids who will never learn the answers to some of the questions in life so we obeyed. A few grumble here and there but that is all the attempt we ever did to sit on this chair. It is old, older than me perhaps, all of us I suppose. My dad says he doesn’t even know who came first, him or the chair, cos even in all the ages he has seen it around it has maintained its polish like an angel that never grows old.

He knows how to make an entrance, this old man. I believe he watches while the fight for the closest space next to him rages on and waits until all the tears of pain are wiped away with laughters of love. He waits till apologies are passed or noses are twitched for failed apologies. He waits until we hug it out in the spirit of family. This old man who has warned our parents from intervening in our fights, waits for calm to ensue. That’s how we would understand each other, so he said. Sometimes you got to fight the people you love so you know how much you hate to see them hurt. Right he was, nay he always has been. I suppose he derives his massive wisdom from the numerous days he spends below the mango tree with bees circling his whitish hair like a God given crown. A crown for raising a family that know more fights than WWE yet laughter reins through it all. To the eye that observes, this is a home plunged in chaos but to the one that participates joy has never been more abundant. In a world filled with wisdom he has learnt to listen to our stupid ideas with his watery eyes, occasionally adjusting his huge glasses that somehow fail to cover his thick nose. The wrinkles in his face stretch the limits of his mouth akin to a smile.  This old man has been the pillar that holds us strong, the love in our hearts and the courage through our bloods. When we wrong others, he would place his stare on you until a tinge of guilt forces you to apologise then he would smile and turn away. He is a man of a few words who punctuates his speech with phrases like, “this is what I think” but “this is what I know”. He would never shy from telling you the truth but that’s only as long as you ask for it and when you defy his advice he would give you the look. My dad says that look has been the only thing consistent with his face, that once he wants was a serious talker, more like me. But you know what they say, if life doesn’t teach you to listen then it sure will teach you what to say. And what to say, he surely knows.

Like a mascot after a tug of war game he settles in his seat and gets to it,

Äs you can see I have been around for sometime and I have seen much, but not all. Life never reveals all it just reveals as much as you want to know. And me, I haven’t asked to know much. Because the more you know the more you have to do about it. I have been to the races where the adrenaline pushes your limits to an all new high. I have been to the fights where one walks away on the shoulders of his peers while a red eye walks on the cheekbones of another. I have been to the peaceful river, the river of whose tranquillity speak of depths un-waded and cool waters never experienced. I have been there, where the voices of friends speak to your heart to do something that you are reluctant to do and yet you will agree. I’ve stood before my parents and promised never to do it again and moments later, whoops! I did it again. When the voices were raised to the unacceptable high I have denied that voice. When the goat got a near death beat I have said I wasn’t the one. Well life is a fairy tale and sometimes the line that separates reality and the fairy tale is the consequences that reality come with.

The other day I was at the tree, the mugumo tree that separates our land and your other grand dad’s and it reminded me of the silent night many years ago. When under that tree I stood with the most beautiful woman I had known then. I held her hands, touched her hair and counted every time she took a breath. I had drawn her closer and closer to me as I succumbed to yet another temptation. She was fair, fairer of them all and had this sweet voice that when she spoke my mind rolled like a tape recorder that recorded whatever she said. After every meet I would replay this recorded sounds over and over again in my head and I would smile myself to sleep. She was a little older than me but I didn’t mind because while the lost kid found its mother goat, and as the lonely cricket called to other lonely hearts, I was not alone. While the little bird listened to its mamma sing a lullaby and the plants in the farm grew inch by inch, I too grew inch by inch deeper in love with her. In the fading light her long black hair rose with the gentle evening breeze and reflected the last embers of the setting sun giving it a goldly finish. In all my life I had learnt that everything happens for a reason and the reason as to why this evening she finally succumbed into my arms I haven’t yet understood. Not that I have sought for answers but some answers are just not worth the pursuit because for me oblivion and ignorance on this and other few is the best I would love to know.

Her eyes a little teary from all the sweet words I whispered into her face shone like the clichéd light at the end of the tunnel. Her hands in their desperate bid to hold me tighter trembled a tiny bit. But that was ok, I thought, because tonight she was in my arms and I won’t let go of her until she was alright. Or until my iron fisted dad found us, whichever happened to come first. I don’t know how long that moment lasted but one thing I do know, it has been the shortest time of my life and while ages and ages since I wish I had a remake of that scene. There are things I wish I did differently.

He then turns to us, as our ears hang on the last words he just spoke. He watches the apprehension that has enveloped and how engrossed on this story we are. Then he lifts himself up and starts to walk away. The moments seem to take longer than usual but he knows it’s coming so he keeps walking. And just as he’s about to disappear in the dark, I call onto him and say,

“Babu, What would you have done differently?”

By this time we all have eased ourselves noiselessly next to him and he heaves a sigh that lifts his shoulders then sets them back easily, he says,

Unless you can keep them, don’t make promises. Let your words count for the man whose words don’t count shouldn’t speak at all. Good night kids.


Parenting 101: fashion and trends

This past week has seen two significant things happen in the world. First, Tesla Model S was launched in US, an all electric car that flat down makes it from 0-100km/h in 4.4 secs, BMW M5 did you get that? That coupled with the fact that while the stock prices of GM go down, Tesla has had an over 40% increase in share prices this year. What’s more it costs only $100k, a price given that no more fuel and engine spare parts expenditure, is the greatest bargain of the century. Ooh unlike vitz it doesn’t use AAA batteries, it uses rechargeable set that could do between 360-500 miles on a single charge. Equally important, The Dark Knight Rises hit the cinemas and from the online blurb I witnessed, it literally took avengers out and kicked its ass till it landed into the Bermuda triangle. If you haven’t watched that, spare some change and get blown away. Ooh one more thing, its in 2D and has a 9 rating on IMDB, Kim Kadarshian could only manage a 4, and that’s cos her ass is real not fake like Nikkis. So in a world where ‘messed up’ is the status quo, let’s jump on today’s post. A piece I did with my good friend, Winnie who’s super hot by the way.

Being a parent is a daunting task that i can tell you for free and before you ask me how many I have raised the answer would be along the lines of none at all. …. See, I watch my friends do it all the time. And for most part, I feel my pushutha twicking because it brings such a warm feeling inside you. On the other part, raising kids is such a handy task, especially when it comes to matters of dressing. Dressing has become so complicated what with kids being dressed as miniature adults with the latest designs to hit the fashion blocks.

I have a friend who has twins, and I paid them a visit some time back. What amazed me was when it was time to dress, the children were so picky on what matches with what. I remember thinking to myself wistfully. Times have sure changed. See during my time, my clothes were separated into two piles, what was commonly known as Sunday best and just regular clothes. Of course the regular clothes were much more than the Sunday best pile, and I was still happy. Matter of fact I was the envy of most kids in the neighborhood, well that’s what I tell myself. I dint have self-esteem issues because I had less Sunday best clothes. All those who grew up in the nineties know what I am talking about, don’t give me that look, I know you acquired your many pairs later in life.

A notable writer of our time found at  once wrote about an experience he had with his daughter when his daughter could not settle on what to which pair of shoes much to the chagrin of her experated father. He tells that story better so am just gonna jump to the part where the daughter made a CSI scene on which colour was her favourite colour. If you ask me, decades later, I still dive into the pile of dirty shoes with my eyes closed and the pair that seems to feel good gets lucky. Easy huh! Well sometimes they are as moist and slippery as a snail. When it comes to my clothes, shirts and trousers, choosing what I can wear on whatever day is something I do while in Gikosh and it’s usually a case that’s more about the amount of money i’m willing to spend and a constant reminder that anything has to go along with anything in my wardrobe, excuse my over enthusiasm, it’s actually the metallic box I had in high school, atop of which is the full names I inherited from my grand dad and the four number admission number that has since become my ATM pin number. Good luck landing my plastic friend!

When I was growing up there were things like ”spare the rod and spoil the child” a spiritual quote that I understand is in every religious book from the bible, Kuran and whatever it is indians and Kalonzo Musyoka read. Let it not get lost on us that the bible is the most shoplifted book in the world. That says a lot about the significance of the information contained therein. It doesn’t matter your frequency of going through your designated holy book but one common thing to all of us, drunk or not we have a common set of rights. That sounded like some mathematical mumble jumble, what would you expect from a statistical major student? Nothing less.

Imagine that crazy time when fifty years you wake from your grave and see a gay Justin Bieber or a Lesbian Willow smith? C’mon that’s already happening maybe it would be worse if Martha Karua came out of the closet and confessed she’s a man trapped in a woman’s body. That too I have my doubts. The general idea is that whatever happens between the war of Somalia and Kenya you wouldn’t wanna have the son who’ll hug other men and say something like, “man, you are strong!” or one who’ll be properly skilled in sucking on a lollipop in public places. That is an activity that was long condemned into the bedroom alone time for those weirdo men who actually have the audacity to buy them and include alone time in their schedule.

Maybe am making it a lil worse but it would only get worse if already parents fail to stick their fingers into their kids faces. Cos it’s only in a world where LMFAO is king that purple, yellow and pink go together with leopard trousers.  Did I say the shoes were maroon? A story is told of a leopard who committed suicide after watching the Party Rock anthem video. RIP brother. Basically parents what am saying is that fashion trends have succeeded in making us dress less and show more flesh. That shouldn’t be a decision you choose for your kid when they are young it should be something that three puffs of weed make them do. And you don’t wanna stretch your kid’s definition of crazy cos that means that sometime later when they are 20 years older they’ll only put on a sticker above their nipples and a band aid to cover their private parts. Colour too is important but that’s a lil overstretched for a guy who’s favourite colour could be black, grey or white. I don’t know for sure.

Am no parenting expert, fashion icon, celebrated author of children’s books or a paedophile but just as I aforementioned there’s a set of rights that’s common to all men, even Hitler but that’s is “no matter how many guys are against the truth it ceases not being a true.” and so the real question we better ask ourselves is, “When the answers and the truth cut their ties, where will we stand?”


encounters with Pete and sis

Days change and so do people. Sometimes the guy who talks too much changes and becomes the guy who listens too much. Other times the lady who complains a lot becomes the one who appreciates a lil more. It is no surprise if the one alien to the world of smiley faces becomes an ambassador for one smile a minute program. Well other people love to say people do change or miracles happen, am not other people I just say shit happens. While a good friend of mine sucks up to me everytime I say the phrase, I love believing that they know am right. Truth be told, life is never like we want it to be but that has never been a reason to whine. This messed up life has been more messed up before and it’s cos some people failed to give up on making it better that we have the chance to complain less.

Most of you think this is gonna be a sermon, I hate to disappoint you cos it’s all cos of my sis that I got the audacity to say words that in any other world would never be mine. She is something else and I still can’t believe she’s my sis. While I see the wrong in everyone else she sees the good, and that isn’t in the cliché way. While I fail to compliment her long skirts and baggy blouses she smiles at the image in front of the mirror, an action she punctuates with bible quotes of living for something greater than this world.. So I won’t say i’m not glad she agreed to come and visit me. Magic happens whenever she comes by, say she blows candles of happiness and drives away the demons who keep me hooked on Blue moon, castle and the very occasional Black label. She rebukes them and rarely do my drunken self feel the demons lift away their burdens. I understand miracles happen only to those of us crazy enough to believe. She talks of how my time is coming and blah blah blah. She might not be my favourite sis but I love her alright and for her I would do anything, including accompany her religious self to church every Saturday. Every is a lil bit too much but I would accompany her to church. Am not a church going person, even though deep within religion lives in me. A lil story about why religion has never forsaken me will involve me stating that my Grandpa was a pastor, my dad too became a pastor and since am my dad’s only son, am bound to be one. Going to church on Saturday aint as pretty as going there on Sunday when there are 3 services and a tonne of lonely women waiting for the Lord to meet them up with me and other more messed up guys.That, my friends is the story of how God works in mysterious ways.

If that story teaches us anything it’s that the owner of the sky got a plan for all of us. Life might seem messed up but our God has never stopped doing a good work in you. Unfortunately her life has never been a bed of roses and that is a story I will never tell, at least not today. As much as she carries herself with an aura of undying happiness and confidence, i have trivially succeeded in making her life not so interesting. Last weekend was no different cos while she went ahead cleansing me with the word of God I went ahead and threw a lil house party for my friends. This party isn’t the kind where we have a tonne of purple dressed ladies who put on some net trouser thingys, nope they are way mature. Here we don’t play loud music, we sing the songs we want as soon as we are high enough. Here we play instruments such as guitar and any traditional equipment like orutu and the nyatiti i purloined from my Granddad’s collection. The guests tag along with anything from six packs to weed and occasionally a jug of super fermented porridge and any kind of shit that when mixed with whatever it is other guys have carried will get us high.

So on the aforementioned night we get to play host to weed cake, a jug of something that tastes like piss but gets your head doing circles literally. The kind of thing that would make it hard to pronounce names like Miguna Miguna and if you try too hard you’ll land on Njuguna Njuguna. A couple of party ladies ensure we don’t end up having a banana festival, which is good. All this my time my sis is held up in the room, interceding perhaps offering prayer to the lost souls who haven’t seen the light. Seeing the light is relative as my friend Pete keeps saying, other times it’s the white light one sees before they die. Or maybe it’s that light you wake to after a night consuming Yokozuna. That adds to his numerous one liners that are yet to be verified. He insists he’s the smartest guy from his village and back there the people know he was the best student countrywide in both KCSE and KCPE. He adds that everytime he goes back home he finds it hard explaining to his kinsmen that he doesn’t study in the US or the UK perhaps. He tells of how his granddad was the only doctor in Nyanza and how he was the owner of the only bike in western Kenya. When he’s drunk he says his old man would take a chartered flight to Italy to buy a single pair of shoes. He goes on and on about how he inherits his charm from the old man who apparently was an eloquent English speaker who would be invited to all functions to translate to the many who were not privy to the white man’s tongue.

This turned out to be a blessing in disguise for him as all he had to do to land a lady was to pronounce “Jambo” and all the bare foot sharp breasted adolescent girls ran to him. He speaks fondly how while you he never took part in heinous village school tasks like bringing eggs to school for a science project or fetching firewood for the teacher’s jiko cos the girls would fight it out who would bring some for him. In his village he was hip. This stories normally end up in a sad tone of how things changed when he got to campus and nobody recognised his Granddad and like all common men he had to watch other kids with more famous names get the favours that hitherto were his. He says, with a mischievous smile, that all is not lost cos back in the village his mum is called, “mama engineer.”

This Pete when he’s drunk he gives bible quotes that no regular preacher could come up with. Like all drunks he would quote verses like, “do not drink water alone but sometimes take wine to help with digestion” and other times he’ll go for, “it is good for drunks to take water just to surprise their liver.” And like all his superb sermons this will be punctuated with hiccups that would seem to grow as dawn grows nigh.

The next morning we would wake up to sights of broken beer bottles, a filthy toilet and a naked person here and there. But the greatest of all evidence of this craziness will be the water dispenser in which will be a few litres of beer or keg and sis will ask what happened and Pete would go for, “Amen sister, it’s Jesus who turned all our water into wine”


The Room mate

Pink earphones strapped to her white bra, she spreads out her yoga mat. It’s that time of the day when she takes time to let go. As she bends over on the almost empty room that works as our sitting room, i slowly close my bedroom door for fear of being seen. Her bottom is well rounded, a phenomenon that her properly shapped breasts totally agree with into an arresting perfection. She dorns white hot pants and a white shower cap. On the seems of this white pant is the intriguing head of a snake or probably a dragon. What’s the difference anyway? I believe suppose all snakes are let to grow, they would turn into fire spitting dragons. Her tattoo spits it’s share of fire and i could reckon a number of lonely men find warmth at night from the thought of how far into her thighs the snake’s tail is found.

This has been her routine for the three months we have lived together. First it was a welcome sight after my best encounter with a woman’s body was on the internet. Fair Jessica Alba is but never as real as what i witness every saturday. Then it became a bother when her fair existence reminded me that probably my happily ever after will be with a cup of coffee and memories of the days she shared a house with me. Ask a man who will die alone and he will tell u which is worse.Well the story of how she came to be my room mate is more unbelievable than the fact that she’s still here.

She’s quite a room mate, not that i’ve had other female roommates to compare her with but my friends at school blossomed when rumour did rounds of the unspeakable beauty of my roommate. She cooks me supper, smiles at me after a hard day at school doing cats. That’s a big deal if the best smile u’ve had from any woman is when the not so good looking Mueni bursts her brown teeth out at your expression of undying love. If rock bottom has a basement then such situations surely get you there. Let me not forgive the fact that Mueni dorns a cap shaped weave complete with a swash of horse tail hair to keep the sun rays from her eyes. And you seem like the only guy who dares use the words ‘you look beautiful’ on her. Maybe she laughs cos she knows too well you lie or probably cos she knows unlike you there’s a lonely watchman three blocks down the road who slipped his a hundred year old tongue through the space between his teeth and brushed her hair. If that’s not all she calls you only on friday evening and says, ‘Aki mbamby natamani ngines na fondka’

She occassionally offers to give me a massage, an act she does with her gloves on and even then it’s one of my best experiences. I have ceaselessly told her of how fair she is and what a connection we have. An allegation she denies vehemently but what do you know maybe she hasn’t figured out that the feeling she bottles up, the one that has kept her at my place is what Oprah or Dr. Phil would call love. I pray every night and every morning that th owner of the sky opens her eyes someday soon. She’s lucky am a very patient man maybe i would have done something outrageous like  make up stories about our sexual escapedes and tell to my friends and anybody idle enough to listen. Gentlemen don’t kiss and tell, screw that! Who cares what some lonely greek said anyway? Who even knows if he said so after he made out he-goat or with the picasso he bought for half the value of his entire collection of books? Nkt!

I love how she calls my name  in the morning to wake me up at 4:30, how he tender palms touch me on the cheeks and how she covers me back to sleep when i tell her i’d wake at 4:31 or 4:32. At night she walks into my room and switch off my lights and softly say good night.

I hate it when her heavily built boyfriend comes over and calls me names like, ‘little girl’, ‘pig face’ ‘cattle boy’ or worse ‘Priscilla’. No matter how many times i tell her how unmatched she and the Johny Bravo are she has never seemed to break up with him. Sometimes, ooh very occassionally i show her my dexterity in the Kitchen when i cook her a cup of tea to take with skillfully sliced pieces of ugali and she hugs me and says what a sweet boyfriend i’d make.

I have dreamed of the night when she comes crying into my open arms. Pours her heart out of how she’s been with tonnes of jackasses and what a nice guy i am and how she hopes i wouldn’t mind being with her. Then i would pretend that is an outrageous suggestion and avoid her for two weeks, ooh that’s a lil too much maybe two days or two hours is more practical. I would budge in like Rambo does when he goes to claim revenge or just to kill the bad guys for fun carrying a tonne of flowers picked from our neighbour’s flower pots and probably say, ‘Who’s your daddy? Or ‘Daddy’s home’ as if am some bad ass knife wielding mexican drug lord.

Ooh c’mon, i dream alot and that’s not good when i have to clean the house, do dishes, write another poem about my undying love for hwe and cook dinner just to keep my dream of being her boyfriend one day alive. Occassionally she just walks in while i try some salsa move which i would show her to win her heart and she smiles and say am funny before she gloats of what an amazing day she had with her douche faced boyfriend who looks like the shoes of Barmuriat when he doesn’t look like a penguin or a mystical creature from lord of the rings or harry potter.

At night i close my eyes and pray for love and wait for her to by some miracle to come into my bed and hug me to sleep.


The trip, the after party

The bar is alien of activity in contrast to the opposite room where whites are telling lame jokes, staring at the bottoms of Kenyan women while some are slowly ogling at our own women. If globalisation has brought something to us, am afraid it is that Kenyan ass ain’t free, you need money to tap that. The foreigners I understand have come to spend their money getting dirty cos the parking lot is full of expensive but dirty bikes, cars whose daily fuel consumption could buy a vitz and others whose single rim could flatten out a Probox in a race match. On the stereo system two metres away a lame DJ is  playing some lame music to which some Kenyan girl is showing a rich foreigner how to get down. How did I know the loser is rich? Well have you seen our kind women go for such an heinous creature if not at a price. I feel like puking while I asses in what universe such a guy could be ranked as average. It kinda makes me wanna ask, besides lots of money and a huge dick what else do women look for in men? Ooh please don’t answer that, am having a good day while I write this. On the couch directly opposite the  huge LCD screen on which Spain is molesting France is another foreign couple who haven’t spoken the entire time we have been at this bar. This is if we save the occasional time when the drunk version of me try to sit in front of them to watch Spain go ballistic when the woman jerks from her struggle with sleep to say ‘You are blocking my view’ in a thick Australian accent. She is not so good looking so I obediently roll away cos God only knows that if Angelina Jolie looks like a goddess and throw punches like councillors throw chairs, who knows what this very average looking girl can do to my  thick lips and sunken eyes. A black eye, I suppose, which won’t be so black given my dark tinted skin.

On the couch closest to the bar is another couple with their son who I believe finally got his chance to see monkeys. Looking at them I ask myself what kinda questions he must be asking his dad. ‘Dad, are you sure those over there are not monkeys, cos they sure look alike esp the one with thick lips?’ ‘Mum, can I throw them a banana we see what happens?’ ‘How come they seem to drink alcohol? Is that evolution?’ I could go on and on and make such a fool of myself but suddenly the Australian couple approach our table and make an offer no university student could ever refuse, they want to buy us beer. Well excitement get the better of Kababa and he orders three Bailey’s gin.

On arrival of the first round of beers we strike a conversation. We learn that they have been studying Swahili in their home country and came to Kenya in order to have a real experience of how Swahili should be spoken and how they live. While at it they decided to see the beauty of Kenya. I’m tempted to tell them that Mwingi is the last place to be to learn any language save for Kamba and whatever it is Kababa speaks. I sit on the idea when I have a vision of the bottle am holding being my last beer. They tell of what a beautiful country Kenya is and blah blah blah. After over 30 painful minutes of a foreigner who doesn’t seem to know how much a kg of Unga cost go on and on about how lucky we area and definitely three Tuskers later Kababa stands on the table and gives a speech.


He tells of how he would like to tap an Australian ass and how he’s sick of Kenyan women who give some at a price. He whines about his ex girlfriend who had such a great ass and how he tried everything including Kamote to no avail. He even says he read books on how to get laid to no avail. He’s afraid that he might die alone after all this years. I pour him another bottle of dry gin and he takes a sip and goes on and on about how Kamba men understand “shida ya wanawake” in the bedroom. When Mutiso interjects that his bad luck could be cos he’s so short. He bounces back with, “The shorter the monkey the longer the tail.” He complains he’s a virgin and what a nice guy he is. All this time the Australian couple sing a drunken remix of Party rock Anthem and Merimela which to me, over 6 beers in the belly, seem to find funny. This kinda reminds me of the time when my Granddad had told me that Kenyans are the kind of people who will bow to they guy with the deepest pockets. I brush that idea aside and watch while the couple struggle to speak Swahili words. They can’t seem to understand that Mwingi and Machakos are accessible through different ends of Nairobi. After every time Kababa and Mutiso explain in drunken English they say, “Kumbe Mwingi si Machakos.”

Duch who has been sleeping in the car walks in and says it’s time to go, we have to travel back to Nai lest our parents get back home and find their cars gone. Kababa is still at it asking the Australian folks for a job a suppose, maybe I would know had he spoken in English. The Australian folks arms intertwined walks us to our cars still singing Party Rock anthem. Rory tells them to STFU to which they say, “Wakamba hawatahiri wanawake wao wanakata tu wanaume”


Road Trip: The journey


Six feet two, black hair slowly fading to white, dark glasses to hide his tiny eyes and the large nose beneath it, he stands proudly against the white washed walls of the late night store. Next to him is a girl, a real girl with bigger boobs than we all expected. Well we didn’t expect a girl, probably a fat Indian cat or a goat. Yeah a big he-goat with a goatee long and bushy enough to make Anyang Nyong’o rethink what dumb looks like. Truth be told his massiveness has a way with the ladies, I suppose he stands close enough to them, then leans over to their ears and lets out his hoarse voice spiced with foul smell. Basically, he’s the kind of man who’d chew pk and still smell like he just made out with Arnold Schwarzenegger. I suppose it’s better if I explain that the first time I met him, the quote “look like a pig” probably would define Rihanna. Looks aside, he’s a man of many talents, many of which are secrets even to him. Ooh before I get lost talking about him, let’s call him Rory.

Looking at him right now reminds me of the past two days when like normal campus students we had stolen our parents cars and a tiny bit of money, well not too much to make them bankrupt. We then took a drive to some place in Kambaland, a place you get to by driving through 10 roadblocks every hour. The buses on this road are driven in rally mode cos for an old yellow bus to easily zoom past to a 2 litre KBN is just not possible, unless the dumba stories are true.

Remember the guy who said Kaos suck at giving estimations of distance. Well our host kept telling us to look for a water kiosk painted in blue. It sounds easy when you hear that and remember everything pat Machakos is painted yellow, not so interesting when u speed race with an even a more powerful car probably a 2.3 litre on the sign-less roads of Garissa. The car eats tarmac for lunch and not so pocket friendly for an impromptu trip. So after 5 turn arounds we get to meet our host who is clad in full army gear complete with a 3 litre jerrican imprinted Fresh fry, I suppose for a water bottle. How would I know, I come from a place where water is not new, we pee whenever and wherever we want and that’s probably why we grow to normal height. The guy who meets us, let’s call him Kababa- that’s his real ocha name after all, is shorter than a metre rule. Looking at him makes you do weird things like trying to find the place where his waist is located only for him to bend to tie his shoes and you realise that was his neck. On his feet is a pair of brand new Akala sandals which I can bet he made himself from the used car tyre he stole from Matuu. Truth be told I’ve never seen more yellow in a single place in all my life. In this place yellow is swag and everybody has yellow plastic shoes, free yellow wiper caps or just a yellow sock, the other side missing or not.

Kababa graduated from Juja and the entire village are gathered at his dad’s to celebrate, a vast compound that is gated from 1km away. Past the gate is the dry Ngumalo river, one I understand is where his entire household takes a shower, past their ‘bathroom’ is a huge bump, huge even by Kamba standards. This homestead is awash with foodstuff from muthokoi, ‘maanya’ to weird looking Kamba delicacies that surprisingly taste better than they look.

The moment we get into the compound we are served with water, I wouldn’t know if it’s cold after all this is a place beyond Matuu or was it Mutuuu. Then comes very hot chapattis, so hot u can literally see smoke rising above the tray they lie, with it comes matumbo ya kuku and something else we couldn’t get its name right. But before we fight our hunger away we have to salimia 20 something relatives who dorn huge smile and shout ‘wacha’ into our faces. You gotta earn the meal, well if this is earning our daily meal, it better be good and good it was.

In our rounds shaking hands, some tender others as hard as hard comes yet with a tight squeeze in their shakes, we realise a goat has met its death; a chicken breathed its last and a squirrel’s mbio za kiwanjani fikad ukambani.

The gang consists of Rory, Duch, Mutiso and me plus whatever girl we happened to have dragged along. Ooh Duch is the unlucky one who get’s rejected now and again. The guy has probably known singlehood longer than Raila has known Kibaki doesn’t like him that much. On this fated trip, he dragged Patricia, pronounced Pathrishia who speaks English, a few English words and a tonne of mumbi language. She’s the kind of grl who will use “fucking” and “forever” in the same sentence and lower your libido while at it. The gang thinks by Duch hooking up with her he’s taken onto punishing himself which i won’t lie will be great news to us. In this car he chauffeurs he keep on saying “funga window” yet he happens to have the controls that could do all that. That however is just part of the drama in this car as Pathrishia went on and on telling us how so little she knows of Kamba, well she has as much knowledge as lawyer has honesty. On her bare back is a tattoo of a goat eating grass. Well that’s a story for another day. I switch on the car lights to look for a smokie or anything to chew to sleep but Pathrishia barks, “Wacha kuwacha taa.”. To which Duch whispers to me, ‘isn’t she funny?’


Daddy Issues


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Let me tell you a story, I’ve never been able to forget since the first time I heard it.

“Two children are on vacation with their father at a holiday inn on the shores of the Indian ocean. He takes them sightseeing and even hires a boat so as to give them a memorable tour of one of the world’s largest water body. Being a man of his own words he takes them to a solitary place beyond the rocks to fish. After a number of fruitful moments he gives his line to Mark, his eldest son, to hold onto while he goes below the decks to make them something to eat. But first, he gives them a warning or an instruction you may say. Love in his eyes and anxiety on his trembling lips he says, “Mark and Doug whatever happens don’t jump in the water.” then he scurries off below the decks. While down there, Mark tags on his father’s line which somehow has caught a big fish. At first he keeps this to himself because he wants to take credit for it but changes his mind when his catch suddenly seems to have more power than he expected. “Doug!” he calls, “I think Dad’s line has caught something here!” Doug looks at him then shouts back, “Well lets see!” then he walks towards him. Before he gets there the line gets a sudden tag and before he can say Help Mark is being furiously dragged on the water. Doug, thinking first shouts at his dad for help. His dad runs the flight of stairs to the top of the deck and seeing his son helpless in the middle of the ocean he’s lost on what to do. He shouts at Mark to let go of the line who does so not because he heard his dad rather because he’s too tired to keep holding on. His dad revs the engine and turns around to go save his son from drowning. From a far he can see shadows circling his son and from his random readings his fear is confirmed, sharks! He’s now close enough to his son and asks Doug to help him pull Mark aboard and just as he’s reaching for Mark’s hand he sees the shadows now so close enough that he might not be able to pull Mark to safety. So he pulls out his pocket knife and rips the skin on his left hand and plunges into the water just as Doug holds onto Mark.”

A few writers have succeeded in painting dad as a figure who could change one’s life but am certain this story takes the thumbs up. Many would reckon I did this piece because of the looming father’s day, well I did but something else strikes me. Almost every book I read have painted “daddy issues” as the reason for dysfunctional kids while “great mums” are the reason for unexplainable success. Well, I agree and Yes, I don’t agree as well. I agree because many people can’t be so wrong at the same time unless this is a universal controversy to paint all fathers as absent, abusive, alcoholic and irresponsible. To add my voice to it all, well mum’s too could be provide a better mark for such description yet in it all they have been showered by all the hullabaloo of how they make the world go round and how when the clock stroke midnight they ensured Cinderella had one shoe on.

I’m not intent on painting Mums as bad people so as to make Dads gain some points, well maybe a little. I wanna paint dad’s as the people they really are, passionate enough to make a fool of themselves sometime even so that mum’s take all the credit. And that has been their undoing, while mums drag all their children and relatives to battle it out, dad’s have stood a safe distance not because they are cowards but because they are brave enough not to let their personal battles to bring their offspring to harm. In case you have been questioning how aloof your dad has been during turmoil, I bet today you get your answer. Just before I forget I once heard,

Women fight like politicians, they bring all they can hold onto including chairs, name calling and threats of allegience to mount Kenya, men fight like sheep they hit their heads together even after it pains them to death.

I’ve stayed with my dad a lot so when I vouch for him, I know how much he means to me. My mum too has played a superb role and sometimes forced me and my dad into weird escapedes like man hugging and asking my dad to flog me out in the open infront of my friends, who I had happened to tell that am a grown ass man who gets flogged no more. So much for her undoing, she has cooked me chapatis, ugali and an extract of milk the luo call moo alenya and ngiende. She has thrown all caution to the wind and told my average looking girlfriends in the face that they are not as hot as they think they are. But in all her brevity today I choose to honour my dad, a man I believe there are few like and if at all they are he’s beaten pants down at being the best dad I know of. This is not because when my mum caught me and Anita, the girl next door, “reading” and mum had insisted I get punished he had said somethings are not what they look like. Or it’s not because the day he got me teasing my distant cousin that she’s so ugly that her tits had shrunk back like those of an ostrich he had walked by like he heard none of it. It is also not because when he made me go to church every Saturday when all I wanted to do was hide below my once-white-now-something-else duvet. Maybe it’s because he never took away my 42 inch pictures of J-lo that hung on the ceiling directly above my bed.

I remember once when worms were having a ceaseless party in my stomach and we had taken a matatu into Kisii lands when the turn boy commented that I was fat ass pig whose every dose of deworming drugs had been shared by the worms who also happened to have worms inside them. The matatu had roared into laughter and dad had sat quietly next to me and pretended like he never understood that dialect. When we got to our stop he got off the matatu and pulled the turn boy aside and shot him a blow into his belly that got him flying and landing into the bush. Maybe a kick had followed I don’t remember because fat as I was my eyes were sealed shut from the laughter that ensued. I ended up laughing all year long that soon I had lost weight and looked like a normal kid. My dad still jokes that the worms had gotten killed from the body vibrations that came with laughter. Maybe i’ve exaggerated a little, who cares cos after all you’ll need to have a better story to convince me that your dad is more bad ass.

To celebrate all dad’s who have suffered media demolition and literary torture, please share your stories of how heroic your dad is and show him some love all week long until 16th June.

Oooh and one more thing, Mark survived so lets make dad’s trend this week. Tweet with me on twitter @Jahnekoh and let’s celebrate the men who us happen.


Here’s my favourite joke for father’s day

Dear Dad,

$chool i$ great. I’m making lot$ of Friend$ and $tudying hard. I $imply can’t think of anything I need. $o just $end me a card, a$ I would love to hear from you.

Love, your $on.

Dear Son,

I kNOw astroNOmy, ecoNOmics and oceaNOgraphy are eNOugh to keep even an hoNOur student busy. Do NOt forget that the pursuit for kNOwledge is a NOble task,and you can never study eNOugh.

Love, Dad

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