Eighteen Hours!


“Robert Kiprono, unashtakiwa kwa kosa la kupatikana masaa za baada ya curfew katika county ya Kericho eneo la…..” the bearded judge said with difficulty.

He is not a Swahili fun from his stutter. He never made an eye contact with me until when he asked, ‘Unakubali mashtaka haya au la?” I thought he was going give me a strict look but bearded men have some mystifying respect for each other. It doesn’t matter if one is a judge and the other is a defendant. I stood in the dock as I took pleasure in the eye contact and the respect connecting these two bearded men. I took a while to answer because I was trying to put myself in his shoe. How does it make him feel when he convicts a fellow bearded man? Does it disturb him or has he no concern at all? Does he comfortably overrule the respect that exists between us? It must be hard for him. But again it’s fun, imagine sitting there and everyone bowing before you, just like that. It must be nice. Or just reading something and asking things like ‘How do you plead?’ or making someone’s life hell with ‘this court finds you guilty of…’ thus changing their physical address, just like that. Why did I not study law? Ever watched How to Get Away with Murder? Yes I know it’s just a movie but again, It’s not just a movie. It imitates reality and on one side, law can be fun… especially in this court where the judge is bearded, speaks Swahili like Jeff Koinange and decides effortlessly what to do with you. The eye contact and imaginations turned to reality when someone coughed at the back. The defendant pled guilty as he had been advised by the courts’ regular ‘visitors’. The day was on Monday 26th of April, 2021.

A visit to this place resulted from the events of 24th, two days before I pled guilty. I was in town, hunting for money and expanding my network when I bumped into Jack (I wished I used his real name).

“Happy birthday bro”, I gave him my wishes.

I knew of his birthday because birthdays nowadays spread more than memes, or corruption in Kenya. Almost all our mutual friends had posted him on WhatsApp, including himself. It reminds me how my previous birthday was a surprise to myself. I didn’t know until a text message from Safaricom appreciated my loyalty and showered me with 1GB data bundles. Thank you Saf.

“Nashukuru sana,” he said as we shook hands and pulled so that shoulders would knock each other, as men do.
“Kuna form?” I had to ask this. This question is always constant with men on Fridays and Saturdays, especially if there is a birthday.
“Tutaona hiyo story,” he said and off he went. I knew there wasn’t going to be anything. I mean, it’s kind of a busy week and the police here make curfew seem like World War I. So I continued hunting. Minutes, hours passed and evening arrived.

I was enjoying the sunset at the roof of some building in town when my phone rang.

“Ptoyot imi ano?”

There is only one guy who calls me ‘ptoyot’ and I knew something was about to go down. Something fun. Ptoyot, in this context is equivalent to the African American word, ‘dawg’. So if a friend says “Mwao ptoyot”, that in English is “What’s up dawg”.
So when he called he basically said, “Where are you at, dawg?”
I answered by asking him where he was. That’s the only answer to such questions. Depending on the tone and the background sounds of the caller, when asked where you are, you ask them where they are asking the question from. It has nothing to do with Tabia za Wakenya as Mejja puts it. No. It just saves time.

He pinned his location and my legs couldn’t rest till they stepped where he was. There was a form after all. There was a cake and water and things I can’t mention because my grandmother can read my blog and she is an assistant pastor in her church. This I say because the cake did not excite me as much. Inside this not-so-spacious room, which is also a retail shop for Dasani, Coke and the thing Jesus turned the water into, were fifteen of us- plus or minus two. I didn’t get a piece of cake but I got Dasani and everything else. Slow voices gradually turned into thunderous laughers. I was consequently shocked when I realized there was one who laughed louder than me.

“Na time inasonga mbio sana,” one guy was worried about the racing time. I looked at my phone and it read 20:56, almost an hour to curfew. We guzzled the contents in our tumblers because a terrible thing than a hangover is a police cell. As we wished Jack a life full of his desires, the undesired happened.

I didn’t see how the five men came in but I heard this;
“Ka chini kila mtu!”
“Kaa chini!”

They repeated those words even after everyone had their butt on the floor. Gideon sat on the water on the floor. He tried to move but a broom landed on his head. He sat on water for ten minutes. I pitied him a lot because that’s the most uncomfortable place to get wet. We did everything for them to let us go but the men were deaf and you could tell this was a mission they were on. They said no to money! Kwani nko chini gani! We begged more than we beg the mutura guy. We wanted to cry but it would have been a fake and of course ptoyot would laugh in the middle of it. I know that fool.

They led us to the car like couples. A pair of handcuffs joined two together and it seemed like two were walking down the aisle but truth was we were walking down to hell. We were loaded to the car in the most inhuman way but still we laughed. That’s what happens when friends get in trouble together. Trouble turns to fun, which is weird since the same trouble started as fun.
We were transported to the police station, offloaded and crowded in a cell slightly bigger than the lavatory. Five men were in already. Fifteen were added. Twenty men in a cube. Part of that cube was a no go zone because excreted matter rested there. Smell is nothing when you are in there. It’s not a matter of concern.

The content these gentlemen took manifested in different ways. That was 21:27. We knew we were going to get out either way before ten. So we waited for the police to name a price. As we waited, we laughed at our disbelief of finding ourselves in a police station- a place where most of us have never stepped.

21:58. Nothing.

The guy standing next to the door asked an officer outside, through an opening on the door, what we were arrested for. Do you know what son of a * said? Curfew. Eti curfew!
We had our phones with us (a shoe was taken from everyone’s one leg though, and belts) and looking at the time we laughed like fools. We didn’t stop laughing until curfew time. And when ten reached, we laughed even more. I am still uncertain who really got pissed off between us and them. Wtf! Curfew? The time of arrest was 21:20 or 24… And already reason for arrest had been written down- that we were arrested past ten. Hahaha. Kwendeni kabisa. Anyone who, before ten, came to our rescue was shown the way back with no reason given to them as to why we were in there. In fact they harassed my friend’s father and kicked him out of the compound.

It took us three more hours to lose hope. We weren’t going to get out of there that night. Listen everyone, in stages of grief, and this I’m telling you first hand, acceptance is the hardest. It’s tough. There was an hour of silence, when most of those who were high were sober, that broke everyone’s heart.
‘Are we really gonna spend the night here?’ was everybody’s question. Even when we knew we were going to spend a night in a smelly police cell, we still did not believe. We refused to accept reality. We were still laughing but at the back of our heads there were questions and disbelief. But we laughed.
We asked every officer that came by why they were doing that but most just laughed. We laughed too, regardless.

Hours passed and when most of us felt sleepy, we cursed the police. There was no place to literally sit. We were stocked in there like maize in a canter. We were dripping sweat. One guy decided to pee on an almost full container. And after peeing a piercing smell travelled across the room and we felt like killing him but we were going to all pee anyway.
“Sasa mbona umechokoza zenye zimetulia jamaa?” I don’t know who asked that but everyone made a amusing comment and laughter didn’t cease.
Eventually, those who slept did so in turns; five on their butts or backs for an hour, then another five, then another. I still want to go back to school to write a composition about the day I will never forget. That night refused to end. We stood, we sat, we sweated, we laughed, and we hated the system.

Morning eventually arrived. We didn’t wake up to the sun. The sun woke up to us. We had waited. If only it knew how long we had waited! We were certain nine wouldn’t find us there. So we psychologically prepared ourselves to evacuate that hell. 9 arrived and left. So did ten. So did eleven, twelve….five.
We got out of the police cell at five on a Sunday. Outside felt like freedom. The three thousand cash bail didn’t pinch at the time. The fragrance of freedom filled the air. I literally faced the heavens and took a deep breath. Free at last! Eighteen hours in a dark confined room filled to the brim with sweaty men is an experience you can never wish for. Eighteen hours! It is hell.

I didn’t have plans to appear in court the next day. I was going to let it slide and move on but when I was advised that a warrant for arrest can be issued to whoever fails to appear in court, I changed my mind. That Sunday, when I arrived home, I took off my clothes and thought of burning them. I didn’t. Instead, I took the longest shower ever in my life. I was cleaning something more than sweat. Something more than my skin. I was cleaning my thoughts. I was cleaning the memories. I wasn’t bathing. I was cleansing. That night, as soon as my head hit the pillow, I went out like a light. I slept like I have never seen a bed before.

The 5 a.m. alarm did not wake me up. I did not even realize the break of dawn. An 8 a.m. phone call woke me up. A call to attend the court.
Inside the compound silence spoke, and anxiety. We were advised to stay outside until we were arraigned. On what charges? Being found in town after curfew hours. In reality, curfew found us in a police cell. Kenya! Hakuna matata!

After hours of standing outside like vagabonds, our names were called. We went in, bowing. I wasn’t sure if we were bowing to the bearded judge or the system. We sat in silence in that cold room. The room was way fresher and brighter than the previous. Though both aren’t places you’d wish to be. After few minutes the bearded guy entered from the judges door. A clerk with a faint voice tried shouting something likes “court arise” and we rose looking at each other to really confirm if we should stand up. The judge didn’t say anything. He gestured us to sit and we sat.

One by one we were called to the dock. We had been already told to plead guilty and lose the three thousand than to sleep away from home, again.

“Unakubali mashatka au la?”

I pled guilty. I lost three thousand. Everyone we shared a room with that doomed night lost Ksh. 3,000. We left the court at around 14:30.
Some old guy, a mutual friend to most of us, told us as we left the court’s compound, “Welcome to adulthood”.

Devil Passing


That’s the devil passing.

This was the statement made each time silence sounded in the midst of noise-making, especially in class. I don’t know where that expression came from but it sounded legit. At home too! One day my cousins and I are busy talking and laughing like we’re in a football stadium and suddenly, coincidentally, we at the same time went numb. Then Kip said, “That’s the devil passing.” It sounds funnier in my mother’s language.

That silence is like a person. It tolerantly listens to your stories and when you begin to bore or laugh uncontrollably, or overdo something, it steps in and shhhs everyone. It doesn’t go unnoticed though because someone will say, “That’s the devil passing.” This must be why I have never really admired silent people- those that observe too much and deprive themselves the right to say something. I don’t really like silent people. I broke up with Jessica because all she ever did was to let me talk and propose (not marriage) and suggest and agree and disagree and recommend and… everything. It was more like dating some mummified… anyways; I do not like silent people, particularly those that are silent when they are not supposed to. And those that only go quiet to make themselves feel like the bigger person, those that have something burning in their hearts but choose to suppress it! I don’t like you.

Where was I?

That’s the devil passing.

Nowadays, this devil doesn’t pass like it used to. It changed strategy. In fact, it hates a room full of people. I don’t know about classrooms. Do students still make noise like we used to? I guess not. This generation is not actually thrilled by anything anymore. They witness everything at a young age. Everything! They don’t ‘beat’ stories. They don’t even write letters, or know what dedix meant. Talking of dedix (that’s dedication (of songs), Gen Z), UB40 was THE band then with their hit REASONS. Ahaaaa! Love felt true.

 That love felt unreal at the same time because one Sunday evening when the CU group came back from a rally in some school, Joe received six letters from six different girls. Six! One boy, six letters! And irony is it was fun. In each envelop was a letter and a photo. Coincidence? Yes. As high school insanity would prevail, we read the letters loud. Yes, we. We compared the letters, to just put someone at the top of the list. Unfortunately, or fortunately, all those letters were filled with love and Shakespeare’s lines and promises and perfume (any girl who didn’t spray her letter with perfume was a fake) and more sweet stuff. Dedix were listed and they all complimented the letters. There was Boyz to Men in one letter, Celin Dion in another, Whitney, Alicia

God already forgave us for what we did that night during prep, so don’t dare judge. We pinned all the six photos, plus two he already had, to the board. Eight photos of fine chiquita’s on the board. No sooner had we started voting who the best was than Collins shouted an idea;


The first to be kicked out (I will call her Arsenal) was, if I remember well, a form three. She was beautiful as most of us approved but the reason she was eliminated so fast was because of her legs. High school boys can be atrocious. They said (I can’t use ‘we’ here) that her legs were bowed.  Her knees, as she stood straight, hated each other so much that they created enough space for a football ball to pass in between, untouched. A boy called Simon said that with his own lips. We laughed. A lot. We were stupid. Simon was just a kid. Forgive him, Arsenal.

Next was a girl everyone would have admired but now when Dan said “No curve?” we all went “whoa whoa whoa” and she got eliminated. Others followed with reasons like height (for instance Caren, she was so tall she would have bent to hear Joe clearly each time he said something. Imagine Joe saying “I love you” and then her bending with “pardon?”), complexion, type of school (some schools apparently produce the worst girlfriends.), pronunciation (This was major. We asked Joe this and one got eliminated. According to him, she once said “symbosium.”), curves, sport, clubs (drama and music babes were firee!) and so many other petty things. I knew we were cursed when we ended up eliminating all the girls. Even the remaining one wasn’t the best after all. Joe stood in between feeling miserable and feeling like a King whose beautiful one wasn’t born yet.

Jamaa you have poor taste in girls”, a backbencher shouted. The laughter that followed was deafening. What was more deafening was the silence that followed.

That’s the devil passing.

(Sorry if I excessively swerved. I couldn’t stop myself from typing all that.)

That was school for us though, we were thrilled by things and we did things. We made noise and each time the devil passed and someone would notice. This devil nowadays hates a room full of people. It loves individuals. It comes to you alone. You are so calm and relaxed, no worries, and then rapidly mood changes and you go gloomy. You try to figure out what happened but no clue. No thought triggered the emotion. No one caused you to be cheerless. Your face just turned red. The shift is mysterious. Isn’t that same devil passing through you? If it can shut up a whole class of forty students eliminating girls, then who are you?

Sometimes you are famished and all you want to do is munch anything, and then before you eat that appetite vanishes into thin air.

That’s the devil passing.

We thought we left this devil in class or in any noisy room but no we didn’t. Or maybe we did but it never left us. It changes our mood every time. It stops us from doing things on time, so we procrastinate. It even occupied the bodies of some of our friends and silences them. Now they unnecessarily go silent thinking it’s maturity. This devil also comes right to you when you are about to pray and takes very word that you have composed in your head. The same devil loves it when you are boiling milk, so that it tells you to look at away for a second and… milk on the floor. The same devil sings you lullaby each time you decide to read a book or revise for your exams… this devil never leaves you alone. The same devil shouts to you ‘YOLO’ each time you get money or earn your salary. It changed tactics. As we grow, it grows. As we become wiser, it changes methods. It never leaves. The devil is never going to leave. We just have to learn to fight it every day with the hope that one day it will actually pass and never come back.

When it rains…


I am seated on this sinatabu next to the door in a shop in town. I feel on top. The stool is perhaps taller than some of my friends. Outside is a downpour. It was a sudden one, no one saw it coming. Reminds me much of a break up, you never see it coming, do you? Especially when you are not the ‘breaker’. The gutters and drains are filled. There is an overflow but it is certainly necessary. No one washes this street after all. I can see a lot from here, even a woman dashing into a hotel opposite here with her left hand trying to cover her wig from the rains, which makes no sense because the head is bigger and the hand  appears tiny. She is already drenching. The hand didn’t come in handy after all. The drops are evidently competing to hit the ground, fast and furious, from all that distance. The sad thing about this competition though is their destination- it’s a tarmacked road, which cheerlessly means there is no petrichor today. I miss that thing. Sometimes I think I miss my childhood but no, no… it’s petrichor!

My friend should be here, she is a pluviophile- she told me so. She even taught me that word, pluviophile. She said she loves silence when there is a pouring- the same kind of silence observed when a child trips and falls on the floor. Did you know that when a child falls you are supposed to keep quiet and look the other way, like totally ignore? Our mothers had myths that somehow, most times, worked. It’s funny if a child falls and his eyes and yours meet, he will cry. If you pity that child he cries louder. According to the mothers of where I come from, don’t look at a child in the eye when they fall. Look away and pretend to be occupied by something different. That’s how my character development started as a child. That’s how I began to own my sh*t.

My friend, the pluviophile, loves rain. She loves silence during a pouring. She switches off everything and everyone around so she can let rain take control. That’s her fantasy, her love life. And I don’t find it odd because right now, I kind of feel the world is at peace. It’s almost like the rain stops everything and everyone for a minute, takes over and demands us to watch as it falls. At first it’s unexpected and noisy. I have never loved the first drop of a downpour. It irritates. It confuses. It hurries you to do things in haste. The first drop is always uncomfortable and scary, just like that first cold drop in the shower; always inhospitable.

I watch the first drops with unease, wondering why, out of all days, it has to rain now. But as other drops follow, peace creeps in. I inexplicably start to find joy in them. The noise it makes upon hitting the surfaces gradually turns from chaos to music. The drops multiply so that you can see threads. They’re fast. They’re furious, yet inviting.  The scene progressively becomes spectacular. I feel it’s me and nature having a peaceful deep conversation- talking about some things, or something. As we share from our souls with the rain, tranquility lands on every organ in my body. My over-thinking brain loosens up. My worried self breathes in deep and breathes out a smile. Peace at last! This is what Jesus must have felt at the cross when he couldn’t feel pain anymore. That moment when he uttered “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” Do you sometimes try to imagine that? That space? That minute of transition? When you’re neither on earth nor in heaven? I’m feeling something almost similar I guess. But mine is a different situation and I’m so much alive- alive in some space away from here- alive in some void. I think I am a pluviophile too.

As peace reigns and conversation deepens, we get distracted by a woman with a fairly big head trying to cover her wig with her tiny hand. What is she even doing? Can’t she find shelter and listen to the rain say something to her. For her disobedience, she has been made wet, very wet. Her shoes have probably taken in some water, and the synthetic hair fibre on her head would most likely tonight give a damp, musty smell. That’s her punishment for being impatient and refusing to let the rain reign. I love women but this one had disappointed us (me and the rain) more than the missing petrichor has.

She enters the hotel and I can only imagine her hunger. There is no way she can let herself drench for nothing. Women get hungrier than men. Their urge for food is beastly.  Men can wait. I can wait. Men can fast. Don’t mention that friend of yours Dennis to disapprove this point. Dennis is an exception. I hope she finds a seat in there. I hope she gets served what she deserves. The menu always has something for everyone. Just like karma. Just like the rain.

I change my focus from the hotel’s entrance back to the downpour but the threads are lost. Just drops now. Slow drops. No more competition. It has subsided and a conversation cannot go on. It subsides. It subsides. And finally it stops. The reign was ephemeral. And in me now lives satisfaction and despondency. The rain entered without a knock, but how could it leave without saying goodbye? This feels like a break up and the rain is definitely the ‘breaker.’ I am the victim. I feel dejected. It not only took away my tranquility, but also my words. That is why I cannot write beyond this point. See you in a week’s time.

Ps: By the way, my unplanned vacation (that I might never talk about) is over. I’m back with a thud, or a numb. Whatever. We shall see. Clementine says hi. Bye.

Slaves Still


Sometimes it feels like a joke that this is 2021. In fact, it is funnier that we survived 2020 only to kind of start it a new. Every day, I ask myself, what’s the difference? I thought it would the ‘won’. I mean the ‘one’. But no, we won not. We are far from it. 2020 is a number different from 2021 but everything similar. It feels like a joke to be in a situation where you’re not sure if Covid is getting eradicated or you. It is a joke that Kenya is a great country which, at the moment, has nothing good to be talked about. If you ask me to praise Kenya then I would, but I will stop where Kibaki stepped down. After him, it’s been jokes, and cluelessness. And noise. Empty debes. I’m tempted to say my country has no leader, or leaders, but that would almost sound like treason. I want to convince everyone that we lack a president, or rather a leader on that chair, but I won’t. Not now. For a reason- I am nobody (in politics) and mine would be easy. I won’t even make it to my local radio station like Msando, or the girl Sharon that Obado…

So, do I love Kenya? Yes. Do I hate her? Yes. I hate its politics. I hate the corruption in it. The dirt it’s clayed itself with. I hate she has leaders and lacks leadership. I hate. I haaaate!

I haven’t written for a while now, because I had sworn never to write of politics. But it affects me, and you. And I can’t write of Clementine, not when she comes from Kajiado, or Nakuru. Or Nairobi. I cannot write to promote my friends’ businesses and hustles. Not when it is affected. I cannot even write about travelling or partying or school… all because of the leadership in my country- actually, the jokes in my country. The jokers in it. I hate this hell blazing on us.

Let me share the dangerous thoughts I have about this land. And I am warning myself because this will have a thin line between being a patriot and a renegade. But either way, let’s go;

Each time I celebrate 1963, I feel void. I feel nothing. I mean, I respect those that fought for whatever they fought for. They fought for the ownership of their land. Respect! But not independence. I don’t feel any independence around here. I don’t know how close freedom is to us but it’s yet to come. Do you sometimes hate the media house for kind of taking sides in some competition? When they are supposed to be neutral? When a TV stations, intelligently, sells one politician over another during an election? Sometimes I effin blame them. Sometimes I don’t. When I don’t, it’s because I tend to believe that they’ve never actually been free. Our media houses are not free.

This is what I believe happened in 1963; oppressors and slave masters changed location. Slavery and oppression did not. We never gained freedom. We never are independent. Do white men still run organizations and companies in our land? Damn yes. Do our leaders worship the Western side? Hell Yes!

Are we independent? Nope. 1963 was the year the oppressors changed their skin colour. I can see that now.

Hahahahaha. I just laughed. I remembered something; the day our top leader was asked, on national TV, what people are going to remember about him and his government in decades to come. Haahahaha. He said;
“I am the first sitting president to vie, lose and accept. I am the first president to vie, win, have the election nullified, and accept…”
Hahahahahahaha. That’s what the health workers, who are underpaid and bullied each time they demonstrate, should remember him about. That’s what those kids studying under a tree should remember him about. That’s what teachers, who are the most harassed and their profession taken for granted should remember him about. That’s what the unemployed youth should remember him about. Hahahaha.

He even swanked about being the first to change the system of government- the government where corruption surpasses production. A government that’s about to have more leaders than those that are led. And truth be told, some posts are unnecessary. Some deputies are a constructive way of wasting resources. He boasts about that system of leaders who can’t lead their people.

He mentioned the SGR in the same interview. I am not mentioning anything on this. The loan borrowed for this (the most expensive project since ‘independence’), and the fact that it made a loss of KSh9. 8 billion in 2018 is heartbreaking.

He mentioned a number of things… railway sector, Kisumu port, roads… things that are good but… You see, roads are useless if they lead nowhere.
Roads are useless if there is no school that leads to.
Roads are useless if there is no good hospital that leads to.
He never mentioned a thing about education because he knows the truth…
He never mentioned a thing about health or hospitals because he knows the truth…
He never boasted about fighting corruption because he KNOWS the truth…
He would never mention anything about the economy, never ever.

Failures too great it clouds the little good done- which is why this government is hard to praise. Or vote for, again.

Which is why I can’t write anything else today. Not when the number of Covid cases increases here as it dies everywhere else around the world. Not when we are losing friends and families to ‘it could have been prevented’ kind of deaths. Not when lockdown in five counties is what our supposedly best heads consider an effective way to curb a virus. Nkt. A virus that made millionaires billionaires! When Covid arrived here, we saw a killer; a threat to our lives and society. Then my leaders saw business opportunities. Kenya!

Sometimes I want to revolt with millions of citizens.
Sometimes I want a miracle to happen when I wake up.
Sometimes I want them exited from…
Most times I wish I wasn’t Kenyan
Most times I work to have dual citizenship, just in case things get worse (aren’t they already?).
Most times I want to go back to before this government. Or to the future after it (hopping it’s better).

 I wish things change.

 I wish things change soon.

 But if they don’t

 Then hey fellow citizens,

Just like Hartley, when he remained behind to play “Nearer My God to Thee”

In the Titanic movie, before the water swallowed them

I say this with same tone;

 It’s been a pleasure suffering with you.


A Little Help

So many people mistake him for being unfairly tranquil. I did too during my first encounter with him. He doesn’t look at you straight in the eye when having a conversation. In fact, he doesn’t respond to your opinions, that is if you are acting a little bit stupid, or petty. You’ll give him a hundred words and he’ll exchange that with five or two. And you won’t get disappointed because that’s who he is; slow to speak. Quick to do. Active with hands. Cautious with words. His name is Hillary Kirui. Or Pkemoi.

Pkemoi is taller than most of you. He also has long charcoal black hair though he excessively presses them to attract less attention. He has no beards (I didn’t have to mention this). He is normally the quiet one in a room but he never misses to join the laughter.

Most of his friends call him Hillaa Cyber because of his IT knowledge that he dispenses at a cyber cafe (Megabytes Cyber Cafe), in Litein. He is good. He is the guy that helps you in filing your KRA returns, registering your company, registering your business name, searching and transferring a motor vehicle, formatting your computer and much more. Unfortunately, at the moment, he cannot serve you as quick as he used to. Sometimes, he cannot serve you at all.

This is why;

On 17th Dec he dashed home. That’s about 6 kilometers from Megabytes Cyber. It was around 8 to the night when he boarded a Boda Boda heading home. Four kilometers away they got involved in an accident and his elbow was injured. Went to hospital, checked, bandaged and later on met one Dr. Birech who recommended a CT scan. From the scan, small fractures and dislocation at the elbow were noticed. That was last week.

The doctor said he will have to undergo an Elbow surgery as soon as possible. Now, the cost of surgery is very expensive and his insurance is locked till weeks later.

He needs our help.

I couldn’t write anything else this week before I ask you to help my friend. He needs your help. Financially.

And also prayers.

I’ll stop here.


MPESA NO0708375155 (Kiprono Robert)

What If


What if there is nothing?

What if this is heaven right now?

Maybe we are in heaven. And maybe after we’re gone there is nothing. I do not doubt the Holy Scriptures. No. I’m doing what I do every minute; imagine. What if after we die, it becomes it! Nothing more. No life after here. This is all we got. One earth, one life. One you. Imagine.

What if the “We shall meet again” isn’t really a thing but a sentence to ease the pain of losing.

What if?

I love this new thought. Because if your stand from my point of view you will realize you haven’t been living your life if truth be told. You haven’t been doing, just hoping and praying.

See, if you woke up in “heaven” what would you do that you’re not doing now?
Now, imagine, we are in heaven. This right here is heaven. Your heaven. This is your last shot. Last lap. Last life. No thereafter. What Then?

What Then?

This thought gives you one choice! To live like there is no tomorrow. Actually, live because there is no tomorrow. Love because you’ll never meet again.

I guess all I’m trynna say is; don’t waste a second wishing or regretting.
Learn to be bold and grab every opportunity that crosses your path.
Be honest. Brutally honest (My new black). Appreciate those that are trying.
Love your mama, and frequently prove that. A close friend, after losing her mother, told me, “Bob, love your mama when she’s still here. Talk with her often. Buy her gifts. Tell her thank you for all she’s done and still doing and give back by being a good child and meeting her needs when you can.”
She told me that with a kind of contentment within her soul yet sprinkles of regret. Love your mama. Your parents. Your guardian.
Don’t kill anyone’s dream or plans when they trust you with them. Don’t always be negative about an idea- a risk. Learn to be positive. Learn to tell your friends “go for it”, “you can do that”, “Do you need my help?”… Even if it seems what they want to do isn’t certain to yield results… they will learn if things go South.

Take risks. It’s the best way to discover your way out, or up.

Go crazy. Do silly things (you have no idea how fun this is). Sometimes, for a minute, try not to be logic and rigid. And I don’t mean irresponsible! I mean crazy. Learn to do crazy shit. Say hi to everyone you meet one day. Shout to that girl seated at the far end in a restaurant how beautiful she looks.

Appreciate people… Purposely go to the hospital with apples, or a cake, and give the doctors thumbs up. Say thank you, like my friend Nahaa did.

Or go to that school you acquired knowledge from, with something, and say thank you.
Why ? Because we’re in heaven. This is all the time we got. No thereafter.

Laugh more than you cry. Smile more that you frown. Especially when wrong is done unto you. I said up there, stay positive. So smile every minute. Laugh loud, like Clementine.


Because we’re in heaven.

Imagine. There is nothing after earth. No other life after earth. This is all we got. This is everything.

How do you want to spend the remaining time?



Last Dec I was asked when I plan to marry. I said soon. And strictly speaking, I’ll marry soon. My soon is the kind of soon where I tell you “I’ll see you soon” and we meet after 12 months, only. Ask around.

Some uncle of mine, who isn’t actually my uncle by blood, told me “You need a wife.” I wanted to give him an imperious look and softly respond “Uncle, I need money. I need peace of mind (a thing I lack of late). I need so many things before I need a woman…” But I didn’t tell him this because he was my uncle, kind of. So I told him “I will, don’t let that worry you.”

Last Dec I was also asked, consistently, who Clementine is! Okay, some of the questions were;

“By the way, Clementine ni nani?” Some girl, beautiful enough to confidently say she’s my crush, asked this.

“Si you post Clementine tumuone” …another one asked. She is curious and likes to criticize and rate every girl dated by her male friends. Huyo naye is toxic and full of bad vibes. She’ll block me after this article – for the better, nonetheless.

“Bob, who is Clementine?” This has come from hundreds of friends and acquaintances who couldn’t hold on. I tested their patience beyond the ceiling and they couldn’t wait anymore. I’m so sorry.
I once publicly (on WhatsApp) wrote something about Clementine and the last words were I love you. I got so many I love you too from some self proclaimed Clementines. I was convinced I’m loved. In which I am, aren’t I?

“Huyu ndo Clementine?” I get this every time I post any lady. Even my sister. Most times, when I’m insane, I say yes.

I once posted a beautiful girl, damn pretty. I said she was Clemie, before these articles came to site, or to sight (it’s lovely they all make sense). Everyone believed, I did too, somehow. Okay she wasn’t Clemie, or maybe she was. Maybe she is, or not. Or maybe I wanted her to be Clemie, or to just mess up with my friends (viewers). I really don’t know. The real Clementine and she don’t have much difference, though.

But hey girl you can be Clemie, you know. Just that you won’t love me as much as Clemie does.

That girl is something sweet, in every aspect.
You know I had sworn I would never let you know who Clementine is, even on my last breath… But then I can’t ascend to the skies and leave you with unanswered questions. FIY, I ain’t ascending soon. I got like a century to go. But still, no one knows. And I hate questions about Clementine because I don’t answer them specifically. Ever.

So today, I reveal Clementine. I disclose. I divulge. I unveil. I unfold. Here she is;

Clementine is an angel, on earth. She is royal and loyal. She strides with pride and speaks with eloquence. Her heart is pure and eyes lure. Love at first sight, it will be, if you set your eyes on her. She is real. She is alive. She knows how to talk to a man like me. She knows how to calm me down and magically bewitch me to tell her everything that’s on my mind. I love her is an understatement. Funny thing is I fell for her laughter first. She laughs loud but hers is gracious. She loves to laugh. She is one hell of a friend. She can switch to be your sister, your mama (not exactly) or your brother. She is female and she is queen. She is soft and she is strict. She is what I’ve desired for ages. She is funny and interesting, never boring. She’s that girl who can spank your butt and you’ll only smile.

Most times she fights her own battles and keep you in the dark because she thinks you will be shaken up on her behalf. But if you dare keep your troubles from her she’ll kill you. She thinks she is a messiah to others, yet she believes no one can help her but her. She pushes away everyone that tries to help. She wants to pay for some dates… But she’s not the one to go to the counter. Gentlemen, we owe such women real friendship. She wants to hike this weekend, but the next she wants you, alone, in the house. Sharing nothing… gossiping and debating over random subjects. Cooking. Cuddling. Kissing. More.

You see, my relationship with Clementine is this; I’ve met her before. Probably kissed and shared moments. I’ve taken her for walks and coffee. I’ve sang her a song by Lionel Richie, John Legend and Elvis Presley. Oh! Sheeran too. I’ve made promises to her and I’ve made her queen.

I have not met Clementine, no! She is my dream. My sweet dream. She is a wish I make every night before I slide to slumber land. Clementine is non-existent. She is but a desire. A taste I want to have. I’ve never met her, but I know her and I want to meet her. I talk to her every day and she kind of responds. I create her every day. I created her. I made her. I own her. She is here right now but I can’t touch her. Never touched her. Clementine is a wish. A dream.

Clementine is existent. She lives. There is a piece of her in Karen. There’s a part in Becky. Nono carries an element of her. You see, every girl I’ve met and touched my heart is Clementine. Every girl I’ve crushed on is Clementine. Clementine lives. She is a combination of those lovers that came and went. She is none of them at the same time. Karen is Karen. Becky is Becky. Clementine is Clementine. Clementine is all of them… She is existent. Do you even understand?

Clementine is a name I love. The antiqueness of the name drives me crazy. It’s sweet and model. Say it. Pronounce CLEMENTINE slowly and see how fragile it is, how it’s held in the mouth and keeps getting moulded into something brittle that might just tumble off your lips and sprinkle shards across the floor. I swore to sire a character by this name, feed her and protect her. Take her to places and teach her many things… Love her till death do us part. So, she is a woman I created. Gave her beauty. Loved her and made her mine, in articles and in life. I created my own lover. Truth is, I am devoted to her so much.

Dear Clementine, wherever you are, whatever you are, I know you. You’re my secret lover, you’re my gone lover. My existing lover. My desire. My wish. We spend every day, yet we’ve never actually met. You’re the gap I need to fill in my life. You’re the missing part to make me complete. You’re what completes me. You’re perfect. Imperfect. Lovable. Untameable. I’m happy to have you. I wish to have you. One thing stands true though, I love you.

So, those that pressured me with questions about Clementine, I just introduced her to you. You guys have met, finally. Stop asking about her, again.

And Uncle, I plan to marry Clementine, soon. ‘Soon’.

Here We Are


I’m sorry couldn’t wait till Friday as usual.

If your’e reading this then you made it to 2021, we made it. Here we are, with gratitude. Here we are, with pain that didn’t leave us, with scars from evey battle we fought, with losses. Here we are.

I wrote something, a piece, few days ago. I read it. I read it again, and again. Eventually, after consulting a very intelligent friend of mine (me), I saw it best not to share the piece with you in writing (as an article). So, I narrated it, posted it on YouTube- with some videos and slides so you don’t get bored. It’s not old channel, it needs subscribers- you get it? Thank you.

Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, I give you the link…


Say Something


We all have this moment where you spend hours in the house and you find yourself going through every stuff you have in there; from inside the fridge to kitchen to the ‘library’.

 I did that too and inside my ‘library’ I met this;

Hey, God.
Are you there?
It’s been a while.
Remember me? Of course you do.
I know you know that the next thing I’m gonna say
Is you abandon me in which,
I don’t know
Did You?
You had me wrapped in your arms
I was so proud you held my hand everyday
It felt great to introduce you to my friends
And I knew we were gonna live happily ever after
Even after the after
I was happy, Lord.
I was happy.

As we talked and sang
And fought the evil
The other side looked spectacular
And I wanted to taste…to see
During my weak season
Temptations streamed
I got tempted once
And tried to run away from you
You held my hand
Told me there wasn’t home
So I came back and worshiped you more
As you enlightened me and made me feel contented
I was happy, Lord.
I was happy.

Again and again
I got tempted
They tried so hard to pull me from you
I was rooted in you and I wasn’t gonna leave you
They tried
They tried, Lord
Eventually I felt they cared more than you did
They had something “more”
They gave something “fun”
Lord, I got tempted.
I got tempted.

I joined them
They welcomed me
And told me I was home
And somehow
To be honest with you
I felt home
We lived with them
We ate together
We laughed and cried together
We slept, together

So you see, Lord
They gave me something “more”
Something “fun”
When your family, the ones that you called them too,
Talked behind my back
Denied me their company
Judged me like they do now in church
Said my clothes weren’t classy enough for the altar
Lord? Are you there?
They didn’t show me love
The one you appointed to preach pushed us
He disliked me
‘Coz I wasn’t ‘blessed’ enough
To offer more silvers
My ten percent was too minute he said
He preached about giving
Staring at me
Lord, am I to blame?

Whether you moved away from me
Or I moved away from you
Doesn’t matter now
We are two worlds apart
Like the same poles of two magnets
I’m so deep in darkness
It’s a moonless life for me here

Sometimes I call out to you
But you say nothing
You keep quiet.
Why do you not answer
Yet you call me child?
Am I really your son?
Am I still worthy?
I’m in darkness
I’m in darkness, Lord
Come save me
Come save now
Lord am talking to you!
Are you even listening?
Because I’m here
Ready to listen!
Please say something.
Say something



You see, in class six, way back, our science teacher asked a question. I don’t remember it exactly but the answer was transpiration. Yes, the word transpiration. I knew, with uncertainty, that it was the correct answer. But I felt otherwise. I doubted. I contemplated. Few kids raised their hands. Out of fear, I whispered the word. It didn’t travel far. But it reached my desk mate’s ears- who without hesitation shot his hand up and was chosen to give an answer. “Transpiration “, he said. What followed broke my heart.

“Excellent, Gilbert “, the teacher praised him and the class was instructed to applause him and he was subsequently used as a good example. The teacher said the rest of us should read intensely and widely as him; that we needed to study as hard as Gilbert. At this point my mouth was wide open and I couldn’t believe what was happening. I was angered. Completely angered. Turning to face the opportunist, advantage taker, thief, credit stealer, impostor… I saw his face lit up like he won a lottery. He avoided an eye contact with the original owner of the answer. He smiled as wide as he looked around at everyone but me. I hated him. To inflict more pain upon me, he said, “thank you, madam” while still smiling. That’s how our friendship broke loose that term.

How would he? My friend with whom we had shared a plate of githeri and played the same homemade polythene ball together! I felt betrayed and unloved for the very first time in school. My friend, my desk mate and my neighbour back at home took what belonged to me. He took my answer and made it his own. He stole from me and took credit. Friends don’t do that to each other at all. Real friends don’t. In fact, it felt cruel. And instead of feeling sorry, he smiled with contentment and gestured to the whole class that he was the best- the OG. And they cheered him. Those innocent kids cheered him! They didn’t know transpiration was mine. If only they did! I hated everyone in that class, and the teacher too. How would she not see in Gilbert’s face the thief he was? She was the teacher! Teachers know everything (they proved that right all the time in primary school).They magically know everything. They know when you lie about anything.

 Cherop once came to class late and Mr Sang had started his math lesson 10 minutes ago. She was harshly asked why she came to class late and after looking at his angered and ever temperamental face, she said she was feeling sick and so she had walked to class slowly after seeing the school nurse. He knew! He told her she was lying and the truth is she wasn’t sick. How did he know? These people are gods or something. But I was disappointed by this science teacher who had no magic powers, like Mr Sang, to tell when someone has stolen something that isn’t theirs. Gilbert stole transpiration from me and she couldn’t tell. Why wouldn’t she tell? She hated me perhaps. Or she loved Gilbert and love impaired her judgment. I’ve never known why teachers have these short baby face students as their pets and favourites! To be a teacher’s fave you must be short and act soft. Gilbert fitted that category. The rest of us who played football and came to class sweating with our disrespectful heights were always suspects of anything wrong- even though we carried discipline and perfect manners with us. I hate science to date.

Gilbert and I found a way to be great friends again after two terms or so. We, without words, buried the hatchet and shared a plate of githeri again. Grudges don’t last forever. They shouldn’t. We never talked about that incident until somewhere in class 8. Perhaps we had forgotten or just ignored till then. When I reminded him it didn’t ring as fast as I thought it would. He probably forgot what he did that same day. Or he had no idea what he did at all. When he somehow remembered, we laughed about it like you would laugh at a memory of stealing sugar and getting caught after denying.

Gilbert, wherever you are, the same thing that happened during that science lesson in class six is happening outside here. And lucky you were already prepared for the world out here. I probably was some emotional young boy who taught the world was a fair place. I now realize you took and owned my transpiration not because you were a thief but because I was not courageous enough to raise my hand. I was full of uncertainty and maybe I had self esteem issues. Or more correctly, I was afraid of rejection – afraid of giving the wrong answer and getting embarrassed. I didn’t know how to shoot my shot. My fear kept me down. And you, Gilbert, did teach me something about being an opportunist- it’s a good trait out here. Taking advantage of someone isn’t, but grabbing chances without hesitation and self doubt is indeed fruitful. I have learnt to raise my hand quick to opportunities, to respond without second thought. To own courage. I have the words to change a nation and I vow never to bite my tongue or whisper when I can shout. No more silence. I’m no longer afraid I’ll say something wrong. I speak up now. My voice cannot be tamed by anything, or anyone. I’m not afraid. Thanks, Gilbert.



Raise Your Glasses


I am not a poet, but this gender that no one cares about have made me write this down. I know, first hand, the fear and uncertainty behind their “It’s gonna be okay” assurances. I know the weakness behind their strengths, the depression behind their laughter, the pressure, the struggle…

It’s a Friday, gentlemen, and this is my song for you. Tell the DJ to pause so we can sing this together. Wherever you are, whatever is in your glass, raise your glasses, and let’s sing along;

Gentlemen, stand and raise your glasses

Cheers to the hard work

To the side work

To the pain we go through in silence

To the courage that we never let go

To the secrets we keep from the world

Gentlemen, raise your glasses tonight

Cheers to the loyalty you give

To your women and to your country

And to yourselves

Cheers to the brother you are

Over-protecting runs deep in you

Don’t call it weakness

But strength and firmness

Cheers to the fathers you are

It looks easy until you become one

It changes you, it strengthens you

It mans you up

Cheers, gentlemen, cheers

Gentlemen, raise your glasses to the sky

Let’s say a prayer and give an amen

Cheers for believing in Him and trusting His ways

Cheers for love He gives and the love we give

Raise your glasses to the sky

Give thanks to the most high

To the Most High

Gratitude (to the most high) is a must.

Gentlemen, are you glasses empty yet?

Let’s have another round

(Let’s have another round tonight)

And celebrate the struggles we’ve been through

No matter how small

A struggle’s a struggle ‘cos eventually

The bread is served and strength preserved

And love is God and love is us

Cheers, to the gentlemen, cheers

Raise your glasses,


Not everyone man,

This is for the chosen few

The gentlemen,

Gentlemen, raise your glasses

Cheers for keeping on keeping on

Cheers for the bravery



Gentlemen, raise you glasses tonight.

Is She?


I have my wedding in a week’s time, but it’s not going to happen. It’s not gonna happen. Not anymore… because I’ll not be there. I just changed my mind. I’m not marrying her. I am not going through with it. I’m not scared. I’m only having second thoughts. I am, for the first time, considering everything else. I don’t think it’s her. She is not the one. She is not. Or is she?

When I met her she was a goddess- a beauty to grab by the hand and keep at heart. At first sight, I knew her first name, at second sight I knew her second name, at third sight I took her number, at fourth I realized I was in love all along. Long before the first sight.
I had prayed for an angel to come along and save me from myself. And here, with love and fragrance (that of a rich family), she had arrived. I was so happy. I felt what it meant to be at the top of the world. I was lucky, luckiest. I had angel, man. Here with me. Do you know how that feels? Heavenly!

I had sworn to keep my dating life private but there are times a beautifully made girl comes to your life and your mouth won’t shut. My friends had to know. They had to see. The world had to listen. I wasn’t going to keep this private. No.
No silence here. No low-key.

It was always weird to me when I saw to love birds holding hands in town. Or in the supermarket. Haha. I was wrong. There is nothing weird about that. I held her hands everywhere we went. EVERYWHERE.

Wasn’t I blessed? For this reason I always gave a thankful prayer. I was contented. I was blind. Blind to Maya, Tasha, Caren and even Clementine. It’s hard for a man to say this but yes I was in love. I WAS IN LOVE.

I once kissed her at a bus stop. Okay, a matatu stage sounds more accurate. And what you think didn’t happen. These touts know me. So the called my name and cheered. Yes, just like in the movies. No one can stop love. Not even you, yes you who go round spitting curses to every relationship with “wataachana tu.”

We loved and kissed. We cuddled and talked. We shared stories and made memories. I gave her my secrets, not all, but I gave my secrets. Never had I been so open in my life to a girl. This, this one won me. She stole my heart (I never knew I would use this phrase one day). We rode. We escalated. We never stopped loving.

We had issues like everyone else. Juliet and Romeo had issues too. But there isn’t a thing we didn’t solve. We fixed things. We tried. That’s what they all do, right? They try. When you both try it flows. When one person tries it stops. It’s a mutual stuff.
We became better and better and a deal to take things to the next level was sealed. I proposed. She opposed, not. She said yes. She said another yes, then another. She gave so many yeses I shed a tear. She shed a tear too. We were going to vow. VOWS. Oh love!

Plans were made. A Saturday was booked. Cards were printed and friends were invited. She was an angel yes, but I had to learn to see her as a human sometimes- because she is. I had to learn and love her imperfections. She was going to be my wife. Same roof above us. Same bed. Same food. Same everything. Was I ready? I don’t know. I was just in love. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to make vows. I wasn’t sure.

I grew so scared. Negativity crept in. Fear entered. I invited negative pieces of advice. I got scared. For once I doubted if she was the one. I asked God and I needed Him to answer from the clouds and tell me the truth. I was choosing a life partner here. I was choosing someone I’m going to wake up to forever, before death do us asunder. I wasn’t ready, no.

So right now I have my wedding in a week’s time, but it’s not going to happen. It’s not gonna happen. Not anymore… because I’ll not be there. I just changed my mind. I’m not marrying her. I am not going through with it. I’m not scared. Wait, I am scared. Dead scared. I’m having second thoughts. I am, for the first time, considering everything else. I don’t think it’s her. She is not the one. She is not. Or is she?


This is not my story, just my words… but you tell me, do people go through this? Do they get scared even if they made the right choice?

Hey You


If I write whatever I’ve been going through these past few weeks then we’re going to get stuck here for a while, and I don’t want to snatch that amount of time from you. It’s been a concoction of heaven and hell. It was never a writer’s block because I have been writing. You know those stories that are meant to be burnt right after dropping your pen? Yes, those. And yea, I have been using ink and paper. It has its perks. Sometimes the ink feels like its pouring from your heart through the pen to the paper. Imagine the clarity and nakedness of such words! Aah!

I have been fine, as anyone struggling would say. I have been fine for real. I have also been in the same house of art but different room. So yea, I have been writing. Not in this room though. I have been in the kitchen, cooking something poetically delicious.

Working on pieces for performance can be hectic. There is thinking of the recipe, editing it, trying for the first time, trying again, and again. And eventually you just give clack with “Whatha…. I’m going with this.” It’s that hard. So I came here to show you I haven’t left. I would never leave you. There is no way I’ll come into your life, give you a little warmth then ghost you. I’m not the type.

So as I still prepare my recipe in this kitchen I’ll just share with you what I’m working on. The final thing will be a voice… on my YouTube channel and I’ll be here to lead you there. As we enter this weekend, enjoy this draft;

Hey, you, I met you somewhere, before. You were crying. You were crying and tears rolled down your cheeks to the ground and my shoes must have felt the river flowing under the soles. You sobbed and clacked and you never stopped. You were seated outside your house, just at your door. I came up to you, tapped your shoulder and asked if you were okay. You looked up and before you even spoke I saw the writings in your eyes. The words were crystal clear and the pain was evident. You eyes read ” Hey, I’m gonna give up. I’m in pain and it seems chronic. He is emotionally unavailable but that’s not the problem anymore. He beats me. He batters me. He broke my heart months ago and I thought I did him wrong so I stayed in. He stopped breaking my heart but he never attempted to mend it because the only time he has for me is when he is breaking my bones and hurting my skin. He slaps me like a dose. He has turned the house into a football stadium and I’m one his balls. I think it makes him proud. It makes him happy and I want him happy. I’m in pain. I’m crushed but I won’t get out. I want to get out but I feel tied I need someone to pull me out please help me.”
But when I asked you “Hey are You okay?” You looked at me, wiped your tears and calmly said “Hey I’m okay just a little headache that won’t let me rest. Thanks for asking” ….
I insisted ” Are you sure you are okay” and before you could utter anything he opened the door from the inside and stepped out. His presence scared you to death. He looked at you with eyes bragging that your breath is what he held and owned. You looked at me and your face told me something I least expected; “Hey you’ll put in trouble, just go away”… so I went away… I didn’t know what you meant by putting you in trouble though.
What trouble? Aren’t you in deep trouble already?

Hey you, I met you somewhere, before. You had an envelope and your suit was nicely ironed. You were from an interview…you told me. You were seated on a bench by the roadside and your eyes were red. Red like a tomato, or a chronic stoner’s. You were cheerless and stressed. I came up to you and  asked  ” Hey stoner” sorry “Hey brother, are you okay” you told me “yes I’m okay, worry not”

I didn’t believe you. I didn’t believe you because your face your body said otherwise. If I had the power to look into your heart and thoughts then I would have read something like “Hey brother, I’m not okay. I’m depressed and I’m lost. This life becomes harder every day. I wake up with new hope everyday and before the rays of the morning sun touches my skin that hope evaporates to heights unknown. I try. I try. Every day I try. But I fail. I fail everything and everyone is seemingly against me. My hard work doesn’t pay. My prayers go unanswered. My spirit is crashed. My happiness is non-existent. I’m lost. I’m hopeless. I’m hurting. I’m scared. Can you help? Please!
I didn’t believe you when you said you were okay. But there is nothing I would have done. I remember asking you for the second time “Are you sure you are okay?” And you confidently told me “I am fine, just a train of thoughts ” …so I walked away.

Hey You, I met you somewhere, before. You were…You were talking to yourself. I stood behind you and I heard you lament. I remember you looking up at the skies saying “Dear Lord, have I not been a good mother? Have I not done what I could? Have I not prayed? My daughter is not the girl I raised. She is not the gift you gave me. Lord you were here when I taught her how to respect herself. You were here Lord, when I taught her everything a mother should. And Lord I prayed and begged you to take care of her. I begged you to guide her ways as she grows up. She is far away from me now. She disconnected herself from me. Everything I now know about her is from rumours. Don’t let the streets take her, don’t let me lose her. Don’t let her go down this road. She is my daughter, I need her back. Please, Lord!”

I stood behind and I heard you lament. I wanted to ask if you were okay but I already knew. I already heard. And your pain? I could only imagine. I can only imagine.
Hey you, you don’t cry anymore. You stopped. I cannot tap your shoulder and ask you if you are okay. He cannot beat you anymore. Because you don’t exist anymore. I heard the last time he went physical on you, you lost lots of blood, and you lost your breath too. I’m sorry. It’s too late now. You would have said something, to someone. You covered his sins up and he stopped your heart from beating. You would have talked! Rest in Peace.

Hey you, why did you lose hope so fast? You attended few interviews and you lost it. You gave up. You tried yes but you had to try a little bit harder. You had to give yourself time man. You had to hang on. You let in coke so fast. You let in liquor so fast. You let in addiction so fast. What’s gonna happen now? Rehab? You would have talked to someone. You would have talked.

Hey you mama, you are good mother. You are the best she will ever have. And I know it’s a mother’s job to worry …but don’t hurt yourself. Don’t blame yourself and don’t blame God too. Your daughter is fine. She is going through life. She is learning. Wait. Give her time but don’t stop praying and don’t stop keeping her close. Don’t stop teaching her. Don’t give up on her, woman. Don’t!

Hey you, I met you somewhere. Are you okay?

Tomorrow Never Comes


Sunday, 3 A.M

Insomnia is a loyal friend at this hour. She cuddles me with cold hands and consistently taps my head. Sleep won’t dare step near. I try to push her but she whispers something like, for better, for worse, and actually, she gives the worst. She cannot move. She entwines her legs with mine and her arms are around me, tight. She can’t let me go. This is not romance. She is hating. She wants nothing from me and she gives nothing. She only, out of wickedness, hates to see me close my eyes, thus, she can’t let me do that. I can’t sleep.  

She forces me out bed. She is a real b**ch. I turn on the lights and step outside. The moon didn’t show up tonight. She must have shone brightly yesterday and she got exhausted. The darkness shines as everything else lurks in it. I take a walk around the compound and it hits me that I have never been scared of the dark.  This is true. I am not afraid of the dark. Barking dogs from houses away are the only noises dominating. Cold creeps in. Afraid to shiver, I go back to the house.

I pull a chair pushed half-way under the table and sit on it. At such hour, you cannot indulge in anything- not even thoughts. At the edge of the table are books arranged. The one on top is ‘The Hard Thing about Hard Things’. I stretch my hand to it and stare at the cover for minutes. I am almost done reading the book by the way. It crosses my mind; I have been taking notes from the book.  Honestly, the book favours the already established entrepreneurs, or so I understood. For me, an idea is what I need first. Recently, as I perused the book, an idea struck. It was one to generate money- one I may not share here.

The idea was already on paper. The book with notes in it is on the other end of the table. I pick it and go through it.

“I must start this soon” I whisper to myself.


I didn’t need much to start that business; I had everything needed- time included. And I loved it since it was going to be a unique one – in fact, the only one around here.

Insomnia finally decides to let me be and I slide back to bed.

Morning came quick. It never warned like it always did with cocks and birds. After I arose, I went to town for some research. A research is a necessary step to starting a business. You must know what you are about to do and every risk involved. The passion in me flamed like a wild fire and I was undoubtedly certain that in a week’s time I’ll be in business. I did what I did that day.

Next day…

I believed everything was in order and I didn’t worry much since the passion still flamed.

A week later…

The risks became clearer than before. I got a little bit scared and weighed if I should opt out or not. Flames don’t blaze forever after all. Other ideas became better. But I didn’t quit, at least not then.

One year later I was still with the idea- never implemented. I became so relaxed and comfortable. Perhaps I was hoping nature had my time to shine. Or things will just fall to place, you know. I was waiting for a miracle.

Another year…

Not a single miracle happened (they ended in the bible I guess). My idea was just there, hanging. I was just there, hanging. Sometimes I would sit and reflect my life. You know what I saw in me? A fool- a scared man who was too weak to start a thing. I saw a man who didn’t deserve to walk on the surface of the earth, one that took another’s space- another who would have boldly made the world a better place. I felt like I was the subject of that epitaph you heard before, you know the one that says “here lies a wasted resource.”

What was I even scared of? What stopped me? Complacency, my friends, is expensive. A few months later I walked around town and new businesses had boomed. Some of them are the same I had. Someone had taken my idea. You feel me? Someone had taken my idea and brutally worked on it. Someone didn’t think twice. They started without all the knowledge required. They just did it. And they gave everything they had. Now (I feel like crying) they have established companies. They proudly call themselves entrepreneurs, CEOs… that should be me. That should be me!

Friday, 3 A.M 2020…

I’m just here. A little bit hurt. I’m learning not to play safe. I’m learning to take risks. To make a step no matter how dark the next minute is. I’m not afraid of the dark after all. I have learnt that ideas aren’t meant to be kept, they must be acted upon. Insomnia at this hour is my friend. She is doing the right thing. I need to think. I believe I have gone through some furnace and I’m cleansed now. I’m ready.

So whatever idea hits my head, I’m working on it tomorrow. No! Actually, today!! Tomorrow never comes.

Note: Procrastination is a thief of time. You may delay, but time won’t. Don’t comfort yourself in any zone. Brutally, every day, edit your life and take risks.

By the way, have you ever let an idea/opportunity slip? And it later haunted you?



In a world full of trends, remain classic. In a world full of average, be outstanding. Be a cupcake in a world full of muffins. Be an original in a world full of copies. Wait! Did I say copies? If you must make copies, then make copies of memories because memories bring everything and everyone back.

Some years ago, long before you stepped on the ground memories were narrated. You would know what happened a year ago through someone’s description. And not everyone was great in descriptive speaking. Painting a real picture in someone’s head was never an easy task. Never has it been. But that narration was necessary because one ought to know what happened before them and what happened to them times back. One can only witness one side of an event and miss the other hence his description will always be fractional. Something had to be invented. Something had to be done. Not everything required words. Like a smile. Or sunset. Or the morning flowers with dew on it. These need no words. Using words is a great risk of losing meaning. You never know what words can be put in play. There are approximately 1, 010, 000 words in the English language but you can still lack words to describe a beauty, a pain, laughter or an emotion. This is, I guess, where capturing of memories came in. Memories had to be captured and kept. Ever heard of Nicephore Niepce? No? He took the very first photo in 1825. It was a photo of a view from the window, a thing we all love during the rains. The dude was a French inventor.

Over time after the invention, photography became the largest hobby in the world. Multibillion dollar industry rose from the hardware sales alone. I feel so compelled to talk about camera obscura and shutter speed (one of you has no idea what this is) but this duress is one to repress today. But if you are a photographer, I am certain the names Henri Cartier-Bresson and even Annie Leibovitz are well-known to you.

Now, it is not a hobby anymore. It is a profession. A job. But not the kind of job anyone can do. It requires passion, talent and some inner skill. To be a photographer you must learn to capture without the camera, first. You must been keen to spot what normal people can’t. Photographers, like me, are storytellers. When you look outside the window as it rains you will see rain falling. A photographer will see that too but he will vividly see the drops that hit the ground, disrupt the peace of the dry soil and bounce back up. He will capture the bouncing drops. You will see children play; he will see a scene to be captured, laughter to be recorded. He will focus, adjust, focus and click! Right there he would capture a picture worth a thousand words, or no words at all because some pictures need no description. I love photographers- talented photographers.

There is one you should know about.

In a country so messed up and corrupt, there is a county called Kericho. In that county lies a town dominated by people of good teeth (kutit) and others. It’s kind of peaceful there. One day I’ll tell you a thing about the town. It’s like silent waters that run deep. You will never know what goes on in it until you dive in. Whoever has set foot in that town and stayed a while have in one way or another, been educated, strangely. The town’s name is Litein. Amongst the more than 10,000 people in it, there is a young man, built and beardless, who made a choice to marry Canon camera and make everyone’s life better. At first, he took a picture of a sunset on one Wednesday evening and it was spectacular. A picture I still use as my home screensaver.

With time he took more pictures- of us and everyone, and everything. He has captured things and moments that have left us amazed. Even without experience then, his pictures were extra professional. A lens can be powerful, but the guy behind it decides everything. They young man has proven to the people of Kericho and beyond that his clicks can capture what everyone else misses to capture. And so, in that land, he is trusted.

When he created his studio, he named it NETBIT OG PHOTOGRAPHY (of course you knew the name all along. Yes, it’s OG). Popularly, among the young people, he is known as OG. He is that original, though the acronym’s meaning isn’t that of literal gangster.

I have posted his work here; my words can only convince you to some length. Wherever you need him to be, he will reach. So if you’re exchanging vows, or welcoming an almost born, or want to capture the moments of that party or hike… or whatever… OG is a phone call away.

Phone: 0720 419 598

Facebook: Netbit OG Photography

Instagram: netbitogphotography

A Dusty Night


*From last week

It’s a two bedroom house. The walls are painted white, off white. My friend says it’s called Swiss coffee colour- a name I’ll forget before the end of this year because I am a rare species (gangster one). An ex of mine (God bless her) once taught me variety of colours apart from black, white and red. I bought a green t-shirt once and she said “smaragdine is your favourite?”. For a minute I asked myself who I dated but my inner gods told me she is talking of a colour. And so I just nodded. I even learnt magenta from her. May you be happy where you are, love.  And I hope he knows purple isn’t your favourite.

The two bedroom house…

The Swiss coffee colour is calming. With it comes peace and warmth. From the kitchen the aroma hits me but appetite is on the lam. The meals are served, but I’m full. The nyamchom I took earlier hasn’t digested yet. My eye lids are longing to kiss and the urge turns immense. I won’t let them do that as I sit on the sofa. I drag my legs to my room (for only tonight) as I murmur a goodnight. 

The bed is cold, and kind of dusty. No one has laid here for months. Not even cockroaches. The loneliness is dreadful. I feel so alone and casted away. Single people don’t deserve this much. For a second I wished I would have stayed home, 167 km away. My soul wasn’t prepared for this. All I wanted was a trip. Not a cold dusty bed for a welcome from a friend, who is almost in a circle of family. But… I am to blame. I didn’t give an early notice. I promptly just came. There was no time to make me feel like a guest. What guest? If only I had called yesterday or the day before it, things would been better and cleaner. But kiherehere yangu paid me this!

I can’t sleep. My exhaustion excuses itself and exited. Eye lids break up before touching and desire to kiss turns to a creation of a wider gap between the two lovers.  They try their best to ghost each other. The same thing millennials do nowadays- they turned from human beings to some hell. Look here, during our time (1500AD) love was not a complicated thing. In fact life was as easy as the sun rising from the east and setting in west. Falling in love was natural. Declaring the feeling took a certain skill. For some, who had social defects, went through days of training on how to make a move. I had three students during my time. I taught them from the choice of words to a complimentary tone. I even stressed on a slow confident deep voice. Girls those times loved strength and confidence in men. If courage lacked in you them finding a she was like chasing the wind. So preparation was the key. If relationship didn’t work out because of faded love, boredom, wrong choices or unfaithfulness then the two would meet by the bananas next to the river or at the road that led to the well and broke up. Mutual thing. Reasons were listed. The most legit of reasons was clan. If you dated a girl from your clan then as soon as you learn of it, break the help up. That’s your sis or bro. Your clans mate is a no go zone. 

This Gen Y won’t even talk. We live in a world where millennials do not know how to use words. They can’t raise a topic, or argue an issue. They can’t sit and talk for hours on a date. They don’t even go for dates nowadays. It’s just a hook up and katambe katambe. When they are exhausted dating because of unknown reasons, they stop talking. There is no confronting or tackling issues, just ghosting. They ghost each other. Expressive humans need to be resurrected.

I can’t sleep…

Sleep abandoned me. I need it so bad. It needs me not. It reminds of that song… ‘Saa zingine anayekupenda humpendi unapenda mwingine anayependa mwingine ‘ I’m trying to love this sleep but it loves me not. I try my best to let my body allow itself be taken by it but my spirit isn’t willing. I can’t touch my phone. Last time I lied to myself to go through twitter in bed for ten minutes, I slept on the first crow. I slept when certain millionaires were already making Kenya a better place.

Sleep still won’t do what it does best. It eludes me. It hates me. I’m beginning to hate it too. No love lost between us. The dust backs it up and I’m sneezing like someone just burnt pepper and wafted the smoke on my face. This is going to be a sleepless night. I’m going to suffer away from home. I believe it’s still worth it and I am to blame. I left my readers anticipating and now? I’m hurting more than they. I wish they knew. I wish you knew I’m thinking of you and I want to apologize (I already did, right?) So whether this sleep comes by or not, I’m travelling back home tomorrow, to you, and write for you. You have to read every week. You need to. But you’ll miss a story some few weeks to come, because I’ll take another trip. It’s a scheduled habit now.  I hope I do not go alone; one of you can join me. Not a man certainly! Hahaha. Or, I’ll carry Nora’s Enchanted- it turns my soul on. It’s a book worth reading twice (Thanks to Wilita).

*Enjoy your weekend and loosen up a little.

Nono’s Text


Last week, we read no story. At least not here. For those that anticipated, my apologies. I thought I would. I actually planned to but you see one thing with plans is they always change. Or miss to happen at all. We call it life, don’t we?

I did something I told you to normalize. A thing I haven’t done for ages. I took a trip. Not exactly a trip you would think of. I didn’t use my car (it’s still in the showroom) and I didn’t use a private one either. I told you in my last article to live life, to loosen your feet to the rhythm and to take trips to the borders. To be honest, I was telling myself all these.  I used you. I needed a trip, a different kind of air at the break of dawn. I woke up on Thursday morning last week and I knew I wasn’t going to type anything. I tried hard to not touch the keyboard, or my pen. The air outside was cool and pure; uncontaminated. But it was normal. It was the same gentle zephyr and taste.  It had begun to be droning. So I entertained a train of thoughts. As I did that Nono’s text got glued to my head. After reading Forever Young, she inboxed me and said how envious she is of me. I enjoy my life to the fullest, she said. She believes I take trips frequently and I have mastered the art of loosening my feet to the rhythm. I neither denied nor affirmed. I ‘mmmed’. Is that a smile or those old men fillers as you explain to them what hustle you’re on? Anyways, it felt right to ‘mmmm’.  Nono pierced straight through my chest to some artery. How dare me psych up one to live life and take trips to the borders and fail to do so myself!

On Thursday morning, I wrote not. I found my zone so comfortable and boring. Same air. Same irritating noise from a neighbour’s nduthi. Same noise from hammers hitting nails (this construction isn’t over yet?). No birds’ melodies. I miss birds and their unpredictable sweet tunes in the morning. Here, hoots and screeching breaks are my family. We live together and they never fail to announce their presence. They are also my alarm at 5:30 a.m. They never disappoint and they snooze themselves every minute. That morning, I got fed up. So bored I called a friend 167 kilometers away.

“I will be globetrotting today, local-trotting actually. And your place might be my place of refuge tonight” I said after a lengthy thread of hellos.
“That’s strange. Everything alright?”
“Yea everything is perfect. I just needed to wander away from home a little. It’s nature’s prescription for me. Hehe”

So I got ready. Again, I didn’t use my car. I wandered. I travelled. I just travelled. 167 km away from home. I was certain I was going. I wasn’t so sure if I would come back. If I came, I didn’t decide when.
I must say the shuttles nowadays are as comfortable as sitting on a sofa watching Netflix on a rainy evening with a cup of coffee on the table. From fourteen passengers to nine! Amazing. The one meter rule has given us privacy and disappointed those of you that can’t keep your heads from turning to our phones and eavesdropping our conversations. We are free. Free at last! We can now read a book comfortably and video call freely without your nosiness.

 I sat at seat number one- the best seat in every car ever. Now, there is a seat called 1x. It’s in between the driver’s and seat number one. That seat is hell. I’d prefer the trunk to it. If you want to know what discomfort feels like then seat on it from Kisii to Nairobi. Sitting on seat Ix is like sitting on that high school bench on a Saturday night during entertainment (way back). The bench which twelve seniors would squeeze themselves at the front, just next to the screen, for more that 120 minutes. Those that were unfortunate to sit at both ends were pillars that protected the rest of the crew. Their legs acted as breaks to keep the crew safe. Nowadays, we call that breaking system dunga. Ix needs that kind of dunga. As a caring friend I would tell you if travelling comes back the way it was then by all means avoid 1x during long distances. Unless if you want to massage your joints the whole week.

Seat number one gave me peace.  As I sat there, I saw more than I expected. I stretched my hand out to the wind. The caress of the currents against my palm was therapeutic.  It healed me. Stretching my hand outside the window healed my soul. This may not sound masculine but I closed my eyes, with my hand outside the window and wandered through imagination. It would have been meditation but the music playing in the car did not favour any kind of tranquility. It is so hard to listen to “Kisepen Esther” and keep your calm. Practically impossible.

100 kilometers later, the air tasted different. I love home but away from it is what my soul needs, every time. 167 kilometers later I alighted and headed to one choma point I know. I enjoyed every second there. I licked my fingers and sipped some 12 percent liquid (not everyone will get this, I am sorry)

I knew and hoped I was going to have a curative experience the following day. So I called my friend, I was exhausted and I needed rest.

*It continues next Friday

Press on


Dear readers, can we do something a little bit different today? Like, share hope? I mean, this pandemic has been hell to most of us and it’s only right we stand together, in whichever way. I’m standing with you, as I have always done.

If you lost your job or still have it but without any wages, then don’t kill yourself. You’re not in it alone and we are out here surviving too. At first we thought our lives, hope and dreams had come to an end…but then at some point, after watching people die of the virus, we realised waking up in the morning is a thing we had long forgotten its value. Breath is a valuable garment that comes second to nothing. If you’re still wearing it then, for now, don’t ask for more. Breathe in, breathe out. Be grateful. Gratitude is a must (sing it with me).

 Still on jobs, people get fired everyday, companies collapse, bank accounts are frozen and such tragedies occur. With or without Rona the challenges you are facing now have been there before, a little different but we’ve faced them before and somehow, you survived. You will survive this again. My friend, a teacher under the school board, is not sure whether to introduce himself anymore as a teacher of Terina High School or not. Because last he got paid was April. Ever since then he has been no teacher (in terms of salary). So he has to think of how else to put food on the table and he is trying. He is surviving.

Don’t lose hope. There is a silver lining, somewhere in the midst of all these.

I know the pain of losing someone close in my on way. So, if you’ve lost someone to this devil then listen, it is okay. Don’t kill yourself. You’ll die too anyway. Live on. We all are going to die. Everybody must die. And hey, we can’t all die at the same time, just like we can’t have the same life, or pursue same dreams and aspirations. But we will all die anyway. So if one dies ahead of you please don’t be troubled. Don’t let it change you to a person you never desired. If you believe in God then you should know He picks the best of roses. He needs company of those that are worth it, thus he takes them. And He has the right to because he gave us life anyway. He owns us. He can take us anytime He pleases. And sometimes I think, isn’t it funny that we cry so much when the fallen on earth celebrate from the heavenly realms? It’s natural to cry, I get that. Because the gap they leave behind hurts. But the space they occupy above calls for music, angel’s music. Dear readers, if you have lost someone, don’t let your heart be troubled. Live on. It was meant to be.

For those that haven’t seen their loved ones for sometime now, worry not. Distance at the moment is a minute concern. Be safe first. Remember the saying “Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” And thus, wait.

If you, as I, feel that the government and politicians are drowning this boat we are all in then worry not. I mean, worry a lot. It is our boat, it is our lives. If the boat capsizes then we’re lost. I know they’ve lied to you. And I know they’ve stolen what belongs to you. They’ve even publicised their greed and arrogance everywhere. They’ve betrayed their people, their culture, their flag and themselves. I dug deep and amongst them I saw no patriot. No heart. Wajinga hao (Please play that song). Please worry about this. And stop believing that leaders are born. THEY ARE NOT. Leaders are made. You have once voted for an uneducated person. You thought he was born to be a leader, now when you meet with him there is nothing you two can talk about because you are highly educated and he cannot put up with a discussion on the connection between politics and religion, or pros and cons of democracy. He can’t even tell what’s better for you or the society he leads. He is clueless on the matters of the new education system. He can’t even write a paragraph and you expect him to cope with the 21st century! When a foolish man leads a wise man then foolish they are both! And it’s chaotic. Anyways, our boat is sinking, be concerned. What do we do? Because I’m certain that if we do nothing we will certainly drown. And we will go back to before 1963 (What really happened this year?)

I will be arrested if I incite people to revolt. I know. I won’t tell anyone that. I even don’t have that kind of influence.  But hey countrymen, if that becomes the only option then so be it! We will turn tables. And we know exactly where to hit. It is 2020; the unimaginable can be done by the young people. Worry a lot. I’m sorry, have I gone away from the subject? Hope not. Hope. There is hope. But worry a lot about this leadership thing, be concerned- whether you love politics or not, you’ll face the same consequences. The economy won’t affect me alone. Wake up!

Am I still sharing hope? Let hope be the only thing that you don’t lose. Without it you’ll see no meaning to life. You’ll see no need to wake up tomorrow. In darkness, see light, that’s hope. Hope for something. Let that hope perch in the soul and let it sing its tune without words. Let’s do the impossible, let’s get through these difficult times, and let us inspire hope in others. Don’t underestimate your importance because you cannot solve some problems. You are strong. You matter.  And let hope take a life of its own. Have hope.

I hope we get through this and get on the other side as victors. I hope you don’t lose yourself in the process. I hope you don’t stop believing in love. I hope this piece touches you. I hope you share. I hope tomorrow will be better, even as we battle today’s demons. I hope the sun will rise, and we will try again. I hope you appreciate the value of your breath (it’s a gift). I hope you don’t lose hope. I hope. I hope.

Forever Young


I am scared of getting old. I am scared of old age, really. And it’s not about the grey hair. I won’t have them by then anyway, I guess. But beards will forever stand by me. Imagine them white!! White beard! That’s going to be some pretty old. Black Santa. There is something sweet about oldness after all- for those with beards! But ouch! Beards cannot just be white. The whiteness of hair comes not with age but with race, or genes! So, if by chance, mine turns white then I’ll have something to enjoy in my old age. Undoubtedly, wisdom will follow me. I’m an heir of Christ, halleluyah! There is something about old age; something sweet. I can’t wait to talk slow, gently but sure. It’s called ‘spitting wisdom’. Dispensing knowledge at its best. Is it me or eloquent old men shake the earth with their deep sedate voices? I admire listening to old men- those that love linguistics and are concerned about their articulation. I love the tempo of their speeches. The depth of their words. The roaring of their voices. It’s therapeutic (this word won’t let me go)! Whatever language they use, I love old men speak- eloquent old men. Although debatable, good music can be directly compared to their voices. My good music is country. A blend of Kenny and Dolly. Or Don and Sheena Easton. Blues too are calm and soothing. You know, the kind of blues the 90s fellas know of. That’s what an old, rich voice is- music. I’m crazy about them; I have gone as far as downloading narrations of John Hurt and Freeman. Okay I did this for rehearsal purpose but most times, of late, I listen to them to heal (From nothing in particular). There is an amazing thing about old age after all; deep unrushed eloquent voice, wisdom and white beards.

In spite of all this, I am scared of old age. I am scared to be an old man. Women might be better but they got their demons too, those that come with age. But men, the old men here at home are not those to admire. And if there is a possibility I will have some of the traits I have seen around then I’m out. I’m forever young. I am not growing old. I’m in my 20s till rapture! Old men, what’s wrong with some you?

I’m not growing old. Nope. But if I do and I happened to share a public vehicle with you then I’ll keep my manners and mind my own business. As you chat with whomever and browse whatever, I’ll keep mine eyes to my stuff or my phone or peep through the window as the trees ran to the opposite direction (I believed this when I was 4- that trees run). But I hope not to delve into whatever you’re typing by fixing my eyes on your phone. What’s wrong with old men? Especially hawa wetu wa South Rift! This has happened to me. I take a mat from hapa Kericho to Eldy. Some 60 something year old sits next to me. As the car ignites I take out my phone from my pocket to text Clementine. He is right there with me, this mzee. He looks at my phone as if we share. Yaani, he is not stealing a glance or feeling embarrassed! He is staring! Old guy! Watha! It seems like ideas are drawn from his head then through diffusion they get to mine and I type the words. A collabo. Remember after high school when one phone could be used by the three of you? And one would read anyone’s text message and even reply on their behalf? Okay that was young and dumb… And GREAT (I enjoyed that sh*t, ask botum)! But we grew past that and now this old man is living that life and funny thing is he doesn’t understand what I’m typing, he does not and I wasn’t using xaxa or such words. Hapana! Never in my life have I ever used x instead of s (apart from one xcuse). I escaped that trend and that’s why the x thing turns me off.

 I am texting her some weird abbreviations and borrowed words from a dozen languages. This old man cannot comprehend a thing. He understands nothing but he keeps his eyes on my phone. As the car hits the bump it moves him closer to me and the next thing he would have done is lean his head on my shoulder and pried comfortably. So I put the phone back to my pocket. Nkt. Old guy, why? Manners don’t come with age, do they?

When I told a friend about this after I alighted that day, he gave me some clever response- how one should react. That niggah said, take a selfie with him. Turn on the camera, zoom his face, focus and take a selfie. I will do this on one of my trips, one day. Some old men are nauseating. If this comes naturally with age then I’m never growing beyond my age now.

Oldness? No go zone for me. You remember Jona? The guy I once gave you a story about. I like him, but mzee can be a nuisance. Real nuisance. He is a chronic throat clearer but that isn’t the problem. I mean with age allergies escalate and that’s an almost medical thing, which I understand. Sometimes I clear my throat too. Jona is a chronic throat clearer, he clears his throat and he doesn’t stop there, he spits with evidence of lack of manners. This old men spit anywhere without minding. And there is nothing you can do to them! Old men can even spit in your car each time they clear their throat, or as you take meals na huwezi fanya kitu. If this is what age does to one then I’m okay here. No growing old. Old age is scary.

Imagine drilling everyone you meet around your village or estate. Asking them their name, clan and where they come from. Trying to compare their face with Mr Maina’s because you think they look alike. You realize you don’t know them. You force yourself to know them. Knowing them now becomes a responsibility. You ask them questions caring less about their privacy or discomfort. Hey old guy, we hate it when you investigate us. Most of us hate being asked where we come from or our clan or just stopping us to ask questions. Please say your hi’s and walk away. Sometimes, we don’t wanna be known. Our kind of lowkey is weird, but do respect it, please. I don’t hate old men, I hate the “hey what’s your name? Where do you live? Who is your father?” I hate that. I mean, these enquiry thing isn’t bad. You have to accept the fact that you cannot know everyone and there are good times to ask these quizzes. Perfect time. You know like family and friends gathering, weddings maybe. But you stopping me at the road as I attend to my business to pry into my life is not cool. Not cool at all. I hope not every old man does this! I will be scared to grow.

I hope old age comes not with paranoia and insecurities. I hope my old age won’t be accompanied by loneliness and that chronic throat clearance. I hope I’ll have them white – the beards. And with this praying and reading I hope wisdom will be part of me. It is my hope that it will be filled with satisfaction and contentment (I know this should be my doing). I want to be a peaceful old man. With no regrets and worries- one that will enjoy the fruits of his hard work. Sometimes I believe I will enjoy my old age. Sometimes I’m scared of the things that come with age. But at all times I’m reminded that life is unpredictable. Tomorrow is uncertain. There is a pandemic on our nerves trying to kill us. Tomorrow is uncertain. So I hope I wake up tomorrow, on earth still. I wash my hands and I wear my mask and I hope I see tomorrow. So today, as I hope, I live. Before that old age comes, let’s live. Let’s throw our hands up and loosen our feet to the rhythm. Let’s laugh and love. Let’s take a trip to the borders. Let’s live. Let us live!! That old age might never come after all.

She has your Story…


In the countryside, the moon shines brighter than in the city. Those from the city might not comprehend what this means. Look, ever sat or lay at the roof-top of a four or more storey building in the dark? Then watch the moon as it shines on your face with all its bareness? Now, imagine the closeness and the unspoken communication between the two of you. Here, in the countryside, it’s deeper than that! Lying in the fields, facing the moon is ameliorative. No hooting cars, no sirens or the KPLC token meter beep, or curfew gunshots. No neighbours arguing over a broken glass, or a child crying for a phone. The only dominant noise is one of crickets chirping (they don’t do it for fun by the way; it’s a mating call they make. When you hear a cricket chirping, it is always a male, calling for a female cricket- a love story sweeter than yours). Sometimes, coincidentally, or by temperature’s call, they don’t chirp. So that the only sounds you hear are your heartbeat and the moon’s unspoken words. These are lovely nights- when crickets don’t chirp. But even if they do, from around you and beneath you, the sounds slowly peter out as you zoom in the moon closer to your heart until no chirps and whirrs can be heard. The moon shines!

As you lie, the moon covers you, the whole of you. In a cold night you feel its divine warmth and can’t stop but feel drugged and fall in love. You fall in love so fast and your trust for her builds so swiftly you don’t notice. She is yours and you are hers. This is not an entanglement, or a flirt, or a flip. This is love between two beings who’ve forever longed for each other, to share secrets. The rest of the world ceases to exist and you open up to her. But before you say a word, she tells you a story. The moon has a story to tell, always!

It tells you a story of two lovers, secret lovers, who risk everything to be together. You know, they are not supposed to be together but they can’t run away from what binds them. They know the danger of seeing each other and still, they meet. They risk messing up both their homes and the risk, as they believe, is worth. Whatever they do, they do it in the dark. They meet in the dark where nobody can see them but her- the moon. The moon knows their story. She knows the number of times they’ve met and the nights they’ve kissed. She watches them as they sneak out of their homes, and slither out of their compounds oblivious of what lurks in the dark, all for love. For stolen love. They know no one watches them. They are unaware of the bright eye above them, witnessing their story. The moon has their story.

As you grasp the story, it embarks on another one, of a man- an evil man who wakes up at midnight and dresses to steal. He puts on a demonic apparel to terrorize and take from the humble that have tilled the earth under the day’s heat. He roams from block to block to find a place greener to take from. He sees a particular house he had passed by during the day and he remembers everything he had seen and imagined to be in that homestead. His skills of going through the obstacles erected around the homestead are magnificent. He gets in and clears the compound. He goes to the window and gets a chemical he carries with him. He blows it to the room where they sleep and their sleep becomes heavier. Their senses stop functioning and the house becomes a safe haven for him. He breaks in through the door, no one hears. On his way out, he leaves the house half empty, inconsiderate of what tomorrow holds for them. He never imagines the tears in their eyes when they wake up to the sight of nothing, literally. He feels rich and proficient. He believes no one saw him, but the moon did!

The moon has a story to tell. She tells you about a woman. A mother. She wakes up at 2 a.m. To pray. She knows her prayers are long and her voice is rich, so she steps outside the house. She lets her family have a peaceful night as she tries to find God in the dark. Outside, she prays. She prays for favour and protection on her family. She confesses that she lied to her kids when she said she will buy for them books and clothes tomorrow. She doesn’t know where she will get the money. She doesn’t even know if tomorrow will come, for them. So, at night, alone, she prays. She prays believing that the kids won’t hear her personal chat with the heavens. She believes she is alone, seeking God. But the moon is there, listening to her bones crack as she kneels. The moon hears her. The moon has her story too!

Amazed! That’s the feeling after learning the moon has stories to tell. It amazes you even more the way she looks at you without a blink. She is a loyal companion who never leaves, always there watching, unfaltering, knowing each one of us in our light and dark moments. She lets in every lonesome to talk to. And more interesting, she listens. It’s for its gentleness that you trust it. It’s its grace and unwillingness to fight or attack that you leave your bed to go to the fields. It never worries about a thing, always at peace.

As you enjoy her company, she caresses your soul gently. Tempted, you ask, “Do you have another story?”

She stares at you, without losing her brightness, and with the sweetest of voice, say, “I have another. It’s your story.” The moon has your story!!

And she shines brighter in the countryside.

Thank the Streets, Man.


I was sitting in my office marking the form two English exams when the deputy principal dropped a summon letter on my desk.  Without a word, he turned around and walked away. He is like that; a man of few words, or no words at all. It was on a Friday.

Before I opened the letter, episodes of that week’s events theatrically played in my head. On Monday I was all good. My grooming was faultless and in fact I had put on a neck-tie to impress the world.  A friend in my department loved saying that the world is driven by impression.  I was walking the talk.  On Tuesday…, well, nothing out of the law.  My khaki trouser was kind of piped but not to the point one would notice without scrutiny. I also made a student stand outside the class for forty minutes because inside wasn’t his place of choice at the moment. I was worried his mischief would be contagious and the rest of the students would be infected and be mentally miles away from my lesson.  So, before it was too late I asked him to step out.  I talked to him later though and we ran through the day’s topic (I also caned him, five).  I wasn’t sure about any rule on asking a rude child to stand outside the class. Maybe that was it. Maybe not. 

On Wednesday… what happened on Wednesday?  I was all good. I don’t know how terrible it is to arrive at school two minutes past time. And still if it’s a crime, would it really necessitate one to sit and write a summon letter?  I think not. And I was not a chronic late comer. Thursday, the day before the letter, must have been it. I hugged a teaching practice teacher so tight I felt her heartbeat.  Some students must have seen the scene. Before you give me a rollicking I want you to imagine an Amazonian figure seated well on a wafer-thin body. Imagine. Imagine a decanter shaped waist and a glossy skin. She had no accent like the others from the soil. If I hadn’t known her name she would have successfully lied about her nationality. She was eloquent and had perfect enunciation (unlike me who by the time I’m on my third sentence of a speech you will say something like “Ahh, huyu ni mkalee”). She was worth hugging. I broke the rule for her. And trust me, it was worth it. In the act, the world stood still and jazz played from the background. Call it fantasy but I was there, I felt it.  It was a moment. It’s still funny the hug lasted two seconds but it felt like forever, and still, I needed more! That was on Thursday afternoon. It was only after I let her go when I realized some eyes were on us. Principal’s included. You see, I live in an age where hugs are no big deal. We hug here, we hug there (Rona spoiled this). It’s a handshake of its own. Not amongst men though, hahaha. Cheka tu and trouble awaits.  On Friday, mmmh, on Friday I received the summon letter.  It was around ten in the morning; I had done nothing illicit yet.  So Friday was off the list.

I was getting summoned. I was supposed to see the principal that afternoon in his office. Strictly speaking, I was on tenterhooks.  I stopped marking- the spirit of marking dumped me on the letter’s arrival. I began imagining a number of things. At some point, still on my desk, I imagined I was the principal summoning one of my teachers for missing a class, caning a student or a hugging a teacher on TP. This must be fun! The questions I would ask and the face I would wear, as the boss.  It’s all drama anyway, isn’t it? I mean we all aptly dramatize for effectiveness in our everyday lives, right?

A strange scene crossed my head; me summoning my sire.  In my unconscious, I have always wanted to summon my father. Last week, I said I would love a conversation with death but not more than I want with this man. Before your thoughts drive you to any direction, you should know he is a good man.

I would ask him a thousand why’s. And another thousand why not’s. He is a good man, just not enough for my definition of good.  And I have met him, a hundred times, or less, but summoning has never been a concern.  You see, he is good man, but his absence liquefies it.  He is a good man, but his approach of being a father kills it.  He is good man, just one that is never really there unless a situation demands.  I’m not complaining at all.  I’m way too old to be mad, though if a chance presents itself I would summon him.

I would make him sit on the other side of the table; a three meter width table so he won’t fling on me if I go wayward.  I would relax my whole self and calm my face.  No dramatization. No anger. No affability either. Just questions and answers- man to man.  If he dares talk to me like a child then I’ll steam. I’ll fume. And he will know the streets raised me. Not him. He will see nothing common in me. He will look for himself in me and for a second he will be convinced that I am not his. I’ll love it official, like a business meeting because that would be serious business.  I won’t hate him, I have never hated him. He will get his manly respect and he will reciprocate it.

I will ask him to give a yes or a no to some questions, like, are you happy in your world? And for some, I’ll ask him to explain in detail. I will need an adequate explanation if I ask him; what happened to responsibility? You see, I don’t care his personal life or his issues with mother or anyone.  I don’t at all care about that.  What has wounded me for decades is what the hell I had to do with it!  Anyways, I need to summon him; for personal reasons.  You now, he doesn’t know how I grew up. I am a man now, a warrior, but not a single strain of him in me.  Or maybe there is. I don’t know. If I spend time with him maybe I will discover something similar, maybe.  If I tell him my primary school encounters he will be shaken.  I wouldn’t dare tell him about my high school life, he won’t believe it anyway.  This man was absent. He was and it pains me still. I’m not lamenting but I had to be a man a different way. I had a collection of role models when I was young and right now I don’t even know which one I am. I don’t know what kind of a man I am. All I know is I am a man. I don’t know which. I’m the tempered one today; tomorrow I am the cool one. I am an introvert, and then I am an extrovert. I am mean, I am generous. I am cautious, I am careless. I cry today at this pain, I laugh at the other tomorrow.  I am mixed. I am many. I am everyone but my father. I want to summon him. Now!

You left every responsibility to her, father.  You left her, not my prob, man.  You left me, why? You had to teach me to man up. Streets did that on your behalf, you should thank it.  You should have taught me how to approach a girl, haha. Movies helped me a lot, and the love magazines our neighbor Deborah used to have. You don’t even know my birthday, man. Wait!  Do you know the year I got circumcised?  Oh Lord, I wanna summon this man!

Time… you denied me time.  You denied me time with you. You still do even now as we both grow old. Don’t you think we have a lot to talk about? Don’t you think I need help from you? There are things mother can’t tell or teach. You alone can do that. Like the ways of our culture, I need to know that. I don’t even know how to behave in the presence of old men. What’s gonna happen if I meet a girl and I’m supposed to introduce myself to her family.  How does one carry himself? How do I talk to the old men of our land? I’m not supposed to marry from my clan by the way- I didn’t learn this from you.  I know so many things I didn’t learn from you. I know how to persevere. I know how to go a day without food.  I know how to be a gentleman.  I know how to talk to a woman, be she young or old. I know how to grind, thanks to the streets.  You should thank it. Thank the streets. But I wanna summon you. I want to summon you.

“Heeey, you seem deep in thoughts,” the TP teacher asked as she entered the office.  Her presence and fragrance brought me back to the office.

“Hey, I have been summoned by the principal.”