Hey You!

There’s this particular lecturer; he’s short. Not as short as you would think. I’d say medium height. Probably around 5’4 or 5’6. That’s not a very short person, right? Thing is; I refer to anyone else shorter than me as short. Doesn’t matter if you are just an inch shorter than me. My friend, if my height is greater than yours; you are short. End of discussion! This lecturer… ( How about we call him Mr. Ohanga) The fact that I put that in brackets should be enough to deduce that that is not his real name, so incase any particular Ohanga is reading; No, it is not you. I’m sorry I had to use your name; there had to be a victim of my random thoughts.

So,apart from being short, Mr. Ohanga is also a very dark man. I’m not saying that only because he is darker than me or any other personal reason. There is no ulterior motive. If I show you a picture of the man, I’m pretty sure we will settle on the fact that he can be described as a dark man. It seems everytime I see him, he’s in a kaunda suit. I have to be honest though, I don’t see him very frequently. He takes me (or us, rather) through the Monday 7a.m lecture. Yes, Monday! Mr. Ohanga is rarely ever late for a class. Okay, he might be late once in a while but he’s not one of those lecturers that miss a lecture and don’t seem to give two shits about that. I like that. I like consistency.

On one of the rare Monday’s that I attended his class. Wait. I know you are about to make a fuss over why I claim I like consistency yet I don’t attend Mr. Ohanga’s class consistently. You should have your answer by now, but just incase you don’t; I consistently, don’t attend his class. Get it? So, on this day, Mr. Ohanga was in a grey with hints of navy blue kaunda suit. Grey trousers along with a matching grey shirt with a navy blue collar, front pocket and edges on the sleeves. A nice suit. He was just done with the lecture and was stating instructions on how his latest assignment was to be done. You know, APA references and the likes. He then concluded with a chemsha bongo. For my exotic bunch of readers, a chemsha bongo is a point to note and reflect on.

“ I think each and every one of us has a distinct and unique ability. No matter what makes you compatible or alike to your mother, father, wife, husband or whoever it is you deem to have most similar behaviours or characteristics. Like a finger print. Even twins have disparate finger prints. There’s something special you can do in a special way that only you can do. I’m not only saying that so that you don’t hand in matching assignments but also because I believe in that. Think about it.”

When I started writing, I’d send my work to some people I reveered; if I can say. A grammar tutor or a fellow blogger maybe. I even sent Jackson Biko some of my pieces. (He never replied though!)The way I saw it, I thought I needed someone to teach me some guile and tell me how to do what I liked to do. Does that even make sense? Okay, I’m not being cocky. Some guidance and mentorship would go a long way. Of course I need that but I think that is just about it. If ten people love what I do the way I do it, that’s a good sign. There’s a legitimate voice of concern in my head right now. It asks, “What about the people who don’t like the way you write?”

To be honest, I don’t know, yet. I don’t even think about it. Not in a confident way though. Naturally, I like to stay away from what we term as a negative vibe. Mostly what is reality and what I don’t want to solve. I hate difficult situations. I mean, who doesn’t ? I think, even by asking that question, I’m trying to escape the fact that such situations actually do exist and they need a solution.

A cooking gas cylinder lasts me four to six weeks normally. It depends really. Sometimes, I’m having a lazy phase and I have take-outs for a whole week. Sometimes, my mother’s genes are playing thier role and I have the urge to cook all of my meals. By all my meals I mean, the bachelor’s staple food of ugali and eggs. Sometimes I have scrambled eggs, sometimes I have the ordinary fried type. I always seem to be having eggs for supper.

Thing is, a full cylinder barely serves me for more than six weeks; but I never really have the urge to get a full cylinder or the money to fill one by that time. A voice inside me says,”It can’t be empty already. You got a full one just the other day.” Yet I know all too well it’s running empty. I hate the fact that I’m about to incur an expense. So, I wait till it’s empty then I can make up an excuse to genuinely get money out of my father or whoever I deem suitable to extort.

The thing is, there’s always a way out. I’m not only saying that because I want you to feel encouraged or because you might relate with what I’m saying, but because I believe in it. I also believe that the fact that there’s always a way out to whatever plight or predicament I’m in is added motivation to reach out for it. If you know your sweat will get you your dream car, then work hard. If you know your idea might change your life; then go for it. This might be thrown out of context by a young girl justyifying her actions to get herself what my friend calls a sponyo, (A sponsor) but that is a story I will set aside for another day.

So, you might not like the way I wrote this, but still, you might like what I’m trying to tell you. Be yourself. Do you. Use you to make you better. That’s a whole lot of you’s! There’s different strokes for different folks. Besides, life fucks you either way.

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How about now!

It is two days to the World Cup. I mean, who’s not excited? Perhaps the clingy and nagging girlfriend, who is about to ask why Lionel Messi is not playing for Barcelona anymore or why Cristiano Ronaldo is not in the all-white jersey we are all accustomed to seeing him in or why Bale won’t play, yet he can score beautiful goals (though she only really saw that one magnificent goal on your Whatsapp status or the same on one of her numerous questionable male acquaintances.) That said I hope you can take some time, tomorrow to check out my new blog site, The Football Craze. I thought of some hilarious names like SoccerBaloo (see what I did there) and KickABall (this one sounded like a tagline of a Polio campaign) until I settled on the craze around football. It is a beautiful and sometimes crazy game, played with talented and some crazy players enjoyed all over the world by passionate and some crazy fans.

Apart from the World Cup, some of us are anxiously waiting for Eid Ul Fitr. Yes, I am waiting too. Apart from a looming public holiday on Friday, which will mean not attending school or class for that matter, which means I don’t have to submit that due assignment. Don’t look at me like that, I mean who doesn’t like a day off? Better still, a long weekend full of invites to eat a variety of food. See, my roommate is Islam, and to help him through the month, we both don’t have lunch. You would have to be one greedy person to eat while your friend is fasting. Okay, I’ve been greedy a couple of times, of course not in his presence, but I wouldn’t want to be the one testing a mate’s faith during such pensive times.

So, last week, a friend of mine went through the trouble of checking up on me. Just some casual stuff, but it actually feels charming. Anyways, she( yes it’s a she ) kept asking why I don’t send her links to my blog site anymore and couldn’t believe that I haven’t written anything this all this time. I don’t think a lot of people, inclusive of myself comprehend how complex yet soothing it is for me to be able to write down my thoughts, emotions and discretions hoping my friends, my family and even random people can take time to have a read, share my ideas, castigate or concur yet appreciate what I do. So, it’s been really hard not being able to conjure some self-confidence, rather some ability to write, but it feels good to be back.

I was sitting on my bed, on a Tuesday morning trying to conjure something that will seem interesting enough to have people clicking on my page. Something of the UBER Driver story nature. Something that everyone would want to read and be engrossed in. Better still, something that would have people thinking of me as a younger Biko Zulu. Something that would ensure everyone noticed. Something that would make people interested, perhaps something viral that would make the fellows that never bother to click on my links sour. Something that would make me accepted or appreciated. It never came. So, a day passed, two days passed, four days passed and a week passed. Two weeks went by, another two and before I could think of something it was a month. The second month went by and so did the third. So every time I reevaluated myself, I told myself I had no inspiration to write. I mean, after all, I was on holiday; eating, sleeping and watching everything I could. (Two or three people say I’ve grown fat.) I started thinking; maybe writing is not my thing after all. It doesn’t even pay, I mean, who would want to do anything, let alone write for free. Maybe I should just write about Akothee, Otile Brown or some other shenanigans. By doing so, maybe I’d be more relevant and I don’t know, maybe tuko.co.ke or mpasho.ke would want me to write for them.

I would write a paragraph or two, but it was always difficult onwards. I personally have a hard time completing tasks. Better put, I’m a master of procrastination. I mean why not, I get home, study for ten minutes and convince I’d do that better after a nap. I take a nap, wake up, have my lunch and it’s suddenly convenient for me to watch a movie. After all, it’s just a two hour layover. So, I get on with a Di Caprio film. I feel sleepy afterwards, so why not another short nap? That way, I’d study at night, besides I’d probably have insomnia after sleeping twice in a day. I have supper, catch up with my roommates and get online. I have to reply to a text or two. Who wants to be an anti-social being? (Maybe some do, but they don’t brush it into our faces; they rarely even know of their condition) I spend hours online and when I’m done chatting, liking and commenting I decide to listen to some music. I doze off. My alarm wakes me; I prepare and rush to school to go over some few points before my CAT. Luckily, I can memorize a bunch of points, but I’m still short of what I’d like to accomplish. I despise being average.

My cousin has been writing her research paper and she sometimes calls for my help. Apparently, she thinks I’m good at writing. So, I gladly help. That was not without my fair share of procrastination and delays, but either way I’m glad I always got it done. Then, last week, I was creating a Facebook and Instagram page for some new project of mine. (Facebook is the world’s number one online advertising and market space with a massive 50pc share of the market. Instagram is third, behind Pinterest) I tried writing an appealing bio for the pages but I couldn’t. No, I wouldn’t. So I thought, why not ask my learned cousin to help me out? It’s funny because she also had delays of her own, but sent me a long description in two days.
I read it; it was too long, too wordy, perhaps even a tad bit complicated. It didnt sound right. I called her and tried explaining that I needed something shorter and more appealing. She said, “Why don’t you do it? I mean, you have a way with your words. So, why don’t you think of it and do it by yourself. I think you are fairly capable of coming up with that by yourself.”

I did actually; though I used some of her words. I just didn’t push myself enough. I just didn’t find enough ‘inspiration’ to do it when all I needed was my will and my time. Sometimes we blame opportunity, luck and anything else we can pin our problems on when we actually just don’t do anything to get out of a pit. Whatever you think you can’t do or is impossible or too hard. You can actually do. At times, you might have nothing but yourself, and in such a situation, who are you going to blame if you don’t get your act together? Let me help you with that; yourself!

So, how about you start now? Do it!

Pills, potions and portions.

I really cherish good health, likewise I loathe hospitals. I know; I shouldn’t. People go to hospitals for consultation, triage,check ups, blood tests, prescribed drugs for medication, whether pills, potions, syrups or injections and ultimately better health.

Sometimes it is awkward though. I remember one time, a friend of mine had to take a pill. Not just any kind of pill and not just in the conventional way. He had to lay backwards and have the pill inserted in his backside. That akward. Either way the doctor’s orders have to be followed and it is still not my portion.

Who doesn’t like perfectly good health?
No migraines, no stomach upsets, no back pains, no common cold.
I despise a common cold. It makes me feel helpless.
It just happens that whenever I have a cold, the mucus membrane in my nose is easily triggered and I sneeze often in company of people, especially when I’m the centre of attraction, talking or just those random moments when someone stares at me and there! Sneeze.
Now, I always have to have my handkerchief with me. In the rare cases that I don’t have one, I will have some tissues with me. Without either, I don’t want to imagine what my cloth would look like. Because really, there’s no other option.
Then there are those mornings when my nose is severely blocked and I have to find a way to unblock one nostril after the other. Don’t get me started with the sore throats either.

Yes, a healthy man is a wealthy man as well.
It might not be wealthy as such, but at least you don’t spend a lot on maintaining your health.

I was at the ground floor of the Pandya Memorial Hospital In-Patient wing, on the admissions desk. It looks like counter to me, but either way. I’m sure you get me. A man on one side; glaring at his computer screen almost as if he had forgot his desk filled with papers, forms, brochures and whatever else he had there. A transparent glass in between and me on the other side, on a high chair waiting for him to process Brian’s health insurance papers.

Apparently, the National Hospital Insurance Fund cannot compensate for the treatment of a person under his or her parent’s cover if he or she is above eighteen years.
Well, that is unless one can prove he or she is a student.
So basically, If I decide to home school my daughter and she unfortunately falls sick on her 18th birthday, my insurance cannot cover for her, even If I had placed her under my cover.
Sucks, right?

So, I had just presented a letter from the Dean of studies, because a school I.D was apparently, not enough.

Just as the guy behind the counter was processing the files, a Muslim woman walked right through the entrance directly towards the counter.
She got to the counter, sighed lightly and asked to see a Said, maybe.
I really didn’t get the other names. Her veil, that covered every inch of her face, apart from her tiny eyes made it harder for me to get what she was saying.

Unlike me, the man at the counter heard him and paused whatever he was doing to go through a list on a paper.

After a brief search, he said in a normal voice, he’s in the ICU.
I can’t tell what she felt or how she expressed it.
Maybe she frowned, or she looked disappointed, or had a look of despair or perhaps she was in shock.
The theatre is on thing, but the ICU was another. My heart sank; I felt for her. A mother, sister, aunt or a wife maybe. She had to wait for a machine to regulate her loved one’s vitals. It was disheartening. I wanted to pat her and give her some encouragement, but I kept my remorse to myslef. For her, perhaps it was a dark day and the sun seemed not to rise at all. The skies clouded with darkness and gloom. I hoped that he’d be okay soon so that she could see him.
She walked back outside in haste, her head held up, her buibui sweeping the ground.
Just then, the guy finished processing my papers and I headed to Brian’s ward.

Again, I don’t like hospitals, the mood is always queer.
Imagine laughing in the hospital hallway and a person in the ward closest to you is having a crazy migraine. Not that I wanted to laugh, but I’m just saying, the ambience there, is just not my portion.

I go up the stairs, and I go past a man painting the walls white. I wonder why they paint hospitals white. I know they can’t paint the place grey or brown. But most hospitals I know are painted white. Snow white, to be precise. He must be a regular painter there, because he had an overall on, printed P.M.H on it (Initials for Pandya Memorial Hospital).
So, I guess the hospital management had to get a permanent person for the job, so that the hospitals walls would never be dirty.
Lucky man.
I say hello and he responds in a low pitched voice. Like he was grumpy or sad. Maybe he was having a boring day at the office or perhaps he had a lot more walls to paint than usual. Simply not my portion, so I walked right up to the first floor.

I walked down the Khanubai Deluxe wing, past a couple of wards searching for the right one. The hallway was sparkling clean, the floor almost slippery and the wards’ ebony doors shining. I pass a couple of nurses, whispering to each other and peeping from side to side. I don’t know, maybe it’s a nurse thing.

I find Brian sitted on a long, beige, velvet couch in the room, watching some Amazon documentary. He’s not a documentary guy. But I tell you, hospitals do things to us. He seemed to have lost a little weight. The baggy hospital attire doesn’t help either.
Almost like a coincedence, the microwave beeps loudly. I guess his food is warm now.
“No need for you to stand, I’ll get it for you.”
I walk towards the microwave, take out his food and hand it to him. I actually like how they present the food.
You’d think it was sterilized.
Brian goes ahead and tells me to pick some fruits from the fridge, but I’m having none of it. I think that food is meant for the sick only. Not fruits, generally food from a hospital. Sometimes I think they medicate their food.

Just then, a lady knocks and walks in almost immediately.
“Hey guys, I’m Elizabeth from GA Insurance. How are you doing?”

“Much better,” says Brian.

“Well, I’m here to wish you a speed recovery from all of us at GA.”

“Thanks alot.” Brian returns

“Have a nice day.”
She handed him a card and saw herself out.

Brian takes a brief look at the card and hands it to me. The front page has flowers depicted on it. A short note inside and flowers again on the back cover.
I can’t help but wonder, if flowers make people feel better. If I ever have to get a speedy recovery card, it should have people running and jumping in joy, just to show me what I’m missing. But again, that is not my portion. I don’t even get Birthday cards.

We were talking about how Chelsea had lost to Bournemouth. (He’s very passionate about football, so you can expect he was complaining alot). The door knob turned slightly and then a lady peeped and walked in. A nurse.
Not just any nurse. A beautiful nurse. Short, petite and of fair complexion. Her dress was perfectly fitting, so you could see her flattering pear shape.
The fabric covering her body ended just above her knees and her legs looked like they were soaked in coconut oil, shiny. They had no blemish.
“How was your lunch?” she asked.

“Very nice,” says Brian with a wide grin.
I hadn’t seen him smile all that time. Not even when he got his card.

It seemed to me as if she walked slowly, with calculated steps, past me and placed some pills on a table beside the bed.
She walked past me again, her small, black doll shoes making no noise, as if she was tip toeing, paused for a second and turned to face me. She actually looked me in the eye, smiled wryly and said, “Make sure he takes his pills.”
You’d think I was staring. I can’t call it staring, I was in sheer admiration.
She turned again almost like a boy scout on parade and walked to pick Brian’s dishes.

She picked up the plates, very gracefully and started walking out.
He backview was equally beautiful. Her hair was tied neatly at the back of her head. Her neck, slightly long and her hips moving from side to side like a see-saw. She opened the door, looked back with a shy smile and walked outside. Dripping in finesse.

Come to think of it, maybe I should apply for my internship at the hospital. I might just be able to stand hospitals after all.

Stay safe and healthy my country people.
Chikungunya is not our portion!

Amina

I’m not surprised one bit that the week will possibly pass by with everyone, (not entirely everyone, because I have not contributed to the talk) talking
about Eric Omondi’s dangling balls, rather than mourning Hugh Masekela. That’s just a millennial tendancy. We are always on the move, trying to find out what’s new and how to make the most out of it.

May his soul rest in eternal peace.

I was watching Tottenham against Southampton on Sunday at Kigotho’s. No beer. Not because it’s January (you know people with this Njaanuary theory) neither is it because I had an intent to keep that day ‘holy’. I had the company of my uncle. One with a feisty character. He can go from planning and financing a perfect Sunday afternoon to cancelling the get together all together in a jiffy. Are we together?
However, come to think of it, I really don’t watch football matches drinking beer. How do you see a match intoxicated. You need to see Morata missing one on ones sober, just so you can make out how depressing it is.

I can actually wait for food. For nyama choma in this case, only on such occasions;
Exhilarating football matches. End to end stuff.
So, as the chefs prepared the barbaque goat ribs, the players walked out of the tunnell, each doning a black armband. The commentator stated that it was in commemoration of Cyrille Regis, former English international.
He said, “Today we remember one of our own, who died an immature death…”
Just then I paused and pondered, is there a premature death? If there is one, then we have mature deaths in our hands. Nothing is free, you even pay for death with your life.

At half time, we are mid way through the spicy goat ribs and the bartender tunes in a local TV station for some news. Turns out, a woman in Migori, was fortunate not to pay for her undoing with her life. Her drunkard of a husband got home late, probably as usual, staggering and mumbling some Luo song in between whistles. He banged the door severally, she let him in quickly, lest he got angry. Then drama unfolded when he realised there was no food to eat. Perhaps she wasn’t able to prepare a meal or she usually didn’t do so because he came drunk so bad that he slept on the verandah. Either way, turns out she wasn’t fortunate after all.
The man chopped off her arm in exasperation. I guess (she, actually found out) that a hungry man is really an angry man.

I zone off to my own world again, say the man came home to a discharged ‘Samantha’. Would he rip it or her apart? Or maybe he would pull out the battery and hurl them away after he realizes that doesn’t help either. That, even though it/she (I still can’t make up my mind) can help satisfy a longing, that may just not be enough. Alot of people want Samantha, not many need her though.

Back to my senses and we are done with the feast. We watch a goalless second half, hop in the car and uncle drives me to my place. The place I will be saying good bye to soon. See, I want to stay in a bigger house. But, I need to get a house closer to school.

My landlord was not so happy to hear that, but I’m sure he understood. At some point, you have to get up and move.
I guess he told his daughter, Amina about my case.

She’s about five feet tall, has a very light complexion and an absolutely beautiful look. She’s always in a hijab so I’ve really never deciphered her body shape. There’s always that casual hello but that’s just about it. I secretly wish that it was more but then… let’s just say, I would never chop off her arm.
So, she walks past me as I was heading upstairs and said Hi.
“It’s been long, haven’t seen you in a while,” she then went ahead to touch three (or is it four) strands of my facial hair, “and your beard is growing fast.”

Holy Crap! That made my day. So, she’s been looking all this time.
I went ahead and said I had shaved a couple of days ago, but she’s had none of it. She put on a brief grin and walked on.

Now, I’m thinking about reconsidering my decision.
Maybe I don’t need to move out after all.
I mean the logistics, payments (again, not because of this month) and the change. It really is tedious.

I unlocked my door and got in slowly. Not because I’m afraid of something, but why would I burge in. I find Shiv having some cakes and juice, presumably for supper. He looked at me with this cold look, probably thinking I’d ask to have some. I tell him what I’d just had and he’s angry again. There’s just something about men enduring hunger and feeling angry.

Just as I was explaining how it was impossible to bring some meat with me,(It wasn’t impossible, I just got indulged and completely forgot.) I heard a knock on the door. I open the door and guess who, Amina is there with a cake in her hand, accompanied with a warm goodnight embrace. She then walked away with that sly smile.

Do you think I should still move out?

21 and counting.

For about three hundred and sixty days, there’s no sort of excitement whatsoever about my birth date. I even tell myself some weeks prior, that it’s a childish thing to get overly ecstatic about my birthday and usually it works, because I’m calm about it. Well, that’s until it’s a week till I become a year older. Beyond the actual day, my evasive mind probably thinks I’ll be experiencing life in a different way just because I’m a year older. Probably now, I’ll be focused as I’ve never been with my class work, or I may start hitting the gym on a regular basis. Maybe I might miraculously land on the next season of The Amazing Race, win and take a vacation in Luxemborg. Who else likes the Rihanna sung chorus on Wild Thoughts?

So, the other day I was thinking about some reasonable resolutions to take to my next age and I came up with a long list. But I’m really not a fan of setting resolutions. I merely want to implement them. You see, like New Year resolutions it is very easy to set resolutions on your birthday and say, now that I’m thirty, I’ll focus less on Instagram, save more for my house, slowly cut ties with kina Anto we can’t go drinking every other weekend and go church more often. Before you know it, you are thirty five and doing the same things. Then, you’ll make the same resolutions at fourty and before you know it, you are having a mid life crisis. That’s probably a white person thing, but either way, who wants to see out a stagnant decade? Well, not me. The thing is, on the eve of a new year or another age, you cannot magically set a new standard or a resolution for yourself and expect to carry it out like A, B, C. Anticipate, plan, make adjustments, implement with consistency and review. That’s a whole alphabet.

Mental fulfilment is what eludes us most, because we are fully convinced the physical aspect is more essential, because other people see it. A year ago, when I had just started with my blog, I would monitor the number of clicks I would get (Yes, I can do that) and that made me write more and more, even twice a week, and at some point, six hundred clicks made me feel ecstatic, because I gave what the readers wanted me to give.
Today, the ability to speak out my mind and put it in words, regardless of how many people click the link to read, exudes any other form of fulfilment.
Years back, a good friend of mine, we call him a socialite was obsessed with the number of likes he got, if he appealed to his followers and who was his competition. Fast foward to today. I recently paid him the occasional weekend visit and he was telling me how he thinks he’s grown mentally, accepting things as they are and focusing on himself and his goals. Maybe it’s an age thing, either way, I couldn’t be happier.

I have this thing with documentaries. I’d spend a whole day watching documentaries on diverse topics from nature, geography and culture. A week ago, I snapped up a documentation of the native Asian culture. In an island off the South Asian coast, there is a group of natives living merely just with basic needs. Small pieces of hide, just to cover the groins, temporary shacks for shelter, food in the form of fish, hunted wild animals and gathered fruits.
No school, no internet, no sheesha, perhaps no religion. I mean,they survive on the most basic basis. Just day to day hostile life.
So, one guy from the village took the camera crew fishing. The elder proceeds to dive almost 50 feet deep into the ocean and despite all the pressure, takes as long as seven minutes in the water. According to the team doctor, a normal human would have gasped for by that time, pressure forcing the lungs to collapse and drowned. He however reports that, the mind can conquer anything. The mental setting of the native man, is that without fish, his family will go without food. So, he’ll do whatever it takes to get fish and this mindset pushes his body to the maximum, to achieve his goal. You can bet he was successful. I was impressed. I mean, I would probably do two minutes maximum.

So, perhaps In my next year, I’ll drink the kind of wine I’m preaching. Wait, I’m not preaching. I’m just speaking my mind.

Goals and prospects can be deemed as useless sometimes.
Most of the times, infact. So, we’d rather have a result, an achievement to make this theory real.

Nice time fellas. 😊

Just Another Day

Success is very relative. Some feel content in a mud-walled house, yet for some, if the floors are not ceramic, that’s not good enough. For one, a bedsitter is more than enough, for others, a three bedroom is too minimal space to be comfortable. A bachelors degree may not be enough for some, yet a secondary, rather an A level education may be just enough. We not so long ago, witnessed a hundred shilling wedding. Yet, every other weekend, wedding shows cover weddings worth millions splashed on designer wear, custom made jewelry, high end cars and exquisite locations. Some of us, make do with a couple of chapattis and beans for lunch. Yet, some only regard to have had lunch if it was from Kilimanjaro Lavish or Kempinski or the likes.
See, unlike Nairobi, Mombasa actually goes to sleep. In fact, rather early, as early as 10 p.m. I was still in Likoni at around that time, heading towards town. At that time, you have to wait much longer for the ferry. It’s pointless ferrying across a few number every five minutes, so they basically wait for a reasonable number of people and head to the other side. As I was walking towards the waiting bay, this man walked close to me. He was slightly plump.Around five feet tall. I wonder why they say five or four feet tall. If you are that ‘tall’, it should simply be, five feet short.Four feet short. Six feet tall. Agreed? Anyways, he was clad in a casual manner, not to say he wasn’t smart. I mean, he looked like any other regular dad heading home late from work to an angry wife endlessly fidgeting in bed and children sound asleep worried the least about their father. That is, as long as there was always a modest breakfast in the morning when he was again leaving. 
I said a meek hello, and he smiled widely, and greeted me with a free spirit and such happiness that I found so awkward. Perhaps it’s because, everyone nowadays is so self centered and we just forget our manners and goodwill. Dr. Ibua, my Culture and Diversity lecturer says Kenyans seem to have lost it. I couldn’t agree more. This guy fascinated me, he starts a very random and basic conversation. “So, where are you from at this time of the night? ”

“Well, I had alot of things to attend to, time just caught up on me.” Truthfully, I was feasting, idling and story telling with a friend. But who in their right mind says, he or she was doing nothing. No, you were busy. Okay?  He says, he’s been working. So yes,  I guessed right. “So, where are you headed to?” he asks. This time, I’m a bit more honest. “Home, I’m quite beat.” He goes ahead and offers a sort of a consolation, “But we have to toil to eat. Such is life young man.” I couldn’t agree more. 
I can’t describe it as ‘small’ talk, what we had. The more he spoke, the more you wanted him to continue. He had this zest about his words and a whole perspective that you may just want to sap from his ideology. You don’t meet people like him every other day. You may meet an angry  lady for a neighbor who frowns when accompanying her children to catch their school bus. She may nod hesitantly when you accord her a warm morning greeting. You’ll certainly come across a rude tout who’ll swiftly ask, no, demand for fares and take a decade to hand you back your balance. Bet he’ll most assuredly howl at the driver to proceed with their ride when you are mid-air, alighting from the vehicle. Or you’ll come across a temperamental guy along the street who brushes by your side and even steps on your white shoes. Incidentally, he sneers and walks away, without a modest apology. That, you’ll experience. But not a happy man, content with life, sharing a word or two. Perhaps we really have lost it. 
While sitted, he points out to me a couple of young girls. Prior to that, I hadn’t noticed them. Three, to be precise. Two of them seemed to be much older and the other probably slightly young. Younger than you would expect to be out and about at that time. One is in a short, pink, figure-hugging dress. Too tight for my friend’s liking. The other is in shorts and a vest top, showing more than probably what should be seen. The younger girl is in what they call leggings and an oversized blouse, bent to one side, exposing a shoulder on the other. So, my friend gestures for one of them. The two look at each other, probably surprised and raise their shoulders, as if to ask, whom of the two? He points at the lady in pink. Yet again, they seem perplexed and look at each other. The lady in pink points to her chest and the guy nods in acceptance. She leaves her seat and walks towards us, leans and smiles a bit then heads on to ask, “How may I help you? ”

“How are you?”
“I’m fine”

“For how much?”

I’m taken back a bit and try to hide the reaction on my face, but I’m probably not too good at that, and perhaps it’s why she hesitates a little, shows a shy smile, tucks in her lips tightly, points towards her seat and walks away quickly. If I was to take a wild guess, she’s a lady probably just into her twenties. So I ask my friend why he did that.
 “Well, for one she’s gotta know that she looks good for business today. I won’t be the first to notice what she does for a living, besides I know something when I see it.”

He intrigues me. Not because he’s smiling everytime he’s done talking but he speaks like he’s sure of every single word he says.  Until he clarifies, “I don’t indulge in such purchases. But, imagine if everyone didn’t, where the hell do you think they’ll get the income they get.”
“But, don’t you think your words came out as a prejudice to her lifestyle?”

“No, In fact I’d think of it as a complement, in that line of work.”

I can’t find an argument to counter his stance, so I keep my dissatisfaction to myself. 

Then, there’s a little silence, until a lady selling boiled eggs comes up to us. She’s slightly tall, yet plump.She has an apron, which I’m not quite sure is white but dirty or just beige. Blame it one the lighting, compounded with my colour vision deficiency at night. She says she only needs to sell two more to meet her threshold for the day. That so large part humane part of me was inclined to part with her plea, and I oblige. My friend says he doesn’t take eggs, even after I offer buying him one. He says something about eggs upsetting his stomach or something like that. So, I duly pay the lady and she walks down the waiting bay. 

My friend starts again, “She’ll tell every single one of the people here the same stuff she told you, just to get another sale. Pretty opportunistic if you ask me, but she’s gotta do what she’s gotta do.” 
The ferry was close and it’s horn blared as it approached the dock. A beggar just passes through the entrance of the waiting bay, limping, almost in a manner that seemed he was doing it in a rhythmic tune. He carried a small, rusted tin with his left hand. On the right side, he supported himself with an old, wooden crutch with a rugged cloth for an arm rest . I have this thing with beggars; I never really know whether they are sincere or they are simply taking advantage of the benevolence that surrounds them. Not many of you do, so I prefer to face downward and avoid any kind of engagement. I can hear my new acquaintance drop a coin in the tin. Almost immediately the beggar walks away, he says, “You’d rather buy an egg, but not a dime to the beggar.”
“Usually my gut tells me they should be in a better place than on the streets with a tax collector like tendency, ” I shoot right back. 

“Well then, I can’t do anything about that. ” This guy is hilarious.

The ferry is finally here and as the passenger on board make their way out and walk towards different destinations. The cars also slowly go uphill the steep hill from the dock. Our gate is opened wide and the few passengers walk towards the ferry. I expect to walk with the guy, but as I stand to head to the ferry, he goes like, “You have a safe trip home and a good night.”

Very queer man. 

So I ask, “What, you mean you are not going over to the other side?”
“No, I sleep here. I’ll head home later in the wee hours.”

I am left in some quandary and I’m really not sure what to make of his calmness , so I offer him a tame handshake, which he gladly engages in. I slowly walk away, not sure if looking back will give me some reassurance or implicate an impression towards him. So, I look straight ahead and board the ferry. On board, there’s a few people, the lady selling late night eggs,the beggar, a few cars with tinted windows up, probably with their air conditioners on. Different walks indeed. 
The ocean is calm and a brisk wind blows to and from the shore. Whatever the geographers call that. I can almost taste the cold, fresh, salty air as the breeze hits my almost numb face. Behind the noisy rumbling engine of the ferry, the wind whispers gently on the surface of the ocean, forming miniature waves heading towards land in seismic fashion. 
Just another day.

Under the soil. 

I have just completed yet another season of The Survivor( Outwit, outplay, outlast). Yes, I watch that. In fact, I’d rather watch such than the hyped Winter Is here stuff. It’s more entertaining, more educational and though  stage managed, like most reality shows are, it’s more realistic.

In fact, I just learned a whole lot more about nature. 

In south Asia, turtles lay 150 eggs after mating season.

Not just at any time; they make their way, half flipping, half crawling from the ocean towards the beach, to say a distance of ten to fifteen feet on dry land. Once a suitable spot is identified, the female turtle digs a hole, about four feet and lays all the eggs and buries the hole with a pile of sand to protect the eggs from predators and harmful UV rays.

Turtles literally put their eggs in one basket. Okay, it may not necessarily be a basket, perhaps a hole but it goes against an adage we, let me speak for myself, I believe in. Out of all the one hundred and fifty eggs, one successfully hatches and grows into a baby turtle. 
What fascinates me most, is that while turtles and perhaps many more creatures find life from the ground, new born creatures bringing forth life from the soil beneath, we, humans seek solace and our final rest lies in the soil. We bury the dead into the ground. Some religions probably don’t resonate with that, but majority of us do. 

Just so happens, it’s been two weeks since we laid dani to rest. Apparently a great majority of you are not conversant with this universal dialect, dani is French for grandma. Like any other death, it was unexpected. See, she is one of the few people who ever believed in me.
“Dani, I want to pursue music. ”

“Ni sawa tuu baba, Mungu ako na wewe.”
“Dani, I think I’ll start my own business.”

“Bora umeeka Mungu mbele, baba kila kitu unaweza fanya. ”
“Dani, what do you think about me farming?”

“Kuja, nitakupea shamba baba na tutaishi tukiomba Mungu na kila kitu Itakuwa sawa tu.

 Usijali.”

Unlike most of us, her life was barely centred on the mantle of Christiany and what was an extraordinary belief in the existence of Christ. She would wake up at four a.m and pray, go back to sleep and wake up later and pray, prepare breakfast and pray before taking her breakfast, take a short walk around her farm, uprooting weeds and tending to vegetables with utmost precision, prepare lunch, pray with her farm workers before eating, have evening fellowship, prepare supper, invite someone over, pray together prior to eating and right before sleeping guess what, she’d pray to God, that her family would prosper in their respective endeavors. It is one thing to experience uncertainty in one’s life, but it’s a whole different ball game when you have someone to walk with you through your uncertainties and make them feel valid. While I knew her, she lived for her God and her family alone. Okay, maybe her church too. 
May her soul rest in peace. 

Now, my honest opinion about our kind of burials is that they are plainly ceremonial. Wait. Is that the reason they call it a burial ceremony? Well, it’s very awkward for me to watch people eat like they have never before, sleep during lengthy incessant and unnecessary speeches, politicians incite local mwananchi on the outcome of the outcome of the presidential petition, continuously drink soda claiming that their third bottle is actually the first, sitting under tents mumbling then hilariously start wailing just when the casket is lowered six feet under. They will then give their final goodbyes and leave behind a whole heap of work to be done by the same family that is grieving. Jo dala yawa.

My old guy has always had something against my sleep, so he was already on my neck at nine o’clock in the morning. Talking about rehearsing my speech and getting my stride on. I kind of sense the real reason him waking me up was to iron his shirt, but you know, I don’t mind doing these petty chores. 

I ended up being the last person on my seat. I don’t know, perhaps I take alot of time grooming the afro, much to the annoyance of the old guy.

 
So, we were sitted and the priest, plump and of average height, going through the sermon when my cousin of thirteen years old got up, for the umpteenth time. This time, the priest got in his way telling him to get back to his seat. But you see, these kids and their attitude. So he went on, but the priest was adamant, he wouldn’t let him have his way. He sad again, “Young man, please get back to your seat. We’re almost done here. ”

You can imagine the attention that draws; so everyone turned heads to look at the poor boy. He is roughly five feet, taller than you would expect for his age. He had a blue shirt on, with white polka dots and dark blue  jeans. Neat boy, perhaps the only spoiler was that he had a slight bump on his shirt, something like a potbelly. He was rooted to the ground, almost all eyes on him, then almost after what seemed to be a lifetime of silence and bewilderment, he gestured towards his stomach and walked away hurriedly. Everyone laughed wildly, but you see he is not the kind to be intimidated. He did come back though, head high, walking like nothing happened. 

After what seemed to be a lifetime, two queues of old ladies dressed in navy blue dress uniforms carried the casket to the grave. 
Deafening wails from everywhere, untidy children wielding sticks and a certain mongrel limping all over place are just the few scenes I witnessed as the procession made its way to the grave. 
You can’t help but think, one man’s food is another’s poison. We bury life into the soil. Sea turtles bring forth life from the same soil. 

Yet again, they are not men. But you do get my point, right? 
Blessed time.