Dick Trauma

Photo credit: http://the-peridot-fanbase.wikia.com

*Polite notice. Please help a sister out in the comments section*

These are true stories…

I am a hustler by nature. Well, life did this to me. Upon leaving the university, we all believed that we would all land cushy jobs in some offices in tao and live richly ever after. Well, what no one tells you is that the unemployment rate is Kenya is obscene and it helps if you know a person and if you are like me and know no one, life and the Kenyan economy will shaft you.

Anyway, it is through this reality that I have learned that life does not give a shit about you. You have to kick down doors and scratch the bare surface of the earth with your teeth to make it. That degree will not help you if you can’t get out and get things done.

Scene 1

Sometime last year, I decided that this life of sitting and waiting for a job just wasn’t working. So I decided to create one for myself by starting a hawking business. I sell sweets on Sundays so I guess I am what people call hawkers and what the government calls small scale business owners. Whatever the label, I make do with what I have and I love it. I do my small business at a children’s park. The park also serves as a place where low-income earners go for dates and others go to look for people to bring for dates. Once in awhile, it also serves as a church. It is in a Kikuyu neighbourhood, in case you are trying to understand why it has so much diversity.

As you might see, this place attracts all kinds of people. Obnoxious middle class Kenyans who want to take their kids out to play but can’t afford expensive places so they bring their kids here, complete with a snobbish attitude, those who are looking for dates, those who are on dates, those who want to idle, those who want to unwind, those who want to make an extra coin, and those who want to preach. All are welcome.

So, on this day, I am going about my business, trying to convince people to buy lollipops and ignoring all the foul attitudes around, when this lady asks me to look at the guy opposite her. Well, I am more curious than a cat and I turn and look. Opposite her was a young man, maybe in his late 20s or early 30s, dirty, unkempt but looking normal. The guy was sitting with his legs apart and right there in the middle was his erect dick hanging out of a hole that must have been deliberately drilled for this voyeuristic exercise. In my estimation, he was not a madman.

Well, the police think that this is no crime and the guy should be let to go about his duty of showing the world his erect dick in peace. The problem is, I have seen this guy at that same spot severally. He sits opposite women and children and then proceeds to remove his dick and show them. This is a rapist in waiting and the problem is, no one seems to care.

Scene 2

I am walking home one evening, rushing to prepare dinner before lioness gets home and eats me up for not having prepared food by the time she gets home. In the opposite direction is a young man. Healthy and with a bulging one pack. He looks descent. He has a marvin on his head and he is engrossed on his phone. I pay no attention.

As he approaches the corner that leads to our gate, he takes it. I am a few steps away. I am now just 2 steps away from the corner when I spot the same guy. He is now standing just after the corner. When I get there, he is moaning. At first, I think he is in pain but to my dismay, he is not. He has his dick out. He is treating himself to some pleasure using his hand. One hand is holding his phone, which I guess is feeding his fantasies and the other one is holding his small gun in it and rubbing it.

I am disgusted. He does not flinch on spotting me. I look at him with disgust mixed with horror. He looks at me with longing, even inviting eyes. I walk past him. I am not scared or embarrassed. This is the only way to the gate and besides, he is the one who should be ashamed.

Scene 3

I am walking home. I am about 100m from the gate. The fence is a live fence. Men have turned it into a urinal so it is not strange to find men standing against it and relieve themselves even as I walk past. I no longer get annoyed or disgusted. I guess my mind got used to the abuse.

So, as I draw nearer to the gate, some man coming from the opposite direction suddenly stops near the fence and I can see him struggling with his zipper. I do not look away. He is the one on the wrong, not me. I am now 3 steps away from him and he finally manages to draw out his tiny member. Yes, I looked. If he wanted privacy, he should have found it. He holds his tiny thing in his hand and asks me whether I want some. I walk past him in silence. He does not deserve my attention. Not with such a small item.

Men. Please explain to me like I just landed from mars, is this a thing with you guys? Do you all privately crave some kind of voyeuristic satisfaction that comes from showing your dicks to random women? Is this a thing that was never taught in the obsolete 8-4-4? Should I stop bothering the unperturbed Kabete Police with my reports about all these men who seem to me like potential rapists? Am I fussing about nothing? Is this something that is perfectly normal and I am having one of my usual late-blooming moments? Am I supposed to look and give a verdict? A rating? Am I supposed to say, “Waaah, Kamaa, hiyo yako ni kubwa kuliko ya Karis.” What am I supposed to do? Please educate me before I go crazy because I have a permanent mental scar. Every time I see a man’s hand near his zip I panic and start praying frantically that he does not draw out his gun because it is too disgusting!

Internet Experience

Self-employed
Photo credit: woodward-group.co.uk/

Life on the interwebs is either fun, sad, inspirational or egoistic. You choose your pick and then proceed to sit in the corner and feed netizens on whatever the hell you please, based on your category. For others like me, we are just here to see what the people in this category choose to feed the rest of the world.

Some of the interesting things I have noted about the internet is that some people have inferiority complex and thrive on insulting other people so that they can feel good about themselves. After all, the internet is not your mother and so there is no one to control what you do with that free Wi-Fi in your office or those Safaricom bundles that disappear faster than a politician after winning an election.

As I was doing the rounds of FB the other day, admiring your awesome lives and comparing them to my miserable one, I realized that most of you work at a place called self-employed and you are all CEOs or MDs at this place. For the first time in my life, I understood what you mean when you tweet and post that young people like me should be self-employed instead of looking for those jobs that the government promised us 5 years ago, and which we are yet to find. I also realized that all your awesome lives are facilitated by the fact that you are CEOs and MDs and these are people who earn the kind of money I imagine is only earned by tenderpreneurs, if Bob Collymore and Joshua Waigara’s salaries are anything to go by.

So guys, I am also going to start working at Self-employed soon. A friend of mine promised to get me a job there and I am crossing my fingers and toes for this job to come through. I promise to share the beautiful photos of the new life afforded by this job with you guys so stay tuned.

Then, I discovered, like all African kids discover, that all our mums went to the same school but there is one lesson that lioness skived. You see, African mums are know to use the same form of punishment, beating, and the same kind of warning, jaribu uone or, vunja zote, or to give you that look when you do something silly in front of visitors that says tutaonana baadaye. But I have also discovered that in that school, they were taught inspirational stuff that they are supposed to use when raising their kids.

Inspiration

I have been seeing a post on FB that says that your mums told you that sometimes you will lie down for people to step on you but they will still complain that you are not flat enough. I swear lioness skived that lesson. Maybe that is the day she met her now husband and they were out on a date. Anyway, I know if someone stepped on me and I told lioness about it, she would give me that look that says she did not raise such a fool and then ask me what I did about it. If I said that I tried to lie down more flatly, she will smack me and tell me to step on that person next time and to never lay down for people to step on me. Better still, she will slap me for lying down in the first place and making myself dirty. That is not how we roll.

So guys, if there is a retake for inspirational classes for mums, please alert me so that I can enrol lioness in them. She could use a few of those lessons. Thanks.

Wedding Committees. Weddings. Baby Showers.

Fake friends
Photo credit: giphy.com

I am in my metallic house on a Friday evening after a hard day’s work at the mjengo. The building we are working on is almost finished and we know that we will soon be jobless. I remove my Uni certificate from its safe haven and look at it with tears welling up in my eyes. Getting this piece of paper has not helped me at all. Then my Tecno buzzes and I open the WhatsApp message. It has come in just before I tear this piece of paper that was supposed to unlock my potential but which did not come with experience. Saved by WhatsApp. I open the message only to find out that I have been added to yet another group for a friend’s baby shower. I am already in 3 baby-shower groups. Why can’t people just shower their babies without involving all of us? I am also in 3 wedding committees and I have been cordially invited to 2 other weddings. All these are people we went to the great UON with but life has been kind to them. But I digress because I can’t attend any of the events. So here is an open letter to all those friends showering babies, wedding, or fundraising to have a wedding,

Photo credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/331366485062511317/
Photo credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/331366485062511317/

Dear friend,
It has been a while since we met. Once upon a time, Jeff Mwangemi used to say that barua ni nusu ya kuonana but nowadays, social media is the new nusu ya kuonana. Anyway, I have been onanaing with you on social media and from your statuses and photos on IG, I can tell that the face of fortune smiled kindly towards you. Well, for me, life has been one rough journey since we kissed each other goodbye at the gates of the UON with promises of keeping in touch and meeting once in a while. Such promises have long been broken. I have since learnt that I was your friend only because we used to see each other several times a week, and sit in formation during exams so that we could share knowledge-team work makes the dream work!
Since then, we have hardly talked. We tried keeping in touch the first few months after campus as we kept each other strong in the tarmacking journey. We talked endlessly and then luck came your way; your father knew someone who knew someone somewhere and you got your first job in some office in tao. Or you were just lucky and your CV fell in the right hands on that day we went to drop our CVs in Westy. Your first job was not glamorous like we had imagined while at UON. But I was happy for you all the same because you were finally going to get experience, that unit that lecturers forgot to teach us but which every employer is fixated on. Meanwhile, I encountered a conman and lost all the money I had worked for but I soldiered on. It was hard to find jobs and I tried turning to you for help but you were too busy, you said, your job was sucking all the energy out of you. You could never offer me a shoulder to lean on, sorry. I moved on because I did not want to burden you with my problems while your employer was also killing you with all their pressure.
I retreated to a quiet corner and kept abreast with all the awesomeness going on in your life through social media. Finally, the face of fortune smiled towards me and I landed a mjengo job. It is not as glamorous as yours and I can barely afford those expensive lunches you post on IG but at least, I am making progress, albeit slowly. When I got the mjengo job, I let you know via WhatsApp. Maybe I just wanted some approval from you or I was trying to ignite the lost friendship because now, I could at least feed myself. You were happy for me, you said. But you still gave me a cold shoulder because you had now acquired new friends who were at the same level with you and I can’t blame you because like Jay Z sang, you never worked that hard to stay the same and I have also changed because I now hang out with my mjengo peeps. Lanes.


Anyway, you broke up with Charlo after campus because you realized you never really loved him and besides, he just wasn’t within your standards anymore and that was fine. You had met a fine young man. Ambitious, successful and he treated you like a queen; you told me during one of our random yet rare chats. I was happy for you. You always longed for love, but I steered clear of the 2 of you because I was obviously not at the same level as you plus you always accused other women of wanting your men and I did not want to bring such an inconvenience to your life.

pretense
Photo credit: MemeMaker.net

Now you are getting married and you have included me in your wedding-fundraising group on WhatsApp where you keep urging us to pledge and honour our pledges towards this blessed union. God will bless us, you promise. Suddenly, you have remembered my number and you want to catch up. You want us to meet and catch up. We should have lunch sometime. You keep reminding me about your upcoming wedding. You are happy and I am happy for you. I have always been the type to be happy for my friends when they succeed. You are living life on the first lane, a lane that I can only dream about in my metallic house.
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I saw your photos on FB and IG, happy smile and heavily pregnant. Glowing and happy with the hashtags #angelloading #happymum #mumtobe #blessingsallover. I am happy for you. You have always wanted to start a family, have a loving husband come home to you every day and be greeted by an angelic smile everyday you came home. A product of your womb. I am happy for you. I really am. I want to WhatsApp you and express my joy but that will come across as hypocrisy. We have not talked in months  years. So, I’ll just like your photo and move on and be silently happy for you.

Meanwhile, our mutual friends have organised a baby shower. They want to show you love. They have all these expensive ideas. They say that we need to stand together. That we need to do something intimate but not expensive. Thoughtful, they call it. But, everything about the proposals is far from inexpensive. In fact, everything is too expensive for me. You see, I live a hand-to-mouth life. My mjengo dues do not allow me to go beyond the absolute necessary and any extras must be budgeted for months in advance and this 2-week notice just doesn’t accommodate my life.

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Stop pretending
Photo credit: Bodybuilding.com

So, friend, I will pass up on your invitation to generously contribute the little I have towards making your wedding successful. I want to be blessed but I can’t afford to buy blessings. I cannot afford to even feed myself on those expensive lunches you post on social media so buying blessings will just not cut it for me. I’ll let God bless me voluntarily like we were taught in Sunday school. I will not contribute to your big day because this relationship is predatory. And I will not meet you for that lunch you have been proposing because that plate of misery is the equivalent of my whole week’s fare to mjengo, unless you are buying.

I will not contribute to your wedding because it is the fine line between dinner and starvation in my house. I will not contribute towards your wedding because you have not even bothered to talk to me since 5 years ago. And I will definitely not contribute to your wedding because you once thought that I wanted one of your boyfriends so, me paying for your wedding might be equivalent to trying to buy your husband-to-be.

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Dear friend and mutual friends, I will not come to your baby shower because my budget is too squeezed right now. I have too many things on my plate. I will not come to the baby shower because we have not been real friends since 5 years ago. I will not show up at your door with a huge smile pretending that I am the greatest friend in the world. We both know we drifted apart. It was not intentional. It was life and this pretence just gnaws at my soul.

I will also not contribute towards the gifts being bought despite my absence because I cannot afford it. I will also not contribute because that feels like buying back our friendship. It is pretentious.

Don’t get me wrong, I am happy for you. I am glad life turned out to be very rosy for you while I landed on the thorns. I am glad you found your ultimate definition of happiness. I am happy that you are finally building that happy family you always dreamt of. I know you will make a great wife because you used to whip up gourmet meals on a shoe-string budget (lioness swears that a great wife is one who can cook) and a coil for us while in campo. I know you will be a great mum because you were always nurturing. You always loved kids. But I will not financially contribute towards any of the causes because I am broke and this just feels like extortion.

Life’s turns

Photo credit: riseperformancegroup.com
Photo credit: riseperformancegroup.com

Life, as I have come to learn, changes whether you want it to or not. It does not matter whether you are ready or not. Life will change. People will change, situations will change and anything else you know. For some, it changes for the better. For others, it is one step forward and 3 behind. Either way, you can never stand in the way of life.

A couple of times, I have met my childhood friends. For starters, I should point out that I grew up in some village in the North Rift. It was the typical village where everyone knew (almost) everyone else. You were known by your family name by people you did not even know and vice versa. It was a small community that believed in farming, it was only natural, seeing as this is the bountiful North Rift, where the granaries of the country were erected by God.

Anyway, in this small village, we all went to the same schools, were taught by the same teachers and for some unlucky few, those same teachers are still teaching their offspring. Well, at least those who got into the family way “early” enough in life. Some of us chose to go pursue studies and careers which never seem to take off, but that is a story for another day.

Once in a while, I bump into people I grew up with, or knew from this humble village, in this big bad city and we catch up for a couple of minutes, as can be allowed in this city where time always seems to be in short supply.

Occasionally, stories about a fallen age mate will reach my ear. By fallen I mean a person who either decided to trade in the flesh ( a lady) or a guy who discovered the enslaving pot of mama pima. Such news always breaks my heart because it is always the most promising ones who seem to fall by the wayside.

Maybe society put too much pressure on their feeble shoulders. Maybe they got overwhelmed by the expectations. Maybe they fell into the wrong company. But for clarity, I do not believe in this falling into the wrong company. A person of sound mind, who has been brought up with the right values should be able to discern right from wrong.

Other times, the same news carriers carry the news of a soldier who is doing exceptionally well. This is especially in the big city, where s(he) now cultivates the concrete jungle. This will be often one of the promising ones. Or one who had not much promise but who worked harder that the rest and the good Lord blessed the work of his/her hands. Amen?

Other times, it will be about the one who held much promise but just could not carry the baby to term. S(he) was pregnant with so much promise but somewhere along the way, s(he) had a miscarriage. S(he) did not become hopeless entirely, but that ray of hope that shone in the eyes of society long went dim. S(he) is now regarded with silent whispers of, “It is such a pity that X never amounted to much,” on the lips of fellow villagers. Others will be grateful that this son/daughter of the soil never brought much home because s(he) is now just like them. S(he) comforts them. Misery always loved warm company.

The point is, life grows positively or negatively. Going back to the village where you grew up sobers you up. You see those who ran while you are still crawling, you saw those who paused along the way and got run over by life and you see those who are crawling but still moving. They all make you nostalgic in a good way. Those damn barriers you had while growing up have been flattened by life because you realise that life doesn’t give a damn. But above all, you realise that life can be a bitch!

Learner

Google Analytics

Nothing excites me like learning something new, especially something I have been struggling with. It is like being gifted with a fresh pair of eyes where I can see things from a brand new perspective. It makes my mind come alive and from that first point of gaining new insights, I start experimenting with new things until I perfect the game.

The past 6 months have been like this for me. I never knew I was this interested in digital platforms and all those nice things about the internet that people keep talking about. First was this awesome blog that teaches me something new every time I use it. I finally learnt how to insert photos to make things a little bit spicy. Then I learnt about this awesome tool called Canva that helps you design images and I was over the moon. Now I just keep toying with images and designs. Hallelujah! And boy was that exciting. Maybe a little history…..

When I started this blog, I had no idea how to go about it. I just saw a post on social media saying that starting a WordPress blog was as easy as deciding which matatu to pick on my way home. And since I am not one to be left behind, and pushed with this desire to tell stories, mimi huyo, I started this blog. I did not even know how to write or save or publish articles but I started it all the same. Needless to say, the last 1 year has seen me in the class of teacher Google and experimentation and I have figured so many things out, thanks to the exam of trial and error. 

Next, I decided to explore the awesome world of social media and I have learnt so much. Yani, Facebook and Twitter are not just places you can go to hang out, you can do your marketing there and even track the returns. So I have since learnt how to schedule posts, track their reach, post appropriately and a host of other nice things. If you have a job for a social media marketer in your company just holla, I will do the magic for you.

Anyway, now I am learning how to use Google Analytics and this thing is like Greek! From sijui Audience, to Behaviour to Acquisition, GA is fun and stressful in equal measure. I mean, I have read almost all materials available but it still plays a good one on me. Although I must admit that I am now better placed to pick up a few metrics than I was say, 2 months ago and I am mighty proud of myself. Nitazijua zote tu.

So, what have I learned from al this. First, I like learning new things. Cliche but true.

Then, I am a constant learner. That is my factory setting. It is like my mind is always looking for the next thrill, the next high. I guess that is what junkies feel about drugs. Once I figure out something, I will toy around with it until I can recite it when I am sleep talking.

Then, I also discovered that I am a sucker for challenges. You should see me fumbling with GA. It’s like I am trying to prove to it that I am not a walk in the park and it must submit to me.

Also, I realized that I generally like knowing new things. Yeah, you might say that I am into shiny objects and that is fine.

So, GA here we come. I will have figured you out by April. You wait and see. Also, if you have tips and tricks on how to slay this dragon, feel free to help a sister out.

Nosy Neighbours

Dry spell
Photo credit: someecards.com

I am a firm believer that neighbourhood kids should not get into the habit of going to houses with no kids. Not that they may not be safe, but because the house of a single person or a couple with no kids is not child-safe. There are many things that can harm the child in that house, including naked wires and naked human beings. Besides, houses with no kids are unlikely to have things (movies) that can entertain children so what exactly are those kids doing there?

I have been battling with the dry spell since last year, So much so that if I as much as spot a condom wrapper on the road, I feel jealous and find myself saying “hata haikuwa mzuri juu mlikuwa kwa barabara.” Anyway, there is this nduthi guy who likes winking at me and in all honesty, I find it disgusting and annoying. For starters, he is not hot. Ok, he is handsome but as you know, I like my men hot. Then, I imagine he winks at every girl that passes by and I don’t like sharing. I know God said you should share but some things are too good to be shared.

So, on Friday evening, while going home from the mjengo, he winked at me and my body felt some typa way. That was a sign from nature that the year is getting old and I need to do something about this dry spell. Hata maji chafu huzima moto. Plus, the exploits of nduthi guys in the villages are legendary and I don’t like being left behind. So, I winked back (he gave me a wink, I winked back🎶🎶🎼🎤). Then he smiled, switched on his nduthi’s engine and started riding towards me. When he got to where I was, he said “Niaje msupa, si uwache nikupee ride leo.” Mimi huyo, hadi juu ya nduthi, clinging onto him as he sped past those less fortunate not to have a nduthi guy. It was a scene from a romantic Indian movie I tell you.

When we got to my place, he said “Niaje hiyo nangos basi,” but before I gave him, I told him I’d be pleased to have him for lunch on Sato. I was going to have him for real and figuratively! Gleefully, he accepted my invitation and I knew that I had hit the bull’s eye.

So I have been saving my lunch money all week round because I hear these guys have a huge appetite. Plus I had every plan to put him on extra duty so it was only fair that I feed him properly. Sato came, I cleaned my house like the president himself was coming to launch the end of my dry spell then I Googled interesting meat recipes because I had to get this right. I made an almost delicious meal but I knew he wouldn’t care because, anyway, he is used to meals full of water.

He was late, because he got kinda busy at 1, weuweh, I hard working man damn! But he was there at 2, which was still fine. We ate in silence because like I discovered, these guys are not into small talk when eating. Eating is serious business. He had even removed his 3 trousers, 1 sweater and 1 heavy leather jacket for comfort. I did not complain, that only made my mission easier to accomplish.

After the meal, we got down to small talk and slowly, I found myself sitting next to him. One thing led to another and his hand was soon patting my thigh. Just before he could kiss me, I heard a child’s giggle behind us and on turning, I saw the irritating neighbour’s kid who has the annoying habit of going into people’s houses uninvited. He looked at me and said “Naenda kuambia mum unafanya tabia mbaya” all the while shaking his hand to do that thing we used to do with our fingers when we were kids and were about to snitch, and just before I could catch him, he was off.

2 seconds later, his mukurino mum was at my door, huffing and puffing like a raging bull preparing for a bull-fight in Ikolomani. Her angry movements were enhanced by the motion of her long clothes, gave her angry voice the necessary dramatic effect. She told me that I was the devil’s advocate in this plot who had been sent to ruin her children’s morals. I asked her why she had not taught her children to stay in their house to which she answered that she was going to report me to the landlord. This irked me because this was the 2nd time I’d be reported to the landlord in less than a month. The first, because of overstaying in the toilet I share with 2 other neighbours when I had a bout of diarrhoea. So I told her “Sawa, na mimi nitamwambia kila siku naskianga ukiambia baba Karis ashike chakula ya mtoto.” She looked at me angry, ashamed and now less angry, and sneered so hard, she nearly dropped her mouth in my house, then walked away, to go put noise blockers in her house, I guess. Check-mate!

Meanwhile, my prince charming had put on his 3 trousers, 1 sweater and leather jacket and he emerged from behind me saying “Nyinyi mko na siasa mingi. Nimeenda sai ni rush hour” and off he went.

Photo credit: someecards.com
Photo credit: someecards.com

*sigh* Some women and their children should just mind their own business.

Idle banter

Phone usage
Photo credit: amsanjeev.wordpress.com

Someone recently shared a video with me. It was one of those talk shows where people try to dissect a thing or a phenomenon in society. Most of them are called experts or professors and most commonly, sociologists.

These talks can sometimes seem like pure rants or creations of someone’s head. The truth is, it is hard to understand society because as much s there are certain patterns that remain fairly constant, there are also many more factors that go into an action. 

Having studied sociology for 4 solid years at the great University of Nairobi, I know that society is not static and what held true a couple of years back may be completely different a couple of years from now……except the ability by politicians to be pathological liars, shameless human beings and thoughtless backstabbers. That is a phenomenon that needs no professor to explain. It is simply a way of life and you can tell who will make a great politician by simply reading through the bullshit that rolls from their tongues in the name of wisdom. They have perfected the art of saying a lot without saying anything meaningful.

Anyway, the expert in the video was talking about how millennials are spoilt brats who know nothing about hard work and patience and who swear by the doctrine of instant gratification. Instant gratification, according to this expert and others who have spoken before him, was brought upon us by the very useless Facebook and Instagram and Twitter and any other social media platform you can think of.

This is partly true, there are people who want things here and now. They want to be born and sprint faster than Usain Bolt immediately. However, I do not agree that millennials are lazy. Maybe the ones he knows. The truth is, technology and specialization have made life much easier for millennials and honestly speaking, who would not want to make life easier? That is why lioness can never understand why I would rather buy chopped sukuma wikis instead of buying whole ones and chopping them myself like the wife-material woman she imagines I am.

Another thing that caught my eye about this video is the fact that millennials seem to be stuck on their phones. Anytime someone is stuck in traffic or is queuing or is waiting for people who cannot keep time, they would rather be on their phones than have conversations with total strangers. This habit is then carried forward to times when people should be having conversations and they are all on their phones, which has now killed the art of conversation and discussions.

People on phones all the time
Photo credit: mahalgreen.wordpress.com

But in their defence, this habit is usually a passing phase and most people only seem to be glued to their phones in teenage or early adulthood. By the age of 25, most people can actually go without their phones, unless they are very antisocial, which also means that they have poorly developed or underdeveloped social skills. This is a study carried out by yours truly, based on eyewitness cases, but you can feel free to use it and give full credit hehe!

In the video, the guy talks about how people should stop using their phones when waiting in a lobby and in our case, in the mat and instead, have conversations. This is a good thing but sometimes, it is not.

Take, for example, my situation a couple of days ago. It was the first week of the year and my Mhindi boss, being the kind of people who want to maximize on situations that cannot be maximized, had us going back to work on the very first official day of reporting back to work. Naturally, I was cranky and tired and energyless but the Mhindi did not care. It was on the 3rd working day that I carried my tired and aching body to the stage all the while, fantasising about my bed and the things I would do to it once I was home.

It was in this state that I got to the stage and boarded the first mat that was charging a reasonable fare. You know I am tired when I am willing to take a mat that does not even have a radio just so that I can get home. The mat took the time to fill up because most people are yet to get back to work. Meanwhile, I was seated next to this girl who was on a her phone and I swear I was tempted to peep and see what she was busy texting or being told since she kept giggling and I could have used some of that happiness to get distracted from the slow pace at which the mat was filling up.

Then, at some point, she sighed with horror, dramatically put her hand on her mouth and after 2 minutes of shock, she elbowed me and asked whether I had seen what she had just witnessed on her phone. I answered in the negative since I had sincerely not seen it. Then she played this video and while explaining what was happening as if I was too silly to understand and then started analyzing it. My life seems to be full of analysts nowadays.

I listened patiently and nodded occassionally, since I was in no mood for banter. But her stories did not end with the analysis. She continued talking and when the mat was full, she started analysing the situation on the road as if I could not see it and dissect it for myself. At some point, she started telling me about anything and everything, supporting her arguments by dropping names of people who worked in high places, people who had let her in on some information that was not in the public domain. Meanwhile, I was starting to drift off. At some point, she started telling me about her cucu’s cow that refused to produced milk in December while they were in shagz, her useless ex who now wanted her back, her glamorous life and her contribution to the party scene, Cord, Jubilee, Joho’s rant, the doctors’ strike, and anything under the sun. At some point, she started wondering when she would get home. I guess she wanted to get home and kiss her babies goodnight before they slept but I wouldn’t understand now that I have no babies or bae to kiss goodnight. Meanwhile, I just kept nodding my head to show that I was listening while all along, I was trying to draw up my new year’s resolutions.

I kept wishing that she would alight before me but things have never been known to work in my favour when I needed them to. Long story short, I alighted before her and I was so glad because she was just about to start debating about manual backup during elections.

What I am trying to say is, conversations are good but small talk is tiresome. And before you start engaging a total stranger in conversation, try and read their mood, and if they are not actively participating in the conversation (monologue in this case) then cut it!

Shame On You!

Hustle
Photo credit: Tech/WSJ.D

She grew up in a middle-income family. It was not the richest but they never lacked the basics and a bit of luxury. Just enough as what her parents could afford. She never had the very best of everything but she had the best of what her parents could afford. From a young age, her father let her know that the only way to a better future was through the straight and narrow path of the education that he offered her and her siblings. He backed up his words by giving her and her siblings the best education as he could afford and he even ran into debts just to ensure that they had the best education and a good start in life.

She worked hard at school. Worked hard for everything she had, she never dreamt of marrying rich prince and living a life of luxury. No, that is not how she had been brought up. So, she worked hard, got fairly good grades and went to a fairly good provincial school (as they were called those days). There, she worked hard still (sounds like cliché, right?), got good grades like her parents and her teachers advised her, and got an admission to the university. She was elated. Finally, she was closer to her dreams. She even came up with life goals, like help her parents and give them a better life than they had as a way of thanking them for all the sacrifices they had made just to see her and her siblings through school.

At university, she had measured fun. She did not want distractions or to become a statistic of the girls who fell pregnant or relied on sponsors or dropped out. No. In fact, she even took up menial jobs while there just to supplement HELB and the little pocket money that her parents sent her on a weekly basis. She finally graduated in good time and got a good grade. She knew that she was now on the brink of achieving her dreams. Or maybe not….

After graduating, she applied for jobs in all the companies she could think of and waited with bated breath for that phone call that would give her her first real job. She waited, and waited, and waited….every day, she hoped for that miraculous phone call to come but it never did. Meanwhile, since she was not lazy, she took up small vibaruas that would at least allow her to cater for her own credit. It was the least she could do since she never had relatives in high places who could connect her to jobs. Meanwhile, her social media was littered with photos of her friends who were luckier than her. Friends who had landed their first jobs almost immediately after graduating and were now the life of the party. She went down on her knees, begged the good Lord to give her a job, beseeched him for a miracle, she even offered burnt sacrifices but the doors of a job just never opened up for her.

Anyway, she finally landed a job after 3 solid years of hurting, tarmacking, mockery, tears, pain and loss of friends. It was not a good job like she had wanted or high paying. In fact, she would still struggle but she was glad that she had something to look forward to and she would at least gain experience, that precious commodity that employers all over were asking for, and which she did not possess. Above all, she learnt how to respect other people’s hustles because she knew what it felt like to have no job, no place to wake up to and depend on other people for the basics, while you are a grown ass person with a degree.

I recently saw people laughing at a former Camp Mulla guy because he is now an Uber driver. Useless people who think that they are better than others. Guys who probably got the jobs they have because their parents had connections. People who probably have no jobs. Guys who are probably still in campus, boozing on their parents’ money and have no idea how cruel this world is. Guys who think that being an Uber driver is beneath his status as a celebrity, as if being a celebrity pays bills. Guys who are probably complaining that there are no jobs in Kenya but will not do any job that is available. I bet these are the same guys who Magunga was talking about. Guys who think that bloggers and photographers and social media marketers and artists are uneducated fools. People who failed in school and have nothing to offer to the society.

Uber driver
Photo credit : Business of Apps

Listen, this guy is probably self-employed, a gospel that so many people nowadays preach to anyone who is jobless as if it is the standard remedy to all our problems. I can bet that some of those guys hating on him probably hold jobs that they hate with bosses that are obnoxious and who give them ulcers and depression. Meanwhile, this guy is probably an entrepreneur, the same kind that these miserably employed guys are always telling other guys to be, instead of looking for non-existent jobs.

He probably loves and enjoys his job. He probably owns that car and several others. He probably wakes up energized and excited every morning to go out there and carry lots of passengers and make an honest living. He doesn’t wallow in self-pity because there are no jobs, yet he has skills and resources to make a living. He is not lamenting about the break up of Camp Mulla.

He works hard, develops business skills like good customer service and that is how come he has such high ratings, which only boosts his business. He is not stealing from anyone. He is not waiting on the government to make good of its fake promises to create jobs for the youth. He gets out there and does something legal to make a living while those of you hating on him are probably selling your souls to sponsors or holding jobs that you hate just so that you can afford to take photos with bottles at the club for IG, to show the world how lit your lives are.

The other day, I went to Kawangware market. It was during the rainy season and at the entrance were young men with mkebes, water and sponges. Their jobs were simple, once you left the muddy market and did not want to get to your next destination in that state, they would clean your shoes for you, at a fee of course. My heart swelled with pride. These young men were not taking alcohol and destroying their lives while crying that there were no jobs or getting into crime or waiting for politicians to promise young people jobs. They saw an opportunity to make a living and went for it.

A while back, a blogger called Mark Maish wrote a story about a nduthi guy who holds a degree in accounting but who resorted to any job that he could find, after earning his degree and finding no job.

Listen, guys, a degree or a celebrity status is not a source of income. It is a stepping stone. In this life, the bills don’t care how you make a living. Besides, what is a decent job? Isn’t is a legal and moral job that earns you a living. What is a good job anyway?

Someday, this Camp Mulla guy will probably own a fleet of cars in Uber and he will afford to just sit at home while others work for him, exactly what you haters keep saying young people should aspire to. At that point, he will probably be featured in some glossy magazine talking about his success and you will all be talking about how you want to be like him and giving him as an example of what young people should aspire to. You will probably invite him to some talk on entrepreneurship and right now, you are there using your employers’ Wi-Fi to hate on his hustle. At that point, he will be laughing all the way to the bank (If he is not already doing that) while singing Juliani’s Exponential Potential. The shameless Mpasho, which wrote a story implying that he is a case of grace to grass, will probably put up a flashy headline “Former Member of Camp Mulla Living Large. Pesa Otas!” in a bid to drive traffic to its site.

Every year, graduates cry that there are no jobs yet when someone finds himself a job, we want to start analyzing how “good” it is instead of being glad that there is one less jobless youth to worry about. Like some stickers in matatus say, “Heshimu kazi yangu juu yako hainisaidii” STOP HATING ON OTHER PEOPLES’ HUSTLES!

 

6 types of people who travel to shagz during the festive period

Rural area
Photo credit: http://www.acted.org

First of all happy new year!

First order of business, welcome back. I know you all hate to be back but how else would you make the money to buy things that you need to go with to shagz with, to brag to that classmate who dropped out of school and became the undisputed village drunkard, or that guy who dropped out of school because it just never made sense to him since he could not bring himself to be punished by female teachers, something that is unheard of in their family’s lineage, or that girl who discovered carnal pleasures, and fell pregnant, before you could understand why some parts of your body were starting to bulge? So be grateful for that job that makes you think that self-employment is the most beautiful and liberating form of work but you can never leave it because you need the free Wi-Fi to tweet about how young people should stop looking for jobs and become self-employed.

Anyway, like the title of this hadithi suggests (I have always wanted to use that Mpasho headline), I observed how you guys behave when you go back home.

The village cock

Well, I could also have said hen but in all honesty, or at least where I come from, the guys take the mantle for trying to hit their body count target within the shortest period before the year ends. They are scared of failling to meet their target of attaining the highest body count before the year closes.

These marauding young men with too much testosterone bursting from their scrotums are bad news to village girls. They are young, energetic, clean-courtesy of Nairobi water, and with a little money. They scavenge for young girls, most of whom have just started growing their breasts or are their agemates, who were the village beauties back in the 70s before life dealt a blow to this beauty and who were out of reach for them then, but are now more than willing to blush to their nonsense. Their mission is only to get laid because their miserable small monies cannot help them lay city-girls with sophisticated tastes or they just don’t have what it takes to land a city girl, but whose city charms and money are super impressive to the village beauties or former beauties. Some of them simply want to land the former beauties just so that they can earn bragging rights and have something to gossip about when they meet with other guys they grew up with.

The braggart

This one probably grew up poor. So poor was his/her family that they were usually referred to as the beggars or poor ones. Fellow villagers avoided them like the government is avoiding a conversation with doctors and most times, they only had one or 2 meals a day. Their father was probably a notorious drunkard or maybe life just never looked at them with a kind eye. Interestingly, their family probably made half the village since family planning was a foreign concept to their parents plus we are Africans, children are a blessing and no one counts children like sheep.

But the good Lord is a fair God and He ensured that whatever they lacked in material property, was more than compensated for, in mental strength and they were brilliant kids. They schooled with difficulties and their names never lacked on the list of those who were sent home to collect school fees and were it not for their brilliance, the teachers would not have allowed them to complete schooling. Anyway, their brilliance carried them through life and they now have big jobs in the city. They have transformed their homestead and their ageing mum lives like a queen. She has been appointed to many village boards now that she is someone and in modern culture, someone does not get a position because they are wise but they are elevated to leadership by their pockets. This lot does not hide its opulence and it ensures that anyone who cares to know, knows that they are no longer poor. They will drive into the village with their car windows rolled down and blaring music spilling from those cars. They want to announce their arrival to anyone who cares to know. They are now greeted with too much respect and everyone wants to remind them how they schooled together and how they helped them by sharing their githeri with them at lunch time.

The special one

This one was a village commoner. S(he) was known in the whole village because s(he) was always a people’s person and the whole village even attended his/her graduation to wish him/her well. The whole village was also excited when s(he) landed his/her first job even if it was a kibarua.

This person has since risen through the ranks, gotten married and had babies. However, with more money comes queer behaviours. This person now considers village life beneath their status in society. They hate the beds they used to sleep on, they claim that everything is dirty and they do not want their kids mixing with village kids lest they catch diseases. They carry their own supplies from the city including showering basins because they do not want their kids to catch ‘funny diseases’ transmitted by village basins. They hardly do any chores at home because they are beyond that. They stay for 1 day in the village and head home to the city where there is running water and where people are clean. If s(he) had a choice, s(he) would never travel to that village again and would rather be sprawled on the sandy beaches of the Kenyan coast while Instagramming about his/her wonderful life, but s(he) has to go see his/her parents.

They are the ones described in the song Nyina wa Kamau.

The one who never changed

Some things remain constant. Some people never change. There are those villagers who go to the city and the village in them never leaves them. They keep their village behaviours intact. Once they come back to the village, only their widening hips and burgeoning girths help you know the difference. They greet everyone with courtesy, they still help their parents feed the cows, instead of opting to pay for this service. They can still build a shelter for the chicken and everyone loves them. These ones will be the future MCAs of this village.

The transformed ones

This lot is made up of those who could never store education in their brains. Not that they were silly but since we are a society built on education, stolen or otherwise, we praise those who pass exams and condemn those who are not academically talented. We all want to be doctors or lawyers or pilots, which leaves one wondering who will become a cleaner, a (genuine) businessman, teacher or social media guru.

Anyway, this one stopped paying attention to education at form 4 and headed straight to some other town or to the city after receiving his/her D grade, to do things that are done people who are ‘‘daft”. This person is extremely talented and can work harder than a politician whose seat is being threatened during elections. Due to this nature and the ability to do any (legal) job that s(he) comes across, the heavens smiled at him/her and s(he) is now doing well or is rich. This person deals with big business and his name pops up where it matters. This person is actually respected by the straight A student who looked down on him during his schooling days and s(he) even wants to do business with him/her, reminding him/her how s(he) used to help him in school. This type tends to be like the braggart. S(he) doesn’t fail to remind anyone that s(he) was not gifted in school and tells them that s(he) is not employed by anyone since that is slavery and s(he) employs people with degrees and pays them peanuts yet s(he) never got much education.

The gossiper

This one lives on a constant diet of gossip about who is not doing well and who seems to have found fortune. S(he) is always comparing his/her life with that of people they grew up with, especially if that person comes from a poor family or never got anything, education wise.

Within minutes of landing in the village, s(he) knows whose daughter married a rich guy in the city with a questionable reputation, whose daughter fell pregnant with her teacher, whose son now drinks more than a fish, who married who, who lives a better life than him/her, and whose children got “lost”. You see, there is nothing wrong with catching up on what your peers are up to but this type is only interested in the dirt. S(he) has an inferiority complex and likes to hear that s(he) is doing better than everyone else. If s(he) learns that a person is doing better than him/her, s(he) will try to find some dirt to explain the wealth.

 

The year that was 2016

New year 2017
Photo credit: http://bit.ly/2hJrfAa

This has been a great year by conservative standards. It was not spectacular as I would have loved it to be, but I can almost confidently say that this is the first year I have made progress in my life in the last couple of years. Honestly, I cannot even remember what has happened in my life in the last 2 years. Yes, it has been that bad. I can almost summarize those 2 years in 2 sentences and that is just plain painful especially since people around me seem to be making progress.

The most memorable part of the last 2 years was, honestly, starting this blog. It took so many personal pep-talks to take that step of faith, I am sure it would be easier to convince a politician to stop lying but I am here anyway, I year down the line. So many stories have been told. So many people have offered advice (some of it useless) and that has honestly taught me how to listen to people even when you know that they are not going to say anything useful. Patience. The greatest inspiration to start the blog was so that I could get to unwind with words. Writing can be cathartic and as much as I cannot refer to myself as a writer, I can confidently say that some of the best stories have been written when I really needed to exhale.

Apart from being my space to exhale, it has also taught me discipline. There are days I feel like just lazying and not posting anything but, I have a commitment to myself and you, dearest readers, to post at least once a week and I can promise you that commitment can be so hard to keep. I swear.

On top of that, we have grown beyond how much I had actually expected and that is a great thing. We now have a few comments here and there and many more people reading those stories of pain, observations, rants and just about any other mushene I can collect. It may not be much but we are getting there so yeah, I am thankful to those who read and share with their friends.

Apart from that, the typos and silly grammatical errors have also gone down significantly courtesy of due diligence and a few free tools online (we all use some help from teacher Google so don’t scoff).

My experiences with matatus just never seem to improve and it seems like crazy ones are born daily I swear. Just when you think you have seen it all, some more shocks come your way and you have to tighten your shock absorbers some more. I think these guys need regular and mandatory mental check ups because I think the problem is mental rather than educational. They should also go with nduthi riders who are not only crazy, but also suicidal. I honestly do not understand why this lot pulls such crazy stunts though, considering that they carry the very present risk of getting the greatest impact in the event of a crash.

The general rule is that if a nduthi guy is involved in a minor accident, his peers come and mob the motorist who ends up paying or losing or being rescued by the police. Classic mob mentality. Which is stupid because it only reinforces the careless behaviour. A couple of months ago, some nduthi guy was knocked down by a lorry speeding down Waiyaki Way towards the Westlands roundabout. That was the first time I saw a brain and were it not for the disgust I would have looked longer just to confirm that it was empty. Suffice to say, his colleagues did not mob the lorry guy because their friend was dead so it would make no sense plus I think they realized that foolish behaviour just does not get you far.

Anyway, I hope we find the cure for the motoring madness displayed by matatus guys and nduthi guys. That said, I hope to get a car of my own soon. Amen?

This year, I have also learned that people are inherently evil. I left school with so many human theories which led me to believe that human beings are rational and kind unless provoked but I have since grown up and become cynical. My trust levels are almost non-existent and I have become so cynical, I don’t believe in those inspirational quotes on social media anymore. I have learnt from the teacher called life and her lessons are painful.

Another important lesson I have learned is that people in this Nairobi are inherently thieves. Rarely will you meet someone who wants to do an honest business with you. They will always want to take what belongs to both you and them. Take the example of Patrick mathenge Mumbi. He pretends to be creating employment by giving people academic writing jobs but in reality, he makes you do the job then starts telling you tales of how he was swindled by the company and how you were also swindled by extension. The truth is, he is the swindler and soon, he will stop picking your calls and pretend that he doesn’t know you. The accident that will maim him is still doing press ups. Karma is a cold bitch.

Apart from that, I have also learned that many people in this town are very hardworking. They will put in the extra hours. They will have a side hustle to try and make ends meet. They will look for every opportunity to make an honest extra coin and exploit it. They will work for many hours just to ensure that they stay above the poverty line. Were it not for the exploitative government, we would be living a really great life but now, you pay taxes to fix health care issues just for someone else to steal the money (probably a crony of Mathenge’s) and then you will still need to pay for your healthcare so you end up paying twice for the same thing.

The truth is, most of us are very hard working and it is only a matter of time before our efforts bear fruits, amen?

Most importantly, I have learnt that I must never stop learning. For example, when I started this blog, I didn’t know much about how stuff works and I learn something new daily. I am so excited by the fact that there is no limit to what I can learn and teacher Google has been so kind to me.

What I know for sure is that I am not making any resolutions. Just a wish list. They may sound the same but they are not. A resolution is something you plan on doing for sure while a wish list is something you really want to come true if things go well. I have learned that shit changes all the time so I just live life as it comes. No need for stressing myself over stuff and disappointing myself all the time.

My bucket list is still long and very much unticked but with all its challenges, this has been a good year. I am still adding stuff to the bucket list instead of ticking off stuff but, baby steps.

Happy new year!