THE WRONG TRIBE

TIM

 

You gave her hopes in lump sum; that you will marry her, that she will be the mother of your kids (Max, Jeremy and Olivia) and the wife of your youth. Day after day after day her hopes keep growing; they are now obese and here you are still looking for a way to break the most heartbreaking and unbelievable news. Whatever happens she will always be Elsie, the battery in your watch, the gum in your lollipop, the love of your life.

 

You were different from her past dates, yours was to first build a friendship and other things would come. She was shocked that even after some dates, you still did not insist to hit the honey pot. Sometimes she wondered if you were a virgin and one day in between a night of bottles she got the courage to ask why you have never asked for sex and yours was a reply of a calculating man `the right time will come baby, I want to do it right’. After some dates, you had won the primaries and she was convinced you were worth fighting for. She felt it was you she has been waiting for all her life, and gave up all other men just to focus on you. Time she spent with her girls was now yours. Her girls stopped calling to ask `plot ni gani leo?’ her reply was always, `at Tim’s place, not tonight my dears’. They moved on and accepted that you were silently her everything and they were bad influence. They even stopped tagging her in their posts and photos and her timeline ever since has been full of bae moments. You have become her life no doubt. Her rented one bedroom house at Seasons Kasarani is empty most of the time as she is at your house making a home and proving that her material is nothing short of wife. Indeed, the last time you were in the kitchen doing anything constructive was that day she was out for the office dinner. She had fixed you a meal in the morning before she left and texted, `if I run late, warm the food I prepared’. It took you 16.5minutes to locate where the microwave calls home. It is clear that it’s not your kitchen anymore. You start appreciating Elsie quietly. She is different from those who were there before. The sex with the others was good enough except for Judy who was too lazy to enjoy fornication with. Hers was to lie down, spread her legs and just wait for whatever magic would happen down there. Sometimes you suspected she had slept and that was the most boring thing, couldn’t she have faked even a single moan or tried to say, `baby harder, harder, harder’. With her, it was lackluster and the few times you called her over, you wanted somewhere to cum and she was always an okoa jahazi, and a container to empty the fathering cells; it worked. The other girls you can remember were pretty good in bed; you learnt all those styles they show in pornographies. They gave it like life depended on it and that made you feel nothing short of a complete man. Luck was on your side as you did not impregnate any of them. Their wifey skills were wanting though. All they did was look sexy in your long baggy t-shirt, climb up the sofa, pick up the remote and enjoy `keeping up with the Kardashians’. They did this as you waited for water to boil and prepare ugali. One day as you disenjoyed your time in the kitchen, Suzzie called you seeking your opinion on some hairstyle with a lady on a reality show and that is the closest someone has ever been to calling you a girl. Things you did to ride below the crupper were ridiculous and only your fellow men can understand that both heads cannot function concurrently. If a boner comes, cumming becomes a necessity.

 

Your life when you had these girls was disorganized and all you thought about during weekends was who you would invite to come over. Your money was spent on making the girls feel good, and consequently, they would feel indebted to get down. When you met Elsie, things changed for the better and automatically, you ditched those girls. She introduced you to life with a purpose, exercising, saving, being entrepreneurial and for the first time you wanted to settle, to be in a serious relationship, to come home every day to some delicious food and a clean house. Now you could comfortably invite your boys over for lunch on Sundays; she always got you. She is likeable. Your sisters would click with her immediately, your mum would be pleased to show her how you like the `irio’, and your dad would be satisfied by the length of her dress. She is wifey; she is virtuous; she is life for you. Well, in bed, she is average, not all that porny but average is good; you can deal with it for the rest of your life. Besides, when in need of a very good dish, you can hunt for a side dish and protect Elsie from ever knowing. In your years of experience with dating, you have discovered the unwritten rules of cheating: `cheat but don’t ever, ever let her find out’.

 

Words of parents have power and yours keep saying: `fall in love, marry, but don’t bring us a girl from this tribe’. You need your parents’ blessings, without them you feel your marriage would stumble and eventually break. It will not be the kind you dreamt of, seeing your wife and mother bond, your kids having fun with guks, and your sisters planning a surprise baby shower for your wife. Without their blessings, this marriage cannot move on. Your mother’s exact words are unforgettable, they keep ringing every time you think of your relationship with Elsie. When she heard a rumor that your fiancée is from that tribe she said, `if you ever get a girl child with her, don’t dare name her after me’. Your dad is still swimming in doubt and is yet to have the courage to utter any word. Denial is written all over his face; he cannot believe that his only son can consider marrying a girl from that tribe while there are so many beautiful, educated, and unmarried tribe mates. He has spent most of his years telling you parables and stories of how dangerous women from that tribe are, how they cannot make good wives, how your entire clan was told to never marry from that tribe. Nevertheless, he has not uttered any word; it is just a rumor anyway, he is good at patience and the man he has molded in you will eventually break the news. He cannot be caught up in women’s mushene. Your elder sister has talked you out of it, said that you are still young to get a wifeable lady from the right tribe. She has stressed on the consequences of marrying from the wrong tribe, what your ancestors advised against and the curses that would follow you.

 

It is in black and white that there is a wrong and right tribe.

 

You love Elsie from deep down, with her, forever wouldn’t be too long, she is your missing piece, and your divine intervention. You cannot wait to call her wife, her sweet voice singing `if you think about love by Dolly Parton’ in the kitchen as she makes you breakfast and you walking in in your boxers and a bare chest, embracing her from the back while holding her waist tight, kissing her from the side, and making love in the kitchen where you will make your firstborn.

 

She has been part of your growth, and has undeniably built you emotionally, socially, and most importantly, financially. She introduced you to saving, to starting side hustles, you made that business plan together and your business is now picking. It is that business that feeds your parents. The same parents who will reject the girl with the brains behind it. They do not know your journey, why you have chosen her all these years. You hate traditions or traditions hate you but whatever your struggle is, you hate that there is a wrong tribe. You have strategized, brainstormed, and used all those methods they teach in counseling on how to convince them and talk them out of that wrong tribe ideology. Happens that this is just theory, your family cannot buy into your thinking; how do you tell the eagle that chicken meat is not sweet? It has become your bonafide worry that you and Elsie may not be an item.

 

You bought an engagement ring, the proposal arrangements are underway and you’re exercising your romantic muscles; she has no idea. All she knows is that you will be her husband one day. She keeps wondering why in your 4years relationship you have never introduced her to your family, not even your sisters and you have always given valid reasons which she buys just to end the argument. Maybe once they hear that you even proposed, that you are engaged, they will have no choice but to swallow the bitter truth and support you but that would be in a land called dream and you know it. She is from the `wrong tribe’.

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ROBBED

 

robbed

We met. Coincidentally during the rush hour as I queued for the bus. I have no stomach for queuing but when the waves of economic hard times hit you harder than a cricket ball, there are no hates and hate nots. I was bored, tired, and top on the wish list was to remove my phone from the deepest corner of the handbag and find something interesting like playing hard to get (check this game on play store at your own risk). Do I get my phone? Well, this is Nairobi CBD, the dwelling place of people with hands taller than KICC. You’ve watched THE CATCH up to the latest episode and have proved that just because he is pastorally-dressed and resembles a harmless man does not mean that he will resist being the potential illegal owner of your phone.

 

Having no entertainment source, I decided to please my eyes by analyzing passersby from the color of their shoe to the size of their tummy (when you see a big poster `DAKTARI UNIQUE. NAPUNGUZA TUMBO. KWA MAELEZO ZAIDI PIGA: 07…’ remember that hii Nairobi tulikuja kutafuta). Myriad conversations started flowing in my small round shaped head which were politely interrupted by this lady who almost got knocked as she crossed the road. My mouth was agape, not because of the possibility of the bus rolling over her; she met a sober driver and had something good to write home about; it was her dressing. She was in a really tight body con which left no space for a female mosquito to suck blood at the thighs (she must be a chief advocate at my dress my choice) and a pair of 6-inch heels which was overly bent on one side.  She was really struggling to walk; her walking style could remind you of a gacau (new born calf). Seems she also had trouble with her sexy dress as she worked to pull it down step after step after step. This had me questioning.  Did she wake up with her left leg? How bent is her life? Does her boyfriend admire her in that shoe? Does her mother pray for her walking style? Amidst these unanswered questions, I heard a pat on the back….` hey Mumbi’ and immediately, I held my bag tighter than that lady’s body con bringing it to the front near my twins.

 

It was Martha my childhood friend. We called her Malitha. Oooh my! Seeing her got me in seventh heaven. I pulled out of the queue and gave her a warm hug….warmer than what you got from your crush last evening. Martha. It’s been what? 20years? And that’s how we ended up at planet yoghurt taking frozen yoghurt.

 

The catch up took me way back to childhood. Good old times where we could not worry about what to wear, what to eat, when to wake up. We were bosses having employed our parents and house girls to take great care of us. We were begged to eat `baba, kamum, kula kidogo tu’. We would play, get ourselves dirty, get a thorough beating, cry, and life continued. What was childhood without mum using slippers on your thighs, butt, hands, everywhere.

 

Leta hizo mikono Ann.

[And you start crying even before the beating starts and eventually, you are beaten not for what you did but for crying and not shutting up].

 

Utawacha kulia wewe. [Stroke of slippers]

 

Utawacha. [Stroke of slippers]

 

And you grow up knowing that crying is bad; it will get you beaten.

 

Being a child was the best thing ever; it came with simplicity. You dressed to cover nakedness not to keep up with trends. You did things innocently without fear of being judged. Children could sing in front of people confidently; all they cared about is getting `makofi ya kilo’ at the end of the day. Most of us become what our parents love. If a father loves playing piano, he will want his kid to be the instrument’s best friend; it’s what a kid is exposed to that he/she becomes. Next time you ask me why I love scrabble so much, I will tell you to look at my bucket list number 812: to beat dad in scrabble.

 

 

Malitha and I loved singing; we led singing games, sang at every wedding since class 1, and recited poems. But can I sing in front of people anymore? Oooh yes. I tried that in a karaoke late last year and this is what the moderator told me: thank you for showing us your virginity (in singing of course); that sounded so perverted, like that language they use in Kamastura.  Gifts/talents we had as children have gone away; they were not nurtured because well, books were more of a priority.

 

The system made us believe that education is the key to life. That scoring A’s translates to a better life. You worked hard day and night; afternoon after afternoon as if every A represented a million bucks. You could already see a job at Central bank, sponsoring 224kids for studies, going for holiday at Bahamas, becoming a millionaire at 25, then a CEO at 30, appearing in top 40 under 40 at 31, and so on. That education is the key to life was so ingrained in our mindset until we forgot about gifts, talents, soft skills. In fact, if you dropped in school and your mother was called to school (fathers hardly show up when the reason is wrong) the final decision would be you should drop out of games, drama and music as they were the main distractions to your studies. You forget these activities and sink in books; cram the history of Nelson Mandela from which year he was born to when he had his first child, cram the names of rocks and how they were formed, try to understand how to get values of x&y, know every bone by name, shape and location, sing St. Lukes gospel like a song; practice moles concept.

 

College finds you doing a course you don’t enjoy courtesy of standards of society, and pressure from parents. You score an A and your passion wants you to stoop to journalism while everyone else believes you belong to engineering. You listen to everyone else but yourself and forget journalism. You graduate finally and live to push the day, to pay bills, but deep down your life is not fulfilling. You admire people who love their jobs; people with talents, gifts. You wish you knew but for now, you have to stick to that boring job; you cannot go back to study what you wanted; what you love because sensibly, you feel you cannot compete going to school with your kids; you’re too old to go back to class.

 

As we emphasize on Mathematics, let us not forget the talents and gifts. Let your children be exposed enough to discover them; encourage them, develop and nurture their talents, get them mentors. We don’t want them to be stuck doing things they neither enjoy nor love. It’s a trap. No one deserves to be robbed of their gifts.

CALL AND ASK HER

dancing

You believed you had it all figured out; you trusted your inner binoculars to see the future and the results? Yours would be a life of fish and chips; you would love unconditionally, pass exams squarely, pay tithe faithfully, build a home with a great view, have kids and name them after your parents, but fantasies are good. You’re somewhere stuck looking after your friends, returning a favor because favors run the world.

 

Its 10.30pm on a typical Friday night and she is at the bar waiting for that hour of the night when alcohol gets into the veins and opens the dancing tap. Her boyfriend is relatively tipsy and keeps pulling an angry cat’s look (black cat to be precise) because his expectant body cannot for a millisecond understand why this girl, who took all the hours dressing up for the party and has a dozen unopened bottles cannot woman up and dance with him. All she keeps saying is `mimi hudance nikilewa’. 2tots of Amarula, 5guaranas, and you’re still warming the chair shaking your head and legs like a toddler who is playing with jogjig (don’t Google, there is no such word). What is usually wrong with some girls? (A man will always wonder). This is the part where men play sniper and leave !their! girls to dance with random hyped girls, and when a case is filed the following morning they say, `that was not me, it was alcohol talking’.  And the way this statement is said with finality closes the debate and moving on becomes Safaricom’s twin because it is the better option.

 

In a Kenyan hyped club, a man will want to have a girl in front of her rubbing his `nini’ with her behind; it’s a dancing style well known as `kusuguana’. I’m not sure what that style does to men but the way they react makes me think they feel manlier. Girls with a high economic sense will take advantage of men’s love for this technique. They will camp horning their dancing skills and when they feel like clubbing, they put on sexy clothes and carry a classy clutch bag which is full of make-up and two fifty bob. 250? Yes to buy the first bottle. As soon as they start drinking, they will show off their dancing skills and men will use their Kenyan legs to `pass with them’; you know hurry up when stocks last. This is after they chop money ensuring crates of alcohol are brought to the girls’ table and their `nini’ enjoy the entire night.

 

 

Back to our dear man, the one who has now pulled a complete angry cat’s look clinging to the thought that the night is still young and she surely will dance when the time is right. He has even taken away her phone to prevent distractions. She should be focusing on deciding when she will get drank and get down for him, and not how she will reply to some text and comment on Susan’s picture. All he wants is for her to drink that alcohol like a Kamba who has just landed at Two rivers (the water flowing there…weeh) because then and only then will the dancing energy come.

 

Her phone rings. Aaargggghhh who is this calling you at this time? he asks passing the phone her way like some waste that needs a visit to the dustbin. She checks; it’s her alarm ringing to remind her of duty calls. Nearly every evening she has to come to her friend’s rescue. Call and ask her why she is so late; what they’re having for supper; what time she will get home, whether she has seen her purple bra, and questions that housemates ask one another. Her boyfriend at times suspects that she is having an affair and on this particular day, he cannot hold any longer; his anger explodes and he demands for an answer to the million dollar question. Who is this that you keep calling very late? Don’t start saying it’s your nephew. She explains that it’s her friend Vero.

 

Vero, okay.

 

So you’re having an affair with a chic?

 

Not an affair. We act as housemates.

 

I’m confused.

 

Okay. Vero is my childhood friend; we grew up together and have grown so fond of each other. Call us BFFs. You’ve actually met her. Remember that house party that we went last year? The one where guys started fighting over some truth or dare shit? Then there is this girl who was like the peacemaker? (At this point his mind is on weekend looking at some ass which is to his disposal on the left; these explanations are way too long for a man to focus). Are you even listening?

 

Weh. Wacha story mingi, niambie unaambianaga nini na Vero.

 

I call and pretend to be her concerned roommate looking out for her so that some guy she likes and dislikes gets the impression that she has a roommate and cannot go past the gate.

 

************************************************************************

 

Vero aside. This is the point I pause and introduce this class of mankind: Wafulas, Njoroges, Mutuas, Odhiambos…………… Some are tall, others dark and the rest are brown yet they have one thing in common. They possess this behaviour that is in between nagging and demanding. Girls at times like them because they are readily available; you can send them anytime, borrow money from them (which eventually becomes bad debt), ask for technical help anytime and they will always always be available. They are our `okoa jahazi’. For that availability, they are likeable and useable just that a thank you is hardly ever enough. They need more and this more means demanding to come over to the girl’s place and over staying. Yes, overstaying till one has to fake commitments, tell a pal to call and remind you of a chama meeting and while at it mention the hefty fines when you get late. You even ensure the call is on loudspeaker to make certain that this man does not miss any word. Many are the times he still remains as persistent as a mosquito. Damn!!

 

This kind is similar to those who want to stay longer at a girl’s house and keep drinking sleepover ideas, those who the world invented a kinder word for, plural of fisi? They are people who will make a girl look forward to a date, just for it to turn out to be either my place or your place. I will buy booze; we shall prepare us a peaceful meal (like there is a war one) and have a candle lit dinner. They have a way of using words to decorate how classy the date will be but alas! this was not the kind of date she expected.

 

Do girls need such men? Of course but as `okoa jahazis’. What irritates us about them? Overstaying; wanting to come to my place every day; that nagging element sucks to the feet. We hate it and it sucks even more when you don’t read in between the lines. Now we came up with that call and ask me strategy, what Vero has adapted. Sometimes it works; other times it backfires but what to do.

 

Dear accomplices, let us continue doing this for one day we will laugh this off over a carton of milk. Milk? You wonder. Yes, because I’m suspecting I’m just about to be someone’s role model and saying anything that does not sound healthy and sober may disqualify me for the finals, so let’s go with milk, for now.

 

Some things need to be said; stories need to be told.

 

I AM YOUR LEGIT GRANDMOTHER

February!!! We are keeping up with the red moods, and this got our pastor a new parting shot: `dear brethren, in this month of love, I ask of us to keep surprising the church by putting on red attires’.

In that red spirit, I refuse to overfeed you with that Valentine’s hullabaloo, but if you consider yourself a tall, brown and handsome kijana, in quest of a mrembo to `play couple’ on Valentine’s weekend, hit me up, will you? (Jokers are encouraged to grab this chance; wallet and handsomeness apply).

Happy New Year my people; Happy new month.

People my age are not of yesterday. We are proud beneficiaries of `maziwa ya Nyayo’; a lot that grew up when the internet users were as rare as 11/02/2011 (chemsha bongo), way before the discovery of the Kiswahili word for internet. You see those lyrics that you can just Google and get? Our eyes had to be opened wide on the buzz magazine which always had lyrics to a song. We searched for that buzz like a lost coin; in our father’s pockets, in butcheries, under the pillow, everywhere. We would then cut that lyrics section squarely and stick it in some exercise book which was first covered in some `jogoo paper’ then a clear polythene and labeled Songs in BOLD with a blue fountain pen. That song book was as valuable as a mobile phone.

It was trending news if your eyes landed on a Kenyan who had an email to his/her name. That newsmaker was a national hero who was most likely a top government official, or a black American, or a cool kid whose parents were the descendants of a colonialist, or else a Nairobian who owned a motorolla and used a Kencell line.

Maxwell my desk mate was a boy who walked in the ways of a cool kid. I don’t know how else to refer to a child who had 3pairs of toughee shoes while we walked barefooted (jiggers had an easy time), used sharp-pointed pens while spido and aim pens were our favorites, and was never a kikuyu speaker while some of us were affiliated with broken English {kikuyu speaker ×33}). He knew a thing or three about the internet and one of his short-term goals was to open an email to his name. Did the rest of us have short-term goals? Ooh yes, like being very obedient towards closing day so that we’re given 5bob to pay for video (those Nigerian movies or whatever they were that were shown on a 10 inch screen and we would pay the 5bob on the entrance, sit quietly on the floor and watch).

On this particular August holiday, my desk mate achieved his goal; he opened an email and that made me an internet user by association, and somehow somehow we became the face of the school as people would storm in class to stare at him. The compliments Matiangi is receiving is nothing close to what this guy got. During that term, our opener composition was to write on `A DAY I WILL NEVER FORGET’ and voila, my deskie narrated the email opening story. He scored marks high enough to pay for fare three times from Githurai to town and keep change (35/40). That score made those who had 25 and below to kneel on the parade ground with hands up and a paper stuck on their forehead reading; `I am a poor composition writer’. For lack of better thoughts, our English teacher Mrs. Maina saw eye-pleasing vocabularies like internet explorer, Google, 404 error, cyber café, mouse, yahoo, and thought, wow, this kid is way imaginative, he camps reading novels as his vocabularies are a break to the kawaida `as fast as a deer’. During assembly, the theme was praises to Maxwell and Maxwell became a mwenyeji to our ears. His composition was even read out aloud during parade and while at it, all the houseflies around were having a party as they met open mouths. The vocabularies!!! Then came that part where he parted with 110bob to open an email; it had me screaming as if a rubber band had just revenged on my hand. 110 shillings. Do you know that was 22 times my weekly pocket money? From that day, the boy legally acquired the nickname Mapesa. If you come across a man by this name Mapesa, tell him that I still love his wallet.

Those were the days. If this got your mouth open, head shaking, and you mind guessing how many years ago this was, I am your legit grandmother; people my age are your grandparents. Heck, I just wanted to feel a bit old.

grandmaonlaptop

Tall, brown and handsome (see above for details). Until next time, keep spreading the love.

Drop the `mantitude’

mantitude

But people who say that men are dogs who do you live with? Dinosaurs? Your ancestors? Men are magnificent human beings who carry visible apples everywhere; Adam’s apples. They are people who have some blankets in their chests we want to lie on them for as long as we sleep. They will make you feel like you’re music when they start putting love in words saying, `No one’s ever going to love you more than I do; I only want a lifetime to prove it’ (I know this line has helped a brother right now; karibu sana). They have GREAT abilities; they fathered us, and we, (daughters and wives of Adam) owe them a bone; each one of us. I feel bitter with every fiber of my being when some hoodwinked individuals raise their voices, and color their scripts to call men that D word. I want to gift such folks with a box on Christmas; a box full of dictionaries because they sure need to check up what dog means; that a man is not of its kind.

 

Men are good people full of sensitive masculine pride, with a need to excel women in masculine things. A man is made of masculinity; his mind thinks of it, his steps walk with it, his words speak of it, it’s his identity. When anyone praises his masculinity, boosts it, makes him feel good about it, that person does more than saying I love you. When a lady has a car puncture and stops a man asking, `do you mind helping?’ the man will immediately use his masculinity calculator and help regardless of whether they can fix it or not; they will at least try because a man gotta do what a man gotta do.

 

Now with girl empowerment energy going around accelerated by gear 5, ladies believe that what men can do women can do better. Women empowerment could be the best thing that ever happened to women in the 21st century. It has made ladies MPs, managers, FGM is slowly coming to an end, and the most powerful nation was just about to be ruled by a lady and Trump turned the tables and changed the story. Traffic smells of independent ladies and music sings of miss independent. But we have to appreciate that men are a package. These Adams are not everything but they are something. They have macho power that we cannot undermine.

 

Ladies, if at any one time in life you feel like killing a man, a death that would not necessarily lead to the grave, do something that will kill his manliness. Anything, call him and mouth how amateurish he is in bed; go ahead and rate him at 1/5. While he is driving, mention you enjoy more when his best friend drives, go ahead and pour cold water on his driving skills and don’t forget to call him careless and reckless. Ask him whether he turns blind upon walking to a boutique because he suffers from fashion cancer. Rub all this into his face. Do it. Men like their masculinity watched like a hawk and when you diminish it, you kill him INSIDE and make his life a living hell.

man-in-misery

 

But how can a girl be acquainted with all this, you’re wondering? A lady with zero sense of masculinity; a girl who has hijacked men of their masculinity, what gospel can she preach? Well, I got a wise masculine man to tell it out because we need to be in the know. We can call him Adam, and here is how the interview went down:

 

ME: Hey Adam, I love your shoe. So, who is a man?

ADAM: [Adam, gives a down look at his shoes, clears his throat, gathers his coat, loosens his tie, waters his lips and then answers]. A man is many things but if I could use the biblical meaning, he is a provider, and king of the family.

ME: Wow. Provider and king, very well. How about those bachelors without families? The young boys in school. Are they not men?

ADAM: If I can be more profound, a man is a person with some weight of manliness. One who prides in doing tasks that especially seem difficult to women. Mhh and (he reduces his volume) One whose fathering abilities lies somewhere between his legs.

ME: Ha ha. So, in a range of 1-5, how can you rate the understanding of ladies to treating men based on their masculinity?

ADAM: Asi (he must be a kamba). To be sincere one. He answers after shaking his head.

ME: One. How so? Aren’t you being very mean with marks?

ADAM: Look around; investigate the core reasons of divorce, breakups, anything that goes wrong in a relationship. Among those reasons, you will realize that a man’s masculinity was hijacked somewhere and the ladies don’t even seem to realize.

ME: How do you feel when your masculinity is hijacked?

ADAM: Let me state that the deepest misery in a man is to be belittled by a woman. Paying all family bills, driving a bigger car than him, doing the masculine jobs at home, anything a woman does to belittle a man puts him in misery. She may think she is helping but in real sense, she is entering into a hole of a bad relationship.

ME: Can you give instances of when men’s masculinity is hijacked?

ADAM: Gladly. In my dating days, I once dated a lady who was made up of independence. One day, I invited her and her friend to a date after work and the bill totaled to around 4,600. The waiter placed it on my side because the assumption is that a man pays the bill. My lady could not hold his horses; she dared to check the bill and put half the amount on the cash plate as the pal watched. That was demeaning; it made me feel little and I had to confront her later and tell her that when I invite people on dates, I’m ready to pay bills. She said she was just helping especially because she had brought a friend. In between her justification, she said that we should stop sticking to the olden ways of dating where a man could pay for everything. That in this modern era bills can be split. From what I gathered, she had read a blog post and bought every word (about splitting bills) in it. Such are the things that ladies do that hurt a man’s manliness.

 

Unless a man has requested, it’s good that ladies let him do masculine things. Let him drive you; let him take care of the leaking ceiling, do computer repairs, service the car.

ME: Why do you think such incidences happen?

ADAM: Ladies don’t know it hurts when a man’s masculinity is undermined. They have no idea how important manliness is to a man and most of them think it’s all fun and games pouring cold water on machismo.

Media has also played a big part in this. What we are watching, listening, reading all play a part. Let ladies not buy everything they come across; it could be your relationship or marriage that you are putting at stake.

Influence from friends also majorly affects.

ME: What would you urge ladies

ADAM: Lack of appreciation of masculinity has been a deal breaker in most marriages and relationships; let yours not head that way. Appreciate his masculinity. Praise him for the masculine jobs he does around, give him a chance to do them and let him know how good he is at it. It does no harm to exaggerate the praises a bit. It will make him happy and you will keep winning his heart. Sometimes it’s all we want.

 

Today is a learning day. #Voice of a man.

 

 

 

SINGLE LADY

Loneliness; it is a Goliath; you could kill it with a staff, sling and stones. It has now become your designated companion; not even the funny whatsapp videos can steal it. It makes you cry, big fat tears that smear your heavy makeup. Jesus, even God saw that Adam was lonely and got him Eve; this thing is prohibited. It makes you acquire an inside job at Instagram Ltd for the position of a certified couple admirer, and that drains your okoa bundles as you admire photos of girls being proposed to under the moon and the stars, then hubbies kissing baby bumps, couples raising designer babies, couples in their 27th honeymoon. This rubs you with a cocktail of feelings that lead you to start questioning God like a 4-year old; why me? For how long will I be a `waiter’? nilikosea nani? Was I cursed? Is it because I cheated once? It then rings that He is a Supreme Being and you go down on your knees, look up, and repent half-neck. Welcome to the life of a 27year old single lady. I would call her phenomenal, woman of substance, proverbial 31, daughter of Zion, miss independent, but when you are officially, dramatically and emotionally single, you are a huntress. No bargain.

single-lady

You saw him and your mind went on a trip. Your crush. He is the reason you keep your data on day and night because his texts take your inner being to a whole new world; a world of tension, happiness, infatuation, and imagination. It is his texts you anticipate more than Mpesa messages (that is a disorder in this economy) and when he finally texts, it doesn’t matter whether you processed the particulars, you reply in 2seconds. According to the unwritten rules of dating; quick replies is a sign that you’re not too busy for him and that, that is an added bonga to be redeemed in the aisle.

He went silent just when you were enjoying the hang of attachment. He began blue-ticking your messages, and just like that, you were drained again. Back to the square of loneliness. The last time you texted this is how the conversation went:

You: Hey there. How are you doing?

Expectation: Very good. I’ve missed you dear. (God knows you were already typing `I have missed you like crazy, our late night dirty talks, everything’).

Crush: Hey, good. You?

You: I’m great. Just checking on you.

Crush: Ooh, thanks, Niko poa.

You then realized that the conversation was going to the drainage and cooked something up; I’m off to bed, goodnight. He replied 8hours later at 4am. This was the genesis of the silence. You searched your soul for answers of why he muted. You even started apologizing for things you thought you did.

You: `I’m sorry for that Friday night I called you an asshole; I was just pulling your leg.’

(You drink blue ticks)

You: (2minutes later) Hi, are you there. Did you get mad because I brought up my ex, it will never happen again, I swear.

(Online: you drink blueticks)

You: (a minute later) Please talk. A problem talked is a problem solved.

(Online: you drink blueticks)

You: (5minutes later) Say something when you see this.

(Online: you drink blueticks)

You: (30minutes later) Sleep well when your bedtime comes.

(Online: you drink and eat blueticks)

You are back to the drawing board. YET AGAIN. More doomed this time. You want to scream and surrender at the same time then you remember Baba Lee, the father and ray of hope. He said that these young men are drivel; they will play with your feelings and leave your heart in pieces. When you left him, he stated that you would still go back to him and this means re-subscribing to the sponsorship program. He was amusing, you cannot rebuff that, well, except that his game (down there) was not A-game, he is better skilled in treating a woman skillfully. With him, you felt complete (somehow), especially because getting broke was never a disease. But then you hark back to that dreadful day when you received a call from a female with a heavy Meru accent. She used all sorts of threats on you before branding you a home breaker and all its substitutes. She said that if you want to taste war, shame, and reputation damage at the same time, you should get near his hubby or even dare to call him. You believed her; her words carried sincerity, determination, and hostility. Baba Lee is an option but after that Kitonga-JacobJuma affair, you cannot risk being a starring at Jicho Pevu. Certainly not; not that road.

Most of your girlfriends have now graduated to dating thanks to dating sites. You sign up at tinder and afro introduction; contact a professional to do a titillating bio, and put up your sexiest photo because men are attracted by what they see. Your profile must have lots of views that translate to emails; dozens of emails from tinder. That is a healthy ego booster; dating sites come with anticipation. You’re complimentary to many; you are something. You check through the profiles of all those interested and settle on three favorites. One foreign jamaa, and two local ones. You exchange contacts and keep in touch with the foreign one via 21st-century platforms. Once in a while, he will sambaza chocolates in monetary terms. He is generous yet you’ve have not met yet. You like him. But his plans for coming to Kenya? August 2018. If only your body and emotions could wait that long.

You arrange to meet the other two face-to-face and your girls advise that first impressions are everything, and you should dress to kill and portray a personality to die for. You buy new clothes, undo your hair and visit your salonist for the best hairstyle. She does not disappoint. You call uber and you’re dropped at that laid-back hotel. You arrive before him because he is stuck in jam; it’s the coolest lie for any Nairobi dweller even when the background suggests that he/she is in the house. He finally comes one hour later and does not leave the apologies behind. He does them in deep Sheng and that alone is a turn off because you had practiced English; proper English the entire night. It will sound odd when he speaks his sheng and you reply with English of the nose. You thus allow him to do more of the talking. He orders stoney, and you had already ordered milkshake. He asks you if you’ll have anything else and you decline because in-between the apologies he had mentioned that he had forgotten his wallet and had trouble paying the matatu. It’s a wasted day; you wasted your attire, money, and only go home with a milkshake filled stomach. Milkshake that you paid because he delayed and in there, you pay on delivery. You block him.

The next guy invites you to a relaxing hotel you have to consult Google map a million times to get the location right. This time, you don’t use uber. You both arrive in time and he even pulls the chair for you; you feel heavenly. He tells you to order anything. When you go to such hotels, your goal is to eat what you will never find at home or at your local. You see `broccoli mon’. You’ve never heard of it and since it is on the snack’s side, you’re safe. It turns out to be the worst thing you’ve ever eaten but since you don’t want him to realize it’s your first time, you do 68% of the meal. Again, clearing the plate 100% is prohibited by the unwritten rules of a date; it dictates that a classy lady must leave some food regardless of the state of hunger. You start getting to know each other and realize he is a 39-year-old divorcee. That is the genesis of your hate for dating sites.

You’ve done everything men; everything even seating next to cute men in matatus, and when they don’t talk and you are ¾ the journey, you ask `hey, utaniambia tukifika stage ya kwa chief?’. This could lead to other questions like `wewe ni mgeni nini nini and he may ask for your number to confirm you reached safely. This could then be a happy ever after. These cute men hardly come through and when they do, it’s in a three-seater and they have company, female company.

You have gone to clubs alone with the dream of being approached. You order a glass of wine because you want to smell class. You are confident that someone will notice you, join your table and offer to top up then again you end up drinking that glass of wine for 2hours sipping after every 20minutes. I hear love comes when it’s least expected.

One day it will happen. Something magical will happen. You will fall in love and he will fall for you even more. That day is just not today, it was not yesterday either.

MARTIN STINGY

 

Every day we have encounters. A sexy lady with curves in the right places dressed in garments that reveal some skin will pass by a group of men idlers who want to not only think with their many (2) heads but also to talk to her. (No worries this is the longest sentence)

Idler 1: Sasa sexy? (Pauses) kamrembo?

(Kamrembo does not respond)

Idler 2: Supu, unanyamaza? Mambo? ×2

(Kamrembo does not respond) ×2

Idler 1: Si kamrembo, ni kauguly, haiya.

Idler 3: Salamu hazitakushikisha mimba mama nani. (The tone in which he uses to say mama is that which suggests she is a mother of 12 children).

Such are the encounters that ladies have to go through in Kenya. Most times we ignore, smile about it, and walk away. These are just certified shirkers who have a hidden talent in idle schmoozing; it’s their penniless business. We have better things to get sad about like the issue of Kenyan men wanting to wife only the ladies possessing their mothers’ characters. (Dear future husband, this is bullshit)

 

 

Last week I had an encounter in my hustles. We carried some passengers, and one happened to leave a mobile phone behind. The phone was intact in the back seat of the car. On its screen was a photo of a hot lady holding a William Lawson mzinga. This phone either belonged to that lady or the boyfriend. It would belong to the lady’s mom or dad on condition they are not Kenyan parents. Kenyan parents my guy mainly live in denial that their kids cannot be alcohol boosters; open-mindedness. After brainstorming on the course of action to take, we decided to look through the call logs, view the frequently called numbers, call and notify them of the lost phone and make arrangements for the place of collection.

 

 

On we went with the plan. Did it have a screen lock? None. In my efforts of getting to the call log, contacts came first, and the first name Alice kalewa tempted me to scan the other names. It’s okay to judge me: eyes have no curtains my guy. Tony wa soo mbili, Jaymo babi, Sumbua, Denno fisi, babe babe were among the suggesting names I managed to cram. Babe babe was the most frequently called; he picked our call and they collected the lady’s phone. She was so happy that she suggested we do lunch on her bill in some nyoma choma base of which my colleague pulled her leg, `Do they sell William Lawson? I wouldn’t mind that too. Whiskey lovers don’t leave their love and thirst for whiskey behind; they walk with it.

 

 

 

What impression do you give the people you interact with? If people were to save you based on the character that stands out in you, what do you think you would be called? Davie mapesa, Mary mutura, Martin stingy, Cate kiatu, Julius wingman, Jane lifesaver, Jeremy sweat or what?

 

 

Money is a very colossal issue in the world. It may not be everything but it is SOMETHING. Some people are very allergic to paying debts. We were looking through social media the other day and Jessica could not stop staring at a picture of a man who had posted a pic in a five star hotel in Zanzibar writing #holidays #KulaMaliYanguPolepole #God’sspeed. Jessica narrated to us how this man owed him 50k that he was to pay back 7months ago. If courtesy did not exist in Jessica’s world, she would have commented on the post with a long comment describing how the man weighs 190kgs of debts. The comment would be so convincing that the readers would think he owes her 75Billion. Impressions are very crucial. Just how do people feel when they interact with you?

 

AS SHE LOOKED FORWARD TO MONDAY BLUES, I CAME

 

There is no better feeling on earth than being born; you begin owning free things like air. So I was born; 23 years ago on a Monday. As mom looked forward to Monday blues, I came.

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Imagination

I am not sure whether there were baby showers during those days, but I want to believe there were. I imagine how mom was surprised by her girls one month to my coming. How they were colorfully dressed in blue and pink because she didn’t know my gender yet; how they suggested sweet, simple English names; well, some of them suggested Gikuyu names. Clue: Wairimu (which is my baptismal name) is not English. Her friends must have been very creative. I can picture the girls posing touching the baby bump, and the camera man giving heads up and saying `haya, one, two, three, paragasha’. There were very few camera people, and one had to book them three months prior to the event; they would always show up late or even bail. Then, gadgets like kadunda phones were far away from Kenya; somewhere in China being transported by a tuktuk.

 

 

 

On Monday, 16th August, I arrived in style; crying classically like the princess I am. We got home, and people could not stop coming to greet me; of course with a couple of gifts. I can imagine how I would cry and resist being in some people’s arms (for the few men I have dissed; this is where it all started) and then dad would sing me sweet songs to trigger my beautiful smile. I can imagine the people who told mom and dad…awww too cute, how mom’s pals (those who were yet to have kids) would hold me and say `baby fever’ to their hearts….the INSTAGRAM WAY. Well, then there were no platforms to pour your heart out.

 

 

 

I can imagine how many boys asked my brother ` can I get close to your beautiful sister?’ I am sure my brother’s response would be `ninunulie toffee kwanza ndio niitikie umkaribie’. Do you imagine all those patcos, cooos, and toffees, my bro feasted on courtesy of me? Very many…..and he is still eagerly waiting for dowry. Was that not enough? Ha ha.

 

 

 

 

Birthdays then were the real deal. Other than assembling in that home with a GREAT WALL to watch Vitimbi and Omo pick-a-box, birthdays also brought kids together. During my birthday, I slept assuring my lips that the following day they would be surprised by QUENCHER juice. Mom would dress me in that white dress of `gishungi’, white stockings and palms; this would not be complete without a white kofia with a string that ran from the head all the way to the neck. I would then rush to the flower garden and pick the red leaves, extract the color and apply on my lips to make lipstick. That explains why I only do lipstick on occasions, nilianza kitambo. I looked like a flower girl.

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Mom’s friends would come in to help prepare chapatti and my pals and I would hang around the kitchen complaining how hungry we are so that the women passed some chapattis our way. The house would be decorated with balloons and the cake mom had baked branded `happy birthday Kabii’ (that is my household name) would be set on the high table. We could all assemble in the sitting room, food was served, and then cake was cut. I would give mom and dad first, then my siblings, then the elders and finally the kids. I ensured that those kids who had refused to share their patcos with me on school days would be the last; they had to learn from their mistakes. Juice would then be served, and when it seemed insufficient, one woman would over-dilute it to ensure it was enough. Colored water is all people wanted.

 

 

 

Then there was a session of presenting gifts. Most of the sweaters, handkerchiefs and dolls I had then were birthday gifts. The photo session was continuous and captured particular moments like cate-cutting, gift presenting, people taking juice, Kabii and friends, Kabii and family, Kabii and everyone. We would wait for 2months before the cameraman (it was always a man) brought the photos and then we would load the album. The album was used to entertain visitors because then TV was not to be switched on during the day. In the evening as we returned the album, there was always at least one photo missing because someone stole it; damn it was impossible to post pics so that people could just `steal’ by downloading. Now I am 23, a lot has changed only that you can still steal my photos from my social media albums and it better be accompanied by a happy birthday. Ahem!

 

 

Do I still accept gifts? Of course….they all are welcome.

 

Some of you could be seriously stuck at what to get this young soul on her birthday. My love for cars is genuine….not men with cars, afana, the machine itself. Do you know Volkswagen Beetle? I wouldn’t mind if it were my first ride. I might be giving someone ideas for a birthday gift; you know.

 

And that birthday cake surprise from my cousins a week ago was a pacesetter. You guys are way creative; that birthday remix killed it; you are the best.

 

HER SITTING ALLOWANCE

 

 

It is the wee hours of the morning circa 5.30 am. Here at Progressive (a mtaa at Githurai 45) it is business as usual. Businesses are open; yes, even butcheries. Do these people ever sleep? That verse in Proverbs 24:33 `A little sleep, a little slumber……’ must be in BOLD in their Bibles. I pass by my mandazi guy and buy several. I am supplier number one in the office; well, at a fee. I throw them in my Tuskys paper bag; they must smell class. My colleagues must not know I bought from the roadside. Past that joint, there are all kinds of noises with a chorus `tao thirty tao thirty’ filling the air. I look at my watch, and its 5.36 am; time to refill grease in my legs and walk faster towards my favorite bus Rockers because when it hits 5.40 am, the fare will be 40bob. Here, every minute counts because fare hikes by 10 bob every 10 minutes until when it hits 6 am and it becomes a constant 80 bob. Those of us who are economists by life know that multiplier effect is real; you have to save time and money by being an early riser. That way, in 20 minutes you are in town and pay three times less than during rush hours. And of course the best part; you are top 5 to arrive at the job place and experience the fastest wifi there is before rush hour people arrive and downloading Jimmy Gait’s Yesu ndiye Sponsor (It was on my bucket list to use this song in my articles) takes 15minutes.

 

 

I thank God that the cold season died because now the miniskirts in my closet are celebrating; finally, they get to see the light. The cold season had made them lack vitamin D for way too long. During hot seasons, it’s not necessary to put on a sweater/coat since by 9am, the temperatures will be begging to separate us (that sweater/coat and I). I thus decide not to take the seat next to the window to avoid `baridi ya asubuhi’. I am counting down minutes to Nick Ndeda’s show on X Fm when I notice a lady at least thrice my weight coming in. When she steps, we all feel the steps’ impact on the bus floor. It happens that there are two vacant seats; one at the back and the other next to me next to the window. I pray that she is long sighted and cannot see the seat next to me.  As I ask for forgiveness, (for wishing long sightedness on someone) I lean on the seat in front of me so that she fails to see this vacant seat and move straight to the back. I forgot that my height is wanting, and I’m not on a 16inch pair of shoe thus instead of blocking her, she gets a proper view of the vacant seat. Just like that, she takes that seat between me and the window.

 

 

That my people became the alpha of an unforgettable morning; a torturous morning; a Monday morning where tiresome is my MCM; a morning with this woman. It was the beginning of 28 minutes of `one-butt sitting’; very uncomfortable. Every time the bus swayed a bit, forces from her side would push me out of the seat completely. At one point she told me `madam, ukikaa na mtu mnono wacha akae kwa edge’. I had no energy to respond; it’s not like her words were doing me any justice anyway. I could neither listen to Nick Ndeda’s show nor text my crush good morning to show that I am wifey (read early riser). How now? Not when I’m struggling with space. Its vivid how when the bus swayed on my side her hand leaned on me totally and for a moment that aroused a memory of when I tried carrying a 35kg sack of layers meal. What made it worse is that she had two big shopping bags between her legs. As if this was not enough, her money was in her skirt pocket. The skirt pocket on my side people. She pulled a 50bob first before she remembered that these are Githurai buses and giving exact fare is highly recommended. She went digging for the 30bob; one 10bob and 4 five bobs. Can you imagine before she pulled all those 5bobs? Yes, I was busy standing and rolling my eyes very professionally you would think that was my major in college.

 

rolling eyes

 

I just alighted at OTC haraka sana and pinched my ears. I better feel cold than let a packaged woman/man sit on the corner and I am left fighting for sitting allowance. You better learn from my story lest you will have a story to tell too and this time, you will be traveling from Nairobi to Kisii in a 14-seater.

 

Thank you Hellen for motivating me to write this story; you are a genius.

WEMEN

 

I am straight outta Kikuyu Valley; the one with Samburu tribe; the one that Madonna discovered. (Floating? Go to twitter, type #KikuyuValley. You are welcome). I am confused between whether I told you that to enlighten you of the recently discovered Kikuyu Valley or to brag that I am not behind the news. So irrelevant.

 

 

Today, I want us to talk about us; we the Eve fraternity; we with curves; we whose hips don’t lie; wemen (Get the pronunciation right; f*** spelling). As a lady, when you hang out with gents you discover how different their conversations are from ours. They will majorly discuss football, politics, women and alcohol in no particular order. I candy crush as they delve into football matters and spread my ears when they start on women and alcohol. As for politics, there are enough bloggers to keep me up-to-date. On football, I don’t want to start saying how Wanyama scored for Arsenal and everyone burst into laughter; they cannot crush my ego like that. AFANA!

 

 

Their discussions are very absorbing.

Guy A: Ulifunga jana usiku? (Did you score last night?)

Guy B: Hee, boss sindio. Yule yellow yellow alicome through (That brown chic came through).

Guy C: BTW wale machokora wanadai kutujoin kwa club leo usiku. (Those ratchets want to join us to the club today night).

Guy D: Waambie wakuje ata niko Kalahari. (Tell them to come; I have been on dry spell way too long).

They will argue on who is a heavyweight because no one wants to be considered a lightweight. The conclusion will be that 12beers per person should be placed on the table to keep the record straight. The last man standing will be the heavyweight, and the first man to fall will be the lightweight champion. What is funnier is that some of these gents don’t know each other’s name. Wataitana tu boss, mzito. Very fascinating!!

 

 

 

Come to us daughters of Earth. Our conversations are something else; detailed. We will open a whatsapp group called `girl talk manenos’ and majorly use it to discuss men on earth. Annie will seek for advice because he is in love with this man who is poor in bed. That `poor in bed’ is followed with details of HOW POOR. In here, you don’t need those kamasutra books and videos; the vivid descriptions are enough.

 

texting

Jane will say how pissed she is with some guy; she will engage the girls so that they brainstorm on the best reply that will break somebody’s son heart. People like me will say `block him’ but others will come up with well researched paragraphed replies. She will send us screenshots of the conversations they have had since day one so that we don’t miss a thing. That son of God will not be spared by the storm of the reply.

 

The group has legal advisers who are believed to have genius advices and analysts who will analyze the subject matter. They will scrutinize the photos sent and categorize the men.

He looks like a broke ass; chances are he is gay, and so on.

Singletons like me are just passive readers because we cannot simply keep up. I mean, shall we screenshot those `tafadhali nitumie pesa kwa hii namba ile ingine….’ texts? No way. On the bright side, we are learning from the best. Some singletons though will find no value in the groups and they will `left’. Lefting will also affect the girls whose opinions are not acknowledged; you know like say I second Mary; Jane, that’s a brilliant idea. We don’t just get mad only when men forget our special days; ha ha now you know.

 

 

Anyhow, at the end of the day, Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus. There is no invading other people’s planets!!!

 

It was fun writing; ALWAYS IS.