The ‘Man’ In Every Woman

You will understand the featured photo as you go on.

I am the worst patient ever. I know this for a fact. I have an ardent fear of anything medicine related which means I can take even 10minutes to swallow a tablet, even one that is sugar coated. I hear there are such. I don’t have the guts to taste any. I will just take my sweet time thinking about what angle to use when throwing the tablet in my mouth, to avoid any tongue-tablet contact. I don’t care if the tablet is tiny. Those are the worst! Other than that fear, I am stubborn. With that comes the need to be pampered. Like let’s say you want me to eat, talk to me nicely. Seduce me with your words such that I don’t just submit to the food but to any other order you issue. Talk to me like a child. Feel my temperature at intervals of 5minutes and most importantly, yet the most silly, ensure my phone does not run low on power.

As a patient, I can be very petty and by extension, exaggerate any situation. When I have the flu, you will think it’s a chronic illness or some ‘mathematics’ malaria. I mean the +++ ones. I will easily win your pity. The most I can do at such a time is cuddle up in bed and look pale. I can do that so well. It’s not a choice. It’s an involuntary reflex setting my body reverts to when am sick. In short, as a patient, I can sometimes be a pain in the ‘you know what’. (Feel free to read that as you may please. A three-letter word would suffice.) You can imagine the frustration in everyone when I had a sick scare recently. If there is such a thing.

Where am I going with this? When I had my sick scare, my Mum told me, “You are the only one among my children that I still don’t know how to handle when sick. You fall sick like your Dad.” Which I think narrowly translates to I fall sick like a Man? I don’t know. That is how I interpreted it. So it’s what we will all go with. No debates. In addition, it’s a known fact that men fear being sick.

This statement got me thinking. If I can fall sick like a man, what else that’s known about men do we women do? And I came up with this.

According to some article on the internet, a study actually, one of the facts known about men is that they lie six times in a day, while women lie three times. I don’t know how true that is, but I will not question the internet. Not after all the years of relying on it for all my assignments. However, if it is true, then I have some emphasis on that. First off, everyone lies. The men just happen to lie more in a day. Women however, have a tendency of linking unrelated situations together, which comes as an added advantage to them when lying. For example, the car is linked to the phone, which is linked to food, which is in turn linked to cleaning the house, and further linked to the story you as a man once mentioned three years ago. So with all these linked together, women need to lie less, because when caught in a lie, they can easily manipulate their way around a situation and instead link it to the other unrelated situations. Men, will have to come up with a lie to cover that lie. But the bottom line is, men lie. Women lie.

It is common knowledge that men forget a lot. And women remember a lot. As I have stated above, women link everything to everything. A trait that has seen men losing almost every argument they engage with women. Especially if you have a history together. However, women also forget. What triggers their memory is the ability to link a situation to an irrelevant one. A good example:
Man: I met Jane today. She said hello.
Woman: Jane…Jaaa…..Jannnnee….Jane Jane Jane…Jane. Which Jane is that?
Man: She used to work in the shop next to….
Woman: Aha! Jane. The one who had to move out of her husband’s house at night?

What a man can do, a women can do better? Really? What a man can do, a woman can do. Just that. Well except getting another woman pregnant.

There is something about a man, laziness, carelessness and disorganization. I can’t quite put a finger on it, but it’s there. I have more male friends than the female ones. So I know what am talking about. Besides, who said I need to have a huge number of people that I can sample from? IPSOS publishes their findings all the time and not even once have I heard anyone say they were part of the survey. The things I have mentioned, are not just associated with men, get a woman to feel comfortable with you and you will be surprised at how much the ‘men’ in women is paramount.

Men, ok I will say most men, thrive in disorganization. There is no specific order in which things are arranged in a man’s house. As long as there is a space, and the item fits, it will be placed there. Until it’s needed. Then the search begins; introducing new forms of disarrangement until the needed item is found. For example, why separate the shirts, trousers and socks? Why not pile them up together and only engage in a serious search party when you need one? You think only men do this? Think again.

I had a friend in school who never saw the need to separate his clean clothes from the dirty ones. He relied solely on his sense of smell and sight. Who says women are any different? They may be more civilized enough to separate the clean ones from the dirty ones, but not always. The jeans are an exception. (I won’t talk about bras, ladies know themselves). The jeans are always clean, it does not matter how many times they have been worn. They are always clean. Another man-thing in a woman is the need to just do nothing, and possibly have someone else do it. Laziness.

“Ablutophobia. Ablutophobia is a persistent fear of bathing or any other form of cleaning activity. It is found to be more common in children and females.” I will not even talk about that. It’s completely open to interpretation. (Photo relevance comes in here) Let’s move on…

Ever heard of an alpha male? Well, there is an alpha female too. She has her own pack. She determines which way they go. She determines who can join the pack and most importantly, you cannot even think of dating her ex. When you have an issue with the alpha female, as a member of the pack, kindly humble yourself and take the high road, or else, she will destroy you. Unlike the alpha males whose only limitation to the pack members is the ex-thing, the female alphas have more control over their packs. The men call themselves bros, but it’s always clear who the leader is. The women call it girl-squad, with a dictator for a leader. Therefore, another man-thing in a woman is that. The alpha thing. Women however take it way too far.

Do I need to talk about clothes? Football? Or some other sports generally associated with men? How about cooking? I don’t think so. You get my point.

What am I saying in all these? There is nothing so different in character between the man and woman. There is that aspect of the ‘man’ that will keep manifesting in the woman. Some, women hide pretty well.

Genesis 2: 23 And Adam said, this is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

I will leave you with that.

A Little Dawn In Sunset

This post will look at some changes that are happening with my friends, and the turning of new chapters. Changes so beautiful that I relate to a little dawn in sunset. And a good link at the end.

There is something about Kisumu, I really don’t know if I will say it’s the feeling of being home, or the warm weather (you can wear a vest at dawn in Kisumu), or the lake that stretches out wide to meet the heavens, or even the ass. There is ass in Kisumu, even though there might be a lower supply of face, you can never run short of ass. There are all type of asses (is this the plural of ass?) and they get eyes in droves. Looking at asses in Kisumu is like work to some. You don’t have to be out to note them, they are just calling for your attention. The other day, my cousin almost drove us into a ditch, because of looking at some ass. Damn it! I almost died because of an ass. I think I would be safe in Kisumu with a female driver, a straight one of course.

Another thing about being Kisumu is that your plans can change, and they change swiftly. I am flexible and good with impromptu stuff, a skill I learned in Kisumu. My plan was to get to the city, meet some few people, then go to Seme by the night. Instead, I found myself in Western Kenya and back to Kisumu, with Seme plans postponed until Sunday. I am now in Luanda. All these were not part of the plan.

Yesterday I met Princess, she is in Kisumu, after a very long time. I am yet to know what happens to me when I meet her because I still have to tell my stomach to keep check of the butterflies. We met and I bet even my stomach wanted to enjoy that beauty in peace. We called Elphas (our good friend) to join us for some bhajias. While having a chat, and catching up, he kept telling Princess, “I know you will write about this.” Princess can write about anything she experiences. I was with Elphas on that. However, she just laughed and said “don’t worry, I am good, but he might.” She was clearly referring to me.

Ladies and gentlemen, Elphas is single! I had to announce that. Even though to some break ups is no big deal, I saw him build that shit for years. He is not miserable (from what I saw), so I am being miserable on his behalf. In that spirit of brotherhood, I offered to help him out. One, I suggested we go out and drink hard, and maybe wake up the next day in an unfamiliar place with an appropriate ass next to him. This would have worked, except he doesn’t consume hard drinks. Two, I offered to go on a hunting spree, several rebounds would have been good for his body. He said he was already done with that phase. Unfortunately those were the only missiles I could get from my arsenal. (Paula, it would be good you write a note on behalf of Elphas to other eligible single ladies out there, it would be very good of you.) I have been single for over a year and it ain’t a joke, I know what it means. It also has it’s good side. It means freedom till you want something better than yourself.

Talking of good things, Paula Norah. One of the best people I have ever stumbled upon. Someone so dear to me, one of the most influential people in this son of the lake’s world. In this world, she is more popular than Uhuru or Raila. It is her birthday next week on 9th August, just hours after the general elections. She will be the last person to celebrate a birthday in Uhuru’s first term presidency.

So to my good friend and partner, I will be the first person to wish you a happy birthday (this am sure). You deserve to celebrate your day. The good work you have been doing here, keep it on in your next year. By the way, when you wake up and find this site looking better, mostly that’s her. If we could give you all a glimpse of the back door, you guys will feel sorry for her. She also comes through during those days when I feel like shit. That comes with the package of being a CEO, as I tell her.

I am wishing her a happy birthday this early because; One, I just like doing things first with her, Two, you never know what might happen with elections, we might lack connectivity and Three, she might not pick the call. So Paula Norah, like you say, you celebrate the whole month. Go ahead, do have the very best.

Your assignment, as our readers before we break for the election and get back here on 16th August, wish madam CEO a happy birthday and then you can catch her interview by Brian Mbanacho, one of the best creative writers in the country, here.

PROCASTINATION; MY UNDOING

My brother’s school is very close to our house. It’s literally a minute’s walk to that school. They had their prize giving day yesterday, a day that also counted as their official closing day. My elder sister was the parent for the day. As for my Mum and I we were to travel. Actually she was to travel but she extended an invitation in my direction and I said why not? For us to leave the estate, we have to pass through the school’s field. As we were passing, the MC or someone was calling out names of the kids receiving gifts. Best Student, Most improved. Then came the most discipline. And without even thinking, I quickly said ‘mummy hapo nae wako hayuko’ and to my surprise she was not even mad. Instead she added ‘ingekua ni naughtiest ningekubali…na si leo wamedrag hii event yao’.

It was only then that I realised it was already 1pm. Yet our scheduled departure time was 11am. This is where the relevance of the topic comes in. We were late. Not because I did something but because mum picked that day to be a tailor. Work she had procrastinated for months. If this thing is hereditary then I got it. And I got it big time.

My procrastination does not choose when to manifest itself. It can happen anytime.

Back when I was still a student, ok it’s just been a month but still, I was never on time for my classes. I tried, I failed. If I had a class at 10am, I knew deep down that I was supposed to start getting ready latest by 9am. But somehow I would convince myself that there was still time. I would end up getting ready past 10. At which point, I was already late. The same applied to studying where I would keep on telling myself ‘I will do it’. I would reassure myself of the abundant time available, only to end up doing it in the last minute. The only thing that motivated me was the last minute pressure associated with studying. But I have survived school; I should be able to handle anything.

While writing this, I have left a month-old pile of clothes back home that are in desperate need of my services. I know am supposed to do my laundry but somehow I keep finding clean clothes and that has sort of made me very lazy and succumb to the spirit of procrastination. A week ago, I told my sister to wake me up while she leaves for school so I can get time to do my laundry. She kept her word. She woke me up. I woke up, looked at the pile on the chair (you know that designated chair whose sole role in a house is to carry clothes that just can’t find their way to the wardrobes or wire lines? That chair), looked at the time, and told myself 30 more minutes of sleep won’t make a difference. Well a week down the line and here we are. This is just not right.

To prove just how much this is a problem let me give another scenario. I have known since my last post that I will be posting exactly after a fortnight. But what did I do about it? Nothing. I kept telling myself ‘there is still time’ over and over again that I believed it. Until there was no time and I just didn’t know which of the five unfinished stories I should focus on for publication. Since I could not decide, reality is I postponed even making the decision, I texted my partner Lewis to write this week instead. He wanted a reason. I mean how was I to tell him directly that my procrastination tendencies are closing in on me? So I evaded the question all together. I then told myself that by the end of Monday, I will have written something, we edit and wait for Wednesday to publish. Well, you’ve guessed right, I had nothing by the end of Monday. It’s not like I don’t have something to write. I have tonnes to write. Tonnes. I just can’t stop postponing.

In related news, I have a 100paged document I should be editing, and a business plan I should draft. Both of which I have not even started. I don’t know when to start. What I know is I should start. ASAP.

I love travelling, but only when it’s spontaneous. If it’s planned, I will just come up with the craziest excuse to push it. I should have been in Nakuru weeks ago, but I kept postponing that for weeks. Until there was no other chance. My problem is real.

Have you ever sent a message to someone and you are still waiting for an answer? It could be as you are reading this or even before. The wait could be any duration. From one minute to one day and to infinity. Well, I have this problem even with messages. Sometimes I get a message, I read it, I draft a reply in my head and tell myself I will get back later to reply. Then I just don’t. Because with procrastination, comes forgetting. It’s a very bad thing I know, but sometimes I just can’t help it. I am working on that though, it can be an emergency one day, right?

I am beginning to imagine my procrastination is fuelled by my deep love for doing nothing all the time. In other words known as laziness. One of my most peaceful moments apart from sleeping is when am doing nothing. There is no pressure in that. Because of this, I have a habit of cancelling things.

The other week I had a meeting in Maseno scheduled for 11am. I did my best to ensure am not late. But that procrastinating spirit embedded deep in my core kept telling me ‘how about we just push this meeting to I don’t know…later? Next week maybe…or just another time. Let’s just do nothing today’. I was almost making the call to cancel when the other party called and rescheduled it to half past 11am. It was the best the universe could give me for my dilemma. I took the deal.

It’s always said ‘denial is the first step of acceptance.’ I am done denying my procrastination. I now accept I have a problem. And am afraid it may be my undoing.

WHAT IF MY MUM BLOGGED ABOUT ME?

The other day we were having a talk with Princess; sharing on how friends and family are not into the business of sharing some stuff with us without having to remind us how we can turn anything into a story. I have a friend, whenever we are in a group, he tells the others to mind what they do or say because I might ‘broadcast them’. After doing a story on her house, how she was being deprived of sleep the day she decided to catch some, guys now think she will pull one again. Even I think that. Well, it’s good I don’t go saying things my Mum does to me. Like when I inform her of my birthday and the best she tells me is that she is busy. I am not planning to tell people about it. In fact, I won’t share it. I can’t tell on my mum, the spirits can not allow it. Well, what if she was the one doing the writing and had to write about me?

One thing that I know, if she were to keep a blog about me, she would definitely start from my birth. She won’t talk about the long nights they had before forming me, some things are better kept between the parties involved. She will dive straight to me causing her the wildest morning sickness she ever envisioned even in her wildest dreams, most definitely how she had dreamt about episodes of having me; how the thought of me growing inside her made her feel. The first time I kicked in her and how she went to share with Dad. She would go to him and tell him how his good work was kicking and strong. Then they would throw giggles at each other, as my Dad would move closer to the protruding belly to feel those kicks as well.

Some days after my birth and fast growing, she will wake up and talk about the relationships I keep. She would say how I was this soft collected kid. A kid who doesn’t pull tantrums at the wrong time and place, like a kid who throws tantrum when there is no one else in the vicinity. What is that? I mean when you want to pull a tantrum why not wait for visitors to come then pull the mother of all tantrums, you will definitely win. She would be taking the credits for making me grow in the right way. She will be talking about my first times, the first time I used potty, the first time the neighbor’s kid claimed that I hit him and the kind of talk that ensued between the parents. How I reacted when they brought home my younger brother and how after years, I would still breastfeed with my bro. I bet that explains the thing I have with boobs. You should also realize that denying me access to boobs is torture.

She must talk about my schooling life. The way I wore my school uniform for the first time ready to go to school only to return home crying that the sun was too much for me. If there is one thing that would have made me drop out of school when I was young, it was the sun. I mean if you have been to Kisumu, you understand what am talking about. I think scientists are right when they claim that the sun first hits the ground before it bounces back on us. Even though experiments rarely use human specimen, I am a walking experiment. I was able to beat the sun, am convinced nothing can stop me in my journey of knowledge acquisition now. I have this feeling that I am going to learn a lot and that I have some years of ‘class’ ahead. I also know my mum would muse over the report form talks we had. How I was a bright student (all parents thinks their kids are bright) who couldn’t just do it right, by right I mean ‘top 3.’ I do believe that explains the reasons why letters attended most of my parent days if not all.

One day she might decide to humor her readers by telling them stories of how she always won any ‘war’ between mother and son. She will talk about her eldest son asking her to pay back her debts. Debts that were actually her own money if you did a critical audit trail, therefore justifying her refusal to pay. She would write about how sometimes her attempts to instill discipline in her son were translated as wrong doings, and how she saw no point in apologizing for such moments.

How about the dreams she has for me? I do believe that parents have a given way that they picture their kids growing. They have everything laid out in their minds. How you should grow, how you will be wearing, the kind of people you should interact with, the kind of courses you will study, the life you lead and at what age. I know she would write about how worried she is that I am done with campus yet I have never taken someone home. How her efforts to try hook me up with ladies before has failed. I tell you if those attempted hook ups were to all to go through, then I would be a man of many ladies at the moment. I mean how can you afford to break a heart that is given to you by your Mum. Isn’t that the epitome of disrespect? I know she will be sharing how concerned she got when she had to inquire if my brother can be able to be laid in my house. In short, if I had chapni to officially open it. Given that she is free spirited, I don’t think she had a hard time asking, it’s only that she was getting worried I might to be slow. Which parent wishes for a slow kid for the elder son?

I know she won’t miss sharing on the way things are panning out as compared to the life she had envisioned for me. How she feels when at some point, I display the characters that shows that I am inclined to my Dad’s side. How does it feel like raising a kid she doesn’t want turning out like the love of her life? I mean how it feels when the best warning you can give to a son is, “this line that I see you take, I see you turning out like your dad.” Some days she will also talk of the times that I make her proud. The times when I do things until she feels like being a mum, to me specifically, is the best thing that ever happened to her.

I can tell you if my mum was to blog about me, the rants, the advices, the moments and just everything she would want to tell the world about me would be too much. She would name her blog something fancy like www.adailydoseoflewismartin.com. This is something she would think about daily, because she will be posting after an interval of 24hours. I know she would make many parents want to be parents and just have kids to share their lives with. She would have a good supportive audience and will be making her life from that point. She would feed me by writing about me.

Well, for now she doesn’t have a blog. She only has me. I run a blog where I can write things about her like I just did this. She doesn’t know about it just yet, she won’t even know I thought of her blogging about me. I would say my mum is more of this old school in a cool way. She is into everything modern except tech. How cool is that? My little bro knows how to take advantage of that. He once told some clingy lady trying to get to him through my Mum, “please don’t disturb my Mum, she is old, she can’t even read the texts you send her.” I won’t even have to worry about making sure we aren’t friends on social media because we never know when I can get wild. Now I am imaging when I explain to her my blog. She will tell me, “I bust my ass to pay all that money in campus for you, expecting to see you in television or the Standard and Nation only for you to come here with this joke!!” So for the sake of peace, let me keep this until I have had a good reason to present it to her. A better reason other than passion and from time to time touching lives.

All in all, if my Mum blogged about me, it would be the blog to watch for. It would give many a run for their money.

Meeting Old Friends

The other day, I was to meet my class 5 crush for the first time since I transferred schools in class 5.

He suggested Tuskys. It is one of the few places I avoid in Kisumu. If you ever lie to anyone that you are away from town, do not and I repeat, do not show up in Tuskys, you will meet. I assure you there will be no way you can hide. Tuskys is the ideal meeting spot for the people you intend to avoid. It doesn’t help that it’s the only mall next to the main stage. It also hosts the only KFC place in Kisumu. I still can’t understand Kisumu people’s obsession with this place. In short, Tuskys is a place to avoid if you don’t like crowds. Human traffic is guaranteed. It is this same Tuskys that Crush chose. So I said ‘why not?’

When we met, we had the usual pleasantries, which were full of ‘I can’t believe it’s you’ ‘waaaaa’ ‘so we finally meet’ ‘you look so lovely’ ‘I still can’t believe it’s really you’ and my favorite ‘you are beyond what I expected’. A girl can be flattered. A girl can blush. We decided to find a place to seat and talk. We had over a decade to catch up on. Just after passing the security point, which by the way I found to be shitty, we met another class 5 classmate, the best friend to Crush. I immediately knew there would be a change in plans. We will call him Best Friend. I am not using anyone’s name here today.

We catch up for some time creating a minor traffic at the shitty security checkpoint. Finally, we all agreed to go for bhajias. When you visit Kisumu and you happen to be in the mood for some bhajias, the place to be is at Mama Hassan’s. It’s located in Ondiek estate, just a few minutes from Tuskys mall. Best friend was in the company of a petite girl, who looked like his girlfriend (I will justify that) and another guy who was in denim. I hope you are all getting their names. Just in case you are lost, there is Crush, Best Friend, Petite Girl and Denim Guy. Now keep up please.

We leave Tuskys and head to Mama Hassan’s. Let me tell you why this place is sacred to those like me who have no problem eating junk food. Mwitu to be specific. One, Mama Hassan has been there for as long as I can remember. Two, her bhajias are just heavenly, mouthwatering. Three, there is something called loyalty. It cuts across several avenues. Salons, Barbers, and now as you have all learnt, food kiosks. Four, my sister recommended it sometime. So the fact that my sister, who does not know Kisumu so well, found this place means it is the best. I could go on and on, but this is not a marketing post.

Just as we approach Mama Hassan’s, Petite Girl says she knows a different place that is actually good. She gives us an impression of this new place; there is no waiting and that we would get seats fast. Unlike Mama Hassan’s place, there are few people. She goes further and tells the rest of the group to go to Mama Hassan’s if they are not for it but as for her, she was going to the other place. Best Friend, or as I would say Suspected Boyfriend, asked for our opinion. Now I knew it was just for formality purposes because the facts were 1) There was no way Best Friend was going to a different place from Petite Girl 2) There was no way Crush was going to a different place from Best Friend and 3) The moment that division option was brought up, we were all going to the new place. These were facts. A chain rolling out.

That was my cue. I should have just created some ridiculous story and excused myself from the group but I didn’t. I also needed to hang with old friends. Crush to be specific. It had been a decade! All this, for my class 5 crush. Dude you owe me better bhajias.

The other place wasn’t as promised. One, there were no seats. Two, there was a crowd. Three, there was a waiting line. We were group #3. Each group waited at least 30minutes. Do the math. In short, I was missing Mama Hassan’s place. Petite Girl decided to look for seats. As for me, I was targeting the group that was doing literally nothing next to us. They had eaten. They needed to leave. Well, they did leave and we got their seats.

And so the wait began… and my observing eyes began to work…

When you use observation for content, you need things to be real, not stage-managed. Therefore, I was counting on that just in case I decided to write about the place. Crush however decided to issue out a warning to everyone. “Be careful what you say, and how you act. She is a writer and she can be savage. The other day alimulika a guy just for tweezing”. How do you get real content when everyone is now on the alert? You employ patience. Eventually people let their guards down. Am not savage in my posts. That’s just a misconception. Sort of.

Let me give you all a picture of how the place looked like. It is an outdoor eating shack with two possible seating areas, outside the compound and inside the compound. The seats are plastic chairs that are available depending on your arrival time and the willingness of the previous occupants to vacate the said seats. Everything was being done manually or rather traditionally. The potatoes were peeled with knives, and later cooked using three stones and a huge black pan half filled with oil. A duck kept patrolling the area at intervals of 10minutes. A baby was crying, I never got why. She was a lovely girl in pink. Her mother however thought it wise to plait her half-haired head. I think this was just torture. Why punish a child like that? Maybe that is why she kept crying. The cooking staff were for lack of a better word, very slow. For a place with that much traffic in form of customers, their service delivery was uncharmingly (this is not even a real word) slow.

It was half an hour since we had arrived and still we were nowhere close to being served. Petite Girl later suggested we all move into the compound and not outside as we had initially positioned ourselves. Best Friend had to ask (formality) if we are ok with that. We had to be. Refer to the facts previously stated.
Inside the compound, I had no view of the activities going on outside, like the progress of our ordered Bhajias.

After minutes of waiting to be served, the lady in charge comes and takes our order. Five plates of bhajia. Pretty simple huh? Well it wasn’t to her. After all that waiting and finally getting some hope she comes back with just two plates. Two plates! We were five! She smiles at all of us and says, “Aki nikienda kuosha plates ule aliuza order yenu”. You don’t play people like that when it comes to food. I pitied Denim Guy most. He had reached out for a plate, which he had to let go, so that the ladies in the team can have the first share. Being a gentleman needs its time-outs. I did feel for him. Unfortunately, it’s only he who was waiting. Crush joined me. Best friend joined Petite Girl. (I promised to tell you why I suspected Best Friend was Boyfriend, right? This is the place. They shared Petite Girl’s plate. She gave him her juice when Denim Guy snatched his and I could swear it was during this time that I heard one of them calling the other ‘babe’. It could also just be my overactive imagination)

Best Friend was making some calls to other friends to join us. His only problem was giving the directions to where we were. Petite Girl took it upon herself to confuse the crap out of the guy more. ‘Tell them to come near the old VCT’ ‘tell them to come to Akinyi’s (not the real name) place’ ‘tell them to use Ondiek’ and many more tell thems. Well, somehow the friend found the place. I was expecting a crowd. It was just one person.

The whole team got to some catching up. I noticed Petite Girl did not talk much. She just stayed in her corner as if studying all of us. It was sort of like what I do when am in a crowd of new people. Denim Guy would join in only when there was a jab being thrown at someone. I guess he feared whatever he said might be used against him in this piece. The talkers were Crush and Best Friend. One discussion however caught my attention. Straight guys really feel a strong sense of repulsion towards the gay guys. Everyone except Denim Guy had an experience with a gay person and the tone in their voices when speaking of such moments oozed nothing but disgust. I will not share the stories. This is already longer than I expected.

Everyone got their share of bhajias eventually. It was lovely to catch up with old friends and meet new ones.

It was getting late and I needed to go home.

GOODBYES ARE OVERRATED

Lewis was to write this week, but due to some very real reasons (that I will not mention), and definitely not excuses, he could not. Therefore, I will fill in this week. In all honesty, I had nothing to do so this wasn’t a big deal to me. Finishing school can have that effect on someone.

The past few days have been full of farewell parties, last time photos and ridiculous amounts of goodbye(s). Almost everyone I know is saying goodbye to someone or something. A good percentage saying goodbye to 8-4-4 system. I am among this group. It’s been a long academic journey from the times when we would draw grasshoppers to crooked Kenya and Africa maps to brains and the whole human body. In the spirit of appreciating the 8-4-4 system, maybe one day I will be asked to draw a grasshopper in an interview panel and man will I thank my teacher for the lessons, at the same time giving the interviewers an ‘I got this’ look. It’s a look full of confidence.

So back to the main point, goodbyes. In my opinion, just as the title clearly stipulates, they are overrated. How many times have you cried when saying goodbye to someone only to realize a day later that you did not even think of them in the 24hours you had? This is obviously rhetorical so moving on… How many times do we say goodbye to people with promises of ‘we will talk’ ‘keep in touch’ ‘I will miss you’ and yet never keep the very promises. The contact information becomes one of the many contacts in your phonebook never meant to be deleted, just in case. Just in case you visit a town they are in and you need a host. Alternatively, just in case you meet one day, you want to be the one who never deleted the number. It will be even more advantageous on your side if the person has a new number, and does not have yours. You can always pull the Your-phone-is always-off-whenever-I-call card. Works every time!

This is not the first time I am leaving a learning institution. This is not the first time I am parting ways with friends. And of course, I mean this with distance as the factor and not any drama. I have been in boarding schools most of my life so I know what it means to say goodbye to years of friendship when eventually everyone has to go back home and the probability of a meeting is at 0.05%. I said goodbye to my primary school friends. Those I am still in touch with are few, but still more than I expected. I expected zero communication. I can say thanks to social media. I said goodbye to high school friends and it is the same case with a little upgrade in form of auto books. They were ordinary books with many celebrity photos, and colorful writing with all types of pens. These books had five main categories, name, nickname (aka), hood, digitz (yes, that’s how we spelt digits back then), and the partying shot. Any other additional data was allowed as long as it was within your page allocation. The few special friends to the owner of the auto books would have the privilege of using two pages. That was an honour! This past week I said goodbye to my campus friends. The difference here is that this time round I was mature enough not to make a big deal out of a goodbye. The most my friends got from me was ‘safe journey’. And this is only for those I was in contact with while they were travelling.

What is the point of elevating something as simple as a farewell into a mountain of rushed, fake and unclear emotions that will only last the duration of the farewell after which everything resumes normalcy? Again, rhetorical.

As Africans, we have a ‘culture’ of making farewells such a big deal. Let’s take for instance a family member is travelling out of the country, especially when the destination is the USA. There will be a family get-together, a Harambee, and several meetings held all in preparation for the farewell of a family member. To me these farewells are just but a huge waste of money and time. At the end of the day, when this person leaves, chances of communicating with them are close to nil. The next time such a buzz will exist is when the said family member is set to return home. Then we start another episode of ‘Let’s waste money with an excuse’.

As I said earlier, I have had a week full of goodbyes. Classmates, friends, neighbours. Everyone was bidding everyone goodbye. Be it face to face, via a long emotional text that may or may not include an ‘I’ll miss you’ with a series of emojis that I find absurd, via social media with a long post about the journey of whatever it is you are saying goodbye to and its relation to you. In my opinion, we only say goodbye to the proximity, when it comes to people. I don’t see what else changes other than that. If there was good communication before, I do not see why that should change. If there was none, there is no point kissing each other’s you-know-whats (read that as a word that starts with an ‘A’) in the name of promising to keep in touch. It’s time to lose the façade. There is no point in creating an emotional environment with people when you know so well you have no intention of staying in touch with them. it’s better to let them go without any expectations. At least this way, when communication fails, no one is betrayed.

Do I sound negative? No? Wonderful.

In related news, we will be changing the design of this website soon. It’s a work in progress. But since am not one to make a big deal out of that, letting you all know is good enough for me.

I NEED A DRIVER

By the end of this piece, I hope someone will be kind enough to be my driver.

Before we start getting all jumpy about this, just know I don’t have a car. I need a driver, who has a car. It’s sort of a package deal. It is more like calling for an Uber but this time round a rental, until I get my own. I am beyond done with public transport. Dunzo! Public transport and I are at that point in a relationship where reconciliation is the last option. Moving on for the sake of peace is quite literally the only option left. Very few things can really piss me off. Bad food (ok, if you can’t cook, kindly do not offer to cook for me. I value good food). Lies (there is a thin line between the truth and a lie. It’s called choice). A terrible journey (this is our focus today)

My standards just don’t seem to mix with the public transport standards. It’s either that or guys are just out to get me. It can easily be both.

Travelling is one of my favourite hobbies, yet I am always complaining anytime I travel. I am planning to go on a vacation soon. More reasons why I need a driver. I know some may begin questioning my account balance. Who goes on vacation when the country is being given a bitter dose of humility? Well, it is for that very reason that I need a vacation. What happens when the economy keeps dropping day by day? I may never get to afford such a thing again. So yes, we are being humbled in the worst way, but I am planning to live well. Plus travelling isn’t even that expensive really.

So travelling. I have specific preferences when am travelling. I need a window seat. And if I don’t get that, then the one with the window seat should know how to balance the temperature in the vehicle. I am not going to suffocate in a matatu. Hell no! Apart from the window seat, it would be of much importance to me if the driver does not play music so loud that I can’t hear my own thoughts. Still on the music, it should be in a language we all understand. By ‘all’ here I mean Kenyans. Music is the reason my worst route is the Nyahururu-Nairobi route. Those guys play loud Mugithi music and it gets worse when they join in the chorus with their perfectly out of key voices. Imagine a frog singing in soprano. Do take your time please… I believe you now see my frustration.

Next preference when travelling is to have a quiet vehicle. How quiet? Pin drop. I don’t like it when everyone is talking in a matatu. The person at the back seat wants to engage the one seated with the driver in a lengthy conversation about the weather. And no, not the one we are all experiencing on the road. The one they have left wherever they are coming from. You are coming from the same goddamn place! And headed to the same place. How about you discuss that while there. Another preference would be a new vehicle. It’s just not fair to sentence someone to an hour-long journey with a lot of crickiry-crickiry noise from the body and a deafening cry of a dying engine. Save the poor vehicle and make it scrap metal. I should write a proposal on that.

There are some irritating people habits that I can’t stand in a matatu ever. One, How is it that some people just can’t stop eating? I get it, food is important. Big deal. Why would someone need a whole week’s supply of food in a 1-hour journey? These people eat everything. Everything. As long as its food, they will eat it. My worst is groundnuts. I don’t eat any nuts. That sounds weird but moving on… Another one is avocados. How do you eat avocado in a public vehicle without some decorum? The way people eat avocados in a matatus is just nasty and very gross. Picture this. You are sitting next to someone eating avocado, the vehicle hits an emergency break and just like that you are covered in avocado. Not just you but it flies around messing the other passengers’ clothes. Maybe am paranoid.

Two, I think we can all agree that a phone call is a private thing. We all don’t need to hear a conversation we are not part of. If you don’t want to involve us in the call, then regulate your voice and the call volume. Imagine yourself in a vehicle where everyone is speaking on phone, and it’s too loud that you can literally hear what both parties are saying. This is a common behaviour with businessmen. It’s like to announce your success, you must at least receive one phone call per journey and yell at the poor fella whose sole mistake was calling you while you were near people. This is just one hell of a sick move. I cannot stand that anymore.

Three, there is something about respecting someone’s phone that some public transport users just don’t seem to comprehend. It’s the respecting part. You are travelling and having a lively conversation with someone via text, only to realize you are not the only one viewing your phone. Your neighbour is so much glued to your screen just as much as you are! There are no words to express the anger that follows that. One time some guy asked me who the people in my photos were. I was searching for a new profile picture. I get it; there is an access law that was passed recently. It does not cover my phone!

Four, tantrums. I love children. They love me. But my love for children is sort of becoming conditional. I love those who love being quiet. No tantrums. If there are any, at least let them be diplomatic. Ok, I get how that’s too much to ask, but they’ve got to learn such things early. The future of diplomacy depends on those tiny beings. I have had my fair share of child tantrums in public vehicles to an extent that am beginning to question my tolerance for children all together.

I thought I had seen it all in matatus from loud passengers, bad music, terrible seatmates, invasion of privacy, all the way to a damn food festival until I was travelling from Maseno to Kisumu. (That was a long sentence! Wow!) It was a bus. I wasn’t fortunate enough to get a window seat, but that’s not the focus of this rant. My problem was with a preacher. Yes, a preacher. There are these guys who are always preaching in vehicles. Then will later ask for some handouts, politely I might add. Not this preacher. He was one arrogant son of a *you know what*. This guy boards the bus at the same stage that I did. He finds a seat just next to the conductor. 10 minutes into the journey, he whispers something to the conductor, then walks over to the driver, and does the same. The driver turns off the radio and pastor begins his road sermon. Let me just state this very clearly, it was good music turned off. That’s some rare thing to find especially in a public vehicle. The guy talked about Noah, he talked about Daniel, he talked about every other Sunday-school story I have ever heard. He talked for the whole journey. Just as we were about to arrive in Kisumu, he asked for his offering. I was just about to pull a 50-shilling note and hand it over when he ruined it. “Mtu asinipatie coin yoyote. Ntapeleka wapi? Kama unaona ni coin ndio unaeza nipatia, kaa na pesa yako. Itanibolea mfuko. Mchungaji hawezi ongea kwa muda huu wote kisha umpe coin. Kwa hivyo yeyote atakaye taka kumbariki mhubiri anaweza leta chochote alichonacho. Lakini sio coin” Quick and brief translation, the guy would not accept any cash if it was a coin. It would ruin his pockets.

Let’s take a breather… Ok, now what the hell? Who does that? He is a preacher. I don’t think having a say on what people give you as an appreciation for sharing the gospel comes with the calling. That was just so wrong. Maybe am judging, but that was just wrong. No one gave him any money. No one.

I know I always complain a lot when I travel. It is not fair to those who have to keep listening to my whining self. It’s about time that ended. Like I said at the beginning, I am expecting a driver, with a car. The qualifications are simple. Be a good driver. Just that. My vacation time is just around the corner, and to be quite honest, if I don’t have a driver by then, you will all have to deal with my rants. That is not a pretty thing.

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Two weeks ago, I posted a story on my life as a preacher’s kid; school life. I ended the piece with a promise to work on the social life of a preacher’s kid. I will post that soon. However, I wanted to start an online awareness campaign on the lives of preachers kids as an attempt to bring about understanding and at least limit the level with which stereotyping is paramount.  To all our readers, it is my request to you all to share this message with any PK you may know. We will be posting the stories on our Facebook page(PepperLife) using the #LifeAsAPreachersKid. The stories can be shared anonymously just in case someone is not comfortable with their identity going public. Share the stories with us through our email or via our Facebook page inbox. You can also directly send the stories via WhatsApp.

Paula – paula@thispepperlife.com 0701-250155

Lewis – lewis@thispepperlife.com 0718-647507

Facebook page link – https://www.facebook.com/ThisPepperLife/

11 LESSONS I’VE LEARNED IN CAMPUS

The more I grow the more my fears become vivid. They become clearer and do get me thinking, though not worried.  My fears originate from things I have seen and felt as well as things I am anticipating. I fear turning out like my dad. I fear poverty, that is my number pushing force in life. There is no glory in poverty. I fear being a failure in life, failure to me is when I will be unable to inspire anyone to greatness and when not even a single soul will owe making it in life to me. I also fear losing the one I love. I don’t give it much thought though, I don’t want to break my heart before it’s broken for real. Above all, exams are my top fear, the papers are a source of frustration and sickness. To me exams are pure torture.

Currently I am in the exam period, writing my last papers as an undergraduate. As I am facing my fear, pretending to be brave, let me present to you some of the lessons I have learned through out my life in campus;

 

1. Don’t be cool

There was a time I hit my head real bad on a slab when learning to skate. It is not like learning to stake is bad, the only problem is that I was doing it to appear cool. I wish I would have just taken it as an hobby or learning a new skill. It would be better getting hurt on that rather than when trying to be seen as cool. I even stopped trying to go to gym. It is just not my thing.

 

2. Live your life

There are times in second and third year when I was always on the pursuit of being influential. I wanted to create a name. Well it went well but at the expense of other things. I needed time to interact much and to keep face needs cash. I realized that if I was to keep that then I would run into debts and keep friends who don’t even know me. Well, I let that shit go and started keeping my low profile. I am a low key guy.

 

3. Have good vibes

Be nice to people, you are going to meet people with different stories. Have some sense of humor, it comes in handy when you got not lucky to have a great face and body and again more miserable that you are broke. Spreading good vibes will come in handy. Most of the people I have interacted with have always liked being with me for being free spirited in a good way and just being positive.

 

4. Be good at something

Get a craft that you will do. Whether it’s in sports, modelling, photography or just any creative. Be good at a damn thing. You will need in building who you are. People also tend to like people who have something going. You might also have some means of income in the process. Even though I tried out stuff like modeling, I ended up settling in what ticked to me most, writing. It is the craft I hope to improve on every other day.

5. Friends are important

Good friends are a gem. Some times you will want to be stupid, you will need your ass covered and some other days you will just want great company. Well, real friends always come in handy. Just be good to them. Just be a good friend it will pay off during the rainy days.

I have had real good friends in campus. They might have been a handful but they were the best. They were my moving form. Ohh any signs of disloyalty would be punished instantly. Losing me as a friend is a big loss on you, just so you know.

 

6. Create memories

Four years is a long time when just starting up. By then time has this one characteristic; it flies. You need to create memories that you will hold to. You will what them to even have good laughters later on.

I have had real good times in school, we visited my home with friends just because we wanted to. I had some real good nights made of beautiful people. The times I spent with Princess were really great. Princess always has this thing around her, it’s more of positive energy and awesomeness.

 

7. You cannot do everything

There are a lot of parties to attend. There are  a lot of groups to be members to. There are lots of pretty ladies. Well, you cannot have it all, just choose the ones that are worth it and keep at them.

I kept close to only those that I could stand, I let go of several people and companies. In the end it felt so peaceful.

 

8. It is not as serious just yet

It is campus, you are barely grown. You just left home the other day. Don’t take it all too serious. I think we will be forgiven more in campus for being asshole than it would happen outside school.

I did a lot of shitty stuff in school. Some I am not proud of but I don’t regret. I mean it ain’t as serious just yet.

 

9. Do what you want

Well being the land of freedom you are free to do what you want. Even with the knowledge that freedom comes with responsibility.

I did drugs, yeah, some times I would drink from Monday to Monday, the catch would be that I would realize that it was not economically, and health wise viable. Some days I did weed. All these I did because I wanted. So judge if you like but I did them when I was happy.

 

10. Cooperation is better than competition

We are all in a race. People have dreams to realize, goals to achieve. It gets to a point where you feel that people will get to their goals before you, so you start competition.

I have grown to get fulfillment in being an helping hand. I have realized that the world is too big and everyone can have their own space to grow. A progressive friend is a progress to you as well. You never know the days you will want a hand as well, most definitely an empty hand won’t make the difference.

11. One girlfriend at a time is probably not enough.

Well, who brings you a pool with a variety of beautiful clever ladies stack up together then wants you to pick just one. Don’t beat yourself over the fact that sometimes you might want to move through. Be free move, they also need the services.

That is only till you will get to meet this special being who will make all the others smell for you like rotten onions.

 

LIFE AS A PREACHER’S KID; SCHOOL LIFE

As I write this, am listening to Ed Sheeran’s new album, Divide. It’s one hell of an album! Look at the title of this again, crazy that am listening to this? No? Well good to know.

There is a lot of scrutiny, judgement, expectations, superstitions, stories and responsibilities that come with being a preacher’s kid or a pastor’s kid. Sometimes we just call ourselves the PKs. Sounds cool huh? It’s not easy to be a PK. Everything you say, everything you touch, everything you eat, how you dress, whom you talk to becomes a major topic of discussion at the church and among your peers. There is a specific way that we PKs are expected to live. Make a small diversion and you might as well tattoo your own forehead with the word “sinner”.

PKs are expected to be holy. Even holier than the preachers themselves. What people fail to understand is that we PKs are not the preachers. We are the kids. In the same way, being a thief’s child does not qualify one to be a thief. Debatable.

Some of the PKs become so later in their lives when the parents become preachers. These ones face bigger challenges as they have to adjust to a new lifestyle. Some, like me, are born into it. We do not need to adjust, pastors raise us. We know how it is. We know right from wrong right from childhood. We attend all Sunday school services, we participate in all the activities of the church, we live in the limelight of the congregation. We know all the church elders by name. We are expected to grow up like saints. But we are not; at least I know I am not.

You know that saying ‘where much is given much is expected?’ well, it doesn’t apply to us PKs. What is given to us is criticism, radicalization, talks of how much we are really bad, how much we are the defiant souls and how some are a big disappointment; and yet what is expected is an angel. How is that even possible? People really?

I have been in boarding schools most of my life. In class 7, I remember being chosen to be the Sunday School prefect. Yes, it was a thing. My main duties were to ensure that the lower classes, that is class 4 and 5 had a smooth service, were organized well during the services, and ensured that I safely kept the offertory until the main service was over. No biggie right? Well, I hated it. I was chosen purely based on the fact that my father was a big man of the cloth and was highly respected in my school. That was my only qualification. Just that. My wonderful leadership qualities were not paramount in the decision making. Aside from being exempted from manual work, I never saw any other advantage in that responsibility. I also have problems with having people look up to me. I am not a role model. I refuse to be responsible for someone when trying to live like me fails. I was super excited when I didn’t have to be a prefect anymore. My replacement was a very staunch SDA, and again, that was her only qualification. She had a hard time though, it was an Anglican school.

In primary school the teachers kept looking at me and seeing a good girl. A PK. Someone who can mentor others. I am not saying am not a good girl, am just saying classifying me in that category fully would be a lie to everyone. People rarely focused on me as a person. It was always me as the PK. I was very good in Maths. My lowest score back then was 90%. One time I was leading in a maths test, and when I was receiving my badge, our headmistress says “girls, be like Paula. Prayers help in academic excellence”. I rolled my eyes. Yes, I would pray once in a while, but you can’t pass maths without practice. Give me some credit damn it!

In high school, I remember joining the CU and being a very active member. But then somewhere along the way, I just got bored. Why you ask? Quite a charming number of the members are what the common man calls pretenders, hypocrites. These are the people who would be so prayerful on weekend challenge (a whole weekend of prayers) and become a perfect example of bad influence the next week. These are the people who would ask you in some weird accent to raise your hands as you worship God, (they always pronounced it as guard) and at the end of every week, they are the ringleaders when it comes to writing diss letters to brother schools. I couldn’t take it. It was so much pretense I left. Then came the issue of being a PK who does not attend CU. People can talk! Eventually they got over that.

Let’s get real for a while, when you are in class with a PK, what do you expect? Quick list. Long skirt, Bible genius, generous to all, kind in all manner of ways, church lover. You mention it. Basically the textbook good girl. What happens when good girl here is caught in a scandal? Any scandal actually. What happens? People talk. What do they say? “Ata mtoto wa pastor pia?” “Hao ndio hua wameharibika sana”. I have heard these words so often they are now irritating to my ears. I don’t give a *insert any curse word*

I once found myself in some crazy scandal back in high school. I still hate how the principal handled the whole situation. Good girl here was suspended and that was the beginning of my ‘rebellion’. I was punished for a mistake I did not commit. I was very bitter. And, hey, which PK gets suspended? From then, I stopped caring about what teachers and fellow students would say. I wasn’t going to be just a PK. That will not be my legacy. Oh, and I did leave a mark in the school. And it’s not as a PK.

My school life was mainly being classified as PK.  Until I changed all that. If I were to narrate the stories of my mischievous acts in school, I would get all sorts of reactions. The most common one will be “Na wewe ni mtoto wa Pastor?”

I am now in my final year of university. And guess what, until a month ago, very few people knew am a PK. I love it that way. I can live my life as I want. No posters attached to my life.

Being a PK is a good thing until it’s all that you are. It’s all that defines you. It’s all people see when they look at you. Everyone wants to establish their own mark in the world, no one wants to be remembered as so and so’s person.

I have survived school. As far as I am concerned, that was the toughest part of all this.

This is an introduction. Since we are all aware that I am a PK, we are ready to move to phase two. Life as a Preacher’s Kid: Social Life.

THE MAN I WAS NAMED AFTER

 I want to state the most obvious thing in this world. Before I got a name, I had to be born.

I was born in Kisumu city, at Lumumba Hospital. Back then, we stayed in Nubian, before my dad became his other side and we had to move back to the village. I was born at a time when pressure was piling up on my parents on the need to have a baby. If the royal families can give the prince a period of one year after the wedding to pave the succession way, imagine an African set up, deep in the village, back when kids in itself were a symbol of prosperity. My dad being the first-born boy, he needed to be quick. Four years into marriage with nothing to show for it. In the fifth year a white baby (I was extra light skin at birth) appeared. Being a pride of my dad, a relief to my mum and a source of joy to my grandparents, my birth was cemented by naming me after the abled head of the family, my grandfather (paternal).

We moved back to the village in 2001, just when I was starting my primary school. I was a small, short boy. Most people would say I was at the mouth of the ground, with a head looking like a hammer (this head!). It is in the village that I had very good interactions with the man I was named after.

I used to watch my grandfather take his seat; a wooden version of the seats used in WWE Wrestling. He always sat in front of the house under the scorching sun next to a black water tank while facing the compound as if he was watching over his home. He shaved his beards every Saturday. Assembling his shaving tool was the most technical thing I saw. He would dismantle it from the handle, separate the head and put the Panda Razors (my head would be shaved using razor blades) in between. He would then apply soap on his grey beards after which he would keenly shave them. All this time I would be on standby, in case he needed something. I was an assistant. The process made me want beards too. I thought that shaving ones’ own beards was sacred. I didn’t know that when I would have mine I would be going to an executive barbershop (after much pressure) and have a cut after which three different liquids would be used by some cute lady to massage my face. At that point, I usually feel like I have it all in life. When in real life my competition, at the moment, is the church mouse.

My grandfather owned a black radio. It hung above his official seat in the house. He would set the radio at a particular channel and you could not dare change it. Even a slight movement of the tuner and return to the exact point would be noticed. I thought he had a special way of communicating to the gadget. Back before Ramogi FM even appeared, he mostly put KBC Kisumu. Every Kenyan listened to KBC, we had no option. It was suicidal to talk during news time. We would religiously keep quiet. Apart from the radio, his other most guarded property was his bicycle. I never saw anyone touching the bike. The bike was respected in the same way men respect their balls.

That man was full of wisdom. In his counsel, he held the whole family together. I learnt that in 1995, the year I was born, my dad got a Visa to further his studies in the USA. Grandfather could hear none of it. According to him, he knew it would be the last time he would ever see his son; it was like selling his son to America. The first time I was told the story I felt bad. I thought going abroad was the real deal. I believed that people could only make it abroad. I had not seen any of my people make it in Kenya, like I can see at the moment. I had no one to look up to. All the good stories told were of people who lived in America. My mum kept telling my dad how her people were in America, whenever they had some heated exchange. It is only until later that I realized the wisdom in my grandpa’s decision. I mean he made the decision for me. Otherwise, from the dad I knew, I would have been born into this world a son who did not know his dad. Someone who would only hear stories about his dad. I wouldn’t take that for anything in the world.

I was born after the old man had retired. He used to work in Uganda, back when East Africa Community was still intact. He returned to Kenya to take care of his home and livestock. That man loved animals. He would talk with passion about a cow as if he was taking about human beings. He had a specific way he would want his animals handled and any different move would make you collide. In the whole village, his cows would be the first to be taken out to the fields and last to be returned. One time I saw him shed tears when a donkey died. It was a very old donkey that to me I felt it was high time it died; to him it felt so sad. I am yet to learn how people get attached to animals that much. Personally, I don’t even like pets. He really liked my kid brother because he also liked to look after cattle. The day I saw him angered the most was when someone beat up my brother. That person ‘alilala ndani’ and he hated him forever.

This man held tradition at heart; he knew what was right or wrong in the society, together with a remedy. In his words, he would have wanted me to have a Simba when in class eight. One of the reasons why I liked him. As said earlier, he was the voice of wisdom among us. He held our family together soundly. The go to guy in case of any dilemma. He was also religious, he had an Apostolic Church build just next to the gate of the home. Even though of late it looks more of abandoned. It looks so lonely to me. I wonder if people still worship in it, personally I moved.
My old man never took alcohol and he always took pride in that. He hated alcohol and every other hard drugs with passion. Just as much as he hated dreadlocks. You can imagine the disappointment he had when all his sons turned out drunkards. I would hear him talk of it especially when an uncle would return home so wasted. Sometimes I wish I would be able to talk to him and tell him, “it is not your fault; all you can do is be a good parent, which you are and give the children the ability to make their own independent decisions, so don’t beat yourself over it.” Too bad, he is not around to hear me say that to him. I am yet to experience parenthood meaning every advice I will give at first, will be drawn from hearsay. I am not that wise.

I was named after a great man (don’t worry about the fact that I at times can be an asshole of a being). This name, I will preciously guard. If I were to change my name, I would retain Martin but gladly let go of the last one, not because I don’t like it, but because my name betrays me. It is hard being a Luo in this country. I am sure if he could see me now he would be proud of his name.