Photo Courtesy: AmuKay
Let’s go waaaay back. From the beginning. When the earth was just a baby, God’s baby. Like a programmer’s code, being moulded into a perfect masterpiece. Then the gay serpent happened. I say gay because a talking serpent approached a NAKED woman and only asked her to eat an apple. Or was it blind, because we all know, us creatures of Venus have the power to stir up a million emotions when we take our clothes off. Assuming the devil is male, (we know he is), the fact that he did not notice her perfect boobs is the reason we have plastic surgery and Photoshop today. Take a moment and picture the look on Adam’s face when Eve told him he was naked. So assuming Eve, did not eat that apple, and the earth remained the perfect universe it was supposed to be. That is my what if story...
First things first, there would be no lies, which is a bummer, because most industries on earth were born out of lies. Starting off with Hollywood. There would be no books, movies and series based on fiction, no Transformers, No Avengers, Harry Potter or Fast and Furious because why would you need a saviour in ridiculously costumed spandex when you have one who rains fire and brimstone? Also, what would be cars, because I’m pretty sure we would be relying on mules and the elite would be having chariots.
Here in Africa, the situation would still be the same same. African mothers will still beat you for getting injured, because “you walk without watching where you’re going”, they will turn a “this food tastes great” to “it will be until you find yourself a wife?” The only maguta maguta Maina Kageni would be selling would the lard off of the buffalos and zebras he hunts in the heart of Kiambu or Murang’a. Kuyus wouldn't be judged by our (apparently nonexistent) culinary skills.
And why would we need education? We have no careers to beat ourselves over. The careees we would be fighting over would be hunting and gathering. But then, lakeside people would have no bragging rights. What would we be reading instead, the actions and reactions of your fellow humans, which is pretty entertaining. We’d probably still wear loincloths and by my age, my mother would have already traded me for rice. I would be mother to a battalion of children by now. If we still lived in that garden, it would be chaos. I don’t think there’d be a constitution, so God would probably come down frequently and when he couldn’t, he’d open up the earth to swallow up anyone who irritated him. Above all, there would be no period pain. And no Safaricom. And the ovacado would be perfect. Kakuzi perfect .
The only things we would be grinding on would be grain into flour, the only things we would be going down on would be our knees in prayer and the only banging we would be doing would be to crack coconuts open.
Then we’d have no labels. No black. No white. No Asians. No gay. No straight. No bisexual. No petite or plus size. No normal and weird. We would just be there, as humans, facing the wrath of God together. And people would just live, girls not wondering if the skirt from those fig trees makes their derriere look fat and men, well, what are men insecure about?
There’d be no social media, so the only thing slay queens would be smoking would be the incense they burn at God’s altar, the only things they’d be spreading would be sacrifices and the only things they’d be lifting would be their hands in prayer. Then us others would be fat and go through our awkward phases in peace.
But we will never know, because trust me, even if Eve hadn’t been approached to eat that damn apple, someone else, unsupervised by the unclean spirits, would have gone and eaten that fruit anyway, because we all know curiosity didn’t kill a cat, it killed a man called Cat. Because maybe then, we would actually know what it's like to be truly ourselves.
Wednesday, 6 September 2017
Photo Courtesy: AmuKay
Can we first agree that the term happy is relative, yes? Ok. So, my source of happiness varies greatly. One time it’s a series of memes, the other it is that time the broker fishes out a wad of notes to pay for my vegetables. Let us agree, money is actually a source of happiness and to be very human, I’d rather cry in that Range Rover (I prefer a Ford Ranger) that laugh on that bicycle. What if it starts raining and I’m on that bicycle, then I catch pneumonia and die? Was it worth it? No it wasn’t .Rather, I’d rather cry in that my Ford Ranger, and as I toast in the warmth of the air con, my tears will dry, logical, yes? Also, my forefathers did not blindly fight guns and grenades with spears and machetes, eating ngwaci in a mosquito infested forest, so I can cry on a bicycle.
Back to the topic, happiness. My source of happiness I think lies in the small things in life. The laughter of a baby, (Boy! Do I love other people's babies), his text in the morning, that jaw drop in Tom and Jerry, but above all, in giving. There is a saying, 'kutoa ni moyo, si utajiri' and lets agree there is so much truth in that truth. I love making people's day. I will randomly approach you on that isle in the supermarket and comment ' nice shoes', or ' great hair, what is that, Brazilian?'
I smile at strangers, I greet watchies at the bank and tellers at the supermarket. The smell of the rain makes me happy, it is a promising of productivity. I used to give money to beggars, until I learnt it is a cartel, like every other industry in this our nation. There are cartels in everything plenty and non-plenty that is found within our borders.
My happiness also comes from appreciating. Appreciating sunrises, because it is a chance to be great again, to breath hope into others. Happiness is talking to my grandmother. If that woman could, she’d crotchet me booties for Christmas.
Happiness is when a food invite ends with “I’m buying”. Happiness is an Mpesa message beginning with “You have Received…” Happiness is a warm bed, a good book and hot cocoa on a cold day. Happiness is my siblings getting scolded for something I’d initially advised them against. Happiness is finding money in clothes I haven't worn in sometime. You know those moments? When people have to hold you down to prevent you from travelling the world and buying a building with that 50/- , that gift from your obviously younger self to your current self. Happiness is also understanding a pun during Upgrade Poetry.
Like I said happiness is varied, it really just depends on the situation. One thing I’m certain of however, it is that there really is more joy in giving than in receiving. This week, give something wholeheartedly. A greeting, a handkerchief to a crying person, a spot on the queue for an old man or make a contribution to a cancer drive, anything…see how that works out.
Monday, 4 September 2017
I don’t know if people actually have a single favourite book. Its impossible. Not with all that creativity floating around and people harnessing it. Eight years ago, the BabySitter series was the jam ( do people still say that? No? Ok)I remember Karen and her two families and that colourful blanket ( like the one that drove Joseph’s brothers in so big a jealous fit they sold him off to slavery. Ama it was a coat?.) she'd torn in two, one for each house. Five years ago, Harry Potter was my favourite book series. Let me tell you I had mastered the spells so well the only thing missing was my wand and a cauldron. HAHA! Expecto Cauldrones!!
Then I grew up into Mills and Boon. The amount of sex, all in detail was so intruiging for thirteen year old me. I used to wonder if the teachers turned a blind eye to these books on purpose. In fact, it used to rain Mills and Boon on the weekends. Let me just tell you the promises of everlasting love and lovemaking in those books were chicken soup for the teenage soul. Around the same time I was goofing off to Greek mythology and the thriller that was RL Stine and his Goosebumps series. Remember those ones you had to choose pages to complete your mission? I used to die gruesomely in those books. One time, I had to either get eaten up by a werewolf or stuff myself dead with chocolate. RL Stine’s head is screwed up.
Then came Sydney Sheldon, John Grisham, James Patterson, Daniel Steel, Alexis Sherman etc. I still love these authors, but my favourite book will have to be the Bible because DAMN. That book is as intriguing as it is fear rendering and messed up. Can we begin with the savagery that is the Old Testament? Remember that time sijui kids laughed at Elisha because he was bald, then he asked for God to punish them? What does God do? He sends freaking bears to eat them up. What?! Then that other time someone was turned into a pillar of salt because he looked back at Sodom and Gomorrah. I wonder what happened to him after that. Maybe livestock licked him up until he just faded. Or maybe it rained and he dissolved. Or he was harvested by salt harvesters, packaged into a kagunia of the Kensalt of that time and sold off to flavour food. We will never know. Also that time a sibling, was it Jacob or Esau, traded his birth right for a bowl of bean soup. Then there was David and Goliath. And Samson and Delilah. And David and Jonathan. And Moses, Joshua and their lost bandwagon of Canaanites. And Abraham who tried to sacrifice his son Isaac. Then just as he almost kills him before God yells “just kidding, there’s a ram in those bushes.” Meanwhile Isaac is just lying there on that twelve stone altar, scared beyond repair, wondering what the hell was wrong with this father. Or the 50 Shades of Grey that is Songs of Solomon. Sometimes I imagine Noah was on that arc after the rains begun, then people are drowning around him, crying out for help. How did he just sit there when it was literally raining terror outside? Then that time the donkey spoke to Balak. If a donkey spoke to me, my soul would literally leave my body.
Then that time in the New Testament when Jesus fed 5k people with 5 loaves of bread and two fish, because he was cool like that. Then after their stomachs were full of his food, they nailed him on a cross. Humans, am I right?
Then the tongues of fire that made the disciples to start speaking in tongues. Haha. That must’ve looked like a scene from the Kenyan political arena. There was a Duale, a Millie Odhiambo, a Sonko, a Jakoyo Midiwo, a Murkomen, a Moses Kuria, a Babu Owino, a Keter, some Rutos and other players. In essence, there were words flying everywhere but no one can comprehend anything.
All in all the Bible is an interesting anthropology. The collection of stories is humorous, shocking, intriguing, inspiring and a whole other load of adjectives. It is captivating. It lights up the darkness. It helps us find ourselves. It is why it is my favourite book.
Sunday, 3 September 2017
They say a dad is girl's first love. If he fucks her up, he has fucked up every member of the male species that will come into her life after him. Mine didn’t. Mine’s a good dad. In fact, this post is about this man. My earliest memories of my dad were of him narrating snow white stories to me. They were not exactly what the books said, he added his own words and plot twists a lot. But I can tell you for a fact there was nothing I looked forward to more than the stories. Other times, he would tell me of ogres who lured young girls by imitating familiar voices and handouts and then eating them up. Considering the state of the world, I think he knew the exact kind of data he was feeding into my head. I would never get into a stranger's car or take gifts from stranger, because, you know, ogres.
When I was 7, I remember he bought me my first storybook. It was called Mr.Todi from those New Progressive series. It took almost a month to complete. It was about a hibernating toad who lived on a farm or something. I treasured it more than anything. Well, not more than that stuffed panda he got for me that Christmas. And after that, more books came. And more after that. He doesn’t buy them anymore. Not for himself and definitely not for me. Then I transferred schools. To an academy, where there was an actual library. And from there, my love for stories and words grew. With every book I put down, I wanted another. I don’t read as much these days, because life. But I squeeze in as much as I can. On the mat to town, on that everlasting KCB queue, sometimes before bed. If the story is good, I will forego everything to finish it up.
The other day, he brought Jeff Koinange's book and asked if I still read. I was elated. He thinks I do it as a hobby, as a leisure activity. He hasn’t got the slightest idea that he gave me the best gift a father could ever give. A bond. An escape path. A gateway to a whole other universe. And I am eternally grateful because I don’t know if there are many girls who can say the same.
Saturday, 2 September 2017
I'm not even sure how I’m supposed to phrase this because half of the things that made me happy the other day don’t have the same effect on me today, you know like how githeri man isn’t cool anymore. Wild hearts can’t be broken, because they ride the wind and touch the sun. So you wonder, in essence, how to please a wild heart. I wonder too. This list includes some of the ways you can win this one over , though in no particular order.
A book. An actual print. Not a Kindle or an eBook. Let me tell you there is something about a good print with a storyline that literally sets me apart. The rate I devour the story, mingle with the characters and flow with their fates makes my blood rush. I feel their words, I see their faces, I feel their feelings. I absolutely love novels.
Good music. If you know me well, I will let you count the number of times you have seen me without my earphones on. See? The number of fingers on your hands are too many for that. My musical taste is varied. One time I want the warm embrace of James Arthur, the love making of Lindsey to her violin, the soothing but electrifying sounds of Nairobi Horns Project, other times I want to waltz away with Johann Strauss, to sing (horribly) at the top of my lungs to Taylor Swift and times I want Mercy Masika to take me to church. Good music is one way that’ll lead you smack into one of my ventricles.
Make me laugh. I’m that girl who laughs ten minutes after the joke stopped being funny. I laugh at the smallest jokes. I catch on the slightest hit of a pun. This probably explains why Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Alexis Sherman series are some of my favorite reads. I laugh with people, sometimes at people and if needed, I will even laugh for you. So if you can make me laugh, you’re halfway there.
Rusungu. I cannot begin to emphasize on the importance of an efficient communication system. My preference is the Queen’s language. I know its not a measure of intelligence but if I cannot hold a conversation with you for five minutes, get used to blueticks. Maybe I should have said language because it covers courtesy too. Don’t get me wrong, not all that PLO mumbo jumbo. Just have your grammar right.
Old school people. Old school ways. Flowers. Whether they’re fresh or made by origami, I want them. Not the plastic ones though. I probably won’t be able to smell them because the strongly scented ones like roses send my sinus on overdrive. Don’t let that stop you. Get them anyway. I’ll work my way around. Also, if you can throw in chocolate, that would spread a grin so wide on my face it would reflect on the moon.
Let’s say for a fact here, you could try all of the above but I’ll still zone you to another dimension because above all, wild hearts are stubborn and untamable.
Friday, 1 September 2017
I’ve said cocktail because the alternative would have been rainbow. I may be a jolly good conglomeration of cells but I sure as hell ain't that mesmerizing. Rainbows come after storms. I don’t. Sometimes I’m actually the storm. To begin with, I am absolutely not a morning person. I would be a morning person if morning happened around midday. You know people say you don’t need an alarm, your passion will wake you up? I don’t. I am a happy soul constantly punctuated by bouts of depression and anxiety, you know, like that sunshine that brings no warmth. I chase sunsets. I’m a night owl. At that time, a time my grandma insists the demons are at work, the creative juices flow better than Octopizzo's lyrics.
I overthink everything. That is my weakness. I over worry. My mind works overtime all the time. I am the P in passionate, even when it’s clear I’m trying to fill my pot with a sieve. I push. Even when I can’t, I push.
I love classical music. The stringed instruments are just about the only things that set my soul on fire. That and a good read.
I am old school, self-conscious on a molecular level and super sentimental. I literally feel every emotion. I get hurt by the tiniest actions and words. So you’ve probably figured out I have the ability to turn on the waterworks in a matter of seconds. SMH, big baby syndrome.
I’m a homebody who also likes the outdoors. Some mornings I’m an ambitious bitch with an insatiable hunger for power and money, other days, it takes heaven itself to just get me out of bed.
I am TERRIBLE at keeping time. I’m literally late for everything. I have tried every trick in the book, but it seems this is my actual Achilles heel.
I love the smell of rain and old books. I watch the stars. I’m not a pet kinda girl and I absolutely adore babies. I like making friends, but I’m scared of starting conversations. I hate feeling like a bother. I’m authoritative, but in a mama bear kind of way. My siblings hate me for this. I am full of love and fear in equal measure. Fear control s most of what I do sometimes.
“Why is he being nice to me? Maybe he wants to steal me and lock me up in a dungeon in his basement. “
“Stop running, you’re gonna fall and die."
"Don’t wear that, it makes you look fat."
"Don’t talk like that, you’ll hurt his feelings. Then he’ll be a sad man who growls at children and kicks chicken out of bitterness"
"Don’t tell them shit about yourself, they’re just gonna laugh about you tomorrow"
These are the kind of conversations that run in my head all day. I can’ even finish describing myself, the same way you can never quite figure out all the tastes in a cocktail.
Someday, when I stop being so afraid, when ill close my eyes and let go, that day maybe I’ll get a taste of freedom.
But today is not that day.