We are Kenyan not because they line their wallets
with the sweat and tears of the toothless pensioner
But because we know there must be hope for our seed.
We are Kenyan not because they lack direction, inspiration
conviction, strength, courage or moral spine.
But because we know there are better leaders amongst us
We are Kenyan not because they try to divide us
into tribe, class, education or neighbourhood
But because we know we are one
We are Kenyan not because they give themselves
our land, steal our money, kill our people
But because we know they will rot in hell
We are Kenyan because we are pained by them
Silently we bleed for change but fearing those in the trough
will find ways to misdirect our passion, use our pain against us.
We are Kenyan because we have read
Scribes of old warning of the dangers of power and how
History is full of leaders lined up; the lucky ones in hoods
Is this perhaps what they need?
We are Kenyan because our hearts swell with pride
when Kip outruns the pack, Wanjiku takes the prize,
Okello wins the seat or Shah makes a six
I am Kenyan because I see the beauty, wealth of my motherland
And because of this I dare not despair.
Defiantly I look the mongers of war in the eye
Challenging them to lie to me that they too are Kenyan!
I have had lunch and some friends come over to visit. We argue about whether to watch a movie in town (Cameo had some steamy third rate shows running every day ) or go out and play some ball ( these days it would be referred to as "shooting some hoops"). We are gathered in our back yard making quite a bit of a racket.. really just minding our own business when Joyce decides to make an appearance in one of the rooms on the first floor! She slowly unties the lesso shes wearing and bends- disappearing from our view for a few torturous seconds! Thankfully she reappears holding a different lesso; this one a rich blue with bright white flowers. She doesn't knot it at the back of her neck like before but slowly wraps and tucks it into itself at the roof of her breasts.
Although the houses are not close to see that much detail, our collective imagination acts like a magnifying glass and more than makes up for the distance. We are as quiet as dead mice and closer to adolescent heaven than ever before! Those third rate movies could not compare with this.... This was the real thing!
We listen to the music playing in our minds, the occasional moan punctuating the silence. I, like everyone else am transfixed... I know she is playing and toying with us but I cant move. She moves her shoulders back and forth, swaying closer and closer to the window. She then faces us, stretches out her hands and sharply pulls the curtains. Shes gone.
Without exception each one of us is breathing quite sharply now. I am numb in more places than one, my head and other significant part are both throbbing. I must have been holding my breath all this time, starving my brain of oxygen, because I feel extremely lightheaded and dry mouthed. In reality it couldn't have been longer than two or three minutes- but it felt much longer. Thinking back I felt like I'd feel after spending an hour watching a dancer work the pole in an adult club. To each one of us this was a sacred moment. To this day that impression is indelibly burnt to memory.
We start to scheme, our recently broken voices edge us on with 'manly' courage. The plan is very simple really.. two of my friends and I would go and go the house and 'visit'- we were certain (or should I say cocksure) that we would be hushed into the lounge and asked to feel at home and offered something to drink. We were certain that we would then be invited upstairs one at a time. We argued for a while who would go upstairs first... for some reason none of us wanted to take the lead. This was not agreed upon but we did reach an agreement as to who would initiate conversation. We choose Cedric because he has a bigger in body and a hint of a moustache on his lip. We are sure he can easily pass for 18.
Well, the false courage was in place and we start off round the corner, full of anticipation, ready for the kill- like an army marching confidently towards its first battle. We know we were going to be men in a short while- we were about to experience what the bigger boys constantly talked about every day.. getting some!! I am excited at that prospect and am busy searching my memory for the things I have read and seen in magazines. We soldier on and with every step the courage that we were earlier full of, is replaced by an awkward fear... my heart is thumping in my chest so strongly I am frightened of the others hearing it. Picture this: three young boys bouncing (nay - floating), pockets filled with hands in an attempt to disguise their unused tools, purposefully down the road to have their first meeting with destiny.
The gate is ajar and in single file we hesitantly make our way to the front door. We congregate at the steps and before any of us can raise a hand to knock, the door is pulled open and I hear behind me the hasty departure of my partners in crime. With my knees weak and my legs heavy as lead, I stand there and Joyce smiles at me and says... " Ahh! marafiki wako waoga kweli." She speaks in that melodious super sexy coastal Swahili. " Karibu." She says and I still dont have words. She offers me a seat and turns the three-in-one volume up a bit. Josephat Ngige is presenting Sundowner with his usual talented mix of love songs. My heart is beating to the sound of Abbas rendition of..:
" Can you hear the drums Fernando? I remember long ago another starry night like this In the firelight Fernando....."
She zeros in on me and moves in very close. I still haven't spoken a word. I see a strange sparkle in her eyes as she grabs hold of me and attacks my lips with wet kisses. Her hands are all over me and mine are at my side. I don't know what to do I am lost. I'm loving every minute of it; but I'm unsure where to touch and where not to- and how!. She wrestles me down to the carpet and sits on me. I still haven't said a word. My eyes are taking in the sights of the crazed beauty in a lesso- bringing forth curves, tastes, smells, sounds and texture that are exploding my senses. STOP!
******I am sure a number of you (read Nick and Co. ) out there expected me pen down much steamier encounters with Joyce. Some will no doubt be disappointed but I choose to leave the rather graphic conclusion to this encounter to your imagination.
So I am sitting here along the banks of the river Nile. Watching the water flow by, carrying its payload of hyacinth mixed with plastic bottles of water, discarded by some idiot maybe two countries away. Here in Juba the Nile is amazing, at some spots its almost 200 metres in width and sitting under the hundreds of mango trees, the breeze is as refreshing as the breeze at the coast. The temperature, at about 30 degrees, is much cooler than in the town centre. Its four in the afternoon and I have just finished a meeting with a client down the road from the camp that I am staying in. I have just been reading my last post which I did about a year ago. I close my eyes and I can hear an old Commodores song playing from the stereo- " Thanx for the times that you've given me... the memories are all in my mind..."... I doze off and my mind goes back to Joyce.. that perfectly formed Taita princess that I lived next door to; one August many, many, many years ago.
She was 18 and I was 14.
I know you guys reading this can relate to that. In our youth ( at least in mine) there was always that something about older girls... maybe its because as a young boy with hormones playing havoc on you... one was attracted to a (more)mature female. I remember the first girl I kissed was two classes ahead of me- that's another story for another day!
Looking back I now know why my mother took extra effort when interviewing maids and not the gardeners. The older and less attractive, the more qualified they were. I'd always thought that my mother had terrible taste but now I know she was only protecting me from myself.
It didn't take long for things to start happening at our neighbours house. In the morning Joyce would be in the backyard washing clothes... and I would be in our backyard watching her washing clothes. Every time our maid came round - I think her name was Constance-I would pretend to be engrossed in a chemistry text book. At first I think my mother was fooled by this act.. but she began to wonder how I could spend all hours in the same spot reading the same book and then she would call me into the house. Going to the house always took a few minutes longer than usual and I can still hear my mother yelling: " LUKA!!!!" (pronounced with a deep Kikuyu flavour)
The reason for turning the 10 feet into a couple hundred was because of that protrusion just below my waist. I had to give it time to compose itself. Once in the house she would ask me what I was reading and I would reply- chemistry (maybe I should have been reading biology- I could have perhaps landed myself a half decent job) or whatever book I had out there. She would engage me in never ending conversations as only mothers know how to when you are in a hurry. At this point in time my mind would wander over to the backyard and I attempt to extricate myself from mothers' stories. When I finally manage to get away- I run to the backyard and I am there in two seconds flat! But as luck would have it Joyce... ohhhhh beautiful Joyce is done with the washing and I find her hanging the last of the clothes on the line. I watch, mesmerised as a gentle breeze pulls at her 'leso' and I catch a glimpse of the smooth,chocolate milky thighs.
Sadly she's through and starts walking back into the house but she turns and flashes me one of those smiles... you know the type.... the one that says.very softly.... 'soon!'
Next... Joyce and Beat time at 5 Pm
Surrounded by tall, shapely, beautiful ,berry- black (not black berry) girls who dont sweat in the daily 40+ temperatures. They are sooooo elegant- they all posses long necks, small faces and the tiniest of waists. Their teeth are sparkling white and against the dark skin they are simply lovely. In some parts of this hot land, many of them walk around wearing nothing the waist up... it is not an exciting sight but a truly beautiful one...I am surrounded by thousands of Alek Wek look a alikes..... the mkamba in me can only look and....
are my readers still out there?
Let me tell you a story.
A long, long time ago when what you call soul today was new music. Way before the carnivore was constructed and Nairobi Dam was a dam which had a terrific nightspot called ‘The Sailing Club’. When apartment blocks in Nairobi were only three stories high and our roads were made of tar not potholes. When one had no doubts about professing to be Kenyan.
It was a time when there were no lines to get Visas and going abroad was really a matter of whether one could afford it or not. When one wasn’t met with stares of suspicion at every airport you entered. It was a time when even Nigerians were welcome almost everywhere. When you never heard a Kenyan Airways stewardess had been nabbed with drugs.
A time when our athletes were kings of track. When Moroccans as well as Ethiopians, were known for exploits other than beating Kenyans in the long distance races.
A time when condoms were only sold in selected chemists and not in every kiosk and finding them in your partners handbag or wallet made you think of promiscuity rather than safety. Back when many a GP made his living from treating diseases that were common and treatable. When the only hawkers in
Puberty came in a rush for me. Zits on the forehead, hair growing in warm places and a peculiar enlargement of my left breast (This had me worried that I wasn't normal for a while). Feeling randy in any old place...etc. These were just the physical changes but they were nothing compared to what was going on in my head. The girl next door who my boys and I made fun of daily started looking attractive for some reason. I started having dreams that I couldn’t have enough of every single night. I fell in love with my class teacher who was 38. I could have sworn that she was the most beautiful woman I had ever set my eyes on. One by one I had a crush on each female teacher in the school.Night after night I would have the same dream! The dreams were becoming more real as the days went by. A friend gave me a dog eared, very well worn copy of a Harold Robbins book and I read the book quickly once and reread some sections of some chapters 10 to 20 times. These parts were what my dreams were made of.
This state of confusion went on for a while; a couple of months at least. The girl next doors name was Jane ( No- not
August holidays that year were the turning point in my life. Mama Jane and the entire family went to Taveta. They left JOYCE behind to take care of the house for 2 weeks.
Before she left, Mama Jane came home and asked my mother to keep an eye on JOYCE and the house.
I was only 14 and………
Tears of laughter changing into tears shame
As I see bloggers clawing at each other
Throwing care into the eye of storm
Her space violated
Her words knotted in hurt; sweet words into poison
Emotionally emptying – openly?
Anger!!!!!! Seething anger
Pain and misery rolled into a post
To orchestrate such fury would be hard
His respect in question
His words defiantly confident; perceptive words into daggers
Systematically querying – smugly?
Denial!!!! Composed denial
Shifting the onus of proof into a post
To admit to such a charge would be folly
Sides are chosen by the spectators
She said- being one
He said -being the other
The fence is wide for many are astride as
Others jump off to either side
Been away a while, a short while
To find my place of peace
Strewn with anger and bloated with rage
Clueless as to how it all began
All I want is my place of peace.
So, Nick is spoiling for a fight. He feels, in his small childish way, that he can put up a worthwhile fight with this experienced son of ‘muthokoi’. Someone should spoonfeed Nick with a few facts of life. The most important ones being :
Battles are not won through trumpet blowing and excessive noise pollution.
Allegiances are forged not forced.
Patience not ‘dental patients’ is a virtue.
In order for him to win the war he needs to understand the difference between tactics and tact. Attack and a thumb tack. Defence as opposed to ‘da-fence’.
Let me fire the first salvo.
Nick meets Wangu at a bar.
They get along so well that they decide to go to her place.
A few drinks later, Nick takes off his shirt and then washes his hands.
He then takes of his trousers and washes his hands again.
Wangu has been watching him and says, "You must be a dentist."
Nick, surprised, says "Yes....how did you figure that out?"
"Easy," she replied, "you keep washing your hands."
One thing led to another and they make love.
After they are done, Wangu says, "You must be a good dentist."
Nick, now with a boosted ego says, "Sure, I'm a good dentist, How did you figure that out?"
" I Didn't feel a thing!"