Tuesday, July 23, 2019
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The day I started seeking cloud nine

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There was a police officer who was posted to my village when we, the community, demanded for a police post. Crime had escalated, as had petrol sales, because we were sending a message to the government that we were tired of their force being ‘Utumishi kwa wachache.’ We took to roasting thieves, literally, until he government gave in and sent us four police officers. FOUR (4)

It still beats me how for men could be expected to restore order where a whole community was failing. But this is not about that. This is about a quote by Kimeu, God rest his soul, one of the four policemen in the first batch posted to Kigumo AP post. Kimeu will be remembered for a lot of things, but above all for this quote: ‘Hii mambo haijaanzia leo, imekuwa tangu enzi za mababu zetu.’ One bit of a two-part quote. The second bit I wont state now, but, for those who might remember, it began as, ‘Kimeu alisema…’ So when juzi I heard of one Bro Ocholla who exposed his fisi-like ways in a prayer cell Whatsapp group, I remembered Kimeu’s saying; this search for cloud nine goes back a long way.

The year is long ago. In the years when you do not want your name to be Múthoni, because then you are automatically christened ‘Kifagio’ The cock has started feeling the urge to crow at around the same time the hens are displaying ‘henny’ characteristics. Girls tunics appear swollen on their chests. My friend Head Mud (Edmond) thinks they are hiding something in there. Robin thinks they are developing muscles. Having interacted with my older cousins, I proudly get these two out of the drain by informing them those are breasts. They are magic organs, I say,  but, for now, the only magic you might need to perform on them is aim for them if a girl challenges you to a fight. You hit one, she goes powerless, you win the fight. Now they know why I am not afraid of the biggest girl in our school.

Anyway, like I said, gacamba has tried to start crowing. I recently spotted  a certain girl and I felt thithii. Thithii is a confusing feeling when you are a young boy. You see, at that age, you are conditioned such that when any thought comes to your mind, it is followed in quick succession by the thought, “Will I be asked?” At least it is like that when you are the son of The Man Beater. Then again I wonder whether that could be a disease creeping up on me, and from afar, could I be getting bewitched.

But thithii does not give a hoot; I decided me and Múthoni had to become one. So I pondered and pondered how to approach her. Walk up to her….no! And tell her what? Write her a letter? Weeeh! What if it ands in wrong hands and people know I am looking fora girlfriend? Or worse, what if the omnipresent Man Beater finds out?

Or should I look for a close confidant to secretly convey my intentions? Paaarfect!

Not much to think about who to send. Njo is the chosen messenger. Njo and I are like Kenyatta and Mbiu Koinange.  And he is excellent at it. Njo goes to the same school as my Múthoni. He is one class ahead so he can talk to her with a little authority.

Anyway, all that is ilienda ikawa. Njo returns to me with a message the next evening: Mútho wanted me to tell that to her myself. “Tell me exactly what she said. Her words!” I demand.

“Kwa nini anakutuma, kwani hana mdomo? Mwambie akuje aniambie mwenyewe.”

She said that, are you sure? So, Njo, do you think that is a bad thing or a good thing? I think she hates me.

Of course it is a good thing, she wants you….

Get lost, is that why she asked if I don’t have a mouth?

She just wants you to say it to her….

So you mean she wants us to….

Yes she wants to meet you!

Ayayayaya!

What have I gotten myself into? So if we meet, where, when, what time? And talk about what? Sex? Books? Marriage?

No, Njo, no. We need to end this. Now!

Njo will hear none of that, he insists he is setting us to meet up. Ma ya ngune!! Nimejipeleka Hague. Can’t we return to vague and just have a local tribunal?

Njo is of kusema na kutenda type. The meet-up with Múthoni is arranged for the next evening, Tuesday. 6.45pm, as she goes to collect milk. That time most mothers will be home beginning supper preparations. No father will be on the road home yet. It is dusk, not too light for people to see us from a mile away; not too dark for Múthoni to be outdoors. We have five minutes maximum, more than that her mother will venture out looking for her.

And thus, we are here.

Hi……

Hi…..

I was told you wanted to see me…..

Yes…..

What is it…..

What Njo told you…..

He did not tell me anything……

[Thinking] Kumbe Njo is a cabbage! Aaah, this girl is shitting me!….He told me he told you….

Told me what?

[Silence]….

So what do you want me for?

….[Silence/sweat]

At that moment my mind is working overtime. Is that The Man Beater I see coming? What if I say something dumb? What do other boys tell her? Does she think I am evil? What if God punishes me? Will I start failing my exams? Who is the Minister of Education? Oh, teacher said it is Minister For, not of. Are Njo and the boys hiding around to hear how it goes? Yes they are! I can bet my ball! My pums ball. So I can’t blow this. But what is this lump in my throat?

I….I want you to be my girlfriend……

Si you have a girlfriend?….

No, that one is, aah, which girlfriend?….

You know her….

I don’t have a girlfriend…..

I have to go, nachelewa….

Aah, Ok, wait. Umesemaje?…..

Tutaonana.

And that’s that. That was the longest five minutes of my life!! Weh!!! Just like I guessed, Njo had spilt the beans, and the chimps had planted themselves to hear it all. They may say I blew it, but I am armed with two pieces of evidence:

  1. Ni vile she thinks I have another girlfriend
  2. She was in a hurry asichelewe. She said to tutaonana.

For now, I need to go and change, and also lie down. Never sweat so much before, or had such breathing problems before. Could I be contracting asthma? Hope not.

iRestMyPen

PS: I have just set myself up for big big trouble, a fugitive I am. See you next week.

 

 

 

 

The day Samuel Kariuki convinced me we cook matumbo

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Image: Matumbo fry and mukimo, an odd combiation in itself | Image source: pikachakula.com
Matumbo fry and mukimo, an odd combiation in itself | Image source: pikachakula.com

Growing up, I never used to eat matumbo. At all. Even when I was present during a slaughtering ceremony and the portion called ‘meat of the slaughterers’ was prepared, I skipped matumbo like Uhuru skipped devolution conference. I’d just quickly swallow half-chewed pieces of meat then chew exhaustively baadae. Reason? I had heard somewhere that matumbo instills fear in men, and that is one class I did not intend to attend. Fear, Britons, is what you call cowardice. Matumbo is, well, matumbo.

Then I went to college and budget cuts came knocking and somehow matumbo at Chela’s and Nancy’s eateries started tasting completely like meat, if not better. It is around that time I discovered Sossi is also a more nutritious and tastier kind of meat.

IMAGE: Well prepared matumbo.
Well prepared matumbo. Such preparation at Chelah’s and Nancy’s convinced me that matumbo was food | Image: whatsfordinner.co.ke

Also, Samuel Kariuki came along. That chimp used to convince me to do a lot of silly things. Like to live in the school hostels, to drink a little before salsa night (translated to passing out and missing the entire event) to buy a carton of sossi etc etc. Worst of all, to cook matumbo.

Sa si we are there on a Saturday recounting losses and feeling hungry and not feeling like we can swallow anything without throwing up. Kariuki, aka, O-sekeretary njeneral, aka projects co-ordinator, informs me that the recovery we need requires a good meal, and when he does not mention sossi soya, I immediately agree. Except he proposes matumbo.

But still, better than sossi. Uneventfully, and with very few words spoken, we go to the butchery right next to the hostel, and procure a whole kilogram of matumbo, our grumbling pockets regardless.

Plus a few other ingredients, tomatoes like this like that, and return to the task.

Ngai mwathani! That stuff smells bad! Worse than rotten rats mixed with week-old garbage and boiled for half a day. And because we have one room functioning as kitchen, bedroom, balcony and sitting room, we are in trouble. The smell is sticking on our bedding and clothes like those ‘party time chewing gum’ stickers.

So we choose the next best course of action- to open all doors and windows, rather, the door and the window. Now, that is what is called dirty linen in public! The smell which hits that hostel hallway! People can be heard closing their doors in haste and locking with keys plus antigen. (Enemies of development insist to date that smell made many ladies who were in that men’s hostel for the weekend leave never to return. They also say the janitor issued a memo, but si you know haters?)

And, because hangover is hangover, Kariuki still convinced me to eat that matumbo. I was bedridden for a whole two weeks, but Kariuki insists he has never seen me healthier, says I never missed a single lecture in that period.

IMAGE: Fried matumbo
At the end of our smelly session, we had something that could not compare to this |Image source: kaluhiskitchen.com

“Sisi ndio hatukua tunajua kupika matumbo,” he said, “lakini sasa nimejua njaro.”

Suffice to say we never cooked matumbo again during our stay in Kesses, and to date I personally haven’t. Anyone with a matumbo cookbook?

PS: It was in that same room that Kariuki convinced me to drink Bru Moon. I could tell you what ensued, but the committee of three people present during the act recommended that ‘Hiyo story iishie hapo.” So, #iBounce

IMAGE: Recently, Karis called me to convince me that Zuckerberg just had matumbo at Mama Oliech's.
Recently, Karis called me to convince me that Zuckerberg just had matumbo at Mama Oliech’s. I’ll be needing your help with this | Image: Facebook.com/MarkZuckerberg

#iRestMyPen

 

Timbitii overload archive, just for you

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Since late 2015, we have been doing throwbacks on Thursday’s, just like everyone else. Lies.

Unlike everyone else.

Because we can’t get enough self-esteem to pose for pictures- or display those our parents had us pose for in the days of Kodak- we do our throwback in form of a story, mainly on Facebook.

Now, we noticed you like our stories, and we must say we are more than grateful. It really feels nice to be appreciated. Thank you.

Enough with the niceties and blushing.

We also noticed that Facebook is not that great at archiving. Once Thursday is gone catching up with a post is tedious. So we built this little granary, where you can come any day and read whatever story you want. Where you can send even kids to retrieve stuff for yo.

So, dear fans, this is specially yours, just for you.

Also, we know everyone has a story, and we would really love to hear and publish yours. About anything really….growing up, school, being beaten with slippers, being sent back where darkness found you, college times, work trips….anything.

Just drop them in the box, mboyasworld@gmail.com or samuelkariuki@gmail.com. Not to worry about grammar and stuff, we’ll do the editing for your.

Lanes, people, lanes. See you in the memory one!