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Effervescence, Ladies and Gentlemen, Lifestyle

Baking Soda

Taxi drivers have the best stories. They just cannot shut up and drive. Especially when traffic is a bitch and they need to pass the time with something other than changing the stereo stations. They happen to know a little bit of everything. You might be astounded to hear stories about you, being told to you. Like now, this one is showing me Mheshimiwa’s house. One of his many houses. He tells me how Mheshimiwa grabbed the piece of land from a children’s home. He boasts of how he has dropped dozens of girls there in the middle of the night. He also whines about how this Mheshimiwa guy hardly tips. From what I gather, this Mheshimiwa guy must be one mean old guy. And bald. And potbellied. ‘What’s your stop again?’ he asks? ‘Right there,’ I say, pointing at Mheshimiwa’s gate. ‘Haiya!’ ‘Hii Nairobi ni kutafuta,’ I say, jumping out of his poorly – maintained Toyota Fielder, ‘Ntakupigia unikujie’ I add. The gateman sees me walking up the gateway and swings the sliding door open for me. He gazes at my rather well – fleshed thighs tapering into the knee-high brown leather boots. He must be wondering what on earth is wrong with me, wearing leather boots on such a hot Wednesday […]

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Ladies and Gentlemen

Who’s Your Daddy?

She is her father’s look – alike. She has his aquiline nose, pouty lips and descending hairline. Her short stature and chocolate perplexion are the only features she took after her mother. She is a constant reminder of her father to the people who knew him. Her mother had told her that he died in a road accident when she was three, twenty years ago. As she grew older, she had pestered her mother to take her to his grave but her mother dismissed the idea. ‘It will bring more pain than relief,’ she said. Kristin never brought it up again. When she joined State House Girls, she carried his passport photo and pinned it on the inside of her locker. She would look at his grinning face every day and smile back at him. She believed he was watching over her from wherever he was. During the school visiting days, her friends would buzz her ears with stories about their fathers. ‘My dad does not even know how to shop. He brought me Dettol Cool soap instead of Dettol Even tone,’ one would grumble. ‘Lucky you. My dad only brought a newspaper!’ another would chime. ‘Mine came late and […]

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Photo by Pixabay
Ladies and Gentlemen

Cut – Out

They called themselves The Backpackers. A clique of friends who had maintained close contact since their campus days. Two gents and three ladies. Initially, they were six. Then sometime in their second year of college, Wanjeri fell out with Jaymo after their Rachael and Ross relationship went sour. (If you were born just the other day, Rachael and Ross are friends cum lovers from a 90s sitcom called Friends.) So Wanjeri had that kind of ego that makes you choose new friends after one of your old friends dumps you. Who can judge her? I would do the same. The others always made fun of Jaymo and his Wanjeri connection. They blamed him for ruining the balance in the group since they were now three ladies and two gentlemen. But this fallout with Wanjeri kind of tightened the bond around them. They came up with this little rule that no member of the group would do it with another member of the group. They were strictly platonic friends. They became inseparable and always had each other’s backs. When Kwamboka’s mother passed on in their third year of college, Mike, Jaymo, Shiko and Kui put together their little savings, rented out a small Probox […]

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Flash Fiction

Angie from the Office

‘So how did you two meet?’ she asks. She is pretty. Probably prettier than you. 5 ft 4 with heels on. Spotless skin. Chubby cheeks. A thin waist and an opulent bottom. You can tell from her hairdo that she has a very good fashion sense too. He has mentioned her before. Angie from the office. 10.00 pm on a random Wednesday, cuddling in bed. ‘Stan, who’s calling you at this time?’ He checks his phone. It’s just Angie from the office,’ 9.30 am during your tea – break, you call Stan. He answers on the tenth ring, which is rather unusual. ‘Stan, who’s that laughing at the background?’ ‘Just my stupid colleagues‘ ‘Angie?’ ‘Yes. And Jamie. And Keith. And others you haven’t met.’ 11.00 am on a Saturday. ‘I’ll call you back later babe, I’m getting into a meeting. ‘With Angie?’ ‘Don’t start,’ Angie from the office. Finally you get to meet her. You’re standing across from each other. It’s Stan’s company’s End of Year Party and after much coercion, (and blackmail), Stan agrees to take you with him. She walks over the moment you arrive. Stan courteously hugs her and you can tell that she is not the […]

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Poetry

Karma

Why won’t you return my calls? Why won’t you open the door? Why are you building walls? Why are you sobbing on the kitchen floor? You just don’t get it, do you? What we had was a mistake You have a wife and kids, don’t you? Please, give me a break What if I actually leave her? Will you finally come back? She does not love me anymore either Say the words and I’ll start to pack As much as I ache for your touch and kiss I have to be selfless and just give up Because one day, I will be where your wife is And I will not want karma to eat me up So what? This is it? I don’t even get to see you one last time? Yes, please don’t ever visit Go home to her and live up to your vows Because, we only get one life And karma, karma is counting

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Lifestyle

Flat Manager

Being the caretaker of a set of uptown apartments was not what you pictured yourself to be while in your mid-thirties. But what is life? Options are limited when you score a D+ in your O levels and nobody you know, or who knows you for that matter, is favourably wired in the high places. So the stepbrother to your distant cousin links you up to the landlord of some uptown apartments in Lavington. He is a short bald man who wears chequered untucked shirts and pronounces his name as Mechak. His tongue just cannot bring itself to saying Meshack. So Meshack agrees to pay you some cool 15,000 a month just to wash the apartments’ corridors every morning and to distribute the Garbage Waste bins once a week. And on top of that, he throws in the extra unoccupied bed

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Lifestyle

The Scholarship

23rd August, 2009 | JKIA, Nairobi, Kenya The Departure Bay at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport can be a tad too crowded, especially on Saturday afternoons. It can also be hot, despite the state – of – the – art air conditioners fanning the Embakasi air up and about. Having lived at the foot of the Aberdare Ranges for nearly all his life, Stevie was not used to these warm temperatures. His white sweatshirt was already drenched at the armpits. The two Kings Collection suitcases he was dragging did not make it any better. He could not wait to get past the security clearance and catch the breeze of the First Class lounge on the Kenya Airways Flight to London. Being the top Student within the borders of the then Nyeri District, he had won himself a fully – funded scholarship at Oxford University to study Philosophy. He had not the slightest clue what Philosophy was or where Oxford was located. All that mattered was that he was finally waving Nyeri goodbye and going abroad, the land of white people and money, as his relatives referred to England. His entire village had escorted him to the airport and sang themselves […]

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Lifestyle

The Date

He had been out of the game for a while. It’s hard for a divorcee to trust again. Especially when the reason you are divorced is that your ex-wife had a thing with your cousin. Shameful, ain’t it? People mumble in hush tones at family gatherings, pointing at your direction. They try not to bring it up, but it’s too hot a topic. Someone just goes, ‘So Joe, have you seen Ben’s new car?’. Ben is your cousin. The cousin that stole your wife and now has your dream car. You shake your head and swallow a bitter lump of saliva. You change the topic to your grandma’s cows. They are doing very well, these Fresians. The oldest one has just given birth and is now producing five gallons of milk every day. You promise yourself to carry some milk back to the city because you no longer have someone to take care of your kitchen supplies. Ben stole her. Ben finally shows up in his new car. A Mercedes 4 Matic. He is received ceremoniously like the millionaire he is. Ben likes this kind of attention. He insists to shake everyone’s hand. He spends a minute longer with others, […]

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Lifestyle

iPhones

I used to own an iPhone. It was black in colour with a stainless metal rim around it. Its back was made of aluminosilicate glass and it was the weight of a Go TV remote Control. If you are familiar with the Apple brand you must have known that that was an iPhone 4S. I was the talk of my entire squad. Man, I was Steve Job’s Brand Ambassador. Anything to do with the Apple brand, I was the guy. You know, jargon such as iTunes, iOs, App Store (Apple’s Google Play Store), iCloud Accounts and Ejectable SIM Card Trays. In fact, I would borrow the ladies one of their earrings to remove my SIM Card for no reason and they would marvel and be glad that their jewelry was compatible with an iPhone. Good times, those were. That was before the Koreans and the Chinese copied the Ejectable Tray. And the Internal battery. And the iconic Home Button. The fellas even copied the name. Yes, Oppo is Chinese for Apple. Go ahead, put on your Chinese accent and try it. I also doubled up as the group camera man. They would pose and wait for me to key in my 4 […]

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Lifestyle

Twedi Fae

So I happened to turn twenty five just the other day. It did not feel like much of a big deal until my mom called. She always remembers my birthday. She was like, ‘I gave birth to you when I was your age.’ Yes, my mother is fifty! And I am half her age. At that very moment, I pictured a fifty –  year old me with a son who is half my age. I’ve always wanted a boy as my first child so that I can name him Macharia. Theo Macharia. Well, Theo already left Arsenal but still I like the sound of the name. It’s also quite short and that way, it won’t pose any problems for him while filling his K.C.P.E credentials. All of a sudden, I felt quite old. I felt tired and my face got tight, probably from all the wrinkles that were busy forming in silence. Memories of younger me started to play in my mind. I remembered all the nice things I had told myself I would have by the time I turned 25. Ambitious young fella, I used to be. A Beach house. A Jet. A beach house with a parking lot […]

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