0
Monthly Archives

May 2020

Effervescence

Episode 7 – Debate

The auditorium at Mount Kenya University can comfortably sit up to five hundred people. The crimson red puffy seats, while contrasting sharply with the smooth ivory white walls, immaculately match the dense woollen carpet spread across the entire floor. The high ceiling coupled with the raised wooden dais gives everyone inside a theatrical experience. The population of the county of Kiambu is well – represented here tonight. Farmers, the business community, youth, women, persons living with disabilities, civil society groups and of course, a few idlers here and there looking to score a free sandwich and a cup of hot tea. Authentic Kiambu tea, grown in the vast flatlands of Limuru and the cold ridges of Riara. The kind of tea that is so rich in colour, it looks like it was scooped from a pool of muddy water. The kind that turns your saliva into a thick slippery brown gel. The kind that can keep your mind alert for two hours, to follow the proceedings of the first-ever Kiambu County gubernatorial debate. ‘Ladies and gentlemen, please give it up for today’s debate moderator, a globally celebrated journalist and a son of Kiambu’s soil, Mr. Geoffrey Kuria!’ the host hypes […]

Continue Reading

Effervescence

Episode 6 – Lights. Camera. Action.

Michael Wambua is too friendly for an Insurance Claims agent. He is soft-spoken and has that blithe voice that can make a grotesque scenario seem bearable. A grotesque scenario like a car registered in your name getting caught up in a web of police investigations, two weeks to a general election in which your husband is a major contender. He is also very open-minded, Michael. Having handled motor vehicle insurance claims for the past five years, he had come across dozens of such cases. Where men had bought cars and registered them in their names, then gifted them to their mistresses. Mistresses happen to be poor drivers so accidents involving these cars are quite frequent. These men could not risk their names getting mentioned in the claim settlements since it would expose their little dirty affairs. So, for a few thousand shillings, Michael would ensure the names of these men did not come up anywhere in the report. The small amounts he receives from this little side – hustle keep him afloat. He has been able to buy himself a small piece of land in Ruai and is scheduled to lay the foundation of a small two – bedroomed house […]

Continue Reading

Flash Features

When He Really Likes You

When a man really likes you, he will be your therapist. He will want to know every little thing about you. Are you a morning or an evening person? Why did it not work out with your ex? When, and to whom, did you lose your virginity? Why don’t you talk to your best friend anymore? What is your body count? What is your favourite style? He will listen to all the blabber without getting bored. He will remember most of it and will occasionally bring it up in subsequent conversations. He will keep tabs on what is going on with you at work, school, church or wherever you spend most of your time at. He will stalk you on every social channel and will turn on push notifications to be the first to know when you post. He will make sure he leaves a flattery comment. ”Daaamn 😍😍🥰🥰”. Everyone has to know that he likes you. When he really likes you, he will let you steal and keep his favourite hoodie. His new college jacket too. He will say they look better on you. He will know your shoe size, bra size, waist size, hips size and sanitary pad […]

Continue Reading

Guest Writers

When He Really Likes You – Guest Version

Written By Monica Njeri. [ Instagram: @__njeri.__ ] When a man likes you, he will call you every evening and ask how your day was. He will not complain about having to be the one calling all the time. He will force you to say you love him at the end of the call. He will invite you over to his house on weekends, and lure you with “nitakupikia”. He will wash the house and tidy up before you arrive. He will make you a nice meal and serve you a glass of wine, or some coke or sprite soda. On other days, he will ask you out for bowling at Village Market. His friends will come and he will introduce you and refer to you as ‘mama’ or ‘ mine’ depending on your love. When a man really likes you, he’ll get jealous when a huge bearded man tries to hit on you in the club. He will ask you to keep off, or even say he’s had enough and that you should go home, or he’ll try to pick a fight, depending on how drunk he is. When a man really likes you, he’ll ask you to dress […]

Continue Reading

Effervescence

Episode 5 – Morning After

Hangovers are the devil. You feel as if you are trapped inside an active volcano. As if your body is no longer yours. As if there is a band beating drums and playing pianos inside your head. You are hungry but your appetite is gone. Sleepy but your head won’t let you. Your memory is obscure. Your joints are numb. You curse yourself. How could you drink that much on an empty stomach? How could you mix vodka, gin and whisky? You swear never to get that wasted again. At least I had a good time, you console yourself. I work hard every week. I deserve a little fun. And it’s not like I spent too much money anyway, you continue. In addition, I came home with a pretty girl. So was it all worth it? Of course! Wait, maybe not. Who cares? It’s already happened! This is the last time, I swear. Deep down, you know that you will do this again next weekend. And the weekend after next. And the weekend after that. But let us cross that bridge when we get there, shall we? The best cure for a hangover is moderation. Reluctantly sipping a smoothie, hoping […]

Continue Reading

Flash Features

When she really likes you

When she really likes you, she will tell you everything that is going on in her life. How her day went. What she ate for lunch and why she cannot have the same for dinner. What she wore to work and how it made her ass look. How some lame dude tried to hit on her the other day. She will tell you about her cat. Her period. Her allergies. Her bestie. Her other friends and what they think of you. How many children she wants to have if she wants to at all. She will blab on and on about her favourite music. The best movie she has ever watched. All the places she wants to visit as soon as she can afford it. She will dig a little into her past. How plump she was in high school. How she cheated in exams back at campus. How lame her exes were. Every little thing. You don’t even need to ask. The conversation just flows. She talks and you listen. She talks until she is out of breath. Occasionally, you throw in a ”Waah” or a ”No way”. A ”Whaaaat?” and a ”Daaamn!”. And she responds with ”Imagine!”. Her […]

Continue Reading

Flash Features

Matumbo

Did you know that matumbo have no nutritional value? Yeah, me neither. Zero. As in, nothing. Eating matumbo does to your body what nominated senators and/or MPs do in Parliament. Nothing. It all adds up now, doesn’t it? Why the British call it tripe, which is also a synonym for rubbish. Why this delicacy is so inexpensive that a cut worth Ksh 200 fills up your biggest sauce pan. The one you use to mash your mukimo. Why your husband is that skinny, despite eating five meals a day. Tripe happens to be his favourite meal. He enjoys chewing the rough linings. He says it strengthens his teeth. He has beautiful teeth. A bright smile. A handsome face. American height. But a skinny body. And now you kinda know why. His mother will stop blaming you for his malnutrition. ‘Smells nice’ he says, opening up the large saucepan. The one you use to mash your mukimo. His eyebrows rise at the sight of all the colour. Carrots, green peas, french beans, beetroot, potatoes, celery and a small strand of coriander hanging aimlessly at the top. ‘What is this?’ ‘They’re called mixed vegetables’ ‘I can see why,’ ‘No more matumbo. From […]

Continue Reading

Effervescence

Episode 4 – Bottoms Up

It has now been a month of paradoxical euphoria. The intricacies of fooling around with an older woman are enigmatically undescribable. Especially when that older woman is at the top of the organisational structure you are proud to be at the bottom of. It makes you egocentric. It blows your balls out, fueling you with a great deal of misguided confidence. You think you are the alpha. The macho man. You dictate the mood within your environment. You initiate most of the squad’s plans both on and off work. Your robust personality is at the centre of nearly each activity taking place around you. If it is not happening to you and with you, it is happening because of you. Your squad follows your direction diligently. They lionise you and deify you like little puppies to their owner. Who can blame them? You seem to know your way around. Your way of dressing already sets you apart from them. High – priced and well-cut fitting suits. Exorbitant designer perfumes. An original Rolex. Snappy shoes. And that haircut that announces that the owner of the head below it is a big deal. On top of this, you have a Subaru Impreza. […]

Continue Reading

Effervescence

Episode 3 – Nyama Choma

Francis Mwaura is the typical middle-aged Kikuyu man. He wears chequered short-sleeved shirts that are a size larger. Soft bright and faded khaki pants with extremely long flies, with black (sometimes brown) leather shoes. A baseball hat hides his receding hairline. He drives an old white Toyota Fielder. Uses a Dual SIM Tecno phone. Loves his nyama choma with a warm Whitecap to go with it, listening to some old Rhumba music. What better place to have this combination than Walkabout along Kiambu Road? Papa Lolo by the legendary Mose Se Sengo is warbling softly from the overhead speakers across the compound. Mwaura is singing along, a soft rib in his left hand and a piece of ugali in the other. Ah na leli mama ah, Na leli papa ahNa leli mama ah, Na leli papa ah Papa Lolo eh, Ba bwaki yo wapi ehPapa Lolo eh, Ba bwaki yo wapi eh Josephine Wagura is seated across him. She is sipping a glass of Kingfisher at Mwaura’s insistence. There is a plate of french fries on her side of the nyama choma platter. They have been here for slightly over an hour. Mwaura had called her back and asked to […]

Continue Reading