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Effervescence

Effervescence

Episode 10 – We Need To Talk

Sometimes when your life turns out to be a mishmash, you just need to talk to somebody. Anybody. It doesn’t matter if they will actually listen or not. It doesn’t matter if they will offer a solution to your muddle or laugh it out. You just need to open your mouth and let it out of your system. Cough it up or it will choke you. But who do you talk to? Your girlfriend left you and is now in a thriving relationship. She was your muse. She used to get you. She knew you so well that she would understand even the words you hadn’t spoken. She would listen to and decode your silence. She would push you to make the right decision whenever you were at crossroads. She knew what buttons to press to bring you back to life whenever you felt down. Yet, you let her go. Lilian, your other close friend wants nothing to do with you. Silas too. You are one lonely mofo. There is nobody in your life close enough for you to trust with whatever is burdening you. It is at such times that you try to reconnect with the only family you […]

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Effervescence

Episode 9 – Lemonade

A brother is like a dog. They never really tell you out loud how much they love you. They just do. And when life has piled a shitload of lemons on your salad, they will know. You do not even have to say anything. They can just tell. Even if they are eight thousand miles away in Atlanta, Georgia. Salim Katana is such a brother. A single phone call to Natasha Baraza was enough for him to know that his sister was troubled. Her voice was muffled and dry, like that of someone suffering from tonsilitis. Her choice of words was obscure. The stutters and periodic pauses in between their conversation told of someone whose mind was fighting a losing battle with their heart. At his insistence, Natasha had gotten it all off her chest. And he had listened. The same way he had listened to her little teenage girl problems years ago as they were growing up back in Kwale. Of course, he reprimanded her and called her all kinds of names. But that was right before heroically turning the lemons into lemonade and making a tasty cocktail out of it. Three days after their conversation, Salim had somehow […]

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Effervescence

Episode 8 – Crossroads

You have never been this vanquished before. All your life, you have prided yourself in the ability to be the one in charge. The one who takes control of any situation no matter how dire, and turns it around. The bold and liberated woman who flashes out her feminine magic and pulls that rabbit out of the hat. The merchant of positivity. The solutions-oriented urban queen that is always the one grabbing others by the balls. Now you are on the receiving end. Nothing feels the same anymore. The wine is sour, like the grapes were rotten. The cigarettes smoke is choking you. The food is vapid and watery. The air is stuffy. The satin sheets are itchy. The time is crawling. And you cannot stand the sight of your husband. The worst part is that you are going through this all by yourself. Your pride can not let a single soul see you in this misery. You have to ponder over the myriad of questions buzzing in and out of your head, by yourself. How did it come to this? How could you have been so naive? How on earth will you get out of this mess unscathed? For […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

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Effervescence

Episode 2 – Campaign Trail

Episode 1 is available here: https://kiirumacharia.com/2020/04/17/effervescence/ A chilly Monday morning. You are seated in your office mapping out this week’s activities for the team. They are all abuzz about last week’s coastal trip. The firm won its umpteenth Firm of the Year award and you won your fourth PRSK Practitioner of the Year award. You are sending out emails with instructions on what each member of the team needs to work on. You get to Samuel and last weekend’s memories flood your mind. Never had you had such pleasure in your thirty-three years under the sun. You have no idea what he did or how he did it, but he definitely touched an erotic nerve you never even knew existed. All you felt was a therapeutic healing spasming throughout your body. All you saw were rainbows dancing before your eyes. All you heard was the sound of your own gratification. Talk of beer and skittles. The following morning, you had woken up a happy woman. Ashamed, but happy all the same. You had headed straight to the shower, leaving Sam snoring like a buffalo. Your body was burning with lechery for more of last night’s dose but you had fought […]

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Effervescence

Episode 1 – Diani

The first time you saw her, she reminded you of your mother. Dark silky hair, a flushed olive complexion accessorised with a bold supercilious smile. She wore a pair of burgundy cat – eyed glasses which made her appear stern and friendly at the same time. She donned a white chiffon top and a pin-striped grey pants suit. A pair of black red – bottom heels and a matching Susen leather bag completed her executive look. She stepped into the elevator and found you gazing blankly at your dusty shoes. You looked up and your eyes met. She nodded and smiled. You smiled back. She turned to the mirror and eyed herself admiringly, before getting off on the same floor as you, leaving behind a strong familiar fragrance. Just like your mother’s. You had heard and read about her. Natasha Baraza. The no-nonsense Head of Marketing who also happens to be the wife of some political bigwig. Being at the helm of the Marketing Department at the leading PR Agency in the country was not a mean fete. You had to have earned it. You had to have been painstakingly excellent at what you do and you had to have […]

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