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Lifestyle

Lifestyle

One Last Time

Death is brutal. One moment you are within six feet of your loved one, the next, they are six feet under. Sometimes there is no forewarning. It just strikes and closes the curtains as if it’s just another play at the theatre. Dreams get shattered. Unions get halved. Futures get disoriented. And the saddest part about it all is that there is absolutely nothing you can do to change the state of affairs. You cry yourself to sleep and pray that it is just a dream and that when you wake up, they will be there. Their bright face smiling down at you. Their familiar voice buzzing through your ears, probably complaining about why you were sleeping for too long. The mixture of their sweat and their cologne filling your nostrils, choking you a little. You wake up and it’s just you. Just you, surrounded by their stuff. Their clothes. Shoes. Handbags. Car keys. Cellphone. Everywhere you turn, everything you touch, reminds you of them. The TV is still stuck on their favourite channel. Remains of their favourite meal are still in the fridge. The bookmark you bought them for their birthday is still peeping from between the pages of […]

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Lifestyle

Bro Code

Yo bro. Grab a cold beer and let’s remind ourselves of some sacred rules to live by. For starters, who is a bro? A bro is that homie you grew up in the same hood with. That ninja that you went to school with. The guys you got circumcised together with. That neighbour who lives in the same apartment as you. That colleague at work. The guy that helps lift weights at the gym. Your barber. Your mechanic. Simply, a bro is any male that you have shared any meaningful life experiences with. Like chasing after girls. Going out and getting wasted. Smoking a joint. Making money. Playing video games. You don’t even need to have known them for long. You don’t even need to have known them at all. Because a bro of a bro is a bro to you. Bros do not need to know much about each other for them to hang out. Sometimes a bro can be chilling with a bro whose name you don’t even remember, or know in the first place. A bro never gets offended if another bro forgets their name. On this note, a bro is not required to remember another’s bro’s […]

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Lifestyle

Four Twennie

There is a certain bond that forms between people who do illegal things together. Like smoking cannabis. Cannabis sativa. What’s that, you asked? Marijuana. Herb. Ganja. Pot. Bhang. If you are from Kilimani and its environs, you probably know it as Mary Jane. And you inhale it using a vaporiser. But if you are from Juja, you definitely know it as kishada. Or kitire. Or kivela. And you smoke it as it is. What vaporiser? The natural green plant. This bond is unexplainable. People who have just met become close buddies after a smoke session. Their energies synchronise and they open up to each other. They laugh at each other’s lame jokes and listen to each other’s senseless stories without any comprehension. Their thoughts align and they agree on almost everything. They play some music and the lyrics speak directly to their souls. Later, they binge a funny movie and keep rewinding the hilarious parts, every thirty seconds. When the munchies kick in, the spices in the food caresses their tongues. It’s a heavenly feeling. The sad thing about it is that it’s temporary. After a moment, your brain cells adjust to reality. You need to go to work, or […]

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Ladies and Gentlemen, Lifestyle

Bread and Butter

Moving is a nightmare. The thought of lifting countless boxes up an endless flight of stairs, over and over, is sickening. But what do you do when your four – year old son starts demanding his own room? You upgrade from your bedsitter and get yourself a cosy two – bedroomed flat in a middle – class neighbourhood like Ruaka. It’s also about time Brandon goes to school and Ruaka is full of some great kindergartens. A two bedroomed house in Ruaka is not very pocket – friendly but this move is necessary. Brandon will get the extra bedroom he has always wanted and you will console yourself that you now have more space in the living room. You can skip your rope there in your quest to shed off the extra fat around your waist. It’s also a perfect spot for your early morning squats. So you call Cube Movers and all your belongings are neatly boxed and headed to Two Rivers View Apartments. Your new crib is on the right wing of the sixth floor. The movers do a good job and before long, you are all settled in. Brandon cannot stop admiring the wall paintings you got […]

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Ladies and Gentlemen, Lifestyle

Puppy Eyes

It caught her by surprise. It’s not every day that your boyfriend of three years proposes in the presence of all your friends and some of his. It was supposed to be just a small birthday party. Well, your age is no longer a small number, but still, nobody had seen this coming. You weren’t even keen on hosting this party and were it not for Adam’s insistence, not many people would have known you were turning twenty-eight. Now it made a lot of sense. How Adam was so excited about the party; how he had made arrangements for the barbecue, drinks and music. He even went ahead to handle the invitations, personally reaching out to all your friends and some of his. These friends now have all their eyes on you, eagerly awaiting your response, as Adam looks up to you, on one knee, grinning from ear to ear. The diamond on the ring on Adam’s right hand is enormous. It would look perfect on your finger. It is sparkling against the camera lights as they shutter away from all angles. You look around. Your besties are giggling in excitement. A band starts to play some music. They have […]

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Ladies and Gentlemen, Lifestyle

Brake Fluid

The first time he ever hit her, he was blind drunk, and she was six months pregnant. The slap landed on her left cheek like a flash of lightning, followed by a thunderous buzzing in her head. Her face turned red. Her left eye turned black. Her jaw moved and her tongue was caught in between it. Her blood became hot. She felt the baby turn, as if in protest. And why? Because she had questioned where he had been all night, who he had been with and how much money he had spent drinking. He refused to answer and sprawled himself on their bed, with his muddy shoes still on. Njeri spent the night sobbing on the living room floor, wondering what the hell she had gotten herself into. See, Njeri is a good conservative girl. The kind that would prefer to spend Saturday nights baking mandazis for her man, with only his oversized T-Shirt on. Ngugi, on the other hand, is kind of a dick. The kind that would rather hop from club to brothel every weekend than stay home and be with his pregnant wife. The kind that would rather splash half his salary entertaining his fake […]

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Lifestyle

90’s Kid

This is for you, 90’s kids. We started off this decade still under our parents’ care, and the only worry was how to log onto 2go and how to afford the latest Supras. How to do the Skip to My Lou Dance and grabbing the front seat during Saturday Night entertainment back in High School. Getting a seat on the school bus during the school functions and talking to that pretty girl or guy from the neighbouring school. Thrashing your friends on PlayStation 3 and playing Spartacus and Fast Five on replay. The decade saw us sit our final O – level exams and join various institutions of higher learning. We lost touch with childhood friends and made new friendships with people from other parts of the world – male and female, young and old. We smoked our first joint and had our first sip of alcohol. We had our first sexual encounters and learnt how to use contraceptives. We lied to our parents about school trips and spent that money club – hopping. We got turned away in night clubs for being ‘not old enough’ and got thrown out in the clubs we managed to get into, for probably […]

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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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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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