HOME IS A CASTLE OF STORIES

PAST MOMBASA ROAD




Past Mombasa road, there is this mushrooming town where I spent half of my weekend. Down there, the rhythm of life is slow on Sunday evenings. I could have said lethargic but there’s a beauty to it. A graceful charm as the sun sunk, then there was this slight breeze. I can’t explain the breeze but Nairobians, live for it. The breeze reminds you that Nairobi is a dessert really. The wasteland it was before some nifty Indians built shops and the damned railway track opened up the place. Seeing how Nairobi rose from just a train stop to the business hub it is now, should teach us something. That no matter how far below you’re in the food chain. Even if you still eat crumbles from tables of kings, you can rise to the top too. Your resilience and hard work will take you to the stars. And if not, it will make you a star. So bright that stars in the heavens will stand back and wonder?

“Who is that star?”

“No, its just Wafula, all he did was believe in himself and work.”

"It can't be."

Life in this town rolled like a scene from some Nat Geo documentary. A cattle herd passed by. Most likely they were being taken to an abattoir. I pitied those cows, how they looked. Tired and beaten by life, like they were so ready to die. I felt sorrier for whoever who was going to eat their beef. And chances are it could be you reading, or me, but no, I stopped taking read meat. Certainly, it can’t be Kimaru Kim, he is in Woi. There they love cattle so much; the thought of slaughtering never crosses their minds. They can only have milk and that is it. They wash their cattle, massage their cattle and they even sing for them. That was a lot of airtime for bloody cattle.

Families walked by. Hand in hand, the lady clutching at her purse and some groceries. The man carrying the last born, a daughter. Her head resting on his chest, I felt a tinge of jealousy but there was a nakedness to it which made you love them. It was a pure show of fatherly love, true and unpretentious. The kid smiled at me, I did not reciprocate though. I was caught up in my own world. I thought of the couple. They looked fresh in the union. At most in their early thirties. Maybe the  man had been blowing his money in nightclubs before. Spending it women who ran for the hills when his coffers ran dry. Then he was setup on a blind date by his pastor friend. He found sanctuary in this chick. His bruised heart found a home to heal.  Chances are, they don’t understand love. But they understand one another. They have their fights but they always make up. Once in a while they attend kesha and pray the night away. I don’t envy them.

Girlfriends who’d been around for the weekend were being escorted to the bus station. They go back to their places and start Mondays on an even note. Maybe it’s not good to start the week with a mjulubeng. Only chicks can explain the mechanisms surrounding this though, we guys are always ready for action. Whether its Monday mornings or whenever, Monday blues can go to hell. Some may not even be girlfriends. They met in some club or party on Friday evening. They hit the dance floor a bit but dancing is really not their thing. They went back to their table and ordered more. Somewhere in the misty night, their legs found each other, then their eyes. Not more was going to be said. But then the man needed to be sure. So, he made eye contact. His eyes burning like those of an old rooster and asked.

“My place or your place.”

She smiled shyly and drank from her glass, swinging it mid-air, she tilted it towards him. That was it. An Uber was hailed and the night was sealed. Now, she was returning to her place. She came in an uber but was headed back in a Matatu. Does that irony strike you?

A policeman passed by. He was wearing a sharp suit, but Afande was tattooed all over him. Their shoes always give them away, then how the walk and the hairstyle. Which ironically, doesn’t involve any hair. This is a story of ironies. He was walking with his son. A boy of about four years and I wonder what he was he teaching him about life? Was he a good cop or he took ‘tea’ at any opportunity? Did he tell him to study hard in school? Or he told him that Kenya belongs to thieves and making money, no matter how is what really matters. They stood by me as I waited for the bus to Nyayo. I nodded at the police man but the guy never bothered to nod back. Maybe he plainly ignored me or he was just in his own world. And I seemed like some electric post.


Overhead, planes rose from JKIA. Piercing through clouds as they carried people to far off places. In there, were people from all walks of life. Maybe there was some CEO attending a meeting in France. He as been using planes all his adult life, he isn’t fazed much with the euphoria of flying. In there, was a student flying to the Americas. Maybe this is his first time flying. He has secured a scholarship to Iowa University. He will study part-time and do some jobs on the sidelines as he sends mullah home. He will marry some American chick who his parents disapprove of, but they will divorce before you can say ‘marriage!’ In his forties he will marry again, a nice Kenyan lady and they will struggle to make the union work. Him with his bullshit American accent, saying stuff like, “worra” instead of water. Her struggling to keep up the pace with her Ikolomani accent. Ti! Hi! Hi! Hi! For the record, I have nothing personal against Luhyas.


In that same plane, with the CEO and student, is a slay queen from Eastlando. She built a career on Instagram. Posting suggestive pics which leave men drooling in her wake. She is a stunner, hands down. Has an ass which can block the sun and a cleavage which forms shadows. Many want her, legions of men desire her, but few get her. She is a socialite, she is a courtesan. Don’t be fooled by the wording, she is just a slut for the rich and powerful, exclusively blueblood. You want her, you must pay for it. You can’t seduce her with words or chivalry. And if you drive a Probox, you certainly can’t have her. She has screwed a few politicians in this town. She knows all their weird fetishes. She can give them away on television but that would mean missing out on the job and her body turning up in Karura forest. You don’t bite the hand that feeds you.


Right now, she is en route to Dubai. A Nigerian oil manganate contacted her, paid for her flight and she’s headed to the middle east. She will feed us with some bull and cock that its business but we all know the damning truth. It will help build her portfolio on Instagram, get better “paying jobs”, but her private parts will pay the ultimate price. You can’t blame her though. This is what brings the bacon home. It feeds her, clothes her, helps see her young siblings through college.

Finally, I boarded a KBS for Nyayo.

 You should listen to conversations Lunjes have. I swear I am not making this up.

“Hii Christmas lazima nikulie western. Sioni kama kuku ya Nairobi itanifaa this time round.”

The “this time round is said with a tone which screams the gravity of the situation.

“But nimejaribu to book gari ya western but all buses to western hadi 24th are fully booked.”

Holy cow! I thought to myself. The Lunjes are damn serious about this Christmas business. Most of us will remain holed up in the city because “shags” isn’t cool. Which is claptrap really. Shags is where we really belong. You might die and these guys in Nairobi won’t bother to show up for your funeral. They will continue parting like you never existed. They won’t miss you. So, drop in shags for a while. It might not mean much for you, but it will mean the world for them. They will mention you in their prayers and that might work wonders for your life.

“Sasa, ntabook ya 24th usiku nifike 25th then by 28th nirudi Nairobi tena. Lazima 31St inipate huku in the city.”

“Tuanze mwaka mpya with a bang!”

The Lunjes alighted somewhere around Cabanas and I was met with a silent KBS bus. It’s a hustle to ride in them really, there’s no music and the makangas are moody for no good reason. 

“Nyayo ni 80.”

“Me niko na 40, I said this with a cold glance and hoped that he would take the cue that I wasn’t shitting with him, but he decided to be a bitch.

“Haya! Nimesema ni 80. Kama hutoi nakupitisha hadi Tao. Alafu tuone venye utarudi na hiyo 40 yako.”

I assumed him, but the guy wasn’t backing down.

“Jione tu ninja hapo. Utajua hujui. Skia huyu, ati Nyayo 40?? Tutamfunza leo.”

Anyway, you will be pleased to learn that I paid the 40 and alighted at Nyayo. Then I hopped into some noisy manyanga to Rongai. The lost town. I am alighting from the Mat and I ran into my buddies from Camp Laz. Kimeli, Sydney, and Serede. We caught up on the happenings. Nothing important really.

“Haa! You’re in Multimedia… I am in Nazarene. Who are you with over there?..... Max…. ahaa huyo tunakunywa keg na yeye….. Huh! Mko na Koech pia? Waah! Huyo kijana huwa anatwanga picha!... Koima bado ni kunonna tu…sawa…. Na nani ako salama?.....Huyo kijana huwa anakatia ata kweli?....Yule ni ovyo tu, dryspell itamuwa…”

And more nonsense laced stories which don’t add value in the grand order of life, but we say them anyway, they make us who we are.

I also run into Dominic Onderi. An epic guy and one of the fastest rising political voices in this nation. Watch out for him, come 2022 he will surprise people. We parted ways and planned to meet up a later date for Chai.

I don’t know stuff unfolded but at 1 a.m. in the morning. I found myself in some nightclub. That’s a tale for another day though.

Sharing is sexy.😎😎

Photo credits. Mutua Matheka. He is the real deal on this side of the sahara. Check him out on Instagram @ Truthslinger






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