HOME IS A CASTLE OF STORIES

HIGHLIGHTS 2018


At the start of the year, I had no clear direction in life. I had no idea what I wanted from life, or what life wanted from me. I was like a ship whose captain had taken a sabbatical. I would eat, watch, text and sleep then repeat. Since I was growing into a lay about, my parents decided to push me into some nifty computer school. There, I was supposed to learn the history of computers and supposedly be busy till it was time to join campus.

In between, I was chasing chicks. Nothing serious. Lying how much I loved them and how my world was going to stop without them. They were bullshit pick-up lines, but some fell into my net. All  I wanted was to sample their inner thighs. No love, nothing. Just driven by lust. A feeling only a boy who has just concluded high school can comprehend. God was on my side, I managed to reign in a few chicks. Some had brown thighs, some chocolate thighs, other thighs were really black. Some had thick thighs, lithe thighs, nubile thighs. Some chicks did not give a rat’s ass, they plainly ignored me. My WhatsApp remaining blue like waters of the Atlantic. My texts unread, my calls unreturned. This taught me one lesson, you can’t get them all.

I had been writing previously but on rare occasions, nothing serious. I had not thought of a career in writing. I wanted to be a pilot, do you know how absurd that sounds right now? Me a pilot? In some Emirates Dreamliner issuing instructions to passengers.
“Attention all passengers. We are about to land at JKIA, please adjust your seatbelts.”
And then one time the plane is hijacked by AL Shabab and they come for me.
With Somali accent “Who is the captain of this plane?”
Here I am shitting bricks in the cockpit.
“I repeat, who is the captain of this plane?” (Somali Accent still)
More silence.

“Because you are not talking, I am going to shoot this crew member.”
He aims his AK 47 at some hot bird, a hostess I have been eyeing for some time. Because I can’t let a hot chick die, I jump from the cockpit.
“It’s me, it’s me, please spare her. She has done no wrong.”
The insurgent will eye me ludicrously for a moment then say. 
“Oh, please! Don’t be dramatic Mr. Captain, we just want you to crash this plane into the UAP towers.”
And here, I will know for sure that I am toast.
“For Allah! And Muhammad his prophet!”
No, being a pilot was out of question.

My friend Mahanda Martin, recommended I read Bikozulu. By the way, he performed well in the recently released KCSE results, Mahanda not Bikozulu, congrats bro. The moment I read the first story of Bikozulu, I knew this was the real shit. And I asked myself where this blog had been hidden all this time? I continued consuming more Bikozulu stories and deep down I ultimately knew that I wanted to write like that. Biko breathed life into my stories.

A small problem.  No money to build a domain, furthermore host it.
It’s a long story really, I will narrate it sometime in the future. For now, here are my top 2018 moments. Times which made this year one hell of a ride. Some were successes, others failures but they all played a part in the man I am as I type this.

Resigned from a job 
I got a gig to write about Instagram celebrities. I was doing this for some dodgy men’s magazine. Writing about hot chicks in a sweet way. To convince lustful men to idolize them and follow their Instagram profiles. I wrote about some top chick honchos in the entertainment business. It was good money. But two months into the job, I fell out with my editor. We argued constantly about this and that. I couldn’t take it no more, sod it! One evening, I texted her and told her to find someone else to writer for her. She replied with some emoji which was not even remotely funny and that was it. No goodbyes, no hugs or kisses. No talks of how I will miss you, how we could have been better. None of that claptrap. My inner peace is more important than any amount of money in this world. I hope she found another writer, she must have. But I am yet to find another employer. One lesson I picked from this, you’re dispensable. People move on with life and forget about you. Another writer is reaping the benefits, but I wonder how she/he is surviving. Maybe they clicked, you never know. 

Nyayo house scare
I was at the infamous Nyayo house to apply for my passport. That place is a sea of humanity. Suits, Hijabs, Kanzus and police uniforms and everything. Papers shuffling around, names being called and cameras snapping away. It’s a smorgasbord of Kenyan bureaucracy.  You can’t believe that some decades back in the subterranean chambers of Nyayo house, Moi terrorised those against his rule. It’s hard to fathom that underneath this show of a government installation running efficiently, there lies a dark and haunted past. Nothing tells you that years back, somewhere underneath, Raila was lying in a cell filled with water as he battled for a multi-party state. There are no scars here, no blood on the walls, no reminders. People moved on, but Nyayo is still there. A weapon from Moi’s age.
After I had finished the process at Nyayo house, I go to take a leak then leave.
The toilets are a mess, Gava please do something.
I am about to leave then I decide to take a photo of the building. I am obsessed with photos too, after writing. I have taken a few shots then a voice rings out.
“Kijana unafanya nini?”
With my boyish naivete, I was like.
“Napiga picha tu.”
“Ati picha? Do you know that is a criminal offence?”
“Don’t be a jerk,” I wanted to tell the officer. “I am a law student and Sonko, your governor, said that creatives are free to use public property for shooting. As long as it’s not porn.”
But you know, Kenyan policemen. You say that and they explode.
“Huh! Kijana, unadhani baba yako ni rais. Unajiona kusoma law hapa. We will see who is the real lawyer. Motherputa!!”

But because I wanted to avoid a scenario and acting like a smart buff wasn’t going to take me anywhere, I took a backseat. The policeman talked of terrorism and its dangers. And how this was close to that. I apologised profusely and swore not to take any more photos. I even swore not to look at Nyayo house directly because that as much might amount to terrorism. And who wants to put Moi’s torture house in danger? Not me. I kissed ass big time, and that policeman said that I was good boy. I wasn’t fooling no one though. He asked that I delete the photos from my phone, I deleted them. But then, I have a good phone, you can delete something then restore it. So, Gang, how does Nyayo house look? Certainly, it is in a good mood. If that policeman was reading this blog, he would certainly feel cheated. Sorry officer, it’s just blogging.

 I learnt this, if you’re arrested don’t be tough. Don’t threaten Afande that you know who and who or how your call can end his job. Don’t, ask him if he knows your father or mother, they don’t care. Just play nice, commend them for the job they are doing and they will let you go.

Favorite Article
Letters From my village got a lot of people but for me, it was MARIO which stood out. It came to me while I was in church. And I punched out the first few sentences on my phone. I wrote about the fears of fatherhood, read it here MARIO. In that article, I opened up my soul and laid it bare for the world. Oh yes, I hope to be a father someday.

Most read Article
Remember BROKEN, this was about a boy who just can’t stop sleeping around. Read it here BROKEN. The last time we talked, he has this hot new fourth year chick. She is funding everything in his life. All he got to do is hit it right.

Celebrity of the Year
As a developing creative Mutua Matheka (Truthslinger) touched me a lot on who he is as a person. Despite having scaled the heights of photography, he is grounded, humble as he comes. He is verified on Instagram but we exchange DMs like high school friends. Then on photography, he is the King of the art here in Kenya. Check out his Instagram here TRUTHSLINGER. Thank you Mutua Matheka, you inspire me a lot.

Inspirational figure
Eliud Kipchoge. I can’t say whether he is a man or a machine. But on the breaking2 documentary produced by Nike, this guy changes your perspective on everything.  He talks of running with the brain and not his body. He says, “everything is possible, if you just set your mind right.” This is after he almost run under two hours. Chamgei!!

Most elusive person
Jackson Biko of Bikozulu. I tried. I sent DMs, sent messages, twitted, tagged, sent emails, made phone calls; met with people who said they could put me in touch with him but he still eluded me. But I know Biko is watching from somewhere, there is a time he liked three of my Instagram posts and poof! He disappeared into the wind. People say my writing mirrors his but I think it’s a long way off really. Biko is about 23 years my senior, there’s a big difference, I am only starting to walk. Anyway, if you reading can get me an audience with him in 2019, please do. Even if it’s for two only minutes. The guy is a writing savage.

Best books
I set out to read over 25 books but I managed to read about 5 novels. I am not even sure, don’t blame me, I have been busy! The books stole my heart, all of them. But the one which stood out for me was Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. It is about a boy battling virginity and fatness. Not a good combination. Set in the Dominican Republic and USA it balances between immigrant life and life in a third world state. Furthermore, it is narrated in the first person by Yunior. This book will rip you apart with laughter. My favorite conversation.

“Yunior, do you think I will die a virgin?”
“It is a crime for Dominican males to die without having sex at least once in their life.”

Other books which chipped at my heart include: A thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini its full of sadness and humor. Then there is The Book thief by Marcus Zusack, its worth your time, set in Nazi Germany.  And then Fearless by Ifeoma Chinwuba. Pen chair Khainga O’okwemba gifted me this book but I have not been able to thank him enough. Salut sir!

Top writers
There are people who were born to write. There is AA Gill of Sunday times UK, he passed away in 2016 but guy had epic turn of phrase. There is Paul Salopek of National Geographic, his story, Lost in the Sahel: Road to Darfur is an artistical triumph of epic proportions. Junot Diaz wrote in the New Yorker how he was abused by a priest as a boy Legacy of a childhood Trauma. It is a sad story, he opens up like a flower, saying all the reasons why he has had trouble accepting people in his life. The prose is just something else, he narrates of the troubles he had breaking his virginity and the women whose hearts he shattered afterwards.  There is Aleya Kassam, you read what she has written and feel like proposing to her. Magunga Williams is right up there For Akello, he talks of breaking up with his girlfriend of 4 years. It rocked me. There is Anne Alvira, her writing mostly about lifestyle issues. Family, relationships and all that mumbo jumbo. You see Alvira writes with flair, like she has seen it all. She hasn’t, but it’s worth reading. And of course, the Godfather, Bikozulu. I have read almost every word he has written this year.
Joining campus
It’s fun. It’s a jungle out.
Movie of the Year
Remember the Titans – Denzel Washington hit the home run with this one.
Chat of the year
There are people you talk to and they change you. Their smartness, organisation and planning. They have their shit together and have made peace with who they are. Ayub Okwaro did that to me. Guy is a final year Law student at Nazarene uni and he just oozes finality. He opened my eyes in ways I can’t put to paper. To more life brother.
Event of the year
 CBA Concours De Elegance
This was a winner.
Party of the year
 I am shy of groups. And I try my best to stay away. But sometime this year, under ill advice and influence, I attended some bush shindig. It was way past Kiserian, deep in the wilderness. Some place with no network, no electricity. Just us, children of the world. It was a nice one.
Love Life
Cupid decided that I wasn’t going to find love this year. Its okay cupid. Those who were unlucky in the love department like me, please raise up your coffee mugs. Let’s try again in 2019. But people like Kimaru Kim should not try at all.
Crew of The Year
You were the best Gang, and I cannot say thank you enough. You turned up each Wednesday for coffee break. Reading, commenting and pointing out problems. I have come to know wonderful people, always pushing me to be better. Thank you Gang and God bless, you. Let’s do this again next year. Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2019.

Its exactly 2:51 AM as I finish writing this. Dogs bark from afar. Everyone at home is sleeping. I am the only nocturnal punching out words at this surreal hour. Writing has taken much from me this year so I just want to chill really. No reading, no writing. Just talking to my father, listening to music, watching football and a sprinkling of Nat Geo.

The last person here to store the sugar well. We’ll need it come njaanuary.MARIO

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