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COMRADES




There are many ways a comrade can be shocked. Surprised to the extent of being knocked out cold or having a heart attack. There is this girl, of course, there must be a girl, you have been texting with her. You cross paths along the corridors of academia, she smiles then hugs you fully. You know that bear hug, where you feel her titties pressing pugnaciously against your chest. As if they are saying to you, ‘Kevo, I want you.’ Then you feel the warmth of her cheeks against yours. Her perfume washes over you and it’s almost like Nirvana. The moment she walks away, you follow her ass until it disappears down the stairs. That feeling that stays with you, after the brief dalliance. You feel as if you own the world. Like you could walk into Med school and start lecturing about heart surgery. You want to budge into the VC’s office and tell him that he is a stunted, bigoted, little fool. But that would only earn you a thousand academic days in the village. So, you chill and walk to class, a wild boner rising under your pants.

You like the chick, and all the signs, point towards an extremely happy ending. She laughs at your bullshit jokes, she never blueticks you. Her texts are littered with ‘suggestive’ emojis. You ask her out. Nothing flamboyant. A few dates here and there in cheap joints. You are damn convinced that it would be wise to invite her over to consummate this burgeoning campus love.

One morning to the day of reckoning, you’re headed to the shops to buy some Sunlight. You know, clean up the place a bit before you call her over. You don’t want her thinking that you live in a hovel. She must see that you’re a well-adjusted comrade, even though the truth could be farther. On your way to the shops, you see her walking out of Brayo’s bedsitter. Phew! The cold wind of realisation hits you in the face. Icy and unforgiving. You think of scenarios, but none of them is comforting. Maybe they were just discussing, only that Brayo does law and she is into interior design. What’s there to discuss? How to decorate a courtroom? Maybe they are just ‘friends’. Friends don’t walk out of their ‘friends’ houses on a Saturday morning while straightening their skirts. Kwani is Brayo a tailor? And she was there to order a kitenge? And then no campus chick is going to wear a kitenge. Certainly not her. The only plausible explanation is a night gone, of swashbuckling, bed shaking and head-clearing sex.

Slowly, you realise that Brayo has already surveyed ‘the land’. And if she falls for your wiles, you will only be doing irrigation. Brayo already planted. That’s shocking. Personally, I would collapse and faint. After all that camaraderie, this is what I get? But then, the world is bad place.

Another way a comrade can be shocked is when the semester resumes. Then the nosy, registrar of exams sends a small email.
‘Check your portal, results are out.’
That alone can bring a comrade’s heartbeat to a stall. And then the worst part is when you find yourself in conversations and they slowly start to gravitate towards examination kind of stuff.
“Ahaa! Exam ya last semester, psychology tu ndio ilileta noma. I have aced all the others.  GPA yangu iko 3.6, Musyoka uko na ngapi?”
“Siko mbaya, Lecturer wa criminal law ndio alinipea C+ but otherwise nko na overall As. Yangu ni 3.4.”
Such conversations, trust me, they scare the shit out of a nigga who has not been reading. Like me, I always find a way to steer away from such talks. Whenever they arise, I excuse myself and run off to some errand.  

Osoch writer, tell us your GPA bwana! We should all celebrate this good fortune. I know you’re a smart man. Those stories you bang out on the blog, are testament to a fresh mind. What did you get in the law of contract? I had a clean A”

This is the part where I always receive a phone call. I excuse myself and go talk to an imaginary client.

“Sorry man, I will tell you another time. There’s this brand I am working with, the manager is calling. I need to pick it.”

Then I vanish like a dik-dik in the sights of a lion.
But honestly, I don’t understand the rationale. Why can’t some people mind their own business? Must they ask about my GPA in the open, and where chicks are more so? I mean, that is the highest level of insensitivity. You don’t want chicks going around spreading muchene.

“Osoch, that writer guy. He is dumb as a rock. He can’t even understand simple concepts. I swear there is no way I can fuck a guy like that. He is too dumb for Christ’s sake. Nimeskia ati GPA yake ni 1.6.”

And the way chicks talk and talk. Before long I’ll be known as the 1.6 guy. For the record, my GPA ain’t 1.6 but I think its wise to avoid that GPA talk in the open. If you badly want to know somebody’s GPA, then accost them at night, when its pitch black. And while you’re at it, don’t shout, just whisper.

Otonchi, GPA yako ni ngapi?”
“Waah, nimejaribu this time nko na 1.8 me ni mzii msee.”

This week, comrades have been trooping into campus one by one. Suitcases in tow and knapsacks on their backs. All walking in a single file as if following certain unsaid instructions. The sands of Rongai blowing into their eyes at full speed, propelled by mad January winds. The hallways are teeming with life, people and for me a drama to observe. People watching is my favourite pastime.

 The first thing I have realised is that relationships forged in the previous semester have withered like flowers not watered. The lovers have moved on. One maybe discovered Christ, realised that he doesn’t want to spend his campus years humping and puffing on top of someone’s daughter. He called it quits. The girl cried, feeling used, like a little troll, but then she ran into an international student. And life is slowly finding meaning. But I wonder what they talk about with the Oga guy. Does he tell her of Nigeria? The gods his father prays to in his obi. Or they talk about Boko Haram and the herders north of the Sahel. And talking of the Sahel, have you read Paul Salopek’s Lost in the Sahel: The road to Darfur. It’s the most beautiful piece of writing you’re going to read before dying. He writes stuff like,
 “The Sahel is a bullet’s trajectory. It is the track of rains that fall but never touch the sand. It is a call to prayer and a call for your blood and for me a desert road without end.”
 Look for it the National Geographic magazine.

I have talked to a few comrades. No flamboyant questions, just tasting the waters and almost everyone is armed with a quiver of resolutions. Some claim that this is the year they practice celibacy. I look at them and laugh when I recall what alcohol does to their libidos. There is this chick who after drinking its like clothes make her itch. She wants to rip them all off. Good luck to her this semester, with her celibacy vows. Some have sworn by their forefathers that this is the semester they focus on books. No partying, no anything. Huhuu, let’s see when you get out of a Social Foundations of law class and you get a call.

“Salaton, uko wapi brother? I want to intoxicate you.”

Ahaa, all these resolutions are not going to see the morning sun of February. They will remain in the forgotten light of January, like everything. In any case, come February, people will be focused on valentines. Who gives a damn about resolutions? They can wait for 2020.

My campus has a few freshmen. I smell the type miles away. From how they dress, to how they eat and walk. There is an unsaid naivety smudged all over their faces. Fear of the unknown shadows them as they walk around, clinging to their books and pens. In time those faces of bewilderment will transform into smiles and hearty laughs. Campus weaving its magic. They will discover weed and booze. Boys will discover girls and girls will discover boys. It’s the circle of life, and nobody escapes it.

Sometime back a reader sent a dm on Instagram. He finished high school last year and wishes to know how campus feels through my eyes. What is waiting for him on this other side? I am working on the story bruv ….

Photo credits [Africa Nazarene Students] The Lady with a blue top is Sicho. The other lady is Laureen. I have no idea of the other characters. You can’t blame me really. They aced it.

You probably know by now but yesterday there was a terrorist attack along the Riverside drive, dusitd2 restaurant. In the heat of the moment, I broke down reading some tweets. There was this guy stuck in the bathroom, he tweeted his love for his family and begged for help. At some point, his battery died. This morning I checked my twitter and Ron Ng’eno was rescued. Salute to the security forces.
Uber is offering free rides to Avenue, M.P. Shah, Aga Khan & and Kenyatta Hospitals. Enter the code NBODONATE and help a fellow human on the precipice of death.
Stay safe, God Bless Kenya.


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