HOME IS A CASTLE OF STORIES

THIS IS GANGLAND


I belonged to a gang in high school. A gang can only be so bad. Terrible, unforgiving and merciless. In spite of all these, we did not waylay women along dark spots and rob them or, God forbid, rape them. That wasn’t our thing. Though we were still savage, extremely feared. We did not round up boys who kissed our girlfriends and beat them up. No, we did not even have girlfriends then.

There’s a clip doing rounds on social media. Certain Coast kiddo, Cedric, whooping the daylights out of another boy. Apparently, the guy kissed Cedric’s girlfriend. And according to the law in TUM, only Cedric can kiss his girlfriend. Her lips are his. Cedric owns all those goodies. He is a reincarnation of Cedric the Conqueror.

The suspect had previously kissed Cedric’s girl three times. Each time, Cedric warned him.

“You guy, hiyo ni mali yangu.”

But then the Kisser was a hard head. He kept going back for the kiss, a kiss of life I presume.

The rationale is crazy though. Why would you beat up a man for that? For someone to kiss a chick on three different occasions, it means she obliged.  

I felt sad for Cedric though. His girlfriend was only kissed. We men have done worse. Were it in Nairobi, more than just a feeble kiss would have gone down. He should come to the city in the sun with that girlfriend of his. This town will teach him well. He will learn of an alien species called Brayos, who are not humans; they are creatures from another universe. Should a Brayo have your girlfriend in his sights, you have more than kisses to worry about.
I hope they prosecuted him and dumped him into some hole, like  Shimo La Tewa or somewhere with hardened jailbirds. Somewhere he can’t bend to pick soap if it slips while showering. Where he will ultimately learn that there’s no harm in a kiss, it is a very feeble thing.

 What hides in the kiss, anyway? A kiss can be a sign of friendship, maybe they were longtime friends. And what better way to mark your friendship than a kiss? I am not saying you should kiss people’s girlfriends and go around shouting you’re good friends.
All I am saying gentlemen is that won’t beat up another man for kissing your girlfriend. It goes against the rules of manhood and the bro code.

Did you know that men from all countries in the world convened in Timbuktu during the fall of 2008? With the soul of the Sahara bearing down on them, they drafted the manhood constitution. And in chapter three of the constitution, article one, thus it says “Don’t fight another man for a chick.” Let her decide who she wants to be with. If she wants to keep you both, that’s perfectly okay. The dice is on you. If you can’t be in such an arrangement, then pack and go. But under no circumstance should you fight a brother. Save your energy for rainy days.

Oh God! I have digressed. See what happens when you don’t keep me in check?
My high school gang, we went by the name GS4. Coined from Bobby Shrmuda’s music, who was killing it then with his track ‘Hot nigga.’  Somewhere in the lyrics, he talked of a gun squad, GS9, armed with em 15s. For the sake of ancient folks, SDA and CU people reading this, em15s means M-15s. Standard issue military guns.  Fire spitting sticks which can blow your ass all the way to Mauritius.

Thus, we were the gun squad 4. A group of four misguided boys, raging hormones at their peak. A notorious lot we were, talented bastards we fancied ourselves, and nobody could tell us shit. Our names were common in the noise making list. At some point, the prefect, a fattened fella, did not have to write noisemakers. A teacher on duty would waddle in.

“Mr prefect, where are the noisemakers? Four East has been noisy today. This class resembles a market. Who are the noisemakers? If you don’t name them Mr prefect, I will take you to the staffroom. And you will pay dearly for their sins.”

The prefect we had was a bigoted bastard. Fearing for his tired ass, he would sell us out.

“Your usual customers. They wouldn’t keep quiet, no matter how much I tried controlling them.”

That was a fat lie. We had been sleeping the whole afternoon. But who would believe us? The teacher would bark!

“Osoch, Gwiji, Musyienzi, and Max, follow me to the staffroom! Tutajua nani ni mwanaume leo.”

We were a popular lot. And in the staffroom, we brought business to a standstill. Male teachers would take turns stinging our buttocks. At the end of the butchering, they would dispatch us back to class, our behinds bellowing smoke. Happy days.

It is with an unfading nostalgia I remember my high school. Sheltered in the rain-soaked hills of Nandi, there wouldn’t a better place to study. It was a home away from home. And today should someone ask me to go back, I will. Under one condition though, no exams. To unite with those guys who were my brothers for four years ain’t such a bad thought. To relive the mischief, the joshing around, running for food, sleeping in class. Our souls were free in those years and I am convinced, there won’t be better days. The campus is good, but it is filled with fake people. Slayqueens may make the boychild go extinct. Individuals here are trying too hard. Doing their best to make a name, to prove some silly point. It’s sickening.
Nobody cares if folks knew.

The GS4, we were not cool kids. Far from that, we were battle-hardened motherfuckers. We had been on the ropes at some point and we knew our way around. We thought of ourselves as talented freaks. Gwiji into singing, Max into scientific shtick, he was the genius of the crew. A boy who knew so much about Einstein, you’ll be forgiven to think he helped write his biography. Musyienzi was big on producing music, DJ Khaled kind of stuff. See the wild dreams brewing in that past world. Yours truly was into writing, and I’ve never strayed from the path, always turning up whenever needed. Come rain, come sunshine.

And going back in time, it was in high school where the writing bug bit . Then I was a god of English. I banged the hell out of creative writing compositions, always getting 16s or 17s over twenty. Somewhere in form two, I opened a business. I wrote letters for guys at a fee, the standard charge, 50 bob. For the remaining years in high school, I never ‘whistled’, not with boys wanting to send letters with colorful language. Thus, I slogged away, banging letters each week. The funny part is, I never sent a letter to any chick in the midst of the letter writing madness. Business was booming. I had priorities.

I evolved though, I no longer write letters. Only proposals and stories.

Life happened after form four. The GS4 gang set asunder. Campus happened and everyone chose a place to thrive from. Luckily, all my boys are in this town and once in a while, we run into each other.

It’s crazy.

One Sunday morning last semester, after a night on the rocks I am prowling the streets of Rongai looking for an egg vendor, guess who I ran into? One of my goons. Guy, had been at a sleepover “somewhere”. The lengths that men go for some action. We relieved the old days, asked him about his uni and shit. But the conversation did not last long, my stomach needed eggs, he needed to go get morning glory.

Another time I am waiting for a Matatu pale railways. I hear someone shouting my name.
“Osoch ! Osoch !" 

It was so loud you will think that I have discovered the secret of life. Looking around, it was a buddy from high school. We hugged spectacularly, people stared, thank God nobody cried.

And there’s in some touch of insanity when I ran into these guys. The conversations are just something else.

“Osoch, naskia hiyo uni yako madem wameshona kushona.”

Staying loyal to my campo.

“Wamejaa kujaa bro, huwezi wamaliza.”

“Si you connect me manze. Nataka bibi huko. Nimechoka na vitu za KU, wamebeat ni kama wanafanya  mjengo. Osoch jo, nitafutie bibi.”

This is the part where I usually roll my eyes and wonder. Seriously? Folks want me to get them, wives? Ti! Hi! Hi! Do I seem to be that kind of guy? Who connects horny university boys with wives?

I always play it cool though. Promise them that ‘nitawatafutia bibi’ but then I never follow that shit up.  If you want a chick, go find her yourself for Christ’s sake. I am not some emissary.

Do you have a poignant and moving story about your high school days? Instances of bullying, harassment or how shit went down during funkies. Are you willing to share it with us in writing? Drop it as a word document on momanyiosoro133@gmail.com 1400-2000 words.

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