Wanted: Single Men In Their 40s

They say life begins in the 40s. More like, reality, dawns at 40. The fourth decade of one’s life comes with its own varied bag of expectations for men and women. The first is the realization that youth is gone. You might not look your age but you will certainly feel it or be regularly reminded of it, every time some youth asks a dumb question like, ‘Who is Tina Turner?”

To be single in your forties and without child or spouse is a revolutionary statement for women these days, a far cry from the past when the unmarried older woman had to bear the pitiful title of spinster or an old maid.

My Man In Somalia

In the beginning, I felt invincible. I was part of a duo in our neighbourhood, that the boys at the estate called the ‘untouchables’. They could look but they could not touch. We were army wives, married to soldiers and the kind of men you did not want to cross.

Now, not so much.

I have been counting down days, since the start of the year. My man Bwasa, a KDF sergeant is going to soon be back from Somalia. He said, this would be the mother of all Valentines, when he walked me down the aisle. I had anticipated this day for years but we were unable to settle on a date because Bwasa’s combat mission dates were unpredictable.

It Must Have Been Love-Part 2

A 2  part short story on Love.

A young Kenyan musician fights for the love of his life against cultural prejudice.

Part 2

On the weekend of the February 18th, four days after Valentines, to avoid being such a cliché, I decided to do something special for Benny. I was going to make the most of her afternoon window of freedom. I invited her home because the band had travelled out of town to Kitale for a wedding that I didn’t feel like being part of. I had no ulterior motives but she deserved a treat. I kept it simple. I prepared a mean chicken curry and vegetable rice, a green salad, got a decent bottle of sweet wine even though she did not drink and some Gelato ice cream.

I lived in a two bedroom apartment in Golden Elite estate. A series of apartment blocks where house maids chaperoned children following them around with bowls of food and gossiping with the watchmen in the parking lots below. My house was on the second floor and I had a small balcony that I had turned into a green space, stacked with small potted plants, mostly succulents because they did not need frequent watering. Benny had more to say about my green corner than the ice-cream.  It was a pleasant surprise. The last ‘blonde’ I brought home complained about my plants attracting mosquitoes.

It Must Have Been Love- Part 1

A 2  part short story on Love.

A young Kenyan musician fights for the love of his life against cultural prejudice.

Part 1

“Life’s just a bunch of accidents, connected by one perfect end.”
―Daniel Tomas

I turned 30 on October 10th filled with anxieties of what little I had achieved in my 20s. How uncertain the future looked. I was a musician, not particularly gifted, not exactly hardworking, hardly someone you would associate with success.  My only redeeming quality was the loyalty I had cultivated as a competent member of the So-n-So band that I formed with 3 friends while in university.

I was a freelance graphic designer and computer programmer during the day (mostly nights) and I played the drums as the fourth act in a small struggling Afro-jazz band. I walked in the shadows of my creative self, deliberately shying away from the attention I so desperately craved while I spent restless nights anticipating our big break.

One week after my uneventful birthday, I fell in love, with the wrong woman.

A Man Is A Man

Be a Man! What is that supposed to mean these days? It is all a question of context. Where you come from, how you were raised, from where you picked up your influences?

When I was in school at Lelboinet in Keiyo District, I met a reformed Pokot cattle rustler ( so he said), a hard-core warrior who had raided entire villages for cows and raced with them through the length of a district on foot all night. He had no idea how to change a car tire. What kind of guy are you, I wondered? These are basics. Every guy has to be able to fix a puncture at the very least. He snarled back and asked me how many men I had killed. Those were his basics.