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.

I Stand Accused Of Being An Ordinary Guy

“Why didn’t you speak up!”

That was my first reaction after he completed his story. But he just hunched his shoulders and folded his arms across his chest. I knew what I was reading in his eyes. A look of humiliation.

Two young men in their early 20s, had gone out for a drink at a popular night spot in Kisumu. It is was meant to be a polite night, the euphemism, for when one has just enough money for two drinks. The place was crowded with unfamiliar faces and the guys were forced to share a table with a group of men they did not know. After about an hour one of the two friends decided to leave out of boredom. The friends parted ways and the one left behind decided to have his last drink resolving to put in an early night.   Half way through his drink, a beefy bouncer walked up to his table and told him about a complainant accusing him of stealing a mobile phone.

Hey! We Need Gender Here?

I was attending an afternoon meeting at a rural sub location resource centre. It was a large room arranged in the manner of a classroom. The convenor addressed us as though he were campaigning for our votes. He was a man of average height and build, dressed smartly in a checked shirt and a blue tie.

The Resource centre was part of an intuitive to “empower rural communities towards income generating opportunities and bring an end to extreme poverty”. I learned that quorum was never an issue. The people living in villages did not dither round the chance of opportunity.