Romance is Un-African and Valentine’s Day stories

Show me proof that you love me?

This is the question many unfortunate men will be grappling with on Valentine’s day, to prove to the chosen lass that, she and only she was worthy of his affection.  The poor boy child will be forced to engage in an elaborate love dance, all in the hope of gaining new status as a romantic. Valentine’s day arrives with the flair of Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. Lord forgive the ignorant, for we poor native children in the tropics once believed that a man with a woolly beard wrapped in a red fur coat riding a sledge pulled by reindeer through the snow, would be squeezing his overweight self down our non existent chimneys to leave gifts under a Christmas tree, decorated with bits of cotton wool to represent snow. There were no reparations for this blatant lie sold to wronged children. The illusion of Father Christmas continues to get passed down, from one generation to the next like electoral fraud in Kenya.

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.

Why Do We Keep Excusing Violence Against Men?

A man in Migori suffered the humiliation of getting busted having an affair on Citizen TV prime time news. He locked himself in a house with his new lover and his wife got wind of it. Unable to gain access to the room, she turned her rage on his Freelander Range Rover. The camera panned to provide live footage, inter cut with a running commentary of her tribulations as she meticulously smashed glass panes on the car. Turns out the man had been missing for a few months, abandoning his wife and children, living it up like an Armenian mercenary in Kenya. His 40 days were up. The crowd watched in solidarity as if to say, “We understand your pain sister”.

Of Rugby, Life And Love

In November 2015, I was invited to give a talk to a corporate staff audience. A new head had been appointed and he was keen on inspiring his vision on teamwork. I racked my brain for an appropriate talk subject and settled on rugby. The one game that taught me trust, commitment and shared vision, the essential ingredients of team work. Many people went to university for different reasons. Mine was unequivocally to play rugby. I wanted to play for University of Nairobi’s Mean Machine for it was a team that had left such a great impression on my mind. A university side that punched above its weight division and had produced some of Kenya’s greatest sevens players.

The year that I joined Machine, we lost virtually the entire team who had moved on after their final year. We were fresh faced rookies, full of enthusiasm but seriously untested. Our first big game was a true test of character. We went to play club side Nondies and got hammered 70 nil. A most humiliating experience. Girlfriends have left campus boys for less.