Writing manenos: Materials to bring to your next class.

  1. beautiful-scenery-8

Hey, I hope this letter finds you in perfect health. A bit of flu can be excused seeing that we are in the cold season. Ebola and tuberculosis are a must check at the gate for all those entering the premises.

When closed for a break last semester I had promised to take you through a writing class. That wasn’t possible but now that we have resumed, lessons commence on 14th September this month.

You are required to avail yourselves and bring the following materials

  1. Your own grouping partner in case I assign some group work.
  2. A translator

I will have to apologize in advance for my Kikuyu accent. I tend to say L when I mean R and R when I mean L.

My colleagues have pointed out top 5 words that are hazardous to my tongue. Those words are; famiry, imediatery, Plesident Uhulu Kenyatta, Engrish Ranguage.

This will be the opening speech, “Wercome Radies and Gentromen. We ale all wliters here so don’t fear each other. By the way, some of you here have paid for this class in installments; I have electricity bills, water bills, housing bills, and taxes to pay but am not complaining so take your sweet time. But if I were to complain, I would have said shame on you installment payers

  1. Carry your own packed food
  2. Bring a geometrical set and a ruler in case we need to estimate if your dream is going anywhere.
  3. An eraser.

Comes a time in every non-serious student’s life when they ‘accidentally’ peep their desk mate’s work. A closer look on the answers it resembles none of their own- they realize they are wrong. Aunty, correct yourself, use the eraser, you cannot fail in the government exams and this one.

  1. Every class must have; a class clown
  • A monitor
  • Rich kids
  • A cardi B
  • Couple
  • A class clown
  • Serious people
  • Noise makers
  • comedians
  • People who are always doing other things during class time i.e, reading watt pad stories, chatting on wozzap, talking, picking calls, munching tropical sweets, looking outside the window e.t.c.

Straight from the management, you should classify yourselves and rehearse you characters. A classroom is not a classroom with these characters.

  1. Topics to be covered
  • How to write with passion even though you do not feel passionate.
  • Why plan b is essential to writers. This to mean you should have a side business like kaMPESA shop, a farm (Reserved for those who have paid in full installments)
  • How to write headings that will grab the attention of the readers

Before you give up hope in us, let me say that not signing up is a wrong choice. We have trained well known professionals who are now exceptional writers in all writing fields. This is the speech I hope to give 5 years after I have trained you. Am your principal Warukira wa Hinga. (Dj mix and a huge gong sound, just for dramatic effects.)

Welcome one, welcome all or tell a friend to tell a friend. I can’t decide which one to use.

I think my boyfriend might be gay

beautiful-scenery-8A lot of things can change by morning; our thoughts, ideas, perception in life, or even a benevolent landlord after a few drinks and a monologue of self-respect on debts, finally decided to put a padlock on your door. He decides he’s tolerated your shenanigans for four months and you need to pay up, he’s not in the business of charity after all. Or you could wake up one morning like Marilyn, and suspect your boyfriend of nine months is gay.

As she narrates to me, it all started with an innocent game, Never Have I Ever- a popular game like Truth or Dare, only in this, you must confess the things you have never done in the entirety of your life.

“Never have I ever been suspected of being a lesbian in high school,” one of her friends said.

“Me too,” the sheep of the group voiced in turn.

“Never have I ever been suspected of being a lesbian either.” Derrick, Marilyn’s boyfriend chipped in.

Now games should be in a booklet of what society should fear the most. They’re people who conceived through a game, lost big chunks of their wealth in mindless games of poker and ridiculous bets. While others like Derrick, their sexuality, was under scrutiny.

“Did he say he’s never been suspected of being a lesbian?!” I incredulously ask.

“That’s what he said,” Marilyn says smacking her lips while snapping her fingers, I involuntarily picture the fictional African American character, Madea, doing the same thing.

“What if he was just caught up in the moment?” I inquire. “You know there are guys who say the most ridiculous things in the spirit of the moment. Don’t forget we women have been known to jump into conclusions with our- know- it- all attitudes.” Besides when did gaysim become part of the discussion list with philandering men, dead-beat dads, drunkards, and domestically violent men? I wonder internally. Information is a globalized commodity and our culture is evolving but when did we start accusing our men of being homosexuals? Seems the modern man and woman in Kenya deal with relationship problems their parents never experienced.

Marilyn seems lost in thought. Poor girl. Who would have thought such a game will create such confusion?

“Have you subtly tried throwing hints to catfish it out of him?”

 

“Yeah, right!” she scoffs at me, “you don’t just walk up to a guy and ask that. These are our African men; they don’t even go for a prostate checkup because they don’t see how some stranger can touch them down there. How then, can I expect him to admit to being gay? He will probably turn it against me and accuse me of being insecure or the homosexual one.”

We seat quietly. Marilyn rings her fingers in frustration. I watch the fast rhythm of her breathing as she steals glances outside the window, her movements heightened with the raw sadness reflected in her eyes.

“You know, he is not interested in any kind of intimacy,” she mumbles after a long period of silence.” Not even once has he ever held me in an erotic manner that could lead up to coitus.” She confesses. “I really care and respect this guy but I don’t know what to do.”

Some would laud this guy for respecting the hell out of Marilyn. But that is not the case. Her man stares dreamily at pictures of men. His wonderfully sculpted art book is full of pictures of perfectly drawn, good looking men. He spends a tad bit more time on the mirror than an average woman, loves beauty products, has gone to the extent of proposing to situate acrylics wraps on his nails since he’s curious of how they would look on him. As if that is not enough, they decide to be exclusive only for Marilyn to discover he is actively following Ghanaians gays on Instagram. These men are hot, can contour their cheeks after flawlessly blending foundation and admirably pose for pictures. Marilyn is an insecure girl. She wonders if she can compete with the beautiful gay men with the immaculately drawn eyebrows. She now harbors uneasy feelings towards his boyfriend’s friends, scrutinizing every little detail that will lead her to one solid unbeatable answer, he is gay.

“The thought that my guy may be gay is killing me. It has created a rift between us and every time we fight, I feel my emotions being replaced by this void of sadness and desperation.”

I wonder why she is still clinging to the relationship. Many girls in her situation would have probably left by now with philosophical statements, ‘I am loving the woman am becoming. Time to fall in love with me again.’ But here she is taking one step a time. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty. She plans to wait for a tangible reason. An un-opposed truth that he is gay.

 

How did you write your name as a child?

Sometime ago, I went through my nursery school files and I saw something that made me chuckle. My name Warukira I had written it as Warka. I don’t even know what Warka means. Oh my tiny hands, they must have been so tired trying to complete the long w-ar-u-k-i-r-a word so they decided to settle for Warka. My brain must have been somewhere else probably wondering when we kids would take a nap. The teacher though should have been happy I did not write the petname kamummy or kashushu (she was not. I can tell by the big wavy red line under Warka).

You ask kids these days what their names are they respond with Shiko wa mum or Alvin wa daddy.

“What’s your mums name? ” you indulge them.

They stammer with the heavy soft tongues then say, “mum anaitwa mum.”

Warka is good trial.

Whats not a good trial is the nicknames I have accumulated over the years. Wa asubuhi(Warukira has nothing to do with the mornings), Wariua, for starters needs constructive surgery. And men when you whistle, thats kindly not my name. The brown chica is sexy, I implore others to use it.

My brother Mathew once wrote his name as Mathiu in class, something we remind him all the time. If I want to him to read my blogs I blackmail him by saying,” If you read my blog I will never tell your son you once wrote your name as Mathiu.” He believes me( am not fowarding this blog’d link though).In future I might be a terrible sister but I will be a fabulous aunt because am telling my nephew that story. He is going to love me until he discovers a new app- the ig of that time.

My dad loves to poke fun of English names and also tells me of how it was agonizing for them to spell thier names in class. For one, there was a boy known as Aruberito Gichungi (Aruberito means Albert), Ifurahimu (thats Abraham), Anyesi (this is Agnes) Sharothi ( Charles). My cute nephew’s name is Ryan but some people call him Lion, well he is a king alright. Wait for this one, I recently became an aunty to a beautiful baby boy some few weeks ago and his name is Brayson. Cute right. Well his grandmother calls him ‘prison’.

Note bene: We can no longer trust kikuyus to not put adequate water in the food ( I mean they will pour 10 litres in one cooking) and also they will not be allowed to pronounce complex English names like Roman Kai or Brayson wa mum.

Visiting days in school

Visiting days in schools were like christmas or mashujaa day. For that day you forgot about classes and the awful subjects. You were allowed to see your parent . You dont know the value of someone until you require an appointment to see them. They felt like honorary chefs to us coming to jumpstart our taste buds from the boiled githeri we ate. They were like the media actively controlling what we would talk about for the next weeks; eating delicious homemade food, drinking soda, new socks brought to you, or meeting a new sibling.

Being a boss in school meant you had a weekly supply of biscuits in your box. You shared your pack of biscuits with people you loved and if they betrayed you, you just wrote them down on the blackboard(goes without saying that majority of us prayed for moments when teachers would forget their chalks in class) . Whoever got the chalk became the alpha of the day. They got enemies and friends on the same day. The haters would say, “Ule anajiskia sababu ako na chalk ya announcements.” Waah kids can be mean. The friends would say, damn I wish I could grab that chalk like you did.

pWhere were we, yes, visiting days in schools. Mind you it wasn’t that glorious if you failed your midterm exams.

“So Kamau, you have become like the grass in the field?”

.

“What do you mean dad?” the boy in shorts asks.

.

“You are doing nothing. You are just here to be stepped on.”

Baba Kamau has one of those serious faces and only carries a gazeti in his travels. Baba Kamau also brought his better half to visit their son, she however is not as harsh and soulless.

“Eeh Kababa” she greets.

.

Photo burnt. Now, there are things that should be labelled as inside nicknames for parents. Some names should only be said in the vicinity of two people not in a playfield sorrounded by your classmates.

People turn their heads and look at big ol you. You are as tall as the girraffes and your beards require 5 rounds work to achieve a clean shave but to your mama, you are just kababa. A tiny little boy who still needs his hand held while crossing the road. You might have faced alot of things in school, like getting 00% in mazematics but being called Kababa in an open ground you can’t recover. You can’t. I know a good therapist though.

Then, there were the parents who never came and that cut deep through some students. It is hard to go more than four months as a child without a parent. I can only hope their reasons were good enough.

Some students like me go the kind of parents that came together for the visits. A fact that am eternally grateful for. Oh and they never called me kamum in the play field, if you ever find me in any therapists office just know am trying to understand why life will not hand me 1 million kenya shillings.

Let’s play with our imagination. (what if only women existed)

Suppose is there is an actual battle of the sexes. An open season for war is declared- men abandon their tuxedos and put on the loins cloth, the women abandon their designer clothes, Gucci handbags, versace necklaces and trade them for knee-length leather boots, furry jackets, and bows and quivers. The rule is very plain and concise; one gender must survive so terminate the other.

The two antagonist must meet at the fighting ground which is situated next to a river Hope, that is deep and muddy. The banks of the river are covered with penetrable thickets of bushes. Here each gender will meet its fate .

As prophesied by the wizard of third order, once the moon the reaches its peak , aided by the magic of peaked moon the women would win. And so there it was- a peaked moon and dominion for country women.

There are battle wounds like- lipstick smudges, one braid fell off and left its sisters, one heel broke, data bundle depleted because before the battle you were instagramming live and you forgot to go offline. No, seriously though, the battle ship is wrecked and it has to be left behind on the island. It would forever be a record of fatal voyage.

Normally I would say if you are having these kinds of thoughts just lock yourself in a room and wait for the drugs to wear off. But if you are interested in where this is going let’s proceed-

Let’s have a comprehensive review of the world we have predisposed ourselves to-   

Well at first times passes pleasantly. Everything is gold and ivory. The inhabitants are flattered by their achievements; no dirty socks littered around, no rambles on why you wore a short dress , you forget about the tedious hours of waiting for him to get home, no howling on the streets,no curfews. Everything is as expected- perfect.

Then in due time, this begins to happen;

For one, some professions would not live to exist while others would be blooming. Take an instance of a security officer, what would be their use? You can insult other women by calling them names or body shaming and they will avoid you and your bank, so no theft .(While we are at it body shaming should not be encouraged in real life).

Some professions like guidance counselors or self-development educators would be making kingly sums.

Two, low football viewership. Some of y’all women don’t care two cents about football or what the Arsenal goal keeper did. Yes you don’t. If you did you would know some of these female footballers by name and the clubs they play for. But you don’t because you watch men football for the adrenaline.

Three, replacement of traffic lights colors to nude. Ever since the nude hue was graced to fashion, it has been used to the point of extinction. A nude lipstick, a nude nail polish. Imagine being at an intersection of traffic lights , still running your car waiting for the hue to change from nude to nude.

It’s even way worse when everyone is stranded at the intersection. The cars are waiting for the go ahead, the pedestrians all waiting for the go ahead… the nude light glares. Huh, so is it go for the car or the pedestrian?

Four, Men perfumes are arguably deeply and better scented. Be honest, we tend to show inordinate preference to them while at the shop stalls. Surely with the thinning ozone layer and hot sweaty days, we need this perfumes.

The universe unfolds itself in each of us and an end to primal life is a huge blow to the universe. There needs to be procreation to give rise to another generation.

The positive effect is that women will finally have a heart to heart to conversation since they are stuck together. 

There will be no , “This is why I hang out with the boys, they gat no attitude” lament. By force by fire women will have a peaceful coexistence.

Also minimized accusations of malpractice. Over the course of years there has been revelations on the objectionable behavior on women get ahead in workplaces by sleeping their way to the top. There would decline in this graph. And people would actually have to put effort to up their odds of making it.

In hindsight, there is irrefutable proof that women aren’t perfect neither are men. But in tiny little ways each gender is important. Accepting each gender despite their flaws and remembering they’ve been helpful at some point is counterbalanced.

A broad view of the demise of gender brings me to the conclusion that assuming on gender is better than the other is a faulty judgement. Some of the biggest contributions in life were made possible by men. Including the contribution of you being in existence.

Am thinking of Thomas Edison with his invention of practical electric light bulb. The poet Rumi with amazing quotes such as “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today am wise so am changing myself”
.Mark Zuckerberg with the creation of Facebook app. Elon Musk, Alan Watts, Nikola Tesla, Dedan Kimathi, Ronald Ngala, Nelson Mandela. Am thinking of every dad who has been part of his child’s life. Every uncle, brother, who has brightened your day at some point. Remarkable men who changed the course of history.

Genders are interdependent, intertwined , to ascertain this fact is to be halfway there in recognizing every life on earth is important.

Next time, a taking us on another bewilderment, an imagination of a world with men only.

Instances that prove life is not working out fine for you

One, you make a friends with someone. Similar likes, dislikes, you even hate the same person (now this is a stronger bond than love)You think everything is going gucci, its 2019 you know gucci means good right? You like this person so much that you introduce them to your other friends then boom they start hanging out and not inviting you.

Second, you buy a phone with a good camera, you’re pumped the world is yours for the taking. Superman gat nothing on you. You will win the hearts of strangers. You post a pic on social media and only get two likes. Worse still, I get two readers on my blog posts. My 0.00 friends , you traitors!

Thirdly, your are trying to save money. You’ve watched countless youtube videos on how some of the biggest billionares started. Quotes such as today’s investment is tommorow’s future. So that month you carry homemade lunch to work to save lunch money. Before it’s even ten o’clock you’ve eaten all of it and ordered two mandazis and tea. People who don’t even have a plan to be billionares have better self control and wait till lunch to eat their food. You fall off the train.

Number four, You join a betting clique. These people have never lost, they assure you. Surely their good luck must be stronger than your bad luck. You try it, you invest more than you have ever invested in your dreams or a relationship. Lets just leave it at Lord help.

Number five, you try to become a fashion icon. Balenciaga socks damn. A brown highlighter on your skin damn. Drawing them eyebrows good. You post a pic with a trending artsy position then boom you are a meme. A brown highlighter is called Kitengela dust. You live in a classy bedsitter netizens ask,” where is the rest of your house?” You buy followers they unfollow you in the middle of the night. God, where to?

Six, you visit upcountry (ocha) people they chocha you unachocheka ati”Eh, mheshimiwa is here. Toa kakitu”.”Eh mhesh! People like you even know the president. I actually saw someone like you in the gazeti. You know am always rooting for you. Nunua kasoda.”.Such comments virtually place you on cloud nine. You are looking at them with the metaphorical bird’s eye view. You give them money, its not enough. You sell your kidney at the black market. You sell your blood to hospital banks. You please them but still they elect another as their MCA.

I have a friend, Mogonnah is her name and she said if I dont credit her for the title she will hire goons to teach me a lesson. By the way gonnah rhymes with goons. Peace

Because you love him

You give him your virginity,right? The mighty purity expected of women who are not yet married. Cautionary tales have been fed to your ears since childhood but you want to take it away because you love him so. Its not like he is going to run away, your friends with his friends, they approve of you and his cousins have heard of you. Besides, he said the magic words; I love you, there’s noone like you, I will marry you some day, I can’t live without you. You default from your principles.

The second month is here, your tummy feels funny. You think it but you dont want to speak it. You try to remember your last red cycle day, you think there is a good explanation for that. You dont want to upset bae with your suspicions- so you keep calm like a hindu cow. You dont want to be one of those crazy girlfriends who men are warned against or are vividly described in the comedy skits. Life goes on as normal; you drink your hot cocoa in the morning, wear your nude lipstick and go through your wardrobe for a fitting dress.

One day when he is a good mood you break the news. He is excited, or atleast that’s what he shows on his face. You think you have it all good. Two years later, problems rise like a fight to revolution. He says, you trapped him with the child, you bewitched him, he wasn’t ready but you did not listen. He’s not even sure that kid is his. Every minute of the relationship is a fight to death; a battlefield. You have scars like a woman who took a bomb to the body.

You decide to leave to spare your one life. Society does not see it that way, you are the woman who couldn’t keep a husband.

#blog, #art

Because you loved him…

You give him your virginity,right? The mighty purity expected of women who are not yet married. Cautionary tales have been fed to your ears since childhood but you want to take it away because you love him so. Its not like he is going to run away, your friends with his friends, they approve of you and his cousins have heard of you. Besides, he said the magic words; I love you, there’s noone like you, I will marry you some day, I can’t live without you. You default from your principles.

The second month is here, your tummy feels funny. You think it but you dont want to speak it. You try to remember your last red cycle day, you think there is a good explanation for that. You dont want to upset bae with your suspicions- so you keep calm like a hindu cow. You dont want to be one of those crazy girlfriends who men are warned against or are vividly described in the comedy skits. Life goes on as normal; you drink your hot cocoa in the morning, wear your nude lipstick and go through your wardrobe for a fitting dress.

One day when he is a good mood you break the news. He is excited, or atleast that’s what he shows on his face. You think you have it all good. Two years later, problems rise like a fight to revolution. He says, you trapped him with the child, you bewitched him, he wasn’t ready but you did not listen. He’s not even sure that kid is his. Every minute of the relationship is a fight to death; a battlefield. You have scars like a woman who took a bomb to the body.

You decide to leave to spare your one life. Society does not see it that way, you are the woman who couldn’t keep a husband.

#blog, #art

Emma

A text message alerted on my phone as I surfed on youtube. Closer look on the recipient, I dazzled. It had been long since we spoke, something she reminded me of soon as I replied back .

“Last time we met, you seemed engaged in your thoughts we din’t speak much ”

Yes I remember the last we met it was earlier this year on may 2019, at a rehab centre in Chiromo. We shared a mutual relation with the stayee.

“Forgive me dear, ”

“Always ”

The woman on the other end typing was a close friend that I had grown to adore. If I could describe Emma (not her real name) with any element of the earth, it would be water, she calmed even the fiercest of fires. A lady bee who dutifully did what was expected of her and cleaned up after others. It wasn’t in her blood to complain , she had learnt to live with pain. Submerged fear, anxiety ,anger, disappointment so deep thus making it difficulf for the world to see.

“I need to talk to you about something,”

Her type came in .

****

Think of a superhero. The whole epitome- red suit, red gloves , red boots, black cloak. Has a superpower, protects young hearts against evils of mankind. Whispers things such as ,”Fear not, I’m here” to your shy ears.

“That’s who he was to me.”

“Spiderman?” I ask and she isn’t amused by the question.

“A superhero. He did no wrong before my eyes. He was everything.”

Tears flicker in her eyes, the mood in the atmosphere is changed. The lights in the room paved way to see the lines in her under eyes.

“He then left us,” She then proceeds to say, “me and my three siblings. Plus mum. Days became longer, nights even darker.”

There is pain in her voice. A pain that is an overflowing river threatning to break her vocal cords and she tries to speak.

“He just left…. My mama was jobless and I, the oldest was eleven years old. We had nothing with us but prayers. As I grew, a deep bitterness for my father grew with me. I resented him. A resentment I no longer habour.”

“Your siblings were young then, do you think they feel or felt as bitter as you do about him?” I ask.

“Occassionaly, they express their disinterest in him but they have no memories of him. I, on the other hand was left empty and broken. I loved him so much.” She responds.

“Your mum, how did she deal with is?”

She fidgets. Her eyes are glued to the outside, probably holding back some tears.

“There were days of tears but she learnt to accept her position. She has become a superwoman and has helped me with constructive advices on my journey.”

There is a five minutes pause as I let her eat her food. Her chocolate smooth unscarred skin seemed unaffected by all this. Her story though is not on her skin but in her heart and voice.

“You know for the longest time, I felt disavantaged in life. Like I was missing a piece of joy. Like every man that I would date could dessert me like our father did.”

“How did you get over that?” I ask looked directly at her

“Hardly, I developed a defense mechanism where I would try and control my partners , atleast in controlling you are assured of the results.”

She became controlling but not the bad controlling where she demands to see how he spent his money, or demands to know all his female friends, controlling in that he wouldn’t them head the relationship. Something african men dont take lying down. Needless to say, all her relationships have been rocky for lack of better words.

A little girl dreams of heaven with her father. Emma dreamnt of good times ahead. Talking together, walking together, receiving gifts for a job well done in school, spending chrismas together. Now it was all cut short. He didn’t stick around enough for her simple wishful thinking to pass and that tore her little world apart. He quit being her superhero. Rather she demoted him.

“You summoned me here and spoke of an important message,”

Emma giggles at this probably pleased by the fact that she controlled how I spent my friday. You better cook me some chapati and beef stew, I had told her before I rushed to the shower.

“Yes, because you have blogging alot lately and I want you to teach women the value of self love through your writing. Women should cut on comparison. All I saw when I looked in the mirror or social media was how I lacked something and other girls had it. I did not have a father, a job, a good relationship, not the prettiest in the world, everything was wrong. The reality is I have achieved more than I hoped. I have a good job. I pay my fees and bills and I manage to take care of my siblings.”

Drum rolls now,

“I have spent a long time looking at life through the lens of an absentee father whereas all I had to do was look at it through who was present- my mom.”

Awww 😍😍😍😍, I gasp. What about love for you now?

“Story for another day”

Data bundle below 2mbs.

Hi guys welcome to my blog channel. So alot of you have been asking about how to write the conjuction ‘and’. I know, I know, its difficult. Most of us can write exfoliating, derriere, duodenum, racial decidendi but ‘and’ is a complex term, worry no more I’ll help you with it. What you do is; one, don’t listen to a kikuyu they will say ‘ad’ ;two, just read my blogs. I know very few conjuctions thereby using ‘and’ alot. If read all of my blogs you will practice the use and pronunciation of ‘and’.

I have exploited ‘and’ to the point that if it were a mineral , it would now be an extinct ore. By the way-

No-one:

Absolutely no-one:

Not even the chirping birds:

Terry: Read my blog or I will put a curse on you.

Also,I have found a new excuse in life. I am going to use for all its worth after all, you can’t tell what not to type. The excuse is, my data bundle is below 2mbs. .

“Terry , mbona hukam kunisalimia?”

“Oops sorry, walking data bundle iko below 2mbs. Thats why.”

I will rince life out of that excuse and make it a daily routine.

“Haiya we mbona umechelewa kufika?”

“Mmh sikuwa nmerecharge time keeping bundle.”

Its a genius excuse I think, as a matter of fact I should take it to shark tank.

Person: I sent you a message, why did not read and reply to it?

Brain cell 1: Don’t do it T.

Brain cell 2: we have had a meeting about this. Don’t do it.

Mouth: my eyesight data bundle was below 2mbs.

Boom! Picture burnt.

Anyhu here we go; and, and, and, and, and, and, ad, and. There you have, your first English class on my blog channel.

I was gonna write a long blog but my bundles zinachezea 2mbs.