Remembering My Teachers: Say Present!

The teachers' strike is over! Or what did the government say? Are they being paid, or what happened? I haven't been watching news recently- maybe I hate the monotony on Social Media and Real Media on the same issues all day,all week, or my tolerance for politics ( which dominate news) is hapa kwa throat.

Back to teachers. I am who I am largely because of my teachers. I am even writing this blog, in part, because I don't want to let my teachers down. They all thought I was going to be a journalist, or editor of some sort, because, English and Swahili were my bread and butter. Oddly, all teachers, both in Primary school and High school; even teachers who never taught me but knew me... They all advised me to be a journalist. I feel like I let them down. Or maybe I should write a newspaper article and send copies to all my teachers.

Somebody hook me up with a newspaper!

I joined nursery school, or preschool to you, at three years old. I think my mother was busy and she wanted me to spend my days in school. Who else went to school that early back then? And so, my second mum became Teacher Seberina. She would take me to the ruhusa( that's short call to the uninitiated),  she would feed me and do all the things mums do. And because my parents used to teach me how to write the alphabet, my name and their names(first child syndrome), I was very bored in class, I knew most of the things Seberina taught us. Our Class 1 entry test was "Write your name" I wrote mine and Teacher Seberina promoted me to Class One. But the hunger I felt that day! Nursery pupils would go home at around 12:00 noon and Class One pupils would go at 1:00 pm. I simply couldn't handle the, the following day I went back to Nursery and told Seberina my mother had told me to go back. I never told my parents- they knew after a few months - Parents, check your kid's books every evening! If you know Seberina, and where I can find her, please tell me.
When my decided time for Class One came, I went in and met Teacher Mutunga. Now, Mr. Mutunga was feared by pupils in Upper Primary. But to us in his Class, he was every so gentle. He rarely canes us, and was just too patient. In first term, I got paracent(100%) in all subjects except Kimeru, where I got 36%. So I had 736/800 points, I was at number 16 out of 81 pupils. It was a huge class of clever pupils managed by one teacher. Mr. Mutunga called my grandfather to school (I will tell you about my father one of these days) , and told him to buy me a Kimeru textbook, and he would be amazed at watt I could do. I got a Kimeru book, and needless to say, the following term I shot to number 1. My grandfather still talks about this one incident. Long live Mr. Mutunga.

By class two, I was a philanthropist. My teacher was Mrs. Maore. She, like Mr. Mutunga, had two sides. The gentle one, and the tough one. She taught us the National Anthem in both languages, the Loyalty Pledge, and the Lord's prayer. I think that was her mandate. We were the only class in that whole school that knew the Loyalty Pledge. One day, I did homework for my best friend, Barnabas, and Mrs. Maore knew from the handwriting. So, she sent me to the staff room to get a cane. The only cane in the freaking staff room was this loong bamboo stick! The teacher who handed it to me just told me 'Good luck to whoever is going to be punished with this'. To cut a long story short, I have never helped anyone else do their work since then. :)

Class 3 was also a big big class. We were 73, in one class. So big it was divided into two classes, but in one class room. Two rows were a separate class from the other, with a separate class teacher. Miss Susan and Mr. Kathukumi. They split the subjects, but marking would be done separately. They would sit with us in class, each on their side of the class. And they somehow managed us. I was position 3 in all three terms.

Upper Primary: Coming back after lunch!

Now, Class 4 was different business altogether. Upper Primary. On a separate block and "coming back after lunch". Discipline was paramount and you were now a responsible youth. Our big Class three was cut down to only around 40 pupils. Some were 'asked' to remain in class 3 and others just dropped out. Others went off to boarding school. Mr. Kathukumi went with us as the class teacher-all the way to Class 8, but now we had to live with many teachers. Different subjects. Life was tough.

Mr. Kungutia taught us Home Science and Mathematics. This was another crazy teacher who I hated with passion in school...and loved outside school because he would always come by our home to chat with Grandpa, and buy Mr maandazi. I meet him every time I go home, to date. And he has maintained if he didn't beat me as he did, I wouldn't turn out how I did. But he says he wished I was bigger- I was so small, "nilikuwa nakosa nitakuchapa wapi". He became my best friend when he was transferred.

Mr. Mbogori taught us Music and Mathematics at some point. He would give you one stroke of the cane for every sum you got wrong. And since I was one of the poorest in Maths, I was an enemy. I was guaranteed to receive canes. One day, he came to Music class and said "There are two clefs in music. The G-Clef and ....... ". Being a mjuaji, I raised my hand and said "Bus Clef".
Stupid! Which bus are you talking about, Kensilver, Stagecoach, or Kamawe Bus? It is Bass Clef.. pronounced, Biis". I was the happiest when Music was scrapped and he became our English teacher. He became my best friend henceforth. Last we met, he introduced me to his teacher friends as ".....he used to write compositions better than most novelists....

Female teachers are so much like mothers. Smiling with you one minute and beating the bejesus out of you the next. Take, for instance, Mrs. Mutua. She was a very good friend of our family, and her daughters, Dorothy and Bessy, were and are some of my best homies. We loved her in church and the community (still do), but when she was on duty at school, woe unto you if you came to school late. She used to cane our bare feet-in that cold. One day, it was raining and I refused. We had running battles all day with her, and I presented myself to her in the evening when she threatened to report to my father. Mrs. Kamau, too. She taught us CRE and was very motherly, always counselling and advising our adolescent heads. Until she caught you getting naughty. She would cane you while advising you. "I-am-doing-this-to help-you. You-Frankline-will-remember-me-in-future!" How many hyphens did I use? Those are strokes of the cane. 

Did I tell you I loved and thrived in languages? My favourite teachers, obviously, were my English and Kiswahili teachers. Mr. Marete and Mr. Ngeera. I would entertain them using my English Compositions and Inshas and they would repay me with specialized care. They would give me books-novels and riwayas- and compositions from other schools. Where I lost points in Maths, I made up in languages. We talk with Mr. Ngeera all the time on Facebook, and I still exchange novels with Mr. Marete whenever I go home for holidays. Sorry, I never made it to a journalism class.


There is a time our school had a different head teacher every term. I don't remember most, but it was a very unstable phase-when I was younger. The school performed very poorly-inevitably. This changed in my upper primary years. We had two headteachers:

Mr. Meeme  did so well, all the sorrounding villages sent their sons and daughters to our school, and he was poached to head Maua Primary School-where he is to date, because-it is in town and, and, as the face of the division, we want Mr. Meeme to maintain it for the visitors. How crooked is that?  Now, Mr. Meeme was a no nonsense teacher. He also used to come home and talk for hours with my grandfather-an education pioneer in the region-but would not be smiling at us in school. He had what he knew as, "Twenty Strokes of the Cane" Twitch your Chill fingers...that's how he used to demonstrate it. He would have you hold the flag post during assembly and work on your small ass with his rapid fire cane.

After Mr. Meeme came Mr. Mutua, commonly known as by his first name, Richard. Now, Richard was a nice man with lots of stories. He taught us Mathematics in Class 8, and oddly, I have never hated him like I hated all my Maths teachers. He had stories. And he was the sponsoring church chairman. And he was very caring. I was crazy enough to sleep away from home on the second day of KCPE, and I came in late-who does that?- Poor Richard! I met with him at the school gate coming home to see why I wasn't there yet. He hurriedly took me to the class, where the papers had already been handed out. He is so caring, still. We talk from time to time, and the other day, when the rogue NGO was hiring, I was on top of his list. Since retired, he is now running a school of his own and is quite successful at it.

Unbroken records

Some of My classmates

We had good teachers. Teachers who had taught our parents before us, there was stability in Gitura Primary School. They produced the best class ever in the school-us, and most of them were promoted and transferred to other schools right after we left in recognition for their good work. And the school has never been the same again. It pains me that the record I set- I came in the first position-has never been beaten, so many years later. Neither for Boniface, who came second, and Lenana, who came third. The school has never beaten our mean score, and the way things are, we will hold the record for some time. I wish I could save it. 

Sadly, the big class of 81 we had in Class One completed with just 23 pupils. Some repeated, some never completed. It is all good. Those that completed are doing well- we met the other day, at Eric's funeral. We are represented in  most professions, some of us are married, with kids and I am looking for a wife. ;)

I am glad the teachers' strike is over. But teachers deserve the highest salary affordable. It should be the best paid profession. I am here, writing this blog, because my teachers taught me. You are reading this blog, because a teacher taught you how to write. LET US PAY TEACHERS!

My Wife and I: I Will be a Perfect Husband

The other day, I I told you I am looking for a wife. I told you, candidly, what I am looking for in my wife. That turned out to be one of the most popular posts I have done so far. I received lots of comments, including people calling me up.  Friends wished me well in my search, my mboys blasted me, random people told me enough things to fill a book, and speaking of books, there are readers who think I should write a book. Would you buy a book of these random things I write about? Story for another day. Among the feedback I received, was scathing attacks from feminists. Women who believe the woman's position in the society is up there. 

I am feminist, too. I believe the woman is up there with the top man. I believe in the strength of a woman. I believe women can do anything that's doable, perfectly. I believe men and women have equal positions in the society and should have equal chances, from the secretary's desk, to the night guard to the CEO to the presidency. With no favours.

Now, extreme feminists think my article was way off hand, and that I was expecting too much from the modern woman, that I was looking for a house help(I read slave too).

Someone challenged me to state what the woman would be getting in return. So, today, I will tell you the man I want to be, the person I aspire to be.

I know the Njuri Ncheke will be disappointed, they will say I am failing the African man. My mboys will say nimekaliwa chapati. Neighbours will whisper and pinch at a distance. And we will give women stories to talk about during chamas. But I want happiness. I want paradise for a home:

I will be my wife's best friend. I will share everything with her. I will be honest with her. If she messes I will be there with her, for her. We will have fun, my wife and I. We will do all the stupid things friends do together. Go swinging, raving, I will even learn how to swim for my wife. Who else doesn't know how to swim without floaters, by the way?

I will support my wife in all she does as best as I can. If she wants to go to school, I will be down with it. She can study more than me. I would not mind to have a Prof. Mwenda (Mrs.) in my life. If it's business she needs to do, I will even take a loan to help her develop herself. If it's a career whe will want to nurture, I will support her. I will help take care of the kids as she pursues her dreams and try my best not to fall into the "are you sure you are coming from the office at this time of the night?"

See, trust will be the foundation of our marriage. I will love her so much she won't imagine I can see another woman. Cherish her so much my heart will be beating with hers. As I said, we will never let jealousy get in between us. I don't want my wife getting tempted by those overbleached women along River Road to buy mafuta to make me eat from the palms of her hands, like a zombie. Do those things work, by the way?
Responsible husband
Pic: HubPages

When I say my wife has to be able to cook, keep the house span, and do laundry, and all these household chores, I don't mean a "domesticated" woman, like one feminist accused me of. No. She is not an animal or something. I will cook for my wife, every Friday, Saturday and Sunday! I will watch those cooking shows with her and we will try the recipes together! Then Saturday mornings will be our cleaning day, together. I will wash the cars as she cleans the house. She will wash clothes and I will hang them for her. We will scrub the compound together. These are traditionally women chores, but I will help her. Just as she will hold the stool for me as I fix the lights in the ceiling.

I believe marriage is about being a team. Doing things together. If her boss harasses her unfairly, you visit her workplace and give him a few choice words,then you pack her stuff and go help her write a new CV. Or scrub her back every time she takes a bath. Or help her undo her hair (I miss bomoaing hair, by the way, I could get addicted, if only for the stories you tell while undoing hair). My wife will be my defender and I, the goalkeeper. She will provide assists, and I will score. We will be a team.

I was arguing with my partner in crime, Shiru, the other day, when I told her, nowadays I buy household stuff with the future in mind. I buy things to use in the long term, with my family. She told me, she agreed with her boyfriend that, when they get married, they will sell off everything and buy stuff stuff together. Furniture, electronics, kitchenware. Her argument? Equality in the house. So that neither of them feels like the majority shareholders, because they own more in the house. We argued and quarreled for most of an entire six hour flight, and agreed to disagree. But now, as I write this, I think she had a point. Because, I want my wife and I to own our marriage, 50-50.


I have been warned about the ways I handle my problems with people- instead of confrontation, I tend to walk away and keep quiet about issues. When I get married, I will build a boxing ring in the house. We will fight with my wife. The first few years will be for us to fight. We will face every problem head on. So that, by the time kids come along, we will be done fighting. From experience, I would not want our kids to get us quarreling. We will try to know each other completely before they come along.

A woman need to feel safe and secured with her man. She needs to feel that when he is with her no one can harm her. I am not a muscle man, and I don't intend to be a body builder but I will keep my wife safe. And when we walk around, I will be this mean looking macho man. I think other men should not make passes at my wife when we walk around the street, it would make her feel unprotected, unsafe. I will be better than that. If bullets fly around, I will stand in front of her, and shield her from the world.

And very importantly, we will a religious home. We will place our family in the hands of God. We will be built on the foundation of prayer and the Word of God. We will serve God in the church, and also outside, in Children's Homes, in hospitals, in the streets, in conservancies. Because the true religion I believe in, is about caring for God's people, and nature. 

I will keep dating my wife, forever. And, oh, remember what we said about sex?

Where is this wife?

I'll give you love
The things you want
I would do anything for you
I would do anything for you
I would do anything, girl, anything for you

Main Pic: My work colleague, and one of my best friends, Evelyne, and her family. Hubby Benah and daughter, my niece, Jaja(Wanja)

I am Looking for a Wife!

Gerry Photography

Have you slept hungry, not because you don't have food in the house, but because cooking sucks, especially when you know you will eat it alone? Have you then tried to sleep in a cold bed (in Limuru), alone, and still hungry? Have you woken up at 1:00 pm every Saturday, hyper hungry and stayed indoors till Sunday evening without speaking to anyone? Makes the mouth stink. Has Monday ever reached without you doing the laundry for the week because you had no one to wash for you, or at least motivate you?

Unkempt bed. Unmade shirt collar. Toothpaste smudge on your trousers. Books and newspapers all over the table. Unwashed dishes. Lost socks. Unholy weekends. Growling belly. Loneliness.
I need to get married. Now. Yesterday! I need a wife.

I recently posted a pic of my "engagement" on Instagram and Facebook. I captioned it with the sweet awww things we love hearing on wedding shows, and down there, gave a disclaimer, this was a joke, and I wasn't getting married to Keziah! It was a photography moment. Pictures being worth a thousand words, people only saw me kneeling, holding her finger ring, and Keziah doing her "Oh my God! Oh my God, YES!" That's all they saw. The comments were hilarious. People were actually happy I was getting married. So happy they couldn't read the entire post. I got prayers of blessings, offers for soup with my lady, congratulations to the beautiful couple(am I beautiful?) etc etc... And lots of disappointment from the ones that read the entire post. I got some curse words.It was a good laugh.

#WCW alert. There comes a time when a man has to go down on one knee and ask, "Will you marry me?" The lady, in turn, in...
Posted by Frank Kenyan on Wednesday, 19 August 2015
But then, after all these jokes, I am here thinking. Does the society actually want me to get married? Does it look that bad? Do I look that lonely, unkempt, in need for love? Or what were you all showing me?

I think you are right. I am now looking for a wife.

I want a beautiful wife. I want heads to turn when she gets into a room. I want men to oggle at her, and random women to stop and bow when she passes. Granted, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, and I have my definition of beauty-which make my ideal for wife and angel, by the way, but I wanted her to be beautiful from inside out.  I have dated hot girls who ended up to be quite ugly when we broke up. Personality plays into attractiveness big time. I am not interested in a socialite. I will be seeing them on my Facebook, but never waking up next to any.

I want a wife that can cook. Do you know how frustrating it is when one of my day scholars comes over and sits down the entire weekend for me to cook for her? Do you know how it lights my heart when a woman gets in the kitched and cooks for me and serves me? My heart softens into a sponge of love. Maybe that's why my mother is up there in my love rankings. That's the absolute window to my heart. Good food. Lots of food. Variety of food. My wife's target? To get me a prestigious tummy within three days after our wedding!

I want a wife who does laundry. There is nothing as sexy as a woman bent over, lesso around her waist, washing clothes and whistling. Now, that's a turn on. And because I don't want to break vows by being turned on by a mama fua, my wife has to do laundry. You don't want the housegirl washing our towel, do you? Or a random mama being paid to wash our bed sheets. It is not right! I wouldn't want our glory literally hung around other people. And it is disrespectful to the other woman!

My mother

I want a woman who understands, and accepts, that I will have one mother only, ever. I have heard of divorces, but I haven't heard of estrangement between sons and mothers. My wife has to love and get along with my mother. Granted, there are mother in laws who become hell, in movies, but I know my mother is the coolest woman around. She never fights. She has given me liberty to make my own decisions since I was a kid and she gets along with everybody. She would make tea for my girlfriends back in the days. And I know she will love my wife like she loves me. I therefore do not expect my wife not to have a mother-daughter relationship with my mother. I wouldn't want to be in the "choose between me and your mother" situation. I will choose my mother.

I want a wife who is as good in bed as she is in the tableroom and in the kitchen and the bathroom. By this, I don't entirely mean conjugally. (See what I did there?). I want a wife who keeps the bedroom homely, the table room exquisite and the kitchen hygienic. In a nutshell, cleanliness is key. I know I am careless and all, and I will leave a cup wherever I finish my tea, even on the floor...and this is one of the reasons I am looking for a wife- to manage my cleanliness. To remind me to pick up the sock from the door. To convert my bathroom into a place of peace from the kanju toilet it is now.

I want a geek wife. 
Source: IndiaPictures
I am looking for a geek wife. A wife that will play PlayStation with me, a wife that knows a thing or two about computers, a wife I can call from overseas to send me a file in my Linux without having to send an IT fisi to my house.  I want a wife who loves gadgets like I do. Only she will understand that I am not wasting money when I buy a game, or the newest iPod. She doesn't have to be a glasses-wearing-creepy Big Bang theory nerd. Just the basics.

A Manager for my Money

I want a wife that actually goes out and earns a salary. I don't want my wife to be a housewife. I want her to afford her own hair and basic things in the house. She doesn't have to ask me for salt. I heard in some quarters that Meru men leave Sh. 200 every morning for food in the house, and come late at night with bread. My wife will be worth much more than 200 bob. She will be worth a round salary. She can earn more than me, or very little, isorait, but I want an independent wife. African chauvinists reading this will disagree.

Speaking of salary, I want a wife who can manage my money. If I will still be employed, she should be in charge of my payslip. If I will be in business, she should handle my balance sheet. I am not saying she will, but I want us to be an open family. No secrets. It is our money, right? I wouldn't want mismanagement in any quarters.

Sex isn't everything in a relationship, but it is very important. People get married for sex, by the way. Kids? Sex. Glowy days? Sex. My wife and I will make magic. That's all for now.

No excuses for what I have in mind
Pic: AngeliaAngel
Finally, forget what they say about love. I want my wife to love me just enough to be loyal to me, not to be obsessed with me. Research shows that, 67% of suicide occurs due to love related reasons. I don't want my wife to love me too much. She should leave some love for our kids, our parents, and most importantly, for herself. I want 50% + 1 of her love. Not 100%. 

I don't want an extremely jealous wife. My wife has to understand that I have very close girl friends, and when, say, Winnie or Annred buzz me for some jiggle, she should treat them like my mboys, because that's who they are. And, that doesn't mean she shouldn't be protective of me. She should show me I am important. And yes, I won't mind much when she goes out with her girlfriends, but once in a while.

I will be very faithful to my wife. Loyal. She will be my queen, literally. I'll rather steal than let her sleep hungry. I will mind her and give her many, many children. We will fill the earth, me and my wife. We will be wealthy, and we will be a reference to the society. They will all want to be "like the Mwenda's" Say Amen.

Are you there?

Main Pic: My man, Gerrishon and his wife, Polline. That's where I bounce when hunger strikes at night. If I were to have a personal photographer, it would be him. Check out his works.

Baite Inside! Yes, I am a Meru!

A few weeks ago, I was lazily scrolling my Facebook when I saw a beauty. Some of you will call me a fisi, but males are supposed to "see" beautiful females, right?  I see them a lot. But this one caught my eye. She was beautiful. I just like such photos. But I commented on this. See, she was wearing a tee shirt that resonated with me. It had this message that I had seen before but, frankly, hadn't given much thought: Baite Inside: Proud to be Meru. A few inbox messages later, I called up Ivy, who happens to have a very callable voice, and we struck a deal. I wanted my tee shirt delivered to me in diaspora!

A day later, my shipment arrived, complete with a complimentary CD-of a collection of some of the best Meru hit songs. It is a black cotton Baite Inside tee which is as comfortable as it is head turning. She has a whole line in several designs and messages and they are too cool to be missing in your wardrobe. Stay with me, I will tell you how you can get them. 
    Baite Inside T-Shirt and Meru songs CD
    This is the package

This t-shirt is not a fashion statement for me. This is a memoir. A constant reminder of who I am, and where I come from. Remember, it is okay to be aware and proud of your tribe without despising other tribes. It is okay to celebrate your music(or lack of it), your customs, your history, your beliefs, your politics, your financial activities, and basically, who you are.

I will close my eyes down this roller coaster:

Once upon a time, a community was slave to another community that wore red clothes(Nguu Ntune) that lived in Mbwaa the. They suffered so much, they needed to escape. So, led by their god-chosen leader, they went to the master king and demanded freedom. They needed to move. Since their labour was needed, the king adamantly refused to let them leave. He put them under hard tests with a promise to let them leave if they passed the impossible tasks. This community was so bright,they managed every time, but the master king wouldn't let them leave. So, one night, they escaped Mbwaa, but came across a Red Sea(Îria Îtune). They panicked. The master community was closing in on them fast. The gods instructed the community leader to strike the Water with his stick, and guess what-the water parted! They crossed, walked through deserts and eventually reached the land of milk and honey, around the center of Kenya.

Sounds familiar, right? Yes, from the Bible. But this story had been told even before Bibles came to Kenya. This is the story of the Meru! See, we are like Israel. There is a place in Meru where Jesus walked. We have footprints to show! Do I sound proud enough, or should I up my game?
via: @njagijunkie

Yes. I am a Meru. I am as arrogant as Prof. Kaimenyi. I don't have to listen to what you have to say because where I come from, men are automatically what psychology calls Assertive Sanguines. I am not sure that exists but hey! It exists because I said so. It is, in reality, not arrogance, but sheer self belief. I am an alpha.

Yes, I am a Meru. I speak loudly. You may have your ears close but I will shout into them. I shout into the phone and I shout my whispers. Why? The point above. Self belief! And then I don't like repeating myself. Once I tell you something, I have to make sure it is loud and clear. Especially loud.

Yes, I am a Meru. I am hot tempered and I can cut you into pieces at the slightest provocation. Sorry, remove the "cut you into pieces". We don't cut people to kill, we cut people to teach them a lesson. We will cut your hand for stealing miraa(not food). Your face for grabbing someone's wife. Your leg for trespassing. We will never cut you to steal your livestock. Or because some politician didn't win an election. Or because you are from another tribe. We will cut you to discipline you, and take you to hospital afterwards. We are peaceful people.
Money on a tree. Hands up if you have ever seen a miraa tree

Speaking of discipline, a man from Laare(google that) caught a thief stealing his miraa. Ili liwe funzo kwako na wengine kama wewe, he generously gave him four options:
  • Wear gumboots filled with boiling porridge.
  • Get his left hand cut off.
  • Eat a bowl of latrine soup. That is, the smudge: combination of shit, pee and worms fetched from a pit latrine. Worse than sewage.
  • Eat a live chameleon. (Those things are as creepy as they are poisonous).

What would you have chosen?

Yes. I am a Meru. I live on a herb. Miraa! My father built our home strictly with miraa money. I was educated using miraa money. I am building a house using miraa money and I will take my children to school using miraa money. Our churches, schools, community health centers are built and run using miraa money. And yes, we meet every evening to chew the holy herb. We chew and tell stories, dreams, visions- miraa is eye opening- and then go home and perform our "family duties" exquisitely. And it is true, miraa is a drug.... just like coffee, tea and Panadol!

Yes. I am a Meru. We have beautiful, humble, intelligent, hardworking women. Our women let us the men run affairs like the Bible wants women to be. They take up the role of the neck nicely. They support us (also hardworking) men wholly. They leave the responsibility of, say, cutting, to men. They don't cut men's transformers like some people we know. And men, even in all the cutting skills, will never cut their women. Who cuts a good thing? If a woman wrongs a man,which is rare, the discipline is meted by the man's woman: wife, sister, mother or cousin. We don't fight our women! We went to Beijing.

Soni: via Ivy

Yes, I am a Meru. I can't sing, I can't dance, I can't act, I can't play any professional game. I don't seem to represent Kenya anywhere. But that's just me. There are 4 Kimeru radio stations and 2 TV stations playing 80% Kimeru content. We do sing(btw, who was that Meru guy singing in Churchill Show with Ali Kiba the other day?) We have comedians commanding the industry. We just don't shout about it, and it is a good joke, anyway, when people say we can't do all these things. We just don't, because we have better things to do than cry on stage or play like children. 

On a serious matter of Life and Death: You must visit Meru county. You must visit the wildlife conservancies ....experience the Meru hospitality in the hotels, streets, markets.... Get Grade 1 farm produce straight from the farm(money being the root of all evil, we will sell to you at almost-free prices)..... Awe and smiles are infectious in Meru..and please don't forget to catch the enviable Amerucan accent!

Yes. I am a Meru. I stop when I want, and I am done with this story. You can share your Meru experiences in the comment box below.

Let's now talk about Ivy, the Kamanu Entertainment and the ensemble. Call Ivy on +254724398865 or catch up with her on Facebook. Tell her I sent you, and make demands, like you want a CD as well, and you want her to deliver personally. She may send me a free hood if you buy. It's totally worth memoir, no matter where you are from. And, oh, I am not sure if Ivy is married.

Here is part of the collection:


All these messages can be replicated to any of the designs. You get to choose your message, and the design!

ION: I want to join the Njuri Ncheke. Does anyone know how?

Fare thee well, Mfa.

Two children, A and B are playing in ashes. You know, the game of smearing ash on each other's face to make "Kamuithia". Child B's grandmother meets the kids playing and panics. You see, the "ash" is actually a very poisonous coffee pesticide. She picks up her grandchild and runs off with her, leaving Child A playing with the poison, unamused. An older child, C, comes along and is shocked. He doesn't run away to call for help, he doesn't join in to play, he doesn't admonish him, he does a smart thing... he carefully ties Child A's hands with polyethylene bags so that he doesn't put his hands in his mouth... and takes him home. A child's life saved.

Child A is me, and the saviour, Child C, is Eric. He saved my life at that point!

Over the years, Eric and his brother, Metal took up the role of big brother. We would make our wooden wheelbarrows together, go-cart together, feed rabbits together, make nuisance in the village together, and all the things that boys do. I was a part of their family. Whenever Eric's grandmother visited, she would bring me bread, specially for me, and they would bully me out of it to granny's wrath. We were brothers.

He got initiated at a very tender age-which officially meant he couldn't interact with me kîîjî, but we still played together, only that he would hide when other circumcised men passed by.
When I got the cut myself, he would always visit, daily, without fail. And Mom always wanted him to come and be with me. You see, traditionally, when "you are in the house", you are at the mercy of the young men coming in to eat and pass time. People have been killed during that period. But Eric always came. And I would feel safe. He, and Metal, were my brothers, after all.

Eventually, we became bums. We would influence each other's decisions...from the trivial ones of which girls to hit on, who to dump to lifelong decisions like careers and spirituality. He would ask my opinion of courses and I would ask him to research for colleges for me when I cleared high school. Even later in life, since I was always the village techie, I had a say in all gadgets he bought or didn't buy. To him, my word was final.

Best friends with Maabi, my grandpa
After my high school, we formed a group called TOUCH. Initially, 5 of us: Eric, Alex, Bessy, Doris and myself. We used to perform plays in the church, and soon, became mainstays. We would have a slot every Sunday, and sometimes would be invited to other churches and youth camps for our plays. It was a great team. Soon, we had a bigger dream. We wrote up a plan to save the youth in the society from drugs, clean up the area, and, eventually, change the politics of the society. We roped in more members and would make shows for the youth, invite mentors and have a party. This slowed down when we all joined college.

When I was struggling homeless, remember Nairobi Initiation 3?, I would go to his college, AHITI Kabete(he came top in his class, btw, scooping most honours in the graduation, and we lost our voices cheering,bright guy) and spend weekends with him and Lenana. He would always come to Plot 10.

We were the proverbial partners in crime.

Friday 17th July 2015
I was in my usual Friday bubbly mood at work. Then I started receiving calls from people we have never spoken on phone with and people whose numbers I just have on phone from back in the days, asking if we have spoken with Mfalme. I would tell them I haven't. By the fourth call, I was getting concerned. Then Glory called me and told me she'd heard Eric's phone was being picked by a cop.

He'd said the owner of the phone and a few other guys had been involved in an accident and taken to hospital. I said, fine, if it's hospital, we will go the hospital the following day, Saturday. I called other guys living in Nairobi, Alex and Nancy, and they told me they were on their way to the hospital. I figured those were enough for the day, since I live farther, I would still go the following day.

Then Glory called me again and told me her brother was at the mortuary. I quipped at her. "Mortuary?"
"Yes, Frank. They are not alive"
"Who and who"
"Eric and....."

I disconnected the call and went to sit, shaking. I wasn't believing. Alex wasn't picking his phone, Nancy hadn't arrived yet, and people were calling me left, right and centre".
I also left for Thika. Oddly, my first time ever to go to Thika. I kept confirming if we were going to Thika Level 5 hospital, or the mortuary next door. They said mortuary. And the mortuary was a mess. Alex and Bessy met us at the parking and confirmed the worst.

Four people had passed away, and Eric was one of them.

When Alex, who had viewed, damnit, the bodies started giving us details,  I felt liquid. Just had to sit down. The entire sheltered area was made of people I know. Mfalme's friends. The sight of his girlfriend, Naomi, crushed me. I don't remember greeting her. It was all a dream.

We stayed and waited for the relatives, and tried to track down the family of one of the deceased, who we didn't know, just to be helpful. Others went to the scene of accident, Makuyu, to see the car and collect any possessions.

Evening came and the relatives had arrived. Martin, Eric's eldest brother, came for Eric. They had to officially identify the bodies and we had to be there with them. Being the most paranoid people I know, I wouldn't have gone in..but Alex literally pulled me in.

It was all a haze. Darkness in my head. I vaguely smelt the preservatives, or death(it has a smell, right?). As the bodies were being pulled out one by one I just looked on. When Eric was presented I would have sworn it wasn't him. The injuries were bad. The mortuary sonofabitch attendant was eating roast maize in the mortuary and motioning to us where the bodies would be restructured. They looked as if they were just asleep, and would wake up. It was still a dream, now turning a nightmare.

I went back home that night, still hazen. I had to take hard stuff to clear the dew in my head. And I slept peacefully. I never remembered the images, I think God erased the moment from my brain, and even now as I write this, I have no memory of the bodies. I feel like I am narrating a scene by a third party. Thank God for the amnesia.

Friday, 24th July 2015
After a week of arrangements, our village had the biggest funeral ever. Could easily be the biggest event my village has ever hosted, sadly. A funeral for two. Attended by who is who in the society, from the deputy governor and all the elected and administrative leaders in between.

See, Eric was a man of the people. He was a promising young man with a bright future ahead of him. And everyone had to be part of this. All his friends came. We rallied and had everyone away from home to attend his burial. It was a massive get together. Our entire class met for the first time since we finished primary school and we savoured the ghostly reminders of our former school. Sadly, as we concluded, we were only meeting due to the death of one of our own.

It is now a resolve that we will be meeting every chance we get. Granted, we are spread all over the country, some of us are outside the country, but we should never meet only because of the death of one of us. (Think about that, friend, when do you ever meet with your childhood friends, classmates, college roommates? Will you only meet during burials?)

In other news, why do politicians always steal the show? Why do they use forums, even mourning ones to selfishly turn the tides? All the speeches after Alex had spoken on behalf of Eric's friends were all political. The current MCA and MP vs the aspiring MCAs and MPs. Words were thrown around, statements made, the underlying issue of the village road, one of the biggest feeder roads of the county, now impassable, and all that crap politicians always belch. The mass was ending at 6:00 pm, and the burials were to happen afterwards. When I die, I don't want politics in my funeral.

Then we went to Eric's home for the actual burial. I was barely listening to the pastor. My mind was replaying Eric.

It was now slowly hitting me that he was actually gone. When soil was thrown in I flinched. When rocks hit the coffin with the thunderous this they always make, I felt pain. They were beating my friend. When I was handed the shovel to throw in soil, I did. I dutifully gave this last service to my brother. When the pastor said we should mark the corners with sticks I looked for sticks and marked the corners. I had this energy surge.

Then it actually hit me. I had promised myself not to cry, but I got choked. I excused myself and went behind Eric's house. And I sobbed. I cried with nothing in my head. I felt lonely. I just cried.

My other friends came round to me. Bessy covered her face with Kero's jacket, Deno stared away, into space, Marti leaned on a tree and stared down. Kero placed hands on his head and trudged away to the grave to plant flowers with Twinnie.  We locked our ears to the world and the silence got eerie.
It was now real.

Always bubbly with laughter. Wedding 'security' freak
He is gone. Just like that. He won't be the theatrical Head of Security that he always took up in our weddings. He won't be calling to ask me what to do with his laptop or phone. He won't be coming to joke with my grandfather on all the matters of the world. He won't be shooting pool with me again. He won't be building the house which he had just started collecting kokoto for. He won't be joining the university he wanted to join for an environmental course. He won't be sharing his dreams for the society again.  He is gone. Forever.

Fare thee well, Mfalme. Walk into heaven in that walking style of yours. And walk in noisily as you used to walk into our places. We will always remember you. You will remain in our minds. We will try to achieve some of the dreams we had in TOUCH. Won't we, Bessy, Alex, Doris?

I always hoped this was a dream and I would wake up. The touch of soil woke me up. It is true.

Goodbye, and say hi to Metal.

Nairobi Initiation 6: I Have Been Conned, and Mugged.

I am walking home from college. Remember, I am doing CPA at Vision and I live in Plot 10, Kirinyaga Road. Just past Globe Cinema, this guy meekly greets me. He is lost, and wants to know where KCS house is. I tell him I don't know. He has this heavy Meru accent, and I ask him if he is Meru... He is. Where? Kianjai. Wow! I went to school near those parts. Next thing I know, we are korogaing deep Amerucan.

He just arrived in Nairobi to cash a Kenya Charity Sweepstake and wants me to help him get to KCS house. I honestly don't know where it is, but he tells me he had already been there a few hours back. But the person who had taken him had turned against him and he suspected he had people waiting to rob him of his Sh. 200,000. Wait a minute! That's 200K Kenya Shillings. Being the curious Frank, I tell him to show me the card. There it is, 3 clean 200,000 figures scratched.
He tells me that if I help him get the cash, he will give me Sh. 30,000. I tell him that's too little. We bargain to 40K.

I am trembling with anticipation. I have never seen that kind of money in my life. I can traffic cocaine for that, sembuse taking someone to some place in town. He asks me the time and I chuck my phone. The hottest smartphone back then, Nokia 6600. He stares at it for too long, as if he doesn't believe when I tell him it's 6:00 pm.

So, we go. He is visibly frightened. He believes people are following him. Or waiting for him near the cashing house. So we go rounds and rounds till it's dark. It's past 7:30 when we get to Kencom and he points out KCS house to me. I am to walk in,cash the amount as my own and come back out with it.

There is a catch, though.
"Leave me your phone"
No. I can't.
"Do you think I am stupid trusting you with 200,000 when I have nothing of you? It's a small security, and if you get lost, I can track you using it"

I make a mental calculation and decide, for 40K, I can leave my beloved phone. I instinctively remove the SIM card, leave him the phone and saunter in.
There is no one in sight-it's late, so I catch the lift to the said Floor. There is still no one in the office,but it's open, so I walk in looking into the offices. I mean, I have a right to be here! I am a winner. I finally get a lady who could easily be the CEO. Who else leaves the office last? I tell her I have won and she tells me to come back tomorrow, working hours. Man! This woman is delaying my blessing! I try to tell her I can't wait but she dismisses me. I begrudgingly leave.

You will spend 20 years in prison for forgery

Outside, I can't see my guy! I think I am mistaken and go around the blocks, all the way to the High Court, back to Uchumi City Square, round Kencom. But can't see him! Who would leave 200K for an old 20K phone. I am worried. Not because of the phone, but because this poor guy may have been attacked. He was afraid of his life! An hour later, I have to go home, sad, worried.
The following morning, I am the first person at the Kenya Charity Sweepstakes House. I walk in and report to the Security Desk that I have won and am going to cash my card. He asks me to show him my card, and grabs my hand, hard!

"Where are you from, kijana?"
"Where did you get this ticket?"
"You see that building over there? There is a Police Post. So, I will ask for the last time... Where did you get this ticket?"
Kamenuka. I crack like I have just been tortured in the Nyayo Basement. Telling the entire story. After I am done, he looks at me with this fatherly eye.
" You are lucky, young man. This ticket is forged. " He says, casually erasing the 200,000 numbers with a fingernail. "I am a Kamba, and we and Merus are brothers. If you were a Jaluo, I would have taken you in. Do you know how it could have been?"
I shake my head, trembling.
"That would be a million Shillings fine or 30 years in prison for forgery."
"To avoid that, I want you to give me Sh. 10,000 for me to release you"

What! Is he mad? I am now looking at the prospect of going to jail. I can't afford 10K. We bargain...this is one of my main talents.. to Sh. 3,000, which I don't have. He tells me to go look for it, and if I don't come, "utajua mimi ni Mkamba na tuna uchawi"

When I reach the house, it hits me. I have just been conned! And exposed to crime. Have you seen a grown, read circumcised, Meru man sob? I drench my pillow with tears.

A phone made of sponge

The next day, I am in a mission to reclaim my phone. Guess how? Have you walked through Tom Mboya street looking at the phone displays? If you have, someone off the street must have approached you, offering a phone for sale. I figure those are stolen phones, and my phone would be offered to me for purchase. This works... At least the someone offering a phone part.... It is a Nokia N9. Another hotcake.

It is a youngish guy, and I tell him I am interested. So, we walk, talking. I even tell him I am looking for a lost phone, if he had seen any of his friends selling a 6600. He hasn't. So, I decide to buy this. We agree on the price, only Sh. 2500, and proceed to an MPesa to withdraw. Nature is against me, I don't have my ID, so I can't withdraw and have to run back to the house for the ID. We exchange numbers and I leave. When I come back, with the money and call the guy...

"Ah. This phone is on demand, my guy. I have already sold it"

Damnit! That was clearly not meant to be mine. So I walk away, crestfallen. Hours later, the guy calls me. My prayers have been answered (thank God)..the guy didn't, after all, buy the phone, so I can get it. We meet at the same spot we had met, Tom Mboya Posta. He shows me the phone...working perfectly. My bargain bug bites me and I ask him to drop the price by 500, to 2,000. He can't.

"Mimi ni Mgodii jo. Niko hustle buda. Ka na phone yako unasaka enda police(I am a Mgodii on the hustle,dude. If it's your lost phone you are looking for, go to the Police)"
That Sheng lingo is too tight for me. I don't know what a Mgodii is, but I can't show I don't know. That's usamba.
"Wazi maze. Mayouth ni kusaidiana. Nipe tu.(Cool, man. Youths should look after each other. Give it to me)" He gives me the phone, and we part our ways. I can't brandish this phone in the street and I excitedly trudge to the house to inspect my discovery.

I press the start button and it sinks. I open the back side and..... The phone case is filled with sponge!

Just last week, my friend Jeff had been conned this way and we had laughed at him for being so gullible. Now I had been conned. I have lost money in the most foolish style ever. I cry again. I can't tell this to anyone. It has to be in the heart. It's my little secret.

Nairobi had scored me 2-0 in two days.

I call up a friend of dad's living in Nairobi to assist. He is a good man. He is indebted to my father so he always assists me. True, he brings me an old Siemens phone with a broken antenna, that I name BlackBerry. It is so old, it is actually cool.

The following week, we are walking to school with Kero and Flo. There have been riots and running battles between the Police and Grogan mechanics. The air is full of gunshots and the choking tear gas. Police everywhere. No vehicles...just battle. Flo says people get mugged on such days. I don't believe her. I tell them that if someone tries to steal my BlackBerry, I will cut him to pieces.

Minutes later, a friend I don't remember stops me to say hi. Kero and Flo keep walking.
"Niaje buda. Tuachie yetu( Wazzup bro. Give us what belongs to us)"
I am not amused. So I quip.. "What?"

I suddenly realize I am sorrounded. My 'friend' is now holding a hammer. Someone else has pliers, and someone has these huge iron sheets scissors. I am being mugged. Flo tries to scream, but a hammer is pointed at her and she zips up like a scratched CD. They empty my pockets right there in the crowded street and no one seems to care. I have been mugged! My BlackBerry is gone. And oddly, I laugh. I laugh so hard that people stand to stare. Maybe it's because I am laughing and crying at the same time.

Probably, that Kamba security guard actually bewitched me.

Nairobi 3-0 Frank. In one week.

Nitakupaka ****

Sorry. This is disgusting
One of Nairobi streetchildren's oldest trick in the book is walking around with human (shit) in their hands, and offering random people in the streets free make up sessions if they don't pay up. These are mostly not empty threats, because, my friend, you will get a mighty smear on your suit. 

Nairobi played this on me. I am escorting a girl, a first time date, to Bus Station (I don't remember her name because that's the last time I saw her); when we are met by a black person. By black I mean, charcoal black. Only the bloodshot eyes and strangely pink lips are visible. The guy is a walking chimney. He is wearing all black-I doubt the clothes were originally black, could have been white. He is dirty, and is accompanied by a big gang...of houseflies and this smell. The only thing I see is the girl running across the road, with her big, Luhya hips swinging clumsily. Well, I must admit I hadn't noticed those. 

"Boss, leta punch ama nikupake" (I want Sh. 500 or I will smear this on you)

I look to see what the make up is, and it's right there-black slimy diarrhoea human output. I swear I can see a billion pieces of cholera and other assorted diseases therein. The smell itself can make a skunk cover its nose.I don't know why I am not scared. Maybe I have had a shittier day already. I tell him in a snap that I don't have any money for him. And I don't care because kill him if he does. You know, it is a public bus stage, and I expect people to move in. I at least expect my girl to scream. 

But this is Nairobi. I have to fight my battles alone, People are watching us from a distance. I can't see my escort. I tone down. 

The guy opens his jacket and removes a large syringe. Those big cow and hippopotamus syringes. Filled with thick blood. 

"Hii ni AIDS, an ukijifanya mjanja nitakudunga"(This blood has HIV, and if you act truant I am injecting you)

I am now sweating. I honestly don't have money, otherwise, I would have given it all to him. My negotiation skills come into play.

"I don't have money"
"You are wearing a suit. Don't lie to me" I was in a suit, remember the date?
"Sometimes we wear like this to look for jobs. I am a sufferer like you, man" 

We keep bargaining as if he is a hawker. I bring him down to friendship terms and soon, we are on first name basis. His name is Kim, or something, and he is telling about how he came to Nairobi to be tout, got fired, became a street boy, and now he was forced to be a mgondii. By the time I left, he even wanted to give me something small, to get me home, but I told him I was better, and gave him a loose Sh. 5 to get a maandazi on me. 

Talk about random acts of kindness. Try to understand your mugger, or your conman. And forgive them if you can. I am still trying to forgive the socialite who abused my kindness to con me of money and she still tweets her good life. Story for another day. 

Nairobi Initiation 5: Plot 10, the Sin City.

Have you ever lived in a remote control house? These are the houses, err, cubicles where a 6 by 3 ft bed fills the room. You can touch all four walls lying on the bed. You can close the door and window, cook, reach the "wardrobe" side of the room, and the TV that you have to hang from the roof because there is nowhere to place it. That, my friends, a remote control house.

Plot 10 is located right in town-yes, we lived in the CBD! Our life was improving, no? It is a three storied building along Kirinyaga Road, right below Roast House.

That's where our mkokoteni from Nairobi Initiation 4 took us. Kero had used his immense convincing skills to get us the house. It was very convenient, since we would no longer be paying fare to town, we were always in hand to receive friends and relatives from upcountry, take them around town, for a small token, of course.

The room was located just outside the communal sink and bathroom. From the house we would literally look through the bathroom door, you know what. Whereas we enjoyed seeing these "things", we were always drying the house. Water would seep in, below the PVC carpet, to a mighty stink.

And it was bigger than most! Remember the Kens from Initiation 3? The guys that caused us all the troubles we passed through? They were living in a much smaller room, all three of them! So, their resources, including the bed they had said we had to hire, were in the underground rat infested store. They had the audacity to ask us to keep a computer monitor for them. I almost committed murder that day.

How families lived in these rooms, we never knew. I am still trying to figure that out. Take, for instance, an old woman we all used to call Shosho who used to live with her fully grown watchman son and his wife. She never left the house, so we all wondered how the son, Pato, used to, you know, get to, you know, get her pregnant. There was also this family, whose son was initiated in the single room house he used to share with his parents and 3 siblings. We from the Mountain just watched at the unthinkable from far.

The 2009 Census was god-sent. Kero and I landed enumerating jobs, at 24K, and boy did we have a blast! My wiz dream of owning a computer came to be. I bought this large Dell desktop tower with a 15" CRT monitor, and Kero bought a  Ampex subwoofer system and a gas cooker. 

We became overnight celebrities in the plot. We could afford to throw parties. We could now walk with a swag in our steps. I could now pursue my deejaying passion with my PC (when I was younger, I used to visit a classmate whose family had a computer with VirtualDJ installed. I could scratch scratch and that was the first reason I bought a computer). We could now watch all the movie series the cool kids were talking about. We could now blast music respectfully. And we could get any girl we wanted around! We were jogoo la mji now!

Did I mention parties and girls? We used to throw BYOB parties every day, any day of the week. All the cool kids in the plot would come to our house, newly renovated with white curtains, to have a ball. Requirement? Bring alcohol! At any given time, we would have Kibaos, KCs, Naps, jugs of Senator keg and miraa to last to the end of the month.

One day the liquor was too much, and there was no water in the plot. So, drat that, we cooked rice with alcohol! Add alcohol of assorted types and boom! No one slept in their house! Everyone was everywhere. I slept with the newest chick in the block, Emma. Stop frowning...we were too stoned to do anything. After puking her intestines out, she crashed into bed. I also chewed blackout while gentlemanly trying to cover her. The following morning everyone was singing my name. I had slept with a woman! A beautiful woman! I didn't deny those "allegations". 

Word spread, and soon, our house was the hub of parties and sin. People from all over the world, yes, all over the world-or how would you explain the Kirinyaga Road Indians and a certain Mzungu(never mind he is born and bred in Kenyan streets) all used to drop by for a dose of hip-hop. It was the joint, where people could abuse their elements in peace. Disclaimer: We didn't allow smokers or hard drug users, though some of our guests would smoke their weed and inject their injectables in the basement store. How we never got influenced, I don't know. God's Grace?

That wasn't the only sin in Plot 10. There were sins that would make Sodom and Gomorrah a holy shrine. Take your pick:

Fetishes- Tabia Mbaya was at a premium in plot 10. People would get some anywhere, anytime. Have you heard the phrase "266,000 people around the world the world are having sex at any given minute, including this very minute?" That would be Plot 10. At any give time, someone was getting some in one of the 52 rooms, in the store, even on the stairs. Let's leave that here.... This is not a adult blog. :)

Nerea-People got pregnant at Plot 10. People aborted pregnancies at Plot 10. Then they would get pregnant again and do away with it. It created business for Kero, who knew a few bargain quack doctors to do the operations at a small commission and mark up. 

Mob justice- Justice used to be served Embakasi style. Mara that that! Thieves would be beaten into pulp. There was this day a guy cam into our room and joined our conversations, he even got  a chance at my coveted DJ chair. I thought he was Kero's friend and Kero thought he was my friend. I left at some point and Kero wanted to leave, so he called and asked who the guy was and I was like " Which guy?" Hell broke loose. The guy was flung out and given a proper beating. See, he couldn't explain how he got into the house in the first place. Several more people were beating, including some gay people who were caught having some in our sin-store. 

Remember when I told you about the strategic position of our house in the city? At any given time we would have a full house. Either partying, or folks from ocha seeking shelter, or homeless people being kept, or students on holiday but not curious to go home. We should receive a Nobel Prize, no? But people abused this hospitality, human nature.

 Take Robert, or Rumpu. He used to crash at our place any time he was on holiday or whatever. We didn't have much problem, but he had this uncanny behaviour- okay, we used to cook ugali sukuma DAILY- Rumpu had loads of money and would leave us to our ugali sukuma, go eat chicken and come back with that chicken perfume all over him. In the morning, he would leave us to our strungi and ugali lala, and go take a B.E.S.T. breakfast. Of course we used to mind, but never talked about it. The straw that broke the camel's back was, there was this time he went and brought all his brothers to come live with us-all three of them!! Now, these were noisy braggards. They would talk about home all night, with these shrilly, annoying voices. I love my peace and this would aggravate me to breaking points. There was this day, we were watching the World Cup and they started betting on the match, big money, money that I didn't have, money that I needed, and they were here, betting, right after coming into the house with their chicken aroma and we were broke as hell.

I threw them out! And we decided to never let vagrants into the house ever again. 

That is, apart from the throngs of girls that thought we were cool-Kero used to mesmerize them with stories and attention that I could't afford. Most were just that, friends. We would have girls over for days, and we would treat them like boys, eating ugali sukuma together, playing cards, having man-talks, sleeping on the floor-and using them to rope in sponsors for meat and other favours.

 There was this time a girl who had had several stints in several houses within the plot-she was a known (you know what)- came along and former hosts couldn't take her in, probably because this time she came along with a guy friend, and were looking for a place to wait for her last plot boyfriend. Now, this is the type of girls who, once you make the mistake of having them in for a day, will move in. And I knew it, though I figured she wouldn't, with the guy. So, I let them in, expecting them to move out once their "friend" arrived. It wasn't to be. They requested to sleep on the floor, and I lock the doors and let them. In the middle of the night, I woke up to noises. Noises that I knew from porn videos. In my dryspell on the bed, I was too irritated. So I woke up, turned the lights on and went back to bed. You should have seen the awkward position I got them in. I think they cursed me because the following morning I woke up with too much pain down there. Story for another day. :)

Wanaume si mamako
Kero once broke one of these cardinal rules with our girls.A friend of mine from home. See, we had this unsaid rule that, if a girl was a relative or friend from home, no hankypanky was allowed. So, one day, he took this girl to the next door lodging, without my knowledge-not that I would have minded that much, but it was necessary for my records. He did these crazy things with her like spreading flowers on the bed, burning scented candles and all these things that we only read in romance novels. Girl was mesmerized. She was in love. And she told me all about it the following day. I just laughed quietly to myself, LQTM, literally. Sheep with this love towards wolves.

Hell broke loose the following weekend when Kero's girlfriend came visiting. Let's say I had to pull an instant Kofi Annan to save the occasion. Kero took his girlfriend to the same lodging he had taken the other girl the previous weekend! My mother says "Wanaume si mamako" and she is right. We men, aren't your mother! J was crashed. She cried... My offer? As much as I hate clubs, I took her to Roast House for a drink and dance. Remember I dance like a tortoise-so I never hit the dance floor. So I sat in a corner and watched her dance with people while I got the dividends- drinks being sent to my table in a stream till I had enough and dragged her out. She was hysterical, especially when we reached the lodging-Screaming how "....he is ******ng her in the same room he ****** me in! She must be thinking she is the only one. Oh God, I am a ****!"

That's where robbers got us, while I was trying to drag her in. Just like that, out of the blue, with rungus and pangas. And I jumped into the gate, and closed her outside with the muggers. You must be wondering what kind of man I am. Well, me too! I someties wonder what kind of man I am.

My reasoning was simple. None of us had a phone. Not even a single cent. Being the guy, I guessed they would have beaten me, cut me, or worse, killed me in frustration. In my drunken stupor, however, I was thinking, in my imaginary super powers, that if I opened the gate, I would hit one of them and kill him. Which is a sin. All this while, I was screaming my lungs out like a proper sissy coward. This was a day to forget.

Let's pray for our shoes
We started looking for jobs while still in Plot 10. Me, Kero, Marti, Alex and the all crazy Musila whose story I will tell you another day. We would print CVs, walk around town dropping them with the help of a directory. Evenings would find us too tired. To improve our chances of getting jobs, we each invested in a suit, and new formal shoes. One evening, the Monday after we had bought new shoes on Saturday, we came home tired, and there was a blackout. We dozed off in the darkness, Kero, Alex and I, only waking up early in the morning for another day of tarmacking for jobs. We took our showers, wore our recycled suits...and then Alex stepped out.

"Where did we put our shoes?"
"They should be at the door"
"No! They aren't!"

We thought he was joking. So Kero went to check. Our shoes were missing! That was a new low. We were crushed. There went our several-month savings, and probably our chances of getting jobs. Solution.

"Let's pray," Alex said. In desperation, we knelt down to pray. In Faith. Singing a worship chorus, Alex told us that if we opened the door slowly and shouted "JESUS!" six times, the shoes would be there in the seventh open. 

Jesus Himself must have smiled at that, because we didn't get our shoes!

Bugs and rats
Tell me what you know about bedbugs. I know bedbugs, trust me. Plot 10 was an Animal Conservation park. We used to have human size rats. You would meet with a rat in the stairs, thing stares at you and you pass slowly. Rats that had this mean look of "Don't make any sudden moves, or you will die" That was no big worry, because our rats were street wise buddies who knew how to use the sufferer space with the sufferers-they never ate clothes or books. We had this mutual respect. But tell that the their little cousins-the bed bugs. Those things have no respect at all. We had this infestation that could easily make KU jealous. And they used to show up in the worst times-when you had a visitor, or in public, in class or when you were tarmacking. And they were in every house. That's why when I moved out of Plot 10, I only left with my computer, and the clothes I had on. I couldn't risk carrying those bugs. 

For the time I was at Plot 10, I never saw the landlord. We used to deal with a manager/caretaker and never cared about the owner, until we received a letter raising the rent by a cool Sh. 3,000 in that month end. Less than three weeks. Never mind we were all students in an unpainted, unmaintained, rat infested, stinking plot.That's the only time we came together as a plot outside Sodom, and sued him, with the legal advice of a law student with all his experience. We went to court, all of us, and declared that we would not pay rent for three months. Of course we were overruled, but that sent a message to the landlord that we were not in it for games. He backed down, sent some mzee friends of his to plead with us to take the case out of court, and agree on a compromise. We had our way, and of course the money we had contributed for court was enough to buy several jugs of Senator keg and Kenya Cane beehives. :) 

The "Adventures of Plot 10" would be a complete novel. Just can't cover it here. Buy me a drink one of these days and I will give you a proper narrative. But Plot 10 remains. We moved on, and left the room, with everything, to some boys from the village,as a memoir of a very important phase of our life.We vowed that the room would remain ours for as long as Plot 10 exists. It will be passed down, intact to the younger guys coming to Nairobi from upcountry. 

Ni kama vindio ni kama ndrama.

Main pic: Full house, full bed, any time, Twitter. 
King Rat: Penguins of Madagascar, Fanpop