FRANKMWENDA

The Writing of my Place in History

When a Thika Prostitute Pins you to the Wall

prostitute thika

I hate Thika!

The first time I went to Thika was less than two years ago when Mfa passed on. I have since associated Thika with death and I only go there if it’s absolutely necessary.

Like two Fridays ago when we had some work to do at Thika Technical.

There are few good things about Thika, at least to me. I don’t club so if you worship Thika clubs like some of my friends do, sorry, that’s boring.

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Books I read in February

 

Frankline Books February 2017

In January, I started my new journey of reading multiple books per month (btw, the picture above is of my growing third library). I did 2 books in January and promised myself to read four in February. Well, I managed to read 3 and a half (the half is part of one of those books that require a lot of patience to read) and I will tell you about it in the next edition.

So, here are the 3 great books I read in February.

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A Letter to the Women in my Life

letter to my women

Dear My Women,

Being the International Women’s Day, I take this opportunity to appreciate you for being in my life. Being the strong pillars of the universe and the neck of this world. Thanks for being bold and standing with me… and being the epitome of strength. You are the strongest people ever, and I envy you big time!

To these two old women

They will definitely not read this, but I’ll start with Grandmas. Incredible, funny, intelligent, beautiful hot messes.

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Be a Man, man!

Be a Man African

Be a man and face your troubles. Actually, be a man and carry the burdens of the world.

Be a man and sweat your ass out in the mjengo to feed your family. Even the Good Lord said you have to toil. Sell one of your balls and buy food if you have to because you don’t deserve to be called a man if your family sleeps hungry.

Be a man and get yourself a job. A man cannot rest on his stupid ass and wait for his wife to go out and work.

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My Bad-ass Valentine’s Day Ideas

valentines-day-1159281_1280

Last week, I was live on Radio Jambo, talking about Valentine’s Day and how to spend the least but make the best impression on Valentine’s. So if you had any doubts about my expansive knowledge of the subject of love, there you have it (twitches my fingers like a badass mafia capi). You can say “…awww, his girlfriend is soo lucky, dating such a romantic bae”. Well, Awww to you too! 🙂

Now that we have established I am an expert in these things, up there with Chris Hart and Gertrude Mungai, read on carefully on how to rock your Valentine’s Day on a shoestring budget.

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Books I Read in January

frankmwenda-books

Yaay! I am achieving one of my New Year Resolutions – Reading. Last month started late and I promised myself to read two books, I finished the second book on January 31st. Makofi… Pa…Pa…Pa! (Funga! Fungua!). I may sound excited but it is the small wins that matter in life, right? This month I will read 4 books.

Here are the books I read:

The Teeth of the Tiger – Tom Clancy

Jan Books - The Teeth of the Tiger - Tom Clancy

Tom Clancy, for me, is up there with James Patterson and Jeffrey Archer as some of my favourite writers.

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Bad Debt Chronicles: Musa

Running from debt

Everybody has encountered one, or many. Those people who, giving them a debt, under any circumstance, is like throwing your money into a pit latrine. People who have no tinge of guilt keeping money that doesn’t belong to them, and continue to live their lives normally, while you skip meals or get acid burns in their stomach when you see the good life they are living on Instagram.

Debts make my skin crawl. I can’t live comfortably with someone’s debt.

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Taking a Cold Shower like a Ninja

cold shower

Last week, Njaanuary sent me two messages, just a reminder that it exists. One, cooking gas went kaput, without warning as it always does- two gas cylinders all with 0 gas at night with minced meat on the plates. Then we woke up to no electricity – the units were also gone. You know how fast Kenya Power sends the power token when you pay with M-Pesa, so there was just no use purchasing the units at that time of the morning.

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Miathene Mono – My First Day in High School

Miathene Mono Kenya

I have seen a few monos in the streets this week. You can tell a mono from a mile away, you can smell even a mono. You can see it in the clothes, brand new, with ridiculously sharp iron lines, blindingly shone shoes, crudely knitted names on the sweaters, shirts and sometimes, even pants.  And the faces, the faces betray monoism, frightened eyes, wildly chewing jaws, bouncing steps (fake confidence). I see them and I shake my head.

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Things 2016 Taught Me

2016

I can’t believe 2016 was the same 12 month-long year as every other one, it felt much much shorter. What happened to the good old days when you would spend a full 12 months in one classroom? Then, time felt like time. This time it went faster than me in a sack race (I have a sackrace medal).  The good thing about 2016 is, I learned a lot of things, both about myself and about life in general, that I am taking with me to 2017:

All work and no play..

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Get a Life! Live like you live for Social Media

is your life sad or happy?

We all know that one person who’s always sad about something, or angry at someone. Roll your mind…do you see someone? Sad Facebook posts about someone who betrayed them, a sickness they are having, how broke they are.

Like a friend of mine on Facebook, whose posts I noticed were all sad as I scrolled through. It was a sad timeline. I mentioned this to a friend, and she told me about this other girl whose baby daddy became dead beat and for all the three years since, her posts have seen very sad.

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I Don’t Respect Women

Angry women

And for this headline, the world will order for my stoning. The feminists will rise up and castigate me for saying the unthinkable.

“How can you dare not respect women in this age, you archaic gorilla living in pre-colonial Africa?”

“Your mother is a woman.”

“Who says that?”

“These are the type of men who never left their uncivilised villages.”

“You sexist, misogynistic Trump!”

Well, go on, say it! Roast me. Stone me. But I said it.

I have seen too many of these sentiments these last few weeks.

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Chronicles of my Village, Gitura 2

even-as-the-operation-against-illicit-brews-went-on-this-drunkard-was-too-intoxicated-to-notice-what-was-happening333

Due to public demand, let’s continue from where we left. About the great city of Gitura. Well, it’s a village, but there is a Pastor who came to preach in a crusade at Gitura Primary School and he told God to bless the ‘City of Gitura’ … I was proud of my city my village that day , and as you know, what God has blessed no one can put asunder.

Speaking of Pastor, I told you there is a time Gitura was as bad as Kosovo.

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Chronicles of my Village, Gitura

village Mamaa

This is NOT Mamaa

The other day I was told of a women group on Facebook rivalling Kilimani Mums… it’s called Vuteni Stool. When a woman says, “vuta stool nikuambie”, know it’s going to be a hot story.

I’m not a woman, not even remotely with this smug face of mine, but vuta stool I tell you about my village. It’s one of the best, most comic places you will ever find.

Life in my village is a comedy movie.

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Hey, can we fight?

fight

One day, my girlfriend (now ex) got into a fight with me because I didn’t fight her. Close your mouth… I also get girlfriends, I have a girlfriend. I just don’t post her photos on Instagram because, you know, witchcraft is real, and some jealous neighbour may see our heavenly happiness and decide to roga us. I hate witches, those jealous people.

Now that I have finished dreamily staring into space with the sudden feeling of love, let me tell you about this ex of mine.

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Boys and Dogs

boys eat away from the rest

It’s Sunday morning. It’s been a week since you had your last bath. Your legs are the real definition of mpararo – complete with whitish-greyish drawings, atlas maps on your legs.

Speaking of legs, you are showing lots of skin because your green, yellow or brown shorts reach mid-thigh like a socialite in hot pants.

Your hair looks like a lawyer’s wig. White from the kamuithia you made with ashes on Monday. And yesterday’s swimming at the stagnant pond nearby.

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If you are Circumcised

uncircumcised-penis banana

“Kama umetahiriwa nitusi tena.”

I was in my village last week. And I took a walk around the village one fine evening inspecting projects of development.

The girls I knew as babies were shyly smiling at me. Grown women who are now worthy of visiting my simba.  One or two now have babies of their own.

Boys I saw being taken home in baby shawls from hospital are now fearsome young laing’o capable of filling both cheeks with taxiies of veve (a feat I have never accomplished).

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Be like my Great Great Grandfather, Switch off WhatsApp!

My great great grandfather’s name was Thamunyari. Don’t beat your head over the name because you have never heard it. It is extinct. He is the father of my great grandfather M’Kiringo who is the father of my grandfather Mabbi. Thamunyari lived to many many years. He saw so many moons, droughts and harvests he wouldn’t have said. I’m told I saw my great grandfather, M’Kiringo. He waited around for me, and died at over 120 years. But strong.

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Take that selfie! 

selfieI saw her every day, apart from Sundays, for two months. She came every morning, washed my utensils (how I hate that thing), washed the floor, made my bed. She would even change my towels, arrange my clothes that I sometimes forgot discarded on the bathroom floor, and flush my toilet. While I sat, unashamedly working. It was her work, and while I appreciated the fact that I wouldn’t have to do all these things that us bachelors hate so much, I would rest easy that, it was work, anyway.

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Random Memories 4: Slippery Nipples and a Blow Job

poonam-pandey-flaunting-her-cleavage-while-enjoying-her-meal-201603-683173

There is a common saying among my crew, “We belong to the clan of pigs. We eat anything.” Growing up, I have eaten anything I have been offered, including the sumptuous, inviting piles of mole soil. 🙂

It has all been a factor of what I can afford at a point in time.

Or the Nairobi Initiation 3 period, when Kero and I lived in a house within a house, where the family used to eat chicken daily and we would pass by their kitchen to go make ugali with the sufuria we had cooked porridge in in the morning, without washing.

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Random Memories 3: The Devil Did It

When I told you I was already a sexpert by Class 2, I know you said to yourself “this is one of those hopelessly spoilt brats.” No. I was better than most, most of the time. Or rather, instead of doing the small small things that got y’all caned daily, I would accumulate my misdeeds and unleash one huge misdeed at some point. It would be so big a sin, even comical, I would be unbeatable. People would just laugh it off, or look at me in bewilderment.

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Random Memories 2: The Sexpert

random memories sexpert

I was telling you the other day about my life with my grandparents. With the worms gone and a contract for the supply of mandazi signed with the local chef de mandazi, Kombo, life started. I went to school quite early, barely three, given there were no baby classes and kindergartens back then. They had to find something for me to do rather than spend time chatting with grandma’s drunk customers and getting tempted by yummy mole hills.

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Random Memories 1: When I was a Soil Eating Beggar

 Let’s start from the beginning. To as far as I can remember – when I was a beggar. Literally.

 I am my parents’ first born.We didn’t live at home at some point. We lived in the remote Antubetwe Kiongo shopping centre (mouthful, huh?)  where my dad had a clinic. Our living quarters were the kaplot behind the clinic.

 Those who know me know I love tea. Before you poke fun at Luhyas, get in touch with me first.

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Sad Letter From Sister: Mother Misses You

sad mother misses you
When is the last time you spoke to your mother? The graceful lady that brought you forth, and brought you up? Does she know what’s happening in your life, you know, as she knew every time you got a thorn in your feet as you grew up in the village. Do you know about the thorns in her heart and mind? Do YOU know how she is?
Below is a heartbreaking letter I received from sister:
 
Dear Brother,
 
Mother called me yesterday night.
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Invest in Your Woman!

couple money woman

The past few weeks have been quite fast for me. Long nights, hard work (which I enjoy a lot, by the way), hours facing a screen of sorts and, well, not having time for myself, leave alone lovers and friends. Takes a toll on life, trust me. But it is a phase you have to go through when you have a young calf you need to breastfeed and support to stand on her feet. (See what I did there?

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Hello – The Nonsense Cover

hello cover Kenya
Hello
Niaje
How have you been?
You liked 11 photos on my Instagram yesterday,
Did you stop because my 12th pic is a #WCW?
That made me think unanistalk,
Are you?

Hello, can you hear me?
Ni California (my childhood nickname),
Namiss vile ulikuwa unaniita Calif,
When we were young and free,
I am now older, just call me Frank. Nikuite Mama nani?

There is such a difference between us
I hear you have three kids..

Hello from Mauaaa!

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Have You Seen This Idiot?

Kay Eye Isaac
I hate Whatsapp! Let me rephrase that. I dislike some aspects of Whatsapp. Like the endless viral messages you receive from 69 people and in 13 groups. You may get the same freaking picture 7 times in the SAME group! I would uninstall it any time were it not for my stinginess with airtime. Why chat on Bob’s expensive airtime when you can do it for free(almost?).

By the way, it is official! You will NOT be paying for annual subscription for Whatsapp!

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Goodbye 2015, that was a Rollercoaster!

goodbye 2015

How years move! Just the other day, we were in 2014….kufumba na kufumbua, I have a 2016 diary. Is it only me or are years running faster every passing year? Or, is it a growing-old thing? A year was a very long time in primary school.  Have I been too busy?

Too much has happened between January and December. Some have been the best things ever to happen in my life, and some have been the worst things ever.

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THAT Year After High School

high school jobless kenya
KCSE is over! I had forgotten about KCSE, it’s existence, and importance till this year. My brother, who has had a very difficult high school life and a live-in cousin have both completed KCSE. Welcome to semi-life, Evans and Alex. Now, please stop, and tell your parents to stop, calling me asking if you can come to stay with me for some time. I’m a bachelor about town and I like staying alone. More importantly, I want you to stay at home and ‘enjoy’ life as I enjoyed it back then-raw!
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A Kenyan Man Goes to Buy Condoms

conndoms

So the girl you have been eyeing for ages has finally accepted a sleepover and you have a feeling that this will be a good night. You had praised your kitchen skills on Whatsapp and she wants to taste your food. You will cook for her. So, you go to the market, or supermarket depending on where you are, and buy cooking stuff you don’t use in your bachelor pad, like carrots and cucumbers, garbage. You get ginger, dhania and pilipili hoho, too.

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Fat or Thin, you are Beautiful!

fat or thin

A girl friend of mine inboxes me on Facebook, “Frank, imagine someone called me fat today”.

I ask her, “Who? Njoki Chege?”

She hasn’t replied to me. I think she feels terrible someone called her fat. She actually isn’t big, she has a nice body, but could might have added on just a little weight. She is a modern girl. It is a taboo for modern women to add weight.

But. What happened to the world? When did growing thin and skinny become sexy?

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Norah: My Flame!

We all have those contacts in the phone that are just that-contacts! Numbers and emails we have no idea where they came from. Or, is it only me? I have accumulated so many over the years, considering I have never lost my contacts since I got my line in Form 2. Some have just come, somehow. Mostly in the era of 2Go. (Let’s not go there) 🙂

So, the other day, I discovered a name that has been lying in my phone book, long dormant and sleepy.

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To My Teachers and all Teachers: I Love You!

teachers punishment Kenya

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.

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My Wife and I: I Will be a Perfect Husband

husband and wife

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.

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I am Looking for a Wife!

Wife

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?

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Baite Inside! Yes, I am a Meru!

Meru Boy chewing miraa

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.

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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.

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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 American.

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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!

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Nairobi Initiation 4: “We Ate Bread With Sirua!”

If you are reading this,you must have read part 1-3. Thank you for sticking with me. This is a true story and I have evoked nostalgia in some of my friends, and anger or shame or whatever in others. I am just Frank.

Where were we last time? Yes,we had to leave the house we knew as Mwanyenye- we knew only the house girl’s name because everyone in the house used to call her so loudly in Kisii,even in the middle of the night, to pass a glass of water.

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The Nairobi Initiation 3: “I Swear I Didn’t Do It. Blame the Cat”

So I came to Nairobi… And did all manner of things, including walking all the way to Rongai and meeting my high school sweetheart, Makena. As I was telling you…meeting Makena introduced a new aspect to my Nairobi life… a new dimension.

Read Nairobi Initiation 1. and Nairobi Initiation 2.

Makena had progressed a big deal. She was way ahead of me in class-she was almost finishing CPA while I was starting. She was a laid back, devout young lady while I was a Hip Hop head.

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The Nairobi Initiation 2: “I Walked to Rongai!”

Rongai Nairobi stage

I was telling you the other day of some villager’s(aka yours truly) ‘soft’  landing in the largest metropolis in Eastern Africa-Don’t we love bragging with our city, Nairobi? Being the most intelligent monkey in a group of apes makes you number 1 by design. 

Anyway, here I was, on the morning after. Duwano was actually a five star hostel, by my standards, maybe. There was a good breakfast ready-eggs, sausage, toast and tea-this was the life, baby!

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The Nairobi Initiation 1: “I Will Be Your Host Tonight!”

The year is 2008. It is first of July and I am at the bus office bidding my mum goodbye. I am going to the big city alone for the first time,for a long time. Going to college.

I see a flash of tears in her eyes and she looks away fast. Tells me in a croaky voice to call her when I arrive.

“And keep the money safe” I am carrying cash. 

Off we go. The bus literally crawling up those Meru hills.

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Throwback: 1983’s Laptop

We were reminiscing about phones the other day with my friends. How mobile phones were huge just a few years ago, then started going smaller and smaller-the smaller it was, the more expensive and classy the mobile phone was. In standard human weird trends, the size started getting bigger again-now everyone wants a big phone!

Computers, on the other hand, have gotten smaller and smaller over the years-remember Main Frame computers? You don’t, that’s something you only read about.

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Blame these politicians for the terror

Bad things are happening to my country. …very bad things, of serious insecurity types.

Kenya has been known as the island of peace and economic stability in a region under siege….we have been brokering peace around us since independence.
Now,the tide has changed.  We are on the receiving end of the very things we have been consultants against. Insecurity topping the class.
Previously. , we only knew of bombings from international media: the Palestinas, the Iraqis, the Somalis, etc.
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A-Z: 26 Tips For Building Powerful Personal Brand Online

Everyone has a personal brand. Do you know what yours conveys to potential employers? When your name is Googled, what comes up? If you haven’t given much thought to your personal brand, here are a few ways to start building it. There are numerous reasons that having your own brand strengthened by your content strategy benefits your business. Everything that you do demonstrates your personal brand, from the way that you represent yourself online to how you treat people at the grocery store.

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10 Corporate Social Media Mistakes

You are likely well aware of how powerful social media channels have become for Corporates and Brands. When used correctly and mistake-free, you can successfully promote yourself, brand, or product.They can also harm your reputation, big time. Let us look at 10 Mistakes you are probably making on your Corporate Social Media efforts and how to avoid them:

1. Just plain boring.

Being boring could ‘kill’ your Social Media following. It will make people perceive your brand as a super duper boring brand.

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KIDS AND THEIR CLASS ANSWERS

I adore babies, I really do. So, when my times comes, I will have a dozen
I dislike viral forwarded messages on email, text, WhatsApp and wherever. So, if you send me such a message and tell me to forward “to get blessings”, I won’t.
But when the forwarded message is about kids, and it is really fun or helpful, I get that juxtaposing feeling. Bitter sweet. I received this message via WhatsApp and I think I hear a rib crack!
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50 Life Lessons: Be a Better You!

We should always work to be better people. We have the tools, and they shouldn’t be wasted. How you decide to become a better person is up to you. It may mean being a better spouse, parent, sibling, son, or daughter. Perhaps it means being a better provider, a better employee, or a better employer. No matter what it means to you, it means work. One should not shy away from the work that it takes to improve as a person.

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40 Entrepreneurship Lessons From World’s Billionaires

Here is a collection of quotes from the World’s biggest entrepreneurs-Billionaires. Valuable advice for start ups:
1.      “For me, businesses are like buses. You stand on a corner and you don’t like where the first bus is going? Wait ten minutes and take another. Don’t like that one? They’ll just keep coming. There’s no end to buses or businesses.”
          Sheldon Adelson
2.      “The most dangerous poison is the feeling of achievement. The antidote is to every evening think what can be done better tomorrow.”
          Ingvar Kamprad
3.
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