FRANKMWENDA

The Writing of my Place in History

Category: Personal

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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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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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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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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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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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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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 in my Nairobi life… A new dimension.
          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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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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365 Ways of Becoming a Millionaire (Without being born one)

Some time ago, I used to attend one of those highly successful evangelical churches in Nairobi. One day, the Pastor gave an example of how he had had a visit from a young man who wanted his help publishing a book. He had already written the book, “How to Make Money”. Now, our pastor refused to fund the project. Why? This young man wanted the pastor to “give him money” to publish a book on “how to make money!” He simply told him to apply the principles he had written in his book to make the money he needed to publish the book.

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Book I Read: DELIVERING HAPPINESS: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose

I read books, always. As you read this, I most probably have an open book. But, up to now, I haven’t read a book that has resonated with my mind the way this book by Tony Hsieh (read Shay) – the easily admirable CEO of Zappos.

This book is divided into 3 sections. The first part follows Hsieh’s entrepreneurial adventures from when he was young, for example his attempt to start an earthworm breeding business at the age of 9, a mail order button business in middle school, and a grille at Harvard University.

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Want ‘Free’ Information? Pay me.

Be nice, Share information

I once wrote a rather historical-informative article for a company blog. Now, it required information from either books, or people who had been in the organization for long. You know, to provide me with the milestones and important dates for the organization. I dug in the archives and got little such information-so I had to resort to the latter-people.

As always, they were very helpful. That organization  is one where teamwork and ‘community’ is embedded. I got information, and where they could not help, they would refer me to someone who was likely to have the information.

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6 Things you Must do to be Effective.

What does it take to stand out as an effective person?

The other day, we had a sit-rep (that’s military lingo for unofficial inter-flow meetings) with Christine (you probably know her as MrsMwiti). Now, if you have had a chance to visit her blog, you will be mystified by the wisdom that she oozes. What’s more, she is my official mentor. We sit-rep all day at work. Call me lucky.

Now, the other day, we had a meeting, and the topic of discussion was Personal Branding- that is, how I can brand myself, how to be really effective, productive…..

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WAYS TO LIVE,NOT JUST EXIST

Jack London once said, “The proper function of man is to live, not to exist.”  Far too often we travel through life on autopilot, going through the motions, accepting what is, and having every day pass like the one before it.  Everything seems relatively normal and comfortable, except that constant twitch in the back of your mind that’s saying, “It’s time to make some changes.”

Here are 15 simple suggestions courtesy Marc and Angel for those who want to break free from the mold and truly live more of their life – to experience it and enjoy it to the fullest, instead of settling for a mere existence.

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MY SABATTICAL: THE NEW ME

Recently,I have been feeling as if my life was spiraling out of control..I was mostly irate,lazy,and lacking sense of direction..no passion..instead of running towards my goals,I had wandered off the path and sat down under a tree of frustration.

No drive.Na da!I was not participating in my life..just a spectator..watching my life roll by.I had started to do things I used to advise my friends against and frown upon..it was that bad.I was on a nose dive.
Missed classes,and whenever I went..I was not a learner-learners look at the board/slide….I used to fix my glare at the wall clock ad dream away..or get into my phone.

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