FRANKMWENDA

The Writing of my Place in History

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. I wish I took a miraa pick up…I wouldn’t endure all this stench in the Kensilver bus. But then, I am going to Nairobi…and I will now be a cool guy…coming during the holidays and commanding respect among my peers in Maua. It is not my first time in Nairobi, but I am now going alone… To stay.

Not on a school trip. And not like that time I came a few months ago to register for CPA. I am coming to stay. The excitement is building, can’t wait to reach the city and leave that mooing cow. 

The bus trudges on, the boredom is too much. My Walkman gets noisy, a book I had carried becomes blurred. I sleep for ten full hours and wake up ten minutes later…in Embu! Again, I should have taken that miraa truck lift I had been offered! We eventually reach Mwea and I buy those chipo mwitu, packed donkey meat and a yoghurt to boot. That’s my lunch…. Could be my supper- I have no idea where I will sleep tonight!

I catch 38 winks and wake up in Thika. People have started alighting.. So I go close to the condaa and tell him “Usinipitishe KCA”. He tells me we are a bit far, but I know KCA is on Thika road, can’t remember where. So I go closer to the driver and warn him the same…for insurance. Have you met a trustworthy matatu crew? So I tell an elderly guy to look out for me. 

Finally, I see that drive-in board and remember KCA was just next to it….can’t recall if it was before or ahead, so I shout to the driver to shukisha like a wizened city boy. They let me off and I can’t find KCA’s gate…so, like dad had said, I ask a traffic cop who points at a general direction and tells me “That way” I do not wait to be asked for a bribe so I pull my huge bag and walk…and walk for several minutes. Ujuaji ain’t good, kids. 

Finally, I arrive,wipe my sweaty face,roll up my bag into its wheels and walk like a boss to the gate. 

“Wee, no caps and sagged trousers allowed in here!”

Was that guard kidding me? This is a university in Nairobi and he doesn’t dig my swag? I choose to ignore him….and he comes after me shouting something to do with me being deaf and dumb….and drags me back to his sentry, ranting. He tells me to belt up well and leave my cap and bag at the gate… My protests of being new, him being rude, how I will report him fall on non existent ears, so I concede-against my Meru orientation. I should have fought him! Not concede, am I Wenger?

I go to the office and proudly present my forms, passports and all the requirements till the clerk asks for the deposit slip and I stare at her. I thought they would take cash since I have arrived late and the bank near the entrance is already closed. She doesn’t heed to that and says I should go home and come back tomorrow.

Go back where? Home is a day away and you tell me to go home? I expected to sleep in the college hostels tonight and you tell me to go home?

” We have no hostels “

“But I was told you do when I came for the forms!” Panic sets in. 

” Sorry about whoever said that, but we don’t have hostels “

I stare at her with my mouth.

“Please wait for me outside, you are a nice,lost kid…. I will show you a place” 

I walk doggedly, thinking how God provides for his people… I have found a Good Samaritan lady to assist me. If it was now, I would be having very ungodly thoughts..Anyway, she makes the call and informs me that someone is coming to pick me.

© Booms Beat

And come she does…a voluptuous(what’s the real meaning of this word,by the way?) chic. She has this midsection that makes me drool…nowadays, not then…She has this huge smile on her, and I feel like I could just walk into her and lay my head on this soft bust…Again, not then(in the village, hugs were considered kissy, adult things you do when you are married, and in the bedroom)

“Hi Frankline…my name is Ann and I will be your host tonight”

Have you seen those WhatsApp emoticons with wide eyes, a wide mouth and some sweat on the forehead? Yes. That’s me now. Host me tonight? Wow!

I barely reply, and follow her like a Zombie as she pulls me suitcase towards the gate….she could have kidnapped me!

We go to the highway,take a matatu…which she pays for..to Ngara! Son of Maua may enjoy some warmth tonight….from a Nairobi cinderrela. How will it be like? Is this how Nairobi girls are? She is so cute and has no madharau like those dumpass girls with Form Four Certificates in Maua.

Before I know it, I am paying Duwano Hostel fees and I am drafted in.What a strategy!

Tomorrow, I am roaming the City in the Sun, alone!

PIC: Nairobi Half Life: www.hollywoodreporter.com


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

47 Comments

  1. Gladys Munyua

    Wow very interesting!!! But sad didnt think the story would end like that…………. cant wait for part 2

  2. Thanks Gladys. Coming soon. Keep it here

  3. Julia

    …and life in Nairobi had just began….☺☺♥♦

  4. Fridah Sheshe Maore

    Part 2 pliz

  5. Lenah Mithika

    hahaha..

  6. Maks Harry

    haha..waiting for part 2 of being lost between tall buldings

  7. Terry Tearless

    nycccccccc

  8. Betty Murega

    Funny in a nyc way.i like!

  9. Jackie

    The insurance part is quite funny… I can relate to it 🙂 Na kusema ushukishwe when you see a familiar landmark even before you get to your destination! Kweli there is a degree of shadiness in us all

  10. Jackie

    Not exactly in the same script as yours but yes….same cast

  11. nyakoboke

    you are an incredible narrator 😀 i laughed all the way to the end

  12. Lol. Is this a true story? Because then it will even be more hilarious in my head.

  13. True story, @Shiku Ngigi 🙂 Don't laugh at me

  14. I was a mafioso…No getting lost

  15. Eric Raikanya

    Very 'relatable'..Kenusurruva..*kensilver*

  16. And those long journeys it still makes….

  17. prissy

    hehehe Frank what a nice story waiting for part 2

  18. Watch this space, @prissy! Thanks

  19. I was expecting some hanky panky from the host LOOL!

  20. Haha…. No hanky panky. I was too wet behind the ears

  21. Interesting ,… and the suspense is real 🙂 Part 2 pls.

  22. Awesome piece! Such an orator! Bravo!

  23. I like your pieces everyday…am a great fan

  24. I read this one sometimes ago and I can easily recall every single episode. And it is true, telling a true story is so easy….it just flows

  25. Evans

    Part2

  26. Wow nice one Frank Kenyan…

  27. lucy

    Oooppppssss! Was just scrolling down to continue reading…nice piece…can’t wait for part two…uuuwww

  28. lucy

    Part2-6 ziko wapy frank

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