Debts

In my very genuine, well-thought and honest opinion, debts would have been the 11th plague, closely following the death of all first born males in Egypt.
Debts, are bad, to the very meaning of this word. Debts can and will make you a miserable walking dead human being. And even in death, your kinsmen will talk of it, with their mouths twisted and lips folded pointing in jest towards your grave. You will shiver in your grave my friend..you will tremble when people talk about your debts. Debts will make you appear ugly, and you will outright lose your honor.

If I, Scholar of my grandpa Tr Jonathan Omollo was to be given a chance to go back in time, I’d make wiser life choices, and on top of the list, I’d write in bold, red, ‘AVOID DEBTS, BY ALL MEANS’.

See, trying to survive in this city, money not only comes in handy, it is a necessity. It is mandatory. It makes life happen, and, oh yee holier than thou group of wisemen, do not come telling me that life can be complete without money, especially in this city. Issa no!

There is careless borrowing, then there are genuine debts that you get yourself into and before you know it, it is overwhelming and you have nowhere to raise money to pay back. And at that point, you realize that there’s a dead end in life. And this is when hell breaks loose.

First, you will feel poor, useless and a burden. The feeling of not being able to fend for yourself and being a burden to people will make you feel like the most miserable human being, more like a puppy abandoned in a storm. You will feel guilty of being fended for, and at times you will not want to accept any help.

Second, when it rains, it pours. This phrase never works any better than it works for people in debts. You will suddenly become sick, or your phone will be snatched in town, or its screen will crack badly. Your shoes will get torn due to the long treks on your way to hustles that never pay. You will need money to attend and interview for a job position whose company has preferred candidates and you are just being used as a formality. Family will be calling and texting for money. There is a sibling who’ll be somewhere asking for pocket money, hopeful that you’ll provide. It hurts to disappoint a sibling, you know that, yes? It will get crazy for you. Debts are the real enemies.

The worst that comes with debts is the way your creditor(s) will paint your name with murk and mud. At this point, friends give up on you completely, they’ll want nothing to do with you. You send them a text and they send the screenshot all over with the caption ,’the money borrower just texted’. You will be backstabbed. In very rare cases will people stop to listen to your predicaments and suffering. You could be doing your best to avoid debts and even pay what you already owe people, but getting out of this mess is usually very difficult, especially when there is no job, or stable source of income.
Also, people will begin CCTVing your life. My friend, you will not be allowed to get a pair of shoes even when your old ones are totally worn out. They will whisper behind your back, and say how you spend money yet you are in debt. Really, they will want you to suffer, because you have given the impression that you are a sufferer. You will feel guilty to go out for lunch with any of your creditors, because even their food will look like debt to you.
You will also get nicknames, bad ones!

And you will be gossiped terribly, and because we live in the era of screenshots, the bitter words and backstabbing will prolly’ reach you, because, well, there’s a breed of human beings who like peddling gossip, and they will not just gossip peacefully and let their gossip stick to where it belongs. They will send you screenshots to rub it on your face. Be careful with people who tell you what another person told them about you.

If you are lucky enough, your creditors will give you an extension..some will understand the suffering, and help you through. Some will also remain silent and hate you inwardly.

You will keep a facade to entice the whole world that all is well. You will, by all means possible, avoid social gatherings. You will not know peace.

It is a difficult place to be, do not let yourself be there.

But if you ever find yourself here, work hard, find gigs, raise money, stop borrowing and work towards offsetting your debts. Work hard for your peace, work hard for your dignity, walk until the sole of your feet hurt, but walk, work and hustle so hard, do whatever genuine hustle there is until you pay the very last cent. Work for your freedom, because debts will imprison you. You got to flex your way out of it, you got to roll up sleeves.

And, hold up, you will manage just fine. And while at it, learn your lessons and carry them along in life. Once out, never, even in a drunken stupor, go back.

Because, debts will make you know that human beings don’t owe you kindness.

Avoid debts if you can, and if you cannot avoid them, do yourself the favour of avoiding them, totally. You will be grateful to yourself, someday.

Been there, done that.

Also, I wish I was taught financial management as a compulsory unit right from Pre-school.
I’ll give my kids that priviledge.

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PRECEDENCE

In that moment, he noted that the peripherals of the sun appeared unusually yellow, not in a manner he was used to in the past 7 years of his life. He liked it that way, because through the glistening light of the evening, rays of hope penetrated through the leafy hedge which had gone untrimmed for such a long time. In his head, it did not matter a thing. All that mattered is that the evening was finally here, and sleep he would get. He hoped that the clouds could bring forth rain. He so wished.

His life was bliss, or so everyone thought, and he deserved more of it at this point of his life. A motherless child, by fate, he was. He was different from the rest because he had never known how it felt to have one. To him,his father was everythingg he had and the much that involved his life was about the man that was lain there, lifeless.

What he had felt that day was not a tinge of emotions, neither was it residual. He felt indifferent, or maybe vengeful. No one could read beyond his mask of tears. He was an empty shell letting go of what life had let him have all these years. It was good riddance to bad gabbage. He felt like more of relief than pain, and he wept in the moment. The crowd wept with him,only that what they felt was the exact contrast of what he felt. He watched them, pitifully, weep, mourn and eulogise his long dead father. He had been long dead to him, the little secret that none of the people around him knew.

The bout of emotions led him to that memory of the morning that he first saw paps die. He did not have to battle with the thoughts, they had long formed part of him as a child. Every event that followed that morning was well encrypted in his memory. The routinal screeching of his door as he dressed to attend school, the pangs of pain that scorched through the deep of his skin, the quick turnaround of events as he walked out to the school bus that awaited, as he waved back to the man that has dutifully made him a wife, not for lack of a decent word. Yes. All these unpleasant memories slowly roved through his head and made him weep more, bitterly, more intensely.

He had been awarded for his faithfulness by having the best of what money can buy. Had he known that all that were a silencer bullet thrust through his yet-to-mature then mind, he would have chosen a different path home that evening. What he felt was nothing close to regret, it was pure jest to a man that the community so celebrated. He wished they knew that his father was married behind the confines of the bungalow’s doors, and his choice of not marrying after his wife’s death had nothing to do with the lie that he told everyone, satisfaction in her absence.

As the horizon turned blurry, and as darkness engulfed the light of the day, so did the past remain blurry. In that dark moment, he found his stars bright. He walked on, and across the road, a few metres from where he stood, he saw a man help a young boy, probably his son, tie his shoe laces. He stood for a while and said a prayer, for the boy, and the man in whom the young life was so much trusted.

The sun lingered at the edge of the horizon, and that night, when it finally set, the stars shone.

MA

For a very long time I struggled with the definition of the word paradox until I said goodbye to teenage. Now I wish adolescence came a little later in life because it would be an ideal state. I am imagining how life would have been simpler then if I was at the age I am in today…now that is paradox, right?
So today is mothers day, people will post all those sweet words to describe their mothers, praise and laud their strengths, that is accepted. Call them and wish them well, crack a joke and allow her ask you why you have not remembered her with ‘something small’, it is OK, mothers run the world. Then come back to our paradox and you’ll share in my sentiments.

Mothers are the true practical definition of paradox. It all begins with an acquaintanceship as loose and easy when you have friends visiting you and in an attempt to please your guests, serve them tea in your mum’s most treasured chinaware,You know the kind of look you get when mama comes back from work 3 hours earlier than the usual time. The exhibition of the brightest personality is what you get and is almost followed with the loudest silence as the eyes of mama meets her favorite and unused chinaware on the table. Ever experienced the female version of a gunman in a battlefront?However you are always safe physically but psychologically tortured until the exit of your friends marks the entry of the worst torrential rains that could make your cheeks be used as an illustration of the Tana

Yet again mothers are as close as good gloves are with the hands.I don’t know how best to put this down, whether it would be better to try and tell a story from the beginning , as if it were a story and not real life experiences or whether to tell it from the distance, as it reaches me from the lips of the people around me, but one thing is for sure, when you hurt mama, she acts tough on you but behind the curtains is a woman down on her knees begging God to make you a better person, and that is the person you are right now, and the one you will be in the better days to come

She might have not understood your poetic dreams but look at how she has that flawless conversational narrations, mama is your motivation. She tries to keep control over her emotions all the time, but she, too, is vulnerable to outbursts and either way, she emerges heroic, because that is how she is wired, to be phenomenal in whatever circumstance.Mama is your known secret, your loudest silence and the only person who makes you deep down feel shallow when she is pretty offended by you. Mama is the greatest friend of progress even in her digression, she reminds you of how you messed up things yesterday in an attempt to make you a better person tomorrow, and it makes you regret, the sorrow that leads to change.Mama warns you against the boy next door who is never up to any good, tells you to stay away from the campus guys but at the end of your undergraduate program, asks you when you will introduce to her that man who stole your heart.

She is your best asset that can be accessed without need of a password. For the love of all mothers, V penned this. To all mothers; biological, school mums,foster mothers, mothers-in-law, aunts, school principals,spiritual mothers, mentors and the most amazing female friends,happy mothers day from yours faithfully. You run the world.

Just Dive Out

Birds with clipped wings find it difficult to fly, but things change when their wings get strength and they learn that flying is not about strength, it is about resilience. Wing clippers are, sometimes, of good intent, a trait that lasts for as long as the bird remains uncaged. When the converse occurs, freedom is denied and dreams are shattered.

At 23, a girl’s dreams are so diverse, the need to develop a career, the crave to pursue a passion, fall in love while at it, and maybe get a pair of shoes and rent a n apartment somewhere along the multi-billion super highway that is more of a scam than reality, as it barely makes a difference in the already messed up transport system. Every sane young millennial has some set goals, or at least some dreams or fantasies that somehow, in their wild dreams they wish would come to pass. Everyone wants a life, even the one at the bottom-most part of the pyramid. I am no exception, I hope no one is.

Two months ago, a 23 year old lady, of about my height and skin complexion, and probably with the same name as mine, sat in front of her computer and typed her resignation letter, for reasons I find so legitimate yet heart-wrenching. This act was, to me, the most heroic act any lady would do at such a time and generation when the world is as murky yet full of hope just as the new moon floating in between heavily clouded skies. Woe unto bosses who take advantage of young ladies in their quest for career development. I have no moral authority to announce hailstorms and hellfire to any mortal as I am still dealing with the doings of my ancestors, leave alone my very recent gross misconducts that saw me hypocritically condemn the ifikiewazazi team of producers. I have not that moral authority, but I will fearlessly say this, cursed is the man who decided that every lady new to a working institute must be subjected to unapologetic sexual advances that, in most unspoken cases, lead to high levels of frustrations, not to delve into the possible cases of rape and physical molestation.

All my friend wanted was to develop her career and end up earning some pennies to sustain her beautiful self and her brother who, sadly, has been staying home doing menial works for close to six months because, in this country, buying a chopper worth billions is a more urgent priority than having students learn undisrupted. A wing clipper in the name of a boss decided that the fate of my friend’s career development in this institution was at the mercies of his unending pathetic lusts that cannot be quenched even with the infamous Samantha, poor mannequins. An Everest of paper work is nothing to a competent woman who is focused at what she does. What beats logic is threatening such a humble soul of sacking or worse, rubbing it on her face that you control her salary…how bad can it really get in these offices in Nairobi, and maybe beyond the borders of this country full of handshakes? I am glad the little bird got the courage to beak the cage and fly away, though with much pain and difficulties. I know for sure that the daughter of Director would have done just that, my question remains, how many weak birds are trapped in such cages and they have no voices to sing out?

Dear bosses, the high and mighty, lest you forget; intellect, competence and brains have no relations whatsoever with your unmerited favors and unending lusts. I have known, for as long as I have lived, that people have to struggle to be knowledgeable, to rise above the societal norms and give the world a taste of what intellect is all about. Money does not buy intellect, neither does beauty, an undeniable truth.. I prefer the realities of real struggles that bear long lasting fruits of success to the fantasy of sexually transmitted favors that lead to the multiplication of dummies in the corporate world. I will forever subscribe to the former, in this life and the life to come. Let women have some peace at their places of work. If you opine the converse, that’s your prerogative.
#StopRapeCulture #StopSexualHarrasments

Elusive

Staying awake to 3am purposely to do my stalking business has bore fruits bitter enough to make my teeth grit in disgust.

At 23, with an undergraduate degree certificate well tucked in my old rugged file, all I can think of is how my CV will impress the CEO of that highly reputed company. If anything, the society expects me to dress up in a suit and slightly low heeled shoes to work every morning. The heel length is deliberately mentioned to me, lest I do the six inch platform Chiquita design and have myself labelled the spoilt attention-seeking slut. I lack better understanding of my life and in my stupor, I avail my presence in all the possible job search platforms because I have dreams to reach. Dreams that are driven by nothing but comparison.

My manual for this life has reduced to nothing but the social media life that I meet and interact with every minute of my miserably jobless self. My list of dreams grows every time I log into my social media accounts.
For one, I just realized how beautiful I’d look in that silky human hair imported all the way from Brazil. Isn’t it amazing to roam the streets of the city wagging and splashing a bunch of foreign hair into the faces of fellow countrymen? Wouldn’t it be awesome to pull an old note of fifty Kenyan shillings from a Gucci branded purse? I want it all to myself.
I know I am not unlucky by the mere fact that my phone’s screen is cracked beyond possible repair. I sneak it tactically to my ear when I have to receive a call and slide it back into my only maroon handbag, you know, I am yet to buy a new one. Every other person I know is living the life. I feel left out and I am determined to do whatever it takes to live life.

Life is beautiful only when my lips are decorated in the most recent lipstick in the beauty parlour. I wanna live within my means but I got dreams to achieve. The social media dream life.

When my CV got an approval, my as old as my millennial self cellphone gladly received the call. I had an interview to attend. The interview that excites me to the core of my being. I am already fantasizing about the shoe types I’m gonna purchase right after receiving my first pay. But the narrative changed because I wasn’t willing to pay the price. Cursed be the man who asks for sexual relationships with the promise of jobs and favours.

The dejected me goes back to my stalking business. My solace is found in the world of fantasy where every Kentucky fried chicken is a reality. My trips to the renowned holiday destinations happen right in my head because it is all I see my peers do. I am just like them, don’t I deserve the beauty of their experiences?

I have swam in the deep waters that border Madagascar island, all in one night of my stalking business.

When I wake up tomorrow morning, my brain will teach me to say, ‘it is all elusive, My life is what I make of it, not what I compare it to.’

I will find rest, and so will everyone who struggles to live a life who’s SI Unit is social media edited photos. The prank of a lifetime.

Kenyan Girl

I am the Kenyan Girl.

I know I have muscular biceps, and eyes that dart like the lonely star on a clouded sky. I know I belong nowhere when I pledge my allegiance to a course that takes away what I love most, in the most brutal manner. When my lips open to allow my vocal chords grudgingly form and release the sweet melody of the anthem; the song that reminds me of unity when I have been made to believe that there is us, and them. I preach the kind of peace that has left me holding the piece of the rugged dress that was shred off my body when all I knew was ABC. I am Kenyan.

I know my wardrobe has to change because I’d rather dress light than spend the entire afternoon fanning my body. I have to pay more for my water, wasn’t I told the law of supply and demand? The cartels celebrate when the blades dance and juggle on the stem. Every sound of a tree thudding the ground is another travel plan to the bank. I am so absorbed in my office work to even notice that my favourite reading shade is non-existent. The land is bare, the waters drying up, but,business has to go on. The profit-makers,they burn me up, I say yes to burning down.As I walk on unfamiliar terrains, and my forehead endures the scorch, because I am Kenyan.

I have been told not to air my dirty linen in public. The strength that I am supposed to exhibit in times of atrocities only eats me up. It is the strength that asks me to love my own. Help my own. The bugs on my bed keep biting all night, and I dance to the bitter sweet tune of silent suffering. I live in the illusionary world of change, it feels better in my head, when my meagre earnings can barely cater for my lunch to the fifteenth day of the month. Reality is not a giant I am ready to face today, because my mind is told to wait for revolution. Did you not know, I am Kenyan.

The joke about things getting better with time has gone stale, but for the sour milk.

Laughing at the same joke over again has proven futile. My energy is wasted trying to run away from the truths that I dangle on my wrist in all the four colours. I was told to only love mine, but what do I gain by lighting up fire that burns me down. I am tired of dodging the mental interviews about my role as a patriot. The eventual death of me occured when I learnt that, it takes more than speaks the mouth to be Kenyan.

Courage, is in accepting the things you cannot change.

Greater courage, is in making the world of fantasy, the one with revolution and peace,prosperity and wealth, unity and stability, come to reality. Greater courage is in roaring, fists high, speaking and acting towards a worthy course.

The greatest courage, is in singing the National Anthem again, conscious of every word.

I am the Kenyan girl.

The red affair.
…not once had she spluttered blood all over the floor. I grew up believing that she was amneasic. The only reason that made me believe in her, she was a religious woman. She said, ‘liars will not see the kingdom of heaven.’ I believed it when she told us, ‘papa is the best.’

Papa loved her, or so she said. Papa was the best. His awesomeness manifested in the way he could give her a smack on the face for every extra pint of salt in his soup. I never saw him stop eating. He could devour the bowl’s content , then rise up, and with his sticky hands, covered in brown ugali remains and supplemented with soup, carry out the ceremonious drum beating on her face. The contours that conspicuously emerged from her face after every night’s thudding was a constant reminder to us that paps was the strongest man that ever lived.
Strong he was that the whole village cheered him. My instincts reminded me that ma had been mentally manipulated, because every evening, by the fireplace, she told us to pray for and love paps. He was the best man that ever lived. One day, I gathered enough courage and asked papa, ‘does a smack on mama’s face remove the extra salt in your soup?’ He laughed and told me, ‘you will make a difficult wife to your husband, doesn’t your mother tell you that the beatings are part of marriage?’ The rhetoric made me build a liquid imaginary wall around my heart. Every man that dared come near it was meant to drown.
It was not intentional that I saw paps in every male specie that walked past me. The little girl in me had not forgotten the black eye on her face. She held on and prayed that one day, a miracle would happen. It did. The miracle happened on the day that the fist missed the face. It dove straight into her neck and she groaned her last.

10 years later.
He is undergoing torture in the hands of the other wife. Cutlery Pierce his chest all day Iong. Broken plastic chairs wait patiently at the backyard. They curse at the strong man’s chest on which they were made to land violently. The other woman is strong enough to fight the lion of the house. It is not a big deal though, she is just an angry woman reminding her husband that she is not ‘his dead weak wife.’

Mama prayed, she believed in miracles. She told us to love and pray for him. But papa, all he does is mask himself in a brave fake face, his bruised chest covered in the suits he imports. He still laughs loud, and his friends call him the strong man.

Do you think it is Karma? No, it is the world. The murky world that tells us to keep quiet and smile on.