It’s the middle of the year, parched and weary. You are slouched in your office seat, droopy eyes on your laptop and your head gradually falling towards the screen; you might as well be staring at it upside down. Someone turns on the AC but it’s not enough to turn up your energy levels. You’ve ran out of steam and yearn for the president to announce a public holiday for you to collapse in your sofa & shut out all the world’s problems. The year began with a lot of optimism and ambition. You zealously jotted down your new year resolutions on a piece of paper and glued it on the wall next to your bed. You were upbeat but along the way , Continue Reading
Friday morning dawned cold & hazy. It was a day I had been looking forward to with untold anticipation. The sound of freedom beckoned and my imagination danced to its tune. I could picture having my own apartment, a place where I’d be King of my own jungle and make my own rules without consulting anyone. I would come and leave as I pleased, with whomever I wanted, flip to any channel without consulting anyone, dance shirtless on a table , turn my house upside down and satiate all my heart’s fantasies. No more taking orders from my puritan father . I made a little dance .Yes, I was leaving the nest and Continue Reading
Growing up, I had no idea of who I wanted to be in life. I guess nobody really knows who they want to become. It’s only after a certain point in life that you discover what really works for you. And so I jumped on the band wagon of ‘I want to be a pilot, Engineer, Neurosurgeon, Astronaut ………………’ I blame this warped ideology on archaic folks who perpetuate the notion that these are the only respectable professions under the sun. I’m yet to hear someone declare they want to become a politician. I loved music. I wanted to become a pianist. I started learning the keys and would practice zealously. I would pretend playing the piano when listening to songs on radio. God bless music. My authoritative father wanted to check me into a mental hospital. According to him, I was supposed to pursue Engineering. I was supposed to pursue a ‘tough’ course, not ‘cheap’ courses like music. Music was hogwash to him. His son had to be an accomplished and respectable man in the society. At some point he alluded that the only way he would continue providing a roof over my head was to follow his ‘advise’. I got the feeling that he would even change the locks after kicking me out. And so with that, my dreams of becoming the greatest pianist were nipped in the bud. I took Engineering in Campus. I did it to ensure there was a roof over my head and a meal on my plate .I did it for him.
In my 3rd year at Campus, my sister bought me a laptop. It was not a laptop. Continue Reading
Sunday morning, 6:00 am. I’m awakened by the shrill sound of my phone alarm. I’m determined to get out of bed and attend church service but I feel too morbid and unable lift a finger. I snooze for another hour and finally manage to lazily yank my bedding away. As I sit on my bed, I stare at the paint chipped wall and hopelessness engulfs me. For the first time in my life, I feel like a caged bird. Life has thrown me curve balls in a manner I never anticipated. I feel like a hamster in a wheel . The more I try, the more I linger on the same spot. All around me, friends have made it big – holding enviable jobs, cruising around town in sleek rides and exuding flair and success. Meanwhile, I’m stuck with a nickel and dime salary, just enough to pay for basic necessities. Every day is an uphill battle to make ends meet. The nagging thought that we schooled together and graduated almost at the same time gives me a queasy feeling in the stomach. It perturbs me that life turned out this way. I’m angry at God for my current state of affairs and wonder why he let my hand go. Could things have turned out differently if I did this or that? What If I tried the other way? Would I be where I am? A myriad of questions run through my mind. Outside a heavy downpour pelts the earth, further diminishing my resolve to attend Church service. Flesh fails me and without much thought, Continue Reading
Monday evening finds you slouched at your office seat, profound in thought. It’s 6:30 pm. You’ve had a dreadful day at work – numerous projects, limited time and crazy deadlines to beat. Your boss has been barking orders & piling immense pressure. Your efforts often pass unnoticed and all He does is point at your inadequacies. Life is so unfair, you say to yourself. You feel downcast and promise yourself that one day you’ll give him a piece of your mind and call it a day! You’ve spotted a forlorn face all day. You’re bone tired. All you need is to get home fast and collapse in the sofa. With a great deal of effort, you lumber out of the office & as you take a stroll in the upmarket streets of Nairobi’s CBD, your attention is captured by a boldly lit and tastefully embellished restaurant. The magnificent sight of its carefully chosen interior décor coupled with impeccable lighting takes your breath away. Behind the glass wall are patrons chatting away animatedly in their cushy leather seats enjoying their meals & drinks. Jolly folks. Their genial demeanor is a far cry from yours. Outside is a patio occupied by business executives discussing politics, laying strategies and closing deals. You remain fixated and marvel at the spectacular delicatessen. Its overpowering allure draws you closer & like a moth drawn to a fireplace, you find yourself at the entrance. A bubbly and charming waitress flashes a cordial smile & courteously ushers you to a seat. The tranquil aura and soft music sets you in the mood for the evening. Your problems are forgotten and you feel alive again. Welcome to DreamBean House Restaurant. Continue Reading
The afternoon was dull & overcast. One of those moments you wished time would whiz by in a bat of an eye for you to flee the office headed for your nearest joint. A swanky joint with sumptuous chops, serious music, sassy women and refreshing Tusker to soothe your throat . The mere thought of it takes you to 9:00 pm. You with a loaded wallet at the back pocket of your jeans . Fresh bank notes kissing your ass! You try to think and XS Millionaires comes to your mind. It’s been a long week and the boss has been breathing fire. Time to offload the pressure now. All your thirst will be quenched. It’s a weekend after all. A time to satiate your wildest fantasies.
YOLO. Dark clouds gather and a heavy downpour is imminent. The city had experienced drowning rains the previous week and by the look of it the skies would open up anytime. When it pours in Nairobi, The Devil descends and takes over – roads are flooded, traffic builds up, appointments are cancelled & thousands of hapless souls get stranded in the melee. Total bedlam. Crazy City. Standing outside my office window confirms my worst fears. A slight drizzle begins. The wind howls and leaves flutter ominously. Umbrellas appear from nowhere and commotion unfolds. Lucifer has descended. It’s 2:00 pm and my stomach rumbles. Undeterred, I leave the office and head out for lunch. It’s not a restaurant. It’s the kind of place you’d take your colleague out for lunch. It’s a six by five foot space where food is sold and patrons form a beeline ready to be served their favorite meal. Sumptuous delicacies I tell you. ‘A healthy alternative in town is now a possibility’ is the banner that greets you as you enter. It’s a joint located inside a shopping Mall that sells accessories and Apparel at obscene prices. The kind you’d think twice about taking your woman out for shopping on a January. Screw January! Heck, you could buy a handkerchief for 500/=! Outside, a long file of hungry Nairobians wait impatiently to assuage their hunger pangs. After an eternity, I finally get my fill and just when I’m getting ready to head back for work my cellphone noisily comes to life. The number on the screen nearly gives me a cardiac arrest. My heart races and for a moment I stand rooted to the ground oblivious of any soul around me. It conjured an unforgettable incident. After what seems an eternity, I muster up courage, hold my breath and put the phone to my right ear. Continue Reading