Sunday, October 8, 2017

This chic- Five curious male types you will come across as you walk about the city.

I can write about this for now. There might come a time when I won’t have an opinion or be allowed to have one, and that’s okay too.

The self Improvement man.

This a man of average height, about 5.4 with a deep voice, side burns, trimmed beard and is a man on the move.
He may not have the latest fashion, his money will be spent on brands. A watch, a jacket, a coat, several shoes, a man bag and a phone. Not an i-phone  or HTC but a solid brand like LG.

This man speaks perfect learned English, with all the correct words for things and feelings. If you are like me and have all the vocabulary from all your languages mixed up in the language jar in your mind, a conversation with him will feel like a grammar lesson. ‘thingy’ becomes the High Definition Memory Unit and that woiye feeling becomes empathy.

 This man will date a woman who has had a perm since standard seven. A woman who wears ‘natural make-up’ and has had a job in an accounting firm since she left college, with an on going side hustle at Al-Noor exhibitions, where she works all Saturday mornings without fail. This is a woman who will not cook a rice stew without meat, makes chapo stew with jagged potatoes, grilled lamb chops and will serve him toast, bacon and fresh juice with his coffee every morning.

He will pay his parents’ health insurance every month and not expect his siblings to contribute for it. For leisure he will attend Jazz festivals and plays at Phoenix Theater every month. He reads the newspaper, the Business Daily and newsfeeds on his phones on the way to work. He can converse in any topic, just get him interested enough.

The Rattler

I call them key rattlers. They might have a bunch or just two, one for the car, one to their house. Their keys are an extension of their mouth so they will rattle the keys to vocalize boredom when they’ve had enough of your tale about the enormous size of the Nyayo potatoes that grow in your village farm. 

When they are not rattling keys they are hoisting up their trousers-wear suspenders okay? So they will have two fingers hooked into the belt loops and you can guess that whatever will come out of their mouth is not the smartest thing a human being ever said so you wanna start walking away and wave your hand away to anything they say after that.

Key rattlers feel important most of the time, making announcements of upcoming promotions, the amazing features of their new phone, their self perceived skin lightness and their exercise routines when you say nothing about the recent bulge on their upper arms which are displayed in front of you for recognition.
"I got brass knuckles hanging from the chain on my neck"

Mr. Rattler on a date:
Rattler: I am on a new diet, it’s really helping my skin to clear.
Date: Huh?
Rattler: Oh yeah, my skin feels smooth, but I also think it’s because I was moved into my own office, it’s not as drafty as the common work area.
Date: Oh.
Rattler: I need to re-new my gym membership since my personal trainer has relocated to Denmark.
Date: Sorry, I need to rush to the ladies, BRB.

Boy Next door

Every girl has a bff who fits the description of the boy next door. A boy who has all the qualities of a legitimate bachelor but going out with him would be like dating a step brother. But he is a close friend, the kind of guy you will call to come check out the noise in your ceiling and it doesn’t matter that you are wearing your old sweater that has cuffs  so loose they drop to your elbows when you raise an arm. You go to the supermarket to pick up yogurt and pads and you are standing at the pads shelf telling him why you like the blue color ones and why the pink ones are overpriced.

Boy next door sorts your music, your stinking kitchen drain issues and pays your bus fare without any of your feeling the need to have a meeting ‘to define the relationship.’

He will try out his lame jokes on you and you can laugh and tell him to never tell them anywhere else.

You wear the same shoe size, no 6, he wears checked shirts and fitting sweaters. He might wear cargo pants with navy blue polo shirts. He doesn’t take himself very seriously so you can get him to sing animation soundtracks and he wont think twice about it. You meet him by chance somewhere in town and pull out half a cookie out of your pocket and give it to him, he will eat it happily.

We are so Dapper

This is a man who takes great care of his clothes and appearance. His clothes, nails, shoes, bag, hair, mobile phone. He knows; unlike a vast majority of the male species who got left behind when the male revolution SGR passed by, the kind of jacket and shoes go with what trousers. He has a collection of paraphernalia too-cufflinks, shirt squares, tie pins.

A clean man who doesn’t wear black jeans twice and prioritizes washing clothes to other activities like, cooking a meal. He discards his shoes when they show the slightest sign of tear, can afford original cologne and pull off woven scarfs without looking like his mother dressed him. He carries a clean handkerchief and a nail cutter.
 His clothes are ironed and pressed without a sign of lint. Touch anything but his clothes.

One great aspect about this fellow is, like his clothes and lifestyle, he is well bred so he knows how to maintain relationships with even the most difficult people.

Chali wa Mtaa.

Me, the country grown woman and my Nairobi grown friend have had this argument going on for years. He has his opinions about village bred 30somethings. I have my opinions about Nairobi bred 30somethings.

But we shall yet write a report about it when we have studied at least 100 30somethings from each side.
But for this, I feature a general bird’s view of the above man. A man because he is over 23 years old, but a chali because his favourite movie is still Baby’s Day Out, he loves genge and any music that has shouting in it singing along to songs like ‘I’m so high I’m so high to the roof…’

He can be quite entertaining, when he tells you recycled stories about that time he had a gig at Safari Sevens, making burgers. How exciting it was. In fact, there has never been another quite exciting moment in his life. But if he only had money, if only he had the dough, ahh the things he would do-he would move to South C and have a recording studio. 

He doesn’t have a girlfriend yet, he likes this girl, but ‘… she will obviously go for someone with money. That is the problem with hawa madame wa Nairobi. They don’t think about true love. I might love her but as long as I don’t have a car…’
Chali wa Mtaa can either be a mamma’s boy, or someone who will not give money for nothing. Why should he marry someone without a job? He believes in equality, but he also believes a woman’s place in the kitchen.

25 years later, tulishawasili sisi.

He doesn’t have a regular job. He is not yet up to it. He will work in one place for a month then decide it’s creeping in on his time with the boys. So he quits and gets another gig where he works for three weeks, quits and starts to sell third rate women high heels at the bus stop, and it seems all his profit goes into soft drinks and veve.

All pictures courtesy of pinterest and google images.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

are we there yet? The Perks of being middle aged in 2017

The world is rocking and shaking and breaking apart. I am on the planet too.
Here are the many ways I could die:

  •  Hacked to death
  •   Stray bullets
  •  Earthquake
  •   Car crush
  •   Cholera
  •   Floods
  •   Hunger and starvation.
But I cannot stop living now that I haven’t died yet.

Here are the list of things I could do anyways:
  1.  Plant some flowers in a jar on the kitchen window
  2. Smile at people and hug them while I still got hands
  3. Finish  my work and stop procrastinating
  4. Appreciate what I have
  5. Look at the stars while the sky is clear
  6. Eat cupcakes, they make the world rotate right. In fact if the earth was a giant cupcake we would all be fine.   

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Writing Tips- I'm here just for the story really,,and maybe the muffins,they have chocolate chips.

the A crowd

Is it correct to mention that we have fooled ourselves into thinking that there is only one best company to have. And if you are not in it then you are not living enough, nor are you getting the best out of  the human community and your existence on this planet has been a waste.

Did we bury our head into the grime that believes there is an A class which depending on your proximity to it defines who you are, what you can do and what opportunities come to you.
 Or did I get lost in the social classifications that naturally pair off:

beautiful people with other  beautiful people,
talkative people with their loose lipped fellows,
forward looking business side hustling people with their Twende mbele Sacco members
 and birds of a feather flock together
 but what if I’m an ostrich that prefers the company of a weaver bird?

In my desire to know people,
 experience people,
and watch human behavior,
I can usually see the invisible lines that join people together, the traits that draw one living being to another- she looks like my mother I think I can trust her. He looks like my big brother, he will make a good husband for me. She is wearing the same type of shoes I almost bought last week- we can go shopping together. She looks like someone with great connections, let me befriend her-you never know. He looks like someone we could get into trouble together-let’s go bungee jumping…

At times when I go into a meeting or workshop where people don’t know each other, I can usually guess which people will stand at a corner together at tea time and exchange numbers so they can forward each other whatsapp memes, which two will sit and get second helpings of the food at lunch and make a lot of noise. Those who are anxious to find a best friend, make an impression, make a beneficial connection, be complemented for their spot on make up…. 

I’m just here for the story, really, and yes  I will check out your website if it loads fast. 

But in spite of this anxiety to belong to another human or be part of a human herd, each human in the end determines the kind of crowd they really want to hang out with.
It might be a decision made when you turn 25 and realise adulthood has hit you. It might be at 45 when you really have nothing to loose anymore, it might be at  78 when you are just okay with things, as long as your feet stay warm.

I saw two old women holding hands as they walked. It seemed like none had the strength to walk upright alone. They were going to collect their monthly upkeep from the Government Office. I wanted to ask them if they are friends or sisters and if I could take a picture of them. But I was hurrying off for a meeting….yes I I’m just too chicken to walk up to people and start conversations in case we end up hugging and planning to meet for tea every Thursday.