We, broke people, can also get busy too sometimes and avoid phone calls, fail to return calls, blue-tick WhatsApp messages and just get busy with thoughts. Why did he call at 11.53 pm? Does he think I am a watchie? Or that I am daughter of the moon? Why did that girl WhatsApp me, asking how I have been, after 4 months of silence? Does she want to update me of her newest job which she’s paid four times my salary or has she cheated on him again? Why is my village mate sending me a message, naije Glady? Was the busaa crackdown there again? Sometimes you just want alone time. Not because you have broken up with someone, but because alone-time needs to happen in your life too, just like rich people. This has nothing to do this story below lakini.
11th March. Saturday. I happened to be in Lavington. Before someone gets jealous that I am doing well in life, I will clarify that my Boss had organized team lunch in some eatery, Pampa Churrascaria, a Brazilian steakhouse. I wanted to send an apology and claim that an emergency had come up, but such chances are too rare. The next time I will be in Lavington will probably be a hundred years from now. Plus I had to go for that lunch because of the name Pampa. Did they mispronounce the name Pamba? Did my grandpa own it secretly before he died? Did he have a secret family? Once I reach the reception, I will tell the lady,
“Hello, I am Pamba.”
She will say, “Sorry?”
“I am Pamba.” I will repeat firmly.
“Sorry? Do you mean to ask if you are at Pampa? If so, yes, here is Pampa. Pampa Churrascaria.”
Then I will say,
“Actually, I meant none of that. Did you do customer service?”
She will fidget. I will laugh, like a boss. Gentle. But Demeaning.
“Never mind, it is nothing.” I will say and remove the shades. My lips will be red.
“Sorry. I didn’t hear…”
“Of course you didn’t because you weren’t listening!” I quip.
She will be remorseful, imagining I am a rich politician’s clandestine lover and her job is hanging on my moods. I love trouble and being difficult. Maybe, I am depressed deep down. Maybe I am lonely inside because of pathetic upbringing. Or perhaps because I was bullied at a young age. You know those people who always want to explain every underlying behavior? And make wrong conclusions? I hate them. I am not lonely or whatever thing about upbringing. I love trouble.
The gentleman next to her will clear his throat and say,
“We apologize for that ma’am. How can we help you?”
“Oh, I like you.” I will say, “I wanted to know your name, that’s all” and walk away to one of the tables as she says, “My name is Mer…” and I can’t hear her full name, hoping it wasn’t Mary.
None of that happened. I went to Pampa and ate like tomorrow will never come. And I loved those waiters because they addressed me in Swahili. Si you know my little insecurity when it comes to speaking in English? That was on 11th.
5th March. Sunday. I found myself in a football match, dubbed Global Goal World Cup. It was football tournament bringing together 28 women teams, playing to support the SDGs. It was one pathetic event I have ever attended. You remember how Americans elected Trump and we were like OMG, he’s bad? How could they elect him? And then deep down we said, never lecture us about election matters coz clearly they too are just like us when it comes to choosing bad leaders? Seems like they shouldn’t lecture us about corruption too. It was such a corrupt affair, with predetermined winners, some sick racists to the extent that one white man, with all the audacity pointed at my team mate and pushed her when she tried asking why things were not tallying. He poked and pushed her, in this our free and independent country. In this country that Maumau fighters applied guerrilla tactics. This country, which has 3 stanzas in our national anthem. This Jamhuri ya Kenya, whose anthem was a Pokomo lullaby. This country with 43 tribes…makofi kwa our newest tribe Makonde. This country that has Mt. Kirinyaga, which we faced as we prayed to Ngai. Yaani he is damn lucky it wasn’t me, because I would have made it very clear that I will peel his skin and tie on my head like a head scarf or I would have eaten him after roasting him for a month. Aren’t we savages, after all?
And the most stupid excuse I heard when we asked why we have not qualified for the quarter finals is that one of them lost his nephew seven months ago and we shouldn’t push him too hard for explanations. What are you kidding? You guys stole our resources but we are strong. I cut my finger last night and I am here playing. I fell in the shower in the morning and broke my nails, I was almost dumped last week, but I am here, emotionally stable, playing with all my heart and heavy body. We did 8-4-4 and endured all the Physics and Chemistry, even when we knew it would not help us in future. But we fought. What nonsense are you telling us!
They said our team is representing a big organization. So what? Why then would they want us to take part in it, if we were a big organization that did not deserve to win? So my Sunday was wasted. I obediently wear a kinyasa and a big jersey and play, and some sick organizer thinks we don’t deserve to win? We are eliminated like some rats.
10th March. Friday night. I happened to be in another event again and watched Willy Paul perform. Is Willy Paul that short? You think when the opposition heckled the president was bad? you haven’t seen anything bad yet. The crowd was mean I tell you. Yaani, poor Willy on stage, dancing and dancing and people are just seated, watching him, bored sick, like he is a clown doing stupid things on the stage. No no. Something is wrong. Mimi sielewi. Is it the crowd was too full after eating or just bored with life? They watched Willy Pozee with all his theatrics and did not stand to dance, did not sing along, but just dozed off. When he says, tuendelee ama tusindelee, they scream tusiendelee. He tries, niendelee? They yell, H.A.P.A.N.A so loudly. Then he was booed off the stage. Moment of silence for us artists. If he can be booed off the stage, what will happen when Gladwell takes her manuscript of her book to Longhorn? Won’t it be pushed aside and the publisher says, your work is shallow, very inciting and highly demeaning? Will they? Will the editor say the language is archaic? That there are too many clichés? That the content is immature? That it is better I stick to status updates on Facebook but not write books? Will I be rejected too? Will I? I have not been okay. I will never be okay. How can such a good singer, vocally, be rejected? The young man swallowed his humble pie.
Immediately he left, Redsan emerged from nowhere and everyone goes crazy. Even men. Fantasy was at work, hormones were ragging, sweat was trickling. He brought the house down and even those funny characters who never even nod to a song were up shaking as he took them down the memory lane of Namtazama yule paaale… As he pointed to the possessed audience, every woman thought he was pointing at her as he sang namtamani sana toka zamani… He would get amidst the crowd and allow us, African women, to touch his big arm. Okay, I didn’t touch, but I saw clearly his body. Tall, African, built. I am not saying much but that man…
Last thing, last week, I was this close to spending a night in the cells. Me, me, me, a good girl almost spend a night behind bars and have issues getting certificate of good conduct. Can you guess why?