At 27

= 10193

One day when I am older, retired with some good sum of money in my bank account, I’ll spend time in the lush golf courses of Kiambu swinging clubs because really that is the swag nowadays. Once you get some dough, you embrace things that looked childish to you back then when you were poor. You discover that being at the top is boring, so you do things like playing golf, hitting a small ball, going after it, one hole after the other, dragging along a young man to carry your clubs. A caddie who will be looking at you every time, admiring not your ingenuity at swinging clubs but your wealth.

Of all the games, golf is the last thing I can play on earth because it’s a damn, boring game. A game for lazy, pretentious people. I have been to a golf course before to interview a man for a story that never saw the light of day because I got tired of hanging by his side and left. I saw men and women there who came not because they wanted to play but wanted to be seen that they’ve upped their standards and joined the leagues of the haves. There are men and women with true interest, people who take it as a sport. Then there are those who do it because it feels like the right thing to do to look cool. These are the pretentious bastards I am talking about.

I have no problem with people playing it. Hell, you can do what you want. The thought came into my mind after I read an email from Magdaline Njoka this morning. It was a long email talking about these nice homes in Migaa Estate along Kiambu Road, homes with golf courses.

The email was not just informing me about the estate, it is was wooing me to buy one. I thought to myself- she must think I am a billionaire. I looked at the prices of the land and property with abundant jealousy. I wondered how in the whole world I could just purchase a one-bedroom house at 9m.

Magdaline wrote, “The purchase price for the quarter-acre plots is 9,500,000 (golf view and back row) and Kshs.12,500,000 (golf frontage) and Eighth-acre plot at a price of Ksh 5,500,000 and Ksh 6,500,000 respectively.

“One and three bedroom apartments range between Ksh 9,000,000 to Ksh 12,500,000. Stand-alone three bedroom cottages at Ksh 25,000,000 and four bedroom villas at Ksh 30,000,000 respectively. Eighth and quarter acre plots ranging between Ksh 5,500,000 to Ksh 12,500,000 respectively. An acre at the private developers site at a price range of  Ksh 35,000,000 to Ksh 70,000,000 depending on the location.”

You know there is a way you can look at something and feel there is no need to reply. And then there were several attachments containing info, layouts, architectural designs and what not. I wanted to call her and tell not to get ambitious with me, or to overestimate me because I am not going to buy a home at my age.

At 27, I am after the little pleasures that life has to offer. I am struggling to put food on my table. Every end month, 5k rent is making me shake with fear when I feel I might not be able to raise it. Every time my phone rings, my heart trembles with the fear that one of the people I owe money might be calling. Every evening I feel like I am being electrocuted when I am in town and I don’t have 70 shillings to get me home. So really, if these small things are fucking me up, how then can it be possible for me to afford 10m to buy such a home? Magda please stop fucking up with me, hehe.

The month has been really long. Money has been elusive. Nothing good has been forthcoming.  I have been living like a monk, less worried and sleeping like a king, working like I mean it, but still, money has been playing hard to get.

Despite these disheartening situations, I still find reasons to smile, even though sometimes those people I owe money get on my neck. How does a man get to owe so many people lots of money at the same time?

I recently turned 27. 27 is not so much, nor so little. It is the age whereby you don’t know whether you’re doing well or just kicking it. There is a lot of confusion engulfing a person. This confusion emanates from the fact that it is assumed that at 27 you should be financially stable, working and living a good life. In other words, chocking in the middle-class bourgeois. You should be driving, a Subaru, living in an estate, in at least a two bedroom,  working in a nice place and getting a salo of not less than 40k, in the evening you should be dropping by the club and sipping your champagne with a certain precision.

The list is endless. In other words, you should have money. During the weekends, you should be doing road trips to Nanyuki or Isiolo or wherever people with cars go. During holidays, you should be able to go to a famous destination like Diani and air your bare ass to drink sun on the beach. Then you should be able to be on IG because that is where cool middle-class people do their things. That means you should be having a nice phone, most probably an apple phone. It shows class.

So the feeling of not having made it at 27 can eat someone’s happiness away, stressing that person. He can beat himself up for not having gone up the right ladder rather quickly like his age mates. He will lose friends because he is not in the same social status as them. He is broke, they’re fairly rich. In today’s world, it is not a matter of happiness- everything is material, once you have money, then you can think of happiness if at all it exists. Happiness in this world, according to current measures, is being able to afford things, because then you can get anything desirable, anything that can be bought.

It is hard to experience happiness in this country Kenya. If the economy is not fucking you up, the law is. If it is not the law, your neighbours are. If not your neighbours, your family is. If you decide to stay alone, poverty beats you up. If you get a job, your boss becomes an ass and makes you their dumping bin. You experience shit from every corner. So when you have money, you can beat some of these sources of your misery. Misery fears money. If it comes, it is because it is sure that it can beat you down.

Not that I am not happy. I am trying to live my own life. I have lost plenty of friends because of my silent lifestyle. My connects have disappeared and I have lost face in the world where everyone knew me. My brand has picked rust, now it is dying in the trunk of my beetle.

I had no idea I was turning 27. I am not a big fan of birthdays as I grew up in a family that celebrated every day for being alive. If you survived a day, that was a celebration. Every day was special, and that was enough. Until I migrated to town, I had no idea what birthdays were. I didn’t want to immerse myself in the culture. Of what need is celebrating a single day? But as they say, when you go to Rome, you embrace their practices.

I started celebrating my birthdays once Elsie turned four as that is when she started insisting I should have birthdays. Alexa and Elsie started reminding me every year, putting up something special for the same. That is family there. Doing everything to create small moments of happiness for those they care about.

YALI was the first one to email me a happy birthday. Safaricom, Mtiba, KCB and other services that eat my money followed. They reminded me of the life I live, the life of a normal man who doesn’t remember his own birthday.

Elsie and her mom faced-timed late in the night. To be honest, I was surprised and jubilant. They sang me a song and blew candles, cut a cake and wished me a happy birthday. I had no words to say, especially after seeing wide grins on Elsie’s face. She was happy, more than I have ever seen her. Deep inside, I felt happy. She has a genuine smile, one that is infectious. You must love Elsie the first time she smiles at you. A smile doesn’t leave your mind. These smiles go so well with her almost sharp chin.

Have you ever felt like adopting your own kid? There are times I feel that I should adopt her, bring her home so that she can stay around me all day. I don’t think I can ever get bored looking at her face.

It was not a day to ask her things about school and life. It was my day, so I let her and Alexa make the best out of it.

I can say that it was one of the best days that I have had this month.

Earlier that day, she had said yes. She is the girl I have been after for a while. She is a simple, beautiful, young girl with curves. I get a hard-on every time I look at her. It only took two moments of courage to ask her to be my girlfriend. Unlike my former, whom I had to chase for months, unlike other girls whom I have to take to 10 dates and they still tell me they’re thinking about it, she said she will think about it. Then she did and came to look for me, and told me on my face that she has agreed to be my girlfriend.

You might wonder why I am telling you this. I am worried that you might think I am a ladies man when you meet me the first time. Therefore, many ladies don’t take me seriously because I am over cheery, flirty and extra open-minded.

She also had the same issues. But after spending enough time around me, and getting to know me, she got to know I am a serious person, respectful, calm and committed to making things work. She didn’t hesitate to say yes. I didn’t force it. She just surprised me on my birthday with such wonderful news.

That was me and my birthday- a facetime with Elsie and my ex, and a yes from my now girlfriend.

What I hope is that one day she doesn’t become a story. Just like any writer, everyone I meet becomes a story. She is too good for a blog post. She is so beautiful, but she doesn’t walk around swaying from side to side to let everyone know she got curves.

So at 27, I can say that I have found some kind of peace. I don’t know what 27 holds for me. I don’t wanna make promises either. I just hope that I’ll be healthy all through. The point of life is being in shape because diseases can make life horrible, so horrible that you miss the point of life.

When you’re healthy, you can go about your business. You can wake up and hit the hustle. You can walk to the toilet on your twos. You can pee while standing. You can bend and tie your shoe. You can go up a staircase. You can tiptoe and knock on someone’s door to ask for salt. That is what life is about, going about your shit without pain wracking your back, or without wishing you were whole.

It is my wish therefore, that at 27 I be healthy.

To more happy, healthy years. Cheers!

Good to have Jose back. Check out his latest piece here.

Mzangila Snr,

Where shall we go, we who wander in this wasteland in search of better selves?

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