In search of The One

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Universities have become spouse hunting hubs. Some folks have found their soulmate within the first two weeks of joining campus, but it took them months to spot the building where their course units were being taught. So, it should not come as a surprise that while some people are graduating with degrees and honors, there are those who leave campus with husbands/wives and babies. Stories have also been told of campus love tales turning tragic and not too long ago, a comrade took his life after a love story turned tragic. This left many stunned and heartbroken over the tragic death. It also left me questioning whether love in campus is a worthy affair.

This story stems from a graduation ceremony I recently attended. It happened some time ago but telling it in the past tense won’t cut it. Allow me to change the tense. As I mentioned in my last article, I am an aspiring MCA and from time to time I am expected to make technical appearances in public gatherings. That means church harambees, burials, graduation ceremonies and weddings. I haven’t been to a wedding yet but am expecting an invitation soon. Actually, I have NEVER been to a wedding before, not because there are none in my area but rather just reluctance from my skepticism over the mysteries surrounding the institution of marriage. As I have said before, I think marriage as an institution has outlasted its usefulness by quite a large margin and hence the reason I define it as an unnatural arrangement which causes its participants into an unhealthy monogamy. Don’t think of me as hypocritical when you find that am married in future. I’ll just be fulfilling my societal responsibilities.

You can read about that in my article monogamy is not a natural state.

Back to my story. Invitations to these public gatherings come through my mother. She is the self-appointed personal assistant (PA) to her son. I gather that she has also appointed herself as the chief campaigner for the upcoming 2022 election however far that might sound. Ambitious, right? I am a hard to reach man, you know how politicians are. Two or more phone numbers but in actuality very few people can reach you (one of them my mother). I am no different. I have now come to understand why politicians behave the way they do. I mean, am only an aspiring MCA but the phone calls I receive a day makes me wonder whether I work for Safaricom’s customer care department. Now imagine if I was actually elected. That would mean carrying the community’s weight on my shoulders and a few more hundred phone calls every day.I will cross that bridge when I get there.

At the ceremony, I am seated in the second row sandwiched between my mother and my sister at their insistence. I wanted to sit at the back but the drama that ensued made me reconsider my position. I give into their demands and take a seat at the second row, just behind the graduate’s family. We sit through the introductions, the MC and I know each other from my graduation and keeps making constant references to me, my mother smiling at me the whole time with that mischievous smile of hers. I guess she is celebrating the fact that she just managed to put me at the center of the limelight in another person’s graduation. Do you know what it takes to make that happen? She is an incredible strategist that woman.

The sermon follows and that takes a little bit of pressure off me but my mother still can’t stop smiling at me. My sister on the hand is just quiet but keeps poking me in the ribs with her elbow whenever the preacher says something I can identify with or relate to. It’s a tough ordeal when mother and sister gang up against you. The reason they pulled me into this wasn’t for the education aspect of it but something else entirely. This graduate, apart from having a bachelor’s degree under his belt, has a wife from the same class and a kid. I told you word travels fast in this village. And mothers, especially those with children in universities or their children have recently graduated cannot miss this for anything. This guy was able to balance his study life and having a family. I can only imagine how hard that must have been considering my life was outrageously shambolic back in campus. He deserves another degree in bedroom and marital affairs.

The sermon was as brief as it should be. In any case, if they wanted to preach to us, they should have held this function on a Sunday. Kim (the graduate) then takes over, introduces his wife Emma and their son Ian, her mother and the rest of her family in attendance (which is more or less their entire clan), tells us how their love tale started, what made him decide that bachelorhood wasn’t for him and a lot of other stuff you hear at all graduations. Out of nowhere, Kim then calls me to join him where he is standing addressing the crowd, introducing me as one of the people that inspired him throughout his journey in school. That was hard to believe even for myself for reasons I cannot say on this platform or else they be used to taint my name in my long awaited campaign. He does not fail to solicit for votes on my behalf. I then see him and my mother exchange winks and then I see my sister do the same with my mother. That’s when I realize how screwed I was. I was not here by accident and my mother, my sister and Kim had something to do with it. I knew exactly what was about to follow.

Kim then circles back to issues of marriage and stuff, which I was really not following because I was trying to figure out how I would get myself out of this minefield. He then pauses for a moment looks at my puzzled face and says: “Si niache atwambie mwenyewe.” Which loosely translates to “I should let him tell us himself, right?”. The crowd was now cheering me to go on and explain, which was more of forcing me into it anyway.

In that one sentence, my mother had managed to do in less than a minute what she had failed to do all those years. Get us to have the “talk”. The sex talk. I am not exactly close with my mother as I might have led some of my former girlfriends to believe. I am not distant either. So if you are a former girlfriend and I told you that my mother said hi while we were dating, I lied. She didn’t even know you existed in the first place.

She had figured that since she couldn’t make me talk to her, perhaps making me explain to a crowd why I had not come out of campus with a wife and a kid like our good friend Kim would eventually get to the same results. She knew nothing of my romantic entanglements or any of my girlfriends. I had managed until now to keep that from my sister and her. She might have managed to eavesdrop to those late-night conversations between my slay-queens and I back in the days, but other than that, nothing. I knew they were dying to know if their son and brother was seeing anyone and if they should expect anyone home soon.I am getting older and that comes with certain expectations. Kim had set the gold standards and now a debate on the subject was ensuing in the village.I know my mother had and has always wanted to be close. Close that we could talk about who I was dating or what happened to the other girl I used to call so late in the night. We however never did and that isn’t happening anytime soon. I only want to introduce one lady to my mother and that would be my wife. That would be after she has been through countless vetting processes and am sure she won’t break my mother’s heart. She’s allowed to break mine.

I was at a loss here. How would I explain to my mother how hard it is to come by a decent ‘wife material’ lady in campus? Mind you, I did not want to break the ice and tell these parents that their daughters turn into unrecognizable slay-queens when they land on those campus streets. I also did not want to pitch the idea that maybe Kim had just gotten someone’s daughter pregnant and had no choice but to move in with her. It happens a lot in campus, right?I could theorize about a thousand ways in which Kim could have ended up in his so called marriage which did not involve his consent or right mind. But I did not want to spoil his day the way he had spoilt mine. My other friend Joni (the barber from my previous article) was at the back laughing his brains out the whole time. He knew everything and I mean everything.

So why didn’t I get me self a wife in campus? I mentioned in the first paragraph that I have always questioned whether love in campus is a worthy affair. Now, let me explain-simply and in campus lingo. There is a beautiful lot of attractive ladies in campus who should be put at a mile-long distance if you are the weak-hearted type that goes into a semi heart attack if she gets a text message from someone other than yourself. This is for you if you are the king that suddenly turns into FBI agents if she gets a phone call in the middle of the night and spoke with giggles and blushes, because these ladies require a strong-hearted guy who cannot quake even if he saw her with William Levy.

Dude,if your hyena self has convinced you to go nab a lady doing let’s say Tourism and Hospitality, then please make sure you have a Jack Bauer heart. That discipline is flooded with beautiful ladies, not to mention the breed which has turned the black folks into racists, light skins. Am not saying other disciplines don’t have beautiful ladies. In my experience each course has that lady or two which makes heads turn. You walk into that class, spot her and start thinking if you can change your course right there and then. I don’t want to give an example with our class or those that succeeded us in our course because then some of my friends would know exactly who it is that am talking about. And Lord help me I had fallen for one of those. We all have at some point.

Let’s go back to Tourism and hospitality. In such a relationship, especially if you are from an entirely different course, it will be all fun and games, fairy tale love et al until the lass goes to some high life tourist resort. From there, brace your weak heart for some high voltage insecurity. She will be sharing pictures of herself in top class hotels, golf clubs, hanging out with who’s who and eating foods that even with the accumulative combination of all the little you saved from helb, you cannot afford to pay for it. You will have get used to seeing her living on the fast lane, trotting the wilderness on safari tours and very fast she will transform from the mama who would spend time with you in that hostel feeding on bread crumbs to a lady with a class way beyond your reach. Yours might not have been in Tourism and Hospitality but I’m sure most guys can relate.

Wait till she returns from attachment with a set of standards far above the lanes of hostel life and chips mwitu. So, Romeo, if you want to tread your hungry self into the faculty of Tourism and Hospitality, or any other for some hot lady, please don’t say you weren’t warned!I will add some interesting fact I picked up somewhere: that it takes about a year and seven months to recover from a heart break. I do not know who did the research or why the hell he was counting but I tell you it holds some water and that is quite a long time to be nursing a heartbreak. You sit for your last paper in campus, graduate and start tarmacking while you still carry that pain. Dear poor boyshaod, leave those ladies for the Jack Bauers.

Anyone with even the slightest bit of imagination will know that I didn’t say any of that to the crowd. I used a local proverb to assure them that I was indeed in the right path and that soon I will have to invite some of them to escort me to some far away land for my bride. Mind you I didn’t even have a girlfriend back then, and still don’t have one now, but perhaps I’ll have made a step in the right direction when the time comes. I could see the disappointment in my mother’s face albeit with a glimmer of hope but I still have time to redeem myself. She will have to be comfortable with the wait though, because I am in no hurry whatsoever to get back in the game.

©C.J. NJOROGE

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About Cooper Jose Njoroge

Is a great thinker, writer, philosopher, poet, photographer, footballer, a student of life and politics, an aspiring mathematician and soon to be physicist. He is imaginative, analytical and highly unconventional. Tells as it is and sees things for what they are rather than what they would rather be.

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