College graduate looking at his high tuition price tag

Of graduation, sickness and joblessness

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Wednesday 29th

It is a warm day to travel. Inside me rests an anxious spirit that prods me to get going. Unlike many travelers who believe that you have to wear your Sunday best when traveling, I don a pair of shorts with a loose t-shirt. A nice pair of shoes would finish my look quite excellently.

I pack a few things (two pairs of jeans, two pairs of t-shirts, two extra boxers, 8 condoms, body lotion and a comb) and leave for Karatina. I also carry goggles because I like protecting my eyes from the sun at most times. Along these, a working watch rests on the wrist of my left arm. Being prone to motion sickness, I usually take the front seat.

A nice ass dame sits with me. She is sandwiched happily between the driver and I. As it is my custom, I greet her. These little courtesy gestures can go a long way in making life better- so I have taught myself to do the little things that people ignore.

Two hours later I land at Karatina and straight away head to Karatina University town campus to get a gown. Thursday will be a day of rehearsals so it would be prudent if I got my gown on time. To my surprise, I get the news that the gowns ran out of stock so we’ve got to come for them in the morning. I don’t take the matter lightly but at the same time, I can’t burn the school before I graduate.

I buzz Frank as I share banters with fellow graduands who also expressed disappointment for the school not being able to espouse organization.

While in school, I was quite popular and had made hundreds of friends. I also take time to share little moments with them as I await Frank. Frank is in his final year right now. I am to stay at his aboard for the period I’ll be in Karatina. He preceded me as the Chairperson of the Journalism club. In a number of ways, we share a lot. He is my mentee as well as my fitness coach.

Thursday

We wake up at around 8 am. The previous night, we’d cracked jokes and told tales till 2 am before we forcefully surrendered to bed. Our goal is to prepare quickly so that by nine I can be at town campus to pick up my gown and head to the main campus for the rehearsals. Anyone who knows me understands that timekeeping is a blood sister.

While I clean myself up, Frank prepares tea. The previous night, we had done a small shopping- with I contributing most of the money because that’s how it’s supposed to be. So there is enough food. As he goes to shower, I take my tea and dress up – ripped and an almost skinny pair of jeans, a white t-shirt and some dark boots. I carry a small sports bag by the hand.

I am full of sleep as I am used to sleeping till 11 am. This is because I sleep late, as late as 4 am- reading and writing as this has become my habit lately. At half past nine, the gowns have not arrived yet and there is no communication on the same.

I stroll around town and come back at around 11. I find a mouthful line snaking to the room that supposedly houses the newly arrived gowns. With my stories and jokes, I forge the line to become the third person on the line. In the strangest happening of events, some bastard changes the venue to another room making those who were tailing the line to be the first ones and us the last ones- ever felt wasted?

The gowns get dished out and without notice, they run out of stock and we’re told to come back at 5 to collect ours. This means we shall waste the whole day waiting for the gowns. One broad fact is that we shall miss the rehearsals.

George sends me 5k. and apologizes profusely for not being able to attend my graduation. For over five years, he’s been supportive. In early 2012, he’d just landed from the US after years of not showing up home. Then a few weeks after he got involved in a very grisly road accident that saw him break his femur bone and get his femur bone connected with a permanent metal.

For days on end, he was pinned on the bed, not being able to do nothing by himself. I had just finished my high school waiting to join varsity in September of 2012. For around three months, I helped George do literary everything- from washing him, cleaning his beddings and doing his laundry, helping him to the loo, get into or out of bed, wear clothes, ironing his clothes, preparing food for him to getting his friends home and comfortable.

The things he does for me sometimes I guess is part of appreciating me for what I did for him back then. I saw him get up, throw the crutches out of the window and move again on his two, though he limps a bit to date.

I go shopping for a suit, which I get in one of the horia shops. They’re all over the streets of the town. I am a common face there as I have been here numerous times. Some of them are my great friends. I also buy shoes.  It is the first suit to ever buy in my whole life. Thereafter, I loiter around time, meeting friends and eating myself crazy.

I manage to get a gown at around six after an hour of staying in the line. I fetch my suit from the dry cleaner after some ironing and join Frank at his crib.

There is this chic who I once hit on when she was in the first year. I had cut contact after realizing that she was not interested in my approach like I was. As a mover, I had moved on to greener pastures and my life was picking up well with other womenfolk.  She’d asked me to pay her a visit. She also told me that she’d delivered a baby. So I gave her a date, Thursday.

As a man who respects my decisions and fulfills promises, I decide to visit her despite it being very late. I tell Frank to meet me later because we’ve a party down at Express Club at 9 pm. I chuck out and after a few calls, I get to her house.

There are a few friends there, two ladies and a guy. All second years and they all know me. I can see a bottle of Konyagi on the floor- a clear indication that they have been arresting this bottle. I am wary of drunks because they talk a lot of shit when possessed by the devil in that drink.

They’re eating but I have no appetite. One offers me a tall glass of juice but I decline respectfully because I don’t take juice. I am team natural in most cases and I don’t take my health for granted. It is my life so I keep it free of contamination.

Later her friends leave. I only came here because I believed she has something she wants to tell me. She’s been looking for me for weeks until now. We talk on a variety of topics though most rotate around kids. Being fresh to motherhood can be a very exciting yet very stressing job especially when ignorance pries in the mother. From my little experience garnered from raising Elsie, and the knowledge I have learnt over the years, I should be able to give lasting counsel on child upbringing. So far, I have not failed on the subject.

In the end, she doesn’t tell me the reason she wanted me to be there. As it clocks 9.30 pm, I prepare to leave. On coming, I had bought a loaf of bread and one kg of sugar for her and carried it in my small sports bag. I disappeared into the darkness and got swallowed into its belly…

At express, the party would later hit the climax at midnight when I was planning to leave. Having many friends is a nice thing, but in such places, it is costly. Over two hours, I chafua meza and by the end of the night, I am poorer by 2.5k. We surrender to sleep at around with Frank, leaving the party at its full throttle. It went on until 4 am.

Friday

This is my day, the D-day- a day to make both history and a milestone. You will say that graduating nowadays is normal like having a one night stand with a stranger, cut me a slack man and know that for people like me who can’t stand school this means a lot.  I have spent almost 6 years to finish a four-year course.

Three years ago when I took a break from school, all my relatives thought that I was a freaking truant. Rumors rent the village and our family circle that I had dropped out of school. Still, they never believed me when I returned to school. Today is the day to show them that I really understand the value of education- that I’ll never trade this value with truancy.

I want my dad to attend my graduation. I don’t care if the rest of the world doesn’t come but he has to come. Even if it means spending my entire savings to airlift him from Kisii to Karatina. He has to see me in that gown and be proud that he didn’t waste his money on a douchebag who had no taste for studies.

We leave at around 8.30- Frank and I. it’s a 30 minutes drive to the main campus, but due to the influx of people attending the graduation, the road is full to the throttle.  I am in my new suit and I look sparkling- I know this because ladies on the way can’t keep drooling at me. I also have these transparent goggles.

I am used to wearing goggles as my eyelashes do little work in preventing chaff from getting into my eyes. So I can’t help.

Anyway, we land at the main campus and I find my way to the graduation square. Donly, a friend of mine asks to take a photo of me; I am now in my graduation gown now. I settle down in my seat afterward. There are many speeches, bowing, presentations and many other boring things that look boringly too organized. I loathe organized things as they’re boring.  Spontaneity is my new black. So I sleep all through the speeches. I was sleepy now that I had partied until one the previous night. Tiredness was crawling on my back and soothing my mind so badly that I gave in.

The Network is shitty, very shitty in fact that you can’t place a call and find someone. I am a man of many friends. On top, I am a ladies’ man. Many people had come out to see me graduate- I appreciate y’all- Yvonne, Cecil, Kate, Sabrina, Moreen, Mary, Naiga, Anne, Laiser, Kemmy, Norah and many others whose names don’t appear here.

I am glad that my dad showed up. You should have seen the smile that supplanted itself on his lips. He was blown away, and bloated with happiness- though his manly ego couldn’t allow him to express it like it should be, I saw it through his eyes- I read faces, and more so, eyes.

They came two full cars- My Pap, Uncle Elijah, Cousins Kiddo, Kepha and Joyce, Aunties Tabitha and Jerusa and my two siblings (Erick and Norah). It was the biggest thing my siblings ever did to me. The only one out of the picture was my elder sister, Asnath.

We eat, take photos and have silly banters. It is something like a reunion. My bro who is always high on busaa is still high, though he doesn’t cause helluva. But the fact that he is here warms my heart. He pulls me aside and gives me greetings (amaiga) as they call them in form of money- 1K from my granny and 1k from him. My granny is almost 100 years but she loves me like nonsense. These are good greetings because deep inside I know I have spent more than 10k already and my pockets are very hungry. Aunty Tabby does the same with 2k and Joyce hands me 400bob and says- enda ukule lunch. They want me to go with them but I tell them I’ll stay behind and come the following day.

At around 4, they leave. I as well, leave with Naiga and Frank. We lose Frank somewhere and we take a boda to evade the jam. My folks leave with the gown so I don’t look like I have just graduated- my dad had seen me and that’s all that I needed. He will bear the testimony.

The boda rider, fortunately, takes us to town and terms that as a gift for my graduation. I thank him profusely and we hit a joint to grab a quick meal; fries, samosa, sausage for us.

I book a room at County Inn and leave my catch there. Naiga leaves with her better half as I did the same. I have savage sex till two. I have never been so hungry for pussy like I am. If both the owner of the pussy and the pussy are good, then I have no reason to not optimize my performance. It was a great gift for my graduation.

Saturday

I wake up at 8. Sex is the first thing that hits my mind. So I do it till late and there are several knocks on the door because it is way past the time to leave. We hit the shower and leave. But I am feeling shitty- rummaging headache, general malaise, and abdominal pains. I know this sounds like a pregnant woman, I was feeling like one. I take painkillers at a chemist; escort my catch to get a mat home.

At King’uku, I buy ka-half and head to Frank’s. I am so sick so I resort to sleep immediately. At around 5, I am still sick but I have to leave as the following day I have a graduation bash. My cousin is also landing from Germany. I collect myself, Frank escorts me and I leave for Nairobi an hour later.

I arrive home at around 9 pm. Everyone is gone to the airport to welcome Moraa. I am not one of those people who like going to the airport to welcome people. It no longer charms me. There is nothing new in the airport that will turn me on.

Sleep strangles me and I take the sofa to rest my mind. The abdominal pain is killing me. I keep my phone on and close so that I can hear when they call. The gate has to be opened.

The events afterward are grotesque as I preferred sleeping to listening to tales from Germany. No one knew what was going inside me so I had to take responsibility.

Sunday

I look forward the bash. The day is bright but my sickness is getting worse. We leave for Rongai at around 11 in the morning. The day ends well, I manage to see longtime friends and foes, and exes. Food is bountiful. Everyone has enough to enjoy, though my sickness toys me around.

On Monday I jump into Kiddo’s car and he drives to hospital. There, I receive an injection to relieve my abdominal discomfort, before I go through several tests in the lab. The end result is that I have a bacterial infection of the kidney. I buy the medicine and we head home. This process costs us more than 3k but what more could one do when they’re fucking sick? You spend anything to get okay; you can’t enjoy wealth while sick.

Moving out of the nest

On Tuesday, I pack my stuff and move to my new place. As a man of his word, I remember that I had promised myself to move out before the year ends. I don’t have any plan but I did move out- bought a mattress and a carpet and that’s all. Now I live like a bird, but at least I enter my nest and go out anytime I want. I walk around in boxers, sleep naked, fart loudly, laugh at myself often, watch movies, and throw my clothes all over the floor. Everything is a mess but the fact that there is no one to reprimand me gratifies me, it layers me with happiness.

Call it freedom. I now work out every morning. I sleep late watching movies, reading books and writing things that don’t make sense. Nothing is in its right place.

The sickness took me a whole week. The meds were even worse as they made me smell like a hospital, so I didn’t finish them. When I felt good, I said to myself, fuck it! and threw them in the bin. I spent most of my days in bed until I discovered I’ll die of hunger if I don’t wake up and hustle. In my sickly state, I woke up and from then I haven’t shied away from waking up early to look for a job.

I lost my job at Business Daily and many other places that offered nice gigs and good money. Just like many graduates, I am broke and jobless. How does that make me feel? Like robbing a bank, 200 million bob. I don’t know what I’ll do with the money but I know I’ll live a fleeting rich life, even if it is for a week.

Of late, I don’t give a toss about tomorrow. I eat like there is no tomorrow. I live by the day, as it comes. But I have come across people who try to play around with my soft feelings because they think I can’t do a thing. No, I would like to tell them that inside me is a boogeyman that gets irked up quite easily when people don’t respect their ends of the deal. And I can become the worst nightmare one can meet. I know how to inject pain and payback so well that you’ll live to hate me in your life- only that this saving by the SDA blood in me keeps me suppressed.

Religion teaches us to let things go. Forgive and forget. I’m a believer of this, but at times when shit happens to you every minute then you can toss that religious gown and deal with the devil head-on. As things stand, I am almost there. Just one more thing and that slimy animal will roar into life.

The good thing about having many resourceful friends is that you can get things done. Once I have abducted a person and sentenced him to 50 canes a day. He had to return my money before I could release him. It is my sweat and you don’t toy around with it kwa mdomo wa choo.

Being jobless doesn’t mean people should take advantage of me. I am versatile- only that I haven’t gathered enough energy to start doing things. Once the disease clears off my system, I’ll be up and running my empire. I want to write my head crazy, read so much, and hustle so badly so that I don’t end up asking for handouts from family and friends.

I want to enter into writing, events and coaching. I want to revive Mzangila Writers Café, work on Mzangila Network and involve myself in branding myself as a personal coach.

To graduates

Life is not so rosy. There is no more land to plant roses. We now manufacture those roses in greenhouses- meaning, we have to be creators than waiters. Innovation is the key to success. Success is a long-term affair, emanating from perseverance, hard work, patience, and GOD. I don’t know if you realized that God is in caps.

No one is willing to employ you right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t lead opulent lives. Come out of the nest, invest your time and let God bless the work of your hands.

This is not probably the best story I have written, but I know there are a few lessons one can gather- like independence, hard work, perseverance.

Special gratitude to Frank Mwatha- congratulations to fellow graduates.

 

Yours Mzangila,

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

 

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About Mzangila

Mentor, media consultant, photographer, editor, poet, writer, blogger, and counselor- PR

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Laiser
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I cut you some slack dear. Congratulations for moving out, now we can visit anytime we want. Nice story

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