I was travelling from Karatina to Nairobi on Monday. For the last time I had to look back with a sore eye, to the place I had called home away from home for close to five years. In those years, I never conceived of such a day to greet me with wide grins. The love and the comfort I had found in this place was resounding. So it took me two full weeks to make a heroic and final decision to move on- from the friends I had made, the empire I had built, they house I had called home, and from all the things that my eyes had been accustomed to seeing.
There is one solid thing about me that is constant, I don’t miss people or things or places. It is like I got a cold heart. But leaving karatina was one of those toughest decisions for me. I had to gather enough balls to go past my coziness and pack my bags, and hit the gravel.
I wonder what the people of karatina will remember me for. Big name? Tall dude with lazy eyes? Nice dude who loved to hug girls all over the streets? Or is it the dude who was publicly hit on by Karatina’s finest gay? This was the question that kept popping up in the curtains of my mind. I got disturbed because for a man like me, whose ass people are looking up to, legacy is something that comes along.
I took a nduthi from my place- after a thorough game and last minute banters with my very close peeps, Boaz and Hezron. It was painful saying ‘may we meet again bruhs.’ You see, spending four years around someone opens you to a friendship that bleeds when one party walks off, and when you’re away you remember of the moments. Sometimes you scroll through your gallery and laugh at the things you used to do together. You then sigh, comment silently under your breath- wicked dude! Then you laugh like you’re from hell…
The rate of inflation in Kenya is still peak. Too much money chasing too few goods. At the stage, this can be evidently witnessed. No vehicle, so I had to wait for another hour. Which of course saw me enjoy a terribly torrid sun, a sign that it was gonna piss later. I was joined by a fellow comrade whose skin was familiar. I didn’t know his name but he was familiar. He seemed to know me a lot. And we got talking. Never much of a talker anyway. It was good for me because I was anxious- hell, I always am when travelling because motion sickness hits me like Ebola and leaves me at the mercy of nausea and sometimes, rowdy stomach and mixed feelings of ‘God take this cup away from me right now.’
I take a seat at the front. A momo asks me to forfeit the seat for her. I didn’t need to ask why because the answer was right there, momo- tall and round. Forfeiting a seat is something I never do, it is the only time that my ego is on the pinnacle.
‘Well, as you can see, I am as tall as you’re, and I cannot fit the seat next to the driver.’ I tell her.
‘You can take the one right after the front seat, near the door.’ She replies.
‘Unless you want me to puke all over the vehicle we can do that.’
When she hears things to do with vomit, she takes another seat, to which I feel blissful.
I sat with this comrade next to the driver. The comrade informs me that he’d been from a one week trip. After a few minutes he was snoring like a pig, leaning on the dere’s shoulder. I gave myself the courtesy of feasting my eyes with nature. Although motion sickness sentences me to boredom, restlessness and unprecedented slumbers, I manage it by sucking at a damn lollipop like a girl ripe with adolescence.
And that’s what I did- sucking damn lollipops all the way, while everybody else who gave a damn kept sneering at my girlish manners.
At around 6, I touched the Nairobi gravel at Tea Room. With me is a huge travel bag weighing over 15kg and a backpack that is finely resting on my back. My next stage is Kencom. Since I want to save a few coins, I pull the travel bag on the tar all the way, paving way, until the bus stop. Just like any other man, I loathe travelling with any load. So the faster I get home the better. And that’s what I do next, hit the bus that drops me at Kawangware. I text my cuzo to come pick me up. Because the devil is a liar, he reads the text 30 minutes later and calls to tell me he is just at home already. I can take a tuk tuk because they stall right behind his house.
First of all, the last I was at Nairobi, there were no tuk tuks to our place. But when they built a road connecting Ndonyo with Kawangware, a cartel of tuk tuks mushroomed, bringing life to people along that route.
So I wait for a tuk tuk just like anyone else. My prior thoughts were that these tuk tuks operated like taxis. So in my mind I was thinking of occupying a full tuk tuk by myself, only to discover that it operated like a matatu. The only difference was that there were VIP tuks and normal tuks. The difference between the two is that the normal tuk has a carrier for cargo while the other one doesn’t have.
I landed home some minutes to eight. There is no greater joy than landing into your digs because that is where we all belong. To stay with family. Enjoy the warmth of relatives and friends. Be at peace because home is where the landlord doesn’t chase you away. Home is where people hardly sleep hungry even during tough times.
Home is where you throw legs on the table and watch movies all day long without worrying about tomorrow. Some place where I’m not afraid to take a magazine with me to the loo and read it while doing my business. It is a place where people don’t ask you pesky questions like- now that you’ve finished school, what then? They help you get an answer to ‘what next?’.
Being at home means freedom. And for a man, freedom is the most important thing to have. Family doesn’t judge, doesn’t get angry with you often, family cannot leave you in the streets when things have entered a deep gorge. That is the beauty of family. You can sleep, eat, sleep and embrace the same cycle for weeks.
Everyone needs a break after knacking studies for four years. You need to sit down and gain weight. Stay off numbing stress and actually stay in a world with no worry for at least a month. After that, you can start helping out with the dishes or house chores.
After graduation, hit the road and look for a damn job. No momma is gonna feed a 24 year dude sleeping on his couch every day from morning to evening. The truth is we never have anything figured out. We just hope to wake up tomorrow. Anybody telling you that they got everything figured out is a pathological liar.
We sleep, and when we wake up, we head to our normal places of work or hustle. Same old boring places, sit on the same boring chairs and stick our heads right in front of computer screens for a whole day. Just because we want the moolah. We hardly notice the people around us. It takes time for us to notice they actually got fat or they grew grey hairs.
It is not the guy I wanna be after I enter the real job market. I wanna have the freedom to be what I want. To have a career where I can pee in my pants and no one sends me home. To find that career that fits me, and not I fitting into it- because then I have to kiss someone’s ass every time.
So I asked someone what to do to get there. This someone happened to be a college dropout who now owns a chain of restaurants in this city. So that you know, I went to see him to ask him if I can get a fast job in one of his businesses. So he looked at me from head to toe and said- “My boy, you look soft for this job. The world doesn’t like soft.”
Wait, me, soft! How cruel could this world be? That’s why we’ve to launch this Mzangila Group soon. Mzangila Group is a mother goose- a household name for the range of businesses and products that we plan to introduce into the market any time soon. If you want to be part of the movement, join us by contacting us on 0716503589.
Mzangila Empire 2017