A hooker, a white man and a Kisii

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We landed in kisii a few years back. It was like having a toast to something you missed once in a while when you are sober and the thing you forget when you are inebriated. Going back to shags means a whole world to me, it is a thing that can only be understood if you come from my family and at the same time be my a Kisii. The feeling is eerily mysterious. It is a place you have to budget for, plan for in advance and tell all your neighbours in the city about- that in Dec or Nov you’ll be on the road to Kisii, the little Canaan of Kenya.

Neighbours need to know or else you will be an enemy. You need to tell them so that they can ask you to bring them sugarcane, sweet bananas, njugu, matoke- we have the best species of matoke- including many other things. It is a Kisii thing. Our sugarcane sells all over Kenya. If you go to Nax, or Nairobi or Kisumu, you’ll see a man with a wheel barrow full of sugarcane prowling town like any vendor on a normal day. That is kisii right there. It is in every town.

That is why your neighbours need to know. Some of them feel jealous that your shags is really in Kisii. They wonder why their shags isn’t blessed as ours. They see that joy on our faces and deep inside they hurt. It is a thing they never have when they visit their shags. In fact they never tell when they go. They only go and return the same day so that you’ll never know if they ever go to shags. It is a place they have no sweet memories to revel on.

We usually do it in style. There is no fun in going to shagz alone. Boredom will screw you. So we go as cousins. We do a lot of shopping, save a lot of money (I will tell you why) and fill our tanks. It is a long journey, close to 5hours.
The money is for the ever spiraling financial needs at home. Not our home but in the village. Every drunk will want a penny because you are from the city. Every beggar will let you know their problems, and you as a demigod you are supposed to sort them out. You will visit aunts, uncles and other relatives whom stay in the countryside. There is no way they can cook you chicken and pot of ugali without them parting with something from your pocket. We expect that. So we do some shopping and prepare a few notes to give out…generously because they are our aunts and cousins and uncles and grannies.

If you can remember this story, back in the states, you can connect easily with this story. There is a mzungu with us this time. A guy in his early 20s though he looks as old as I look, 30s. He is a complete nut head with supplementary beliefs that have no science of evident backup, naïve and with little education to himself. But he is a mzungu anyway.

He has this sick Nokia Windows phone that everyone keeps borrowing to take a few photos with. The only thing that is flashy about him. Rugged hair, dons dirty clothes and eats in Pizza and chicken Inns after his stomach repelled our good ugali kienyeji.

On this day we were strolling in town. Four guys, my two male cousins, the white chap and I. His name is Wallace. There are a lot of words to to describe Wallace but since I cherish our friendship, I will leave that alone today.

Czar, my cuz, pulls his German beast on a parking lot just besides a building in Kisii Town. This is after we failed to secure a parking space in this huge supermarket in town centre. Tuskys. It is a guy’s thing to hang around town doing nothing of necessity but just enjoying the vibrant view of difference.

We are used to Nairobi’s hubbub and activity that you rarely believe there is a place in this world where men and women have no hurry whatsoever. In this town there is a notable difference, one that does not suffocate you. It is a place you can breathe at your own pace without thinking. You don’t have to worry that someone will breathe your portion and you will spend the next few seconds trying to steal someone else’s and breathe it.
Someone is not going to brush your shoulder hard as he hurries across the streets. No one is going to soil your white shirt with mascara or throw a dirty wig on your face as you brush through throngs of people in the streets. Everything is moving in its own pace in this vast town. Those who are in offices are not worried at those in the streets. Likewise, those who are in the streets are jabbering unaware of those in tall buildings with reflecting window glasses. The streets are moving at ease, many people are standing here and there having conversations like the world is not ending tomorrow. That is to say Kisiis are very chatty people.

Many people think that Kisii is somewhere, hanging on a loose cliff between Rift Valley and a horn of Nyanza. A lonely highland of its own kind that has no forces tying it to either side. It is a place that people categorize on its own. They forget it is in Nyanza, upper Nyanza. It is the epitome of Nyanza’s survival. Luos have no much arable land. They live in a desert so much of their survival depends on the food-belt from Kisii. And when these Luos go out there they talk about Nyanza as if they own it, as if they are the ones that live in that land. They disown the very people that butter their toast. You see how ungrateful they are?

So Kisii is in Nyanza. Though we never brag about that because the Luos already do and if you say that you are from Nyanza someone might suspect you are Luo even when they know you are a straight Kisii, home and away.

Hardly did we know that we had pulled right beside a brothel. It was until we got out and started looking around that our Mzungu started drawing eyes to where we stood, next to a brothel. I swear we didn’t know. It had no name on it. It was just like any other building dotting the beautiful town. Kisii Town is a big, with almost half of it owned by Nyachae’s family.

We were chilling under that building because the sun was axing a bit. From noon to around 3pm the sun in Kisii shows its magic. At 25 degrees centigrade it is hot for Kisii people. So you know that it is really cool there. The climate shit hasn’t caught up with it. It is hidden from all that wrath by the gods that our old men and women pour busaa libation to every morning and evening. They are appeased and that is why it is little Canaan down there.

From where we are, the streets are full of naturally beautiful women. Women with short hair, or nicely kept hair. I bet they use Armis- the mafuta ya kukamua ng’ombe. That is their glycerine. They are 98% natural. The 2% is for the Armis and the powder. And some Lady Gay maybe. They all have a huge tight ass that only an African woman can have. The few with yellow skin are a few kuyus who have polluted the novelty of that African preservation that has thrived for years. The insurgents that now teach our women how to bleach, how to wear tight trousers, how to pose the cleavage and how to become miss independent. We could see a few of these littering these streets, and deep inside I felt that in a few years everything will be different. They will have changed the entire city, lost our culture and stolen our pride. But generally the town oozed simplicity. No sophistication at all.

Next to use stood a few girls. Brothel girls in Kisii dress like anybody else. They don’t wear alluring clothes that make you swallow heavy saliva with a pervasive thought. They just know how to invite you. In Kisii girls are not afraid to tell you what they want. If they want you tell will make you aware of it. If it is your balls they want they will inform you.

Everyone who was there knew we were new. Our clothes were dapper, our trousers sharper and our shoes shinier and newer. Few German beasts cruise in this town, not that Kisiis don’t have nice cars but because that beast is different. It is M5 sport, sleek and old model. One of the few M5 BMWs that were ever made in the whole world. Any man who understands cars had to cross ten streets to just come and admire this beast, touch its straight lines tapering off the rear spoiler that gives is a sporty look. They would stand there for minutes salivating at the rims and its sleek design. They would try to look inside from the tinted windows, run his fingers along the long bonnet, look at sunroof that had its ass raised and then take a photo of it. He will then walk away in total disbelief, giving a final look over his shoulder. But even then, the Mzungu had us all in the limelight.

When Kenyans see you with a mzungu they think that you are a tick living off his fortune. It is the first thought. And that is what some of the people who saw us thought- that we are drinking right from his pockets, fantasizing about the dollars.

So the girls around us initiated a conversation. It is a good thing for a woman to rock a boat first easy job. And we talked, of voyeurism. Laughing and enjoying the banter.

‘Na uyu mzungu mmemtoa wapi?’

‘Tulimuokota tu apo Nairobi tukikuja Kisii.’ Okay all these is in Kisii so it might not come out as it would originally.

‘Ooh, anakaa ako na pesa.’

‘Ni mzungu ama pesa unataka?

‘Kwani naezakaa pesa?’

‘Alafu?’

‘Si tutaenda nikupee tu apa juu?’ At this point I knew that we were stepping on a hot wire. But I went on. We talked much like a crowd. There were like 10 girls, some in a salon in that building doing each other’s hair while others just stood up close. Whoever had something would throw it first. But one was consistent.

‘Unipee nini iyo?’ My cousin asked while enjoying the moment…

‘Si unajua.’ And she blushed. We just laughed.

‘So unataka mzungu?’ My other cuzo asked.

‘Eeh gaki.’

‘Huyu hutamweza. Ako na chuma inatoshana na huu mkono.’ He continued. We all laughed but the girl didn’t . She was terrified a little. Looking at the crotch of the Mzungu and trying to imagine the whole thing.

‘ Kama ni hivyo hapana.’

‘Kwa nini?’ My cuzo went on now that he had his dagger on her heart.

‘Atanirarua bwana.’ And at that point everyone cracked until the Mzungu asked what was going on. We told him the girl admired him. He said he can have a round. But the girl shrugged. She did not understand English well so we translated loosely to her.
‘Amesema atakupea 10k raundi moja.’

She stood there confused. She looked at others who were tense too.
My other cousin interjected and said, ‘wacha tuende nikupee 5k siku mzima.’

And she was like- ‘aiyaiayaa, naona nyinyi ni watu wakali, mnataka kunimaliza.’

I swear we laughed our asses off. Actually I have never negotiated for sex in the streets on daylight.

It is our Kisii.

Let’s meet later this week. I’ll be writing twice to thrice a week from now henceforth.

Cheers.

Mzangila Empire

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About Mzangila

Mentor, media consultant, photographer, editor, poet, writer, and counselor.

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2 comments

  1. Nice piece my niggah

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