KISSING THE ASS
Today I feel withdrawn and tired. Waking up is like an uphill task. My mind feels overloaded and heavy like sledgehammer hanging by my forehead. I wish I had no obligations today…I tell myself. The time on my phone is 6.23am, two minutes to the alarm.
I can hear Vincent singing to some hip hop songs. He is good at it. But am I feeling blissful, no. Encased in me is a world of hopelessness. Nothing feels like normal. Not even the honking of the train some few metres away. Even my room looks utterly foreign and different.
In a dejected mood, I whisper a short prayer and lift my ass from bed. I only do 20 press ups and head for the shower. Life comes back slowly.
Same breakfast, same route, same friends. I sit back at my usual spot. Same damn old spot. Near Ruth, and a seat away from Vincent. Ruth is still there. An early riser? Still don’t know. I greet her as usual and go on with my stuff. I don’t know if she ever wonders why I never talk much. But today, talking less is all I need. I need sleep more.
Day 4: Wednesday.
The Online Storm
Today’s lesson is a continuation of signing up to online platforms- fiverr, guru and upwork. These are the main three, though the run down is long-people per hour, casting words, transcribe me, go transcripts, cloud factory, speechpad and kuhustle.
Our morning lesson is just about this. Massaging online platforms and seducing them to accept our profiles using the most enticing lingua ever. Sweet words, misleading but consistent words, just like they want to hear.
The Wi-Fi is not fully functional. Some of us who do not have data bundles loaded in our sim cards are having trouble. And those with nil interest like I, are partitioning shambas in Kamulu. Sleep is just by our sleeves. Yawns, curses and praying that break time shows up quickly.
In K.U., there is this huge bell that rings garishly on top of every hour. We break at 10 for tea.
MEETING THE BRIT
After tea break, we tackle transcription. Here is the thing, transcription is not for people who have no passion for the queen’s language. First, you need a cute hearing ability, secondly, a good grasp of various types of English; American, British, and others.
Chris sends us this audio on WhatsApp so that we can transcribe. It is like two minutes long. In there, a Briton woman eats English, and like most guys, I can’t hear past the first few sentences. My daughter is a Briton, but hell, her English is much easier than the one in this audio.
I literary spend half an hour plus listening to this audio with no success. Call me dumb, I wouldn’t mind you know. English is not the measure of intelligence. Being able to communicate fluently in your native lingo is all that matters, whether it is kisii or kiuk or luo or luhya, that is what you were born with. For those who think that not being able to speak your mother tongue will make you look cool, you’re misplaced. Being proud of where you come from, your culture and background is the best you can be. Embracing English and pretending that it is all that will propel you in life you’re mistaken. One day you’ll be required to communicate in some local lingo to save your skin from being torched or even to get access to drinking water.
This British woman just talks. She doesn’t care if we’ll struggle to hear her out. No. she probably doesn’t. However, in this same class. A number of my classmates get it right. Which of course is a good thing. As I understand, we cannot all be good in the same thing, the world would be a boring place to live in if we all drank, or knew to cook. We, men, wouldn’t have to marry then. And women, would then grow old in their homesteads. Enjoy solitude for the rest of their lives.
Men, on the other hand, would go to strip clubs to feast with their eyes on half naked women, and brothels to quench thirsts. As you will discover, a man will need a woman for the following five major reasons- someone to cook, do his laundry, make a home, fuck and give support (kill his loneliness).
While we need women for all these, sex ranks the highest. And men can do things, traverse miles, spend fortunes and spare time, just to eat that cookie. Just a cookie, damn it.
Ron (the only facilitator who uses sheng to train us), comes by. I tell him I just gave up. He laughs. We talk a bit. He’s free and looks like he’s from the streets. The kind of loose guy who you can connect with easily and get talking of a number of things.
In the afternoon, we break into groups. Each zone forms a group. Groups hardly work if they involve more than five people. Choosing a rep takes ages. And when we finally land on one, a pastor-like dude, dressed in black shoes, blue trouser, black coat, red tie and a white shirt, he takes the floor. Doesn’t have enough command but tries to make it work, doesn’t work.
In these groups, we are given a few questions to work on. In a lot of close to 50 indivuals, contributions come from around three people. I included of course. The day ends with promises that we shall contribute using our WhatsApp group, some lady to compile and then we present the following day. We break.
I get to the hostel fast. Put down my load and head back to the field. I have a track suit on. I round the field 5 times. Not my best though. It is because the field is crowded and going round means I have to struggle maneuvering through.
Part of the field is being renovated into a world class. This means all the other activities are squeezed into one part of the field. There are like two football teams and a rugby team. Rugby is my favourite sport. Playing it? I did before, just before I got flanked into a thorny hedge and experienced stars in my head and excruciating pain from the thorns. From then, secret admirer is my level.
I jog around for 10 minutes and work out perfectly. Most of the work outs involve running. The fact that I am able to do many still work outs in doors, when I go into the field I capitalize on track events so as to balance. Running opens body pores, you sweat better and breathe better. It helps you control your breathing, teaches you endurance and increases your blood flow. On top of that, you become disciplined.
I meet my high school buddy called Wesley Kidinga. Kidinga used to sleep a lot in class. His name appeared at the back list during examinations. But he was good at rugby. Tall and soft. Never ever got involved in fights. Baby face.
After 2011, each of us went separate ways. Though he continued with rugby where he joined Mwamba, as I heard. I tap him on the shoulder socket as they chat with another guy, huge guy. Kidinga now has a bigger upper body and a goatee.
He marvels at me. There are moments of silence for a while as we look at each other. How much we’ve changed six years later. I am old, with a huge beard staggering on my face and much wiser. We talk and update ourselves of what’s been happening for the last 6 years apart.
He doesn’t talk much. He tells me he is studying in KU. I don’t ask much, men don’t.
I am writing this story from a tower in Nairobi. Down below, I can see all kinds of people. And every time I see car, images of our accident a night ago hit me back. When they do, I can’t do anything. I just sit there and tears flow. A sudden urge to cry loudly engulfs me. Around me, there are so many people, taking tea, some burgers and some fried chicken and fries.
My mind is still at loss. Thoughts are largely incoherent and my ability to recall events is below my normal threshold. That is why you’ll realize that there are so many missing events from the above writ.
Si I can go now? I need to run somewhere and have a nap.
Day 5 loading……
Keep on praying for me. Thank you.
Signed with love,
Mzangila Empire 2017.