Don’t wait to be loved, love yourself!

Lavenda Amunga

Written, courtesy of #CreativesKenya (new blog alert!)

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He bolted. Talk of Usain Bolt sprinting for Jamaica in the 200meters relay, my knight in shining amour of many years also bolted, and never thought to look back. To think that I had a bun in the oven was a predicament he could not decipher. So what he saw best to do, despite the preaching on love he gave that finally made me agree to be his; despite the manifesto he presented to me in the days he claimed he had seen the sole fish in Lake Victoria, he ran. Left me to handle my own pickle as if the sinful deed had been committed by me alone.

Well fellow readers, love is just a fancy word for pain. When an Adonis walks to you and presents his well detailed manifesto -what he will do when you down your tools and let him in- piece of advice, run! Take off and never look back lest you turn into a pillar of salt! Love is an unwanted affair; and sad thing is that this thing called love is quite overrated. Men, when you see that lass who appears to blow your mind away with just one glance, my friend call upon your God and He will answer. Ask him for guidance as you take off like the whirlwind; because love is pain.

A moment of silence for those of us persons that have been lied to; played like mere cards; treated worse than the garbage we trample on every day. As we all take a journey into this amazing world of creativity www.creativeskenya.com , let us all remember that it is only us that can make ourselves better people. Life is full of ups and downs; today you are in school, the next day a long unending strike looms! Thus, stay woke and please yourself where you can. For if you do not, nobody will. Just as my colleagues have decided to come up with #CreativesKenya for you, why not try finding yourself in their awesome articles? They are the best!

It is only in #CreativesKenya where when you feel like your whole world is crumbling before your very eyes, you take a breath then sit down to marvel at creativity! CreativesKenya gives you a tip of better days to look forward to. Read through and get a chance to marvel at how pleasing yourself doesn’t have to include doing what you would have done had you been in a those God forbidden relationships, rather, it shows you that it involves an easy activity such as going through entertaining yet informative articles once in a while! About the bun in the oven, well, check out #CampusSnapshots to find out! www.campussnapshotsblog.wordpress.com

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Men of the 21st are total emotional retards who need Jesus!

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By Benzo & Lavender.A.

One of Kenya’s best columnists – Oyunga Pala, once wrote this about men and emotions. He said “Masculinity means to be stoic, in control and strong, all the time. Femininity means to be emotional, vulnerable and weak.”   We men like to sit and talk among ourselves how our women respect and adore us more because we can take care of business without hinting about how we feel about it. This is something we took pride in, we wore the stoicism like a freaking badge of honor. We all knew that our women will always have something to protest about but never the fact that we are emotionally stable. However, that’s not the case. Not by a long shot. It happens that all efforts to save our women from the sight of hearing us bicker about every single emotion that crosses our mind is misconstrued as emotional retarded-ness . What we consider emotional stability is a sign that we are slowly transforming into robots. And they (Women) do not appreciate that, they want to hear and know what we think when we are staring at the ceiling and how we feel about the neighbor’s housemaid walking around in short skirts. In short, they just want to relate with humans. They are confident they can handle it.  Personally, I think it is a trap. They want to take over everything; they have taken over our hearts, our homes, our children, the movie guys and the gateman. The only two things we still run – barely, is our kinyozi man and our emotions. I think men repressing emotions is good for world peace. But again my judgment is biased since I’m a man. I’ll let our resident feminist Lavender tell you why she thinks we’re a generation of emotionally stunted men. I have to admit her simple, humorous and subtle way she presented the issue almost got me. So men be on the alert, if you start feeling doubt for the course take a minute to breath, maybe catch a cold one then continue. This war we must win.

Lavender, you’re up.

Whatever drove us milennials into a state of emotional retardation, only the man upstairs understands! I am inclined to believe that it is only in this generation where people avoid expressing their emotions openly for fear of being judged and/or are even ignorant to the levels of emotion that they may be faced with.  I further believe that the men within this generation are even more emotionally retarded than us ladies!

You ask why? Well, take a look at this guy who is quite smitten by a lass at school. He has known her for quite a while now, but because he is afraid to concede his true feelings towards her, he convinces himself otherwise. All this is since he is troubled by how she will react when he displays his true affection. Men are identified by a great number as the people who might experience a great loss in their lives yet fail to shed a tear. It is this bunch of milennials that will not know what to do with their girlfriends during an emotional situation and thus see it fit to be on their way. While at a graduation ceremony of an ally of mine last year, I could not help but notice a colleague of hers (a man) nearby, shaking hands with his father as a form of ‘congratulations’! I mean, it is only men that will fail to publicly display their emotions for they believe they will be judged.

All this verbosity takes me back to those days when I had decided to love. Here were moments when I could get up and not speak at all to my man. No eye contact, no utterances, just a hunch back, doing my chores, acting as if my one and only never existed in the room. Guess what he would do? Get up, put on some loud music and busy himself with his phone till the time I would decide to speak up! That is exactly what we call emotional retardation! What happened to our men? A bunch of emotionally handicap persons who will only react when you inform them by word of mouth that things are not fine. This is so different from what happens to my parents; chap will know his wife is not fine the moment he enters the home and the house is silent. And he will make sure his soul mate eventually gives him a toothy smile!

What irks me in all this is that this emotionally retarded generation always want things done their way. They want to have their feel and when this does not happen, they become a pack of wild dogs who destroy everything in their way. An emotional retarded chap can cause much harm to those around him when his desires are not met. They fail to explain themselves in a logical way to those around them and this causes more harm rather than good. See, it is only such a person who during his lone time, when the lass beside him decides to pressure that he speaks his mind will he get quite agitated and frantic for having been ‘forced’ to do what he does not want to and will eventually even demand that the relationship come to an end as his lass is very ‘naggy and clingy’.

Clearly, the major thing emotional retardation affects is relations with other people. It is not wrong to keep your emotions to yourself, but once in a while it is good to let it out just so people can help you offload your pain or thoughts. Well, the belief these retards have of people judging them for expressing themselves is actually pathetic; for show me a man who lacks moments in life when he has felt the need to give in to death and I will give you the desires of your heart, ha!

In short, milennials need to reach a point where they will realize expressing their emotions is very normal- in fact, very mature. We ladies need persons in our lives who will be willing to let go; to express their emotions when need be, for after all, we are always going to comprehend. Trust me, if a man wants to truly communicate with a woman, he must enter her world of emotions!

 

 

 

 

Celebration Of A Life.

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by BENZO

I think art is what holds the world together. I think without art we will be edging dangerously close to the precipice of extinction since most of us would have graves of our spouse, sister/brother, boss and/or land lord in our backyards concealed with a Shakespearean botanical to cover the stench of the rotting carcasses and that of your soul. Me thinks in this age and time where we are being bombarded by litters of sad news from the media, art gives us a chance to escape our own realities and get consumed by the wonders of a good art piece. Art is what stops us from jumping in ships and sailing to Washington to picket outside the white house because Trump called us “shithole countries” – and the gaping financial implications of such a soiree course. Art keeps us sane. Because without art, we lack the much needed avenue for escaping our lives even if only for a minute. We will be forced to adopt homicidal ways of venting like dangling our land lords by their feet from their 10 floor elevator-less buildings or garnishing our bosses’ foods with rat poison just to see their eyes bulge out of their sockets as they scream in anguish. I know what you’re thinking. And yes, you are right. Art keeps us free people out of prisons.
Now, imagine yourself standing at the iconic hall of Musee du louvre, staring at the monalisa trying like many other to decipher whether she is sad or happy or whether she looking here or there. Picture yourself at the Guggenheim Museum at the Bilbao. Imagine how mind blowing it can be sitting in a booth at the Teatro alla Scara in Madrid listening to curvy women with silvery voices in performance of a scintillating libreto that melt your ears and soul with it. Envision yourself seated among the crowds at alliance France watching a group of talented Kenyans act a play that speaks to the very roots of your essence in ways nothing else can. Imagine attending the cake art affair listen to tear drop tear your heart apart with words that echo the realities of life like “Happiness ni kulipia mse bill ya hospitali bila kuipiga picha na kuipost social media kwa sababu unajua wewe haupendi kujigamba” Or sitting at Cinemax with a friend watching the latest motion picture ( that’s “Movie” for you ignorant mortals who do not read credits after the Hero gets the girl, or kills the bad guy). It is only after you stand before the majesty of such great work of art that you realize that life is not all kicks in the sac, sometimes it cuts you a break for the massages and spa treatment.
If you’re wondering “Why the Art Sermon?” here is why; sometime last week I had an ass of a day. It felt like life had a vendetta against me by how roughshod it rode. Getting home, I decided to turn to the magical healing power of ‘Art’. Since my budget is perennially on life support and I could not afford the luxury of jetting off to Moscow to watch the world’s best ballerinas twist on their toes. I settled on watching ‘Billions’. A TV show about a super wealthy Investor and a sadomasochist district attorney going at it. There is this character, Wags, who snorts cocaine like a – well, a cocaine addict, and uses obscenities way too much even when giving his juniors a motivation; I assume it’s because of the relaxed nature of his mind. And to be quite honest I have no idea how he contributes to the plot of the whole show apart from being the leads character’s best friend. In some episode this cat Wags gets into a row with yet another lawyer over a space he wanted to buy for himself for when he kicks it. Apparently, it is something the rich on the extreme right of the bell curve of success do. They buy a small piece of land for millions of shillings preparing for their death. Personally, I think it is dogging yourself with misfortune. You never know who is watching. In a hospital lobby somewhere there are people praying their hearts out for God to spare their loved ones. You on the other hand are preparing your proverbial early grave. Since I was in a depress mood, I could relate why someone would entertain the thought of death let alone prepare for it. Not Wags though. Wags seemed to always having a grand old time while the rest of human kind were slaving to quite their grumbling stomachs. The drug addled man was on to something, I thought. I decided to buy my own piece of land. The land was not for me. I try not to mess with things that I do not understand, and since I do not know the criteria used to decide which person was to die and when. I came to a conclusion not to give the big guy up there ideas that I should be considered for the afterlife selection. So, I decided to get the piece of land for my campus life instead. I’m on my last semester which has been stretched – again, by the lecturers strike. My campus is a Ripley’s believe it or not story. It has nine lives. It has survived scandals, accidents not even natural death can seem to end this darn sucker. It was time to prepare it for its inevitably impending doom anyway. Given that it is a metaphorical life a eulogy seems to be more fitting than a piece of real estate. I wrote a eulogy for my campus’s life funeral. That funeral will not be a sad one. It will be one of those funerals where people get overly drunk and piss in the grave kind of funeral. It will be a funeral where the people will come only to quench their thirst for curiosity of whether it is really dead. It won’t be the funeral where people stand and fawn over the dead. It won’t be the funeral where everyone given a chance to speak says how the dead hang moons or how butter couldn’t melt in their mouths. It won’t be a parade of hypocrites assembled only to find out if the dead left anything worthwhile to squabble over. It will be a funeral of honesty. The eulogy won’t be long. It will be succinct and precise. It will be;
“Today we say goodbye to six years of a life lived long past it’s sell by date. Today we say goodbye to a life that we will all long to forget but we will live to remember because it played a great part – than we’d like to admit- to whom we are today and what we will be in years to come. Today as we gather to mourn the passing of a life that was lived in time of self- indulgence and hedonism. we will strive to remember only the good and not the bad.
The deceased was joined the family of over 1000 a restless dreamer hoping to get a hold of a rung in the ladder of opportunity. In his 6 year of existence. Your passing has unraveled the reality that each of us will have to or has already faced. The reality that it will all come to pass, sooner or later the thin veil of protection we had under the excuse that we are young and wild will come to a screeching halt. That growing up and responsibilities are inevitable.
Your life might have been marred with some bad experiences like losing friends to the gaping hole of death, rejections, failure, brokenness, betrayal by friends, heartbreaks, hangovers, cold nights in the tiles but it also came with a silver lining of experience. In your own lifetime as you created yourself a myth of what any man could achieve, You have thought us that not everybody that smiles at you is a friend; You have thought us that in this age of smokes and mirrors we must learn to live with an ample deficit in trust; You have taught us that not every whiskey shot is meant to be taken; You have taught us that as long as Photoshop and social media exist comparing our lives with those of others will only end up depressing you and spiking your heart rate; You have taught us that expectations are what lead to disappointment therefore we should adjust them to a low minimum if we can’t avoid them all together; You taught us that there is nothing like free lunch unless it is from your mother; you’ve taught as that hate is a slippery slope that only leads to a valley filled with bitterness and distrust and most importantly you have taught us that only a fool does not change his mind.
As we say our goodbyes today with a heavier heart than expected. We only wish to promise you that we’ll take the lesson learnt at heart. We might stray off our paths to perfection and self improvement but with your memory we’ll always find our ways back. He always said to be happy you had to be “The man” in your own life. Indeed, he was ‘The Man” described by William Shakesphere when he wrote:
“His life was gentle; and the elements So mixed in him, that Nature might stand up And say to all the world, THIS WAS A MAN!”
To a man who had a knack of mixing metaphor I’ll say to you, your passing springs up a new life. I cannot just say goodbye, goodbye means you’re gone forever but you are not, you live in our hearts. However, you were a realist therefore I’ll say – Kwaheri. For the land to which you’ve gone, we must all someday visit”.

 

African technology; the afternoon I thought I’d been bewitched

Collins Osanya

Many semesters ago, while busying my idle self with key units like development studies and Kiswahili for communication, my academic week would end and begin on Wednesday. And the debauchery, that semester, begun on Thursday to Monday midday. The son to teacher Ruth, clothed in the same attire for four days, staggered through the campus gate, high as kite, the scent of cheap vodka and his girlfriends’ geisha bathing soap clinging on to him like regret. He sat himself on a stone metres from the gate, looked to heaven and asked himself how a former altar boy and potential priest had lost his ways.

Folks, good boys like us didn’t just grow up, we were bred. Which means we grew up knowing why we say please, thank you and excuse me. As such, when I found myself intoxicated for four days in a row, the only explanation to my predicament was witchcraft. How else, would the grandson of a retired inspector of police and son to a career teacher lose the discipline that saw him get to university?

Then I remembered what a jealous villager had done to my dad. A junior elder and tycoon (by village standards) working as a newspaper editor in Nairobi, who owns a red blanket, happy socks and a tired maroon saloon car amongst many other worldly possessions, mysteriously became a senior bachelor even when his skill of story telling and word pelting can draw a troop of slay queens to his singular life.

The enemy of progress had done to son what (s)he had done to father. Only difference was that I had been turned into a drunk, the intelligence inherited from my mom watered down like the biblical house built on sand. I ordered my inner eye to look into the depths of my heart, mind and soul and seek the dudu sent to corrupt my morals and person by that infidel. Hardly had I sobered up when a text message sent my phone in wails and ululations, its speaker shouting: Doro Bos, Doro Buchi, Doro Liar. The sender, my girlfriend – three years my senior, a melanin back breaker bred on mursik was ‘already missing’ my company and that she had already bought a pack of ciggies, my favourite bottle of whisky and prepared a plate of pork and ugali. The devil was telling me go when heavens had me look up in deliberation and the words: bad company corrupts morals, scribbled on the wall, smiled at me.

To fall in love while in campus is to attempt suicide

Collins Osanya
Years ago, my uncle, then a UoN Kabete Campus fellow, in his dealings as an entrepreneurial student leader stumbled into a pretty church girl in campus, liked her and made the foolish decision to fall in love. Their Romeo and Juliet dalliance went on after campus, with the lady accompanying him to family only events, she holding his hands and him introducing her as wife. They were two silly, sad, soon to be adults unknowingly drowning in a pool of something they called love.

When the time came, the pretty church girl who hails from the land of Watermelons, kalonzod my uncle. Not even the scriptures she read quite often could have her join my uncle in holy matrimony so that the two could be one. My uncle, fresh from campus, unemployed, heartbroken and in pain, lay on bed the whole day until one cold or sunny evening- I can’t quite remember- when he manned up and managed to say fwakin and moved on.

Yours truly also fell in love two years ago. When I dumped her, my heart almost fell in my pancreas. The pain was so intense that I couldn’t walk, eat, smoke or watch a movie. The girl from Migori had momentarily held my confidence and happiness at ransom. Then, like my uncle, I said fwakin! And moved on. Here is a poem I wrote during those turbulent days. Smile!

My lakeside love had a bubbly bottom and frantic front bombs.

She spoke with a twang, Walked with a swing
And eeey! Luscious were her things.

My lakeside love had a bubbly bottom and frantic front bombs.

She could not satiate. Not with a smile. Not with I.
Not with her boy owner of a locomotive.
She’s a freebie girl. She kissed another man in my presence.
Oh, my lakeside love, what a symbol of concupiscence.

My lakeside love,
With her bubbly bottom and frantic front bombs
Slipped me in a tomb.

She smelled of angels. Smiled like a baby.
And cooed like a cat. She was quite a catch.

My lakeside love had another lover.
Her bubbly bottom duped me.
Her frantic front bombs fooled me.

She was a vortex. A bouquet of poison Ivy.
She charmed me into submission.
Threw me into confusion.
What a symbol of concupiscence.

Ooh… But how I loved that dholuo maiden.
She was most things. But key, a bottle of Heineken.

Enticing in look. Shocking in price. Appetizing in taste.
But regretful in after taste. Eeey! My dholuo love.

Sunday faithfulS

Lavenda Amunga

One thing our parents need to understand is that a Sunday in campus is so different from a Sunday at home! While at home all know that attending church is the rule of the house. Still i wonder if a comrade will still maintain his routine even when at school. All i know is that in campus, there are 5 kinds of people you meet every Sunday:

1. Holy Mary

Parents, if your daughter or son is in this category, then sit down and breath. You are safe. This one will attend church from Monday to Monday. Needless to say, they become so rooted into religion they forget what brought them to school in the first place. Still, who am i to judge? Holy Mary will pray and cast out demons from class to the library to the dining hall and by the time the bell rings Sunday, she’ll have performed all miracles you can think of!

2. The Sunday bell ringer

This one is the one who gets up in the morning, recalls what day it is and prays! Heck! This one can forget his exams, can miss classes, can play truancy for the whole week but lest it reaches Sunday, the man will summon his lost friends to go to church with him. He will give a talk to his lost buddies on the importance of God. Well, i guess it’s better for your son to get a supplementary in his exams and go to heaven, right?

3.The social media pagan

When you are a social media pagan, you wait for some Holy Mary to send a scripture on the class whatsapp group on a peaceful Sunday morning, then as soon as they do, you condemn their religion, their lifesytle, their act of unbelievability! How could she send you that scripture? Is she insinuating that you do not know God? You create a war within the group that will occur throughout the morning. Holy Mary and Sunday Bell Ringer have to join hands and defend what they believe in. You make others who still have no stand join your side! By the end of the day even those intending to go to church do not go. I have no idea where this one’s fate lies!

4. Angel of doom

Parents, pray for your children! In case you are this kind, fellow comrade, you are doomed. This one is drank from Monday to Saturday. She sleeps with every Tom, Dick and Harry on campus and uses every drug that is in exsistence. She is the kind that has created cheating in relationships etc. She knows no God but on Sunday, you call her…she will be in church! Seated praising the Lord. Want to know why? Because it is on Sunday morning that she will realize she has ebola, cholera, guinea worm, HIV/AIDSYPHYLLIS, amoeba…. And that is the time she will remember what day it is!

5.The Kanyari christian

This one is aware of God’s exsistence. In fact, he serves in ministry, is involved in the worship team, prays for the class before class begins etc. However, that is on the surface. In the evening you hear him curse at his colleagues, demanding his services be paid for. You meet him durung the week you won’t be sure if he is the CU pastor on Sundays. His doing good comes in shifts. Whilst this sunday he will be prayerful, next week he will beat the crap out of you for calling him to pray with you.

Comrade, be real whether at home or in campus!

 

An Illiterate Elite

Lavenda Amunga

It is high time the campus student retrieves his primary school notes from whatever pit he must have buried them and review the major cause of the killer disease HIV/AIDS. Quite unfortunate is the fact that this elite group are the ones engaging in unprotected inappropriate sex every single day, not petrified by the number of sexual partners they have.

All this sprouts from the Psychology class most of them have attended that emphasizes on Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs naming sex as a basic need. This reality having dawned on them, they end up spending every leisure time of theirs in bed. Sadly, sex has become a meal for the university comrade, an antidote to an undesirable disease; without it, the guy might go the way of all flesh. The fear of transmission of the disease has long been lost, -thrown back to the researchers who revealed the major causes of transmission – a clear cause of the cursed contraceptive and emergency pills. The closet of a campus girl is now a stocked chemist, filled with more packets of contraceptives than her clothes and shoes combined. Why the campus girl must remain in this mental predicament, no man can decipher.

The rate of sex engagement in campus is alarming; a pack of hungry dogs in love. One has forgotten that in spite of the early pregnancies they should protect against, there is also the diabolic HIV/AIDS. A disease that has finished hundreds of thousands without mercy. Nowadays it seems that sex education should be given not only to the young kids in primary school but also to the ignorant men and women in campus. No one recalls that there is need to use condoms despite being diligent users of contraceptive pills. Even though packets of condoms have been placed in areas where anyone can easily access them within the school e.g. in washrooms, nobody wants to use the analogue materials. After all, it is a digital era.

It appears that the higher these campus students seem to move in school, the more illiterate they become on the important matters in life. Pondering over books has become a thing of the past. Right now, all they are aware of is that, ‘The pleasures of the heart lie in intense sex,’ and surprisingly, a brother can agree to share his girl since all good things come to those that give! They all believe that there is nothing worse than impregnating a 20 year old (and that problem, has already been done away with).

All these forbidden sexual activities have a negative impact on the lives of these youngsters in campus who need to get a grip of their lives. The horror of acquiring the disease is real. It is quite heartbreaking for a parent who has worked tooth and nail to obtain school fees for his only hope to be hit by reality after four years that his daughter dropped out of school two years back thanks to the discovery of suffering from HIV/AIDS. As was not the case in Kenyan campuses before, sleeping with a lecturer all in the name of fighting for your degree is not a disturbing issue. In every office you walk into, an ignorant girl is flirting her way to bed with that 50 year old-almost- retired lecturer seated behind his desk. After all, the chances of you being in a family way is zero.

One wonders what happened to this elite lot. As their performance in their various areas of study is deteriorating, so is the case with their morality. This may be an early warning sign that our leaders of tomorrow need to be taken back to a stage they must have skipped. More so, creation of awareness needs to continue as some of these people are just souls lost in ignorance that need to be saved. More importantly, light needs to be shed on these bunch of people in campus, for they know not what they do. A Barrack Obama is needed to preach the ‘yes we can use condoms’ gospel before it gets too late. By the end of the day, if something is not done, we will be surrounded by a depraved atrocious contaminated society.

 

​And my mind, like the tea in my mug, won’t remember that you were here.

Collins Osanya

In loving memory of the lips I never got to kiss, the eyes that never brought tears to mine, the meetings in the dark we never had and the glass smooth fingers that never clung to mine in a subtle fit of something near love, something nearing a platonic intimacy, I shall not, my dear love, mourn you in a bar. I shall not drink a beer and say, in slurred fits of intoxication, ‘bollocks!’ I shall mourn you in sobriety. With a mug of sugarless tea in my palm, a Garcia novella in my company and I shall say, as he wrote, that ‘there is always something left to love’ and I shall drink my tea.

I’ve lost something that wasn’t even mine. Something hope told me could be mine. Because hope, I read, is a good thing, and good things don’t die I gave in to hope. Let her cage me in a cell of illusion, made comfortable by your recent, shifty likeness of my person.

I think you should have stayed. I think you love the petals in a man. and I have no petals. I’m no longer your linguist, my grammar is shit, my writing slender and cobwebs, roaches and spiders litter my brain. I’m not as sharp. In few towering ways, I live in fear of living. I think you should have stayed, loved my thorns. For if you loved my thorns, even liked them, you would have loved me wholly. And perhaps I would have been the man you want.

But what do I know? Perhaps you have been a pinch of sugar in my ocean. Perhaps I have been a pinch of salt in the ocean you are.  I think I have loved you with my mind, and parts of my heart, the cold parts. I’m glad I didn’t love you with my soul. For my mind forgets, my heart will stop and my soul will always wander. And it better wander without the unrequited need of you. So, I’ll mourn you in sobriety.

The tea in my mug is receding. Leaving. As you left. And as you have now. So, I’ll mourn you with my cigarette. At least, she has been around. She has been with me when I thought I’d had too much of living to hang on. She has been with me at three am, when all is quiet, when the mosquitoes are asleep and all I hear is the rioting of my emotions, lone, angered and wounded. With each puff, I’ll mourn you. Your laugh, the glass in it. I’ll mourn you with her. And perhaps one time, when I find laughter in the thought of your embrace, she’ll tell you, ‘fuck! I’m jealous of you. He used me, puffing my goodness, thinking of you…’

There’s so much to mourn. So much to let out. So much to say. So much about the future I built for us to mourn for. So, I’ll mourn you in silence. In sobriety. For I have buried you in wreaths of ceaseless roses. For you are red. For I have admired you. Admired you. Respected you. Loved you even when love to me, is three am, clarity. Meaning. Calmness. And nothing before or past it.

My mug of tea is empty. I’ve emptied you off my mind. Of your scent. Of portraits of you hanged on its wall. Of the steps you took, we took on my mind’s pathways, emptied you off the seats you sat on in my mind. And my mind, like the tea in my mug, won’t remember that you were here. But my heart will remember and it will stop. My cigarettes want to meet you and chat. My soul says, ‘good gracious, rest in peace’.

LET’S…

Don Benzo

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Who has ever bothered to find out how the Nazis raised to power. It’s unimaginable that people with such vile hearts can convince the majority of a nation to vote them in as a power then turn on them. Here is the thing, the Nazis never convinced the people, and they were never voted in. in fact, the Nazis took advantage of an economic depression that saw a large chunk of the German population rendered jobless in well under six months. The Nazi party, a small party at the heart of the economic depression. A party on the radical right of the German political spectrum maneuvered its way to power by gaming the system. First, using their most spellbinding and gifted orator at the time Adolf Hitler. The Nazi party tailored their speech to fit their audience. The people having lost their jobs were in great need of a savior. The Nazi party tapped into the anger and the helplessness of their people which then attracted a considerably wide following. The Nazis downplayed the anti-Semitism when talking to the businessmen and emphasized their speeches on anti-communism. While addressing their soldiers, war veterans and other conservatives in the nation the speech angled towards military buildup and restoring their nation to their old glory. The Nazis orchestrated a deadlock in the Reich (Parliament), this lead to the dissolution of the parliament which called for a new election. The president at the time the ageing Field Marshal Paul Von Hindenburg used an article their own constitution that allowed him to rule without parliamentary consent. You can feel a buildup in dictatorship at this stage. After the second election, the majority in the Reichstag once again dissolve their parliament. It’s a long mired political occurrence that ended up with Adolf Hitler being appointed the Chancellor of German. He later used his new found influence and popularity to suffocate the other politicians and consolidate the Nazi dictatorship completely subservient to Hitler’s personal will.

Why I’m I giving you a crash course on the Germany past politics you ask? Here is why. I’ve seen enough similarities between the then political atmosphere in Germany and the one we are experiencing in Kenya. I will be remiss if I don’t say something to caution you on blind and indiscriminate support of our preferred political affiliation. The political ambience of the country has been volatile of late. People have taken sides. Vile and constitutionally questionable comments have been made in rallies. The democracy have been stifled for the benefit of the influential. People have died under suspicious circumstances. We’ve seen human rights violations of enormous magnitudes. Kenyans have been gunned down like animals for exercising their rights to expression. We’ve seen students being dragged from their residence and being whipped to pulp by a Kenyan paramilitary squad. A young girl was shot by a stray bullet during a snaffle between the police and rioters. Fingers were pointed. Names were taken. Investigations were conducted. And typical of Kenya nothing amounted. The independent bodies are being persecuted by politicians. The judiciary system is facing fire from one side, while the electoral commission is being held hostage by the other side. Instead of Kenyans saying enough is enough, we all fall in line behind our favorite candidate and unquestionably follow their lead with caution thrown to the wind. Like the Nazis, the two major political alliances are working the normal Kenyans. They have different speech for a different crowd. With one audience they preach tribal superiority, with other they preach of the economical utopia that they promise to lead us when elected. We’ve been through this before. We have seen Kenya express hate in the worst possible ways just because their beloved candidate didn’t win, and the other side adamant that theirs won. The constitution is being changed overnight to fit the prevailing political interest with no thought of its possible implication in the future. These are quick fixes designed to game the system that easily lead to expansion of constitutional grey space that allows constitutional fluidity that can be fitted to whatever bottle the politician is sipping from at the moment.

This time round let’s show these politicians with charred hearts and over inflated self-interest that we learn from our past mistakes. That we have accumulated past lessons from Germany, USA, and our dear neighbors Uganda and our very own 2007 post-election. Let’s show them that while they have shipped off their families to vacation cities like Maldives, Fiji, and Hawaii while we are pussyfooting our way through the elections with their careless statements threatening to spark another tribal war that we know what they are up to. Let’s show them that we are not going to sacrifice our neighbors to help them get a hold of our public coffer to enable their pilfering endeavors. Let’s show them that we condemn public intoxication by speaking against it whether we are for or against them, that we can blacken the pots as we blacken the kettle. Let’s show them that after all is said and done, there is only one tribe that will suffer: the poor. If you’re not on a plane already heading to Miami for a fortnight sip of mojito you are among the poor. Do not indiscriminately dismiss common sense in support for an ideal you know is wrong. Neither should you relent if whatever you’re fighting for is just. It has taken Kenya over forty years to build this barely democratic country let us not burn all that in a day. Germany may have recovered from the Nazi and Hitler regime but the ghosts of their actions still lingers. May we all have a peaceful election and most important a peaceful after election.

JUST DO GOOD

Don Benzo

It’s the middle of the day around 11am, the sun hanging directly on top scorching everything in its path. The heat is sweltering, tyrannical and scorched everything in its path. It’s the type of heat that made a mockery of the anti-perspiration body lotion by turning the paths and parks into sky lined ovens. I was sauntering to my daily grind in wondering if there was a deeper meaning to the heat. If the heat symbolic of the energy released from the friction of the true working souls of this great city. The harder I tried to figure it out the more I got lost in my delirious pursuit to find meaning in the most routine occurrence.

Walking down the campus path vaguely protected from the blazing sun by my thinking cap I saw this young lady lying helpless under a bush of dry flowers, from far-off I thought she was just one of those many campus girls who after a night in the tiles thought it wise to shield from the sun under a leafless flower bush. Just as I was about to pass her she feebly raised her neck and puked her guts off. That did not look like a hangover vomit. I moved closer to take a closer look, at her- not the vomit. She looked green under the gills. I asked her if she was okay, a stupid question I know but I had to find out. You never know what these millennial girls do to look all skinny and svelte. I might have unknowingly stumbled upon her during her anorexic workout. She told me she was sick she was just coming from the hospital before the malady got the best of her and she decided to take the unanticipated rest under the bush. I helped her up and by Jove, wasn’t she one fine lass. Flawless skin, milky white teeth (yellowish teeth is my favorite pet peeve), the hair and nails were well done and she had this shapely ass that will make men pull muscles just to watch it go. She looked that hot while under the weather the thought of her healthy sent my loins on a rampage. We got to her place, she took her medicine drank around three cups of water, and dozed off without as much as a feeble thanks for my worries.

I was telling my friend this story and how she could make a faithful man out of me. And the first thing he asked was “Don, can’t you just do some good without just for the sake? Without any ulterior motives?” That statement irked the hell out of me. Just because I helped the girl and found her attractive at the same time does it mean that the goodness does not count? There is nothing like goodness for the sake of just goodness. That’s a lie, everyone does well with expectation of something in return. Be it spiritual or be it material. So you do good so that you can go to heaven, or you do good so that you can get someone to like you, or you do good so that you can ease your conscious from some evil scheme you orchestrated at some night club, or you do good to wash away your ancestors’ sins at the end of the day. The point is you expect something in return. And the most important thing is that more good is done. These nuances in intentions are really not the point. I for one I’m for the motto the more good done in the world the better no matter the intention.

The grandiose indignation passed by those who think they do well unconsciously and do not expect any reward from it is a pile of crap, ostentatious and hypocritical to say the least. I know a guy, a cool friend of mine. A highly dislikable person, set on his ways. This guy is always in a mood, never takes chances always oscillating in the two extremes of emotion with a tendency of lagging on the dark side a second longer. As nasty as he may be the guy has tens of friend, why, because he does good. As much as he is a practicing ass that he can never let anyone sleep hungry, he once gave the “saidia five” outside a supermarket kids 1000 bob because he didn’t have coins. The two of us with him went like, ‘Are you out of your freakin coconuts? He might have done it to impress us or he might have done it just for the sake, one thing goes unquestioned though, he did some good. While you’re busy passing looking at the kids with unholy condemnation saying you can’t give them a nickel because it fosters laziness, drug addiction and bad parenting, he actually did some real good in a real world. You might be right that they’ll use it for drugs but what if they actually need it for food?

There is no such thing as doing good for the sake of doing good, we are all human and the promise of a reward, the promise of that utopia if we do good is what is barely keeping this world held together. So let no one tell you that good only counts when it is altruistic. You can do good and expect something in return you’re human after all. Just as long as you’re doing good the world will be good. Tenda wema na uende zako, lakini kama hautaki kuenda pia stick around for the glory dammit you deserve it.