May 2007


Update: For personal reasons, I have removed the pics of Helen & Helen Bandia

It has come to my understanding that my beloved Helen just might be gone for good. It’s a very long and convoluted story that I myself don’t understand. In short, let’s just say that she’s missing. The car wasn’t sold, it wasn’t in an accident, but it somehow vanished into thin air. You don’t buy that? Neither do I!! How does someone misplace A CAR?! That’s some strange ish right there. Kwani do we have a Bermuda triangle in Kenya where cars go in and never some out again?

So the folks have been trying to appease me by offering me a Starlet. A what? Shopping basket? Don’t get me wrong, not that ati nanaidharau gari, coz a Starlet is a car that you only have to fill up the tank (with like only 2k) about once a month. Fuel consumption is THAT good. Lakini who am I lying to that I’ll fit my 6″ 0′ frame there (reminds me of my bathtub. Yes, THAT bathtub. M shaddup!) I have tall friends, and there’s also not enough rear space for hanky panky. That is very essential when choosing a “modofieko” 

In the end I had to settle for Helen’s twin sister. That’s only coz the folks really went out of their way to look for the only car that I’d appreciate, and finding a 1990 model vehicle in Nairobi that’s still in good condition, is not easy. Well, Helen Bandia is the same model as Helen, only that this one is two years older. (Have I made any sense? *smacks self hard*) back in 1990,  they didn’t come with power steering or power windows as standard. (Helen’s a ‘92 model, came with all the extras) so with Helen Bandia, either I chapa a heavy breakfast or I might as well forget the idea of reverse parking into tight spots as well as making three point turns.

The car has required quite a lot of work to get it up to standard. The previous owner knew exactly what he was doing when he sold it coz it needed new tyres, exhaust, major service, rims, radio (NO RADIO?!)

*image removed*

Don’t despair, for I, Mishale, am an innovative man!

 *image removed*

Who remembers my shower radio?

Quit laughing, at least it does its job! Mluhya bila radio ni kama ugali bila mboga! Ama aje Bomseh?

I’ve been browsing through www.cardomain.com and found some very good ideas for souping up Helen Bandia. Souping up a car in Nairobi is hard coz there are not many garages/companies that do a very good job. Definitely NOT Mash Auto, those useless fellows who only have like two or three templates that fit on every car regardless of its make. 

That’s Helen

*image removed*

That’s Helen Bandia

 

*image removed*

 

 Now say hello to Helen/Bandia of the future!!

*image removed*

Now, who’s still laughing at my shower radio? During one of my recent trips to the garage, I came across this 1969 Jaguar E-Type Series II, although in dire need of attention. (I don’t think the owner would be too pleased that that someone has put up pictures of his car on the internet, so I’ll censor his number plate) I haven’t yet seen another Jaguar E Type in Kenya (have you?) Which makes this an extremely rare vehicle in Kenya. You might remember it as that shaggadelic Jag from Austin Powers.

picha939.jpg

Front end bila the engine and the hood. Looks like a piece of junk, but the body is completely accident free! Not a single dent on the car.

 picha941.jpg

E Type upande

Jaguar E Type hood

That’s the hood that’s been taken off

Jag Engine

Engine kando

picha945.jpg

Omera how will you know? 

I’ve previously expressed my desire to (when I can afford it) buy a classic car as a shell and to re-build it, all by myself. In that spirit, I figured that I may as well enquire as to whether the owner of this Jaguar would be willing to put it up for sale. I was willing to look for some cash to make him an offer. I was informed that he’s strongly attached to the Jag and that he’d never sell it for any amount in the world. Apparently he’s fixing it up for this year’s Concours D’Elegance.

When I returned to the garage the next week, I was informed that an Asian man had seen the Jag (in it’s current state) fell in love with it, and made an on-the-spot offer of….(hold your breath) TEN MILLION SHILLINGS!!! Yaani Ksh 10,000,000/= which was promptly REJECTED by the owner! (And here I was thinking I could swing him like a loose 300k and forget his story!! Hehe!! Shock on my diabz)Anyway, look out for this Jaguar at this year’s Concours D’Elegance. I do hope the owner does something about the colour though. Bright red would be good. Or Opal black. When it’s done, it should look something like this: Jaguar E Type

Ok away from wishful thinking, here’s a project that is more affordable to a car enthusiast. I’m sure you all remember the Volkwagen Kombi (Volksiebus) the one that looks like a loaf of bread.

 1968-vw.jpg

There are very few of those on the roads these days. (My old man had one way back in the 70s!) While in South Africa, I once saw one that had been souped up, it was too deadly! The owner had chopped off the roof and made it into an open top, lowered the van and added some serious 20 inch chrome rims, an assortment of amplifiers, subwoofers, DVD screens, tweeters and what have you. It even featured in some kwaito video, I don’t know the name of the song though.

This will be my first car project in the next few years. It’s not that hard or that expensive to find a shell, something like this:

753702.jpgYou see trash, I see potential!! I’ve been told that the Voki can accomodate the engine of a Subaru Leone (1.8 litre) without having to make any major modifications to the engine bay. So that’s precisely what I’ll do. I’ll have the body stripped down completely and re-built from the ground up. I’ll have a transparent fibreglass sunroof, a comfortable lounge for five complete with DVD, leather couch, fridge, Playstation 3, some mad ass sounds. For the exterior (visualize it with me) I’ll have it painted bright metallic orange, lots of chrome on the bumpers and around the wheel arches, chrome running boards, body lowered a few inches with 20″ chrome rims, front bull-bars, chrome of course…. 

Er………is there anyone still reading this?

 

What’s on my Playlist?

 

Sema – The Only One 

If you haven’t noticed already, there’s a new header picture on the blog. Si I told y’all this blog is a work in progress? I came across the photo while trawling across the internet, along with a few others. When I tried them out, this was the only one whose colour didn’t clash with the overall colour scheme of the blog. I have no idea how a photo of an eye ingianas with the general theme and title of the blog, but me likes it none the less. It’s better than that ka tunnel that leads to sijui where….. Ama mnaonaje? 

So now I’ve got to come up with a name for Mr Halfaface. Any suggestions? He’s the new watchie up in the blog and he sees everything! So thugs and hackers (jackers, crackers, buckfutters, whatever) and any other pathetic miscreants up in my environs beware. And vile he’s got a ka mean look, you don’t want to find out what he’ll do with you when he catches you. (Maybe he’s a GSU for those guys back in the day) Can you see that silhouette of a crossbow in his eye? Utameza mshale bana! Don’t mess! 

Anyway, any suggestions for a name for my new friend? I’m open to any ideas coz all I can come up with is Bwana Jicho, but those initials….hehe! Wacha tu! 

 

In other news, I missed the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix yesterday!! Aaaaaaaaargh!! But at least my team McLaren Mercedes represented vilivyo with Fernando Alonso winning and Lewis Hamilton not so far behind. (Bankelele si you join us now before it’s too late!
Kwanza you did you watch the race?)
 

Now I know I really have to get DSTV coz the morons over at KTN and NTV do not consider Formula 1 to be newsworthy, yet the same idiots will show you highlights of the qualifying stages on Saturday’s sports news. PUMBAVU NYINYI!!
Kwanza I have just the thing for you…
 

 

FOKOJEMBES OF THE WEEK 

KTN and NTV Sports teams:  

1. Robert Soi, Mike Okinyi, Bernard Oduor….nyinyi wote. 

 

Of music… 

Is there any better way to spend a Sunday evening than to tune into the Capital FM Jazz Club? (hosted by Jack Ojiambo and some others) I’m really developing a liking for Jazz even though the only Jazz artist that I know is Duke Ellington! Why?  

In 2005 we had this tired ass Macro-economics lecturer who would send an entire lecture  theatre of 300+ deep into slumberland.
Kwanza his lectures were in the afte…in summer when it’s kedo 30+ degrees outside, and it just happened to be on that day of the week when the school cafeteria had a special on half chicken stewed in sweet and sour sauce. (Mluhya lazima a-represent pwana!)
 

So one day at the Mall I came across a Duke Ellington CD on offer so I bought it SPECIFICALLY to assist in the Economics lecture slumber! When the TA starts yapping, with sijui graphs of what and what….. plug in the earphones, press play on the discman and zone out. (Probably explains why I failed that module in spectacular fashion…) 

 

Speaking of Jazz, while in SA late last year I copied lots of music from other guys’ computers, and I found this gem among the numerous un-named folders. It’s a South African Afro Jazz song that’s currently top of Archer’s favourite ngomas list. I’m not a lovey dovey lovesick fool like I once was, but this song takes me places. You’ve just got to listen to it! Lovely voices and the instrumental is tight. (If you can catch the dude’s voice in the background of the chorus, you’ll see what I’m talking about)  

I don’t know the name of the track or of the artist, so I’ll just call it “What you are to me” I wonder where I can get more of this kind of music. Does anyone know? Anyway, I insist, download the song and listen to it on full bass. It’s beautiful. 

 

Click HERE to download What you are to me. 

 

If you like the track, you can see me sideways and I can hook you up with a few others that I have. I can upload them onto my 4shared.com account for your downloading pleasure. 

To those who are into Jazz, where’s the starting point for someone who would like to know more about the genre? I’m trying to expand my musical knowledge.  

(Hii maneno ya hip hop ya upuzi tupu, sijui msee moja anakaa
kama wanugu anataka kunyorea wengine…..usiresi!)
 

I’ve noticed that Jazz is really catching on in
Nairobi especially among the younger peeps (mid 20s upwards) and I hope that it’s only a matter of time before we have more of our very own local Jazz artistes. We have a few good ones already, but we need more. Are there any Jazz nights in
Nairobi?
 

 

A.O.B. 

Ministry of Health Warning: Ku-hanye na Methu na Bantuts ni harmful to your health!!! We found ourselves at K1 on Wednesday night watching
Milan hammering Loserfool (You Never Wa*k Alone) shortly after we were grooving to some mad ass kao tunes…! Wacha tu ni-censor ma details.
 

My only  beef with that night is that for once I was the SHORTEST person in the crowd, vile Methu up theeeeeea is like 6″ 3′, Bants and some other damsel I was with are both like 6″1′ and I was down there at 6″ 0′. And the three idiots kept rubbing it in that I was short… You guys are so mean. SHINDWE!! 

 

 

Traffic in Nairobi is ku-rayzi this morning! It took me more than two hours to drive to town, a trip that would normally take about 45 minutes in normal morning traffic (and 14 minutes when I put the pedal to the metal, bila traffic) and driving a car without a functioning stereo for two hours is pure torture!

In such a situation, unless you’ve got good company to make conversation with, you’re screwed. I normally have a very moody mama Archer already making conference calls (this one yells into the phone) Not good, not good at all.

Anyway, my mind had wandered off into other thoughts of how to spend the rest of the week. There’s the Champions League final tomorrow night. Where am I going to watch it? K1? Sherlock’s Den? (Hopefully Milan do their job!) I’ve got a dance to go watch on Thursday evening which clashes with a dinner that I’ve been invited to for my pal’s graduation, and the graduation to attend on Friday, and a bash thereafter. I think I’ll be home alone this weekend so I’m also thinking of which clande to hola at!

My mind was brought back to the road when I noticed this fine looking thang on the lane adjacent to mine. What’s that? A Benz? No, it looks more like a Lexus. (Hapana, sio hiyo Leghisas ya jana!) Which Lexus is that? Anyway she was a pure beauty. Looks like a medium size executive saloon. It’s about the same size as a Benz E-Class.

Kasupuu sura

Kasupuu sura

Kasupuu upande 

Kasupuu upande Kasupuu Madiaba

Kasupuu madiaba!

 

Nikasoma label pale nyuma. Toyota Mark II Grande. Wow! Impressive. You all know what Toyota means. Fuel economy, affordable spares and after-market parts and generally cheap to maintain.

The one I was following was beige and had tinted windows and the guy had hooked it up with some serious chrome rims, about 19 inches, so it was quite tight.What else to do in traffic? I whipped out Mr. Nokia, did a quick Wikipedia search for Toyota Mark II Grande, not much information there. Did a google search, found out all the vital information about the car: Engine size, horsepower, interior features, price. Very good. (Note: I have not said that I can afford it!!)

Then I called up a couple of dealers in Nairobi and asked if they had the car in stock and they did. Did polite enquiries and asked if they had one that I can take for a test drive. They did. All this before I even got to the office!

So guess where I’m off to this afternoon!

(Who wants to come along? You jua it’s sijui wacky Tuesday so there’s B.O.G.O.F* on Pizza at Mobil)

*BOGOF: Buy One Get One Free 

R.I.P

Mrs. Francesca Alouch Indeche

I’ve just seen the obituary in today’s papers. Mrs. Indeche was my primary school headteacher way back in the day. It was actually 15 years ago that I left Kilimani Junior
Academy. But she still remembered me every time that we’d run into each other on the streets of Nairobi. “You’ve become such a big man! I remember you when you were a very tiny naughty boy when you first came in 1989.”

Now, Mrs Indeche was a tough African woman, about 6 feet in height. Woe unto you if you ever got sent to her office for misdemeanor. She’d grab you by the ears (back then we were tiny little kids) and lift you about a foot off the ground. Then she’d put you back on the ground, but not until she followed that up with two swift slaps to the cheeks. Now imagine a 4 foot kid who doesn’t know WTF ran into him, staring into the eyes of this beast who’s all the way up there, wondering which part of his head to rub first, the ears or the cheeks. Or whether to cry.

As class prefect I once took a couple of my classmates to her office coz of noisemaking, and after seeing what went down, I vowed never to take anyone back there again! Best believe they never spoke to me for the rest of the term! (Sorry guys, ilibidi!)

But Mrs Indeche was mostly a very fair headteacher, warm and very affectionate, and she was generally loved by the kids. By the time of her passing, she was the Principal of Compuera Academy in Nairobi.

R.I.P 

The following events are based on a true story, believe it or not. I’m still trying to believe it myself!

I happen not to have a very high opinion of Kenyan cops. That’s due to the fact that I’ve had to part with hefty bribes several times in the past for this or that. Kwanza that time for Breathalyser, wah! I hated cops kabisa. They always found a way to extort money from me for whatever reason. If they didn’t catch me for drunk driving (which I never do) then it was for a dead bulb in the brake lights cluster, or a tyre whose tread was slightly worn.

There’s once they cleaned me out completely, on my way TO the hanye! (Those cops for Ngong Road and Kilimani are ruthless!!) Now with a 2 sok in your pocket, which hanye are you going to? Piga U-turn and go back to Club Duvet featuring DJ Pillow. Now, that’s one club that’s guaranteed to kick any day!

I was driving to The Mall on Saturday night at about 9:30pm to drop a pal of mine who was meeting someone for dinner. There were four of us in the car. We got to The Mall, drove round the bend to Kenchic, made a three point turn and drove back to the entrance to the Mall. There was no available parking on either side of the narrow lane, and anyway it’s not like we were planning to stay. So I stopped the car on the side of the road, put on the hazards, my boy opened the back right door and got out.

Suddenly a double cab 4X4 pick up, those red, yellow and blue ones for K.K. Security pulls up behind me hooting and flashing headlights, then two cops jump out brandishing AK47s and rush towards my car.

Gichana unapark gari kwa barabara? MAGHENDE!!

The cop then gets into the back right seat and slams the door, and tells me to drive to Parklands Police Station. He’s a short fucker, about 5″ 5, with a big round head, looks like he shares some genetic qualities with a saskwatch. Kwanza his boots were filthy, plus his breath gave away hints of a dinner of onions and hot tea.

The second cop walks a few metres in front of the car.  It’s evident that the cop want us to toa kitu kidogo, that’s why he’s got into the car so conveniently so as not to be spotted receiving a bribe. I told the cop that I hadn’t parked the car, I was just dropping my pal.

The idiot starts talking shit, telling me that “umefanya hatua” and if I’m not going to “ongea vizuri” then I might as well go to Parklands and have a word with the OCS.

So now me and my two pals are trying to vibe logic to the buffoon. We asked him to show us any single available parking space on either side of the street. We asked him to define what parking a vehicle is. We asked him which motorist we had inconvenienced during those few seconds that we were dropping my pal. Hell we even asked him if he’s a traffic policeman, and if he is, could he show us which part of the Traffic Act (if he even knows which Cap the Traffic Act is) says that dropping someone outside a building is a Traffic offence.

The cop is at the back still insisting that I talk nicely or I drive to Parklands. The fool figured he had stumbled upon some spoilt rich kids to harass. Sio leo boss. Dude was wasting my time and I had a bash to get back to in Nyari before the hawks grabbed all the fwyne women. And I was getting very agitated.

“Kwanza wewe afande ndio una hatua. Unaturukia kama sisi ni majambazi ati kututisha na bunduki, ukaanza matusi, unaitisha kitu kidogo, alafu umeingia kwa gari yangu na hizo viatu chafu. Nani alisema huwezi kuniambia sheria kutoka nje? Ofisaa, please get out of my car.”

“Unafikiri ati I am not gwalified kuingia kwa gari yago? Gwani imebadilika imeguwa ni Leghisas?” (Lexus)

*ok that one for Leghisas I’ve made it up! Hehehe!*

While the dude was still talking shit, the three of us got out of the car, left it right where it was and went to vibe with the other cop. You wonder why there’s always a good cop and a bad cop. This “good one” realized quickly that he wasn’t dealing with idiots. He told us to hurry up with the bribe and bounce. We told him we’re not paying anything coz they’re not even traffic cops in the first place, plus they can’t even define what traffic offence we had apparently committed.

After some minutes he told us to forget the story and just drive away. So we went back to the car, where Saskwatch was still ensconced in my back seat. My boy took the keys and we all got into the car and requested the cop to get out.

“Gichana nagwambia hiyo siasa yako twende nayo Bhaklands uambie OCS!!”

“Siendi Parklands! Mi naenda nyumbani. Kwa hivyo we jipange ujue unaenda wapi.”

“Blah blah….mumefanya hatua….blah blah…. *onion breath – quick, roll down the window!* …..blah blah….kumbafu!”

Haiiiiyaaa! The cop had refused to get out of the car and was still insisting on the “bribe or Parklands” story. Na ameanza matusi on top of that. My pal had had it with his nonsense and he drove off. When we got to the junction for the main road, dude asked the cop a final time

“Afande unatoka ama hautoki?”

“Nitoke gwa nini! Si nimesema twende Bhaklands!”

“Parklands my ass!”

Dude turned the car right towards the Sarit Centre roundabout but instead of turning right to go to Parklands, he turned left and drove on past Sarit, took a right onto Peponi road and kept going.

“Gwani gichana unaenda wabi?”

“Si tulikuambia sisi tunaenda nyumbani. Kama unataka kuja na sisi hiyo ni shida yako!”

Here I am in the co-driver’s seat wondering WTF my pal was doing, but by then the speedometer had already pitad 120 km/h and Spring Valley passed like a blur. The cop has shangaad at what’s going on.

“Weeh! Simamisha gari!”

“Si tulikuambia utoke ukakataa?”

The car turned right at Thigiri Ridge, up the hill and kept going. That’s about the time that the cop realized that we weren’t going to sing to his tune so he requested us to take him back to Westlands and that story dies there. Dude must be joking! Ati we turn and go back to Westi? Are you nuts?  My pal stopped the car at some dark ass joint huko Thigiri Ridge and asked the cop, very politely, to get out of the car.

“Sasa mnataka nirudi Westlands aje?”

“Afande toka.”

“Si munisambazie 50 bob nipigie gari ya batrol iguche kinichukua?”

“Afande toka.”

“Ata ka kitu kidogo hamtaniachia?”

“AFANDE TOKA!!”

The cop slowly got out, then before he shut the door he was like

“Lakini msijali. Si tuko pamoja?”

Tuko pamoja up in my ass! Stupid man! And with a skid start, we drove off. How he got back to Westi, I have no idea and I really don’t care. But we drove the rest of the way laughing hard coz I’d never imagined showing such madharau to a cop before. But he deserved it, sivyo? My boy had mad beef with the cops coz he had to part with 5k recently when he was busted “on top of things” by cops on patrol. So I understand his bile.

Piece of advice:

1. Kenyan cops will find every and any reason to solicit for a bribe from you. Always make sure that the basics are in check i.e. lights, tyres, seatbelts, insurance and road licence. That reduces the list of things that can get you acquainted with Saskwatch or Homer Simpson.

2. Most cops are rather dense and don’t know the Traffic Act. But they know that YOU don’t know it either. If possible, get yourself a copy. It would be a good idea to read through it, underline a few things here and there to show that you’ve read the thing (highlighting in bright orange would be best), then leave it in the glove compartment and when confronted by a cop for whatever reason, proceed to hand over the Traffic act and ask him to show you where that “hatua ambayo umefanya” is. Or just have a lawyer pal on speed dial. (Ichiena niaje?)

(The Traffic Act is Cap 403. I’m on my way to get a copy as soon as I’m done with this post)

Question: Is it just me or do all Kenyan cops have either one of two distinct accents regardless of which part of the country they come from? What is the language of instruction at Kiganjo?

What’s on my Playlist?

Due to the slow internet speeds, I’ve not been able to download some nine or so audio tracks for a music post that I’ve been working on. So I’ve decided to try and have one track at the end of each post. Today’s track is “Mr. Policeman” by K-South which so aptly applies in this situation. Imagine a late night encounter with a couple of cops soliciting for a bribe. This has got to be, by far, one of the most hilarious Kenyan track ever produced.

Click HERE to download Mr Policeman. 

F.A. Cup Final results

CHELSEA FC 1:0 Man Useless

Last team to win the F.A. Cup at the old Wembley in 2000, first team to win the F.A. Cup at the new Wembley. Funga! (clap clap clap) Fungua! (clap clap clap)

To all those who hated, and continue to hate on Chelsea, MEZA WEMBE!!

Well folks, it’s official. I have been blogging for one year! Actually the year lapsed on 10th May (last Thursday, but I didn’t have the time to type out this post) Yaani I have graduated from a newbie in the game, to a ka teenie. I’m not an old school blogger, yet.

And for today, I’d like to take a trip down memory lane to remember how it all started, and to reflect on the experience that has been so far.

I didn’t know what a blog was until I read an article in the Daily Nation online some time in March last year that sought to find out what makes Mad Kenyan Woman tick. The article provided a link to her blog, which is officially the first blog that I ever read. I remember staying up for most of the night reading her blog on my cellphone. I thought it was so cool that someone can have a personal website where she can write out her thoughts and opinions on things. In her comments page I came across a few other “old school” bloggers who can now be classified as veterans (a.k.a fossils!)

The second blog that I discovered was Guessaurus, whose blog I got so engrossed in and ended up reading in entirety including her old one at Blogspot! I admired Guess’s writing style, she has a way of describing delicate things so effortlessly, in a way that you can actually envision it in your mind. I bet that she can describe an aroma so well that you can actually smell it as it wafts into your nostrils.

Through her comments page, I found the other old school crowd yaani guys who have been blogging since the typewriter was invented. Kina M (whose blog I’ve read in entirety as well, mpaka blogspot, mpaka ye olde thinker’s room. Dude, now toss me your diary!), Acolyte who was the very first regular commentor on my blog, the ridiculously hilarious Milo, Ms Kipepeo (who I still maintain is KBW’s sweetest), KenyanMusings who really impressed me with her bluntness and her don’t-give-two-sh*ts-what-you-think-about-me attitude (chic, you got balls as big as church bells. Haki ya nani!!)

Others include Nick & Tato the two hemispheres of the same brain, Dangerously Shy (though I didn’t have the pleasure of reading more of her stuff since she just went off the radar bila warning), Movie Buff (alias Groupie Numero Uno) who made me realize just how little I know about the movies and the small screen, Nakeel (after seeing her kisogo in the papers in the same article with the interview with MKW) Kenyangal, Girl Next Door, the kind hearted and ever thoughtful Farmgal, Bankelele, the blunt tell-it-like-it-is Udi, Kabinti, Ms K (what happened to her?), Shiroh, Mocha, the hilarious Mutumia, Medusa, Prousette, Stunuh Jay, Chatterly, Supaflyshi, Gishungwa (kwani where were the dudes back then?)

I greatly admired the close, mature, sometimes childish, yet cosy relationships that most bloggers had at the time, considering the fact that most of them had never met before in real life. Every blog was like a different cosy uptown café where old friends would meet and have a nice chat over a hot mug of cappuccino and black forest cake.

After getting a lot of inspiration from reading all these fantastic blogs, I decided to see whether I could rekindle the spark of writing talent that I once had many years ago. I was scared coz I didn’t know whether I would somehow fit into the crowd or whether I would be booted out. I didn’t know whether I’d be able to churn out quality posts regularly.

So after two months of deliberating over it, I decided to start a blog, and it came to life on 10th May 2006, and I joined KBW the very same day. The name Midnight Frisco came from the fact that I used to type out my posts after midnight, in the privacy and serenity of my room, over a mug of Frisco coffee and a couple of cigarettes (like those old school newspaper editors slumped over a typewriter).

I thought long and hard about a pseudonym, and I juggled with quite a few, but I settled on Archer one night as I watched Face Off for like the ten millionth time on TV. (John Travolta’s character) Back then it was really hard to get noticed as a newbie, and one had to literally force his way into the older generation bloggers’ comments page so that somehow your blog could get noticed. So that’s how I found myself malayaing over at Aco’s and Guess’s blogs until finally I was able to get some much needed traffic onto my blog. I can’t remember whether the aggregator was up at the time.

Over the months, I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with several bloggers either on my blog or on theirs. I remember the late night sessions over at Aco’s e-pub huko sides of August/September 2006. Most times the comments had absolutely nothing to do with the topic that Aco had blogged about! The procedure was to first grab your position (I remember the battles for top spot with Kaggz, and the numerous heated debates we had. Anyone remember her?) And somehow a conversation would develop and most times it was nothing but pure nonsense! One night the comments got to over 125! I miss those days.

That’s about the time I began flirting with the foxy Devious one. We had a ka thing for a while and just when I thought things were honky dori, the neighbour’s shamba boy Aegeus who I had caught eyeing her from across the fence on numerous occasions, overthrew my government and took off with my ka-wife!! (Shameless! The shamba boy?! How could you?!) Consequently, the position of e-wife has officially been declared vacant, and interested parties are welcome to apply. (Criteria: You gotta be female!)

During the last year I’ve witnessed two major blog wars: Poigate and Acogate (if I can call it that) And that’s when I realized that there can be beef in blogland! You thought everything was easy breezy until battle lines were drawn, then you’d know who was pitted against who. There have been a couple of other minor incidents after that, the first was the plagiarism incident starring DM, and then there’s the current shenanigans going on. I don’t know what to call it, Hackergate? Upuzigate? Archergate? (Seeing that the previous ones were named after the victims)

A lot of exciting new bloggers have entered the scene since then and helped create a new, younger generation of bloggers, and I watched as everyone found their own niche and new online relationships were formed. The likes of our resident photographer “Every Girl’s Man” EGM (word has it that he’s opening up a branch of Ramogi Photo Studio, Boston edition complete with tubs of vaseline for that shiny effect for family portraits)  Half ‘n’ Half, “budaa” Kirima who only joined us the other day and fitted in so perfectly (I hope now you drive with your eyes on the road…and not salivating over the neighbour’s goats), Alexcia, the calm and sober minded Mama Shady, Jadekitten, The Hanyee, Princess, Man Bantuts who I can say had the highest single amount of influence upon us all with his sheng posts and unique nicknames for everyone, as well as being the originator the name of my WordPress blog, the brilliant Gathara, always full of logic, the insanely uproarious Kenyanchick, wherever hole kina Mwangi and 3N  crept out of juzijuzi despite being around for a while, Bomseh (the days he used to blog about orgasms pekee!) The laughter incorporated duo of the two lunatics Ichiena and Modoathii, how can I forget the man who sliced me, Aegeus alias Methu himself, Unyc, Klara, StackofStiffyz (na wewe ulienda wapi dadii? Rudi!)

(Eish, kila mtu anapata high five leo!)

What else happened between then and now? Oh, I outgrew Blogger and moved on up to WordPress. Actually, the idea was to prep up the WP site in preparation for a big move on 10th May 2007.

Now for a polite vote of thanks. I bet you have all realized by now that blogging is not a solo effort, and it’s a good thing that we have each other to turn to for usaidizi on this and that. I can’t say that I’ve made it this far by myself because without the assistance and encouragement from my fellow bloggers, I’d have retired a very long time ago and opened a kiosk to sell ball gum and Patco…

First, big ups to my man Aco, who not only taught me everything that I know about Blogger, including teaching me pretty easy things like how to upload an avatar, he gave me the motivation to keep on blogging even when I was getting very disillusioned with the slow growth and lack of traffic on my blog. Dude also taught me the art of blog ho’ing so as to attract that traffic, as well as hooking a brother up with a nice cosy sofa up in his e-pub.

Big ups to my man Methu and EGM who have taught me everything that I know about WordPress, and I’m still their loyal ka student, learning new things by the day. You guys are the best.

To all the bloggers that I have had the pleasure of meeting in person and making friends with, kina Aegeus, Ichiena, Farmgal, Gish, Kipepeo, Kenyanchick, Shiroh, Bantuts, the main man M, Guessaurus (for me that was quite an honour) Nakeel, Big ups to you all. Lakini Guess, si you make a comeback like this? Even Hulk Hogan is sujui 75 but the mzee keeps making comebacks!

 

I have learnt quite a lot from reading your blogs. You’ve shaped the way that I think about a lot of things, and I’ve become very open minded as a result. Y’all have enriched me intellectually (Ok, SOME of you, hehe! Nick don’t flatter yourself!) Others have provided a well deserved escape from reality with your humour. I may have not done the best job possible by visiting your blogs to drop a line or two.

There are those blogs which you just read and go like “Ahaaa!” then you shut up. If yours falls under that category (eg Bankelele, Potash and Gathara) then you’ll understand why my comments rarely land there. That’s because I’ve learnt to zip it, look intelligent and absorb the knowledge rather than open my mouth and prove otherwise. I once asked a silly question on a post somewhere (can’t remember who’s blog it was, but it was a genuine question) and I got abused so thoroughly yaani….anyway, that‘s that.

  

To everyone else out there, bloggers that I may have left out, other readers who may be Kenyan or non-Kenyan, bloggers or non bloggers, who have taken time to read this 5 bob blog of mine and to leave a comment, the likes of James (where did you disappear to my kind sir?) And Amber (where are you?) thengiu very many.

I hope that this is just the beginning of things to come.

What’s on my playlist

Manifest Destiny – Jamiroquai     

Kwani we’ll be doing this tagging business every year? Last year it was the 6 weird facts about yourself tag (where I did 12!!) I guess I should have been less enthusiastic and left out a few for this year! So I’ve been tagged by both Aco and Kirima, and there’s one more by Kayliz which I’ve taken my sweet time in getting round to addressing. So here goes…

Seven things (that you probably didn’t know) about myself. 

1. I absolutely, ABSOLUTELY loathe hop hop and anything that comes along with it. (I guess that’s  not really a secret by now) My hard drive is running out of memory, so 15 GB of hip hop is soon going to find its way into the recycle bin. 

2. I was the cutest of babies! My mum still has my framed baby pictures  in her office, next to her degrees, diplomas and accolades. I was tiny and chubby, very light skinned like a point five (you’d have thought that someone alitinga bao ya offfside!) And I had curly hair! I wonder what went wrong along the way. Anyway, at least I know that I have the potential to bless some deserving damsel with very cute little ones that will be the envy of other tois in nursery! My 3 year old daughter will be coming home with love letters and lollipops! Any interested damsels are welcome to submit their applications….

3. I have a morbid fear of dogs (except those of the mbwa koko variety) I’m the guy who’ll serenade a chic with the usual lies “I’ll climb the highest mountain, swim across the Atlantic for your love….” But at the first “WOOF!!” I’ll be that little dot rapidly vanishing into the horizon. Sio kwa ubaya, it’s survival tactics. Always look out for number one (self). The only dog that I’m pals with is Sunkuli my trusted german shepherd. The first days were a bit funny though, with the tiny scared puppy running to hide behind a bush, and Archer running in the opposite direction. The morph does have his days though. A couple of months ago, he almost munched off my shin! A swift jab to the ear brought Sunki back to his senses. (Si ungesema you were hungry?) And if you’re wondering why my dog’s name is Sunkuli, he was born soon after KANU were kicked out of office. And his biatch’s name was Ruto

4. I’ve been a Chelsea fan for nine years now. Unlike the majority of bootleg fans who jumped into the bandwagon as soon as Abramovich arrived with his billions and Jose Mourinho. I first started watching the Premier League around 1995 after influence from my older bro who was Man U damu. I decided to venture out and find a team of my own instead of following his choice, so I first supported Newcastle FC for one season (but they’ve never really been going anywhere in a hurry) then I switched to Arsenal for another season (yes I was once a gooner) before we got FIFA ‘98 on Nintendo 64. The only team that was evenly matched with Man Utd in terms of skill and ability was Chelsea, and that was the only team that I could beat my bro with. Later on I started watching Chelsea matches and fell in love with the team. The good old days of the legendary Gianfranco Zola, Gianluca Vialli, Tore Andre Flo, Roberto di Matteo, Dennis Wise, Mark Hughes etc.

5. I chase my Tuskers with a shot of Viceroy to help the Tusker to do its job! Damn you EABL!! Taking away my Pilsner ice without consulting me. YES I’M STILL IN DENIAL!! Nothing else tastes quite like my Pilsner Ice. 

6. I’ve always had a very short temper that has landed me in trouble quite a number of times. I even found myself at a shrink’s office once for anger management therapy. I’ve however learnt over the years to keep it under control. These days I avoid situations that are likely to cause me to explode by either keeping quiet or walking out of the room to have a wooooosaaaa moment. But there are those times when letting loose is just unavoidable. When that happens, you best flee.

  

7. I was quite an artist as a kid. I could draw (mostly cars) exactly as they were, down to the finest of details. My dad once asked me to draw his car on an A3 paper, and he had that drawing framed and hang on the wall in his office (my folks love me, eh?) I’ve always been a BMW fanatic and I once harboured ambitions of one day being the head of design at BMW. Seeing that Chris Bangle and Adriaan van Hooijodonk have really messed up the design at BMW, maybe I should have followed that career path. Coz seriously, WTF is this?

2007 BMW Concept CS

2007 BMW Concept CS

I could stick a BMW badge on my arse and it’d still look better then THIS!!

So who hasn’t been tagged yet? Kayliz, Kipepeo, Shiroh, Betty, Unyc.  Do the needful.

The second tag was to give 5 reasons why I blog.

1. At the time when I started blogging, it provided a good distraction from all the fakism and immaturity that I has to contend with from the idiots in my real life.

2. To rediscover the writing talent that I once had years ago. Clearly I’m not getting any better!

3. To express myself in ways that I’m not able to do in real life. You’d be very surprised to find that the dude behind this Archer facade is quite sensitive and emotional (was until very recently a lovesick fool!) And sometimes very introverted and reserved.

4. A good number of the blogs that I read have shaped the way that I think about several issues, and that has helped me to mature intellectually and to open up my mind to various viewpoints. It’s a wonder why then I subject my poor readers to 5 bob opinions and nonsense every week! And you guys keep coming back for more!!!! That’s the funniest thing.

5. Now this is getting tough! Where do I find a fifth reason why I blog? OK, since my readership demands for a post every week! Gotta keep guys happy!! Can the following characters follow suit and give us 5 reasons why they blog.  

Aco, Methu, Devious, Movie Buff, Kirima.

What’s on my playlist?

Stomp your feet – The Crumpster

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