random vibes


I may have mentioned before that I’m a pretty easygoing chap, I get along with people from all walks of life quite effortlessly. (Well, except feminists. They’re just stupid) And some of those people include those who most people tend to either ignore or not pay much attention to. Watchies and househelps. The people who we pay peanuts and expect to sacrifice their lives to keep our homes and property safe, guard family secrets, and do all sorts of things that fall out of their (unspecified) job descriptions.

It pays that most watchies tend to be from where I’m from, so getting along with them is rather easy. They never ask for much, just that once in a while you slip them a small note for them to enjoy a mug of their favourite brew over the weekend.

Purchased loyalty, I call it. Once you’ve bought someone’s loyalty, it becomes very easy to get them to do favours for you. They know which side their bread is buttered. And trust me, every once in a while, you’ll need favours that only a watchie or a mboch can provide (get your minds out of the gutter pris!)

In high school, I was friends with most of the cooks, and they used to swing me extra slices for breakfast, or a serving of the “special diet” that was given to students who had special dietary requirements. After high school, I was friends with the watchie who would help me skive the parents car without uttering a word. At most of my pals digz, I made friends with the watchies/mboch so they would cover for us whenever we’d get into mischief.

Just after high school, I’d skive the car on weekends to hanye, and naturally I’d have to pick up a few friends. Bribing the watchie was essential to the escape plan. I remember helping my pal skive digz several times. I’d drive to her digz and text her when I was entering the estate. She’d tiptoe out of the digz in her pyjamas so that no one would suspect a thing if she was spotted going outside. Then I’d bribe the watchie and he’d quietly open the gate and let her out, on condition that I dropped her back before his shift ended. She’d then take off the robe and reveal a stunning outfit in readiness for the night’s mwenjoyos! Before 6am the next morning, I’d drop her drunk ass home, where she’d change into her pyjamas once more and deposit her outfit with the watchie who would make sure it finds its way to the laundry, then she’d sneak into the house.

Househelps on the other hand, unless you get one of those brainless ones from the village, are very easy to get along with. And they were important back then coz if I had a girl over at my place, or if I was at a girl’s house, the househelp would have to alert us in good time if the parents were to check in unexpectedly so that I could make my escape. The number of close shaves I had, thanks to the househelp…!

About three years ago, my girlfriend and I were caught in a compromising position in the back seat of my car, in a very dark area. Well, we were in the back seat, all dressed up, having a post-shag cigarette, But one doesn’t need to have a degree in molecular biology to figure out why we were there in the first place. The cops harassed us for a while, threatening to arrest us and have us arraigned in court first thing on Monday morning for public indecency. Unfortunately I didn’t have any money left to shut them up, and neither did she. One of them confiscated my car keys and my drivers licence. Upon opening it, he burst into laughter. “Wewe ndio brother wa Mishale?

“Eh…”

(not knowing whether it’d be a good thing or a bad thing coz my older bro is quite the crook)

“…ndio.”

“Si ungesema pwana! Huyo ni beste yangu tena sana! Huwa tunakunywa na yeye hapo police canteen! Kiplagat, wachana na huyu, ni friend yetu pwana! Sasa wewe Mishale mdogo fanya hivi, leo tutakuachilia lakini kesho tuko off duty kuanzia 5pm. Make sure upitie hapo canteen utununulie moja mbili alafu tutasahau hio story, sawa?”

I’ve never been so relieved in my life. See, girlfriend’s old man is…a beast! He’d have had my liver for lunch had that story gotten to him. So you can bet your ass I was at the police canteen at 5pm sharp the next day, armed with adequate cash in 200 bob notes and bought rounds for them cops, and we had a good laugh recounting the events of the previous night. We’ve remained good friends till today, our friendship cemented by occasional drinks at the usual watering hole. You need to have a few cops in your phone book, you never know when you’ll need them to come sort you out, and those two have, severally.

Normally I don’t bother with bouncers at clubs coz most of them tend to be quite daft to be honest. But some are really great guys. Take Izzo or Bena at Crooked Qs. The number of times they’ve saved my diabs from a fight or three, or organized for someone to look after my car, or allowed me to get in a pal who didn’t have the required age on their ID card.

The advantage of purchased loyalty is that as long as you keep your end of the deal (financial incentive) then they’ll keep theirs. And they tend to be extremely loyal.

The problem with purchased loyalty is that sometimes the receiving party tends to fleece you. Many are the times that watchies have asked me to contribute towards hospital/funeral expenses for their relatives. They produce well-worn A4 sized contribution forms and proceed to plead with you to contribute handsomely towards meeting the expenses. Currently, my bodaboda guy is on my diabz coz I “promised” him 500 bob last week towards his wife’s cousin’s hospital expenses. I’m a broke ass college student bana!

Failure to be nice to your watchie can result in the following scenario that I heard about a few years ago.

This guy (let’s call him Alphonce) was fond of sneaking out in his father’s car on weekends. The escape plan involved sneaking his two pals into the compound late at night, where they’d push his father’s car out of the garage, out of the compound and they’d only start it when they were a considerable distance away from the house. Obviously the watchie would have to be part of the plan, otherwise it’d never work.

But Alphonce was always rude to the watchie and never gave him kitu kidogo for his cooperation, yet he (the watchie) put his job on the line to help Alphonce skive the moti. So this one time, his pals came over, the watchie opened the gate as usual. They pushed the car out of the garage and turned it onto the driveway and pushed it towards the gate like they usually did. When they got there, they whispered an order to the watchie to open the gate, but he stood there, arms crossed, and didn’t budge. Dude comes out of the car, pulls out a couple of 50 bob notes and flings them at the watchie and again orders him to open the gate, and again he refuses. The two became very pissed off, and they began to negotiate with the still-silent watchie.

After a very frustrating few minutes where the boys were reduced to begging, the watchie removed his head scarf and cap to reveal…BABA ALPHONCE!!

The three boys quietly pushed the car back into the garage, the two accomplices left and Alphonce received a proper hiding from his old man.

Be good to your watchie/househelp/shamba boy/tea girl/receptionist this week.

Photo of the day

stairsfail

If I said that you’re fucked, that’s actually be a compliment, coz this is waaaaay beyond fucked!!

What’s on my Playlist?

Can I come for tea – Aaron Rimbui

I turned a year older three weeks ago. (Contrary to speculation, I’m still in my 20s, and I will be for a few more years). Even before then, I realized that age is not just about what numbers appear in one’s official documents, it’s also about one’s state of mind. I’ve slowly been losing interest in several of the things that I used to do some years ago, and I’ve also began to think differently about other things.

1. Going out (The Hanye)

I look back at the days just after I cleared high school and the years after that. Back then I used to party all weekend. Not a single weekend would find me indoors unless I was unwell. Friday nights at the local was standard procedure. So was Saturday afternoons. Normally it’d start out with “I’m going to watch football”. I pity my poor mother, coz once she heard that, she knew that I’d be gone till the next day, leaving her to stay up all night worrying. I’d link up with the boys at the pub and catch the Premier League matches showing that afternoon, followed by frantic bar hopping and copious consumption of alcohol all night, along with all the mischief that comes with the territory. I’d get home way after sunrise the next day and sleep all day.

Nowadays, I find it close to impossible to stay awake past 1am! And that’s after hitting the hanye at 11pm! I rarely have more than 4 drinks because now I tend to get high much faster than before. I don’t like me when I’m drunk coz I tend to be very loud (don’t we all?) Hangovers take forever to pona! To hell with that, I’ve retired! Westlands nimewaachia watoto. I’ve only been out twice this year, once was here and the second was on my birthday weekend when my pals forced me to go out and celebrate.

So what’s my ideal Saturday night? Hot coffee, cookies, easy listening music and a good movie. Or I read the Saturday magazine. In fact, the only newspaper I buy is the Saturday Nation. I quickly check out the sports page and throw it away when I’m done. Who cares about politics? Then I save the Saturday magazine for later. I have a specific order in which I read the articles. First I start with Lizzy’s World (what, una shida?) then Man Talk, then Flakes, the perennial male bashing column Female Speak, then I finish up with Busted. The rest of the paper is not targeted towards me. This past weekend, none of my favourite columns was there! There was no Man Talk, Lizzy’s World or Busted! I was thoroughly disappointed. I think I ripped the magazine to shreds.

2. Smoking

My older brother influenced me to experiment with cigarettes while I was in high school. It was cool at the time coz all the young chaps were doing it. But mine was more of a show off thing, I guess I could call myself a casual smoker. I only started smoking proper in 2004 after getting rejected by the athletics coach in my former university. See, I’ve always been an athlete. I’ve got several medals and certificates from primary and high school, and it wouldn’t be a far fetched dream to think I could one day be one of the fastest sprinters in the world. After that bitch crushed my ambitions and threw me out of her office, the first thing I bought at the tuck shop adjacent to the sports stadium was a pack of cigarettes. And that’s how it’s been ever since. Before long I was hooked, and a ciggy became an escape for everything. Stressed? Have a ciggy. Drinking? Have a ciggy. Just had a good shag? Have a ciggy. Dropping nukes over Baghdad? By all means, have a ciggy!

I don’t want to go into the rest of my life as a smoker. I don’t handle stress very well so smoking has been my escape. So I’ve got to find other ways to handle stress. I set April 1st as the date when I’d quit for good, and I’d been working on cutting down during March. As soon as April got here, I was able to stay ciggy free for 48 hours before realizing that cold turkey is a bitch! The withdrawal symptoms are SICK! I find myself fidgeting, subconsciously puffing away on a pencil. So I decided to have only one cigarette a day. The only problem is finding the suitable time to have the cigarette. I think I need to invest in nicotine patches.

3. Temper, temper

It’s not a secret that I have a very short fuse. I’ve blogged about it before (I think) and I’ve had to see a shrink in the past for anger management. That actually helps, coz nowadays it takes quite a lot to piss me off. I’ve some to accept that not everyone thinks on the same wavelength as I do, so they may not know that what they’re doing is really testing my patience.

Shit does go wrong sometimes. Take for example Saturday (two days ago) about 2am. There I was going over my notes for an exam that morning. A drunk pal of mine was passing outside my flat and decided to disturb me, seeing as my lights were on. He called and called, but I ignored him. The idiot decided to throw stones at my window. At that point I got pissed off and went to the balcony to tell him to foxtrot oscar (yaani to fcuk off) The guy kept throwing stones even after I told him to get his drunk ass to bed, so I snapped, went into the kitchen, grabbed an empty 500ml Coke bottle and hurled it furiously at him. Ana bahati tu kwa vile ilimchapa kisogo. If it had hit the target, I’m sure I’d have broken his nose! Funny thing is that the next evening, he had no recollection of how he got the huge bump in his head!!

4.Letting go of grudges

I’ve been told that I’m a pretty vengeful person. Apparently it would not be in anyone’s best interests to cross me coz I keep grudges, and once I do, I won’t rest until the day I exert my revenge in a fitting manner, or karma steps in to do her part. But something happened three week ago that made me realize that I need to change my ways.

A former high school classmate and his father were brutally murdered by the Mungiki on March 31st . They were carjacked, shot dead, mutilated and their bodies dumped in a ditch. This horrific incident shocked me like very few incidents do.

During the four years I was in school with this chap, we were never friends, we’d clash quite often until our mutual resentment was openly evident. We preferred to keep our own space. That was many years ago. Since then, neither of us ever made the effort to reach out to the other to make peace. In fact, I simply forgot that he existed, until I ran into him in a small café in October or November last year. Greetings were exchanged, and somehow we started talking. It was tense, I could feel that he was equally as confused about why I would be talking to him, knowing how little regard I had for him.

Truth be told, we clashed over very childish issues which I can’t even remember now. We ran into each other severally after that and made small talk, we exchanged numbers, though neither of us ever called or texted the other. On the fateful day that he met his death, we met briefly and chatted. We talked about the riots in K.U and his frustration that it would postpone his graduation. I sympathized with him because I’m in the same situation as he is. We should have been done with campus years ago, but due to several factors, we’re still in school while our compatriots are well established career wise.

We made plans to hook up over the weekend and have a few drinks, and we also agreed that it was time we solved our differences and moved on with our lives. Sadly, that was not to be.

It made me think about the people that I harbour useless grudges against. I wouldn’t like for something like this to happen to me or to any of them, only for the survivor to live with the guilt that there’s a lot that could have changed if only they had taken the initiative to extend that olive branch. I know it’s been said that conflict resolution is easier among men than it is among, women but the truth is that men have huge egos. It’s not easy to humble oneself and reach out to the other person and make peace. But that’s what I need to do right now.

Making peace with others also includes seeking forgiveness from those who I may have wronged in the past.

I could go on and on but I think I’ll stop here coz If I write any more, I’m sure you’ll fall asleep.

SHUJAA OF THE WEEK

If we have Fokojembe of the week, it’s only fair that we should have the opposite, right?

chelseatrainingpressconferenceqrjqnjbdsysl1

Name: Guus Hiddink

Who is he?: Caretaker Manager, Chelsea FC.

Reason: Kicking Liverpool out of the Champions League , and Arsenal out of the F.A Cup in a space of four days, (and getting Didier Drogba to actually play football) this man has completely turned around Chelsea’s season. Under that other ka-fellow (whatever his name was) Chelsea was on the brink of a total collapse, but now we stand on the verge of winning the F.A Cup, semi-finals of Champions League and if miracles do still happen, the Premiership. (though that’s a long shot) Hiddink has restored the confidence in the players, got them firing on all cylinders which has resulted in only one loss in 12 matches.

If Guus Hiddink can deliver just one trophy this season, I’ll be overjoyed.

It’s a pity that he’ll be gone after the F.A Cup final on May 30th.

What’s on my Playlist?

Kidum – Kichuna

Sunday night was the grand finale of KTN’s reality show “The Presenter”, a 16 week job interview where one contestant would get the opportunity to work at KTN as a presenter. I’ve been following the show for many weeks now (missing a few episodes in the process) but last night’s takes the cake for poor production.

KTN ran countless adverts all day to hype up the finale and to urge viewers to cast their votes before the 8:15 pm deadline. Come 7:35pm, it all started to fall apart. The finalists arrived at Laico Regency in a Mercedes Benz limo, then out steps Lilian Muli in some tacky blue evening dress that casts the spotlight squarely on her instead of the contestants. It’s not all about you, Lilian. Besides, that ka outfit was not fitting for the occasion.

The production, after a whole day’s worth of advertising and hyping up, was shoddy. Very shoddy. The background music was so loud that one couldn’t hear the hosts (Fareed Khimani and Janet Mbugua – who kept giggling uncontrollably) sometimes the mike went off. Me thinks KTN should have outsourced it to a River Road producer or an ambitioius 14 year old with a disposable camera.

The Standard Group Deputy Chairman Paul Melly nearly ruined the show by blabbering endlessly on the achievements of KTN and taking the focus away from the event. It was really difficult to make out mid shrubbz, what exactly his point was.

There should have been some involvement of the other contestants who did not make it to the final. Just as in other elimination reality TV shows (The Apprentice, Survivor) I think their opinions on the strengths and weaknesses of the finalists should have been sought.

I have my reservations about the elimination process. How on earth someone like James Karani made it all the way to the top 3 is beyond me. There are several other contestants who were more qualified than he was e.g Raymond and Cindy. Karani should have been dropped very early in the series, especially after the stinging criticism he received from the other contestants about his arrogance and inability to work in a team. Something was definiely amiss somewhere.

The Yu CEO (whatever his name is) messed things up even further. After being handed the envelope bearing the name of the 2nd runner up and the winner, ata kama ni ku-create suspense, you don’t start to blabber on and on about your bloody network! Ati

this is a very difficult decision…

what is there to decide?? There’s only one name on the bloody card!

It’s almost as difficult as the decisions we made when we came up with our tariff plan…

Oh shut up already!

For a mobile phone network that sponsored this reality show, I expected more prizes of maana. A handsome cash reward should have been offered. Edith, the overall winner got some tu shady 5,000 bob phone and a trophy. The Yu CEO added:

You can now make calls for 50 cents a minute. If you load 20 shilling credit, you can talk for 12 minutes!

Cheapskate. With the kind of salary that Edith will receive at KTN, does this kubaff honestly expect her to top up her phone with 20 bob? And that calculation doesn’t add up!

But the worst came after Edith had been declared the winner, Paul Melly directed that since he has the power, the 2nd runner up (Karani) “should be given a role within the KTN family.”  Huwaat??! Then due to a bit of pressure, he was forced to offer the same to Koome. Earlier on, Koome was criticized for his dreadlocks. Very little was said about his other ability. So one is left to wonder if the only reason he lost out was coz of his hairstyle? Why then was he allowed into the show if he could be allowed to go this far, only to be criticized about his hair?? Seriously, Njoroge “Kyudos” Mwaura should get focused sometimes.

And if all three contestants eventually got employed by KTN, it beats the purpose of having an elimination process. Isn’t the point of this to be a winner gets all? What is there to separate Edith from Koome and Karani save for that cheap phone and the trophy?

The final decision was to be made by the votes cast by the viewers. There was no graph to show the total number of votes cast and how many each contestant garnered. This leaves a lot of doubt and one can’t help thinking the whole thing was cooked.

Anyway, I congratulate Edith for winning coz in my honest opinion, she performed way better than any of the other contestants throughout the show. She fully deserved to win.

Let’s just hope that there won’t be a sequel to this reality show.

A.O.B

While on the topic of KTN, whoever came up with that silly android mascot, the theme song and the slogan needs to be shot dead. There’s even a group on Facebook called “I hate that silly KTN robot!”, check it out.

And perhaps Yu should recruit Soulja Boy to be their official mascot. “YUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!”

What’s on my Playlist?

Jumper – Third Eye Blind

I’m sure we all have that black sheep of the family. I know my (extended) family has a few! There’s this young chap I call Cousin Itchy Fingers coz as the name suggests, he just can’t keep his hands away from other people’s stuff. He’s the guy who walks into your house and you immediately hide everything valuable i.e. laptop, MP3 player, sunglassses, flashdisks, CDs, DVDs, electric shaver, wallet, colognes, phones etc. And when he’s finally busted, the chap would pull some seriously emotional shit complete with tears to convince you that he had nothing to do with it, yet most times he’s the only suspect behind some form of misdemeanor or the other.

Cousin Itchy Fingers just finished high school and naturally he’s doing everything that he wanted to do while in school but was always told “ngoja umalize shule kwanza!” But that didn’t stop him from playing truant in school. Every other weekend there were stories of how he was busted trying to sneak out of school through the fence and narrowly avoided death when the watchies almost mistook him for a thief and shot an arrow through his chest. Other times he got suspended for being in school under the influence of alcohol and other illegal substances, or for thumping other boys, petty theft, damaging school property, insulting teachers, skiving class, not doing assignments, extremely poor performance, stealing food from the dining hall…you name it, he’s done it! The only reason why he never got kicked out of school is that his guardian is a very influential figure in the school.

Evidently, Cousin Itchy fingers was not academically gifted. Some time during the April holidays last year, I stumbled upon his report card and the grades would convince you that he’s auditioning for DEF Jam. (Get it?) I once was in his shoes, well, not DEF Jamming, but I got into Form 4 with weak grades. Mine was due to involvement in too many activities. I was in drama, house committees, sports and a myriad of other clubs and societies. I was forced to shed most of these extra-curricular activities and put in extra effort in my studies. I was the chap who was constantly busted reading mwaks under my blanket by candle light. I made friends with guys who I knew would help me out in various subjects. And all my hard work paid off coz come KCSE, not only did I get a very handsome grade, but my school was first overall in the whole country. But do I say?

Anyway, I decided to have a word with Cousin Itchy Fingers. I told him of my situation with the aim of encouraging him to put aside anything that was not contributing towards his masomos. I even bribed him. I told him that if he gets a B- or above, I would spoil him for a month. Pints, the hanye, I’d facilitate some chips for him. And I’d check up on him ever so often to see how his studies were going and he’s say

Mazee, imeingia kichwa mpaka natembea na academic angle of inclination!


But still, he’d call me with some strange requests ati to sambaza his tu-girlfriend some credit so they can flirt during the night. Another time he asked me to find out if I could secure a flat for him for the weekend coz he and his boys wanted to cross with someone’s daughters after chemical warfare. Silly boy. Other times he asked me to M Pesa him cash which I knew was going to contribute towards EABL’s massive profits but I refused.

One evening in October, the chap called me and asked me to M Pesa him 6,000 bob. What the fuck for? He said that some guy had offered him leakage and he wanted to secure it coz without it, he was probably going to fail with spectacular colours. Considering that time of the month, I didn’t have the cash, and I told him that there’s no assurance that the leakage was legit so he might be conned coz everyone knows how desperate candidates are at that time. I thought about it though and kusema kweli, if I had the cash, I’d have given him straight up!

Don’t give me that look! I know it’s a criminal offence, but he’d still find a way to get the cash, and at the time, it was the only way out for him coz everyone knew he was going to flunk.

The day before the exams, Cousin Itchy Fingers called me and said that he had raised the cash and secured the merchandise. See, I told you he’d find a way to get it with or without my help! I advised him to be careful coz he’s go to jail if caught with that material, and also advised him to make the best use of it.

Next day, first paper. He texts me afterwards and says “Leakage 100%!!” Good, good. Same thing the next day. And the next. And every subsequent day until the exams came to an end. He assured me that there was no way he’s score less than an A- in the exam. I knew that was a bit too ambitious, but a B- minimum would have been more realistic.

Exam results came out early last week and I tried to call Cousin Itchy Fingers to find out what he scored. “Samahani, mteja wa nambari uliopiga….” I tried over and over but to no avail. Finally I called his guardian who says the boy disappeared the morning of the results release. As in he knew things were elephant.

“So what was his overall grade?”

“C-“

Wuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!!!! Haki the day I see that boy I’m going to beat the shit out of him! Yaani he had 100% leakage and the best he could do was a C-?? Now what would have happened had he not got the leakage, Daudi Msalabani? (D+)

FOKOJEMBE OF THE WEEK

Archer Mishale

My fridge has been out of commission for the past three or so months. When I put anything in it, it tends to freeze it to ice. Basically it ruins all my food, especially fresh fruit and vegetables so I just switched the damn thing off until the day I decide to repair it. I know that fridge repair is not cheap. Over the weekend I was hanging out with my neighbour and her brother who knows a thing or two about electric appliances. I was bitching to the chic coz she was meant to get me a fundi to have a look at my fridge and she told me to spare about 3000 bob on the upper side, just that every time I asked her what’s up, she’d go like “I forgot, I’ll do that for you over the weekend.” And every weekend she’d forget yet again.

So the brother came over and had a look at my fridge for a few minutes as I stood there observing quietly. He moved it around, had a look at the back, sijui thermostat, sijui nini nini and everything seemed to be in working order. Then he opened the lower part (fridge) and had a look at the temperature gauge tu-knob thingy and it seemed to be working ok too. He opened the freezer and took a peek inside and went like “hmmm….!”

“Mishale, you see this thing over here? It is called a temperature regulation knob. You have it set on full i.e freezing. Therefore it transmits the cold air down to the fridge and freezes everything. If you turn it anti-clockwise like this ***turning the knob very slowly while looking me in the eye**** your fridge should work perfectly!”

Yaani all these months my fridge has been dead coz of a silly tu-knob???

What’s on my Playlist?

Dreadlock Holiday – 10cc

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