This will be a long post.
I recently read an interview of a certain Kenyan writer and to be honest I was blown away by his reading culture. The guy’s articulation of literary works turned me on meeen! I felt so challenged to read more. Last Wednesday evening, I attended ‘Reading: The Selected Works Of Tony Mochama’ at Goethe Insitute together with my friend Misare Njagah (I always call him by his first name, Willies). Tony Mochama is one of Kenya’s prolific writers, poet and lawyer turned journalist, popularly known as Smitta Smitten. Willies and I had earlier agreed on WhatsApp that we would not seat next to each other at the event, dude is such a bully. However when I got to the event, I found myself seated next to a guy who looked a lot like him and after closely analyzing this guy, I realized I was actually seated next to Misare Njagah! Lawd! Apparently, he could not stay till the end of the event (he is always is a hurry to go somewhere), so he waited for Tony Mochama (apparently they know each other on personal levels, dude knows people) to arrive then leave after buying some books.
So when the man of the evening arrived, Willies bought me a book, then quickly left after a brief chat with Tony. I just realized that I never get to thank this dude because our friendship is built on the solid rock of bullying and disagreeing, but Willies I do celebrate you, even with all your bragging and opinions. Thanks for being a loyal reader and critic of this blog. The support you gave me during my dad’s demise was just amazing. Thanks for the book baba, but still, don’t seat next to me in the next event we attend together, kiherehere na bragging ndo sipendi mimi!
The event had a decent attendance, there were creatives of all sorts. The panelists were, two of Kenya’s best writers Kinyanjui Kombani and Nganga Mbugua, renowned publisher John Mwazemba and Radio presenter Mr. Khainga. That was the most amazing discussion of literary works that I had ever attended. There were readers who read excerpts from Tony Mochama’s books. My favorite readings were the ones done by Poet, Adipo Sidang. He read the poem ‘Trading Places’ from Mochama’s book, ‘What If I’m A Literary Gangsta?’ And his own composition, ‘What If?’ I also met Martin Lewis from pepperlife they featured me once on their blog, we had never met in person, till this event. Martin, it was a pleasure, you guys owe me an article, Njaanuary imeisha so stop excuses hehehe! Then there was this camera man who I can’t fail to mention. Dude had some kick ass beard I tell you! Enyewe that beard must be getting trimmed by the same barber who trims Ludacris’ beard, washed with normal, clarifying and volumizing shampoo, then soaked in bentonite clay and activated charcoal mask, conditioned with shea butter and coconut conditioner, then finally rinsed, pat dried, oiled with Jamaican black castor oil at the roots and coconut oil at the middle and tips then styled accordingly wueh!
Anyway guys, the series continues from last week. When Cecil and Paul called the dogs to the car, I was terrified. Not to the point of screaming……actually I was producing scream-like sounds but they were not screams, just sounds I produce when am scared, but to cut the long story short, I got to the house safely. Cecil then introduced me to Peter, their domestic help, as his girlfriend. Peter was excited to finally meet ‘Cecil’s girlfriend’ but frowned when I busted his bubble by telling him the truth. Cecil’s girlfriend, I can tell you for free girl, Peter is dying to meet you, he will treat you like royalty the day you show up hehehe! He also has a contagious laugh and endless jokes. He could do stand up comedy but he laughs at his jokes most of the time. We retired to bed early.
The following morning I was woken up by Cecil shouting, “Wordpress!!” He’d made delicious mandazis and tea. This day’s plan was to go to the Kenya-Tanzania border at Sirare, then later go clubbing. So, we got ready and by the time we were ready to leave, everyone was settled in apart from Don. I ran back to the house only to find him rummaging through his things, looking for his sunglasses. I should have helped him, but instead I ran out shouting, “Don you don’t have to put on that mascara! How many times have I told you look lovely when natural? Huh?” A few minutes later, the poor thing followed me outside and the look on his face was just priceless, he even made a few jokes about my height just to make himself feel better. We took off and our first stop was at some club in Migori town. Now, we didn’t go there to drink or anything of the sort, we went to check the place out. It was still under construction and it reminded me of the many site meetings I attended with my dad. I loved the concept of the place, they were building a ‘bush club’ like it would be a club in the bush. Here is a picture.
After that we went straight to the border. Like every other border, there was a heavy presence of security guys. I was dying to get to Hon. Maghufuli’s land. You may think am joking but I felt like even the breeze had changed, it was languid and courteous. After taking tons of photos, we spotted one last cool spot where we wanted to take a picture but we figured that it would be prudent to ask for permission first. Cecil quickly nominated Paul and I to go ask the Tanzanian cops for permission. In the gang, Paul and I have the most approachable faces with the most killer smiles but do we say. As we were getting up the stairs to meet the officers, I reached out for my purse, Paul turned to me and asked, “Really Agie! Are you going to bribe the Tanzanian cops? You’re such a Kenyan!” But I responded, “Geez! Am just getting my lip balm, someone needs to smile nicely at these guys you know!” He giggled shaking his head. Anyway the cops kindly told us that we could not take photos at that spot, they were even sweet enough to suggest another spot, “Nendeni mpige picha pale kwa mabango!” I didn’t know what ‘mabango’ were so I asked, “Mabango ni nini?” Paul gave me that, ‘are you kidding me?’ Look, but these cops were like the sweetest guys ever, one of them pointed at a billboard saying, “Pale dada.” We obeyed the cops and took a selfie near the billboard (see the cover photo).
We had planned to club but we were super tired when we got home. I even dozed off on the couch only to wake up the following morning on my bed. None of ze brodas was willing to explain to me how I got to my bed but oh well, we all know it was Don’s work. I had misplaced my ATM card so Paul and Don took me to the bank after breakfast. Finally, I managed to sort my bank problems after a long chat with the bank attendant. As we were leaving the bank Paul asked me if I had exchanged numbers with the banker ati the only time he saw the banker smile was when I was talking to him. Really Paul! Your sister can’t get a Migori bae bila wewe kuuliza maswali za kanjo? Anyway, our next activity for the day was swimming yeeeeiii! We got to the pool and at the reception, I watched Paul and Don mercilessly make the receptionist blush. Guys, that was brutal, you put the poor girl at a very tight spot. Then introducing me as a minor so that you can save on the swimming fee was just uncalled for, you don’t do that to your sister, you just don’t. You guys need to come together changa money and send me something on MPESA then I will think of forgiving that heinous act. Anyway, the deep end of their pool was not so deep so at least a short sister scared of very deep waters here enjoyed herself. Plus the chicken they served at that restaurant was divine!
After swimming, we got home to get ready for a night out. I had not packed a freakum dress and I couldn’t borrow the guys so I had to improvise. Everyone was psyched up and the guys were ready before I could finish filling my first eye brow. Now it was Don’s turn to tell me that I needed no mascara to look beautiful, such a copycat, dude find your own jokes. Paul was the most turnt up in the gang. You should have seen how he had his sweeg on! He was bouncing like he was going to receive his first Grammy Award hehehe! We got to the club that Cecil had recommended. He’d praised the place so much, you’d think he had shares there. The club was not bad, but I still think that their bouncers need to hit the gym a little bit more. I suspect Cecil had bribed the DJ because the guy kept playing Bongo music. We took seats and ordered drinks. There was a certain chic seated on the table beside us who kept checking out our table despite the fact that she had male company. I remember making fun of Don telling him that he was distracting another man’s lady. At some point, Don excused himself to use the bathrooms and when he came back he told me that some random guy offered to buy him a drink. That was super hilarious considering the fact that the drunk guy on the table in front of us, came to our table to talk to Don, specifically.
I am not a good dancer so I don’t usually hit the dance floor at the club, I normally go there to have great conversations, enjoy my drink, annoy the DJ by making a gazillion song requests and sing along to every song so that I can show off diverse taste in music. So you can imagine the shock on me when that chic who was eyeing our table confidently walked to our table and pulled me to the dance floor. She ignored ze brodas, ze fine brodas but chose me! My attempts to free myself from her grip were fruitless. Instead of ze brodas coming to save their sister, they senselessly laughed at poor me. Yaani I came out here hoping to catch the eye of a fine dude but instead, I attracted a pretty chic? And I am straight? Forget I even said that. At the dance floor, this chic introduced herself, but let’s call her Pretty, she had a pretty face. Pretty was super energetic and she kept smiling and telling me that I dance well despite my horrendous moves. That’s what guys who want to chipo you keep telling you anyway.
By jove, I was able to escape from Pretty and as soon as I took my seat, I leaned on Cecil’s shoulder so that Pretty here could recognize that I am straight, maybe I was sending wrong signals. Cecil was still laughing (such a prick) and before I could ask him if we were in the right kind of club, (seriously, a dude had just offered to buy Don and drink, another drunk guy was all over Don, then this chic pulled me to the dance floor) Pretty was already back for round two. My attempts to hold on to Cecil hit a wall, actually, he handed me over to her. This time, Pretty was open about her intentions, apparently, the guy she was with was her brother, and he liked me. She went on to ask me if Cecil was my boyfriend and I clarified to her that the guys I was with were my brothers. You should have seen how relieved she was. Next thing I knew, Pretty had already handed my over to her brother, she even transported my drink from our table and pushed my seat close to her brother. Talk of an arranged union.
Oh boy! At that point I regretted my honesty, I should have lied that Cecil was my boyfriend because, I was not digging Pretty’s brother at all. I felt like he was a tad too lazy, because his conversation starter was, “I like your waist in particular!” This guy sent his sister to tetea for him, then he uses a song lyric on me? Really? Nah fam! Haiwezi! After an awkward conversation and even awkwarder dancing, I had to wrap things up and leave. I timed when Pretty had taken Don to the dance floor (I had long suspected that she was eyeing one of ze brodas) and sneaked back to my seat. Cecil and Paul were laughing like crazy. Here is the thing about Cecil, he likes to make fun of guys hitting on his female cousins, I think he does it subconsciously. In fact he had already given this guy a nickname, ‘Jaslippers’ as the guy was in bathroom slippers. Cecil if this makes you feel any better, then just know I Agnes Opondo, do accept, Jaslippers as my official Migori bae. Happy now?
Since am feeling a liro inspired today, allow me to share two of my favorite quotes from Tony Mochama’s event:
Follow your imagination to its end and without fear
What if the call girls at Koinange Street were angels calling you to heaven?
Have a lovely week ahead guys.