Thursday, 26 May 2016

IGNORE THE INNER MAN AT YOUR OWN PERIL.

 All of us can remember that time that we went against our gut feeling and ended up in tears.Its a real voice that tries to steer our decisions to the right direction,to the most profitable and beneficial option.Its not a shout,no.Its not like anything you've heard before.Its gentle,considerate and loving.Its sounds like its from a source that knows all there is to know about us.Its more audible than the loudest shout and even though sometimes we ignore it,we can't really forget the moment it spoke.It leaves lasting memories.And over the years,i have had reasons to believe that if one has the guts to follow it through,its rarely wrong.Its promise may take time to come,but if we stay the path,they always comes to pass.Its the safe option,where every risk and danger,is covered.But many times,like i said,we go against it and end up wrecked on the freeway.

'Smitten'. 

You are young and you possess this very hot blood that your entire clan is known for.You have a bright future and this is not a muguka-induced illusion.You really do.Your first job rakes in six figures a month and before long, you are known by your first name in all the city's top entertainment joints.Even the entertainment magazines have ran a feature of you,placing you firmly in the most eligible bachelors top ten list.Ignore the fact that you probably have no intention of ever getting married,because you are suspicious of this wilful sentence that begins with a party.This opens a ladies windfall and soon you are trotting around with a half-black, half-white damsel with a strange 'tweng',never mind the rumor that she actually comes from Kitale,a place that doubles up as the country's food basket and consumer,meaning it consumes all that it produces.This is not only a complete departure from what your mama taught you,its also in direct collision course, with a small voice that keeps equating  you to a zebra that is dating a crocodile.You dismiss her insatiable appetite for wild parties as a youth problem that will go away by the time she hits thirty,but the small voice is constantly reminding you of an English saying that has to do with a man digging their own graves,meaning we are talking graveyards here.

You ignore the voice as being the result of a naive and unsophisticated past,and before you know it,all her leopard-spotted underwear are hanging in your bedroom as she marks her territory.By the time you hit forty,you are known as the guy who dozes at the bar counter,because you are too scared to go to your own home.The damsel has since transformed into a full grown dinosaur that hates pot-bellied men,of which you've now become.You remember the small voice you ignored and you order another beer because that's the only way you can avoid crying in public.

Ill-Fated Journey

Its been raining donkeys and horses.You know that junction near your home becomes impassable when it rains,because water from the nearby hills first converge there before deciding where to go.For some reason,something inside you keeps discouraging you from picking your car keys.Its a feeling you can't really describe,but you know its against you driving out,at that particular moment.But you go against it because you have to go for a hair-cut,and half an hour later,a break-down vehicle is spotted headed towards that deadly spot,because you are now in someone's farm.You are wondering why you ignored that little voice,that red light,so to speak,because you have no idea how the car drove itself out of the road,past the barriers,and into a farm.Now you have to be pulled out,and because of you,Christmas has come early for the mechanic.
You can swear something was against you driving out at that particular moment,but you don't know what.You escape without any physical injuries,but i wish i could say the same about your sleek German machine.The moment you see it lifted up by those breakdown chains like a bull that's about to do the unthinkable,then pulled away,the same lifting and pulling motion is happening to your entire insides,because this 'baby',cost you both an arm and a leg.But you can't do much about the situation now,for it has already happened.

The Lottery

This betting game has been going on for ages.You are perfectly aware of the addictive nature of gambling,and for that reason,you have totally stayed out of its way,the way a cat stays away from mud.You have no desire of going to any rehab in this lifetime like some people you know, so you stay out danger.And you have successfully done so,until this day,when your chic urges you to pick the numbers for her, because she's busy cooking dinner.You remind her of your new year's resolve to stay away from gambling. She picks the numbers,swearing divorce if she wins,never mind the fact that you aren't even legally married.A small voice tells you to pick the darned numbers one last time,but you dismiss it as a voice from the pits of hell.

 A week later,you are sitting in the audience as your girlfriend makes her way to pick the giant dummy check,that introduces her as the country's latest millionaire,having won with the opportunity you let go.You want to cry,not because she's won,but because you actually had the chance in your hands.Now its the survival of the relationship that you are worried about,since common sense dictates that unless you become a millionaire yourself within the next one week,she'll be inclined to go in search of fellow millionaires(the males one),for only they can give her 'sound investment advice'. Birds of the same feather flock together,she will say,as she wheels her last bag out of your servants quarters.She's now become a firm believer of that and other English sayings that encourage women to 'step',if for nothing else,to be seen as 'strong,free and liberated',especially in single women's gatherings.
Maybe that small voice wasn't from the pits of hell,after all.But its rather late for you now,because the lottery game picked its last winners the previous weekend,and it wasn't anybody you know.

The New Craze

The enlightened,of which you are one,are rushing in droves to invest in the quail,arguing its more profitable than that piece of small land in the town's outskirts.Every thing you have read in school is in favor of the land option and the small voice is screaming at you to ignore the quail direction. But you are a firm believer in 'hitting the metal when its hot' and you go for the quail,sinking hundreds of thousands in it.
The piece of land is snapped up by an 'unwise' investor before you buy your first batch of quails and months later,no one will touch a quail egg with a plastic ten foot pole.The craze has left,exactly the way it came.Because you ignored that small voice,the money is gone and now you have to subject your loving family to endless quail dinners,because there is nothing else you can do with your birds.You should have known you live in a country of one craze after the other,and after the quail,who knows,maybe its going to be time for the lizard,because of the medicinal value of its head,especially the yellow-headed ones,if boiled for exactly forty and a half minutes.(If no one gives Loliondo,he of the healing waters fame, even half a thought anymore,then surely all will come to end).You followed the craze,against advice from the tiny little voice,and now its time for you to pay,between your clenched teeth.

Wrong Turn.

This is most common among people who find themselves doing jobs they find unsatisfying,meaning they are the majority of Kenya's workforce.That morning the still voice urged you to wait for the School of Journalism intake,you ignored it and rushed off to the K.D.F recruitment because all youths in your village were turned on by the uniform.Besides,you had overheard that girl you had a crush on, express her undying admiration for the men in uniform.You mistook a brief obsession with the real thing,a crush for love.A year later you are an unwilling soldier and no amount of training will get you ready for the battlefield.Every time you watch war movies,you suffer endless nightmares,and its on record you peed in your uniform once,when they asked you to carry the Rocket Propelled Grenade to the Armory.Because you are handling arms,when you were made for pens and cameras.
Or the office clerk who should have been an athlete,but took a wrong turn at some point despite protests from the little voice.Now the chair irritates you and the sight of a computer key-board gives you goose-bumps because you find it grossly repulsive.The thought of the office layout sends you on a binge of illegal substance consumption, because that's not your environment.The ideal work-day becomes torturous because one bright morning,you chose something else over a gut feeling that would have led you to peace and fulfillment.And it wouldn't have been,had you given it more thought,more consideration,rather than dismissing it with a cup of Keg beer,bought on credit.
 
The examples are not about to dry up.But i have to stop now before i irritate someone who ignored the still voice and is now living 'behind closed doors' of Kamiti or Shimo La Tewa,sending dumb texts to an enlightened public,that refuse to buy the cheap con ploys.
If i knew the source of that still small voice,trust me i would tell you.But many times,its the difference between success and failure,even life and death.Trusting your gut feeling,will sometimes make all the difference.Sometimes it makes no sense.But its there.And you can't run away from it,even if you wanted to.Maybe its your guardian angel speaking,maybe its God Himself,who knows.Next time you have to make a choice,take time to listen to that small,pure gentle voice from deep inside you.It may lead you to a treasure!.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

FROM THE HORSES MOUTH-The Boda Boda Rider.

 I have been in this business for the last decade.I have seen all manner of bikes come and go.With their riders.The bike to the junkyard,the rider six feet under.Or more, depending on the mood of the grave diggers.Sometimes a fela's so unpopular,the diggers will dig seven feet, instead of six,in case the son-of-a-goon decides to perform a 'grave-break',like Lazarus of the Holy book.I have learnt to keep my peace,to let you pass if you are in such a hurry,for many times i have done so,only to find the 'overtaker' mixed up with metal,only a few meters ahead.Then, they are wheeled back to the opposite direction,from which just a few moments ago,they were fleeing.

I have seen colleagues give their very lives to this business.I have seen others get theirs from it.It depends on whom you decide to study,i guess.By and large though,we have remained unappreciated.We are suspects of every wrong-doing in the society.True,there will always be a bad apple here,and another there.Just like there are bad apples within the force created specifically to eliminate bad apples- the police force.(My personal belief is,if the police force was made up of apples,by now they would have all turned to bitter lemons). The collective condemnation we suffer is painful.Especially because on almost all counts,we are innocent.To prove my point,here is just a brief look at the very selfless roles we perform for the society.

The Unofficial Custodians Of Gossip.

 We have come a long way to usurp this role.On realization that the Salonists were not very good custodians,we voluntarily offered to yank that role from them,on behalf of other peace-loving citizens.You could not trust the salonist with gossip.Because she would only manage to stay silent on a matter,as long as there was no other human being on sight.The moment one shows up,trust the salonist to spill all the beans,plus the maize.Many a household have been broken this way.Because the Salonist wouldn't keep her mouth shut.A salonist with a new secret,is like a balloon that has taken in maximum capacity.You prick it with a feather and it explodes.She has this funny look on her face,that will always prod you to ask a question,so she can squeal.When she has some new piece of gossip,she bulges on the forehead, with the words 'inbox' blinking to a stranger from a mile away,begging to be clicked open.
On realization of that,we have officially usurped that role of gossip custodian.Taking the role from her hasn't been easy,though.But finally,after numerous attempts, i can report success.She did resist,yes. And the fight has been brutal.But we knew we were winning the moment ladies embraced the boda boda as their favorite means of transport.All we needed to do was win them over,get them to talk.Soon,they were offloading to us all that they used to offload to the salonist.

Now we know who slept where and with whom.We know who's house erupted into a wrestling match at night,moments after we dropped our clients.We know which households didn't just erupt into a wrestling match,but exploded into a full-blown heavyweight category boxing match,complete with the ear-biting technique,invented and perfected by a fading 'Iron Mike',back in the nineties,after dismantling all and sundry for a decade.We know which men(And there are many) are battered by their wives.We even know of a man who has slept on the couch for the last one decade,having been served with a conjugal rights revocation letter before the current president took office.These many things we know,yet we keep our mouths shut.We desist from spreading rumors unnecessarily because we are peace-loving citizens,who not only pay our taxes before time,but also pay more than is required of us by law.Willingly. We go out of our way,to ensure households remain as firm as a Captain bike,because we understand that a society that squeals on its customers,is a society hurtling down the road to vehicles.And no one wants that.Where everyone is driving their own cars,because they couldn't trust the Boda boda rider,that is detrimental to national growth.So we've embraced honesty.Our ears are open,every time of day.You will accuse us of not brushing our teeth and having foul-breaths,buts its actually you,who do almost all the talking.That means,if anyone's breath is foul,it might as well be yours.But we don't tell you that now,do we.Ours is a listening role,a rather passive role.

Spare Boyfriends

This is going to hit men hard.But it needn't be so.See,sometimes a man is rather too busy in nation-building activities.Sometimes a man is almost always away in all these important functions,especially now that devolution is taking root,and every meeting is blamed on devolution.A guy will fly to the Seychelles with his twenty-year old mistress,and still pretend to be in a devolution conference in Kisumu.People who are this busy need not be bothered with questions like why wherever he goes,network issues seem to follow them.These kind of men need their peace.Or the economy of our country will crash.Our very lives depend on the amount of peace these men will have.

You do not want to disturb a man who is in a devolution conference that has gone on all the way to three in the morning.Especially if he shows up,in those wee hours, with a hoarse voice,meaning he must have been the lead speaker.That's how much this nation depends on him.So we offer alternatives for their girlfriends and spouses,for the sake of our country's economic goals,especially now that we wish to hit double digits,this coming financial year.So understand,that most of these things we do out the love that we have for the nation.Patriotism.That's the word.We have to work collectively,if we wish to move this country to the next level.And if anyone realizes that,it sure must be us,the boda boda riders.Trust me,we don't stink as much as the media people have portrayed us.Or we wouldn't be playing the above role so flawlessly,and to so many. You don't hug a stinking pole the way most of you lady customers hug us from behind,pretending to be as scared as a rabbit.This is one of those lies that have been carefully choreographed by our business competitors,whom we are gradually driving out of business-the Taxi.

Voluntary Suspects

Ask the cops,then you'll know how much easier their work has become because of us.That's because whenever there is a major crime,and the ill-equipped cops have no clue where to start their investigations,all they have to do is show up to our sheds,and pick a few of us up to "assist with investigations". Next thing you know,we are paraded to court,then later,acquitted for lack of evidence and the cops,who hate investigations by the way,can resume their daily fattening routines and lifestyle before beer runs out at the brewery.Simple.Their work has become so much easier now,yet there is hardly anyone willing to give credit where its due. We provide ready suspects for a crime that is yet to happen,a suspect for an assassination that is yet to take place.

We are the society's willing sacrificial lambs But we will keep playing that role because we realize,the role of sacrificial lamb,is not only a calling,it is holy as well. Never tire of doing a good thing,they say.So you can trust us to remain committed to our calling,even if it means doing so by force.Contrary to what many of you believe,there is actually such a thing as volunteering by force.Mostly that is what we do,since most of you are too naive to know what's best for you.

Platform For Ladies To 'Tease'.

Look.You have been alive for three decades straight.You believe you are an attractive lady.Yet the only person who has ever looked your way,the way a man is supposed to look at a woman,is the guy who carries groceries for customers at Marikiti.And even he, did it once when stoned to high heavens.He's never quite looked your way again,despite numerous winks and suggestive overtures from your side.Now you are beginning to wonder if,from the moment you step out of your house,you turn into a spirit that people can't see with their naked eyes.Men seem to ignore you.You've read that they are supposed to be dogs that will take anything to bed,as long as she is breathing.Well, anything except you.You are beginning to develop a dislike for them.Men and dogs,including the innocent chiwawa,that knows nothing about dating or hating.

For these kind of ladies,we understand their pain.And we provide a perfect forum,from where they can display all her wares,as we cruise through town.Men will ogle and whistle,for the skirt has deliberately been pulled a few inches upwards.By the time she alights,the lady will be feeling much better,its therapeutic.She will have confirmed that she is not an invisible spirit after all,and there is still hope to nail herself a real man.Then she will sleep much better,and hope that the spell continues even when she is walking the streets.Some women will be irritated by male attention,because they've never had a problem getting it.Others would give anything to have all those male dogs,seated by the wayside chewing green cud,to at least whistle even disrespectfully towards her.You see,then,how helpful we are to such.We help restore her confidence and self-pride. And we ask for nothing in return.We don't even talk about it when we get back to the shed,no.We keep our mouths shut,only speaking when spoken to.

Punching Bags.

Some men have never had the privilege of giving an order all their lives.They have lived the life of a lion that can't hunt.They have had to watch events unfold,without having ever had a direct input to it.No one answers to them.The wife long 'grew horns',and no longer sits up when the poor bloke coughs.She doesn't even stir,because the hunter has brought nothing home.But you can't keep blaming the lion for the annual wildebeest migration that leaves one section of the park without sufficient prey.Its the economy,not the man.So,though battered to submission by the economy,traces of a lion can still be found in most men.But ladies don't seem to understand that,and will take very little nonsense from a man who's pockets have been plucked out.

So,whenever they can,these men take it out on us.They bark orders to us,the way they wish they were doing in the work-place.Sadly,at the work-place and at home,these kind of men are usually the recipients of orders,not the givers.So we accord them the only opportunity in life that will make them feel better.We obey without question,save for a few occasions when they have trouble paying for services rendered and we have to turn them upside down,so coins can trickle down.If we weren't there to receive this voluntary battering,where would such men turn?Who knows maybe they would turn to trees.Because a lion is still a lion even when he's been rained on,and whether there are gazelles in the vicinity or not,eating fresh meat is not negotiable.We avert untold psychological catastrophes,by being the uncomplaining punching bags to these kind of men.

So there you go.I hope from today you will accord us some respect.Without us,you people would suffer untold misery in your day to day lives.We willingly immerse ourselves in winter jackets,in tropical African weather,so your lives can be better.Do not blame everything on us.Sometimes we make our mistakes.But then again,so do you.We are an important addition to your life.And we will keep volunteering for those roles above,and many many more that will best remain unmentioned for now.

But for now,i have to go pick up some damsel downtown,before she opts for the wretched taxi.See you around.