Posted at 8:47 am , on June 4, 2018
I remember an easier time, when Thika Superhighway was just Thika Road. Nothing was super about it, not even the traffic. We were regulars at a bar and lounge just before you get to Kahawa Wendani, I cannot recall the name. Next to the bar and lounge was a small timber yard, also memory fails me on the name of that timber company. It was so tiny, you would have thought they dealt toothpicks. This was a time when we were young, living in Nairobi with our hearts filled with endless adrenaline and possibility.
We worked and we drunk. Sometimes, we drunk then worked; we did not have a schedule really. When we got stuck in traffic on Thika Road, that was only two lanes, we pulled out Wizard of the Crow by Ngugi Wa Thiong’o from our bags. Sometimes we read, sometimes it was to impress the girl seated next to us in a matatu. We were young, full of zeal and formidability.
Posted at 8:14 am , on May 14, 2018
I can almost tell what will happen the moment I open that door in the evening from work. Daisy will not come running to my arms, her laugh will not fill my soul with life, fire and desire. Her little smile will have faded and will not brighten up the evening like the fireworks of New Years. Most certainly, her little questions and little-uncoordinated stories will n0t be what she will be telling me. Not that she will not be there but because I know I will have failed her. Terribly failed in one simple task. A simple unwritten agreement between a man and a daughter because my boss decided to keep my salary a little longer.
I can almost tell the conversation the next morning before I leave for work. My wife, my beautiful precious wife, queen of my heart and song to my life will not be graceful as she always is in the morning; she is a morning person. When other people wake up with tousled hair looking like bushes below the Nyandarua Ranges in the dry season, she wakes up with a smile like the sun that rises on the horizon of Lake Victoria in the morning. She will squint from the edge of her eyes as she places the tea flask on the table before me. This time, she will try to look cheerful but we both know it will be like starting a fire in a puddle of water. She will smile, not for herself but for me; a forced reassurance that I will have to take and keep because without that, a fire will start. A horrendous inferno.
Posted at 6:16 am , on April 9, 2018
The day I met Mukiri is unarguably the most important day for the art that we have both practised through the years. She had this wildness in her eyes, a blazing fire that I automatically became determined to match. Now, looking back, the things we have done to get stories or to get images for a story, I can silently confess that it has been insane!
This is not a love story, if it was I would have started by describing her hair all the way to her cold feet. That one I will tell another day. This is about a journey, the kind that has no destination.
When I started writing, back in June 2014, I came up with a tagline, ‘Art denotes Peace’. I thought that it was impossible to practice art when you are not at peace. The peace stood for peace at home, in the country and even peace of mind. Generally, just peace. It is quite a paradox considering that artists have the most tortured minds and lives in history. Artists transform tragedy and the conflict in their lives to pieces of art that the world appreciates years and years later.
Posted at 7:05 am , on December 18, 2017
I have too much to say about 2017, but I have a limit of 2000 words. If you need a bathroom break, please rush now and while you are at it, kindly do so silently.
I feel I should start by recognising my editor. It would be rude not to. While the blog bears my name, and the photos bear Mukiri’s name, it would be easy to forget the paramount role Esther Wanene plays in every Monday post here. She is efficient, she is thorough, and she is my 2017 unsung hero. Her blog is youngmomblogsite.wordpress.com. There she inspires people; she tells you her story as a young single mom. There you meet Leanna, the light skin princess of cuteness and smiles. There you meet stories, milestones that people go through daily, and there you will find faith, hope and the truth about God’s will in our lives.
To illustrate just how efficient this girl can be. On one fateful Sunday afternoon after all the lovely effects of good whisky from the previous night had worn off, and only the nasty ones were left; a splitting headache, Essy texted. She was demanding a post from my hangovered self and truth be told my creative side of the brain was shooting blank synapses on this day. My post was supposed to go up the next Monday at 11 A.M. and here she was asking for a post.
“Where is my post”, she asked.
Posted at 7:13 am , on October 23, 2017
Nataana Leshan had been brought up in a traditional Maasai home together with three Maasai Morans as her brothers. All her life she had felt the warmth of family, the protection of brothers and the appreciation of culture. She spoke perfect Maasai at the age of twenty and was not afraid to shove it down our throats of how distinct her exceptional language made her. So many times we would be engaged in a basic conversation, and a Maasai friend of hers would join in, and they would automatically switch to Maasai language. It was rude, and it was mean, but it never bothered me, although it should have. I would be kicked out of the conversation just like that, and I would do what any normal Kikuyu would do when everyone is busy speaking Maasai, I would grab my phone and click on my Twitter App.
For the longest time, when we the Kikuyu tribe were not busy fighting Luo’s for politics, then we were busy fighting Maasai’s for land. Regardless how many years it had been since 1982 when the battle of the Rift Valley lands terminated between the two tribes, it was always a general feeling that us, Kikuyu people, were land grabbers in the eyes of the Maasai’s, not even the internet could make that fade off.