Rape

 

 

I am sure you have previously heard stories from grown-up women like me speaking about rape. Mostly we lie. Make it sound like we fell on our backs and our knees trembled in fear the second it happened. Nobody ever speaks about the fight we put up before these marauders let themselves unceremoniously into our thighs. Truth is I remember being scared stiff barely able to hear my voice above the sound of my heartbeat. Mostly I remember the aftermath of the whole unpleasant ordeal, my heart contracting with indefinable fear, and I lay there motionless, looking at everything but nothing. I remember hiding in my bed with my head deep under the sheets, and it was then that I heard her speak in an interview on the television. That voice, assertive and sure taking my fear, unit at a time and turning it into a fighting spirit. She was a rape victim and had survived the worst. She was a prominent American figure, and she spoke so fiercely, and for the first time, I shed tears, not in weakness or in memory of his spiteful breath panting on and on at the nape of my neck. They were tears of jubilation, tears of conviction that made the memories fade, tears of strength. I now knew that I did not have to hide, I now knew that a rape victim could speak out and have people listen to her.

 

 
While it is said that a beautiful day begins in the morning, I can recollect that regrettable fateful day starting like any other day. It was graduation, and with our smiles, the class of 2015 tagged along with their gladness with feelings of accomplishment and raw expectations. The joy of a graceful end to four tiresome years. The Vice-Chancellor declared us graduates at the graduation square, and we threw our hats in the air ready to be productive citizens of the nation. To cement the memory of this day, I took all kinds of photos with family and fellow graduates before we excused ourselves for a final class BBQ party in the evening.

 

 

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Of Men and Suits

My first suit was a disaster. I often recount the activities of that early chilly Sunday morning that lead me to drown in a ditch and shake my head. I loathed that suit, I hated that it had one slit instead of two. I hated that I had to put it on with a tie, more than everything, the fact that it was not well fitting angered me beyond figurative language. I just could not get why I had to put on that suit. So, that early chilly Sunday morning found me in my worst moods because Mother had decided that that Sunday I had to put on this suit. I had to go to church in my green bad-fitting suit. As if that was not enough I had to put on a black tie. I hated ties, still do but then, the hatred was undefined because they used to be the rubber band ties that were always tight around the neck as if they were made for people with suicide tendencies. So that they would not hustle if they decided to end their lives, they would just pin the stupid tie on the wall then choke peacefully to their last breath. I hated those ties.

 

So this suit, I had got it after being one of those cute flower boys in a certain wedding. I was cute when I was a small boy, Mother’s friends always confused me for a girl and I hated that shit. Being called a girl at the age of five was an insult to my manhood, a knife through my tiny balls but then even language was a disaster so I just held on to my peace and pierced balls. I guess this was the reason I have always felt the need to prove myself as a man. I needed to show the world how masculine I was but it has not always worked out well or me. For instance, at the age of thirteen, while playing basketball in floaters on Mothers half vegetable garden, half basketball court, I slashed my foot with an iron sheet and I could see my whole heel hanging on to the rest of the foot like its life depended on it. Later during surgery, my heel was consequently chopped off like a bad behaviour and I wore those damn floaters for the subsequent six months. I was a man now, a man who could withstand pain but a man without a heel. I digress.

 

If I survived the entire Sunday with this suit, the only thing that should have scared me from then on would merely be the apocalypse. Unfortunately I did not. This suit did not only make me look bad in front of the girls it also had bad energy. So my sister and I are busy brushing teeth at the edge of a deep flooded ditch, right? Then I think to myself, what if I fell into this ditch? I would be at an advantage, for one, I would not have to put on Mother’s stupid suit. Two, I would put on something nicer and look good in front of the girls and lastly, I would have won the battle for my five tough years by putting something else other than what Mother had deliberated on. I did not have time to finish that last thought, the next thing I knew I was gasping for breath under dirty water swallowing gulp after gulp trying to call Mother for help.

 

I do not remember that moment quite well but the story is that my sister screamed, really screamed. When she saw that Mother was not responding as quick and her tiny cute brother was dying she took it upon herself to pull me out with her eight year old girl strength. She pulled really hard but all she could manage was keep me afloat waiting for Mother to respond to her 911. We screamed in unison. Like a choir. But my scream was often cut short with a gulp of dirty water. At that particular moment I realized that a bad suit would have been the end of my long five years. That after struggling to live life for all that time, a bad suit would be the death of me. That people who wrote my biography would finish their last paragraph on a sad note saying…

 

Dennis Peters after a long dedicated life was killed, by not just a suit, a bad suit!

 

I could picture the readers of my biography reading that last part with tears in their eyes wondering what they would do with their lives now that they had finished the biography. See, I was reading this book by Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist. I know I am the last one to read but leave me alone. So I was at work on my usual teller job, there were no customers, actually there were customers but I did not give a shit, I am an intern not a full time teller. I have a life. That life was The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. So I finished the book and ‘The Boy’ had got his treasure and had known the language of the universe and I was there seated on my teller spin chair wondering what I would do with my life. I felt like Paulo Coelho had stolen a great deal of my time and there was nothing I could do about it. I was lost. I turned around and saw everybody moving on with their lives like ‘The Boy’ had not just got his treasure under an old Baobab tree outside an old church. Like ‘The Boy’ had not just spoken to the wind and sun like they were buddies. These humans just do not get it, do they?

 

I digress again! [We probably have to formulate a policy about digressing from the main point].

 

So, Mother finally showed up at the nick of time. Just before I passed out and culminated my long sad life. If she had not shown up, this is one of the stories that you would have a sad ending and I probably would not be the one writing it as I would be so dead. Mother pulled me out. Mother was strong. She did it with only one hand. After she had made sure I was alright, Mother picked up her slippers and beat my butt thoroughly. She is the typical African Mother and she went like…

 

Unafikiria sujui umemejiangusha ndio usivae hii suti… *Thud on my butt* Unaona kama wewe ni mwerevu sana *Thud on my butt*

 

My sister also received a thorough beating, I do not even know why… smh! Aki si mom showed us maneno.

 

I was crying but not because of the beating, I had come close to near death experience and survived it. I was a new man that had been given the second chance of life. It was then on I decided that bad suits would never hold me back again ever. In this second shot of life I made it my life’s goal to have the perfect fitting suit, right colour and right tie. After my twenty first birthday, (which was last week and y’all forgot, Issorait), I was on bikozulu reading how people struggle with their careers, relationship and lives and remembered that green suit. I discovered that I had been playing around with my second chance at life so I quickly dialled 0725946049 to Muchacho Collection  and my good friend Maurynn Mwambi answers the call, she is my suit guy, technically she is not a he, therefore, she cannot be a guy but she likes to be called that. I do not know why we cannot call her ‘Suit lady’ but that is a story for another day. Maurynn makes my suits.

 

She makes them the perfect size and perfect colour. She has something for everyone. So, I simply do not get Mafisi Sacco, see, they try too hard. A gentleman with a good suit does not even have to try. You will have more than two ladies here and this is not even Eritrea. One of you here show me a guy with a nice suit who does not have ladies drooling all over him, one of you just lift you hand up and point to me just one guy and I will tell you the reason, scratch that, Maurynn will tell us the reason. It will either be that the suit is not well fitting, or the belt is brown and the shoes are black or the suit is checked and the shirt is also checked and he looks like some flowery chap under the hot sun in Siaya, Nyanza. Anyone? Anyone? No one? Alright.

 

Photo by April Wambui.

Suits by lamuchacho fashion house [LM_fhs] (lamuchacho Collection on Instagram).

Muchacho Collection Home delivery: 0725946049.

‘Quality, Comfort and Style’ – lamuchacho-fhs.

 

[Of Men and Suits on Kate Njenga]

 

 

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Dennis Peters