The entire Omondi Were family has travelled back home to spend the upcoming New Year celebrations with the old chaps during. My big brother, Austin, had to go earlier on because he was told his Simba [man cave]was crumbling. And my elder sister, well, I don’t know if she just missed the old guards or she finally found an answer to that one question Mum keeps asking, “When are you getting married?”
So the whole family is in some remote village – in Siaya County, where Wi-Fi is yet to be invented – by now except yours truly. You know, sometimes I picture them gathered around the table for dinner; Mum going round monitoring the quantity of food on everyone’s plate and smacking whoever’s plate is overflowing, Dad digging in silence, with the T.V remote by his side. Hates Mboga, that grumpy old man. One time it was just the two of us home so I cooked Sukuma Wiki. When I served, he gave me that look of [and read this next part with a Jamie Fox voice], “The hell is this shit? You tryna kill me boy?”
Anyway, I decided to stick around this time because I was curious as to how Nairobi drinks during the festive season; I wanted to see how Nairobi sleeps during Christmas; I wanted to smell what Nairobi shits during Boxing Day; and I wanted to suck in the air Nairobi breathes during the New Year.
So I’m currently alone in the digs. Which basically means I’m free to do as I so please: I could spend the whole day watching ‘How To Get Away With Murder’; I could go to the loo, take one long ass dump, leave the bloody toilet seat up and not spray the air freshener [because who doesn’t love the smell of their own shit?]; I could whip up a quick meal, dine for hours, and do the dishes three days later; I could got to the neighbourhood bar, take one for the road, and come back deep into the night without worrying about being hassled over my whereabouts; or I could just carry home a bottle of Whiskey, drink myself silly and black out on the floor in a pool of my own vomit. Not because that’s how I roll, but because I can!
A couple of nights ago I’m at the bar, alone, with a beer on my table, WhatsApp-ing with a friend of mine. Goes by Suzzy, the friend of mine, but I just call her Sue. Has little bit of a touch to it, doesn’t it? I mean, C’mon, Sue. Doesn’t it just make you want to rip her clothes off and smell her knickers? Hehe.
Okay, I digressed.
Sue tells me she was in Nakuru with her family during Christmas, having the time of her life. I scoff. Then she asks where I was and I say, you know, just out and about. She asks if at least I was with the family and I respond in the negative. “Naah, My family is twisted”, I say. She asks why I feel the need to isolate myself and I say I’m not. “I’m fine, and that’s all that matters.” Besides, I’m getting sick of this back and forth by now, why do ladies do that? Try to make mountain hills out of mole hills?
Then, check this, she texts back “You’re not. Maybe in mind, but not at heart.”
Let me say this for the last time before we cross over into 2016, I hate people who give me reality checks while I’m getting hammered. I hate people who think they know more about me than I do. Who the fuck y’all think you are? Uncle Phil? So I switch off my phone, put it into my breast pocket and down the last gulp of my beer. Then I let out a showy belch, just for shits and giggles, as I walk out of the bar.
But that night as I stagger home, earphones plugged to my ears listening to Drake’s ‘Hold On, We’re Going Home’, two things hit me: One, Guys, never listen to Drake under the influence. Two, I want my Mummy.
Let me explain;
See, sometime mid this year Auma Nyar Keya [that’s what I call My Mum, keep up] was in town. She calls me one Wednesday morning and goes, “You up for some Kuku Choma?” and I say, “Shit, Is the Pope Catholic?” That evening I grab some faded jeans from my closet, pair it up with one of my many red t-shirts and – with my hair looking all rugged – I show up for the Kuku Choma. Austin is in his usual official wear, because, you know, he’s into politics and Boston Legal. My eldest sister is pretty much decently dressed too, I mean, you don’t get a job at Oxford looking like Lil’ Kim.
Nyar Keya takes one glance and says, “Boy, you disappoint me. You look like Michael in Jackson Five. Hata a simple haircut yawa? Psht, ebu get off my face!”
The following morning I wake up to a long ass text message from the old man saying if I wanted to be a Thug in this town, it was up to me. That he would only fulfill his obligation of paying my school fee, then he would be done with my stubborn ass. All this, just because I didn’t comb my hair and I wore a faded trouser; all because of a fucking faded trouser and bad hair!
Then I remembered that time after high school when Nyar Kenya told me blankly – to my face – that I wouldn’t be shit and I sulked in my room. I didn’t talk much that day, I called the boys in the evening and we went and drank our asses silly at the local. Then we laughed and made jokes as we staggered back to the digs. But deep inside, those two incidences remained in my heart, etched in steel.
So maybe Sue was right. Maybe I’m not fine; Maybe I walk around smiling and pretending to be funny but with a heavy heart within; Maybe I didn’t go back home – not because I was curious as to how Nairobi drinks and sleeps or what Nairobi shits but – because I feel like a big disappointment; Maybe I didn’t go back home because I wanted to have the house all to myself – not to watch reruns of ‘How To Get Away With Murder’ but – to sulk and cry in the shower and soak in my disappointment then bitch over it here; Maybe I didn’t go back home because I haven’t changed my wardrobe yet and my hair is still as hirsute as ever and I didn’t want to give the old guards heartaches with the festive season.
There are things a man can recover from; like being dumped by your girlfriend of ten years, or cutting your fingers accidentally while chopping onions in the kitchen. What a man can never recover from is his own mother looking him in the eye and saying, “You’ll never amount to shit” or his old man texting him saying, “Go on boy, be a thug.”
I’ll be honest with you guys, I haven’t had a good year. Of con unprofessional Editors and sleepless nights that don’t pay off and accrued debts, I have seen it all this year. I see folks in these streets counting all the things they achieved in 2015 and I’m just here like, “Well, hell, I saw B.o.B bitches!”
But where I come from, we were taught to never sulk at the negatives, but to learn from them. So here are a few things and people that capped 2015 for me:
Jameson Party Live and Shiko
I’m an events person; I love live performances. I’m hardly moved by just bumpy beats and studio-manufactured vocals blaring on my stereo. I live for an Artist’s creativity, blow me off my socks then I’ll give you a second thought.
Two days to the Jameson Party Live and I get a call from one Hillary Ngash. Calls me to a meeting at TRM and hands me a complimentary ticket. Just like that! Well, the catch was I do a ka-small review after the event but once he put that ticket in my palm, I wasn’t really listening to all the yiddie yadda he was saying.
And I felt every inch of proud in there, as B.o.B strolled onto the stage with the Kenyan Flag on his back.
Here’s to Shiko, the nice waitress that made me feel like my shit stank of Vanilla. How is Nyeri, Jaber?
Oyunga Pala Referral and The Standard, Crazy Monday, Publication
I had slept late the previous night – doing only God knows what – so I was pretty much still asleep when that call came through. I picked it up half conscious and the voice on the other end said, “Hello, this is Tony Malesi, Crazy Monday Editor, am I speaking to Ian Duncan?” I jumped off bed and pinched my nose at “Crazy Monday Editor”.
But here’s the thing, it wasn’t even being asked to submit a piece for Crazy Monday that shook me. Here’s the part where I almost ran out of breath; the guy says he read something from my blog and got impressed so, naturally, I ask how he even ran across my blog and he says…wait for it…
“Oyunga Pala referred me there. He’s the one who actually sent me the link to that particular article and asked what I thought about it. You know Oyunga Pala, right?”
Sir, I’m going to forget like you didn’t just ask me if I know Oyunga Pala. Any Writer who doesn’t know Oyunga bloody Pala is in the wrong line of work, believe that.
So, to Oyunga, if you’re somewhere around here – lurking in the shadows – or if this reaches you from the comfort of your man cave – with a glass of some smooth Whiskey in hand – Ero Kamano Baba.
And to Tony Malesi, Asante Sana for the opportunity, Sir. Here’s to more publications in 2016, aye?
Maina Kageni Trending Topic and Kick Ass Shoes
That article Crazy Monday published? Yeah, turns out it was the topic of discussion that morning on Classic 105 with Maina and King’ang’i. Austin woke me up that morning saying, “Ondiek, either Ian Duncan the Safari Rally driver is now a Writer or Maina Kageni just mentioned your name.”
The ladies calling in to contribute that morning were saying all sorts of mean stuff and calling me all sorts of mean names but I didn’t really give a rat’s crack. For once I felt like a socialite listening to Gossip segments on radio after leaking her nude pictures and saying, “Fuck y’all, I’mma do me!”
Later on that day my sister put aside her work and said, “You know what, let’s get out of here guys.” So we went down to Gikomba [Yes, we shop at Gikomba, who the fuck keeps burning that place down?] and she bought me these kick ass shoes that I just can’t seem to keep off my feet. Austin got Topman Brogues, lucky bastard.
Ero Kamano Nyakamachiegni. Just less Nigerian movies in 2016, Sawa?
JKUAT BSc. I.T Class
Guys, blunt talk, the School of I.T already squandered your money. Stop waiting on a trip that will never come, move on.
You guys are weird, but in a fun way. Keep being you: Peter, Lenovo – Keep puffing that smoke; Rash – Keep perfecting those beats; Idris – Keep Modelling, we didn’t cross borders to come cheer you bagging that Mr. JKUAT 2015 crown for nothing; Ken, Johnny – Keep being the Mafisi you are; Roy – I want to stay slow down on the booze but I know you won’t so keep downing them bottles Sir; Eric Dogo – Bidii kwa hizo chuma Boss; Ladies- Keep…uhmm…being pretty? Hehe.
To Katana, those article ideas you gave me this year that I was too lazy to write, I will write them this coming year. Thank you for always pointing out my bullshit Boss. Thank you for not being one of those people who skim through two or three paragraphs of my blog posts and then text me, “Nice article”. Because in this business, you need people who have the balls to tell you your article was shit and that you need to go back to the drawing board. Compliments don’t shape a Writer.
Now guys, seeing as I may or may not be with you guys this coming year, keep kicking ass.
You, The Readers
To the rest of you, ladies and gentlemen, who have read my nonsense all year long, I salute you. Because without you guys, I would be the failure my mum thought I would be. So here’s a big THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart.
To those who follow this Blog via mail and to my Top Commenters – kina Brio Muiruri – Muchos Gracias.
Chacha and The Classifieds Website
You guys remember Chacha, right? From the previous post, the one about the bar? The loud-drinker with an ego bigger than a Luo man’s pride?
So Chacha calls me sometime last month and goes, “Boss, I’m developing this Classifieds website. I want you to be the Admin, you know, with your I.T background and all. 70% shares go to me, 30% to you.”
Something tells me he’s drinking, because that’s the only time ideas like these hit him. They’re usually gone with the wind by the time he gets sober. So I laugh, then I ask, “Where are you drinking bana? How’d you not invite a brother though?”
I hear him chuckle on the other end like some kid who just got caught stealing Candy before he says, “Niko mbali Boss, Next time.”
I’m like, “Whatever.”
Then last week – out of the blues – the chump calls me and says, “Boss, the website is ready, just putting some final touches to it. Get your shit together.”
To my peoples at the School of Human Resource, a classifieds website is something like OLX, simply put. It’s an online shop; Sellers post their goods, Buyers survey the goods and purchase whatever tickles their fancy. But this one is sort of just for you Campus folk. Gents, Michael Kors watches are available; Ladies, we have MAC Giambattista Valli Lipsticks just for you [Okay, Even I don’t know what that shit is but it sounded fancy so…whatever]. We don’t even want you to buy anything yet. We just want you to drop by, look around, and tell us what you think. Sawa? Good.
Go to: UzaPal
Just one thing, Chacha, we need to renegotiate those percentages Baba. 30% yawa. Hehe.
Folks, It’s been real. See you on the other side.
Happy New Year. Blessed.
14 thoughts on “CLEANING CLOSETS AND CROSSING BRIDGES”
Hehehe The absence of Maggie in this piece gets me worried.
Hahahah. Maggie is a constant that doesn’t even need mentioning. Maggie will always hold a place in my heart. Lol
Hehee, relax baba…. This life will kill us….. Happy 2016
Nishatulia Mkubwa. Heheh.
Happy 2016 to you too my Brother. May the Pen continue lighting the way.
Do you still hate Africans who say ‘Nice article’, even for this? Then go home you are drunk.
Heheh. I didn’t say all don’t mean well, my Luhya Friend.
Asante Sana for dropping by.
And Spot On on that Drunk part. Lol
kama hujui wewe ni inspiration in many ways … the grind continues, tukutane 2016
Thank You Boss. You’re far too kind.
We meet in 2016.
Ian is see improvement every time I read yr articles…truly 2015 has been your year, I mean its not a bad start,personally av seen growth in your writing skills..keep up man ,am looking forward to more big projects come 2016…and yes Imma keep puffing that shit coz it helps me stay focused to my goals…hahaa…see you next sem bro..good work and God bless
Heheh. Lakini upunguze Kidogo Ndugu, That thing kills my Brother. Lol.
Asante Sana for always reading Sir.
To another fun Semester.
Dude…you got real shit here. I like it. Annoying, funny characterization! Happy , prosperous 2016.
Well, I try.
Warm 2016 to you too Mister.
favorite blog….damn you’re so creative..wishing all writers would be like you
thanks for awesomely ending my 2015 with a good laugh…>:D
Staaahhp, You’re faar too kind.
Glad your 2015 ended with a smile.