I was at the newly opened Garden City Mall the other day to meet a cousin of mine who’d just jetted back in from Korea [South, I think]. We even bumped into Comedian YY there; he wore a blue blazer and was in the company of some damsel whose looks and physique I don’t really have all the words to describe at the moment. I’ll get back to you on that.
Anyhu, and since I was meeting the old chap at Nakumatt, I figured why not look around for things I’d buy when writing finally starts to pay while at it.
So I walked in and was still just hovering around when I noticed this really odd queer-looking guy staring right at me, without as much as a blink. At first I just ignored him and moved on, maybe he was only admiring my adorable T-Shirt. Then I noticed he was walking towards me and I hurried on to the nearest security guard [I’ve been robbed a couple or so times before in the most public of places so pardon my paranoia if you find it nauseating], stood there and looked back. He was still coming. I had assumed he was a thief, or a mugger. But if he thought he was going to raid me right next to this hefty broad-shouldered security guard then he had some heavy balls, I’d give him that. So he reached where I was, stretched out his right hand at me for a hand-shake and I can almost swear the conversation that ensued went within the following lines;
Me: Hello Sir.
Him: I saw you walk in…
Me: [Interrupting him] Yes, I noticed. [I mean, dude, you were staring at me like I stare at fried chicken]
Him: …Would you, by any chance, happen to be Ian Duncan?
Me: [Curious] That depends. If it has anything to do with Safari Rallies then you have the wrong guy.
Him: Hahah, No. Not at all. My name’s Jim. What did lawyers do to you man?
Me: [Confused] I’m Sorry?
Him: You’re the Blogger who did that article on lawyers, right? I read your blog, awesome piece.
Me: Oh, That…Yeah. I wrote that piece. [Still Shaken Kidogo] How’d you recognize me anyway?
Him: You attached your Instagram handle to the article, I just recognized you from your pics.
Me: Uhmmm…Did I really now? [Unsure of whether I should be flattered that I just met possibly the hugest fan or creeped out that I just met my stalker]
But that’s a story for another day; you don’t really need to know the rest of the conversation anyway.
See, I have never met anyone out in the streets before who recognized me from the rants I post here. The furthest I’ve ever gotten is my classmate and good chum Peter Maina who keeps yelling “Mr. Blogger” whenever we run into each other during lectures or drinking sprees. Good man though. So, naturally, I was elated. You should have seen me smile to myself as we walked out of the mall with my cousin and his Korean friend. I felt famous. I felt appreciated. I felt like I deserved the Pulitzer, for no particular reason at all.
But here’s the catch, guys need to know there actually is a difference – no matter how slim – between being a Blogger and being a Writer; at least to me. Everyone is a Blogger these days, all you need is a free WordPress platform like this one here to put out your nonsense and you can plaster that tag across your forehead for all I care.
Writing, on the other hand, is different and more complex than it may seem to Layman eyes. It requires creativity, deep thought and interaction with people. You don’t know the struggle till you’ve sat behind your desk for a whole day and managed to fork out only three lines. Writing is difficult my friends.
If you called me ‘Blogger’ back when I started this Blog, I’d probably have bought you a beer or taken you to SJ for a shot. But that label has lost meaning these days. It has become more like modelling; overcrowded, fusty and irrevocably mundane. There are a growing fleet of folk coming up that seem only interested in putting the literature fraternity to shame. And I have no interests whatsoever in being grouped among such gobbledygook.
Now, – Jim and co. – let me explain to you just why I’ll have your guts for garters if you ever call me ‘Blogger’ again.
Bloggers are people who do nothing with their time but sit online all day looking for shitty pieces of gossip that will get tong’ues wagging, with the main aim for diverting traffic to their blogs/sites. They are people who go around scouring around social media looking for buzz on who’s got the biggest butt, who dumped who and who fucked who. They’re people who use words like ‘ratchet’ and ‘socialite’ a gazillion times in their less than 300-word pieces. They’re people who write screaming demeaning headlines like “Lo and Behold! Brenda Wairimu spotted stroking her pussy in public! Shocking! Click to see pictures!”; stories that should you open, you’ll only find out that the poor lass was merely clutching onto her pet cat. You get my drift?
Bloggers are cheap wannabe Writers with no self-esteem whatsoever. Bloggers are people like Philip Etemesi, Chimwani Obiajulu Khasiani [or Uncle Chim], Cabu Gah and Njoki Chege. Bloggers are people behind sites like GhaflaKenya!, Mpasho, Niaje, Nairobi Wire, Mwalii and Daily Post.
Writers, on the other hand, are people who live for words; People who practically eat and breathe the beauty of stories; People who can turn the most embarrassing or sad moments into a tale worth those three or four minutes of your time; People who write because it gives them some sort of healing when burdens become too heavy and there’s nowhere else to turn to; People who write because it provides them with a safe haven; People who write because they’re addicted to the pen and the splendor stories ooze.
Have you ever read Dear Doris? Like the story about when he almost fell into the pit latrine as a toddler; silly story yet so beautifully and amusingly penned even the words ‘maggot’ and ‘defecate’ for once sounded like something Luhyas take for dinner. Or Magunga Williams and the tales of how his old man’s kidneys gave up on him on his birthday; stories you read with tears flowing down your flabby cheeks and a wide gawp of awe spread across your face.
These are writers. People like Jackson Biko, Ted Malanda, Oyunga Pala, Mark Maish, Sarah Lebu, Abigail Arunga, Silas Nyanchwani, Arnold Austin, Jude Mutuma, Aleya Kassam, Shadrack The Rackster and this one lady who pens at Worded Veil [her name evades me. Anyone?]
People tell me I’m too harsh on women, but that’s because none of the ones I’ve met and interacted with have given me anything nice to write home about yet. [Okay, maybe three or four]. The piece I did about Kenyan ladies being the problem and not the men was inspired by a few ladies I’ve had in my life over the past few years. One lady I dated fucked some artist friend of mine; Another told me we should part ways because she’d met another guy who had wheels [I’m really avoiding to call that thing a car because it emitted the sound of a broken down windmill and looked something like what Hitler drove to war. And with that said, I realize I sound like a jilted lover but really, I’m doing just fine]. The one about ladies shaving their privates was courtesy of a friend of mine’s true experience. See, I don’t make this shit up. I don’t just wake up in the morning, grab my laptop and say “Ladies, you gon’ learn today” I write what I see, what I go through and I write about the stories I come across in my daily exploits.
Now I don’t know what all those other folk I mentioned up there feel about being categorized as Bloggers or Writers; that’s their own cross. Everyone has their own opinions and beliefs; whatever knocks your hustle. As for the Son of Were, don’t ever call me a Blogger or God so help me I will carve out your eyes from their sockets with a blunt butcher knife.
Yes, That’s a threat!