Ok. Welcome back. I’ve been busy dealing with the voices in my head and the looks cast my way for listening to my voices. I’ve done a lot, life wise but precious little blog wise.
My biggest strength is the fact that I can do anything I set my mind to. Anything.
My biggest weakness, it therefore follows, is the fact that I can do anything I set my mind to.
If you read that statement twice, you can read it quite differently. It’s in that difference of inflection and enunciation that lies my life’s sore spot. I work myself into a state of analysis paralysis considering an idea, beautifying it, perfecting it (because perfection is a noble goal, although we’ll never ever achieve it) and not doing it because it isn’t right yet. I haven’t been ready for anything in my life so the past month has been me, talking to myself late into the night- so that I can convince myself that just because I am not ready, YOU guys are. So something is brewing. Something’s afoot and I hope you like it. You’ll find it here and here, if we’re covering all our bases. Stay tuned for the big reveal, soon. I really hope it’s soon and that you enjoy it.
“Msifanye hiyo ukora yenu hapa!”, he barked at his first fare for the night. Kyungu gripped the steering wheel so hard, his alter ego, Jesse was afraid it would snap. He was tired of these barbie types he ferried in his shiny cab nowadays. Some passengers thought he operated a mobile boarding and lodging. The two goofs in the back immediately drew apart like they’d been slapped with icicle cold water from a bucket.
Earlier that night, some drunk girl from Buru had thrown up in the back and he’d made her clean it when they got to her destination, somewhere at a house party in Westlands. You know, sometimes he wished he wasn’t a cab guy. But then, he reasoned, where would the spice of life come from? Just yesterday, he had carried a sprightly little girl who talked too much, even he was unable to get a word in edge-wise.
He remembered that one time in South C when he was carjacked for the first time. He had been delaying getting his car fuelled that night so just as he dropped off his late night client, his fuel light reared it’s ugly head. On the drive over, he couldn’t remember where he had seen an open station and the hairs on the back of his neck bristled angrily against his collar. He had a bad feeling about this side of town. To top it all off, there was a black probox that just wouldn’t dim it’s lights.
A shrill voice interrupted his daydream. One of his raunchy passengers was informing him he’d passed their turn off. Kyungu stomped on the brake pedal furiously and swerved around and proceeded to glare in his rear view mirror.He just couldn’t wait to drop off these two. Hopefully he’d have a passenger waiting not too far off from this drop.
As the car drew to a stop outside a metallic, grey gate in one of the posh estates in Lavington, Kyungu sat expectantly in his seat. “Si utatuchill hapa, tunatoka sasa hivi, ni ganji tunachukua, tukuje tukukanje.”
So we’re doing something a little different today. Most of the work on this blog, is about fictional things; Adventures in Liet Wan, most of the #30days30posts series and the Sweatshop Chronicles. Today, I want to share just a little bit more about myself, the writer, the human being.
If you follow me on social media or know me IRL, you know that I work with a couple of friends on Kenya’s first Natural Hair and Living magazine, The Hairpolitan. Our publisher Wambui, came up with idea of a magazine that would serve as an online repository of information, entertainment and educative resources for naturalistas the world over. What follows takes place between the hours of 1.00AM and 2.00AM, is my natural hair story.
I cut my hair once in high school, because of school rules (no permed hair allowed); I struggled to grow an afro and had my room mate plait my hair on Sunday afternoons, for the rest of the week. By the time, high school was over, so was my relationship with natural hair. My mother took me to a salon where I had a fresh retouch done using relaxer the very afternoon she picked me up from school.
Now, see here’s the thing, maintaining permed hair has always been stressful and the rapid growth was always already visible after a couple of weeks. I kept this up until 2012; last time I permed my hair was in late 2011. In late 2012, I walked into my boyfriend’s house and asked him to cut my hair. Brave man that he was, he agreed.
I toyed with growing my hair and keeping an afro for a year or so but those thoughts were not given the space to take root in my head. I’ve rocked many versions of a teeny weeny Afro (TWA)since then; undercut, tapered cut, mohawk and such. Most people ask me, why I just don’t let my hair grow; they are yet to realize you don’t “let” afro hair do anything; you nurture it and care for it so that it can bloom and blossom. I’m highly disinterested in growing my hair. This disinterest comes a distant second to caring for my TWA; PJism (Product Junkiesm) didn’t take hold here either.
Nappyness was a choice I made when I was frustrated and bored of relaxers and chemical hair treatments. Nappyness means an easy life for me, a life of laughter and freedom. It means I have time to fulfill my purpose and to me, maintaining a ‘fro just isn’t it. I love looking at other people’s luscious curls and seeing their ringlets bouncing and springing loose; trust me, black girl magic is real. Long hair and I haven’t permanently broken up, we’re just on a long hiatus until one of us becomes the bigger person. I suspect the Afro will have to do it because I drink petty juice in my coffee every morning.
“It’s ugly here in my world,” she said as she turned her head swiftly and looked away from his piercing gaze. “I’m different, so the world is afraid of me and no one wants me.”
“Jaya–“, he sighed her name and reached out to hold her face beyond the dark black, silky curtain of her hair, “You’ve got to understand, I don’t care how ugly the world wants you to be, I want YOU.”
Jaya’s shoulders slumped as she listened to Jared go on, and on, about how he loved her and only her. She was tired of it all and most of all, she missed Naya. She and Naya had been inseparable from birth and Jaya had grown accustomed to being her sister’s shadow. Being with Jared was beautiful but it wasn’t the same. She always felt like a part of her was perpetually missing and longed for the day she would be able to see her Naya again and breathe her in.
When they discovered her ability, she had had to go into hiding but the other side was calling out her name and she could only suppress it for a couple of hours before it flared out in flagrante. Naya had turned quite pale the first transformation and after Jaya shifted back, she had said she was afraid she would hurt her when she was in animagool form. Jaya had burst into angry, hot tears at that point; she was afraid what Naya said would actually be true.
“Jaya, have you drifted off again?”, Jared asked as Jaya snapped back to the present moment. She hoped her eyes didn’t look glassy, a dead giveaway when she was daydreaming. Right now she felt like one of the cows at a Rearing Lab in the GreenDorms with Jared as her own special egret. Only that, he was pecking at her and not doing anything constructive to keep the ticks of life at bay. Most times, when she was with Jared, the world stopped being ugly and mean and she could bear living in it at least.
She looked up to find Jared glaring at her in the sad, angry way only he could do. Before she could even break away from his gaze, they heard the first of the City sirens shrieking. At once, they were on their feet, hands already reaching for their weapons’ packs, readjusting armour and monocles simultaneously.
Naya blinked away her tears and moved to sheath her ceremonial sword, swiftly and stubbornly. She always remembered her father and mother when she caught sight of herself in uniform. They were gentle souls who worked in the Cropping Labs all their lives and never, ever had a harmful thought towards anyone else.
Her Dada was a great scientist; very quiet but brilliant too. Mama was great too, she was always smiling shyly but very industrious. She died first, in her sleep, then Dada followed heartbroken to be without her, one month later. Naya and Jaya were orphaned at the tender age of twelve and left to fend for themselves. They were the last of the organic humans. The Tulana High Council had passed the order to start introducing genetically engineered human beings to the population.
“Some stupid law to do with immortality and efficiency,” Naya thought to herself angrily. Naya could barely disguise her disappointment and unease as she interacted with some of these geno-humans. She always felt like there was something always missing, she couldn’t quite put her finger on what it was exactly. As she prepared to walk into the Banda Ballroom for the Great Tulana Assembly, she squared her shoulders and steeled her jaw because she knew she, Lieutenant Hedonaya Jiwena of the Royal Tulan Defense Forces, was about to be promoted to Major; the first of her class to bypass the Captain’s rank completely and head up a major platoon. She was nervous because she had recently discovered that she could shapeshift too.
The twitch she had seen in the mirror wasn’t a normal twitch. It was a sign. “I hope I can control this.”, She thought as her brow furrowed in concentration and moved to awkwardly adjusted her epaulet and headdress.
She wakes up, yawns and stretches lazily. Looks at the blinking blue light on her phone. So many birthday messages to go through, so many missed calls. “Since I already showered last night, I’ll give that a miss today.” she muses wickedly to herself and thinks back on the last 31 years of missed showers, happiness, and fairies.
She drags herself to the bathroom, gets the water running and yelps; “Forgot to switch on the instant shower again” she muses to herself, “Must be old age finally catching up with me.”
As she soaps herself up, she thinks about Tomorrowland. The parties, the beer, the food and most of all, the people. It looks like it’s going to be one of the best experiences of her life. Only time will tell. She is looking forward to her birthday lunch with her biker friends too.
This post is a few months late, but time does fly when you’re having fun 🙂 🙂 more posts to come
After last week’s STI debacle in Liet Wan, Beauty had suspended all hanky panky with her man. And by hanky panky we do mean, the sweet kisses Danielo used to steal from her when he thought he was being sly. She believed in the Great Wait.
At the ramshackle church deep in Liet Wan, they advised their sisters to wait unto marriage for it was a curse they would have to endure for the rest of their earthly lives. Sex was treated like an anathema in Liet Wan. “Like those old biddies thought the rest of us shouldn’t have it just because they didn’t enjoy being slapped around once in a while.”Beauty thought to herself.
Beauty had gossiped with Pamela once the Gono-Lines started to form outside the dispensary with all the fly Liet Wan hunnies wringing their hands and panties alternately, ruing the day they ever had pre-marital relations with the no-good hood boys- wasee wa mtaa. They had cackled with glee as they watched some young lass try to walk sideways after her shot at the clinic. They were collectively Judge and Jury in this matter. Omondi on the other hand, was down in the doldrums lately; Beauty was wondering if he too was part of the Gono-Gang.
“There you go kids. Always rubber up.” beauty thought to herself as she listened to yet another customer ask Pamela for pineapple juice.