Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Another year...

Another year..and looking back..i couldn’t  live it any differently..to the new friends to new enemies to that wired kid down the street who burns ants with a magnifying glass..i say this…I couldn’t live it any differently. Got a gig on my birthday and as you would have it…you can’t have your cake and eat it. Had a friend graduating and I offered to cover the event for her. Never again. The traffic was horrendous and the ceremony was murderously boring. By the time I was getting home I was dead tired and salt to injury…got into a small accident with this guy..aaaaarg.

But you know me..always optimistic. A ray of sunshine. And I did what I did every birthday. Got a hold of a 1984 bottle of wine from my friend who works at a certain hotel I cannot divulge…dude might get fired..and went to my favorite spot..Ngong hills to my super favorite spot…my birthday tree and toasted to a year worth lived. Wow. One year older. Sure seems like nothing, right…not exactly.

These last 365 days..I have experienced a tremendous deal of insight of what I want, how to get it and when  to get it. And most importantly…who to spend the rest of my life with. You see, life is not always about the good times, with friends, happy time and all that baloney and mama mboga’s spinaches!! Bad times will come…friends always disappoint and not unless you are under something stronger than morphine, you have to be insane to be happy always. So I decided to have a different approach and outlook to life. expect more from myself than others, love more eat more, pray more, follow God’s master plan for my life more and finally..treasure my relationships..that’s all that counts folks

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

..the guy with the Magical Goatee

My stylishly long goatee has elicited varying responses but the caper was this guy’s that I sat with in a matatu. Living some odd 25 kilometers from the central business district is a chore. Driving, Matatus or otherwise. Yaa, I am still doing “Mats”. Some oversight on the Hummers technical specifications rendered me unable to procure some vital components for the old gal to move..in short..my broke ass couldn’t get what was needed. Yaa so am seated next to this guy and I have my Bluetooth headsets and the techno just taking to my happy place. So I feel these eyes peering at me, I turned and caught the gaze of the guy and he just looked away breathing heavily. Ok..weirdo. At least. Next thing I know guy chucks a rosary and does a crucifix over and over again. All this time I’m begging someone alights and I move away from this cupcake, but alas.

So I just decide to ignore him and concentrate on my music. I got a reflection of myself on the window and I got why my matatu compatriot was acting all weird. There was a blue neon light with a fish-head like symbol, the logo of the headset, pulsating. What!! The guy thought I’d posses him with my headsets. Kenyans.

Dan and Charity tied the knot a few days ago and love was just oozing from their youthful smiles. Love, amore, hera…that’s all the languages I know..but yes, they be in love. Wish you all the best you guys. 

Of course am not forgetting Denno DNA Kagia and Wangu. May happiness follow you each and very day.

So I couldn’t take any longer. With the wired happening every time I take a ride in the matau, I revived the Hammer…and she liiiiiiiveess…buhahahaha..ya she was on the road…for only two hours. I took her for an excursion..not a joy ride :-] and by the time am getting back it is already dark. I turn on the head lights and a few meters later…she starts smoking…like really smoking. I almost dive out while she is movin! I parked her aside and switched her off. Good grief!! But I wasn’t worried, if this was a James Bond clip the car could have already burst in flames, so I figured, I have to drive like hell to home and sort out the smoking later. It worked. Sure, I got out of the car smelling like I put out a cigarette with my whole body but my baby was home. Man I love this car.

Yaa so I have been incommunicable for some time. I know you missed me..yes you. So expect me regularly and with more tales from your favorite photographer

Friday, August 12, 2011

..matatu chronicles..

Sirrry. rook ati you”,…the elderly lady scolded the lady behind her as she alighted from the matatu to the amusement of the other passengers. Yes, matatus, always drama. The matatu had passed the stage of the deranged lady and in her anger, she passed her wrath to the other passengers getting off the bus at the next stage, almost pushing off the elderly lady from the bus. The hummer is now enjoying sun bathed days at home, she cant wait to get those wind-shield wipers, and to be back on the road tearing up the tarmac. Don’t worry baby, daddy is working on it.

And the other day got onto those beat down Nissan matatu’s, the 14 seater that at times transforms to a 20 seater..anyway, so this promoter comes up to us and hands some free mints. So we indulge and this lady seated next to me just stares on and the driver asks why she is not partaking of the mints. The lady looked square in the eyes of the driver and said “You take them!! For all you know they could be bewitched.!!”. I almost chocked on my mint trying to suppress the laughter. So you can get bewitched from eating free mints. Hehehe only in Kenya.

Touched. Truly and utterly touched by the outmost selflessness and generosity of fellow Kenyans who contributed to the “Kenyans-for-Kenyans” initiative to end the looming hunger situation in the country. We managed to rise over Kshs. 500 million. Imagine that. And the funds are still trickling in. big up to you all. That’s the power of the masses. I believe we hold the power to change our current status quo and not depend on these fat idiots in the hill to make the decisions for us. Let them enjoy their short stint in glory, for come next year, they burn.

Imagine one Alfred Some-one-or-other saying that they don’t have any reported cases of people dying of starvation in the country and goes further to say that we as the hard working non-sensicle Kenyans that we are, to report if we know of anyone, and I quote “who has died as a result of old age or starvation”. I went mental. Is this guy for real? I am even surprised that he managed to stay in office for this long when the most important thing he has ever done for this country is to offer comic relief to the stressed Kenyans by his senile comments of self perpetuated ignorance and indignation. You sir, are a not worth squat, and I shall not waste any more of my mental currency on you.

Feels good to rant and rave, huh? So we saw a Hyena the other day at Karen, of all places. I couldn’t believe it at first but when I got closer it really was, on the road, scratching it’s posterior on a stone. It was utterly disgustingly astonishing. A hyena, never mind we have them scattered all over this particular neighborhood, and they represent us in parliament as a matter of fact but not those ones but a real life one. How cool is that. But yes, I drove on, curiosity did kill the cat.

But I do miss the hummer. And I promise you this, next week, it will be on the road. Lamu. Island paradise. Man I miss that place. My sanctum of solitude. Miles and miles of white sandy beaches with no one in sight, the salty ocean air fills your lungs and you are instantly teleported to a nirvana of peace. Lamu. But I go there for other reasons to. Getting away from it all and just kick it on the beach but also….to walk on the beach absolutely…eeeh..in my birthday suit. Getting in touch with my primal instincts as I call it, and just ran and frolic like Adam did, but on a white sandy beached Eden. 98 days to go..and counting.

So folks, find you “Lamu” today, and just get away from it all.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


The aroma of the half eaten chicken-pie hung in the bus. The whiffs of wind blowing it further up the nostrils of the now salivating passengers. A guy throws a mad glance at the mow-hawk laden lass listening to who knows what on her head phones. Yes. I am still doing Matatus and buses. The hummer hasn’t gotten a viable donor for the wind shield wipers that were disemboweled by my hyperactive two year old nephew. This is just one of many days riding in matatus.

But I think the one that topped it of folks, was the transvestite. Passengers held their breath as this “lady” with an Adam’s apple got into the bus. I have to give her / him credit coz she/he had a sense of style about her. She briskly walked by the isle as people stared at her in amazement. She/he got a seat next to this spectacled guy and the guy was quivering in his seat. She flopped and pumped his/her hair now and then and this elderly guy just squinted in her direction thinking that he must really need glasses. All of a sudden she throws a kiss towards the elderly guy’s direction. That was enough to tell the geezer to mind his own. Kenyans hehe.

Rose Nasimuyu. The nine years old who has made head-lines and touched the hearts of many with her ordeals and challenges as a cancer survivor. She is not a victim, but a survivor. I choked mid-way through her narration of the countless number of medical procedures she undergoes to stay alive. Rose Nasimuyu, is my hero. She has valor and particularly very knowledgeable for a kid that age. The cancer hasn’t robbed her of her childhood spirit. She is living proof of what self-will and determination can remedy anything life throws your way. Am blown away by her resilience to live.

“Gor Biro!!!” chants run through the stadium. The blinding green and white jerseys and apparels soaked the stadium, overshadowing the blues and whites. 

The mood is electrifyingly intoxicating and the evidently dark-skinned keen from the lake-side were in numbers. That was the gimotimore (that’s what’s up) at last weekend’s game against two of Kenya’s top soccer clubs. Gor Mahia FC a.k.a Sirkal and AFC Leopards a.k.a Ingwe. The traditional Isikuti (drum made of hallow tree trunk and Python skin) originally from the western parts of Kenya is largely the “tool’ choice of the Leopards’ supporters, resonated throughout the stadium..the catchy tunes had us Gor supporters moving our heads in our seats. Well, us Gor supporters aren’t left behind with our tongs and “Obu” (horn made of Thompson’s Gazelle horns) sang of the heroics of the Gor Mahia fraternity. Yawa, Semji..not today. We gave them 3 goals to the meager 1. Gor is taking over. So the next game is flood-light on the 3rd of August. And am going to dye my beard some fluorescent Green. Cant wait.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Cant help it, I am just Jaluo like that…

Kids. Its amazing how my two year old nephew can switch from “super cute adorable mode” to “full on destruction mode” in a blink of an eye. And on the receiving end was my poor baby, the Hammer. The kid jumped on the bonnet and ripped out the wipers. He’s a kid, he couldn’t control himself, you say…well my back hand has been feeling mighty “not controllable” lately. But I get that he’s curious.

My brother, Ken, got married over the weekend. Two down, only baby sister’s remaining for the year. It was all the pomp of a Luo and Kikuyu wedding. Being the best man, I had the privilege of driving my mother to go get the bride from her home. As tradition has it, there is a short ritualistic “singing at the gate on the top of our voices until you open for us” thing before we are given the bride for keeps!! There is something about getting ten women to a function in time….it will never ever happen. So my crazy driving paid off. Got them on time…but emotionally, not in one piece.

The service did start on time and as they said there vows you could see that this two love birds will have an eternity of happiness together. Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Ken Oloo. Sure, I cried my eyes out…in the inside :-].

The hummer is indisposed, thanks to my nephew, and that only means one thing…public transportation. Dread. There is never any joy in riding in a small confined space with fourteen other individuals with varying body odors plus the un-brushed stink of the conductors’ teeth. The shoving and pushing of passengers trying to get in and out, the slight concussion you get from a ladies hand-bag on you temple to that idiot who just doesn’t understand you took thirty or so minutes to brush your shoes and decides its an extension of the matatu’s floor. I miss my baby.

My old man cracks me up. He is a Luo, through and through. The other day we are at this shop getting airtime and a guy buys credit for fifty shillings. And my Dad is clearly puzzled. “so what is he going to do with that?, he asks, “send text messages only??”. To him, air-time ranges from the denominations of five hundred shillings and above.

Since we are on that subject, Ramogi night is going down tonight. The biggest showcase of..well…showing off, in the Luo calendar. It’s sort of a Luo cultural night thing. This is the only night where you all the Mercedes are at one venue and the mobile networks are jammed thanks to the three or four phones for every jaluo in the establishment. Here, guys order everything “on the rocks” even water to wash hands. They make such lucid demands on the cooks, from having the head of the fish medium-rare and the rest, rare. Or whether the spices used to make the Mbuta (Nile Parch) were organic. Yawa, my brothers.

So I’ll be off to Ramogi night, put on my Gucci suite, douse some Parco Rabbanne cologne, Ferrari socks, and my pleather alligator shoes….complete with a CK belt…and take a matatu to La’ngata…..coz I know the Hammer will have self-esteem issues parked next to all those Marcs. Its been real.

Monday, June 13, 2011

..In memory of Chowder..

Hey lay there..motionless. He had been dead for about 4 hours. Rigidity had already set in. Brave soldier. Chowder. His last few days, I wouldn’t wish on anyone. From peeing blood to having both your legs broken and ran on ‘em. I took one last look and went inside the house to break the news to everyone. “Chowder, is dead”, I said, almost not believing it. I wish it wasn’t true. “At least he wont pee on the curtains again, huh?”, I tried to joke..but no one was laughing. Chowder, our cat had gone to cat heaven.

He had been sick these last couple of days, the sickness didn’t get him. But the dogs did. Lancelot and his gang. By the time I got to them, chowder was already down, hissing madly. He saw his opportunity and fled only to return in the morning. I knew defiantly that his fore paws are not supposed to bend that way. He was a fighter, he was. Two broken legs. And he walked on them until he got into the house…and just collapsed. He didn’t eat, he didn’t do anything. Good bye Chowder.

“I want to be a Judge”, he said through cracked lips and a hearty smile. Somehow, I could picture Maura in that ridiculous judge outfit passing sentences and hitting the gavel. Meet Maura, ten years old, and up until four years ago, one of the many children at the Vumilia (Swahili for ‘perseverance’) camp for the internally displaced, in Mahi Mahiu. Like many children there, he doesn’t understand why he can’t go back home and play with his friends and stay up to dusk chasing tires and hunting pigeons.

His eyes are full of hope in a sea of hopelessness. His heart, bigger than any other. We visited his home a few days ago and help built permanent housing for the IDPs. Thanks to the valiant efforts of Habitat for Humanity, we were able to set up foundations of 10 houses. Not an easy task! Not trying to create a holier than thou persona here folks, just trying to stir passion in you guys and open your eyes to the plight of the many suffering in IDP camps now scattered all over Kenya. The men are full of despair, but they hide it in boisterous conversation with us. The little crops they planted, maize mainly, now lay dry in the fields, the rains came to late, and now, they are good for just cow feed. Which is a twisted joke, because they don’t have the cows to feed. The women tend to the young ones and try to their best to have something for them to eat. At times, they go hungry.

Nick and Jenn. They got married like two weeks ago, and boy, did we have fun at the wedding. Jenn’s Dad, Dr. Prather, is just crazy. Mid way during the traditional father-daughter dance, they put a mix of hip hop, to jazz to country to pop…with dance moves to boot..and just left us guys laughing. We wish you all the happiness. You guys deserve it.

Eleven. One-one. Kumi na moja. Yes folks, eleven, that’s the number of children I am intending to have….but I scaled it down to eight kids when I had the opportunity to baby sit my adorably lovable hyperactive  seven month old niece. I absolutely don’t know anything about kids. And the few hours I was left with her ratified this. Even when she was asleep, I felt I had done something wrong. Was she sleeping correctly, was the pillow to fluffy or should she be holding her stuffed elephant with her right hand coz she is a righty or to the left to improve her coordination. But one thing, when she was fast asleep, and he little fists curled up, and occasionally, her toothless grin, that was amazingly cute, there’s nothing as precious as children. Not going to cry…not going to cry…monster trucks..monster trucks..phew that was close.

So a thousand plus hits later and a few stories later, errant photographer is giving you guys mad love. Thank you all for following my blog, your creative criticism and general support. Thanks. Many of you don’t know this, but my other name is actually ‘Juma’, but I decided to drop it, it doesn’t go down well with my beard. Enough said. Don’t wany to get a cavity search next time am in the airport..get my drift :-]

Only three weeks and my brother is getting hitched. Congrats bro. my aunties are still on my case, asking why I’d prefer my baby..the hummer..than getting out there and get me a girl. How can I leave the hummer!! Yes she has abandonment issues and occasional mood swings to next Tuesday, but which girl doesn’t. It’s me and you to the end baby. Hey, sorry for taking a while to blog, been caught up with work, speaking of, soon, watch this space. Errant photographer out.