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.