The old man walked briskly towards his neighbor’s house. Mr Kīng’ori, a retired teacher was lucky to be among the few people in the village owning a cellphone. The old man was lucky that they had gone to the river and braved the knife together and a special bond had developed between them since then. They used to refer to each other as Wakinī and despite Mr. Kīng’ori being the village’s only Damiano he had maintained a humble demeanor and never once did he look down on his Wakinī. The old man, he looked more haggard than his age since his life had not been a walk down the park. Unlike Mr. Kīng’ori whose hustle included chalks, boards, books, pens and papers, his had been characterized by hoes, forks and axes. From dawn to dusk he’d sweat it out in the neighbor’s farms occasionally digging wells and pit latrines. He had done this to eke a living for his household and see to it that his children got a good education. Over the years, his hands had become calloused, his face wrinkled and his back bent, he had a haughty look. Nevertheless he still thrived and flourished; looks are not eaten, ‘ūthaka ndūkarangagwo.’ He reached at Mr. Kīng’ori’s gate, opened it and came face to face with Nyameni his dairy cow which was on heat and was only too glad to find an escape, she almost trampled on him. Mr. Kīng’ori ran after Nyameni who was on rampage and was wondering why Ferdinand the neighbor’s bull had deserted her in her time of need. Mr Kīng’ori wanted a pedigree seed for his Nyameni but the veterinarian had delayed his arrival. Once he saw Nyameni jump over the neighbor’s fence, he gave up and returned home to find the old man sitting on his Ottoman. He called the veterinarian and cancelled the appointment. He then grabbed a stool in the kitchen and poured the old man a fifteen of gatubia from the metallic kettle. To be continued…
Walking down these streets of Memphis (Wang’uru) and thinking why can’t Moya David jump in front of me, treat me to a dance and finally unleash a bouquet of roses. Guess I’m overthinking because I don’t even think he knows which corner of this country Ngurubani is. Call it wishful thinking or unanswered prayers whichever you like. It’s like trying to cut water with a panga and expecting the molecules to separate. Anyway all I find along these bustling streets are hustlers too busy trying to put dinner at the table and others chewing jaba as they wonder where the money to pay the hustler fund debt they borrowed and are now receiving messages of your hustler debt is due on.. The good thing with a hustler is that he may just decide to put of his phone and wish the debt away. Then again a job offer may be lost if the phone is off so maybe he’ll just block the number and report it as spam. Yeah so many solutions to so many problems, except mine of course, the Moya David one, remember? Life sucks huh 😭 but for this mongrel enjoying a bone on top of the dumpsite, life couldn’t be more better. It’s like he’s singing that Robert Kelly’s song, ‘I am a mountain 🏔️…..😉’ So instead of sulking, I put on my dancing shoes and dance to all night long by Lionel Richie. Looking forward to the clash between Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe. #StillTheChronicler.
Umewahi kuchanganyikiwa unashindwa utaunga timu gani mkono juu kwa mkono mmoja unataka kuonyesha uzalendo wako kwa kuunga mkono bara lako, na kwa mkono mwingine unataka Mbappe afike fainali ndio wapatane na Messi kanuke. Sijui kama kanuke ni Swahili sanifu lakini najua nimejipata kwenye bwawa ambalo ni muda tu utanitoa. Najua mimi husema mara kwa mara kama Baba Moi ya kwamba kiswahili kitukuzwe lakini si waswahili tu ndio walisema, mwenda tezi na omo, marejeo ni ngamani. Wacha nirudi kwa rusungu. Back to factory settings 😉 So will Messi mess with Mbappe, or will Kylian kill Messi. It’s messy right now so let’s wait and see. And don’t I look like a good commentator? As long as Croatia is not involved because my those Vic, they sound like tongue twisters when uttered continuously and my aren’t those boys good in ball possession.
After dissecting and emptying the contents in his plate like a locust on a newfound lawn, Kīrīmi started yawning as he rubbed his now full belly. He felt like Jonah after swallowing the fish. Ooh no sorry, it was the fish that swallowed Jonah and not the other way round. He belched and Kīmani beckoned him to follow him. This Kīmani had beckoned him way too many in a span of a few hours. Nevertheless he followed him faithfully since so far he had not landed him in a ditch. He showed him the sleeping quarters and also pointed him towards the direction of the washrooms in case he needed a shower or to answer the call of nature. He also handed him a towel and a change of clothes but Kīrīmi just collapsed on the bed and started snoring. ‘Too tired my friend, we’ll catch up from where we stopped tomorrow,’ Kīmani talked to himself as he left the room. He smiled as he remembered that tiktok voiceover, ‘ if you see me talking to myself these days, I’m self employed and we are having a staff meeting.’ 🤣 He also rembered his granny telling him a story of a man who used to greet you, ‘ mūrīega?’ and if you asked him, ‘twī naū? he’d shamelessly tell you, ‘ī na ngoma ciaku?’ Some answer there. So Kīrīmi snored and dreamt, he dreamt that he was a wild goose flying over the Indian ocean his freedom only lesser than that of Kenyans on that 12th day of 1963 when they gained independence from the British colonial government. He was never one to talk in his dreams but this time round he sang furiously to Kakai Kilonzo’s, ‘ewe Kenya mama yangu, ewe Kenya Baba yangu sitakuacha milele.’ #HappyIndependenceDay. #HappyJamhuriDay. #StillTheChronicler
Way back in the days when we were cheering our village teams there’s always that goal post we used to think was jinxed. If you don’t score when driving the ball that other direction, chances are you’ll not score when you change sides and most likely the other team will carry home the trophy. My oh my and the amount of gold on that world trophy is sufficient enough to buy me well…..(convert dollar 20 million into Kenya shillings and see what that can buy me.) Well the sad thing about football is no matter how much your ball possession or shots on target, if that doesn’t translate into goals well then they will be just activities. A team might have 32% ball possession but end up winning because when their precise moment happens, they gracefully translate that into a goal. Well this is a case scenario where numbers lie and at the same time they don’t. Football karma has such a force that no matter your fans know how to play the drums like the Senegalese fans, you don’t get a goal, you are outta the door, or should I say the stadium? Now for the Morocco and France game, I don’t know who to cheer, my Casablanca legends or my tall dark and handsome French boys. All I can say is, ‘may the best team win.’ #StillTheChronicler. #Badonikonaball.
Waking up in the morning is always a hustle. But there’s is always this early bird in the woods that seems to have no such problem. First of all lemmi state that like that song I’ll never swim Kern River again, my version be I’ll never live in Kanairo again. A great part of living mashinani is that you mostly take ten minutes to get to work. Now imagine taking me to Kanairo where I’ll waste two hours in the jam. No need to say more. So back to the bird, I hope she’s a bluebird or else I’m making a catapult and bringing her down. Hahaha just kidding, I don’t kill for a living. So this bluebird carries the huge responsibility of waking up the entire forest all by herself. She’s like a bellringer in all the evil sense. Ever wondered why the bell ringer never arrives late or falls ill? Now Mr bluebird will chirp in the wee hours of the morning, then listen and on hearing no response he’ll keep mum for a while, chirp again, listen again, keep mum, repeat and so on and so forth until finally the response comes. What he doesn’t know is that a daughter of Jezebel is stepping on the blanket and praying like Joshua that the sun stands still. Wait a minute, did I just put Jezebel and Joshua in the same sentence? Some Js there. Now to the story of the day, mama calls me, uvivu ni adui mkubwa kwa ujenzi wa taifa is playing on the radio. Instead of rising up, I step on the blanket, sleep comes calling and ooh we sped off into Dreamland. I’m late to reach the gate and I wonder why the bell ringer couldn’t be late like me. The bell sounds and I realise not even running of stick will okoa my Jahazi. So now if running won’t save me, what will, akili mtu wangu; limping. I start limping towards the gate and when I reach the gate I find the teacher on duty standing, arms akimbo and she looks at me questioningly then asks, ‘why are you limping?’ I reply with a poker face that the donkey hit me. Wueeh even I get surprised because said teacher is my aunt and she knows that we neither have a donkey at home, nor the whole village. What surprises me is when she looks agitatedly behind me and asks, ‘all of you were hit by donkeys?’ I look back to find everyone else limping. SMH Lord have mercy, lemmi turn into vapour like naphthalene. Na mbona by the way ulininyima properties za naphthalene ukapatia ghosts? That’s how I found myself almost late for work. Bluebird ukiniamsha wewe nitakuwa naamka mara that that. #StillTheChronicler.
Still sitted on the Kitchen island, his tummy now full of buns, Kīrīmi was about to reach his pocket for his phone then remembered that he had been robbed in broad daylight while Nairobians watched the movie unfold in 3D and the city clock continued to tick on. Not even time would stop in his moment of despair. Does time ever stop. He remembered only two instances when it stops. One is when soulmates find each other and for that one moment time seems to stands still. He wondered if that would ever happen to him. The other instance is dated way back to his Sunday school days when his Sunday school teacher narrated the story of Joshua and how he made the sun stand still. He found himself mumbling, ‘now Joshua if you were here..’ just then Kīmani who had stepped to the living room to speak on the phone, tapped him on the shoulder bringing his walk down memory lane to an abrupt screech. He motioned him to follow him to the living room and narrated to him the circumstances surrounding his newly found reprieve. He told him about the organisation and how it recruits ‘physically challenged’ Kenyans and takes them out on the streets to beg from innocent Kenyans. It’s no wonder Kenya was ranked no. 2 in the Philanthropy index after Indonesia in 2020, Kīrimi thought. Judging by the opulence in this house, the Ubuntu spirit had clearly been taken for a ride, don’t ask me where, it could even be to the Appalachian mountains. Kīmani told him that he’d be assimilated in their community as soon as he underwent training. Meanwhile he’d be given chores in the mansion which would earn him a monthly stipend. He’d also be given clothes and sleeping quarters while being inducted and later joined the operations. As he began to visualize himself a beggar on the streets of Nairobi the shrill voice of a bell sounded and everyone started streaming in the dining area all set for dinner. Even though he had just downed the simsim buns he joined the queue and put a little too much of everything on his plate. He needed a heavy meal so he would fall asleep instantly as soon as he landed on the bed. He didn’t want to sleep ‘ta Maitū ahika.’ Better to worry about tomorrow, tomorrow…. To be continued… #StillTheChronicler.
They say once a Damiano always a Damiano. But I beg to differ, I think once a hustler, always a hustler. That’s why our very own Doyen finds it a title befitting. That’s why our CS’s could very well name their net worth in millions and still claim to be familiar with the plight of the common mwananichi. So after the launch of the much awaited hustler fund, I decided to check my eligibility/ limit and upon getting a short message that my confirmation will be back in like two hours my mind begins to conjure all sorts of scenarios. You see I might be a hustler in the wallet department but my grey matter is unlimited. So my grey matter starts convincing me about all the possibilities that could come with this hustler fund. I see myself at Kempinski dining with the who is who and like Archimedes in that bathtub it’s like the lightbulb finally comes to life. Ndio mimi huyo dressed to the nines in my Kikomba thrift dress that looks better on me than it looked in it’s original owner or so it seems. I look at myself in the mirror and decide that a little face lift will do. So I mix those foundations and mascaras that my niece forgot in my house the last time she came visiting. Fast forward I call Kīmani wa tegithi and he comes instantly like he was just idling in the neighborhood also waiting for the same text. He surveys me from head to toe like a surveyor dividing mburoti maguta maguta. Told yah, dressed to the nines. He whistles and is about to put my arm in his (plus one style) then realises he’s only my chauffeur for the night. He however has the decency to open the door for me, ushers me in and goes to his side of the door and as he brings the engine to life, he asks, ‘which way your majesty.’ I’m feeling the snobbish vibes coming to life and so I put google maps on and ask him to follow the directions coming loudly from my phone. He obeys the melodic voice like a puppy after severe training from the dog whisperer only surreptitiously looking at me when he thinks I’m not looking. I’m engrossed in the side mirror looking for any signs of hustler showing up on my face and I keep sponging to get rid of them. They may not allow you there if poverty decides to check mate 😂 When the Google girl finally utters, ‘you’ve reached your destination, I look up and fan myself when I take in the view before me. Kīmani stares at me with that look of, ‘are you sure this is your destination?’ I only nod and then utter, ‘mubaba.’ He seems to finally get it and I quickly get out of the car before he can get out of the car and open my door. He seems to get the ‘I’m not in the mood vibe’ oozing out of me and let’s me be. I’m about to walk to my, ‘the destination’ and I look back with disdain all over my face only to see him rubbing his fingers in that money sign. Only then do I realise that I’ve not paid him. I have no money in my MPESA wallet but then I have no worries since fuliza keeps me company when rafiki pesa has deserted me which seems to be the case most days. So I fuliza my expenses away and walk suggestively towards my goal of the day which is kufuraia maisa, life ni sort mehn. I arrive and I’m ushered in like a dignitary and I’m shown a table at the west wing with a perfect view. I’m given the cocktail drink of the day and the menu is left for me to check and decide on what to order. Five minutes later the waiter approaches and I realise I still don’t know what I’m supposed to order. I should have googled these exquisite culinary dishes before I came. I ask for more time because I don’t want to order something from the family of moluscae or arachnida. When the waiter shows up a second time, I put my pride aside and request him to help me place the order. He is very helpful and when the scrumptious meal finally arrives, my salivary glands ooh my. This is heavenly orgasmic even. I munch and enjoy every piece of it and after desert and another drink I ask the waiter to bring the bill and then ooh my, that’s when I realise that the hustler confirmation message has still not come. That’s when I start singing, ‘ooh the snakes crawl at night that’s what they say’ loudly and start shouting, ‘devil you are not my portion’ to the astonishment of the waiter who is now holding my bill with trembling hands. The supervisor is called and I’m summoned to his office where I explain my current predicament. That my friends is how I ended up in this hot kitchen chongaing viazi and washing sufurias sweat trickling down my face. If you look at me and a guineafowl you may not be able to tell the difference. Maybe I should call Kīmani, he might come to my rescue. Labda SMS yake ilirudi. #StillTheChronicler. ##StillTheHustler.
Even Kīmani whom he’d pushed all the way from Tearoom to Ronald Ngala road was now walking towards the bus door and beckoning him to follow him. He opened his mouth wide as if he was about to swallow some flies then realized it and faked a yawn. He felt conflicted, confused and bamboozled all at the same time. These emotions overwhelmed him, he almost cried but then remembered he was a man and society demands of men not to show their true emotions. He remembered way back when he was a young boy and was involved in a brawl with another boy who hit him in the eye. When he came home crying, he was given a thorough beating by his old man for crying. Nobody bothered with his eye, he nursed the black eye for days too afraid to show any pain. They walked towards the bungalow and Kīmani pressed the buzzer, then they were ushered in by another intimidating bouncer who gave Kīrīmi a once-over from head to toe while sneering at Kīmani. Everyone scrambled to a room on the west wing of the bungalow and when the door opened Kīrīmi could see an ocean of beds spread from window to window. Kīmani pulled him aside and they sat in the expanse living room which doubled as a dining room. He now surveyed the ornate wall to wall carpets, the crystal chandeliers hanging in the hallways and the exquisite wall paintings which gave the mansion a gothic look. From what looked like a huge kitchen, a mixture of organic aromas wafted through the window reminding Kīrīmi that he had not eaten anything since breakfast. His stomach began rumbling and Kīmani realized that he couldn’t form a useful conversation with him in his current predicament. After all, ‘ng’aragu ndīhoyagwo ūhoro.’ He stood up and beckoned him to follow him to the kitchen where the Chefs were going about their business. He left him at the island and came back carrying a thermos full of African tea on one hand and sim sim buns on the other. Kīrīmi devoured them with a passion and emptied the flask at the speed of lightning in a hurry. He belched and stretched himself thanking the heavens for a friend like Kīmani. Had he just called him friend, was he a friend or foe? For now all he cared about was that he’d seen that saying, ‘tūhenie nda nī kīrimū’ come to life….
The adrenal rush was beginning to subside in his bloodstream and he now began to notice what was happening around him. Before he was following orders like a robot but now his other senses began to come back to life. He turned to Kīmani, the hustler and started shooting questions at him like a drowning person. All Kīmani could say was wait, you will see. Like the slogan seeing is believing he decided to wait and see. He felt bad for having judged the van driver earlier on and thought to himself that Karma was now on his case and that’s why he ended up mugged. He now wished for that masking tape only this time it’d be on his own mouth. The coaster continued it’s journey towards what he came to know was Kīambu road. The night lights were doing a good job of calming his nervousness and he thought for a while there that he was gazing at the milky way from a state of the art telescope. The sudden breaking of the coaster as it took a left turn into the posh Runda estates brought Kīrīmi back to the present. For a while there he’d gone back to those old days when the Timaū skies would display an array of stars from the Southern Cross, to Gemini and numerous other constellations. He’d gaze upwards and try to fathom the wonders of creation at an early age, whatever happened to his curiosity, he wondered. Then he’d ask himself how all this could have come from a big bang. Some theory there 🤔. They came to a magnificent gate and the driver pressed a gadget which opened the way to what could only be explained by an agape mouth. For a moment there he thanked St. Peter for not opening the Pearly gates door earlier. He didn’t know what shocked him more though; the state of the art architectural designs or the fact that all the lame people who were inside the coaster could now walk on their two legs…. To be continued #StillTheChronicler.