I just come here for the music, I get lost here in the sound, I ain’t looking for nobody but can I buy you one more round? I just come here for the music, how about you? …Don Williams.
Words I’d mimick for a special swampy place, I spent lots of time in while growing on the slopes of the mountains. From grazing to fetching water for washing classes and pouring on the earthen floors so as to keep away fleas as they told us. This place saved entire generations.
We also picked reeds to make dancing costumes to entertain the DO’s of them days. DO’s were big people back then. CBC dates way back. ‘Wahurumuka ūtuku…..woe Bible na tawa…’
But above all, I remember the games we played while grazing. I’d hide so well that I almost wound up in the Guinness book of world records. Hhmmh, you had that right, at least our very own edition of that.
Stirring the still waters to watch the leeches swim towards the shore, then cutting them to pieces and watching the pieces get a life of their own, before returning them back in the waters. Mahn, those things were diabolical. If one got a hold of your leg, wueeh, story for another day.
Then at night, the sounds of the frogs croaking, especially during the rainy season, coupled with the fireflies display of their natural fireworks not forgetting the beauty of the Colorado (kūrora andū) skies emphasised by the Southern cross and Gemini.
Ooh I’ll say, ‘I just come here for the memories, I get lost here in the sounds, I just come here for the memories, how about you, where do you go for your memories? To Thiba maybe? Enjoy. Dear rains, please restore this place once more.


White lies. Zile lines tulikuwa tunadanganywa nazo as we were growing up e.g kids are bought in hospital. Also you’d be told that if you swallow chewing gum, it’d make your intestines stick together. Right now I’m feeling like pouring HCL on chewing gum to see how it behaves. Then we’d be told that if you swallowed seeds, they’d germinate in your belly and sprout through your mouth and nostrils. SMH. Only now do I think about the conditions necessary for a seed to germinate and wonder whether there’s light in the tummy because seriously a seed germinating in the stomach?
Then there was that lie that after Cain, ‘Adams son’ was cursed by God, he started roaming the universe at night and if you looked outside at midnight you’d see his feet and that his footsteps are from one horizon to the other. Luckily I didn’t look outside at midnight because I was scared that Cain would grab me by the dress, Undertaker style and carry me from one corner of the world to the other. Even though I think he might have helped me travel the world like that Beatnik guy, ‘Jack Kerouac,’ I doubt we’d find any rest because no sooner is it day in Africa than its darkness in Bermuda. But if he’d offered to carry me on his shoulders as I write my chronicles, I wouldn’t have minded, because ooh the inspirations I’d have gathered from Maldives, The Bahamas, Kathmandu and Casablanca not forgetting the milky way.
For now lemmi sing Midnight in Montgomery, he’s always singing there, as I hope that the song is referring to one Hank Williams and not Cain or ‘marimū ma nyakondo.’ Hī, I think I see him over there, sshh…


I’ve been giving my Kamba friends bananas and avocados in anticipation that when the mango season comes, they’ll reciprocate or return the hand. ‘ gūcokia guoko.’ You can call it bribery but I choose to call it barter trade. Yeah, remember Kaūs were long distance traders who used to traverse the coastal lowlands to the yatta plateaus all the way to Sukuma in Tanzania. And if you thought barter trade ended go to Gakīndū market in Mūkūrweinī Nyeri. When I was in nursery school, sometimes I’d be late to go to school and mama would give me a small kiondo full of oranges to give to the teacher. The teacher would then find it difficult to cane a pupil with oey goey eyes carrying her oranges. It’s not bribery. It’s called barter trade. Exchanging a few strokes of the cane with oranges 🤣. Funny enough it worked. So my dear Kamba friends, if you thought I was giving you avocados because I’m kind, you got it all wrong. Soon I’ll be expecting my fare share of mangoes. Na sio tafadhali 🤣🤣


Reasons why you need a keen photographer is to evade situations like these. This photo gave me a real character development. I was one who was used to disorderliness and what have you until this photo was taken and instead of admiring us I could only see a potato farm in Kīnangofu(kings gulf), only that said kings gulf had come for a sleepover in my hostel room and was now having a time of her life under my bed.
So friends that’s how I developed OCD and now I like seeing things in perfect order. I can’t seem to be able to work when everything is every which way. I don’t know if this is a good or a bad thing because every now and then, I want to be that person who throws in the towel and says, ‘liwe liwalo.’ I want to break some rules here and there and those rules do not include, ‘do not stand and stare.’ That one I can break in a blink of an eye and stare real hard. It doesn’t help that I have huge eyes. I’m just good at concealing them in their sockets.
And to think that I still had to pay that photographer. Ingekuwa sasa angetii. Mapema ndio best.
#Still the chronicler.


I feel heat coursing through my veins like an erupting volcano. My skin can’t take it anymore and I feel like I want to crawl out of it. An electric fan humming in the room the only audible sound in the vicinity. I have gotten rid of most clothes but that too ain’t working. I head to the fridge and guzzle the contents of the milk container in my mouth. I feel it’s cooling effect almost instantly as it travels down my alimentary canal and settles in the pit of my stomach. Relief starts to set in but then I feel something rising in my gut. Sir Isaac Newton please tell me why gravity ain’t working here. I rush to the sink lucky enough to arrive there moments before all the contents in my belly hit the sink. The pungent smell makes me wring my nose as I clean the sink. I’m now perspiring and shivering simultaneously only I have to stay strong. I open the cold shower and drown my sorrows away. After all they say, ‘dawa ya moto ni moto.’ I tuck myself in bed without bothering to dry myself.My heartache has just graduated to a body ache. After all the heart is part of the body anyway.
Guess I forgot to post my graduation photo when others were doing. But as they say, ‘better late than never.’ And if you happen to see the dimpled governor tell him I might just find him a nickname. Hope he finds me a hustle too, instantly like Riggy Gee.Tell him I’m a good writer, you can judge by the contents of this script.
#StillThe chronicler.


Ain’t nothing bad like gumboots getting stuck on your feet. You may have to light a smoke signal to summon the entire village who will have to arrange themselves mūgithi style or like in a tag of war as they summon all their energies to pull the gumboots off your feet.
Growing up on the slopes of our dear mountain, gumboots were Veblen/ goods of ostentation. On the rare occasion you came across someone who had them, you’d sweet talk them into letting you wear them just so you could enjoy that kafeeling.
Now if that person’s leg was smaller than you, then brace yourself for the aftermath because truth be told sliding your leg down the boot wasn’t the issue here. Removing it was a ritual because ilikuwa inakwama hapo kwa ankle. Putting soapy water in the gumboots was not always as successful as operation Linda mama. Step two then would involve summoning all your kinsmen and if that wasn’t enough the whole neighborhood for a much needed team building affair, where one sided tug of war would be the main agenda.
If the boot was successfully pulled out you’d then proceed to sing Merle Haggard’s I’ll never swim Kern river again. This time it would sound more like, ‘Ill never wear borrowed boots again.’ Then again if you thought that was bad enough ask my sister Asusena how she felt when her small hand got stuck in a thermos. I bet she sung stuck on you by Lionel Richie kimoyomoyo. 🤣🤣just like this flower is stuck on me.

Drop dead gorgeous

After a long walk along these dusty Ngurubani paths, something finally clicks in my brain sort of like a light bulb and I ask myself, Isn’t today Mashujaa day, yes it is. I’m I not a heroine, sure I am. So who I’m I waiting on to give me the heroine treatment? After all the greatest love is when you love yourself. Here we go Whitney.This is how I find myself sitting in this smoky café, waiting on the butcher in a mustard yellow tusker extra t-shirt to roast my pork. The only difference in this atmosphere is that there’s no Spanish guitarist to dream about 🤣. So I sit and listen to my music as my body tries to wade of the heat from it’s system. I mean this Ngurubani’s heat is leaning more towards hell than heaven. Before I sat, I asked if it’s ready and was told yes. I thought I’d sit for like ten minutes and I’d be good to go. Then again I don’t wanna start beautifying these our streets with taenia saginata so patience, I tell myself. Only Jacaranda trees are allowed to beautify these our streets 😉
By the way do you remember that Jacaranda poem in class 5 the one Mr. Macharia made us recite?
‘I grow in rows along the streets, in villages and towns…….’
Twarithia nambere wee wamenya, Na mwenye anadai Mimi sio shujaa aongee leo, or forever hold your peace.
Happy mashujaa day y’all.

A different specimen

This Ivy Chelimo’story and the job offer has me wondering whether I’ve been nicknaming the wrong people. From nicknaming paros with names like ocs and ocpd, to nicknaming teachers with names in the periodic table and then finally nicknaming bosses, I can’t help but wonder where I’ve been using the wrong specimen because suddenly, in the twinkle of an eye here comes Ivy who decides to nickname the DP and voila; a job offer. It’s true what the good book says, ‘time and chance happens to everyone.’
Now I’m here wondering who I should nickname next. Kuna mtu ako na anja ama ndīteithie mīitū ya gwitū? Then again maybe I should have been named after a plant.🤔

The rumble.

So after Kīrimi left the chief’s office with his head held high and his gait even higher , he put his earbuds on and listened to, ‘lift up your head and hold it up high, we know that we win the prize.’ His denim pants had dropped an inch lower since his victory and gait were beginning to get to his head. Suddenly in the blink of an eye, rumbling fever began in the pit of his stomach. He removed the earphones and listened attentively and alas, this time he heard it clearer and wueeh, he had experienced it enough timed to know what was coming. He opened himself (kujifungulia) and ran at the speed of ‘mūrife don’t run’ like what we used to call, ‘rīa kamūtī’ yaani of stick or the speed of lightning in a hurry. He advanced towards his house but before he could reach the homestead the felt the rectum give in to what little determination that was left. His adrenal glands came in handy and he jumped over his neighbor’s euphorbia fence like an eland on heat, lowered his pants and gave the garden the much needed manure to the relief of his hot belly. Only when he rose up to look for ‘maigoya leaves’ did he see his neighbor grin from ear to ear. That’s when he realised that he had been, ‘nīndaumbīkīirwo kīihu.’ He ran towards his house faster than he had the first time since he now understood that this was gonna last a lil bit longer and he wanted to be home when the next bout came. He finally understood that, ‘mūgathī wa kuona ūteaga wa mwene.’


Once upon a time, farmer Kīrīmi went to the market and bought kales seedlings. He watered them religiously and one evening after a hard day’s work he passed by the posho mill and bought some posho. His stomach now aware of the almost happenings began to rumble as his salivary glands began to secrete the much needed salivary amylase. He could picture himself folding the ugali with the lusciously green kales in his divine kitchen garden. But what he saw on arrival at his compound made him stop on his tracks and his knees gave in like those of, ‘kulikuwa na mfalme Belteshazzar, aliandaa karamu ya heshima, akasema viletwe vile vyombo baba yake alivitoa Yerusalemu.’ Slowly as he froze there, statue mode, his mind replayed back in HD resolution how he’d woken up in the wee hours of the morning, walked a long way to the market, bought the seedlings, planted them, watered them religiously, but now instead of the succelent leaves, stood his neighbours chicken, arms akimbo, if only it had them, belly too full inspecting and marvelling about its precision at ‘kūbutabuta matharu.’
Kīrīmi almost collapsed on his knees like in the, ‘mene mene tekel’ episode but then he remembered, ‘mūrife don’t run’ and alas, that lightbulb in the head came to life. He approached his house on tippy toes while praying, ‘ chicken don’t run.’ He quickly set a trap for the chicken and as the saying goes, ‘yenda mūno ītuthaga rūrīra,’ the chicken could not resist the maize grains temptation despite it’s tummy being full of veggies and boom, the basket hit the ground and Kīrimi grinned from ear to ear. He boiled the water, slaughtered the chicken, boiled it Kebera style with kapiripiri kwa umbali and sat down to enjoy the scrumptious meal. He later lay down on the couch, belched, dozed of and dreamt of a paradise full of chicken wings.
The next day the neighbor realized that one of her chicken had gone missing and paid a courtesy call to Kīrimi who denied ever seeing the said chicken, but as the neighbor was going back home, she saw the chicken feathers that Kīrimi had carelessly thrown in the compost pit. Mwendo ulikuwa ule wa aste aste mpaka kwa, ‘cibū nīwe njanji,’ evidence properly sealed in a polythene bag like in those forensic series. Kīrimi was summoned by the chief and asked why he ate the neighbours chicken. In his defence he brought a whole lorry of evidence showing how he could have enjoyed his kales for a whole year while he enjoyed the chicken for only one night. His opening lines didn’t comprise of peeky, peeky ponky but rather the opening line to Burning Spears’ ‘the crime they charge I man for, I’m not guilty.’
Guess what, the chief acquitted him. Have a crimeless evening.