PLATTE-LAND 008: IN LAWS

Related imageAnastasia is 5 months pregnant. Her belly has started to bulge as her neck darkens by the day. She occasionally wakes up with morning sickness – feeling dizzy, nausea, headache and backache. While heartburn is a frequent occurrence, her skin is glowing and appears way softer. Her bust is increasing in size perhaps gearing up to have capacity for the baby’s milk.

In the next 3 months, she will have to defer her studies as she prepares to take on motherhood. Luckily, this will coincide with the long holiday break, meaning she will not cut short her classes in the middle of the semester. She has now coped with her predicament of studying while being expectant, besides struggling to forget the infamous drama that led to her pregnancy. Her friendship with her circle of buddies has been highly tested, with some choosing the easier way out – of ridiculing her in the periphery, instead. Such is life!

Her relationship with Mongoose has been grossly underfed of late, possibly due to the sharp focus and sensitivity of the matter at hand and going by the court’s ruling. Over and above that, the two families have limited their communication to each other, and left it at the mercy of emissaries to dispatch information back and forth. Predictably, the two family ties have been marred with heightened tension and caution.

Nonetheless, she has now reconciled with her folks after the dramatic ending to the case proceedings where she let the cat out of the bag regarding the alleged rape. As a matter fact, her family has fully embraced her pregnancy journey and showed lots of support. They regularly visit her in school to find out how she is fairing besides getting her an assistant to help in house chores. They’ve also rented her a spacious apartment since the hostels are way congested.

However, today, Anastasia’s family will be expecting visitors at their home. A powerful delegation from Anastasia’s boyfriend – Mongoose, will be paying a visit having notified and requested to pay a courtesy call to deliver a special message. On receiving the request through three gentlemen that visited Anastasia’s dad recently, Pastor Muchoki consulted his kins from the association of Athuri a Jung’wa as well as his family regarding the visit. The three gentlemen had come armed with a handful of shopping, a 20 litre jerrycan of muratina and some cash. After a lengthy consultation, Mongoose family was given a nod to the visit.

In forethought…

Anastasia was looking forward to the visit that would determine the fate of her relationship with Mongoose. They’ve barely talked much for the last five months and she’d wonder what’s within the special message his men would come forth with. Would her supposed in laws demand for the baby after the delivery and denounce her in totality? Would it be another set of court cases regarding the custody of the baby? Would he pledge to sustain the love for her as he always attested even after such a horrifying expose of their intimate moment? Would Mongoose’s family take responsibility and show commitment to her pregnancy and future of the baby? Would it turn out that she was meant to be a single Mum after-all?

For Mongoose, he was also caught up in the fizzy cobwebs of uncertainty. He wondered if Anastasia would stick to him even after her personal life was pealed off and subjected to the public gallery. It was a mystery according to him to imagine whether, their once highly guarded secret relationship would ever heal and recover from the beating it underwent 5 months ago. On the other hand, reality was sinking that he’d be someone’s dad in a couple of months, prepared or not. Life seemed punishing and on a vengeance mission. Fortunately for him, he always loved Anastasia. He was struck by her right from childhood when they met during inter-schools sports events and in church where they were enrolled in the same class of catechism.

D-Day

Unlike in a dowry event where a convoy of cars sneak in a village with all manner of gusto and theatrics, hooting and blinking their headlights, the maiden visit that is mostly for in laws to get to know each other, and the guy’s family to formally visit the girls home, is usually muffling and tensive.

Mongoose delegation arrived few minutes after 2 pm but before then, they made a stopover at Ol-Magogo township for housekeeping purpose, and to ensure they were strategic in all their communication lest they’d would be denied a green light for gods know what the special message entailed. They pulled at the gate and Anastasia’s brothers ushered them to the vast compound dotted with all manner of indigenous trees from the Casuarina, Moringa, Waterpear, Fountain Tree and Fever tree just to name a few. Suffice is to say, Pastor Muchoki has a soft spot for the environment, backed by a short stint at Kenya Forest Service, fresh out of campus. Here, he developed a liking for conserving the environment. He has many tree nurseries round his farm which he sells to the villagers.

They were officially welcomed by the chair of Athuri a Jung’wa in the sub county of Kimahuri Mr. Githendu Ndideko who never left behind his symbolic walking stick, Anastasia’s eldest uncle – Sir Waishigo Wakagoshi who was fond of keeping a he-goat beard at his chin and Kwa Nguku’s Nyumba Kumi chair Mr. Konyeki Mwihau. Pastor Muchoki was few meters behind in tandem with other family members and friends. Mongoose’s delegation had a set of six men. Shortly after, everybody settled in the house and the women served meals after a short prayer session led by Mrs.Justina. With hunger pangs having been taken care of, formal introduction from both parties followed next.

Mongoose sandwiched by his dad and Uncle Wamathanwa, was inevitably quiet, would seem subdued and avoided eye contact with his presumed in laws, for reasons best known to him. Meanwhile, an anxious Anastasia was holed in her room massaging her belly and occasionally peeping at the door trying to discern if there’d be someone sent to fetch her.

Mr. Waishigo took over the MC role by throwing the ball to Mongoose’s delegation requesting them to state the reasons for their visit. He alluded that according to their culture, it’s the guests who come with the news; good or bad. Uncle Wamathanwa who was the spokesman of the other delegation gladly welcomed the statement.

Wamathanwa: First and foremost I wish to thank you for your hospitality and warm welcome. We clearly feel at home. We’ve enjoyed the sumptuous meals and drinks. Now, we’ve brought this young man sitted next to me. Taking a glance at Mongoose like he has never seen him before. I will invite him to tell us his reasons for requesting us to accompany him to this honourable home.

All eyes rolled over to Mongoose who clearly looked intimidated by the age of the men eagerly waiting for a solid and coherent message, communicated with eloquence and confidence. He felt the weight on his shoulders of being the man who’d tickle the bubble and deflate the tension in Pastor Muchoki’s home, that was housing this very defining moment.

Mongoose: Well, thank you everybody. Aah, I requested my family to accompany me as I visit this home to officially request to be given a chance to marry off your daughter Anastasia and begin the dowry process.

Waishigo: So, are you responsible for impregnating her?

Mongoose: Stands up. Yes I am.

Waishigo: Okay, sit down. He walks out to have Anastasia traced.

Awkward silence….

Waishigo: Anastasia, do you know this man? Pointing at Mongoose.

Anastasia: Yes I do.

Waishigo: How so?

Anastasia: He’s my boyfriend.

Waishigo: Okay. You can leave. Anastasia calmly walks out of the room.

Githendu: On behalf of Anastasia’s family we would like to say the following; That we thank you for the respectful gesture of visiting this home. We’ve listened to your message and taken note. We accept your request to have Anastasia married off to your family. However, according to our traditions, it’s a taboo to discuss anything relating to the dowry process and to commence it, until the unborn baby is delivered. Moreover, you’ll have to ensure Anastasia completes her campus studies uninterrupted and we expect that you’ll clear all her school fees going forward.

Wamathanwa: As the family of Ezekiel Kiarie (Mongoose), we are most obliged. We’re humbled to have our plea honoured and are fully satisfied by the response passed across. We also concur that the dowry process can only be begun when the baby is born. Having said that, we didn’t come empty handed! We have thirty thousand shillings and some shopping in our cars as an appreciation for the kind gestures we’ve received from this honourable home and more importantly, as a sign of commitment for better days ahead.

Hands over the cash to Mr. Waishigo. Mr. Waishigo counts it to confirm the amount with no urgency, spits saliva on it and hands it over to Pastor Muchoki’s eldest son – Umbriska Maithori.

Mongoose and Anastasia were requested to hold hands as they were blessed by the elders from the two families. A closing prayer session was conducted, followed by hearty handshakes and hugs.

Women ululated from outside as the ceremony came to an end. Anastasia was officially handed over to Mongoose’s family to start over her marriage life.

Mongoose’s inner voices cheered him up – Bro, who breaks a lady’s virginity and goes ahead to marry her! That aside, where do you find virgins at this day and age? You are a god-man!

Previously on Platte-Land Series

Platte-Land continues next Monday…

Photo Credit: Amira Africa

 

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PLATTE-LAND 007: NIGHT OUT

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When Black Bulls lifted the coveted MUST Rugby cup of 2018 during this year’s cultural week held recently, nothing crossed Njagi’s mind that there’d be consequences. The bet they made with Sly was being actualized, meeting Njagi off guard. He’d be forgiven to imagine Sly was never serious with the bet and that it was her side of being cheeky. But far from it, she was pressing him to honour the promise. That would mean taking her out for a night of drinks. The thought of it made Njagi smile all day and to him, it wasn’t a bad idea after-all. The last time he saw Sly tipsy was during Eston’s house party and her body language seemed quite tolerable to alcohol apart from making her appear whimsical.

So, they met at one of the city’s entertainment suburb on a perfect Friday evening. Njagi is not a club person as such but when duty calls especially from a special friend, a man got to break the rules and honour the invitation.The night was young, bubbly, agile and there was so much ground to cover. They sneaked into a popular club ushered in by illuminating colours hinged artistically on the tunnel-like corridor leading the way to the main ballroom.

They curled through the throngs of humans rubbing off lasses chests, stepping on some unlucky feet and hastily apologizing, inhaling irresistible cologne from people who take time to invest in their bodies and hopping on a staircase to the next floor, to a table mounted on a balcony overlooking the parking lot and gazing at the busy highway. The wind seemed to blow some fresh air cutting across Sly’s graceful hair and the defeaning music from the dance hall, doing wonders in burying off all the evil spirits rising from the nightery. The ambiance was simply – addictive and reassuring.

Njagi hinted at a waitress who met his eyes. She had a body to die for, a swanky smile and a very heavy, violet lipstick. Her raised cheekbones and pristine face couldn’t help matters. Her skirt was hundreds of kilometers above the knees and that alone, resuscitated Njagi’s soul. She was alluring and she knew it. She walked over holding her tray placed at her waistline. Njagi could smell her natural scent as he stole glances at her generous cleavage while ordering for Jack Daniels, never mind he was raised in church all his life plus his mum is a praise and worship leader at Apostle Muragaruri’s church. I call it the City curse. Sly went for Rib Shack red wine – A very safe drink.

With few counts of drinks, they dug into the conversation.

Sly: Who’d have thought MUST Zone would pick up that first?

Njagi: That was an ingenious idea. What took you that long?

Sly: Do I even know!

Njagi: Everybody seems to be loving it.

Sly: Did I mention to you I met with the Dean(Mr.Mwangi) and he was like; I owe you some lunch.

Njagi: Ooh! By the way, si you will now be part of MUST legendary alumni?

Sly: For sure. Can’t imagine coming after 20 crazy years out there to give a talk and sensationally hint that I was the brains behind Must-Zone!

Njagi: And everybody will come running to you for an autograph

They break into a well harmonized, hearty, drunk laughter.

Njagi: I hear Syokimau Daily newspaper have some internship positions. You should apply.

Sly: Really! I Should inquire about it but again my folks won’t even accept. They hate the media industry. I have no idea why.

Njagi: You know what! You can’t live under the shadows of your folks forever. Just do you and they will catch up with you later. Who’d have thought you owed MUST a school mag?

Sly: I will find out and apply. She excuses herself to the washroom staggering a bit.

Meanwhile, it’s been awhile since Njagi felt this confident. The drink is working for him. He orders for a third round. When Sly gets back she is awed by the full table of drinks awaiting her.

Sly: I tell you what Njagi, you look better now that Anastasia case is behind you. It had really taken a toll on you dear.

Njagi: What do you mean?

Sly: Yea, look at you. Tapping his arms. You’re back to your weight. Your face looks clearer. And you look more debonair and handsome!

Njagi: You are drunk Sly.

Another round of well-choreographed laughter taxis along their table.

Sly: Imagine it’s true.

Njagi: It didn’t hit me all along.

Sly: Never mind.

At this point, Njagi’s mind goes on a mental trail wondering why he has always been too diplomatic when it comes to second thinking about a relationship with Sly. To rescue his self-bashing, two reasons surface up – Both of them are to blame for allowing their chemistry to be drowned by their platonic friendship. Secondly, it is cowardly for him to slice Chris his chic, man. Speaking of Chris, they had only met once and he could tell, Chris didn’t like him. There is a way you can smell a dude who is interested in your woman 5 miles away, right? But Chris is to blame too, for underestimating Sly and making her dilly dally in Njagi’s territory.

Speaking of Chris…

Sly: Chris is acting strangely of late.

Njagi: What’s up?

Sly: He never calls as often as he used to.

Njagi: Somebody must be distracting him.

Sly: I hope not.

Njagi: Have you talked to him about it.

Sly: I’m tired of being the only one who mends fences.

Njagi: I leave it at that.

Sly: He has to man up. ….but you men are complicated (Sighing off)

Njagi: Trust me on this; there is a loose woman distracting him.

Sly: We have never had any mistrust issues.

Njagi: It’s time. Talk to your instincts.

Njagi excuses himself to the gents.

He smiles as he pees, his feet now struggling to hold his body. Meanwhile, his inner voice teases him off – You should take her to your cube (His hostel room) after this. I mean, she is too drunk to go home.  He shakes off and retreats back to their table as if nothing crossed his mind.

He finds Sly making some dance moves and he earnestly joins her. She fetches his palm, makes some synchronized moves, turns around rhythmically, gives him her posterior, his eyes feed on it as he stretches his arm around her waistline, she shows no qualms, the music carries along and so do they. The spacing between them gets limited, as their bodies seem to pull to each other. His groin rubs her bum and both of them pretend not to listen to their bodies react. Sly excuses herself to the ladies to freshen up.

They order more drinks and the merrymaking continues.

An hour after, Sly reaches to her phone and it’s 4:04 am. Boy, she got to leave. They walk down the stairs holding hands and out through the colourful tunnel to the parking lot. Sly is clearly overly drunk. She can’t stand on her own and thereby leans on Njagi’s tall body to find her balance. She calls an Uber. In the meantime, blaming it on alcohol, their lips lock into each other. It’s short and sweet.

It awakens their senses as the Uber driver pulls along. Sly hurriedly hugs Njagi affectionately and boards the car. She waves through the windscreen as Njagi traces his way to the hostel wondering why Shiku didn’t taste the same and why he could just let Sly slip away with such a sweet ending to the night out.

Previously on Platte-Land Series

Platte-land series continues next Monday…

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

PLATTE-LAND 006: CULTURAL WEEK

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Who doesn’t look forward to cultural week festivals while in campus? It’s one week where students get supercharged for all the activities taking place concurrently. Be it sports, modeling, drama, music, dancing competitions, name them; it’s basically a galore of bliss and entertainment. What’s more could a student wish for?

At Matiba University of Science & Technology (MUST), usually is a melting point for divergence of cultures in such a week. This year was no different. With the increasing number of international and local students over the years in this institution, the cultural diversity has been growing by leaps and bounds. This year’s theme was dubbed Celebrating Diversity & Heritage through Peaceful Co-existence. The long list of activities that went through panels of judges included; Literature & Theatre Arts, Food festivals, Fashion & Film, Martial Arts & Bodybuilders, Modelling & Dancing competitions, Photography, Sports & beauty pageants.

The Literature & Theatre Arts section was quite broad with sets of judges keenly scrutinizing presentations. Under it were contests in; Blog of the year, Plays, Poetry, Short stories, Young Authors contests and a keynote address by a guest speaker from African Stories Publishers. Njagi participated in Poetry and really impressed. Sly, couldn’t help watching her buddy go hard on his poetry lines. She was carried away by the long pauses calling for retrospection as he crossed from one paragraph to the other. She watched his forehead veins bulge and for the first time, was flattered by his height. Njagi was clever not to cross her eyes. I mean, going by Sly’s gaze at him while sitting at the second row of the hall just after the judges, one would tell there was more than met the eye.

Part of his poet scripts went like:

The scorching sun, sending its heated rays far and wide. The dry winds blowing from the highlands to the plains. Women agonizing over the looming famine as they walk for kilometers, in search of an oasis just after the floods swept everything a few months ago.  Disillusioned men bogged by life, juggle for long, in quest of casual work, all in futility. Toddlers crying for a mama’s breast to quench a thirst.

In another world, somebody is running up and down chasing elusive dreams. Trying to beat deadlines. Cruising with self-centered personalities. Massaging egos of his seniors. Is this all about life?

The world is run by corrupt dealings and mega scandals after which we are promised no stone will be left unturned. But what is turned, is a new phase of the forest, as the monkeys remain the same. As soon as they retreat back to their boardrooms, another scandal is drafted. Come election time, we are all carried away by the idiotic plague of mtu-wetu syndrome.

Withholding information and getting away with it. Building careers, tenderpreneurs and crumbling them for laying people’s wives and college kids.
Stalking is what we do all day on social media. Overrated personalities and insecure lovers are who we are. We cheat, blackmail and trade threats sensationally.
Is there more to life!

The food arena was a cocktail of activities. The foodie people had so much to savor and taste including cakes, which was a category that got introduced this year. Enthusiasts in matters cooking and experimenting with contemporary cuisine techniques were busy outdoing each other, showing their skills in presenting legions of varieties of food from across the world and locally. Going by this year’s theme, the food festival showcased so much wealth of cultures and divergence that should rather be the norm than the exception in bringing us together and aid in defeating tribalism that has sadly penetrated in institutions of higher learning as well. The judges in this area had their work clearly cut out.

Just last year, the film students at Matiba University finished working on their much anticipated first major film, christened Chronicles of Cattle Dip which is a series of 25 episodes. Since the film curtain rolled on our screens courtesy of Syokimau TV early this year, it has gone ahead to win accolades locally and internationally. As a matter of fact, a selected team of 5 lead atheists will represent Matiba University (MUST) in this year’s Santa Barbara International Film Festival where the film has been nominated, to be held from July 7th in California, US. It was on such high stakes that the cultural week this year benefited from showcasing by the film students, on the behind-the-scenes of Cattle-Dip film shooting and scripting, and some of their new projects coming up.

Chronicles of Cattle-dip is a series depicting the mismanagement of a community facility and the leadership wrangles, surrounding the governing of a typical village set Cattle dip.

The rugby finale was such a mouthwatering game to watch for both lads and lasses for totally different reasons. While the former identified with it since its a man’s game to exhibit his physical strength and mental aptitude, the latter watched it to admire the biceps and the cubed chests that were rare to find along the school corridors. And if you schooled in MUST you either belonged to Black Bulls or Blue Sharks. That was part of MUST archaic heritage and socialization. There was no in between. The two bitter rivals formed the lion’s share of the school’s rugby team. And while Sly was a Black Bulls fanatic, Njagi was a Blue Shark diehard and on such a finale they had to bet and whoever lost would buy drinks next time.

The student magazine debuted much to the delight from all and sundry. It was dubbed MUST-Zone – a very simple and memorable name. The cover page was very catchy and youthful. It had a cover photo of last year’s Miss Matiba University, Miss Mwende in a well-fitting yellow jumpsuit dotted with red patterns matched with black high heels longer than Kilima-mbogo hills. Her pose was striking, crisscrossing one leg to the other, and so was her well knitted ponytail braids. Her left palm held on her illuminating sunglasses, giving a glimpse of her posh watch and glittering bracelets.

On the inside was an entire one on one interview talking about her highlights and strides as the institution’s winner of 2017 beauty pageant. Moreover, there was a very interesting article by Dr. Kiogothe on lifestyle and relationships. The article was titled Is Marriage the New Single! The writer did a lot of justice to the title plus the article was written with punches of humor and sarcasm. It detailed in length on the thorny issue of cheating in marriage and the role of side-dishes, and why they won’t just go away yet. My bet is that it will be a must-read column going forward.

At the Health Digest section; a writer penned down a moving article on the cold realities of FGM menace. She gave accounts of firsthand encounters with ladies and young girls who’ve undergone the grueling experience of having their genitals mutilated from middle class and very affluent households from the leafy suburbs of this country. That FGM is only practiced in poverty stricken areas, is a far fetched myth. Deep rooted secretive rituals are carried out in posh homes and by rich families as well, who have established connections with some traditions that have been overtaken by time. In fact according to the article, there was a worrying trend of people castigating FGM practice in public, only to advocate for it when the cameras turn away.

Madam Hamisi who is arguably one of the most highly regarded lecturers in Matiba University featured at a column named Know Your Lecturer where she shed light about how she beat the odds from a poor background in Coastland Kenya, where she was raised and bred to soar in her academia journey to be a holder of a doctorate degree in Mathematics at such a relatively young age. From the image in the article, her petite body seemed to be outshined by her big, infectious smile and her tall wardrobe of accolades.

But perhaps the main glitz and glamour came courtesy of this year’s Beauty pageant competion for Mr.& Miss MUST 2018. The walk away bonanza for the winners in each category was a trip for two to the Mara game reserve and Diani beach for a week as well as unmeasurable publicity all year long. Just before this main act of the night was modeling finalists showcasing different themes, which left the audience thoroughly entertained.  After the awards, a coveted MUST dj going by the name DJ Yokohama, took over the decks for the better of the night marking the end of MUST 2018 cultural festivals with popular music and revelling.

Platte Series continues next Monday…

Previously on Platte-Land Series

PLATTE-LAND 005: SCHOOL MAGAZINE

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Sly was the head of the Journalism Club in Matiba University of Science & Technology (MUST) in as much as she was studying Computer Science together with Njagi. Her parents made her not follow her writing journey as they imagined journalism was not a well-paying job. Beyond that, they presumed it would have been tough for their daughter to get a job and plus it didn’t appear so much of a white-collar career, according to them. I wish they realized how much formidable the writing industry has grown. From the demand in the editorial departments in the sprouting media houses and the international market that has a lot of online jobs for outsourced writers, to the improved reading culture across the globe, writing jobs have never been this lucrative. Nevertheless, Sly was running her blog and still making money from ads running on her site while still keeping her parents happy with her school course. You could call it killing two birds with one stone.

The school didn’t have a school magazine and that bothered her so much. She always visualized that idea in her mind until one day she grew enough guts to go pitch it to the Dean of Students. She consulted Njagi on the same and he equally upheld it and in fact accompanied her to the dean. She secured an audience with Mr. Ngamau the dean of students on a hot and lazy Friday afternoon. Mr. Ngamau was a short man by any standards and seemingly, a well-functioning alcoholic. He had this patched forest of beards all over his face that seemed to lack nutrients to grow steadily, evenly and not appear neglected. That notwithstanding, he was a very brilliant guy and way passionate on students’ welfare. He was a man who’d listen keenly when you conversed with him and not rudely interject while admiring his fat, flowery tie like some people in high offices do.

Hi Sly, what’s your friend’s name.

He is Njagi.

Ooh great. So, you told me you have something you want us to discuss. Makes himself comfortable slanting his chair at an angle he’d give 100% attention.

Yea Mwalimu. It’s about the school magazine.

His face lights up.

I was proposing, with your support we can have the journalism club kick-start a school magazine and be running it while the management helps us with finances as start-up capital until the business breaks even.

Now Sly, how will the school gain from a students magazine?

You see Mr. Ngamau, this is an identity thing. It will boost the enthusiasm the students have with the school besides being the reference point for all matters school events. It will spot talents and expose them to a bigger audience for nurturing purpose. The revenue will sustain the journalism club and give them firsthand experience before they move on to the job market in addition to enabling the institution have a platform to market its products. More importantly, the magazine will go along way in fostering a cultured heritage for the school apart from enriching the bond between the management and the student fraternity.

Sly would listen to her convincing tone in the background and ride on the soft spot Mr.Ngamau has no her and cross her fingers.

Mr.Ngamau promises to forward the idea to the school management board and revert in a month’s time or so.

Meanwhile, an optimistic Sly mobilizes her team even before an approval by the school management is arrived at on publishing and running the magazine.

A month later…

The decision is upheld and the management sets aside some funds to launch Sly’s brainchild.

On receiving the news, she convenes a special meeting whereby the members resolve to have a division of roles as follows;

One team headed by Sue would market the school magazine idea to most if not all students by preparing brochures and distributing them across all the public outlets be it the hostels, dining area, canteen, school library, indoor sports hall, social hall, gym training area, lecture halls and virtually anywhere where one could find students holed.

It was a very rigorous idea but Sue was up to it. She was heading a very big team of about 50, mopping the entire campus with leaflets highlighting in brief, the school mag idea and requesting interested persons to volunteer items they would wish featured in the magazine from poetry, creative writing, photography, cartoonist, relationship stuff, motivational articles and upcoming events. There were directions on all collection centers and formalities of application.

Sue was chosen since she had and an easy and likable character. She was also a hands-on person apart from being super efficient in her tasks. Better put, she was the club’s stalwart. Her dressing code was a tomboy look – long basketball vests, sweatpants, fancy caps and headphones. Plus she was such a rubber shoe fanatic while her barber brought out his A game in making her short haircut, appear edgy.

Jay was the chair of the main collection center which was at the journalism club office donated by the school dean. Here, he’d oversee the collection of all items the students would propose to be featured, evaluate them, come up with ways of improving the potential ones, drop the not so promising and have the best embraced by his team. Depending on how thorough his team evaluated items proposed and polished them, would determine the fate of the magazine.

Abigail would co-chair the Editorial department together with Sly. They would hold the last word on what would be published and what wouldn’t. Additionally, they would scrutinize accuracy and authenticity of all items in the mag including ensuring matters ethics were adhered to. The magazine would be published in less than a fortnight and consequently run monthly.

Subsequently, Njagi and his team would take on graphics where he was a passionate pundit and clearly had the skills at his fingertips. He’d lead the team that would give the magazine life – a friendly demeanor, a youthful character, a trendy feel, bones to catwalk on everybody’s lips and dominate every chitchat, and give it wings to dart in every public space in the school. The task was daunting and the cover page hard to crack and decide on.

Jared would man the IT department ensuring all the records were safe and intact, the back up was well monitored, the computers were efficient, the internet was super-fast and the servers had enough firewalls and in good shape.

Kevoo would govern the Procurement Department especially on appointing the best printing service company in town and also mandated in scrutinizing the quality of the paper. It’s a mag remember.

There was a major event happening in two weeks time in the school, running an entire week. What a better coincidence than to launch the magazine then! The stage was set, anticipation was building and so was pressure to Sly and her team.

Would she deliver on her brainchild and offer justice to Mr. Ngamau and the management for all the monies pumped to her project? Only time would tell.

Previously on Platte-Land Series

 

Photo Credit: Campustechnology.com

 

PLATTE-LAND 004: VERDICT

 

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Anastasia had been strictly raised in a Pentecostal church all her life. As a matter of fact, her dad had been a pastor for decades. Hence it was too shocking and agitating for the world of Kwa Nguku and neighboring villages to grapple with news of a pastor’s daughter allegedly getting raped during a night out while she was in a stupor state for apparently imbibing one too many. It was extremely difficult for the largely conservative society Anastasia was raised in, to assimilate and break down the texture of the news. Many were appalled by the naked reality of a society that hadn’t realized the rains had commenced beating them.

For starters sake, Anastasia for a very long time exuded attributes of a typical church girl from the dressing code to her character. She’d forever wear very long dresses that one couldn’t demystify the front from the rear. Her chest area was ever tucked up decently and her voice tone was always humbling and courteous. The hen came home to roost when she joined campus and got negatively influenced by her choice of friends, besides struggling with unmanageable freedom and dealing with her can of baggage that had bottled-up over the years subsequently spilling over in her early twenties. Speaking of freedom, due to the shrewd nature of her parents, she wasn’t expected to entertain any male friends let alone have a boyfriend even after high school. She was monitored round the clock and wasn’t expected to own a phone more so in campus.

But perhaps to expose the underbelly in Anastasia’s life – the current wife to Pastor Muchoki is her foster mum. Her biological mother passed on in the maternity ward, Anastasia lucky enough to survive after being saved by the medics when she was being delivered. Her dad would later on remarry and have two more kids who happen to be her step-brothers. As is the case with many foster families, relationships become very dicey and apparently what was transpiring in Anastasia’s life currently was a repulsive reality of what she had gone through over the years.

Through her campus pocket money she generously rewarded herself by buying stuff she had been denied over the years be it stretch-mini and maxi casual dresses that she envied her friends in, to revealing crop-tops and off-shoulder ones and all sort of trendy shoes and handbags. She also bought herself a phone against the wish of her foster mum who’d easily cause major tantrums for that. Additionally, she had tasted freedom too, sadly with a heavy price to pay. She was now expectant and with an alleged rape case in court to prove beyond reasonable doubt. The stigma she had gone through for the last two months was tremendously shocking since she had always carried the pastor’s daughter tag round her neck, which mother nature had now decided to unsettle.

Shed’ recall when her foster mum beat her until she bled for being spotted with a boy soon after completing her high school studies. Her mum would instruct the neighbors to monitor her and brief her (foster Mum) on her daily moves. She was the only female in her family with no social life or excitement that comes with teenage-hood.

Courtroom

Mr.Okoth – Anastasia’s lawyer

My Lord, rape in Kenya is not only an offense but a criminal act that curtails an individual’s social development, robs one body integrity and grossly violates a victim’s basic humans rights especially against sexual violation.

On the night of 29th December my client was taken advantage of, by 10 men due to her stupor state. She was drunk, unconscious and not in control of her conscience and body. A gentleman by the name Ezekiel Kiarie alias Mongoose and his accomplices conspired and succeeded in hoodwinking my client Anastasia from the dancing arena of Magomano Bar & Grill and led her to the parking lot which was poorly lit and sexually assaulted her in turns and droves.

My client was subjected to an ordeal that was beyond her control without her consent. When she gained conscious and traced her memory, she realised all was not well. My lord, from the samples taken from the scene confirmed that my client bled.

Seshi rises to her feet on a point of order. She is denied an audience by Magistrate Opiyo Omugani.

“You can continue counsel Okoth.” The Magistrate quips, authoritatively.

My lord, thank you for protecting me. As I was saying, my client heavily bled. That’s a fact that can’t be disputed. Secondly, samples taken from the suspects matched with the findings collected from my client’s vagina.

An infuriated Lawyer Seshi shoots up again. Counsel Okoth ignores her and continue making his point.

“What is it my lady?” Magistrate Opiyo poses.

 Breathing heavily. My lord, we cannot allow my learned friend to persistently mislead this honourable court. Counsel Okoth just aimlessly alluded that all the suspects’ specimens matched the findings collected from his client. My lord, with your indulgence kindly allow me to get clarification from my learned senior.

“Go ahead.” (Magistrate)

Seshi turns to Okoth for clarification.

My lord, I erroneously missed out the word SOME in my presentation. I didn’t make these notes, my staff did. I beg your pardon.

The courtroom gives in to short laughters. Seshi sits down.

My lord, on my third very important point. My client’s pregnancy test taken immediately she came to report the assault, turned positive. She conceived on the night of the infamous event. Fourthly my lord, my client is seen from the cctv footage as if she was screaming. This tells you she was pleading for help.

With that my lord, I beg to sit. I hope as you retire to write your ruling, you’ll kindly consider all the information I have passed across for my client to get the justice she deserves.

Thank you.

Seshi has a tall order to cut into size and deconstruct her learned friend’s case, nevertheless, she seems determined and composed. 

Seshi – Njagi’s lawyer

My lord, when I watched the cctv footage I couldn’t believe the allegations that have been presented to this court and alluded against my clients. What I watched were two people having a good time. My lord, you could call it coitus. The 9 or so young men who have been subjected to a lot of anguish and stigma were not in that 30 minute or so footage. Only one out of the ten suspects is being used to blatantly blame and crucify the rest.

Adjusts her oversize black gown and sips some water with no urgency. The court waits for her to drain the sip down her alimentary canal as she prepares for her next point highlighted in her presentation notes.

My lord, the DNA results adduced before you on exhibit 1a, 1b, 1c all the way to 1j have no trace of my clients’ DNA similarities. The only positive test that came from the result solely match to one suspect’s DNA. I don’t wish to speak on behalf of the litigant I’m referring. They will have their time.

Draws a cunning smile on the edges of her mouth as she adjusts her specs.

My lord I can confirm to this court that the plaintiff to this case was a virgin before the night of the Magomano night out. My lord I can also confirm that the plaintiff lost her innocence at the parking lot to one man on the same night as proved by the cctv footage. She bled because it’s a natural and biological process that occurs when one is losing her virginity.

Lawyer Okoth rises on his feet and pleads to challenge the point being put across. He is denied a chance.

My lord, there is a clique of men and women in this country who are engaging in sexual exploitation by blackmailing their victims or innocent fellows unawares, with injury of their reputation on failing to meet their demands.

All along, the entire event, my clients did not come to any contact with the plaintiff as can be proved in depth by the cctv footage apart from one time when they are seen exchanging pleasantries at the start of the event. They neither danced, nor walked out in tandem. Moreover, no person has come out to testify in this court that they spotted my client with the plaintiff outside the hotel where the alleged act took place.

From the footage, the plaintiff was allegedly accosted at 0200 hours though the clip depicts like she was savoring and acting without coercion.

The court breaks into small laughters.

Magistrate Opiyo: Your time is up my lady.

Counsel Okoth has a word with his client and pleads to have her testify in 10 seconds.

Anastasia – The plaintiff

Your honours, I want to say the following; On the night of 29 December, I was neither raped nor subjected to any sexual assault. I only misled my parents who went ahead to get me a legal team because I was simply terrified and in denial of losing my virginity willingly. I made out with Ezekiel Kiarie alias Mongoose and none of the other guys fronted hear. I was at no one time consulted by my parents on how they got the names of the so-called suspects.

Anastasia’s parents and her legal team appear dumbfounded and speechless.

The court adjourns and resumes in a week’s time for the ruling.

Magistrate Opiyo

Based on the evidence submitted by the plaintiff’s legal team headed by Senior counsel Okoth on the case of Anastasia vs Mongoose, the court is not satisfied that a rape act took place on the night of 29th December at Magomano Bar & Grill. I find the young men not guilty of the offence of rape as highlighted above and are therefore acquitted all charges adduced against them expect for Ezekiel Kiarie. The court directs that Ezekiel Kiarie alias Mongoose takes full responsibility of impregnating Anastasia and therefore ensures the mother and the baby are fully provided for financially and otherwise until the child reaches an age where he/she can self provide for him/herself.

Failure to that, the plaintiff (Anastasia) is free to come to this court to press charges against Ezekiel Kiarie for any form of neglect or abuse. Subsequently, the court will give specific directions on the upkeep, custody and safety of the baby and the mother.

With that, the court is dispersed.

Previously on Plate-Land Series

PLATTE-LAND 003: STALEMATE

Image result for BEAUTIFUL aFRICAN LADY PRAYING IN CHURCH

For the last two months, there has been a series of demonstrations marked by every spirit and breath of a typical street demo. From whistles blowing to boda boda hooting and placards bellowing #JusticeforAnastashia, men and women venting their anger out, with some rolling on the road with all gist of theatrics, some waving twigs and branches all in an attempt to protest on the alleged raping of the campus student Anastashia. Kahuruko Township which is arguably the nerve center and heartbeat of the nearby villages has had its lucrative bustle and hustle of throngs of humans get interrupted by the street protests taking place every Monday and Friday.

The participants have loyally turned up with hardly any inducement, marching all the way from Komothai Catholic Parish at one end of the town, meandering through Kajinga market bringing business to a standstill especially on Fridays which is usually a market day, crisscrossing through Mung’etho Cattle dip – the biggest in the entire Kimahure Division, snailing across Karumaindo plaza a 5 storey skyscraper which is under construction and finally setting base at the Chief’s camp demanding an address from him. Speaking of Chief Kiahuthu, he has had a hard time pleading for more patience before the investigations are concluded.

5 storey is only a skyscraper in this part of the world! And while at it, what’s with Kenyans and waving tree branches during demos? Please let trees be!

The relationship between Shush Damaris an ardent Catholic faithful and the Parish Priest has rather been strained during this period. In actual fact, Father Gichuki a fitness enthusiast is a personal friend to Njagi and his grandma hence the reason why their interaction has been gravely affected by Anastasia’s scandal. He has found himself between a rock and a hard place. He is among hundreds if not thousands of humans who are closely following this developing story which has sharply divided the entire division between those who bought the rape story and went ahead to demand justice for Anastasia and the group that is alleging no rape took place and in fact it was consensual sex between two adults and not the 10 boys. Actually, some say one of the suspects is a renown gay crusader who can’t place his eyes on a lady.

Speaking of which, Father Gichuki always does regular morning races weekly, running about 10 kilometers up the Nduduri hills, down the Tigithi bridge that seasonally hosts River Tigithi which drains its contents in Lake Ol bolosat, and taking a turn across the Kahuho plains where a family of white settlers by the name Dyer and Diana own hundreds of land acreage running a flower firm and wheat farm that are highly depended upon by thousands of families. He (Father Gichuki) has this balding head that compels him to naturally clean-shave. His face is unusually flawless with no mustache nor drooping hair, making him stand out in a gang of men. He has an impressive command of spoken English that is deservedly aided by his rich vocabulary range that gets showcased through his excellent communication skills.

That aside, Syokimau TV and FM radio have for the last two weeks not spared any day to air live talk shows about the degrading moral compass among teenagers, with some of its audience apportioning the blame to parents and the general society for lack of credible role models. Listeners would call in claiming it’s not the teenagers to blame since they look up to the deeds of the adults around them who can’t help much as they too are engaging in all manner of ignominious behaviors. Parents called in saying working hard for their children is inevitable even if it meant sacrificing the hours they’d ostensibly share with their kids. One thing was clear though, that technology had totally messed the society by providing so much information at a click of a button. It emerged, the current generation is over-informed and that it was abusing social media platforms.

Finally, the day was here. The moment was palpable. The courtroom was heavily pregnant with eagerness. The air inside was hot, stuffy and dreadful. Most faces were lost to other worlds, deep in thoughts and with anxiety taking a toll on them. Sharply dressed lawyers affectionately exchanged pleasantries. Some walked in and out carrying heavy loads of files. Outside the courtroom were dotted hordes of people each trying to sell their arguments about the infamous back to school night.

Sly was in the room with Mitch, Harrison and a couple of other classmates to Njagi. They had boarded a 6 am matatu to make it on time for the hearing and determination of the case, some 200 kilometers from the City. The case would go either way pouring fortune or mishap to the future of their boy Njagi and their friendship. Everything was at stake, at least for now. Interestingly, Shiku was in attendance too, to emphasize her loyalty and solidarity to a man that was her heartthrob even if the feeling was apparently not mutual.

She had an above-the-knee radiant dress that not only flattered her hips and bum but greatly brought in a level of optimism to Njagi’s case. She was light skinned, growing short locs on her hair, donning long elegant cardigan trendy jacket and in brown fancy leather boots that one couldn’t demystify from her already yellow legs. The icing on the cake however, was the stylish, woolen neck scarf that was calmly taking a nap on her peeping cleavage and a red beret hat crowning her ever ravishing demeanor.

Every now and then, a lad would walk in from a back door and test the public address system and ensure everything was alive and ready for the day.

There was a stir in the courtroom and necks wagging when Anastasia the plaintiff in this case walked in the courtroom, head up, in sunglasses hinged on her long refined braids, holding a brave face sandwiched by her dad on the right – a middle-aged man with a decent pot belly and of average height and two of her lawyers on the left, in dark intimidating suits that seemed to have just arrived from the dry cleaner. They smelled fresh and intelligent. Njagi and his bad boys being the respondents in this case, were nowhere to be seen. Sly had numerously tried calling him but his phone was dead off since the crack of dawn. She had called him at 4:30 am after a prayer session beside her bed praying for his all-time BFF. She cried in the midst of the sentimental prayer session. Njagi’s scandal was too overwhelming for her to absorb but she just hoped the day will turn out just well for his special friend.

Speaking of prayers, Kui had been fasting and praying day and night for the two months. She was camping in church, crying and pleading to have her son pardoned and vindicated. Her pastor, Apostle Muraguri was praying with her many a times.

Seemingly, due to the magnitude of this case, pending the hearing and determination, Njagi had kept a very low profile in school. Sly and his close friends had noted that he had actually dropped weight and always appeared paranoid.

Unknown to many Shiku, Mwau and Mapanya would testify on behalf of Njagi that he didn’t engage in any rape act or even come into contact with Anastasia the entire night. Njagi and his boys expect for Mongoose, were being represented in court by a top-notch female lawyer from the city hired by his classmates with vast experience in sexual offenses litigation.

Previously on Platte-Land Series

Image Credit: nakedconvos.com

PLATTE-LAND 002: BASH

 

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Njagi happened to have taken part in a back to school discotheque event that was organized last December holidays at the outskirts of Kahuruko Township by high school and campus students from his village and the neighboring. Predictability, given his mother’s strict adherence to church and considering she was the leader of praise and worship, there was no way Njagi would dare harbor imaginations of being granted permission to attend an ungodly event organized by ‘lost kids’ who own phones more worthy than Madam’s Kui entire second-hand clothes stock value.  Further, these were kids brought up by the so-called ‘busy’ parents who had no time for them. How could Njagi have a commonality with them? Kui would wonder.

Unimaginably, the power of peer pressure overwhelmed Njagi, as he was among the attendants who turned up for this popular event. The likes of Prof. Mwau, Mapanya, Saimo DJ, Milly 1st Lady, Nizzilicious, Mongoose, Anastasia, Ka-Penguin and many others from Nduduri, Kwa Huku and Kia Ndutu villages had equally checked in. Interesting Mwaura aka Prof.Mwau had been nicknamed Prof back in Kia-Ndutu Primary School for carrying his books in a briefcase that had seen better days bequeathed from his Mkorino dad, instead of a school bag, much to the ridicule from the rest of the pupils. Prof’s dad was also known for his ever overgrown and bushy beards and white suits dressed all round the week. Ka-Penguin on the other hand, got her name despite being the creme of the class with her consistent top grades, due to being overly short, hence the pupils teased her that she’d easily be confused to a ‘small bird.

Back to the event, music played loud and booze was in plenty stretching the event to the dark and evil hours of the night. As you’d expect with teenagers and young adults full of life, machismo and vitality, stuff happened. Dancing crews outdid each other while the energetic audience cheered them on. Judy and Lilian, dressed in very raunchy hot pants literally brought the house down with their erotic moves and boneless bodies. At a far corner, teenagers as young as 16 years were sucking on shisha pipes never mind it was banned, engulfing the entire ambiance with their colourful puffs. Meanwhile, outside the parking bay, you could only hear moans and groans of things boiling up from lewd millennials.

Njagi out of influence kissed Shiku and he didn’t like it. He was engaging in a kissing escapade for the first time and the entire experience was incredibly awkward. Shiku seemed to have enjoyed the 30 seconds act but Njagi could have none of it given a second chance. He wondered how people did it so comfortably and called it romance. He felt like he just tasted cement or black cotton soil. Shiku had always had a crush on Njagi and since she was obviously under the influence, took advantage of her state and grabbed Njagi’s arm and dragged him outside the main arena to a dark corner behind a neatly manicured cypress fence where things unfolded. Darkness seemed to wipe off Shiku’s shyness as she took full exploits of the opportune moment to confront her desires.

The taste of his tongue and saliva took her to cloud nine – it was heavenly, beautiful and more than fulfilling. She was intertwined to his body, holding his cheek bones with both of her soft palms and locked to his torso. She didn’t even notice she had raised her feet to match his height. Njagi could feel his heartbeat synchronized with hers, racing like the Jehova Witness drums. A salacious warmth rising from Shiku’s crotch emasculated his slim legs and he knew he was almost crossing the red line to a place of no-return. He couldn’t figure out why stuff happened that fast, and quickly left Shiku catching her breath. He would dash back to the main arena and continue dancing while Shiku still pitched in the dark, found herself making sense of what she had orchestrated, unsure whether to cheer or jeer herself.

Eventually, some got laid, some broke their innocence, some kissed for the first time, some conceived, some were allegedly raped, while some got their names presented to Chief Kiahuthu – a hard-headed, bullish and long human being who’d not fit through any standard door.

Apparently, Anastasia a 1st year campus student and who was Pastor Muchoki’s affectionate daughter was allegedly raped and would later conceive. Names were presented to the local administration and investigation commenced in earnest headed by Chief Kiahuthu. Njagi’s name was among the list of 10 lads who were suspected to be behind the ordeal. Shushu Damaris and Kui – Njagi ‘s mum, could not believe it. They had every benefit of doubt that Njagi would engage in such a heartbreaking act let alone attending an event he wasn’t permitted.

A few days later, the boys would be whisked by plain-clothe police officers and taken to the chief’s camp. DNA samples would be taken and subsequently locked at Chief Kiahuthu temporary cell awaiting to be released on a cash bail that was to be raised within 48 hours failure to which they’d be formally charged at Kahuruko Law Courts pending completion of investigations which included establishing if Anastasia was allegedly raped.

Shush Damaris on receiving the dumbfounding news, swiftly sent a special message across the villages declaring the envious bull that belonged to one of his sons by the name Wamaruke was on sale. This was a desperate attempt to raise money to bail out his grandson from more torment and shame notwithstanding he was a suspect in the alleged scandal. In no minute, word razed across the households more so to Kiamaiko abattoir brokers’ who descended to her homestead with all manner of wit and exhilaration. Just as she was almost striking a deal with one of them, her phone rang eluding some fairly good news that the boys had been bailed out by a village tycoon by the name Kimendoro who was said to be eyeing Kiandutu MCA position come 2022.

Njagi resumed his classes a very worried man. His mum was even more disappointed by him. His conscious was clear though, that he knew nothing about the rape ordeal or when it took place either. But he still blamed himself for ignoring his intuition to remain at home and not to attend the infamous bash. He had let down his own legacy and tainted his family image as well. However, he was still convinced his name was dragged in there for collateral damage. This was pure malice and uncouth, well according to him. He was convinced his god would pluck him from this den of lions that not only seemed to threaten his bright posterity but his very present life. He couldn’t clearly figure out how life behind bars would be like for a crime not committed. He’d die of pain and bitterness.

The subsequent semester wasn’t rosy for him as investigations ran concurrently with his studies. He had to let in Sly to his suck of anguish otherwise he’d have to explode and crash to small remnants. They met at the indoor games hall to watch some table tennis matches.

“Sly, something terrible happened to me during the holidays.” He jeremiad.

Sly was so drawn to the game playing, between the mischievous Mitch who was the class’s most likable and popular classmate courtesy of his wit, charisma and humorous nature and Harrison who was ever annoyingly tidy and sharply dressed with a conservative demeanor. She quickly rose her head moving her sight away from the boys to Njagi with a straight face punctuated by sympathetic eyes. For half a minute their eyes were locked to each other with hardly a word coming from either of them. Sly’s body language hinted to Njagi to get up for a hug but he played it down.

“What happened dear, tell me.”

Njagi’s heart was dazzled by the name dear, momentarily.

“It’s a long story, but to cut it short, I’m under investigation for something nasty that happened during a back to school bash just the other day.”

Sly, couldn’t hold it. They walked out in a lethargy state, Njagi trying to explain himself out as if she’d supposedly bail him out.

Previously on the Platte-Land Series

Photo Credit: upcalehype.com

PLATTE-LAND 001: UNI.

Related imageNjagi 21 years of age, is a third-year student at a local university. He has never seen nor come across a trace of his father’s silhouette. Now a young adult, his childhood was made up of his single mum Kui, his younger sister Wangare and a kindred of close relatives made up of Shush Damaris, his uncles and aunts. Njagi is slender and way tall at his age and has an alluring passion for drawing stuff. He’s an amiable introvert and quite spotty. He has been brought up in church all his life and wore a pair of jeans trouser for the first time, after High School thanks to his Mum’s strong belief in Christianity religion.

While growing up, he was unsure of which career path to pursue but one thing stood out, it had to be in Sciences. He effortlessly makes stuff with his youthful hands as far as he can remember. In his formative years, he toyed with being a Pilot but he wasn’t very good in Mathematics. Every time he gaped at an aircraft taxing through the clouds, his heart skipped and he’d be overwhelmed by the sheer excitement of watching such a gizmo, at least as it appeared way up the skies.

Njagi was brought up in a typical village life, in Kwa Nguku, living off with Shush Damaris and his mum as well as Wangare. He watched his uncles go through High school while he was a young boy of about 5 years. He saw them struggle with adolescence but was too young to comprehend what they were going through. He spotted them bring girls to their rooms, play chase together and more often than not experiment with alcohol at different times of their lives.

He has such a shrewd and sacrosanct mother as far as religion is concerned. She owns a salon and also sells second-hand clothes. Shush Damaris is a peasant farmer and a window as far as he can go back. He wasn’t lucky to meet his grandfather. In fact, he has no idea about his father’s relatives either. He has neither met them nor knows where they hail. The closest he has ever come across news of his dad was sometimes back when he eavesdropped his uncles speaking in hush voices about how he resembles his dad’s athlete-legs. It’s then that he gathered that his father passed on after a short illness when he (Njagi) was six months in his mum’s womb. Some say he didn’t die a natural death but however unnatural or natural it was, he just wishes his dad had the opportunity to hold him in his masculine arms and wish him well. But Njagi is certain that his dad means well for him in his extra-mundane state and in fact, carries along his blessings and unfulfilled dreams.

On this day, he is meeting his closest friend by the name Sly, in one of the deserted lecture rooms to revise for the upcoming exams and also catch up. They’ve not met since the lecturers’ strike commenced much to their anguish which was delaying their take off to the career world. The strike having been concluded a few days ago, Sly called Njagi and planned for this rendezvous. Besides, she is hooked up to a toxic relationship with Chris her boyfriend. She is unaware how badly Chris is manipulating her. In fact, she fights single-handedly for the mere survival of their relationship. They’ve dated for 2 years now.

Chris has tried dumping her in vain as he no longer relates to her vibe since he is seeing another girl on the side besides having slept with Sly numerously which in hindsight has diluted their chemistry. Sly, on the other hand, is one of those rare ladies who love with all their heart, soul, emotions, physiques, energy, character, fuse in their dreams with the man they are dating and literally all they’ve got. In every two sentences she makes, she will mention about meeting Chris for coffee somewhere along Aga Khan Walk or for a movie date at Nairobi Cinema. If you happen to be her close friend, you’ll have to let in Chris to your life as well. For what goes between them overflows to you, good or nasty.

Not to mention Sly is slender, with tiny breasts, long hair, small face, Colgate teeth, pink lips and such an intellect. She is not a book warmer like Njagi but a gifted intellectual. She has been raised in Nairobi all her life but studied high school in up country. Her parents are strict Catholic faithfuls.

After exchanging warm pleasantries they settle down at a far corner in an empty class adjacent to the long tinted window panes. Through the glass window, one can spot a stack of self-contained residential houses occupied by Asians. You’ll be thrilled to observe domestic workers mostly young women in their late twenties cleaning the occupants’ undergarments and meticulously hanging them on the clothing lines in all their sizes. Further, you’ll espy the sachems as they stroll from the bathrooms swathed in their towels coming along to fetch the briefs that have dried up.

Njagi and Sly go through the notes amid chit chats giving in to small laughters serving as commercial breaks. Momentarily, Sly teases off Njagi;

“Why don’t you ever tell me about your girlfriend?”

“Oooooh, wasn’t aware you’d be interested!”

Making a face… “Surely, Njagi.”

“Seems like it.”

“No, tell me.”

“I know you’ll be shocked….well, I don’t have one.”

“How on earth?”

“Yea.”

“But you don’t live in a cave.”

Kwani, is it mandatory for one to have a girlfriend?”

“No, but how do you survive?”

“Survive what?”

“You never develop feelings for girls?”

“I do, but have never approached any.”

“Aaaawwh.” After a long awkward pause. “I think you should man up and fight for what your heart deserves.”

At that point, Njagi feels subdued and opts to let go off that conversation. What Sly is unaware of, is that Njagi is love-struck by her but what to do when the girl that makes your heart melt down, is intimate with somebody else and treats you like a small bro! It hurts to be family-zoned without your approval, right?

So, they’ve maintained a platonic relationship for close to two years now, starting off as just group-mates during class assignments and have seen their friendship metamorphose, curl through thick and thin and eventually tightening their bond, over the period.

Photo Credit: Rosebank College website

Dear Andreaders, its been a long time coming. I’ve always told myself I can’t do fiction until I came across thrilling writings on fiction and an inner voice was like – You can do it Dru. Here I am, taking a day at a time with no intention whatsoever, of displacing the very talented creatives in this blog-sphere doing such an amazing work. Well, I’m here to prove to myself that I can do it too. I will be glad if I inspire at least one soul along the way, to dash out of the comfort zone and dare to break the glass ceiling. That said, I’ll try to publish an article weekly, purely on fiction and we’ll see how far it goes. My new serialized writing will be referred as Platte-Land. Isn’t it not about time?

DO DISTANT MARRIAGES WORK?

Related image  I’m sure you ran into images that surfaced on social media recently of a guy who stumbled on his wife on one of those Kilimani Mums Facebook page sliding into a foreigner DMs after the foreigner wrote to inquire about the availability of a Kenyan female lover. Later on, this white chap leaked all the messages that had been sent to him by would-be female soulmates only for the poor black guy to come across his wife on that infamous list. Gentlemen, what would you do if you realised your wife has been claiming to be single on social media? (Sighs!) Anyway, it seemed like the husband worked out of the country only for his wife to hoodwink the foreigner that she was, in fact, single while she was actually, a mother. That alone mirrors a blurred picture of typical shivery realities of distant relationships and marriages.

Distant marriages create so much freedom which then invites high chances of infidelity if accountability goes missing. Of course, a cheater will always cheat even when next to you, but then again distant relationships make people who’ve never contemplated cheating, get prone to cheating. You see, vulnerability is not something you just shed off and tell yourself, I’m no longer vulnerable! Hell no. It’s something you’ve got to fight now and then and keep on upgrading your firewalls as the devil and his agents keep on being innovative and just never give up. It’s a question of how solid and authentic your principles are. For distant relationships, it’s even worse. Stakes are higher and so are your self-control systems supposed to be, to withstand the high proportionate of vulnerability.

As a matter of fact, many cheating scandals happen in distant relationships, just do your research. I’m sure you’ve come across Cheats and Side Dishes article on this blog which is inspired by a true story. Living with your spouse is like a tag hanging around your neck that keeps reminding you, hey I’m watching you. It might appear like it’s vexing but come to think of it, it keeps you off vulnerability and being distracted. And that’s a good thing.

Actually, in hindsight, you’ll come to appreciate how important it was to always go home from work to meet your family than living in a distant town where God knows what goes down when you are free, idle and having your family miles away. Let’s face it, we are bound to be distracted by charming people out there and coming across souls that live to steal, rob and kill relationships. Hence the longer the distance you are away from your soulmate, the higher the chances of increased cheating vulnerability. I mean, we are living in an era of being set up and blackmailed, if not compelled to undress by delinquents out there.

You know, human beings continually need reassurances and being reminded where it all started and why they are together anyway. Phone-call communication has its limits. Sometimes we devour for one on one connection and if it’s not available it will probably be created out of the woods be it by side chicks or side-guys if there is such a phrase.

Distance marriages rob one the beauty of being together. Love tends to grow more where ingredients such as sharing house chores or shopping together are made a reality. A couple also tends to benefit from developing one another since it’s impacted directly by your spouse on a daily basis. One also tends to be more cognizant of the other person hence creating a profound blending of the two personalities. We are wired differently and have quite diverse personalities, thereby when people live under one roof, in the long run, learn to cope and accommodate one another’s flaws as opposed to when your spouse lives in another town.

There may also be light moments on some scenarios that may appear simple on the eye like how to squeeze the toothpaste – some do it from the top while some start from the bottom. Some role up the tissue from the top while some down. Some prefer having their ugali served with a spoon (like me) while others don’t. Some will sleep with their legs on top of their partners while others sleep across the bed. It such simple dissimilarities and sometimes small fights that make a relationship interesting and one an accommodating person. Besides, such differences make a marriage tick, smell like a genuine marriage and grow a couple’s bond. But surely, why would one have ugali served with a spoon!

Children also benefit from the presence of two parents, in their childhood. I think this point can’t be over emphasized. The disadvantages of one spouse working in a distant town are more or less similar to those of absentee parents or single parenting, to children. If I can just paraphrase what I wrote in an article I did at the beginning of this year; Maternal Moments Part 3…..a child’s primary relationship with his/her father can affect all of the child’s relationships from birth to death, including those with friends, lovers, and spouses. Those early patterns of interaction with a father are the very patterns that will be projected forward into all relationships…forever more: not only your child’s intrinsic idea of who he/she is as he/she relates to others but also, the range of what your child considers acceptable and loving. Now, if one spouse works in a distant town, the children tend to be denied most of their social aspects that come with being brought up by two parents.

One other thing, when you fall sick and need somebody to watch over you or perhaps help in chores you’ll have none but yourself unless you are rich enough to have a domestic worker while you live alone. It’s daunting to have your loved one hundreds of kilometers away while you’re sick and helpless. Emergencies are inevitable and are way complicated in distant marriages. Let’s be pragmatic – For instance if you collapse in your house, who will come to your aid? Costs of running a distant marriage similarly, go over the roof.

There are those moments in marriage when you just have bad days in the office, or you find yourself feeling sad and low, and all you pine for, is to go home and meet your family to forget about the day’s hurdles. This scenario doesn’t work in distant marriages.

Certainly, it’s naive to assume only distant marriages have challenges. All marriages have their lows and highs, struggles and wars they fight. However, when you put pros and cons on a weighing scale, distant marriages have a lot more to lose than gain. But then again, some formations that lead to distant marriages are inevitable like on matters job placements and this leaves a couple with no option than to work around it by working on their trust and being accountable to one another as naturally as it would be if they were living together.

 

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