PLATTE-LAND 011: BABY SHOWER

Image result for A BEAUTIFUL AFRICAN LADY PREGNANTShe had 3 papers to sit for to conclude her end of semester exams. Actuarial Science was a course she had revered since her childhood, to emulate one of her uncles who was in a similar profession. Since she was a bright kid, she got enrolled having qualified with much ease. While in class, the baby would kick every now and then depending on her moods and she’d often feel weary and overwhelmed, being a first time pregnancy.

On the other hand, every day was a struggle. Her body was fighting the hormonal evolution taking place as it prepared to usher in a new being. She’d however, mitigate the awful nausea and bristling heartburn with all manner of homemade remedies. Her feet would terribly ache as the stretch marks in her bottom belly stretched farther, giving way to more pains.

“Did you make up your mind?” She queried her husband.

“About what?” Mongoose responded, holding a surprised face with him.

“On staying indoors today to receive the guests later in the afternoon.”

“But……………………” He tried fetching for the politest words around to phrase the statement, knowing too well that Anastasia was super sensitive and nagging at this, third trimester.

“But what?”

“Si Aunt Bobo and Mukami (House-Assistant) are around.”

“Yea, but it’s important for my friends to meet my hubby.”

“But I thought baby showers are a women thing?”

“Which century do you live in?” She slammed the door behind her and walked off to the dining room.

Mongoose joined her trying to calm her down.

“Listen hun, they’ll still have time to meet me when the baby is born. Look, how will I sit up with a dozen women in the same room and be it ease?”

Walking to his face. “It will be my honour if you stayed behind.”

“I promise to make up for this hun. Just understand I need to join my boys for a High school reunion considering that I’m the Treasurer of the Association.” He pleaded.

“If you say so.” Shrugging her arms.

***

Anastasia had sent invites for the baby shower to her close friends six weeks before. It was a day she was literally waiting for. To have her friends some of whom she hadn’t met throughout her pregnancy journey, get the privilege of relishing the moment. It was also an occasion to help her prepare for motherhood in the safe company of her buddies who had apparently, formed a tight bond round her life.

Waithiegeni, was not only her cube-mate for close to 3 years before she moved from the campus hostel, but such a close friend. She walked her through one of her lowest and humiliating moments in life, during the court case. Her self-esteem gravely leaked from all openings there could possibly be, as the community around her didn’t amount to much. She became her foot soldier, ‘right-man’ and defender. She also tirelessly skipped classes to accompany her for the prenatal clinics.

So, when the baby shower thought came to Anastasia’s mind, no one rivaled Waithiegeni in being entrusted to play the role of a chief planner for the occasion. They came up with a friend list and invites were sent well on time.

***

Most of her friends had checked in. The ladies had come along with their A-game fashion sense starting off with Shiku, who stood out with a dark blue high waist jeans that perfectly worked for her hippy body, matched with a white crop top which exposed her lean tummy, that also engrossed a crocodile tattoo and in red high heels. Nizzy had a striped body-con dress and a trendy long coat to cover her exposed thighs. Evelyn was in the mood of white monochrome – she was in a white top tank donned with an elegant wide legged pants. Grace was in a rugged denim pants dressed with a camo jacket and faded brown high boots.

They waited impatiently in the table room as Anastasia got prepared. She took longer than usual in the leisure bathtub since it was more effective than standing over a shower head. She couldn’t stand for long due to her aching feet perhaps owing to her increasing weight. Her makeup and hair styling took even longer. Waithiegeni wore her make up with every zeal that could probably be and with no urgency at all, while Evelyn – her childhood friend set up her tiny and glamorous braids that had been freshly knitted.

Meanwhile, Mukami and Aunt Bobo ran helter-skelter in the kitchen preparing the dishes. They served the guests, starter foods which included; tiny sandwiches, savories, crackers, muffins and nuts, ladled out with typical Kenyanese tea.

Anastasia wore a stretchy fabric free-flowing dress that embellished her bulging belly, beautifully. It was laced round the neck with two inter-closing flaps that kept her bust comfortable and in shape. She wore a pair of classic ballet flat shoes, maroon in colour made of pure leather that honourably complemented her beige outfit. She sported a handmade African bead multi-layered necklace, which performed emphatically in camouflaging her darkened neck, out of the hormonal changes.

The moment she popped at the table room, everyone rose up; some ran to hold her belly and feel the baby, some got dazzled by her dress and got outlived by the moment, while some were awed by her body size. Particularly for Emma who was a childhood friend and hadn’t met in ages, having traveled all the way from Mombasa to grace the occasion, found herself speechless. The last time she met Anasatasia, the latter was just a tiny girl fresh out of high school. Anastasia was overwhelmed by the joy in the room and momentarily, tears started trickling down her cheeks.

When everybody recovered from Anastasia’s disruption, lunch was served. The cuisine was made of kienyeji chicken that her aunt had brought along, all the way from Kaibaga, served with plenty of salad buffet, white rice, minji and sliced chapati. With tummy dignities having been taken care of, introductions took place and a couple of games to make the friends bond.

Later on, a surprise cake that had been prepared by the friends was presented to her but before then, Shiku read out the sentimental speech on behalf of the visitors.

Dear Anastasia, 

We are privileged to be in your small world.

It’s our delight and honour to have been chosen by you, to grace your childhood and early adult life.

Very soon, you’ll be walking to a whole new world full of excitement, fulfillment, warmth and accomplishment. 

It will not be without challenges, nonetheless, let them not bog you down.

Motherhood is not a mean achievement, especially for a girl we’ve seen grow in our lives. 

It’s a mantle you are capable of running away with.

Count us, as your springboard and point of reference.

We will stand by you and look after you.

Moreover, there’ll be much for us to learn.

May you grow to see your grandkids intermarry.

May you steer a family that beholds the Lord and prays together

Congrats baby doll,

From your affectionate buddies.

By the time, the short script was over, Anastasia eye lids were giving way to heavy loads of joyful tears. Soon after, the beautiful cake prepared by Emma on behalf of her friends was presented to Anastasia and it read on the top surface – Welcome to Motherhood Anastasia. Subsequently, gifts would follow ranging from well wrapped nappies, baby shawls, sacks of newborn diapers, wide variety of baby’s clothes, baby carrier, house shopping and some cash too.

By the end of it all Anastasia was dumbstruck, leaving none other than Aunty Bobo to seize the moment and conduct a Vote of Thanks on behalf of the family.

Previously on Platte-Land Series

Next on Platte-Land series: Maternity Ward

Gear up for the final chapter of Platte-Land Season 1, next Monday…

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PLATTE-LAND 010: BIRTHDAY

 

Preparations had been concluded well on time. The house had been tidied up and was spotless. Mwau was standing by the door, his clothes all soaked with dripping water. The skies had opened, and it was raining heavily. He had just rolled in from a nearby mall. He had brought along shopping which included; booze, snacks, steak, disposable plates and cups, juices and a couple of other stuff. His girlfriend Mso, had come in handy, in coming up with the; guest list, shopping list and ensuring everything was top notch. She’d easily multi task while Mwau remained seated and clueless most of the time, if not indirectly being made to be the errand boy.

At one hand she oversaw a gigantic dry fry mutton meal steam up while ensuring the deep fried potatoes were coming up nicely at the other end of the multi-burner gas cooker. At the middle burner, a portion of steak was being grilled on a pan. She occasionally brushed the outer layers of the steak and applied some olive oil and a bit of cooking butter. She liberally seasoned it with salt and pepper to give it flavour. Once charred and having turned golden brown in colour, she transferred it to a cutting board where she firmly wrapped it with an aluminium foil to retain the heat and stack it in a safe place, in one of the kitchen cabinets.

Meanwhile, she had delegated Mwau the task of wiping bowls that would serve the crackers, nuts and all manner of bitings. He was also in charge of the music and had the best of the playlist, mostly popular Hip Hop and all the usual club bangers collection. His stereo was a high definition one, that clearly costed him an arm and a leg. His wagithomo dad would be dumbfounded to learn that his son owns a luxurious stereo purchased via funds diverted from paying school fees and worse still, pricier than his battered motorbike.

In no time, the guests would start trooping in. From the outside, the rains had dwindled and invited a biting cold instead. On the flip side, nature had given birth to all manner of insects to welcome the wet night. The crickets were chirping in celebration, as playing mantis dived from one place to another. The beetles were droning in the air as the wasps buzzed around. At a swampy area adjacent to Mwau’s rented apartment, frogs would croak to usher in the night, as a handful of bats screeched from an adjacent tree.

Njagi, Saimo DJ, Mapanya, Shiku, Ka-Penguin, Nizzy, Milly 1st Lady, Kevoo and a couple of other bunch of close friends to Mwau had already checked in. The lads would grab some pop-corns as they played cards and chess games as the ladies retreated at a corner to chit chat and catch up as they gulped a variety of juices. While this happened Shiku would try to make advances towards Njagi who was deeply involved in a chess match with Mapanya, a veteran in the game. In the meantime, Mso was taking a shower while Mwau received more guests.

At round 9pm, meals were served and everybody guzzled for the delicious buffet that included meat balls and fried potatoes, grilled steak and ugali, and fried – chopped mutton that was seasoned with ginger and turmeric powder. The music played louder as the booze was brought in by Mwau from its hideout. Their faces lightened up as they quaffed free booze served in plastic cups. Shiku was the first to be carried away by the exuberant ambiance singing and dancing along to lyrics like;  – as the rest cheered her.

I think you fell in love too fast
African night and a cool rush
And I remember you refused to kiss me
And now you using my toothbrush
You say you think I talk too much
That I’m not your type and you don’t like the hype
‘Cause your daddy is a preacher
Now you wearing my t-shirt
And I don’t want this night to end
Before you know I love you

Short and sweet
DJ play this song on repeat
Odi odi dance to the beat
Hapo ulipo kamata na-feel so sweet
Hapo ulipo kamata na-feel so sweet
Short and sweet

At 12 am Mso quietly tiptoed to the kitchen and over to the top cabinet where she had hid her surprise present to Mwau. She came back fetching a big smile and holding a beautiful cake placed on a tray with a set of cutlery on the side. It was iced artistically – I Love You Babe. HBD. On everybody noticing, the music came to a halt and they all started singing; Happy birthday dear Mwau….. In no minute, everyone was wrestling for Mwau’s face and in tandem, painted him with all colours of the cake’s top creme. His T-shirt was similarly defaced with graffiti from the cake’s content, as he scampered to the kitchen for safety.

Later on, Njagi and Shiku would find a moment to catch up;

Shiku placed her hands on his chest disguising to be trying to zip up his cotton padded half jacket that was yellow in colour. Njagi stood statue giving her all the room to explore. She made a sarcastic cough, as she raised her seductive eyes to meet his face and was like;

Where is your girlfriend?

Which one?

How many do you have?

Can’t trace the number.

Okay, I mean Sly.

You sound jealous.

Because I love you. She said without blinking an eye, maintaining her contact on him and edging closer.

And you think Sly is coming in your way?

Not like it. I know she has Chris and has you as well in her wings to pamper her.

Tell me more…

You see she can’t stand you having a girlfriend. Taking a sip of her reddish concoction. 

But we are just platonic

Platonic is just a word that has lost meaning and credence.

Njagi sighed off trying to suppress his impatience. Tired of leaning on the wall, they were now having the conversation at a far corner next to the fridge. Njagi was seated on one arm of the creme leather sofa while Shiku made herself comfortable on one of his thighs. She was feeling his heartbeat and while inclined on his chest, she felt the best form of emotional healing.

Did I ever tell you I schooled with her! Making a face

No way, Sly?

Yea 4 years in high school, in the same stream.

Wow! Were you ever friends?

Of course not. We were both extroverts that repelled against each other.

Hahaha still are.

And she was alleged to be a lesbian.

C’mon Shiku. Of all the ladies I know of, not Sly. 

They were rudely interrupted by Saimo DJ who staggered towards them, robbing them the steaming conversation.

Meanwhile, Kevoo walked out to have a cigar only to meet Nizzy at the balcony, one hand akimbo while the other reaching for support at the wall, leaning forward, struggling to puke. Apparently, she had mixed Smirnoff red vodka with a soft drink and the concoction had decided to humiliate her body. Every spew left her feeling weaker, with tears dripping on her face involuntarily. Kevoo forgot about his cigarette break, dashed to the kitchen and got her some warm water. By the time he came back, she was catching a breathe from the soft wind, clasping her hands on the balcony grills, while gazing at the magnificent dotted lights on the horizon from suburbs far a way seen from Mwau’s apartment. He went back and prepared mint tea to prevent any nausea she could have been experiencing.

At another corner, Ka-Penguin was sandwiched by Mapanya’s strong biceps as they savored their amorous moment. She’d rub his attractive arms as she laughed sheepishly to his comical tales. In the meantime, the music had slowed down, the energy had frozen and World Cup pep talk was commanding the audience leaving non-football enthusiasts with no piece of the meat to bite, hence choosing to lay their bodies on any available surface for some slumber.

Previously on Plate-Land Series

Next on Platte-Land series: Baby Shower

 

PLATTE-LAND 009: APOLOGY

Related imageShe met him in a pre-wedding ceremony of a close friend. It was love at first sight. He was considerably tall, looking sharply groomed and had a taste of fashion. He had this well taken care of strip of side burns that stretched all the way, meeting his chin beards halfway. He was in a fitting khaki pants, dark brown shoes and navy blue designer blazer. His short hair was neatly combed and she fell for his trimmed nails. Not many men have the diligence of cutting their nails after every 5 days, she thought. All throughout the occasion, Sly kept cunningly stealing glances at him hoping their eyes would ever meet, to no avail.

When she was made to understand they were both to be brides during the wedding, and would ostensibly form a pair, her heart melted down. A brewing friendship would crop up thereafter and before they made sense of it, a love story was being crafted and taking root. This would be followed by numerous coffee dates in high end uptown coffee houses, night walks in the estate, road trips to Nanyuki’s acclaimed conservancies – Ol Pajeta and Ol Jogi, day outs in the Arboretum, cycling along the tea farms of Kiambu and not to mention many night outs and sleep overs.

For close to two years now, their relationship has been nothing short of bliss and romance. But just like any other, challenges have been inevitable. Though they have a number of commonalities like being outgoing, art enthusiasts, movie people, and generally moderate extroverts – Sly has been consistently loyal while Chris has some ladies distracting him. For lack of a better phrasing; he has cheated on Sly a number of times behind her back.

You see in relationships, when the rubber meets the road, the fuel pedal must be depressed to keep the car moving. And if one party fondly depends on the other to supply gas and oomph to the relationship, dark days definitely lay ahead. In a nutshell, this is the situation Chris and Sly find themselves in currently. The curtains have been rolled up, honeymoon is over, infatuation has evaporated and cheating baggage portends to sink this ship if people don’t smell the coffee sooner.

It has been cold weeks for their relationship with Sly choosing to watch things as they unravel, from a safe distance. She has made up her mind not to lose herself anymore in pulling the first trigger as far as mending fences is concerned. So who’ll blink first, between the two?

In retrospect, she was having the best of her time with Njagi. He had stepped up, and just recently took her out to a night of reveling. They were hanging out more often, in and off school, in as much as she would insist to her close friends Njagi was nothing beyond a BFF. Their platonic friendship seemed to have gained a lot from Chris’s lukewarm tendencies to her. That said, she didn’t seem desperate anymore to reconcile with Chris, plus Njagi was working harder to soften her predicaments. On the flip side, Sly’s heart still loved Chris and missed his charming and coy nature.

You see, her attraction to Chris was in the onset influenced by physical magnetism while for Njagi was more of emotional chemistry and had nothing to do with looks. In fact, Sly found herself getting flattered with Njagi’s looks recently, halfway deep in a well invested relationship with Chris. Speaking of which, Chris is irresistible, romantic, adventurous and comical while Njagi is loyal and very dependable. Unlike Chris, Sly’s view of Njagi is of a special friend who has loyal and dependable attributes. He is authentic and available to her. However, she had never perceived him in any intimate way until Chris decided to play mind games and blink on and off to their relationship. As a result, she allowed herself to become vulnerable to Njagi out of frustrations, to a point of hinting at him to take her out which he gladly did, just to forget her woes.

When reality sunk to Chris that it wasn’t business as usual and that the relationship was caving in, he swallowed his bitter pride and called Sly. The communication was fluid and not promising. She didn’t sound the same anymore. He had to slow down, sound mellow and committed. Eventually they agreed to meet for a reconciliatory date.

They met at a city restaurant and spotting them you’d be forgiven to imagine it was just another couple out to pass time and confess sweet-nothings to each other. This was at a joint where middle class urbanites hole up; some to catch up, while others would be here to strike deals or meet social media acquaintances. Chris ordered for cappuccino served with banana walnut pancakes while Sly went for hot chocolate drink accompanied with bacon cheese burger.

“So, what have you been up to?” Chris paused. “School and stuff.” She answered. “I bumped with Mitch and he made me understand you were the brains behind your campus mag! You didn’t even inform me.” He lamented. “But you stopped calling and you’ve been ‘busy’ as you always put it.” She quipped, munching her delicious burger. “The workplace has been crazy but I’m sorry for going mute” He said. “Okay, I’m fine though. I’m at a place where I’ve let go the baggage, the nagging and being attached to people who don’t appreciate.” Chris interjected as Sly breathed tough. “You see Babe, don’t get me wrong, It’s not like I don’t appreciate nor love you. That’s not the case. I just felt, so much was happening in my life and I needed a break to make sense of it and reinvent.” He pleaded his case.

“I understand but that shouldn’t be the case. I also have issues but have never woken up and said, ooh I’m going mute on him. That’s a flimsy excuse, Chris.” She pointed out. “Yea I know, that was not appropriate. I’m regrettably sorry, Sly.” He implored. “So what’s bothering you?” Sly queried. “Nothing in particular apart from pressure at the workplace. I feel drained and overwhelmed. I have no joy of being alive. I feel morbid all the time and detached from life.” He said, sounding melancholic. “Isn’t that depression?” She quizzed. “I don’t know what’s depression.” He said. “Agonizing over death and generally feeling sad and lost are symptoms of depression.” She explained.

“Why don’t you visit a psychiatrist or rather talk to your family about it?” She added. “It will get better. I’m contemplating resigning and going back to production of music which is my passion.” He consoled himself. “By the way, I’m starting my internship at Syokimau FM next month.” She said excitedly. “Wow, good to hear. Journalism has always been your calling.” He stated. “Thank you! Similarly, you shouldn’t neglect your passions since that’s the whole essence of living. To make true your dreams.” Sly emphasized.

Meanwhile, she took the responsibility of reaching to Chris’s elder brother Jeremy to make him aware of his predicament. It was getting dark outside and so, Chris cleared the bill and escorted her to the bus terminus.

Strange girl: Hey Chris?

Chris: Hey

Strange girl: Who is she?

Chris: My friend.

Strange girl: That’s how you hold your female friends?

Sly: I’m just your friend Chris!

Before Chris responded, Sly hopped to a matatu plying route 111.

Previously on Platte-Land Series

Next on Platte-land series: Birthday

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!

Next on Platte-Land series: Apology

Photo Credit: Amira Africa

 

PLATTE-LAND 007: NIGHT OUT

Related image

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.

Next on Platte-Land series: In Laws

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.

Next on Platte-Land series: Night Out

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.

Next on Platte-Land series: Cultural Week

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.

Next on Platte-Land series: School Magazine

PLATTE-LAND 003: STALEMATE

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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.

Next on Platte-Land series: Verdict

Image Credit: nakedconvos.com

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