PLATTE-LAND 016: TRYST

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They had numerously stumbled on each other, with the Dean of Students always imploring on her of their date especially after the incredible idea of the school mag. Speaking of which, the mag had become so popular that the Vice Chancellor of Matiba University requested for an audience with the brains behind it. Sly was taken by surprise besides being overwhelmed by the level of support her idea had gathered. The journalism club had been a buzz of activities ever since the launch, with many products finding their way in to the mag. The uptake had been indeed, fulfilling. The margins had also been growing steadily leaving the future with no choice but to be kinder.

Sly was meeting Mr.Mwangi at the backdrop of a painful break up with her ex – Chris, after she got wind of him cheating on her. It was heartbreaking and unbelievable. She chose to follow the high and unpopular route of not forgiving him and denying him any second chance to redeem himself. She rather chose to forge on, in the uncharted waters of single hood as life unfolded. It could be a blessing in disguise for her to repair the broken pieces in her life.

Mr. Mwangi would pick her at Adams Arcade and they’d settle on a getaway off Ngong road.

It was in one of those scenic hideouts with a flower-littered road tucked in between a forest that also domesticated legions of playful monkeys and chirping birds. Sly had never been to such a private engagement with any of her lecturer(s) before. But unlike her, many campus ladies had found themselves toying with the idea of befriending and firing up affairs with their lecturers all for good grades and enviable lifestyles. Scores of ladies found themselves wadding in love-flings hatched from infamous locations such as this.

So, why would Sly give Mr. Mwangi that kind of privilege to buy her lunch in a getaway frequented by people in three-piece love affairs? Of people shy of basking at the scrutiny of the public eye? Was she naive not even to inform her folks or Njagi that she was off to a lunch date, just in case? You know sh** happens! Had Mr. Mwangi been all innocent or had he mastered the tricks to woe Sly?

***

“Have you been here before?”

“Ooh no. Looks vintage like!”

“Yea, with a heritage to uphold.”

“Seems like it. It’s peaceful and equally captivating.”

“You didn’t seem to be very keen on the date though.”

“Date!!!”

“Yea our lunch date.”

Sly faked a choke from the garlic and lemon fish curry they were having.

“By the way, the meal is too awesome. I’m impressed by how they’ve garnished the coriander leaves.” Dodging his question.

“My pleasure.”

“So, Mwalimu, what was the essence of the so called date?”

“Aah, could you refer me as just Mwangi.”

“That will definitely sound awkward.” Making a sarcastic laugh.

“Why?”

“I can’t see myself referring you as Mwangi!”

“Well you just did.” He giggled turning away from Sly’s impressive gaze.

“Why would you encourage me to do so. You’re still my lecturer. And a senior one for crying out loud.”

“I’m not denying that. But this is a different arrangement altogether. I have a life out there, you know.”

Sly nodded as she awaited more from Mr. Mwangi’s bubble.

“Who doesn’t like having a good time with friends?” Making a more pronounced smile that warranted Sly to notice a gap that once housed one of his molar teeth.

“So, where is this headed Mwangi? Gosh, sorry. Mr. Mwangi.”

“Very good.” He ordered for some white wine.

Amid the laughters and long talks, Sly opened up to Mr. Mwangi about her bruising break up. She was surprised by how attentive he portrayed himself to be. He was such an incredible listener. He never interjected, nor blinked through the story. He nodded when called upon to, made faces when expected, while his eye contact remain drawn to her. That surprised Sly and in essence drew some positive attributes about him.

He sympathized with her story.

“Was he the first boyfriend you ever hand?”

“Mmmmh….you could say so.”

“You don’t sound sure.”

She crossed one leg to the other, took a deep breathe and adjusted her watch. “Okay, let me put it differently – it was the first serious relationship I have had so far.”

“The rest were?”

“The usual flings that die before they start.”

“Hahahaha. Is the guy who accompanied you to my office the one who hurt your heart?”

“Oh my goodness.” She walked to the ladies laughing loudly.

5 minutes later…

She found him on phone speaking to a female voice whom Sly deciphered, was his wife demanding to know where he was. She spoke with utter disgust and venom.

“That’s my nagging wife.”

“Nagging.”

“She is always venting and complaining of something.”

Sly sighed off. “You should make time for her. Perhaps she thinks you’re denying her attention.”

“But I’m always busy. I have no time to stay indoors and supply attention.”

“You see, that’s where you men go wrong. In the beginning you’re always very romantic and available, wait until the dust settles.”

Mr. Mwangi responded to an itch on his ever bushy beards. “I’ve got to provide for them. I can’t just stay there pampering her. How will I create wealth if I don’t whip my a** and get connected to the right people in this town?”

“But you called me for a date at the expense of your family!”

“I felt obliged to appreciate your brilliance.”

“Are you sure there was nothing more?”

“I have always been carried away by your charm right from the day you joined our institution. I wish we became more closer, perhaps even flying to the coast for a weekend, you know! Is that much to ask from such a dazzling woman like you?”

“But I’m your student and you are very much married. In fact, your wife deserves that trip more than I will ever do.” Sly was beginning to feel offended and intruded.

“Just a weekend.”

“No no no Mwalimu.”

“You could think about it, no pressure.”

“That’s not right. Are we done here, I see mum calling.”

Sly got to the car as Mr. Mwangi took his time clearing the bill and watching the smoke waft in the air from his smoldering cigarette-stick at one end of the parking bay, seemingly angered by his backfired moves.

They drove off with no much talk in the car apart from Sly engulfed in retrospection, with Mr. Mwangi trying to do some damage control to his proposal that didn’t go down well with her.

Did he jump the gun?

Photo credit: ebony.com

Platte-land series continues next Monday…

Previously on Platte-land series: Cupid

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PLATTE-LAND 015: CUPID

Image result for Mpho khati curvy bodyHe was the Finance Manager of a top horticultural farm in Naivasha. A medium height kind of man, fairly young until you met his landmark pot belly that seemed to aggravate his age. He described himself as a family man. He was a dad to three kids; 2 sons and one daughter. He had been married for eight years now. You could say he was a social drinker, mostly going out on weekends with his childhood friends and business associates.

He met Shiku on one of those nights. She was with her girls, all being her classmates, from a road trip when they made a sojourn at a popular reveling joint in Naivasha. Two hours down the line, a female waiter brought a magnanimous order to their table. A dozen bottles of Heineken, Smirnoff vodka and the Jameson whiskey stared at them, eagerly waiting for the girls’ acceptance speech. There was no way these city slayers would resist such a generous reward, at least not with this economy. Mr. F.M as Shiku fondly referred him had eyed her from the moment they walked in. He had been mesmerized by her seductive body. She is such an angelic lass, c’mon go and get her number. If she denies you, you’ll at least console yourself by having tried your luck – His mind would tease him.

She seemed to have a commanding personality. Her smile was coherent in the same way it was contagious. Her eyes struck the deepest end of his soul. Her dreadlocks exposed her wild spirits depicting her rebellious nature of not conforming to the norm. She appeared to be an intelligent woman. F.M endeared female intellectualism and women who seemed to be eager-beavers. There is a way female intellectualism smells; like the titillating smell of dust when it rains. He had such a humongous soft spot for lasses with mass and substance too. Shiku packaged herself as one.

Speaking of which, F.M had a wife all men pray to marry. She had brains, followed by beauty. She had a profundity of emotional intelligence and quite an aggressive woman. She quit her job to support his dream of being a business mogul. She detested easy money and comfort zone. She also shun the lazy ideology some ladies hold of being mere gate-keepers of their husbands’ wealth. In sharp contrast, she was an abrasive go-getter. She’d travel the high road of nurturing ideas, fueling them to credible business plans, packaging them until they hatched to promising enterprises and consequently conveying the returns to Mr. F.M.

She was that loyal and hands on. Money didn’t tempt her nor inflict a bruise on their marital union. She’d engage him on where to invest the returns. They were great friends and would keep on forgetting they were marriage partners. Her hands had a thing for nurturing and creating products that didn’t exist. She had a creative mind and a subtle personality at hand, to balance life torrents. Unlike many women who are always after salivating their spouses’ wealth, resulting to hiring hit men to eliminate them for easy wins, she religiously believed in the idea of fostering and making marriage last its full longevity.

He had married his chimera woman. His best friend. His favorite illusion of a superwoman. She was a wife who’d speak of tomorrow’s plans dressed in a loose nightwear while lying in bed lulling the slumber mode and F.M would just nod his balding head in agreement. She’d talk about this deal and that order and of deliveries and collecting cheques where. At times she’d be like; Baba Cleophas, you need to look for that mhindi friend of yours  – Mr. Patel. I’m sure he’d be interested in the supply of Mahogany trees we traced near Uganda – Congo border, now that the ban in Kenya doesn’t seem to be lifted anytime soon. And did you ask Kang’ethe if his restaurant exalted the poultry order we made last month?

But beneath that, was a woman who understood F.M’s intrigues and sophistication depth. She knew when he lied and would smell when he warmed up to sultry women. She’d easily decipher when he played mind games with her, besides peeling off all the layers of deceit being schemed in his testosterone glands. She was a woman, F.M couldn’t underestimate.

However, after a close shave encounter with the sensuous Shiku, temptations were bound and rife. His boys cheered him on and so did his alcohol drink. She seemed to be the cheerleader of her squad and that cajoled him more. He was attracted to women who called the shots. And so, after his order was gladly accepted by these campus ladies, protocol would follow next. He’d walk over, pull a sit uninvited, and introduce himself all out of the blues. Interestingly, they blend easily. Their hearts’ lewd desires flooded their eyes, and so they’d occasionally feel the magnetic-pull, whip up their newly nurtured chemistry. By the end of it all, he was struggling in the deep waters of full-blown manias of lust and infatuation, thanks to Shiku.

He talked about his day job and his passion for his family. The more he shared bits and pieces of how fond he was to his kids and wife, the more attractive Shiku found him to be. He’d throw terminologies and adjectives regarding his job description, and how he flies in and out of the country for business-related workshops and trainings. She would marvel at his flawless grammar and wit. Of course, as it happens, his stupor state plus the excitement of conversing with a fine chiq like Shiku did wonders in motivating his commanding English fluency. His cologne was also unrivaled at such unholy hour – she found that weird.  He’d spew chewed information of; Net margins, Forecasts, Cash-flows, Deferred Tax, Equities, Transfer pricing….. and it would sound Greek to her.

You see, Shiku and Maths units don’t cross paths quite often and were akin to that annoying neighbor who plays loud music you have to contend with until fate coughs otherwise. She abhorred Maths in high school after the subject teacher depicted open bias to weaker students in that unit. Mr. Muriuki otherwise nicknamed as Calculus who also poised as the school’s pastor, blatantly humiliated and overlooked anyone who scored less than 45% in his subject. He took it as a personal affront. As it would turn out, Shiku didn’t do well in that unit but still made it to campus thanks to her passion for Art subjects which led her in enrolling for (B.A) Literature at Mt. Thondio University.

Time was lapsing to drive back to Nairobi at least before the morning rise came out calling. The girls were exhausted for driving a whopping 350km in a day and hiking the Menengai Crater. Shiku dragged F.M off the club to the parking bay. They barged into his car and adjusted their seats. He asked for her number.

The next thing he recalled when he rose from his hangover slumber, the morning after; the day had grown legs but the infatuation to Shiku was still blurring his mind. He smiled when he recalled Shiku planting a kiss on his lips and him cuddling her erotic body. He replayed that yesternight memory script like a million times, smiling to himself as guilt peeped whenever he made those blank stares to the ceiling board.

In no time the doorbell rung, beckoning the arrival of his family from church.

Photo Credit: http://www.afrikglamourmagazine.com

Previously on Platte-Land: Break Up

Read Next: Tryst

 

PLATTE-LAND 014: BREAK UP

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2 months ago…

After the startling culmination of their date, she got home, went straight to her bedroom, locked herself in and began sobbing for hours. Exalted, she muddled and kicked anything she came across from the shoe rack that was banged to the wall leaving its components running for safety under the bed, to the blankets that were dragged to the floor. She turned to the orderly wardroom and rendered it into a chaotic jumble. She got hold of her favourite souvenir – A puppy pet gifted by her boyfriend and squeezed it hard between her palms, hurling contempt to it as if it occasioned the cause of their break up. All along, her mum pleaded with her to open the door but her pleas fell on dead ears. Her folks got bewildered by the state of their daughter as it stretched to a couple of days before she opened up to them the venom in her heart and the remnants of a formerly promising relationship.

You see, bringing up millennials nowadays, is equal to preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. The world is twisted due to the amount of shit being thrown around. Sly’s mum would reminisce her heydays when she was a teenager. How strict her parents were as so was the society. Kids had little space to manoeuvre in the name of freedom, including dating. These days a daughter has the guts of telling her dad how her boyfriend cheated on her and the dad will look away and mumble something close to; I told you I didn’t like his hair. I mean, what more could you have expected from him?… as he checks on the tyre pressure of his stunning, chisel bodied 2018 Lexus beast, at the parking bay.

Sly

Surely, why would Chris cheat on me? What warranted this kind of betrayal? When did this start? What did he see in her? I know I don’t have the most alluring body but at least I pay for that with my character. After all, I was always there for him. I’m not the nagging type. I’m not a spendthrift. I’m an intellect and smart. I’ve my life goals all put together. I started a school mag out of the blues. I’m starting my internship at a top media station next week. Who doesn’t want to date a focused woman? What else could a man want? I must have been blinded by his sideburns or was it the cologne and his adventurous nature! Surely, an apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

***

“Hey Njagi”

“Hey!”

“Where are you, in the hostel?”

“Yea, whats up?”

“Nothing. Coming.” Hangs up.

Njagi had a knock on the door only to be met by Sly’s teary eyes and her poignant face. She seemed to have been sobbing for hours. You see, Sly was the emotional type. Anything that pissed her off was enough to provoke her tear glands.

“You don’t look okay.”

“Yea, my life is all messed up.”

“What happened, I hope it’s not Chris again?”

“Imagine it is.” She dived on Njagi’s bed and buried herself on the face with the pillow and started weeping lowly.

Njagi was confused as he pondered how to calm her down.

She got over it after an eventful 10 minutes. The pillow was all soaked with her pungent tears. Her face was pale and fazed. Her hair looked disoriented as if somebody rummaged it, attesting the levels of Chris’s betrayal. She had not taken anything except water, for two days. Her folks were terribly stressed.

“Calm down Sly. Breathe in, breathe out. In life, shit happens. And this one wasn’t your fault. We’re all naive at some point in life but it’s cheap and unbecoming for anyone to take advantage of someone’s naivety. That’s what Chris did.” Njagi tried to console her as she nodded, with her mind miles away.

“You recall when we went out and you informed me how queer he had become?” Njagi dug in another palaver.

“Yes, I remember.”

“My instincts were true. There was a lady distracting him.”

” I just don’t understand why he’d do that to me.”

“What did you two discuss at the so-called makeup date, sorry to ask?”

“You know, Chris is such a hypocrite. He was blaming his queer behavior to depression caused by I don’t know what. In fact, I had decided to hold his hand and walk him over it until it dawned on me, I was on my own and being set up.”

“Ehe keep going.”

“The date was fine until he escorted me to the bus terminus and by grace, she bumped into us.”

“Who bumped into you?”

“That b**** …..and she dared asked who I was to him.”

“Did she look familiar?”

“Not with those chubby cheeks.”

“Did she look hot!….sorry, ignore that.”

She clenched her jaws in utter disgust.

“Did he bother calling back to explain?”

“He didn’t and I don’t give a damn. He is too ashamed.”

“So, what do you think, will you call it quit?”

“I want to call him and make him understand it’s all over between him and me.”

“You know what, before you make that call, you’ll freshen up and I will take you for lunch.”

Njagi knew all the right buttons to make Sly rejuvenated. Call it platonic friendship.

Her favourite meal was anything close to a mushroom pizza. In no time, they checked in at Debonairs Pizza, at ABC Place – Waiyaki Way.  The surprise date worked for Sly as soon as she smelled the location of their lunch set up. Her face warmed up and her eyelids dried up. Finally, the old Sly’s character had resurfaced. They ordered for large size, chicken & mushroom pizza and soft drinks. They talked in length about MUST Zone school mag and basked under the excitement of Sly’s internship at Syokimau FM set to begin in a week’s time.

As they were about to leave, Sly insisted he had to call Chris. Njagi advised that the location was inappropriate plus she hadn’t recovered yet. “Sly, never ever make hasty decisions when you are very angry or happy. You’ll end up regretting soon after.” It was hardly a week after their last encounter.

Sly was adamant though, that the break up had to be settled once and for all. She took her phone and while she typed his name on the phone book, Chris called. It took them by surprise. She had to buy time before picking it just to codify her mind. The baggage of calling the other first had shifted to Chris, and in such a rare moment, she had to rise to the occasion and put to a conclusion this draining situation she was in.

“Hello”

“Hi Sly, how are you?”

“Never mind, what’s the call meant for?”

“Slow down. I thought we should meet.”

“Yea, you deserve meeting your new catch.”

“Don’t be rude.”

“You know what!….”

“Yes, I’m listening.”

“It’s very much over between me and you. Consider yourself a done deal.”

“No, no. We can’t break up on phone.”

“It’s not a request. Boy, smell your fate and deal with it. Forget me.”

“So, are you dumping your other boyfriend as well?”

“Which other boyfriend?”

“Njagi.”

“Leave Njagi out of this.”

“How do I know if you cheated on me with him, previously?”

“Stop using Njagi as your scapegoat….”

“Sly…Sly…Sly…listen to me.”

“Consider yourself dumped.”

“You remember I found you caressing your friend Eunetta and you told me it’s a girls’ thing. Are you a lesbian Sly?”

“Stop side shows Chris.”

“Did Eunetta win you over me?”

“You’re making drama out of nothing. I’d rather remain single than have you in my life. You cheated on me for over half an year.”

“You are kidding me.”

“Kid you not.”

“Babe!”

“Don’t babe me.” Hangs up.

***

“I had my name thrown around”

“He is alleging you are my other boyfriend.”

“What about the lesbian stuff?”

“Let’s not even go there.”

They both sigh off reaching to each other for a well-deserved hug.

 

Photo credit: Chicagonow.com

Related article Apology

Previously on Platte-Land Lechery

Read next: Cupid

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 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

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.

 

OF AMICABLE BREAK UPS OR NOT

Related image When you part from your friend, you grieve not; for that which you love most may be clearer in their absence. — Kahlil Gibran. So, is there anything like amicable breakup? Like can you call your significant other and start an awkward conversation with words like’ “Hey babe, I’ve reached a point where I want us to part ways”. And she smiles about it and be like, “sawa tu!” Subsequently, can you then sustain a no strings attached relationship with your ex? Someone said – If you’re still friends with an ex, you’re either still in love or never were.

The longer the relationship, the greater the codependency and the worse a breakup would be. That’s why people who engage in hit and run never get hurt since no emotions are invested in the first place. On the other hand, the would-be ‘victim’ is also likely to heal in no time since the time span is too short to warrant much pain. But of course, there is always the element of being robbed some innocence or being taken for a ride. This mostly happens to women.

But how many people can welcome rejection with a broad smile? Breakups are more or less, versions of rejection especially to partners found flat-footed and bombarded with breakup news. And it can tremendously destabilise one’s life. This is because rejections provoke thoughts of us questioning our true selves and identities. You see, somebody who clearly loved you for quite some time – say several years (not these 6 – 9 months relationships. In fact they don’t suit to be called relationships but hookups.) waking up one day with such hard news or developing signs of breaking up with you can only be tormenting, to say the least. Actually, for some, they jump to friends they friendzoned earlier on just to hide from realities of rejection. Some switch to new-found infatuations where they succumb to unwarranted pregnancies all in denial of a rejection. Some drown to depression or alcoholism.

It sounds very civilized to break up amicably, but I tell you what, the more cordial a breakup is, the higher the chances of a relapse or intrusion into your future. And your future includes you moving on to a serious and long-term relationship or actually marriage. The impact can be dire. Stories have been told of exes showing up at people’s door uninvited for emergency sleepovers. In retrospect, if the break up was relatively hostile or draining the said ex wouldn’t ever show up regardless of the excuse. There is a fallacy that your ex can be a good friend but the reality of it all is that either or both parties will feel vulnerable and temptations are bound to happen.

It’s been proven that any habitual friendship with an ex has every likely element of flirting. And this is mainly aided by the mere fact that the breakup was cordial. I mean with an ex, you can bank on boundaries being blurred and feelings being messy. Haley Nahman a Digital Editor puts it this way; “true motives are often buried in our subconscious, only to be revealed in hindsight, and that’s why this remains a tricky territory.” In other words, you just may never know that it’s not actually advisable to awaken sleeping dogs.

The golden rule is to close that chapter and give the keys to your current significant other to dispose them off. Otherwise, an ex entertained is like having your cake and still intending to eat it. Eventually, you’ll have your fingers burnt off in the cross-hairs. By the way, why an ex’s chapter is tough to close for some is the emotional limbo that comes with a breakup. It’s agonising to reconcile the fate of you being single hence why a majority of the afflicted wouldn’t mind tolerating a friendship with an ex just to find a way of fixing the mess.

On the flipside do you know there could be advantages of breaking up with your ex amicably? To start with, a good term breakup doesn’t mean no one got hurt! It only alludes that there is dignity in letting the other party leave without melodrama. It’s about respecting the mutual reality that things aren’t working for both of you. Of course its emotionally draining, but I tell you what, the lesser the drama, the better the coping mechanism and bouncing back to your old self. Drama attracts people, and people can make you get hurt more. It also robs you respect from would be friends and colleagues or neighbours. However, the main disadvantage with such a breakup is that feelings don’t just disappear even with the time factor. There is a lot of vulnerability at play for the mere reason of a dignified separation.

Toying with an idea that you can be friends with your ex after the breakup, is a catch 22 for many. They find themselves inhibiting their feelings and acting up to a just-friends kind of hook up. There’s the inevitable magnetic pull to each other, which includes still wondering how their family is doing, and still being concerned about their overall well-being. You see, what keeps two former lovebirds apart are the cruel words pronounced during a breakup, revelations that came in too late for instance cheating, and the catastrophic nature of the breakup. You know, there is nothing that tears up and wrenches an individual like cold words coming from somebody you were once adored and occupied your personal space. Moreover, realising your better half was cheating on you behind your back, triggers overwhelming emotions leading to brutal breakups and such chapters getting closed almost immediately.

But the moment you entertain an ex cum friend scenario, the heartbreak progresses from worse to worst.  Appreciate that in such a situation, feelings will just be restrained and the idea of seeing them with somebody else not only makes you envious but tends to hurt you even more. Pundits have it, it’s extremely difficult to watch the same person you once terribly loved with the same lenses of a platonic friend post the breakup. Feelings rebel and become stubborn. Its only easier said than done that an ex can just be a friend. It’s unnatural to reverse your view of somebody who meant everything to you, to just a harmless friend. One or both of you must be lying to each other.

According to relationship experts, be it with relationships, a job or a stage in life, getting closure for any significant moment in one’s life is important for one to heal and move on. A closure means finality; letting go of what once was. And this is regardless of whether a breakup was amicable or not.

BFFs

Cross-sex friendships are based on attraction and quest for chemistry. A number of them survive devoid of lust but only for a limited period of time before one party develops a crush on the other. World over, the best selling romantic novels and movie series are based on long-time best friends falling in love. Platonic friendships are based on exuding a mutual connection without worrying of judgments, however, they travel along a very slippery path that could beat the whole purpose of the relationship. So, are platonic friendships sustainable in the long run? Do you have a friend of the opposite sex who portends a harmless and too-caring demeanor?

Would you allow your girlfriend or wife and vice versa to have an all-time best friend from the other gender? And the role of a best friend would include advising and acting as a trustee and confidant to your significant other. He or she would be narrated all your weaknesses and advise your partner accordingly on how he or she would react, including having the rights to lend a shoulder to lean on when your relationship hits a snag. In other words, you’d be reported to him or her whenever you disappoint. He or she will also tend to grasp so much of your spouse’s secrets than you’ll ever know. If that’s the case, how far should best friends go and where should you draw the line?

Something is for a fact though – Relationships that rely on third parties to iron out their issues run into a lot of troubles and vulnerabilities. As a matter of fact, couples that engage in infidelity have best friends being their first line of target. Bffs offer the very first grounds for luring couples into cheating if not putting the relationship into jeopardy. And it starts with emotional cheating before progressing to the physical one. Speaking of which, who provides the best fodder and fertile land to cheat on, than a bff who is more than ready and available to suck up all your emotional baggage? That’s where the chicken come home to roost, warming up to his/her emotional attachment which includes subtle flirting.

When you get into a long-term relationship that is likely to lead to marriage, the first agenda should be to identify all his/her bffs and run through their specific roles. Get to know the unique purpose they play and this vacuum they tend to fill. Of course, this should be done at the courtship stage in a very diplomatic way that requires a lot of delicate balancing.  The thing is, you must reign on bffs from the opposite sex no matter how good they are or assumed to be before they reign on you. It’s a question of who brinks fast and whose interests are being served. If it’s to secure your territory in the long run, it will so much depend on how you relate to your partner’s bff on the onset. If they imagine they are unchallenged or it’s business as usual, then they will gradually amass enough guts to even casually tease around your man/woman in your vicinity. You and I know too well where this can lead to. If you make your bed, so must you lie on it.

So, how do bffs come about? How do we find ourselves in these circumstances?

In my opinion, there are four avenues that provide the necessary ingredients and breeding ground for bffs to germinate, prosper and eventually shadow your introspection.

Way-back EXs

An Ex is a dangerous card if shuffled around. They are hazardous and infect like plagues hence why by all means possible, they should be completely shut off from one’s life. If that’s not the case, they have a way of making very calculated risks and scoring long balls from half the pitch. If given a chance, they have a way of warming up to bffs where they will camp for a while as they gather sufficient intelligence and devising ways to disarm and arm-twist you and finally recharge when you least expect.

Friendzone

Friendzone is a situationship where potential boyfriends/girlfriends are sort of locked in for god-knows how long. These are friends who, unfortunately, are not very appealing to being somebody’s partner even when they show the interest and flair of it hence given a soft landing so to speak, in the friend zone arena. There’s usually one or two traits about them that rather doesn’t convince or encourage you to jump into dating them. It could be that they neither have that charm and the wow-factor nor a substantial level of fire that is required for the relationship to bear legs. But they are good keeps for friends though. They end up being very entertaining friends, loyal and dependable since they are always ready to please you.

Familiarity

Familiarity is slightly different from being friendzoned in the following aspect – The person in this context could possess all the qualities of a person you could date but your connection tends to go overboard to an extent both of you develop a sibling-like kind of attachment. If it’s the dude, he sort of fails to give the aroma that comes with dating and you end up becoming too close at the wrong stage of the friendship. Or the person becomes too nice, too genuine and too available. Sometimes that alone holds back someone’s feelings. You see, to be attracted to someone, there should be that element of working hard to clinch it. When the person is too available, too willing to bend over to your terms and too submissive, it kills the magical oomph that is cognisant to keeping the two hearts dazzling and synchronized. Eventually, one can be friendzoned.  You could think of a deskmate or classmate or a girl/boy next door relationship.

Family friends

Any typical family has a tradition of cultivating and maintaining a special relationship with another family sharing the same values.  It happens that under these occasional encounters, children belonging to these two families are compelled to be friends, right from childhood all the way to adulthood and observe the requisite level of diplomacy to their counterparts. Normally, these friendships may lead to lifetime friends if not marriage. These kind of relationships are clouded by a lot of commonalities and history hence forming an ideal basis for bff friendships to blossom.

Couples should be very careful about how they navigate the whole idea of engaging third parties in their marriages/relationships to administer solutions to their marital flaws. The more one engages third parties the more they become vulnerable to infidelity. You see, cheating is cancerous and breeds very aggressively the moment third parties, especially from the opposite gender, get privy to privileged information about the struggles of a so-called best friend in a committed relationship.

More often than not, bff friendships that work around underneath marriage and stable relationship establishments, have a way of draining the enthusiasm and energy from the primary relationship hence deflating these solid relationships to empty shells that risk capsizing.

 

 

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