PLATTE-LAND 019 – AFTER PARTY

Related imagePhoto credit: kampusville.com

After a successful MUST Zone inaugural anniversary celebrations, the after party went down at the city’s nerve center of entertainment joints – Westlands. It was an invite-only affair with the Journalism Club members forming the biggest section of the attendants towing along their friends while Matiba University usual suspects otherwise known as influencers would also be spotted.

Njagi dragged along Shiku, while Sly invited Eunetta, her seemingly close friend. Sly was putting a brave face after undergoing a rough patch of late, especially after breaking up with Chris. Be it as it may, there was much to celebrate on the other hand, which strangely, nature didn’t allow. For starter’s sake, she had broken some personal glass ceilings; – She had landed a top job at Syokimau FM having been confirmed on the lucrative position of the morning show radio host. MUST Zone was also doing very well in the universities arena and in fact, had a very phenomenal anniversary earlier in the day.

When Shiku and Njagi settled on their spot, they had a lot to discuss. They were meeting for the first time after the backdrop of their last encounter in Shiku’s well-furnished apartment. One thing had led to the other and before they knew it, they slid into the world of intimacy, riding on alcohol influence. Hence the reason, today’s encounter was a lukewarm one to both of them for simply provoking to resuscitate what went down on that night.

“I didn’t know you are that good”

“You lured me into it Shiku. You take the blame.”

“I think it’s too late. Anyway, how are you.”

“I’m fine…You realize things seem to be rolling pretty fast.”

“What things?”

“You know I’m worried of Sly”

“Oooh Lord. To this extent, I accept and move-on on your grave obsession with her.”

“Not really, I’m just concerned.”

“You’re lying with a straight face Njagi.”

“I will only admit it to you that I love her, but that’s between us.”

“The heart wants what it wants. Mapenzi ni kikohozi brathee, haifichiki!

“Somebody just friend-zoned me. Brathee???

“You know where we’ve come from Njagi….tangu siku za Daudi Kabaka”

“Let’s be serious for once.”

“Talk to me dear.”

“Look at who accompanied her!”

“She looks familiar. We were in the same high school. Her name is Eunetta.”

“Wait….Eunetta. That’s rings a bell!!”

“You know her?”

“I eavesdropped when they were breaking up with Chris. Her name was thrown around.”

“I don’t get it. All I know is that she was a lele.”

“You mean a lesbian?”

She nods in the affirmative.

“I overheard Chris talking of how he met them making out.”

“You kidding me. They were making out?”

“Apparently.”

“They were really tight back then in high school. I’m shocked they are still together carrying on with their feminine affair.”

***

Meanwhile, Sly and Eunetta seemed to be having the best of their time at a far table taking their Heineken drinks smoothly.

“I tell you what, that lecturer dancing over there wants me to get into an affair with him.”

“Is that a big deal Sly?”

“Goodness sake, he is twice my age, married and certainly wouldn’t ever rattle my ovaries.”

“Don’t be too sure hunny, these stuff happen.”

“I had a painful break up but I’m not desperate for a man. I’m enjoying every bit of my singlehood.”

“You don’t envy free drinks and expensive lunch dates in high-end hotels and trips to Zanzibar,…Wait, you wouldn’t be interested in his money and a guaranteed first class honour when you graduate?”

“Babe, there is nothing for free in this world. Worse of it, from men.”

“Just for sleeping with you, it’s not like it will stick on your forehead for everyone to notice?”

“You don’t understand it Eunetta, sleeping with a married man is despicable. My dear, I hope you’ve not crossed that line in pursuit for money. It’s evil.”

“Let’s leave that for another day.”

“Anyway, he is such a bother.”

“You should make him aware that you have me to take care of your bedroom matters.”

“You can say that again.”

They laugh away as they dangle their glasses for a cheer. Mr. Mwangi walks over to Sly as Eunetta dashes to the ballroom.

“Mwalimu, you’re such an epic dancer!”

“I used to be an excellent one when I was your age.”

“You must have frequented many bashes and discotheques at your youthful age.”

“You’re right, I attended so many.”

“So how is your family doing?”

“They are well, the kids are back to school though.”

“I hope you reconciled with your wife after that fateful day.”

“Yes we did and we had many more arguments subsequently, as usual.”

“As usual?”

“Sly, when you get married you’ll understand why.”

“But marriage is how the two of you fuse it. Isn’t it?”

“That’s easier said than done.”

“So, how do you cope?”

“By being distracted by women like you.”

“Mwalimu, you sound like you’re objectifying me.”

“You’re too sensitive dear!”

“I think I’m just disturbed by your guts.”

“Speaking of guts, did you make up your mind?”

“About?”

“The North Coast trip.”

“Mr. Mwangi, today is a very special day to my life. Please don’t ruin it.”

“I’m sorry for always being misunderstood by you.”

“I’m offended by people who don’t take no for answer.”

Eunetta interrupts…

“Hi sir?”

“Hi”

“Eunetta, meet my lecturer Mr. Mwangi”…”Sir, this is my lovely doll, Eunetta.”

“Pleasure, I got to leave. Take care girls.”

“Don’t you worry Mwalimu, I’m in a safe company as you can see.”

Sly and Eunetta laughter build gradually and finally fill the room.

 

Previously on Platte-Land Anniversary

The series continues next week…

PLATTE-LAND 018: ANNIVERSARY

Related imageTime had rolled off in such a fast pace. The journalism club members were busy preparing for the maiden anniversary of the school mag since the celebrated launch. Everyone was upbeat and excited by the niche the mag had curved for itself. Blue chip corporate firms were jostling for the elusive space in the premier millennials’ magazine. From the giants in the telecommunication industry to multinational brands; the likes of Safaricom and Samsung, it was bliss and glow to the team behind the mag. Tidy monies were rocking their accounts so consistently stealing an eye from the campus V.C who as a result gladly accepted to honour the invitation of being the Chief Guest during the celebrations earmarked to take place, on the subsequent weekend.

Sly had worked on her presentation the entire week. Being the chair-lady of the Journalism club and the ingenious brains behind the mag, it was only well deserving for her to have a slot to talk about the journey the magazine had covered. She had like 6 drafts with Abigail her co-chair helping in editing her final draft.

The magazine had a special pullout to acknowledge the season it came to birth. A pictorial album was being crafted as well as a detailed editorial script summarizing its maiden year it had been in circulation. Many ads had also been lined up as part of the marketing gimmick to tap the million dollar youthful section of the economy.

***

Ladies and gentlemen, to start with, I wish to extend my gratitude to each and everyone of you present in this room, for resolving to come and witness this momentous day of our institution. As you all know, 12 months ago Must Zone magazine came to the fore. You can all bear me witness, it has been a roller-coaster and marathon race to the journalism club and all the stakeholders for having made my dream come true. The magazine has leapfrogged and gained confidence over time but more importantly won the hearts of legions of comrades.

Comrades yeeeh

Comrades aaaah

We’ve sharpened our skills in producing competitive work and in return attracted many partners who in tandem have moulded long-term partnerships. Well, it started as an idea in my mind and were it not for each one of you who believed in it and the school management who walked the talk of sponsoring it, certainly, we wouldn’t be in this room, today.

Of importance to all of us is to appreciate MUST Zone has become a household name and such a coveted brand besides emerging as a product of benchmarking by other institutions of higher learning in and around East Africa. Mt.Thondio University, Ndunduri University, Gathigiriri Teachers College, Wiitemere School of Applied Sciences, just to name a few have not only shown interest in emulating this noble idea but have manifested high appreciation for the level of investment and the kind branding our school has achieved through MUST Zone.

We have also tapped on the amazing talent our school has got and exposed it to a bigger audience for nurturing. For instance, we have student-writers publishing articles in our columns in a very regular sequence. Dr. Kiogothe to be more specific, has been running a fiction series that I’m told is on the verge of closing in a deal with one of the top daily newspaper – Syokimau Weekend. Isn’t that unprecedented?

Last and not least, I’d like to exude my indebted regards to our Dean of Students Mr. Mwangi for believing in our idea even when it had little to prove. He went ahead to pitch it to the school management who in return dared to give us a chance. On behalf of the journalism club, we can’t thank you enough Mr. Mwangi.

Mr. Mwangi stood up and briefly waved to the crowd, though shyly.

It’s now my humble opportunity to invite our V.C to give his speech.

***

The V.C having been impressed by the noble idea of MUST Zone school magazine made a surprise declaration that all current members of the Journalism Club who were actively involved in publishing the mag would earn a competitive salary starting immediately. But more importantly, he promised to steer a team that would ensure most journalism club members in MUST University got absorbed by the leading media houses the likes of; Syokimau Media Group, Igwa Miti Television Network, Kiawara Broadcasters & Kiandutu TV. He also hailed praise to Sly for landing the post of Syokimau Morning show presenter.

Mr. Mwangi, the dean of students would later have a word with his love-struck student, Sly, at the sidelines of the anniversary itinerary.

“Congratulations, you looked very confident on stage.”

“I owe it to you. You believed in my idea.”

“Just the other day, it’s now a year gone.”

“Sure, will you be joining us for the after-party?”

“You didn’t invite me plus still haven’t received your feedback on our trip to North Coast.”

“Is it payback time Mr. Mwangi?”

“Not really, is only that you misunderstood me during our date.”

“Can I make it clear to you that, that was not a date. At least not with my approval. Secondly, it sits awkwardly with me to have you develop feelings to a student who holds you in high regard.”

” It’s just a casual arrangement. Don’t read too much.”

“I’m disturbed Mwalimu by your pestering. Sorry if I sound offensive.”

“Anyway, let’s meet at the After Party.”

“Fine, if you say so.”

“By the way, you’re doing an incredible work at Syokimau Fm.”

Sly’s face melted from a frown to an easy face.

“So, you listen to my show? How do I sound on radio?”

“A voice that one would wish to listen on and on. You were made for the radio!”

“You can say that again.”

“See you later.”

Photo credit: Ted Talks

Previously on Platte-land series Internship

Platte-land continues next Monday…

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

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

 

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