PLATTE-LAND 020: ENTANGLEMENT

Sly and Eunetta love relationship was a secret that was highly guarded leaving little chance if any, to a chosen few. This included Sly’s ex Chris, Shiku and Njagi. It brew in High school right from Form 1 as they shared the same cubicle. They got introduced to it by a Form 3 student who took them as their godmother as it was part of the school’s culture to ensure the Form 1s had someone who would orient them and make them have a soft landing in the institution. Unknown to them, their godmother was a lesbian and as fate would have it, they got acquainted with the unholy fellowship which to date seems not to have lasted its full longevity.

It was next to rare to notice their tight-lipped affair since they toyed with harboring boyfriends from other schools just like any typical teenage girl and would pen down love letters and dispatch them occasionally to the said poor lads. They’d casually mingle with these blokes if not getting new catches during funkies and in the course of inter-school events. The school was rather rampant with lesbianism and had kept alive this infamous tradition for decades now. The school management had miserably failed to tame it, much to its thriving. In fact, at one point one of the school watchmen was found dead on an early morning in what the community around believed he had been allegedly raped by the highly charged girls the previous night, until he passed on.

Sly and Eunetta pursued divergent directions after high school but still kept in touch. The latter would study at Mt.Thondio University coincidentally where Shiku is currently based while Sly joined Matiba University. As Eunetta developed an interest in Software Engineering, Sly was contented with Computer Science though very keen on Journalism. They would later revisit their relationship whenever the dry spell bustle seemed unbearable, though life had weakened their chemistry to a large extent. This had been occasioned by new friends who had infiltrated their lives coupled with a credible turnover of boyfriends which ostensibly came with its fair share of distractions if not ripple effects. Incidentally, at one time Chris (Sly’s Ex) stumbled on the two kissing and cuddling in his house, but their strong bond saved their relationship even though the ugly memories would resurface later when Sly dumped Chris.

From the look of things, Eunetta was in a struggle of her own. She was a no ordinary bisexual. Strangely, she had no particular taste of men. Suffice is to say, she dated any man that she lusted for. Rich or broke, young to old, married or otherwise, bad boys to mama’s boys, from tall to midgets, politicians to technocrats, retirees to pastors, name them. She had an album of untold experiences and bizarre escapades. Money aside, she fantasized feeding her curiosity in bedding any man that seemed elusive. She chased men rather in a sophisticated way until at some point it occurred to her that she could perhaps be battling a medical problem. She didn’t go beyond getting a medical interpretation regarding her queer habits. It remained just a speculation buried in her witty passions far away from Sly’s scrutiny.

On the hand, she had a weighty collection of women she had slept with, too. From the well rounded to the models like. Besides, she created time for her trophy girl, Sly. Speaking of Sly, she was in her own battle zone as well. She tolerated Eunetta for being unequivocally loyal and a lesser evil so to speak but more interestingly toyed with Njagi for far too long. It was no more a secret that Njagi had a clear crush on Sly which she contended with too well while playing along though cautiously. In return, she had successfully converted him to assume the position of managing her erratic emotional struggles. Before the break up with her ex, it didn’t escape Chris’s attention as occasionally he would provoke explanations of the so called platonic friendship whose answers barely scratched the surface as Sly would wrestle to justify.

But more pertinently, Sly seemed to be in a catch 22. She was dealing with a stubborn lecturer who had aided her in the footings of her journalism breakthrough which came at a cost of him intimating for sexual favours from her. When his advances seemed to be falling on a hard surface he resulted to go cannibal.

***

After they were done with the class, Sly received a text message from Mr.Mwangi urging her to pass by the staff room briefly as she made her way home. Her instincts advised her to request Njagi to wait for her at the exit door in the lower floor. It was a few minutes shy of 9 pm. Njagi gladly waited for her as he cultivated a laid-back tet a tet with Hamisi – a security guard and one of his campus buddies. Their friendship had been hatched at the school gym where both of them were active members. They’d tussle on lifting the weights and doing the workouts.

10 minutes or so in the waiting, Njagi grew weary. He decided to take an elevator to the staff room based on 3rd floor to find out why Sly had taken a century-long holed up with a lustful mwalimu. As he made his way he met with Sly’s desperate voice pleading for help. His adrenaline jumped in, and in a split of a second, he banged the door only to meet Sly lying on the floor, her dress slit torn and way above the upper legs, sandwiched by Mr.Mwangi’s legs who in the meantime had been unfastening his belt.

To be continued…

Previously on Platte-land series: After-Party

Sadly Season 2 of Platte-Land series is done and dusted. Watch out for Season 3 sooner or later.

Photo credit: youthvillage.co.za

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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

Related image

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 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

OFFICE ROMANCES

 

Image result for Office romance for blacks

Office romance is as old as love itself. Its been brewed and given breathe in the high walls of office set ups and graced by likely and unlikely characters masquerading in formal dressing codes since way back. You’ll be shocked or rather amazed depending on which side of the conversation you sit, by the statistics of office coupling. A sizeable number of the workforce have at least on one occasion or another, succumbed to close office relations courtesy of the attraction magnetic pull triggered by long working hours. All be it for quenching lust or seeking genuine love, many get trapped by the blurred web of office affairs.

The interesting bit is, many employees find it annoying, naive and selfish to engage in office relations in as much as they’ve been in them too at some point in their careers. And, did you know women receive more shade than men when they fall prey to office romances. In fact, when women are perceived to be having a thing going on with their senior colleagues or immediate bosses its interpreted to as, a game of coercion for promotion in exchange of sexual favours in as much as, perhaps the woman didn’t make the first move.

But what makes staff vulnerable to these kind of relationships? You know, the more time people spend together, the more they become familiar with one another. The more familiarity grows the more comfortable they become with each other. The more comfortable two people are with one another, the higher the chances of them sharing about personal stuff. The more they share the more subconsciously they view themselves as a couple. While this unfolds the higher the chances colleagues will notice the chemistry in their friendship and start teasing them about it. Do you know so many relationships are cemented by the outside world in this context being office colleagues who start perceiving an office friendship as not just a platonic one!

Interestingly, 90% of office relationships are merely short term in nature. Very few pass the litmus test of leading to something tangible and worth writing home about. Short term meaning they span for less than a year but seemingly one year shelf life out ways many relationships in the outside world. Anyway, where were we; some office relationships die before they start or prior to making the first baby steps. Some vanish in the air before they get noticed by anybody. This is because they are built on sand and in haste. They are moulded by environmental factors and are circumstantial in nature. Meaning, the bigger chunk of the conversations around you two are basically about workplace stuff. Be it about your damn boss, office gossip and so forth. Such a relationship is not sustainable. Few have common values and shared interests outside of the office hence why they are chocked by nature. They say nature has humour.

Office relationships are annoying in the sense that, the consequences of the affair failing are dire. This is because colleagues get attracted by such pep talks doing round in the office corridors. And it’s never funny. They will dig in, gossips will crop up and allegations will be retold over and over again. If you are not careful, the information may even reach to your boss’s desk in very bad state and this may have a negative effect on your career. More harrowing, it might be against your company policy to engage in office relationships. Pleading that you were unaware will not save you but land you at the HR’s office only to be met with a gross misconduct warning letter if lucky not to be issued with a summary dismissal.

The most annoying thing with office relationships is that one tends to be chocked off by the partner. You see, you literally spend 40-45 hours in a week with him/her without even counting hours after you leave office. By the time you reach home there is nothing much to talk about since you’ve been bumping on each other on office corridors and worse still if you work in the same department, you might as well be summoned with the rest of your teammates by your immediate bosses for missing company targets or for poor performance. Moreover, you never can’t have your personal life and space since your spouse is always around you any day and time. And if he or she spots you being hugged ‘intimately’ by a colleague from the opposite gender, your guess is as good as mine how your evening will turn out to be like.

Office relations get over scrutinized by colleagues. Essentially, the pressure becomes too much and there tends to be a lot of public relations to be played especially when things aren’t working out well for both of you. Be it as it may, whether it’s a fling affair or a serious office relationship, a break up from this nature can be the worst of all nightmares you’ve ever grappled with. First of all, there is nothing like amicable breakups in office set ups. You recall my article on Amicable Breakups or Not. Well, it gets uglier by the day, nastier and leaves you dreadful. Office breakups leave you with a permanent punch on your face. They have the potential of making you lose your job or have a serious career take a beating and worst of all, get you paraded in court for allegations of sexual harassment. Before you hop in office affairs, appreciate that office romances and sexual harassment are intertwined and either of it can be used against you in a matter of time.

Plus, who is ready to work with his or her ex in the same office? On my previous post on Amicable Breaksups we delved deeply on the importance of cutting off exes from our lives. Now imagine, your ex being your colleague? Think of the emotional baggage that comes with breakups and ponder dropping at your ex’s desk to work on a particular task together that has a biting deadline. How awkward can that be! What’s more humiliating is helplessly watching your ex warm up to another relationship with another office colleague. Moreover, nature compels your office colleagues to take sides between you two depending on how loyal they are to each one of you. Eventually, such a workplace becomes a stress zone to work from. The thing is, we’ve got to be strategic and think straight with the right ‘head’ before jumping in to every relationship that presents itself right at our noses. We’ve got to think of the repercussions of the potential end even before we toy with the start.

Nevertheless, we all know of couples who’ve dated, gotten married and raised children still working in the same organizations. The thing is, its not a crime to harbor feelings for an office colleague as long as you do it with the right intent and having trusted your intuition. Life should be approached with an open mind and so should it also apply in an office set up. It’s highly important and healthy to make friends, network with colleagues and fuse into the array of office characters. However, boundaries must be set as the odds are clearly overwhelming.

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

‘LOVE’ – YOUNG VS OLD

quarter baked menLess than two weeks ago, Nanyuki woke up to very sad news of a 64 year old killed by her supposedly boyfriend who is only 22, crudely in what was alleged as a ploy to take advantage of her wealth. Well, a 42 year gap is what it is and no man can convince me it had anything to do with love but a quest for free money and feeding curiosity. Did they say curiosity killed the cat? Never underestimate the power of clichés. While some say the elderly woman was in pursuit of a companion, I dare ask you; When did a hot blooded, rugged and uncivilised 22 year old learn the art of companionship? Not even 26 year old ladies date 22 year olds dudes. But anyway, I register my sincere condolences to the family and friends of the bereaved.

Away from that; over the few years I have lived in this town, I have come to identify a certain clique of well dressed, nailed polished men, who seem to have mastered what works with their bodies. Blokes who go for weekly haircuts and who have half of their budget going for trendy clothes and shoes and fancy phones. Guys who live large and exhibit a taste for the fine things in life. Once in a while you will spot them in posh, borrowed cars making rounds around town leaving a trace of disturbance from the roaring exhausters or music from these high end cars. They are local celebs, if you may. Bragging of well-connected networks and rich friends at their disposal. You will never fail to find them in every worth-the-talk social gathering that comes by, be it house parties to outdoor events where they endeavour to leave their signature mark, which is causing a stir. From the rides, dressing code or ladies who stick to them like flies, they will form conversations in every salon, class and chama meeting.  And they love this feeling of being the center of all attention.

But there is a twist. Who finances their deluxe lifestyles? You will never meet them in office corridors in haste or along the streets walking pensively with documents. No. Theirs is a always a nonchalant attitude chilling with the alike boys on top of eye-drooling cars on a Monday morning in strategic places around town, in shorts and tight T-shirts, funny hairstyles, flashy phones and commandeering demeanors.

To what may not surprise you by now, they serve as fodder for the secretive and little known market of sugar mummies. A carefully knitted and subtly operating, intriguing world where relatively older women feed their obsession out of the ever available supply of lustful, money-hungry young men in their twenties and early thirties. For a long time the market has been well guarded from the public eye but going by the trends of late, the players have either been found pants down, or rather choosing not to pull any breaks nor giving a damn about the cat getting out of the bag.

Here, the affluent women some as young as 40, wrestle for these boys with their counterparts in their octogenarian years. They come fore to shop for good looking young souls who can diligently calm their baffling appetites in exchange of some tidy sums of money. How these guys fool the rest of us; is that they still maintain their oblivious girlfriends or if not harboring a string of mindless call-girls just to cover their untamed desires.

This reminds me of a story I was narrated by a colleague sometimes back, how having attended a function with a couple of friends, they decided to visit an entertainment joint to unwind. A few tables away, seated women in their mid-fifties who apparently began eying the young men who had accompanied my colleague. In a matter of time, these poor blokes had been courted, sensualized and shifted their base to join these lecherous women. My colleague and her female friends had to deal with this defeating surprise for the better part of the night.

Where these poor men ended up that particular night after a treat of free drinks, presumably triggered an erosion that wiped away all their genuine and faked integrity, conscience and innocence. Who knows how many other bad decisions they have made since that night? Did their spouses ever got wind of this storo?  Probably not! Women who go wooing young men in nightclubs have very high chances of manipulating a brood of other headless men under the disguise of money and enviable lifestyle.

What we are dealing with as a society is a case of a generation using short cuts to make ends meet. We are a people who are of the opinion that the end doesn’t necessarily justify the means. We want overnight wealth built on quicksand. On the other hand, the world is littered with an elderly clique of humans who have trashed decorum and anything that sounds right. Fairly wealthy men and women who have dared to have their cake as well as eat it.

For the sake of playing the devil’s advocate; why would women of age, fantasize young lads. What is it that their age group male counterparts can’t fulfill? Who created this void and what do these boys guarantee? Is it the pot bellies or maddening drinking that’s a problem? Is it that these ladies skipped a stage in their lives of dating and what-have-you? If that was the case, who permitted them permission to transfer their baggage to the younger generation?

Now, the tragedy is, evil triumphs when enough good number of men do nothing.

 

 

JANET KANINI IKUA AND HER INCREDIBLE HUSBAND

Janet Ikua Luke 12:48 “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. “First things first. If you haven’t navigated your phone to the M-pesa section and selected pay bill and dialed 895790. Account Name: JanetKaniniIkua and donated whatever amount you are comfortable with, you better do so now. Otherwise I will assume you were among legions of whom flocked Carnivore Grounds last Sunday to show solidarity to the TV personality by purchasing I stand With Janet T-shirt for 1,000/-. I just hope so.

I have been following Janet’s story on her Facebook page about her excruciating battle with lung cancer. Amazingly, out of every post she has been jotting down of late, have left trace of a highly motivated person armed to the teeth with unmatched resilience. Janet even affords to make humour in her situation. She has defied all odds and hurdles brought by an illness that oozes stigma and threatens life. Surprisingly, we have come to appreciate how strong a woman she is. Indeed she has been a blessing in disguise to many a people who are struggling with a myriad of challenges in their lives let alone lung cancer. She has consistently sold the idea that one can come out of the woods all smiling and stronger. She has been educative, encouraging and inspiring all at a go. Janet whispers to us the importance of taking a day at a time and NEVER questioning God even when we feel bombarded by life’s hiccups. In actual sense she knows there is a reason God chooses us to go through some ordeals. They nurture our inner strength, help us improve our relationships with Him and make us better human beings.

In her own wisdom, she has taken upon herself to demystify many myths associated with cancer. She has gone out her way to do a detailed comparison about the state of health infrastructure in both Kenya and India. She has retold to the readers, the way of life in India from foods, hotel industry, transport system and so on. She has zoomed and brought to the fore the million dollar Medical Tourism sector in India which has won accolades all around the globe. She has even given incredible lessons to anyone who cares to listen including the Kenya Government on how the Health Sector in Kenya can be immensely improved to cater for the growing number of cancer patients in the country. She has painted a picture in our minds and psychologically prepared us just in case one of us is diagnosed with cancer. God forbid.

Armed with invaluable information which we didn’t even expect her to share, all we can do is to be grateful. Her cancer illness has proved she is a tough conqueror reinforced by a solid foundation of strong belief in God. To prove this, she refers to herself as a cancer victor and not a cancer patient. Personally she has preached to me through her posts. They have somewhat been a blessing to my life. As somebody said; motivation doesn’t last. It needs to be renewed as often as possible. Many of us find ourselves with scary pasts or intimidating life situations. According to Janet, everything falls to place once we are in an equilibrium state. Meaning; balancing our emotions, spiritual life and physical fitness. We are beings that require synergy in the running of our systems. With that, we can confront every odd. Appreciating that our happiness rests solely with us and that positive attitude comes from being our biggest fan and learning to forgive oneself, we can dare to confront the world. More importantly, Janet comes out as a woman of faith, a prayerful person who boasts of much wealth and wisdom of the Bible.

Seemingly, behind Janet’s ever available smile, warm face and the highly motivated persona is a man made of steel and coated with profoundness. A man with unequal measure of compassion, love and awesomeness. Ikua has boldly depicted that yes he loves by words and deeds. And Yes he can fight for the life of the woman of his life. He is the uncelebrated hero in Janet’s medical journey. He does his things quietly and diligently without bothering to bask in the limelight thereby offering the much needed support Janet would need. Ikua reminds me of an article I wrote early this year named Contemporary Men Deserve A Pat On The Back. He has single handedly saved our name. The man’s name. You’ll agree with me, the male gender has come under sharp scrutiny in the recent past, deeply cornered by a million vices.

Ikua has shown the world that indeed Kenya is not lost on the number of Incredible Husbands. He has continued to stand tall, risking all he has to save his woman. You can imagine faced with a situation of looking after your modern day kids when their mother is thousands of miles away not sure when she will come back. Her current home being in a hospital that has an atmosphere filled with shattered dreams, worried eyes and corridors used by feeble patients covered in oversize garments. A place with such nerve-racking operations that in fact scare hairs out of your head. Picture dealing with inquisitive kids asking now and then when their Mama will come back. Besides, trying to rise over a staggering medical bill amid harsh economic times only left to hang on hope and God. Now, going through that and emerging as joyous and hopeful is no mean achievement.

Unknowingly he has inspired many young men and underlined that nothing can’t be conquered despite the challenges, including when a scary disease comes in between two lovebirds. Janet and Ikua have saved the image of the marriage institution in this country. They are among the many not talked about successful marriages that have weathered all odds to remain a piece and intact.

In her words Janet quips; Cancer is not a death sentence. God can turn your mess into a message. Dear readers how I wish we copy paste such tremendous optimism to our lives. How far could we stride? How much could we achieve? You have nothing to lose by investing more on optimism.

THE MAN WHO MADE THE REST OF US LOOK BAD

alphonse-kambu1 I wrote this article with a very heavy heart. Saddened and shocked by this rare piece of two legged animal disguising as a male human being. So, last week we were treated with a gruesome news item of a battered woman one Ruth Gakii formerly married to a UNEP working guy, Alphonse Kambu. I watched that story unravel on my TV and felt defeated. I have never been more ashamed, for being a man. Dear readers, allow me to vent my anger in this week’s article as I try to make sense of what drives a man like Alphonse to wake up every morning and report to work with a happy face. I’m eager to decipher how he sleeps free of nightmares in the dead of a night if his actions are anything to go by.

When he dons his sleek suits and powers his car to life, driving all the way to his beautiful office in Gigiri (I imagine every office located in Gigiri is beautiful), what goes through his head? Are there infighting camps in his mind pulling in different directions every day of his life, thereby paralyzing his rationality? What is his life like; is he sensitive to pain or does it work in contradiction as far as he is concerned? Can the world afford to have such a cold, uncouth and brutal man alive today? I sympathise with Ruth Gakii and her family for the emotional and physical pain they were exposed to, since Alphonse the dare devil came to their lives. You would be forgiven to imagine guys working in blue chip companies and multi nationals are the last that should be expected to be struggling with such serious personality disorders.

The fact that this dude has for years battled and battered this woman in order to gain custody of their only kid is the most unfortunate of sad news. The guy whom I understand ironically works as a legal officer in the Division of Environmental Law and Conventions – UNEP has for far too long bragged about how untouchable he is. This kind of impunity should never have been tolerated in the first place. UNEP is an organisation of no mean repute hence it should have known better and raised eyebrows first and dealt with this guy firmly and decisively instead of turning a blind eye and purporting to be concerned when the issue is no longer in their hands. Borrowing from good practice models, ideally, serious background checks for employees of such organisations should be carried out regularly and thoroughly.

I feel cheated by the so called promise by them (UNEP) to ‘co-operate’ with the investigators. Their issuance of a statement that their organisation does not extend diplomatic immunity to such-like gross violation of basic human rights should be treated with a pinch of salt. Justice delayed is justice denied. As far as the public opinion is concerned, it seems like it is the case. We all watch news and all can attest that this is not the first time we have heard of Ruth Gakii being battered and mishandled by her ex-husband. UNEP cannot admit to be in the habit of knowing its employees better through local media. It’s extremely sad and unfortunate, to say the least.

And who is more daring than this Alphonse Kambu guy who is literally vomiting on our shoes and spiting on our very faces, not once, not twice but many a times. How do you go to a visitor’s house and totally disregard him or her? Is that African! Beating up your ex-wife in front of her mother and your kid! Dude, get a life. Who raised you? Where on earth were you brought up? Did you grow up in a family set up or were you raised in a zoo? Who taught you to trivialize women and all they got? When your family back home asks about the well-being of your family, what do you tell them? Does your conscious disagree with you or have you compromised it along the way with your evil theatrics? Did guilt give up on you? I have not heard more despicable news this year.

Mr. Alphonse, when you take your lovely son back to the mum while drunk, what can be said of you. Extremely ignorant, reckless and sickly! How then do you manage to sit in your office on a Monday morning in that picturesque headquarters in Gigiri with well-manicured lawns, chirping birds, artificial falls and more of a serene environment and deliver on your work? Does the quietness of one of the ‘coolest’ locations to work in Nairobi lull your evil mind to sleep waiting for the next weekend to stir the elusive peace in Ruth Gakii’s world? Or are you a man of different personalities which are unleashed or trashed back to where they belong, depending on where you are and who you are with?

Meanwhile to the people of the little known (at least to me) Papua New Guinea; you owe us an apology. How can you ‘export’ to our great nation a ‘wasted’ man with a rugged personality? A demigod kind of guy who objectifies women and imagines he should be worshiped by all if not his ex-wife. A man who roams with utter arrogance purporting he cannot be apprehended by the police. Surely, Papua New Guinea you could have done better. Kenya is a civilised nation that upholds the dignity of all, including women and so we expect all diplomats to toe the line and respect that, period! Alphonse made me hate his native country and left to imagine he is the best they could offer. Before I cement that thought in my mind I expect sooner than later the government of PNG to furnish us with a sincere apology addressed to Ruth Gakii, her family and the rest of Kenyans.

As if to add salt to an injury, a celebrated local actor Abel Mutua made bad jokes about Ruth Gakii on The Trend Show last Friday trying to justify why at times it’s ‘okay’ to beat up your woman. That was extremely shallow and insensitive. Now, to the many ‘Abel Mutuas’ of this world alluding to why Kenyan ladies shouldn’t get married to foreigners as if to say Kenyan men are wholly gentlemen and all loving; shed off that pedestrian thought. And by the way it’s important for them to say this prayer after me. “Dear Lord, I come before you, requesting you, to tame my slandering tongue, and give me wisdom of being considerate of others and learn how not to hurt them through my mouth. Forgive me my sins, especially my reckless tongue. So help me God. Amen.”

Free advice to you Alphonse; Kids are the most sensitive human beings. They are very vulnerable and have sharp memories too. Don’t ruin your kid’s life for your own aimless selfishness. Your son deserves a peaceful life devoid of an unpredictable dad with unstable emotions. The greatest initiative you can do for his benefit is to keep off from his life. He has made no sin being alive. If you need to sacrifice somebody to satisfy your beliefs, you better sacrifice yourself.

ISN’T SHE A WIFE MATERIAL?

wwfYou met her accidentally on your maiden evening class while you searched for a vacant seat in that stuffy class. You found one next to this lady whom you gave a genial smile and which she responded cheekily. Your friendship was conceived almost immediately starting off as just ordinary desk mates. This was the case because the following day you made up late again and to your surprise you met a reserved seat just for you. From that very day, your heart taxied over the runaway of a platonic friendship, flying high to the clouds of happy hours never to land again. You could tell she was a simple woman from the onset. She didn’t wear any make up apart from a mild lip gloss that was applied to her already pink (read cute) lips. Her hands were not littered with fidgeting things. Her fingers had only a simple rosary ring. No necklaces or earrings. Her chest was closed up. No cleavage to be drooled at. Neither did she expose hectares of tempting, brown thighs to be ogled at. And she smelled great.

One random, lazy Sunday afternoon you got a call from her requesting you to take her to the market. (In this side of the country markets open on Sundays too). You were taking a siesta but quickly obliged to accompany her. This was a sign of greater things to come. At least you hoped. Wait a minute, which contemporary lady visits the market! I thought they shop in the malls even for veges and fruits. Not her. She religiously visits the market every Sunday to buy groceries for the week. She knows where to find the best tomatoes, yards away from her carrot vendor, a corner away from where she gets fresh fruits from Mzee Kinoti.

This is how it rolled;

So you hurriedly freshen up and meet her patiently waiting for you somewhere in town. You ask her if she’d take a cab to the place (market) since it’s quite a ka-distance which she vehemently declines. Little do you know she likes walking as much! Yes she can walk from Yaya Centre to town a place of kindu 5km without complaining. To you that was a big plus. So you guys walk doing long conversations and stopping now and then to take pics after your persuasions. You call it documenting life. On the flipside you badly need images of her in your phone gallery. She doesn’t mind photos. She is photogenic you know!

At the market she patiently shows you how to decipher a green-house tomato from the rest. She recommends you opt for the rest insisting green-house tomatoes have too much ‘chemicals’. “How to tell a greenhouse tomato is from their shiny appearance. And don’t pick the soft ones, they have a short shelf life.” She says. She holds your arm and drags you to a guy selling green bananas. (You literally listen to your heart race more). Which lady shops for green bananas, gosh! These are tasks done by our mothers and aunts. She throws Gikuyu names referring to different varieties of green bananas you’ve never heard of. You forgive yourself since Nyandarua County where you hail from is not known for bananas unlike Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Murang’a, Embu and such like highland Counties. As she mentions the names to the vendor guy, he responds as to whether that particular variety is available or not.

She turns to you;

Her: Do you cook green bananas?

You: No. I’m a bachelor. I don’t have the time for ‘elaborate’ cooking.

Her: Aha, (Gives you a funny look before letting out a sarcastic smile) what about in up country?

You: Not as often hehe.

Her: You are missing a lot. Green bananas are good for your source of fiber, vitamins and minerals,
and contains a starch that may help control blood sugar, manage weight and lower blood cholesterol levels.

You: Wow. You only 24 and know all these!! You’ll make a very good wife. Men adore women like you.

Her: You flattering me. Thank you though. (As she catches her breathe shyly).

You: (Your mind whispers words like – Can I marry you!!!…..God make her mine please. You know I need such a mama for my two forthcoming daughters)

Meanwhile her green bananas get packed and again she drags you to the mama selling onions. The mama throws a look at you two to suggest you look like a wonderful couple. Actually you act like one. She carefully shows you how to tell an ‘awesome’ onion from a not so good one. The latter has an elongated strip emerging from the tip. Ignore that type, it’s not the best. Look for one with a dry tip. You learn from her! She takes you to the carrot guy and boy! She knows how to bargain. All this time round, you thought your mum was the best in this league. No! As you proceed to look for nice pumpkins (Is she for real, pumpkins??) she explains why she had to bargain. The vendor guys take advantage of you once you appear looking posh and ‘middle class-like’. She learnt this over the years.

The pumpkin mum cuts her half the size which will be enough for the week. All this time your mind has convened an ’emergency cabinet meeting’ and resolved to seriously pursue this young woman. ‘The whole of you’ is convinced this is your Miss Right.

You are tempted to ask her; Did it hurt (The Coca-Cola Ad)
Her: Where?
You: Uki dunda from heaven!!
Her: Sorry!

Yaani how can you be this lucky to stumble to such a lass in 2015!

You walk back to town and escort her home as darkness creeps in. You also head straight to your digs and sit on your couch for 30 minutes without bothering to switch on the stereo or the TV to watch the news. Nothing seems to matter more than that afternoon’s experience. It was heavenly. You even toy with the idea that it might have been a dream.

One week after, you invite her for lunch in your house. This is bold. Yes, you cook for her. You get her by surprise since the two of you had strolled from church together when you asked her for lunch in your digs. It’s important to also note she is quite religious. I judge religious people by the time they wake up to pray. And for your information, she has an alarm that wakes her up at 5am to pray for 30 minutes. This turns out to be the conversation as you walk from church. You have lunch and then she insists on doing the dishes! That’s a wife material type, right?

You then make her watch Fast and Furious 7 since she hadn’t watched it (She is not so much of a movie person) and then request her to accompany you as you check out to do your monthly shopping. You recall her recommending a very distinct house freshener which lasts longer than your usual picks. She also makes you buy a designer deo that befits your character and which makes necks wag in your office the next day. The most memorable part comes by when you make way past the kitchen cleaning stuff. She gets like; “I didn’t spot any steel wool in your kitchen?” This is so true since the last time your sufurias were thoroughly cleaned using a steel wool was when you sister passed by your house 4 or 5 months ago. You pass by the utensils and again she advises you to buy Luminarc branded items as they boost of high quality next time you furnish your wall-unit. She introduces you to lentils (aka kamande) at the food stuff section emphasizing they are good for stabilizing blood sugar, lowering cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart diseases.

Several months down the line and after a cluster of interactions you realize she is never interested in your phone. She never touches your phone even when you dash to the bathroom or walk out to buy milk. Again this is a big plus. Phones kill relationships and make partners die of knife stabs. You also happen to taste her unrivalled cooking skills. She doesn’t buy chips, she cooks them effortlessly. Same case to puncakes and chapatis. She can do it in the morning as she prepares breakfast at one end. Multi-tasking is in her flow of blood. This reminds you of another thing, she will light a jiko in no minute as she pills potatoes and as she also cooks porridge from the gas cooker.

Her other talent is in home remedies. She is big in this. Always at her fingertips. From heartburns, nausea, sensitive teeth, small burns, baby fevers at 2:31am…..she walks with a ready prescription. And something else I forgot; she likes ironing clothes for her man. She will go through your wardrobe, cull clothes that suit your day theme and iron them for you. She is that lady who believes in waking up an hour before the husband, to prepare breakfast as she cleans the house. Another added advantage is that she is a sucker for body fitness. How about that?

You reliased she is extremely coping. You can easily leave her with your mum inside a smoky hut on a rainy afternoon as they cook mukimo (a Gikuyu traditional food that some idle simpletons throw shade at), go sleep for two hours and find them later, happily preparing tea in the same spot and keeping warm from the glowing hearth of firewood.

One year after you meet, she has steadily remained loyal to those principles. The question is; isn’t she a wife material? Can wedding bells ring now!!!

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