SIR JAY

If you call yourself Sir (something) you better look the part. From dressing a Stephano Ricci diamond plated tie to an elegant gold wristed watch that has a heavier ego than all the new found IT cum hacking gurus and crop of wannabe lawyers trying too hard to impress on social media,..you rather be rocking a genuine burnished toe, pair of shoes. Note genuine. Boy, besides, you should never develop the guts to text me out of the woods for a soft loan that will be refunded in 48 hours. I’ll consider it highly offensive and a dire disservice to your name. And by the way, you better be dating a Taita lady and not one of those slay lasses who bombard our timelines with fruit updates and in high heels taller than their ethics. Aaah and; I prefer you be an exceptional public speaker. I mean, how would you introduce yourself as Sir Charles, with a voice that has esteem issues? Something else, you can never afford to be self-absorbed with such a coveted name. And self-absorbed includes dangling with your car keys in boardroom meetings or in those local hotels where you make the rest of us drool at your lonely success ladder like we were made from a different cut.

And, you must be an alpha male; domineering in every polite manner. Sophisticated too and sort of mysterious. Your financial freedom must evoke jealous in all corners of our taste buds. Your phone must be always engaged, striking deals on one end or quietly tossing to expensive champagnes with your boys in hotels that have rooftops. The thing is, we must struggle to keep up with your moves. Moreover, you must be a bigwig outside of social media and your presence should only be commanding if not more. However, you shouldn’t be carried away by that hype, humility must be seen and felt at your every utter. Before I forget, you must give a run to Ezra Chiloba for his fame, at least according to the ladies.

That aside, meet Sir Jay, a contemporary fashion designer, model and largely positive minded young person. You’ll assume he is reserved until you hear him speak. A combination of intellectualism, humility, buzzing optimism and visionary attitude are elements that comfortably suit him. An American height guy, overly tasteful when it comes to fashion and unapologetically metrosexual as you’ll tell from his urbanite demeanor. He stands tall on everything boy child, from mentoring to giving back. Sir Jay, is a marketing genius too and brainchild to the coveted brand – Sir Jay Suits. I met him for the first time in a forum organized last year, for Nanyuki male professionals whose objective was to shed light, empower men in us and provide solutions to the struggling boy child phenomenal. That being last year, we’ve kept tabs and recently had a Tet a Tet with him when I saw the need to feature him in my new series of exposing young people with compelling stories that can be used to mentor and inspire the rest of us.

So, grab a seat as we unravel and make sense to this smell of inspiration.

When I quizzed Sir Jay about where he grew up and how it was like, his grandma name kept resurfacing in his brief responses. His childhood was hugely dominated by his shush and thanks to her, here is a guy who attributes his life principles to have been carved from that shrewd and tough upbringing. Shrewd because grandmas back then (Not millennial shushus) didn’t entertain nonsense while bringing up their grandchildren. They were discipline masters in as much as they were tender and loving. And how was it like, in those early days of Sir Jay life?

He used to collect firewood, feed the goats and chicken and later, stroll downstream to fetch water. Thanks to the fact that, back then rivers would flow freely, unpolluted and full of life unlike the days of our Lord today, where a stream of water is not only seasonal but heavily polluted in its short span of life by our selfish acts and baggage. Why is it that grandmas are extremely passionate when it comes to taking care of their livestock? A case in point, my grandma would rather sleep hungry but ensure her goats and cows have enough supply of dairy meal and Maclik salt. She will also ensure any regular guest at her home assists in cutting some stinging nettle around her house which she puts in a big sufuria and boils the greens and later feeds them to her dear cows. You should see her cows fighting for the cooked stinging nettle, it’s like pizza to the city slay queens. You know that happy face while one takes something delicious. For men, it should be Nyama choma at Tums in Giakaja because beer is certainly not tasteful.

Sir Jay changed schools so often both at Primary and High school level. To be exact, he was in six different schools between primary through secondary school. But why? Lack of funds featured prominently in his childhood hence why apart from changing schools due to lack of school fees, was brought up by his grandma back in Muruguru, Nyeri County. Interestingly, he always emerged the cleanest boy in high school and at some point, he became the school captain due to his neatness. Arguably, almost a decade after, he has still kept this self-made ethos. In addition, he was very sporty in high school unlike me. I tried basketball but my height became the undoing. Tried football, but every lad played football and it became too competitive and congested. Attempted hockey, barely succeeded since it was too crafty. Moved to rugby but couldn’t risk my ribs. Left with no option, I gave up. But on a brighter note, I was very passionate about Art stuff hence resulting to joining Drama club, music club and predictably – Debate Club. At Form 3, I was elected the President of Debate Club. Did I love debating and gathering points for motions, oooh boy! So, back to Sir Jay; he played Football, Handball, Rugby, was in Athletics as well, Triple and Long Jump too.

He joined Nairobi Aviation for his Diploma in Mass Communication but before securing a chance, he was a casual laborer in construction sites in Nanyuki. After seven or so months of carrying heavy loads and moving around in dusty clothes without any protection gear but armed with an optimistic mindset, he juggled from one construction site to another. He built his life a brick at a time but would later move to Nairobi where he switched gears to hawking. Yes, you should remember spotting him along the streets selling everything from flash disks, scratch cards, memory cards, disks and so forth. Hoping he was not a nuisance hawker like what the celebrated Wanja Kavengi writes on Facebook. By the way, have you stumbled on her brilliant writing?

Anyway, Sir Jay was desperate to survive and raise funds for his college fees, hence why he did anything rational to steer his life forward. Incidentally, at college, he participated in a beauty pageant contest for Mr. & Miss. Aviation 2013-14. Guess what? He won! On that very minute, an eggshell was broken and a dream was validly born. Modelling became part and parcel of Sir Jay life and one of his several streams of income. After his breakthrough at Aviation, Sir Jay contested in many other pageants scooping awards left, right and center just to name a few;  Mr. & Miss Mountain Mall and Mr. World Kenya – Laikipia County where he easily won. He also strutted on many runways for instance; Kenya Fashion Week, Festivals for African Fashion and Arts (FAFA), Swahili Fashion Week, French Embassy Fashion for Charity and would later join commercial modelling. While at commercial modelling, Sir Jay featured as a cast in Safaricom ads, Guiness Made of Black, and as the main cast in Blue Moon Vodka, Crown Paints and Fresh chewing gum. He has also been involved in other adverts as a semi-featured cast like in Orange Kenya ad.

Early last year, he took a break from modelling stuff to concentrate on his other brainchild – Sir Jay suits which is a clothing line that features mainly signature suits made for the contemporary man and woman. I asked Sir Jay if he is a tailor or a designer and what’s the difference. “I’m a designer. I design, cut the fabric then the tailor does the rest. For handmade bespoke suits, I do it in tandem with my tailor.” What’s bespoke? Forgive my native upbringing where words like bespoke- suits are vocabulary names I should have used in my English composition. What a loss! “Not to worry, bespoke is a name used to describe suits that are made from scratch by the tailor, customized or rather fairly adjusted to meet a client’s typical measurements and specifications. Normally, the rest are suits designed from standard measurements. ” He points out.

Apart from suits which other products are offered under Sir Jay suits?

“We do office and wedding suits and smart casual attires. We also sell gowns as well. Just recently, we launched a new product called Sir-Jay-Lust-List which encompasses female and male inner wears from lingerie to boxers.”

You recently had an incredible event at a Nairobi hotel?

“Yes, we were launching Sir Jay Lust list as I have just mentioned. It was an invite-only event where I lined up models showcasing my latest products in the offing. There was a lot to learn for my team and me as a person about organizing events. All I can say for now is that Kenya should watch out for the next event from Sir Jay Suits because we are bringing Paris to Nairobi!”

What was the objective of the event?

“To basically broaden my brand and launch Sir Jay Lust List officially to the consumers.”

Where are you based?

“My shop is in Nairobi but also hold a very aggressive promotion on social media.” By the way, check out his Facebook page – Sir Jay Suits.

Tell me more about your clientele base

“I have clients in Canada, Frankfurt Germany, Australia, Doha – Qatar and locally in Kakamega, Kisumu and Mombasa. They are scattered all over the place.”

Where did you acquire your tailoring skills?

“Downtown Nairobi. Different tailors taught me different skills regarding cutting the fabric and designing. YouTube too has helped me greatly on my researches.”

To what extent is talent important towards one achieving his success vis a vis hard work and street smartness

“You can never wish away talent. It’s very important but again there are ethics that ride with it like integrity, honesty, patience and persistence.”

Do you visit the gym?

“Once in a while. I prefer body fitness exercises rather than building muscles.”

Where did you collect the name, Sir Jay?

“I have always been the center of attention when it comes to dressing. I got the name Sir from the streets out of respect for my style.”

Married or dating

“Dating.”

You are very passionate about the boy child.

“Extremely passionate. I have been involved in many mentorship programs attributed to the boy child. Most of these young men lose hope in life for lack of mentors. It’s my urge to every male professional to find time and mentor the young boys around them. If we all do our part, the society will have moved a step ahead in narrowing the gap between girl-boy empowerment.”

For a fact, there is a lot of imbalance in empowerment in this country. It’s time we narrowed the lenses to the very aggrieved boy child without doing any harm to the girl child who has had a fair progress. How do we strike the balance, sir?

“If we leave one part of the gender behind, we will be inviting self-defeat and danger ahead. In other words, we will be running in circus by pulling one side up and going for the other, only to find the side that was earlier on pulled up, disgruntled as we changed attention to the other.”

Basically, what you are suggesting is; we accord the boy child the attention he deserves and while doing so, not lose track of the girl child. Which specific campaigns have you participated in regard of the boy child?

“I have been involved in mentorship programs in rural schools for instance; Inooro Secondary School and Waguthiru Primary in Laikipia County. In addition, I have participated in programs in Nanyuki Children’s home, One More Day and Youth Entrepreneurship Summit. I also participate in street campaigns by Inua Society Initiative where we mentor street kids in Nairobi.  Similarly, I have been involved in Chapati Forum which again serves the less fortunate kids by mentoring and counselling them.”

We leave it on that note as I let Sir Jay catch a flight to Kampala for more business. Cheers, Sir Jay!

 

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MEET NANYUKI’S FINEST PHOTOGRAPHER: BEN SON

PhotographyThey say a picture is worth a thousand words, however, a writer will swallow that with a pinch of salt. It’s distasteful and unfair to summarise the hard work behind writing with just a click of a button, on a light note though. Photographers and writers are like siblings who demean each other and fight from kitchen to bedroom. Nonetheless, finding words that keep out of the way the pictures and yet shed light on the nature of photography, is not only daunting but a tall order. In fact, constructing a story out of an image in mind and manifesting that to souls of readers is way beyond public scrutiny.

On another note; you know, professional photographers can be busy and elusive these days. That should be taken as a compliment. Elusive because, Ben Son is the fourth photographer I have written to, requesting to feature in my blog and has honoured his promise. No hard feelings for Paul Maathai of Mathai gallery, or Sammy Wabs or Bobby Wafalme who I understand was involved in an accident recently. Pole Bobby. True story, photography is growing in leaps and bounds. Ordinary young people are investing hundreds of thousands to acquire the best of equipments for their work. This reminds me of hey days, right when I was growing up, when a Mr. Gatere, the only renown village photographer would transverse my village and neighbouring ones to take pics. Mr. Gatere was tall and slender, with an unkempt afro and a high waist thing, always in dark suits and the icing on the cake – the bicycle of course. Yes he would timely show up on Christmas day and Easter holidays mostly uninvited and thanks to our folks who believed in documenting life back then and having the patience of waiting for an entire month to finally get hold of the photos.

Enough of that, introducing Ben Son of HD Media Africa; a well cultivated artistic soul and one of the most sort after photographers in and around Mt.Kenya region, with his core hub being Nanyuki. Besides, he has clients in Nairobi and Nakuru as well. He started off as a videographer until two years ago when he ventured into Photography in what he says are inevitable circumstances. ”Photography found me. Since that moment I have become fascinated by the rhetoric of the image. I fall in love every day and every subject I photograph. It is another art form to me; you can be as creative as possible with a camera as long as you have the ideas. Photography has the power to change our perspective in life and power to help us make decisions.” He quips.

I indulge Ben Son on what he did after Photography met him and how he has managed to cut his own niche in this very competitive industry. Going by what he says; just like any other form of art, there is a lot of passion involved. “For me photography is about the concept, the reasoning behind the image is far more important than the aesthetic value. All my work has a reason, whether to inform, make a statement, discuss or argue, it always seeks to promote a reaction.”

True to what Ben Son points out, talent is a medium which allows us to show our own point of view, sometimes helping us to understand the world we live in and to discover something unique about ourselves. Interestingly, this is easier said than done. This is because a lot of patience and self-discovery is involved to tap and listen to our passion. And the joy of all this is that; it gives us a chance to see what is invisible, hidden deep in our dreams. As Ben Son states it, “Photography just like any other medium of art, evokes emotions in us, asks questions and forces us to reflect on the world around us.”

By the way, why do the greatest of careers start by accident? What goes wrong in school curriculums that doesn’t align success in our paths? It is like filling a crossword puzzle. That’s how self-discovery smells and tastes like! More often than not, there is a lot of sheer luck that is involved to anybody who is hundred percent contented in what he or she does for a living. And that ought not to be. Life should be nicer and way easier to decipher the paths that lead to our own success and genuine happiness. As you will clearly tell from Ben Son, it was by sheer luck he crossed paths with photography. “I had never thought or had an idea close to my mind of becoming a photographer. Now that I’ve hit the ground, I dream and contemplate daily of becoming better and better than I’m today. When I look up to my role models and the ever changing technology and new ideas, its only then I realize I have a long way to go.“

Is he worried on the influx of quacks in Photography? ”This field is vast and in fact serious practitioners are few. The market accommodates all of us but what keeps us afloat is professionalism, creativity and our uniqueness. If people are showing interest in your work it means you are on the right headway and if it translates to cash then you’re in business but most importantly, its client’s satisfaction that I value most.” Additionally, “Anyone can start photo shoot today and be a professional with time. We can all reckon that at one point everyone starts as a quack and only by experience or exposure, passion and persistence that one gradually evolves from that level to a professional, be it a photographer.”

As someone said, never believe in your own hype if you want to go far; Ben Son sounds convinced that there is more ground to cover. “Photography is purely a learning process. Every day I meet new challenges; new ideas and I learn from them. I’ve learnt to embrace and accept them to becoming who I am today. I love the satisfaction one feels when I fulfill a customer’s expectations. My client’s expectations and gratification is what counts most.”

Don’t you miss childhood dreams and the innocence that came with young age, like me? How we painted our foreseeable future with accomplishment and perfection. Sooner we come head to head with the harsh hiccups of a life that plays mischief with us so effortlessly. That said, it is our duty to save ourselves from that shock and align those dreams to today’s reality. So, what dreams did Ben Son harbor growing up? “As a child I loved movies. I thought I was born to be an actor in Hollywood. Vague as it sounds, I really didn’t understand what I wanted to become, but later as I grew up I realized and developed this passion about movie production and photography. Camera work, editing and so forth, though later I’ve narrowed down to photography.”

It is of immense importance for our parents to be steadfast in whooping unrivaled support to our dreams. They are called to put hope and sense in one basket in matters assurance, and going further to assure us that we are curved to live happier and fulfilling lives. And so, Ben Son parents are an important pillar to his career. ”My parents have been very supportive throughout my career journey and in making sure I’m where I am today, in financial matters and moral support. Every time they see my work, recommend and advice, then I feel fully contended and at peace with myself.”

Ben Son considers himself spiritual and in fact serves in a Media department in his church. You know, contemporary-cool churches are so advanced that they even have media departments and things like Young mothers, Young dads Associations, Youths Chapter, Teens forums, Young-Adults, Men of Faith and such like. This is a huge milestone from the traditional ‘mainstream’ churches which had huge presence of elderly folks for affiliations like Women Guild and Men/Women Associations.

Anyway, I have saved this question for far too long. Somebody explain what’s fancier of these two pieces of equipments – Canon and Nikon? “Well, it depends on who is using it. But for beginners, it’s advisable to start with Canon because of budget constraints since it’s more effective on video shooting while Nikon is the real deal in photography. Nonetheless, you can use either since nowadays we have softwares to edit one’s work. “Ben Son attests.

I ask him about his biggest portion of clientele. “Couples and family shoots are my most frequent clients. Plus I do lots of wedding shoots every other weekend.” Of course women are more photogenic than men except for a few men that I won’t mention here, that take far too many photos and clog the new Whatsapp fad and IG. Man is that manly! Moving on, you’d wonder if one can pay his or her bills solely on photography. “I will surprise you with the fact that, the market is really responding well to photography. More middle class families are embracing professional photos and video shoots. Moreover, there is a lot of potential that is unexplored in this market especially outside of Nairobi. Nairobi is so saturated hence the need for the market to widen up and turn its heat away from the city and tap the talent in other photography hubs coming up.”

Does Ben Son believe in mentorship and giving back to the society especially empowering the youths? “I love and believe in mentorship. Photography is a field that anyone and especially youths can venture. I personally involve young people in my projects to equip them with ideas of what the markets expects of them. I also encourage young people especially those who would wish to venture in photography field, that with minimal resources, one can actually start photography as a career and build up on that.”

Signing off in Jack Ma’s spirit!!

“Help young people. Help small guys. Because small guys will be big. Young people will have the seeds you bury in their minds, and when they grow up, they will change the world.” – Jack Ma

Are you a young person, with a compelling story that you strongly believe should be retold to a larger audience for the sole purpose of inspiring and educating. Reach up to me on wandrewism@gmail.com

 

 

A GATHERING OF THE BOY CHILD – PART ONE

Image result for Kenya's boy child I met Moses Njoroge in the company of a very good friend of mine for coffee early this month to brainstorm on a totally different conversation, away from the boy child issue. It happened that along the light moments, he mumbled to have been organising a forum that was to bring together male professionals of the town (Nanyuki) to a meeting meant for purely networking. I quickly interjected, asking him why it was meant for exclusively male professionals. He immediately gave a brilliant answer that hadn’t caught my mind for this long.

Men only meet in clubs for beer and to watch football. They are unlike women who have chamaas and other informal gatherings where they share and empower themselves.” 

I listened as those prudent observations penetrated deep inside my heart and to the bone marrow. They played repeatedly rhythmically for some minutes. The faster they oscillated the more naive I assumed to have been. It was a fact, we, the gender that worships ego hasn’t found it imperative to empower each other. It perhaps sounds feminine, and weak and too metrosexual for men to empower each other; isn’t? But aren’t these thoughts misleading? I tell you what! Far too many men are dying from premature deaths out of stress related illnesses which could have been solved if only we reached to each other for help and advice.

Moses was coming in to feel this void that very few notice or get bothered about. He was here to create a springboard to motivate us and a vessel to air our frustrations and worries and in the process benefit from a platform where, being listened to becomes healing in itself.

In fact the many times men go out to clubs, it is mainly about catching up and talking about biashara (business). Actually, we talk for two minutes, stick to our phones for the next one hour. We drool at the curvy lasses, drink the cold beer, laugh mildly over a funny meme shared on whatsapp and get back to our phones for a whole one more hour. That’s what we call catching up! It has nothing to do with the hard surface stuff that bothers us. We never open up, not even to our friends. As men, we are wired to soldier on kama wanaume (like gentlemen). Men are supposed to be bravery and not cowed by life challenges; we assume.

But there is more than meets the eye.

At least this is what I found out when we met last Friday. To start with, I have never been in such a forum that has men only in attendance speaking about empowerment and rewriting history. Here were male professionals from all walks of life from lawyers, teachers, fashion designers, young entrepreneurs, journalists, mentors, aspiring politicians, accountants and many others, keen to decipher and write solutions to issues regarding the contemporary boy child. And in order to empower each other, we had to take an inside – out approach. That way, we were in a position to appreciate history, table the facts, predict the future going by the statistics and come up with realistic solutions.

This is what I found out;

For most us, we are struggling with big time baggage acquired along the treacherous trajectory of progressing from boy to man. From the looks of things, we haven’t shed off stereotypes and perceptions instilled in us, since our childhood years. In any case, that kind of thinking has hardened and grown roots. For instance, if you grew in an environment where your mother was always battered by your dad; if your father was a philanderer; if he was always found in the trenches drunk and unconscious; you are more likely to end up like him. What ends up in our subconscious mind is tough to neutralise. It’s in fact worse when one is brought up in unstable family set up.

Ponder this;

Why do we have more cases of husbands being extremely brutal to their wives? Why do we have more cases of men succumbing to cheap liquor addiction? Why are men dying premature deaths from chronic illnesses? One fact seems to address these questions. Nobody along the childhood path, not even our dads, uncles nor grandfathers warned us or rather advised us that during our adult life, we will be dealing with an extremely empowered woman who knows her rights; who is financially independent and more ambitious than her mother. See, the contemporary man still has the same archaic thinking mindset he bequeathed from his dad or the men he watched while growing up from his village. Unfortunately his female counterpart has in fact embraced new ways of approaching life far different from her mum. She is dynamic, competitive, a go getter, fearless, unbowed, educated, intelligent, self-aware, socially balanced and a dreamer. She wants to buy land within the first two years of employment if not earlier through a chamaa, to drive by 28, to take a business loan by 30, to have that PHD by 33 and to quit employment by 35.

If lucky enough to find an equally organised and ambitious man, she will settle down. But don’t be fooled, it won’t matter anyway since it is nowhere near her prime priorities. The contemporary woman is not intimidated by family expectations of settling down by the time she is 28. Unlike man, who will literally stop everything including life to at least get a partner and then signal God; “we can move on now” – the woman is having none of that. Men value marriage and kids and coming home to meet a homely house with dinner prepared and kids crying or jumping over him saying “Baba umeniletea nini?” (Dad what have you brought me?). Men admire driving their family to church or other social places like weddings or shopping and being addressed as father of two charming boys. They treasure such kind of a system where they are looked up to and celebrated as the supreme beings of the family.

Unfortunately, that reality is fast fading and replaced with an alternative that is not begging for acceptance. The contemporary woman is willing to bring something to the table too. She is earning more, spending less and investing wisely.

Was man prepared for this?

Who is he blaming for his current woes?

What are the statistics insinuating?

We shall find out in the next article.

Watch out for PART TWO of A GATHERING OF THE BOY CHILD.

MY LUNCH ‘LOCAL’

jymoDuring my life in college I belonged and still do belong to a squad by the name Cattle Dip. In fact our Whatsapp group has been in existence since this social media platform taxied safely in our lives and became part of us. The close to 10 of us were using all manner of tricks to survive in Nairobi mostly living with relatives then, who too had their fair share of survival struggles. Basically, the resources weren’t enough. Naturally, we devised ways and mechanisms to survive in this city. From having the sh.50/- lunch at Ngara Market to walking from Vision – Paramount at the Globe roundabout to Uhuru highway – Haile Selassie intersection or at times paddling further to Nyayo Stadium to catch  a sh.20/- mat to Mombasa road. For most of us our daily budgets revolved around sh.100.

This type of life slowly sinked in us to an extent of nurturing a belief that no man should spend as much for lunch. Four years down the line, I have had issues with hotels that overprice meals they offer. But whom I am to protest, its either you take it or leave it. Not that I still frequent makeshift places for lunch nowadays, however, the nostalgic feeling hasn’t hanged it boots in my life just yet. With tight competition and thanks to offering the same type of menu which is rather visualised than placed somewhere, these vibandas battleground is left in the service delivery zone. How they serve the food and approach would-be-customers breaks or makes their jinx in surviving in this quite profitable market.  Of late, we’ve seen the likes of Deputy President William Ruto, Hon.John Sakaja and many other bigwigs make much publicity capital out of visiting these places mostly associated with low class citizens.

Enough of that;

I’m sitting in this favourite lunch joint waiting patiently for my order. Normally, if you are a familiar patron the waiters or are they referred as waitresses will welcome you with a high five or those affectionate handshakes that are always followed with a thunder. It’s the unwritten rule in this joint. Call it a ritual if you may or a marketing gimmick that has worked for many walk-in customers. Imagine a place where waitresses ask how your day is fairing on? You know, in Marketing they teach us about customer satisfaction and valuing. This is the magic that leaves us badly loyal to this small hotel that has one fan, 18 seats, two waitresses and buzzing noise from busy humans and their cutlery . It’s the same magic that makes many of us find our way to this hotel even when we find ourselves in the other side of town.

The two, slender ladies from head to toe but big hearted and with even ‘bigger ‘ smiles serve with sheer passion. You can always tell they love what they do and they love their boss too, and the customers as well. They refer us by our names and gladly find us a place to sit even when it is tough to find one or when those short-fat-daddies that Biko writes about occupy two seats. These ladies always depict genuine smiles to customers with their familiar phrases, “Umeagiza?” Now to you who attended Kiandutu Primary and later proceeded to Komothai Girls Umeagiza is a Swahili sanifu term meaning; Have you ordered?

These waitresses never have those times-of-the-month mood swings. Never. I envy how they enjoy what they do not like some of us who sit behind a computer doing accounting stuff dealing with mean-looking emails from auditors or stubborn clients who will not pick your calls or respond to emails. You will work under tight deadlines from the seniors and also put up with long impromptu meetings all in a day’s work. But what of serving food to hungry humans who will only be there for a maximum of 40 minutes. Here patrons don’t stay for long since they have to excuse the rest that are trooping in carrying their weathered bodies along, having been bashed by the humongous sun that has seemingly outmaneuvered the rains or were they floods! The only time I came close to eavesdropping a deal, was when I sat next to souls negotiating for a car from car brokers and in a record, 40 minutes, the deal had been struck with me as the unintended witness who couldn’t help but listen.

Moreover this is not a place for rendezvous, where you catch up with your girls for coffee or for prolonged lazy lunch breaks with your-significant-other with nothing to show but a toothpick on your hands, you will politely be chased by anxious eyes from patrons next on line struggling to hold their ever bulging tummies. Here, you don’t make long phone calls or wait for someone while keeping yourself busy with the newspaper, where do you even place the paper when fixed in a stuffy hotel clutched by six people in one table with all manner of confusing meals from Matoke beef to Kienyeji special. How do you even order for Kienyeji(Mukimo) for lunch while in a tie. How do you even make it to the office thereafter still in a tie, bracing the scorching sun and having taken Kienyeji special! 

By now you could guess my favourite order, well; I can do Matumbo-Chapati any day of the week. Yes Matumbo which I learnt lately it’s also called offal. This joint understands the art of cooking Matush. As many would fear, my stomach has been safe and happy for the six months i have frequented this place. By the way, the order is accompanied by Matumbo soup, to soften the chapoo for ease of pricking with a fork. Now, who on earth orders for Matumbo soup? Haha. Is it thick? Does it have crawling earthlings or floating stuff? How’s the taste? Kageshi couldn’t believe I take those things as she referred them until she gave in to my convictions lately. She took a friend to the same place recently and she called me immediately marveling how delicious the food was. On that juncture I’d recommend Dr. Stacey whom I wrote about, sometimes back Dr.Stacey And My Limping Leg to try my favourite meal in this hotel behind Kenol – Nanyuki. Doc, I dare you.

 

     

‘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 out with them in 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 harbouring 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.

 

 

MEN WHO GO ‘CLUBBING’ AT 55

aged menSo last Saturday I was awake for a whole 24 hours. Yes 24. Don’t judge me, thank you. Late in the night at those evil hours of 3am when the devil and all his cousins go out of their way to raid and rein havoc to humans, a group of friends and I checked in to this new, dope and wicked club on this part of the world. To our surprise, we couldn’t get anywhere to park. How so! This is not Nairobi or Nakuru or Kisumu either, where towns wake up at night. This was a small town, about 200 kilometers North of Nairobi and we couldn’t get parking at 3am?

Along the stuffy corridors were sounds of modern music, coupled with ladies who only knew how to dress from top to the waistline and deliberately ‘forgetting’ to dress their way down. Not a surprise by now. Lucky enough we got an awesome sitting area amid the deafening entertainment, and after minutes of jostling, shoving and brushing off acres and more acres of exposed cleavages and thighs along the way though unintended. I had spent a whole 20 hours with my friends hence no much of talking was to happen at this time of the night apart from us using our eyes to rove around and watch fellows getting down while in the process, mingling in the washrooms with young and aged Team Mafisi Sacco busy hunting or forcing their way to the arguably large number of ladies present.

All went well until I watched something very disturbing unfold right where I was. So this mzee in his mid fifties  for some hours was salivating on this fine chiq who was clinging on his so drunk boyfriend. Actually, the boyfriend was so dead asleep. Apparently to this chap, he saw an opportunity to literally get away with this lady! How some old men put shame to their age is a non issue at this day and age.

After kindu one hour, the lady decided to visit the washrooms and guess what, this Baba-nani fellow, seemingly highly regarded in his village for his vast wealth and well being and with grandchildren half my age trailed this lady to the washrooms like a dog on heat. He camped there for a whole 3 – 4 minutes and later pretended to have also gone to answer a call of nature by coincidence. This bold mzee would do the unthinkable few minutes later. He blocked the lady from accessing her seat. He erected his tired and pot-bellied body right in front of her way and smiled unashamedly.

While contemplating whether to jump on my feet and give this mzee some electrocuting blows and kicks (if only I could gather that courage) and in essence accept to be the sacrificial lamb and worse still find myself up in the air having been whisked by the bodied bouncers, I took my time to decide whether I was ready to pay the price. Meanwhile, the lady shoved off this wicked and titillated mzee and had her way through. At last, I was relieved. I could hear my heart stop racing.

Here’s my problem. Even after married men illegally raiding our hunting grounds and speeding off with all the beautiful lasses (at least from the outside), they still want to get away with our precious girlfriends whom we have invested time, resources, emotions, unrealistic ambitions (2016 resolutions) and our grandfathers’ inheritances to have them in our lives. Now, this can be scary. If it will take several guys to escort our ladies to the washrooms just for the mere reason that some married men can’t tame their exploring libido syndrome, is indeed disturbing.

I simply cannot make sense of this. Can you imagine you dad salivating over a lady, a third his age at a club frequented by the youthful generation, at 4:05 am. This brings me to another point. I have serious beef with men in their mid-fifties and above patronizing entertainment joints where their nephews and nieces check in. Come-on you damn wazees. How do you dance to Wiz Khalifa’s rugged lyrics or Justin Bieber’s latest mellow album at 5am in a place where you naturally look like a headmaster? Give us a break please and get a life. And if you have to frequent these clubs, at least don’t ‘cattle-rust’ our girlfriends. It’s all we can claim to have.

In any case men the age of 55 and beyond choose to visit clubs that play less noisy music or makuti villas somewhere in Umoja Innercore that play great Rhumba music or pride to host a One-Man-Guitar (Miku Rua wannabe). At least not Club Tribeka or Mojo’s of this world. Moreover for the well-oiled, moneywise, imbibe in serene and ‘peaceful’ places like members-only clubs where men in their 50’s and 60’s meet after a weekend of golf or ‘site seeing’ of new projects somewhere in Kitui or Laikipia. They are not to be found in dimly lit clubs where patrons can’t even have a simple conversation due to the loud music.

Being a big fan of Kaka Sungura, I’m just thinking in his popular song dubbed Promised Land featuring Amos and Josh, he should have sneaked a sentence or two going like;

Kidole cha kati kwa wazee wanao mezea wasichana wetu; kidole cha kati kwa akina Baba-nani wanao fanya mapenzi na wasichana rika ya wajukuu wao…..

Merry Christmas dear readers. Don’t over indulge. Be a blessing to the less fortunate people around you and while at it, dare to be a blessing to your family and friends and not a bother.

Frohe Weihnachten und ein glückliches neues Jahr (Merry christmas and Happy new year).

WHY NANYUKI MEN ARE A DISTRAUGHT LOT

nn3The pact between Kenya and UK which allows British troops to train in Kenya is at stake. In fact the agreement expires next month (April) if not renewed. U.K believes Kenya has good terrain to harden its soldiers in readiness for tougher tasks like engaging in Afghanistan and Iran wars. That was the objective, ideally. But the ground has rather, not so good news. Especially in a town I happen to live in, Nanyuki, 196 kilometers from Nairobi.

It’s a fact that BATUK fondly nicknamed maJonny by the locals, have left a trail of delinquency across two counties that form part of their training ground.  I’m talking of Laikipia and Samburu Counties which have witnessed over 2000 women raped and others sexually manipulated. In this tiny but buzzling town, with an unusual impressive economy statistics, white kids from these army guys are dotted in every corner of the town. Nanyuki also boosts of hundreds of white settlers families whom have consequently turned around upside down, the way of life in this part of Kenya. Young ladies full of life and vigour, comb the streets at night, all week hoping to hit a ‘jackpot.’ Here is a town of deep pocketed whites, who leave the local chaps grappling with the ‘left overs’.

Cohabiting with a white man is a matter of life and death to the native ladies here. Even if it means sleeping with 10 of them to earn good tidings of money, is a popular idea to many of them desperate for quick gains especially from the whites. You may never find them at the local brothels but it doesn’t mean they sin differently, they stalk the so called majonny from social media to befriending the staff that work in their stations. With my simple investigative escapades, I realized 1 out 5 ladies between 19 and 33 years has been in a relationship with a white guy or is married to one, all in pursuit of the elusive cash. These guys take advantage of our naive girls by splashing them with money and taking them to opulent hotels around. One lady alluded to me that these guys will tease you in the streets in the morning, manage to get your phone number after a date promise, sleep with you all night and dump you the following morning.  They’ll stick around, if your personality is interesting, you’re too beautiful and maybe because of your good English. Otherwise for them, it’s all about ‘experimenting.’

You know of these lasses with glowing, free flowing, flawless skin, improvised long hair; ladies call it extension. They have this fake accent and dress in things the length of a handkerchief, just achieving to cover their waist lines. Mind you, they will still insist on sitting down in that thing and sip cappuccino or toss to Johnnie Walker wine. With their bootylicious parts all out and alluring legs, they are good to go. They’ll walk in stilettos taller than them, holding fancy phones and pricey clutches. You’ll always notice their exquisite watches and exaggerated eye brows if they ain’t in their typical prodigious sun glasses. They like it when the winds blow their expensive long hair which their boyfriends’ smoke away in amusement. Men are fascinated by the most trivial things!

You will bump these slim ladies in corridors of bourgeois joints, clinging on their guys’ masculine arms. I have no idea why these white chaps prefer willowy ladies, I would assume there are more ‘fitter’, whatever that is supposed to mean. Complexion for them is not so relevant; actually most will do with dark skins. So ladies, if you’re considering bleaching, let it not be to catch eyes of a white dude, ever heard of unlike poles attract…..! Thank you. Funny enough, these guys rarely sit down in an entertainment joint. They prefer walking around, sipping tusker beer which they are so loyal to, or roaming while smoking in the neatly massaged compounds of secluded hotels that only attract the filthy rich. They clad in faded t-shirts and boring, short pants with over – hairy legs. Most of them are either chain smokers or so ill mannered.

You’ve watched Book of Negros movie. You sympathise with that black community being undermined due to their skin colour and forced to do grueling labour with no pay. That slavery mindset is creeping back in a very subtle way. Africans are being manipulated. Their belief of Africans has not shifted. I work in an environment where I interact with many of them and I know how they pay their staff vis -a – vis one of their own with hardly good qualification. Young ladies are even more exposed and more susceptible.  Females want quick cash but to get it, they’re compelled to do nasty stuff. Modern slavery is real!  I know there are hospitable and nice white guys though. Some of them are my clients in my day job. Pat on the back for them.

Local chaps are a distraught lot. Forced to up their game in this world of dating. How they wish these whites guys would be flown back in earnest.  Digging deeper in your pocket to impress a lady is never a cup of tea for many. Too bad.