The journey through boyhood is littered with a myriad of challenges especially if you do not have an elder male to guide you through the treacherous waters. I am often embarrassed whenever I remember the things I did in an effort to earn admiration and respect of my peers during this transition.
Growing up in a typical Kenyan family, every adult remotely related to you sells you the same dream. Study hard in school, get good grades, pursue a prestigious course and you are guaranteed of success in life. Come graduation, your entire family attends the ceremony.
Once the celebrations are over reality rears its ugly head. The entire vibe about education being the key to success turns out to be a big fat lie. The world doesn’t care how great your grades are. Titles accrued from your fancy papers mean nothing. You have to fight for limited opportunities with thousands of other graduates with similar qualifications; some even have master’s degrees and additional certifications when you have none.
Several weeks after ghosting Luciana you find yourself in Mombasa for a series of meetings with potential clients. One of them would like you to spearhead a marketing campaign for a product they are about to launch. Immediately after the meeting, you call up Dan, a long-time friend, who lives in the coastal city so he can show you around the trendiest night joints.
Having insisted you want to have a taste of authentic coasto nightlife Dan takes you to a popular restaurant in Old Town for biriani before heading out to Nyali. You first check out Anuba Lounge, which turns out to be too bourgeois for your liking. Nonetheless, you have a couple of drinks.
It’s on a Thursday night, you are attending a launch at a swanky hotel in Westlands, Nairobi. A woman is making a presentation about their new services and packages available. She is in a high-neck sleeveless dress, white pointy toe pumps with matching white-gold pearl earrings and a bracelet.
The guys on your left are arguing about a soccer match that took place the previous weekend in low tones. Maybe not so low. The lady briefly stops speaking, looks in your direction. The fellas shut up. Your eyes lock. Her gaze is intimidating but you stare back. After five long seconds, she goes on speaking about SaaS, DaaS & PaaS. You have no idea what any of that means, however, there is something fascinating about her. She has an alluring presence, assured gait, and a powerful voice.
4:47 AM. A sharp stinging pain in the stomach jolts me awake. I sit up on the couch, feel the wall till I find the light switch and flick it on. The room is spinning. I close my eyes trying to make it stop. Pointless. I feel sick. Another wave of pain goes through my lower abdomen accompanied by a strong urge to puke. I stumble to the bathroom. Drop on my knees, lift the toilet seat and hunch over with both hands on the basin. I open my mouth in anticipation but nothing comes out. I feel weak. Nauseous. That’s when it hit me, I haven’t eaten anything over the last 24 hours.
On several occasions, I have been accused of being snobbish, indifferent and unenthusiastic especially when it comes to pursuing romantic relations with ladies who seems perfect. Is this true? Maybe. Now before you berate me for my shortcomings it is only fair I tell you how it all began, right? This is my story.
It’s a Thursday evening, you are heading back to Nairobi with your main chick after spending two nights in Nakuru. She is unusually quiet. You ask what’s wrong. Nothing, she says yet you can see hot fumes billowing from her nose as she scrolls through her Instagram.
Growing up I was taught education is key to a bright future. However, for as long as I remember, I was always among the bottom five in class. The only thing I was good at is English because of my love for novels I presume.
My poor performance wasn’t due to lack of hard work. I would study till late in the night, take remedial classes and wake up early but still, my results never changed. Teachers openly criticized my performance in front of the whole class just for a good laugh and that really got to me. The worst part is it got into my head and made me believe I was indeed stupid.
I am the first born in a family of six. I scored a C plain in my KCSE back in 2010. I moved in with a rich relative who promised to get me a job. Since their house help ran away, they asked me to step into her shoes as they sort out it out.
These relatives were very wealthy but constantly quarreling. They would go out most nights leaving me all alone to take care of twins who were only a few months old, a four-year-old and six-years-old kid. They would come back home in the morning drunk and stinking. They would spend the entire day sleeping and puking all over.
It breaks my heart every time I look at the smiles on the faces of family, friends, and students who score straight A’s. I wish they could fast-forward their lives so they can see the realities ahead of them. I grew up in a remote village, managed to score a straight A and top my district becoming the first person in my family to go to the university.