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The Underboss

As the clock ticks closer to 1:00 pm, the room falls silent. Fifty-seven more seconds. There is a palpable sense of panic. All staff members are present, spread out across the room. Desks had been taken out and seats arranged forming a circle specifically for this session. Twiddling thumbs and foot-tapping betrays the poker faces everyone is trying so hard to pull. Nobody has any idea how this is going to play out. We are clearly in uncharted territory. 

The African Charmer

The Alchemist Bar (Photo Courtesy: CNN)

I squint at my wristwatch trying to read the time in the dimly lit joint. 10:23pm. I glance at my buddy sitting across the table and point at my wrist. He nods, takes a long swig at the beer mug, puts it back on the table, and stands up gathering his jacket. 

He and I have had this ritual for a while now. Whenever he visits Nairobi, we activate The holy trinity. An all-night bender that begins with Brew Bistro before 7pm, when there is still sitting space available, then move to The Alchemist and finally end up at Mercury Lounge. Having imbibed three pitchers of their craft beer, Kifabock, we make our way to the second stop. 

PARTY TURN INTO NIGHTMARE

December fever has caught up with Nairobians as thousands prepare to leave the city next week for their rural homes, Naivasha or Mombasa for Christmas. Domestic flights, SGR, buses, and hotels in popular holiday spots fully booked. Ordinarily, I would also be part of this migration, however,  I have barricaded myself in the house on a Saturday night absolutely terrified of what awaits me. How did a night of fun turn into a never-ending nightmare? This is how it all began.

FEMME FATALE

I check my watch for the umpteenth time. It is 10:45 pm on a Friday night, I am crashing a birthday party at some nondescript joint along Waiyaki Way. Worst decision ever. The DJ is playing reggae non-stop and every reveler except me seems to know lyrics to all the tunes by heart. If that isn’t bad enough the party is a total sausage fest.

As if on cue my phone rings. Josh Calling. Now Josh is a coworker who does two things with uttermost perfection. Close business deals and party like a rockstar. Whenever he calls I’m absolutely certain it’s going to be a dramatic night.

I move to the balcony.

Lessons From Adversity

Mark Maish Hosting KENCTAD 2018

A couple of days ago I had the good fortune of hosting the fifth edition of Kenya Entrepreneurs’ Conference on Trade & Development, which is the brainchild of Sebastian Ngida, a fellow engineer whose passion in events planning has seen him build a viable branding & events business.

13 Harsh Truths Every Man Should Know

Consolidated efforts to give both genders equal opportunities, close the pay gap and literacy levels have been largely successful. Sadly, this progress has also led to a neglect of the human male species. Phasing out of initiation rites that saw older men inculcate important life lessons in the younger generation coupled with deteriorating economic fundamentals that plague the modern man who is still expected to be a provider and protector has left him feeling frustrated, disillusioned and emasculated.

With his position in the society threatened, his identity lost and afraid of being branded a misogynist the modern African man can no longer speak out his mind, choosing to suffer in silence. This ends today. The following are 13 harsh truths about life every man should know.

Smashing The Limits

I work with this tall, pretty and quiet mami called Sylvia. A true fitness freak. She recently introduced me to a group dubbed Run, Fun & Fitness with members drawn from various parts of Nairobi. Now, these fellas are mad about fitness. At 5 am, when other city dwellers are snuggling under the covers they are running through the streets of Nairobi in an effort to keep fit. Sylvia jogs at least 15 km every morning before coming to work. Suffice it to say she motivated me to join the club especially since having a potbelly without an equally inflated bank account is a crime in this city.

MISS OFFICER

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.

10 Rules Every Graduate Should Live By

10 Rules Every Kenyan Graduate Should Live By

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.

THE WOUNDED MAN

the wounded man
Courtesy of Tyler Nix l UnSplash

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.