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RECOLLECTIONS OF A THIRD WORLD WOMAN: Part II

   I could feel my entire body shaking as I walked away from Katwa’s dead corpse. I stopped and looked back at my mother who had been standing by. “You did the right thing my daughter,” said she with a face full of compassion, “For yourself, for us…for everything that matters.”
Confusing I know. See, two weeks back all this would have been an impossibly ridiculous thought.
But not now.

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The previous tuesday my mother had whisked me away behind the granary as I returned home from the local market. “You have to leave, you have to save yourself!” she whispered half out of breath. “Mom what’s going on? What are you saying”
“I’ve tried all these years since you were fourteen to protect you but now the pressure is beyond your father’s control”
“Mom, I don’t know what you’re talking about- what are you saying.” A couple of pleas and explanations later I understood.
The season for circumcision had closed in. Every year at this time girls would be taken away from the rest of the community and ‘taught to be women’. Yes; the government outlawed FGM but this was the Kenyan-Ethiopian border, no one really cared. All the political icons turned their heads the other way in what they called respect for culture and in return, clan elders would mobilize people in their favour or radicalize them against the opposition.

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At such times in the night you’d hear screams from the distance, you’d feel the pain of literal loss and if you thought about it just long enough, you could hear imaginary souls lamenting over lost innocence. And so I prepared to go while my mother made the neccessary arrangements with regard to where I was going to stay and what my new liberated life would be like. Stung with sentimental pain and begrudged over leaving my love behind, I told Katwa of what my mother had planned for me.
He did not like it.
In fact, he did not like it at all. You see; Katwa, I realized, was a staunch loyalist to the cultural and political perceptions of my community. After a heated argument he walked off and said if I pursued leaving he would inform my father and other people. Scared and not knowing what to do, I told my mother what had happened.
“What were you thinking! What was going through your mind telling that boy things like that?”
“I love him mom,” I shot back. “You don’t love him!” mother hissed over me, eyes burning with anger, the look on her countenance patronizing every inch of me. “My child, putting what you think is love over everything else will only get you hurt. Look what it has done and you’re not even out of this dump we call home.”
Pause.
“You know what you have to do right?”
She told me of how Katwa wouldn’t back down and that it was either my future or a naïve idea about love. It made sense, I had to choose my future. Sure; killing seemed a bit extreme but if it meant securing my life and possibly those of my children, mother said I was obligated to do everything in my power.
She stole the riffle for me. She set up the meet with Katwa. She said if I was going to do this I had to leave immediately.
You wanted to know how it all began? That’s how it all began. I thought about it, I pictured it in my mind, I bent my index finger in practice, I dreamt it. Then I met Katwa and shot him down exactly the same way I pictured myself doing it; in cold blood.  

“The future awaits you my child,” mother now said as the wind blew harder through my dress, “this is all for you.”

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Feeling shaky, I walked away south to a dirt road used by illegal immigrants on their way south towards Nairobi. I was to meet a man called Jack on my arrival in Nairobi. Jack would show me the ropes, teach me how to survive in Nairobi and give me a job that would keep me steady. My heart thanked my mother.

But the next few days would see that love change to hate.
I would hate my mother.
Hate my life.
Hate everything…

(Part III: Friday 3rd April)

RECOLLECTIONS OF A THIRD WORLD WOMAN: Part I

    I doubled back with the force of the recoil as a predatory diacharge rang into the air.
Silence.
A drying ball of spit scraped its way down my throat under the heavy sun, my eyes fixed straight ahead on what I’d shot. Or more specifically; whom I’d shot. My three-year lover, only four feet away, shifted his gaze down to the side of his stomach where blood was sieving through his fingers. With his last ounce of breath, he looked back at me, his own weight dragging him to the ground. Katwa’s knees hit the brown earth with a crack and he fell down on his back, disturbing a cloud of settled dust, dead. I could say I was in shock but I’d be lying; hours of premeditation had been put into this. I dropped the AK 47 assault riffle I had stolen from my father and went through Katwa’s pockets. The crimson seeping through his shirt had already started drying up and even in death, his open eyes seemed to be crying out for an explanation.

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I found a two-hundred-shilling note and a cheap phone in his left trouser pocket. Rising up, I looked back at what had been home for 21 years in the distance and began my journey south, the wind caressing my features through the light dress.
It’s no doubt you will judge what I did, maybe even condemn it and that’s okay, but let me explain first.

Katwa and I had met three years back at a goat auction as buyer and seller. He owed me money from a sale and promised to pay, which he did over the next two months. But something else happened in those two months. Feelings budded and for the first time in my life, I felt things I didn’t know could be felt. Anger, frustration and attraction all at the same time. At times we’d sit under acacia trees to watch the sunset and he’d tell me about his view of the world and things he’d never even tell his own mother. I remember his left hand stretching out over my shoulder. I’d sit there and feel protected, loved, peaceful.

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At times I’d want to claw his lungs out and at the same time kiss and caress him…
Well, enough about my sentiments. Three years went by in a rainbow flash; beautiful.
Then one evening, it happened. Our world was torn apart from all sides.
Everything fell apart…

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(Part II: friday 27th March)

OF CROCS, DOGS AND ANTELOPES: WHY THE PROBE INTO PAC IS GOING TO BE JUST ANOTHER TALL TALE

 In the spirit of serious posts, I made an observation.
   At the age of four and in a family of five kids, most of my interests boiled down to food… A lot of children’s, in fact, including my brother and three sisters. So you will have to understand why I did what I did… which is not the point.

“Eve,” I call out one day to my eldest sister who is busy playing ‘kati’ with her 12 year-old girlfriends. “Dad wants you in the house”
“Why?”
“The 50 bob that went missing last week.” She misses a step and falls on the brown dirt with a cracking thud, skirt flying up.

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“What have you told him!?” Eve barks pulling me away onto a more private spot. “Nothing… yet”
A fuming glare.
“Look, he’s got five of those aticks that don’t break. You know? Like the one he used on Mercy the other day.” Mercy is second born. “Bamboo you fool”
“Yes that. I don’t want to rat you out Eve but if he pulls them out I have to save myself”
“I bought you ten shillings worth of chips at Mama Fatma’s, if you say I say”
“Go ahead, everyone knows only mom buys me chips.” I turn around to walk away. “Okay look,” Eve calls after me, “here’s 10 more, you can buy chips or patco.”
Hesitation.
“I guess dad has caned me befooore…”
Just as we’re getting our story straight, Mercy walks up. “Dad is going to beat you! Even you, last born, he knows eve gave you 10 shillings”
“What?” I retort, ” Today? How could he know that?”
“No not toda-” she’s confused, “what?”
“Never mind. What have you told him?”
“He pulled one stick out from under the table, I had to”
“You ate it with me Mercy, if I go down so do you.” By the time we get to the house, all five of us are guilty. Dad wants to beat us all but mom won’t let him

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“I guess dad has caned me befoooore…”

The point is; there is no day on earth, heaven and hell all put together, when a parliamentary committee will look into it’s members’ integrity and be objective. For one no matter what they tell Kenyans, it won’t inspire confidence in parliament.

And we all know if Ababu or any other CORD loyalist is implicated CORD members will scream and pour water about how Jubilee had the comittee compromised.

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If a Jubilee drone faces the same, the story will be betrayal or a section working in alliance with opposition to fault the government.
KENYAN MP’s WILL NEVER BE OBJECTIVE, end of story.
In a sentence, the only way we get clean answers is if an external and impartial body looks into this matter… if they survive the ATM’s and bank cheques anyway.

IS LOCAL JUST A BIT TOO LOCAL? WHY KENYAN FILMS DON’T SELL

After two excruciating posts, I took a break from writing, which I thought I wouldn’t have to come from. But then someone called me stupid over my last post and told me to get serious. So here is serious

IS LOCAL JUST A BIT TOO LOCAL? WHY KENYAN FILMS DON’T SELL

JPG.1.1.1 So the other day I’m sitting with a group of friends watching Keegan Deane kill the legal profession on Rake (don’t be fooled, this is easily one of the most hilarious TV series since Two and a Half men) and we just can’t stop laughing. When the season is done, (and having virtually nothing else to do) we pick up a pointless talk on other good productions in ’14 and ’15. The names that come up I notice are Graceland, Unforgettable, Necessary Roughness, Resurrection among others; all western films. So then I get asking: why don’t people watch local TV series or even movies for that matter? You’d expect some thought to be put into answering this right? Well it’s simple really: They’re JUST NOT INTERESTING.

  Now I knooow, anyone in the film business will be the first to say “Blame it on River Road”. If that had any basis, BebaBeba would come up in such discussions as the above because pirates simply just make products cheaper. The good news is that the blame isn’t on you…half of it at least.

This is why the only thing Kenyan TV does is remind people of the phrase “watu hutoka mbali”:

          I think anyone in their right mind will agree with me on this: Kenyan TV is just too local. This Mshamba thing for example. Nice soundtrack, worst content ever. Of course if I was targeting 3 to 10-year-olds it would be perfect, but that barely makes a fraction of viewers. This kind of film makes me look back at the days when I watched Papa Shirandula with enthusiasm and I honestly feel like slapping myself hard… on the face (and I love my face!). Even house helps have gone Hollywood nowadays for crying out loud! It’s high time Kenyan filmmakers admit to themselves that the world is going into advance mode; for once get the memo. It’s a wheel, let’s not try reinventing it, works just fine. jpg.2

          For some reason I can’t wrap my head around, Kenyan directors and actors are terrified of scenes that involve intimate interaction, like kissing or lying on a bed is going to bite off my hotdog while I watch or something. It’s just a french people! If I wanted models using the phrase “yes daddy” on a total stranger more than seven times in half a minute I’d be jamming up the traffic on brazzers by now. Same goes for action scenes.

      Don’t even get me started on how long Kenyan movies take to shoot. I honestly don’t know how anyone shoots an entire movie with ‘choreographed’ scenes in under a week and still expects to sell; you’re not Arnie. jpg.1

Scripts are unimaginative, scenes are boring, video quality could easily make ME look like Mandela at 120. I refuse to even comment on actors, it will be an insult on my conscience.

“Pull up your socks” doesn’t even begin describing how far we are from good film.

Voice of reason out.

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THE THREE RULES IN WRITING RULEBOOKS

    Know those web articles that tell you things like “Five things women can’t stand in men” or “116 things you should never do when sleeping”? I call them social rulebooks. So I came up with a rulebook on rules you should follow when writing rulebooks… (or not).

#1. Social rulebooks don’t exist, they’re just a figment of people’s imagination. Sure, some of them make sense but that’s because they’re probably common sense. Others though, SMH. 116 things you should never do when sleeping?? YOU ARE SLEEPING!!!!! What else could you possibly do knowingly!?…….
So the first rule is that rulebooks are a load of crap…yes, whatever I’m writing here is too. If you think a group of socially acceptable personalities met to make up rules about eating you’re definately among the dumbest people I hope to never meet…and the number is like just one…
#2. Unless they absolutely make no sense, rulebooks are based on common sense. So one day I’m reading random internet articles and I come across this:
        Five things you should know       about narcotics; 1_they change your state of mind…

Really… this is one of those moments when if the person were really talking to me I’d be like “You don’t say!!” Seriously though, if you’re going to write a rulebook about obvious things (which is always the case) you might as well take a trip to Tokyo, if that’s in China.

#3. Rulebooks are supposed to be short. People don’t read rulebooks because they need advice (they probably know more than the author), they read them for fun, maybe a laugh. Again; 116 things you should never do when sleeping…do you really think I’ll even get to the 60th item leave alone 116? Who am I- Mike Ross? #Please.
And probably realizing what that third rule implies, I’ve come to the end of my rulebook.

So now you know, if you have nothing to do like I know you do (mainly because you’re reading this) pick up a pen and write a rulebook. Hell, I’m already thinking about writing one headed “Four rules in writing a rulebook on rules of writing rulebooks”
😉

A SHOT AT WELCOME

  So the other day I’m seated in this shitty hotel in Ngara, drowning my ears in jazz pretending to be in a fancy restaurant. After all, that’s what Lorde, Script and the gang says to do, right? Live in your dreams. Anyway, earphones digging in, John Lee Hooker is screaming milk cream and alcohol into my skull. In my head I’m like “I get the point John: she left you. No need to bang it in.” I reach for the volume button on the side and guess what; it’s broken. Great, now I’m not only in a shitty hotel but a sixty year old dead man is shouting at me. I could turn off the music but I’d have to deal with hawkers and drunkards swooshing by……………. Nope, John  is just fine.
     An obese woman posing as a waitress drops a plate of fries in front of me and walks off. Of course I feel like screaming a “Hey! Do you know I’m an aspiring attorney?” after her but the prospects of that aren’t very promising. Plus, who cares right?
     I’m about to start feasting on my ‘hard-earned’ lunch but then something makes me stop; everyone in the room is looking at me like I’m naked…and undergoing malnutrition. For a sec, I don’t get it, then it hits me. Apparently around here, fries are for women…and gays (I know right? People! SMH). Men eat (how can I put this) more sustaining meals,  which is english for a hell lot of food bought at 50 bob…yes, bob.
     Add that to the list and you’ve got three strikes: I’m in a shitty hotel, a dead guy is screaming at me and folks think I’m queer. This day can’t get any worse. Only it does because that’s what happens when you say things can’t get worse; they do. I’m forking my way down the plate and just as I’m about to wrap it up, a big nasty dead beetle stares up at me from between the last pieces of fries. Unable to do much, I get up and walk out. Once I’m safely outside, I try really hard to throw up but nothing comes out. I decide that’s it, I hate my life.
     As I will often do to run away from reality, I log onto whatsapp as I’m walking away, checking people’s status because no one cared to send me a message. One of my contacts makes reference to wordpress and right there, it comes to me. “Can’t do any harm,” I tell myself although I don’t know the first thing about blogging. Hurrying to set the damn thing up before my mbs run out, I tap away as I walk towards the Central Business District. And that’s how it starts.
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