PHOTO | thefoodistblog
Guys, let’s make some ground rules here before we proceed. This is on behalf of all single young men and women who have a room that they call theirs. You guys that still afford the comfort of staying with your sweet mummies and daddies just don’t know what you are missing. You see, for guys that live under their parents’ roofs, things are just swift – you can stay for as long as two months without bothering to find out the direction of the mop because the mboch does all that work. You leave your rooms dirty and stuff scattered all over but when you come back, you find them clean and neat. You come back home in the evening from God knows where, you run to the washrooms to get yourself clean, run back to the sitting room, pick the remote control, curve yourself on the couch properly, slide a pillow below your neck, you lift your right leg and rest it on the right leg, you keep switching channels on TV, then food is brought on the table, you wash your hands and hurriedly descend on it like nothing ever crossed your mouth since morning, you clear everything (after all you are in your father’s house where there’s plenty of everything) and then again somebody comes to clear the table. Two minutes later you rush to the washrooms because you are too full, from the washrooms you crawl directly to your bed room, jump to your bed, you then load 100 bob airtime and call you bae, 10 minutes later man you are dead asleep. Good life that, eh? Normally, that’s not the case with we bachelors and bacheloretes. Can I hear an amen from any bedsitter owners here?
For us things are totally different. I’ll start it this way, when you happen to own your own space, you get used to questions like “so lazima nitoe viatu?”, sijui “hii system ni how much?” and stuff like “na huku kwako hakunanga food ya wageni?” Very obvious questions. Sometimes I’m always tempted to respond “Sasa si wewe pia tafuta kwako tuwe tunakujia hiyo food ya wageni?” When you ask me such rhetorical questions, the response I give depends on the side of bed that I woke up. But please save us from some these rhetorics. We are more than that food ya wageni and buying more extensions and reminding you to clean the plate you used because it’s the only plate we own and everybody visiting us will need it’s services. Also, we know – actually we always know, that the price of your shoes tripples the cost of our carpets, but it does you no harm if you leave those beautiful loafers of yours at the door. Whenever you visit us and by back luck you don’t get ready food in our rooms, it always means that maybe you didn’t notify us that you were coming so we just cleared everything. Though we always feel guilty when you walk into our pads and leave on an empty stomach. It’s never a good show, we always feel like we are throwing away God’s blessings.
Over the last weekend my buddy -my brother from another mother, paid me a courtesy call and told me he was coming over. He’s called Bamu. A very nice guy, focused guy. The type of guy that tells a hunny “I think my bed was specifically designed for your ass,” right from their first ever conversation. A very straight forward guy, right? A guy who knows what he wants and goes for it right away without wasting much time. A tall, dark (I almost added ‘handsome’ but remembered it’s not a boys’ thing) guy. He hails from Lang’ata. The other time I stayed there we always woke up at 5:30 a.m and made laps to the Langata Women’s prison and back. Then I told some hunny about it and she burst out laughing and begged me to stop because according to her, I’d soon turn into a scarecrow because I’ve nothing much to lose physically. (Who knows Njugush here? I’m that size.) So I later considered her advise. The next morning my guy wakes me up for the normals and do you know what I did? Simple, “niliota jana ati nlikuwa nakimbia, alafu nyasi ikanitega, nikaanguka na nikakufa.” From that day nobody in that house ever wakes up for the morning roadwork. Moral of the story: people fear dreams.
Exactly 27 minutes past 4, Bamu is standing at my door wondering what the hell is happening, find the reasons in the next few lines. He first came here two days after I had just moved in and I tell you, this place looked like a sty. The room was empty, rusty and formless. Kwanza there were no lights, the socket was so loose it couldn’t hold any plug, and the floor was nothing to mention. In fact, there’s this hunny who always insisted on coming over during those first days but I kept dodging her because how could you bring someone’s daughter into such a mess? But conditions kept improving day after day. So I wasn’t shocked to see Bamu perplexed when he dropped by my pad last weekend.
My good people, let me tell you something, there’s nothing good than having a place you call your own in your 20s. It’s the best feeling man. You see, when guys want to visit you and then somebody asks where they are headed, they always say “naenda kwa Jose.” Do you know how Jose feels when he hears that line? When Jose hears somebody tell his friend “naenda kwa Jose,” he feels like a man, a man with a home. Even when he is hungry and hears that line, he becomes rejuvenated and his ego grows stronger. He feels like a man with seven wives of which all bear his biological children. He feels placed somewhere in the society. He feels like he can now comfortably chair a wazees’ sitting and contribute to the affairs of the society. He feels like he now has the power to foresee the future and to declare calamity and goodwill to his people.
Can I tell you another thing? I know we will differ on this one but no offence, I’ll explain. Do you guys know that eating ugali-sukuma in your own house is way better than feeding on ugali-nyama and chicken and fish daily in your dad’s house? I know you guys didn’t know that. So for purposes of clarity, I’ll explain. When you happen to have a pad where you control your life, preparing ugali-sukuma doesn’t mean you are broke. Well, it could mean your budget is tight, no dispute on that. But apart from that, it also could mean that you got no time to waste given the complex processes and time involved in preparing things like beaf and fish. You see, we bachelors don’t eat ati to enjoy the meal, we eat to fill ourselves. Actually, we only remember we are feeling hungry when we are already tooooo hungry – after we’ve played FIFA the whole day and realized that darkness is setting in. That’s why we’ll often subscribe to foods like eggs, rice, and vegetables because you only need an onion, two tomatoes, cooking oil and about a 10-minutes duration to get you dish ready. Recently, Kama came over and after I had served him, I heard him mumble something close to “sipendi ugali inapikwa hivi.” I almost slapped him in the face with that ugali because now who told him that I was conducting an opinion poll on my ugali? My ugali doesn’t need compliments. It’s just fine the way it is. My ugali isn’t the type to ‘catch’ ati because you didn’t compliment it’s new hairstyle. It’s just fine the way it is. I know, given my profession, I move around collecting people’s opinions on different matters. (By the way on a scale of 1 to 10, how do you rate Uhuru’s governance?) But our guy just took matters too far, ati sipendi ugali inapikwa hivi? Hehe, Kama, next time never make such nasty comments on your girlfriend’s dish cause you are still too young to lose your face.
Meanwhile, you people enjoy your weekend.