The Thing

There was a boy who sat across me in class in primary 7,he had a pointy head and it was fascinating. It fascinated me and sometimes when the lesson was boring especially during afternoons I’d unconsciously focus on his head and imagine how he must have been pulled out from a rather too tight exit at birth… one such time when I was in this trans, Mr. Owuor ,the GHC teacher called me out and I came to not sure what question I was to answer. The lack of attention earned me a siesta out of class that afternoon.

Mr. Owuor was the crazy kind,he taught us ..well he didn’t really teach ,he used to give stories not related in the slightest to what he was to teach. He also touched girls ears a lot. I didn’t like him very much. He seemed like the kind of men my grandma warned me about one day when we sat by the fire in her mud hut kitchen; I had visited her on school holidays. she talked to me of men who touch girls ‘things’ when alone with them. I was 12 going 13, smart for my age and so during his lesson I would put on a face of indifference – not happy not sad, not exited ,not, dull. that way I knew he wouldn’t know what I thought of him or if I was even thinking at all. meanwhile the other girls,the a bit older ones used to respond with vigor to his dry jokes..oh how they’d laugh themselves silly you’d think they were competing on whose laugh is best or whose will be noticed.

Once he made us write 22 pages on an unfamiliar topic in GHC. We copied the entire assignment from a text book. We didn’t know how to do summary,he had never taught us. Next time he came to class,he as usual didn’t come to teach but to collect for purported marking the handwritten textbooks that were our notebooks and to cane those who had not made the copies. Collect the books he did and so did he cane those who hadn’t done the handwritten photocopying.

It must have been in August when we were to sit our mock examinations and one of the giggling,loud laughing girls missed school for a long time. Owuor asked the clueless class about her. ironically ,he knew as we later learnt because he too stopped coming to not teach us. He and the giggling girl had a baby and so he had to run. Grandma said that when we allow a man to touch our thing then a baby is made and the man runs.

In primary 8 we got a new teacher. We had learnt to read by ourselves and so this new one had it easy. He was however better than Owuor though he appeared intimidated whenever we asked him a question. when I set the record in KCPE that year,I’m told he was elated and took the credit for my very good performance..laughable. I was a focused pupil,the only thing that distracted me once in a while was the boy with a pointy head who now sat in front of me for he was index 3 and I 4


So today after many years I met Ochi*.He was our youth leader in church back then. He was quite old to still be in the youth group and sometimes I believed he was chosen to lead us because he was ‘big’ or maybe because being a leader would increase the number of appearances he’d have to make on the pulpit and so aid his getting a woman to marry. Elders however used to say that it’s God who chooses leaders and so he chose Ochi. I believed them on the ‘God choosing ‘ part but on ‘God choosing Ochi’, I had my doubts.

I didn’t like him very much. I don’t like men who refuse to let go of my hand when I greet them.He did that uncountable times whenever we were done with morning service and had to make that traditional circle to greet everyone beginning with the pulpit team. I was 18 and fresh from high school. I was shy and reserved and couldn’t give Ochi a piece of my mind then. Aside from that I knew better than to cause drama in church. So Ochi kept abusing my hand.

He made me hate him more when it was lunch hour and as we sat having lunch and chatting under the tree at the corner in the church compound he’d ask “na whose chapattis are these?” Everyone knew, he knew that I was the only one who brought those for lunch every sabbath. He’d keep ranting about how he’d love to have the chapati maker for a wife.

He was generally not good looking. A huge forehead that made his eyes appear deep set, short but not very short and sand paper palms. I’m not sure what job he had or even if he had a job.Ochi loved singing I remember and something else about him is that he was always walking to the pulpit to whisper something in the elders ear, adjust the microphone or pass a piece of paper that read I’m guessing something like “kerry kwa wimbo baada ya sermoni”.Kerry. .I’ll have to mention a little about her in a few.

Kerry, her real name Kerubo was always asking to sing before or after sermon in church and she did one song, one same song every other time-‘safari ya wana israeli’ My siblings and I secretly referred to her as ‘Safari one woman choir’.She had all notes and pitches in her singing and as she sung her voice trembled and her head shook like the way it does with Indians in Bollywood movies. While doing the last chorus Kerry would literally match back to her sit. She had courage. At some point I used to think she wanted to replace Ochi as youth leader. Didn’t work out for her.

I received my letter to join the university and that’s the last year I interacted with Ochi and the last I listened to Kerry’s rendition. I don’t remember missing those two very special youth from my home church. With time I lost interest in our church too. The university changed me. On school holidays I’d go to the nearby English church. I loved it there. People were civilised. The youth leader was well schooled, well groomed ,well brought up – a gentleman. The singing was was on point. Half the church was all youth in their 20 ‘. I had fun on social Sundays, cookery Sundays and never once contemplated going back to the kiswahili church.

It’s been nine years approximately and today when I greeted Ochi, he didn’t do the hand thing. Moments later Kerry was there after him with a boy of about six (judging from the gap between his upper teeth) She exitedly hugged me and I hugged her back, only that I did it in the ‘I didn’t see it coming’manner. The boy was a little bit of Kerry and a little bit of Ochi. Then it hit me . Kerry didn’t want to replace Ochi as youth leader back then as I and I believe a lot others imagined…Kerry wanted Ochi. It did work out for her.


My friend Prudence is a pretender.
When the man comes,
She makes fruits in a blender
But I know her
And I know no fruit warms
Her heart like beer.

My friend loves to show
Some leg,
But when he is around
She keeps her hem low.
She pretends
But she’ll be found.

When he is around
She eats like a vegetarian
Claiming she’s one;
But deep down she craves
For beef.
She is my friend
Don’t I know her?

She skips church
But is up early
When he is around.
He likes it.
She knows he does.

Now he adores her
Wants a walk to the altar.
I want to talk
To tell the tale

Of my pretender friend
But how?

He’s amazing
He deserves better
He deserves me.


He sat next to me. As the bus drove off I got my phone out to play candy crush just like I do on all my trips. Level 586 wasn’t easy but I used just one life to crack it. I almost yelled “yes!” In celebration but was cautious not to be thought crazy and at that moment of caution I raised my face from the phone and looked at the man on the seat next to mine. He was looking outside of the window and dint notice the long glance I was stealing of him. What a perfect jaw line, what a perfect mustache, what an amazing skin tone. .I thought to myself And as the sun through the glass windows hit his face, I adored the horizon that formed at the outline of his nose. Each time he turned to my side I pretended I was looking outside. There is a way one feels they are being watched. I don’t know that science how it works. This one time he takes quite a while turned to my side and I of course pretend to be looking out side. Maybe he too was wondering; what an amazing beauty spot what a gaze …Looking outside got me distracted when my eyes caught the attention of little children waving at our bus. Deep into Africa children were elated just by seeing a bus pass through their village. From a distance I saw them ran towards the bus ,four little boys of between 4 and 8.They stood at the edge of the rough road and waved and shouted and waved and waved. The elation on their faces priceless! As they turned to head to their playground I caught a glimpse of their backsides. The little one as he ran to catch up with the rest I noticed had a string for pants.His gray ‘guavas’ smiled back at me and at the midday sun. They were poor but happy. Poverty indeed is a state of the mind.
I did not notice when he put his cooperate blue card on my lap.
Samwel Gitu
Communications director
Prowess Kenya
Tel: +2547********
it read.
I did not notice when he alighted too. I kept the card and called a year later. Today he dines with me and sleeps next to me. He whose beauty struck me once upon a time. This life! #Shortstorychallenge


I should marry you.

Let’s take a walk
Let’s run even
Let’s have these hours
Before I’m someone

It’s only hours away
But I need us..
I need us to run
For I burn
Just like I know
You do too

Before I say “I do”
Let me have you.
He did the same
With Sue
But I doubt
The pleasure he had
Will match ours!

So let’s go
Have each other
Before morning comes
To remind us
That we both are..

I really should
Marry you.
I’m someone else’s
Someone I care not about
It’s what we do
Marry not for love
Didn’t you?

We belong to each other
Earth and Heaven knows
But we both are
Someone else’s.


I walked out the door,
And fell in love,
With one who promised,
To love me again,
Forgive me I fell in love again.

His beauty I cannot ignore,
It touches my soul and,
Burns my eyes,
I know its mutual,
Forgive me I fell in love with another.

He promises to love me,
Your love for me can never match his,
You see you are human,and he.

So this one last time,
Forgive me.

Hazy Travel

Once in a while, I travel to town just so I can stay sane. Living in the village sets one back a few months psychologically and I’d hate to be that woman. So I’m sitting in a typical Kenyan matatu. I choose the front seat but a disabled man comes and has to sit here… He for reasons only he and the driver know cannot wait for another damn matatu and secure the same seat. I have to move close to the driver or alight. I chose to alight.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a bad person. It’s just that, there was no way I was sitting next to the driver(I have thighs to die for and a fist that can break a nose) and absolutely no way I was going to sit next to the disabled guy. (I know I should be saying physically challenged but this guy… I knew him. I have traveled with him twice before but he was so rude and had demands I couldn’t meet. He’d go like “mama fungulia Mimi hii drisha.” woman get me the window. Now his hands are perfectly made it’s his legs that have a problem. I didn’t open for him the window, I looked at his face then his hands then pursed my lips. He got mad and started telling me “unanidharau, kwani mimi si mwanau…” you are treating me like I’m not a man enou… at which point I sort refuge in my earphones. He threw a lot of tantrums in his mother tongue. I concluded he is a bitter man. He is yet to embrace his condition and is always grumpy and angry at the world. It’s as if the world owes him money, a beautiful wife, children and a wheelchair that can fly to a beach in Malibu. I swore never again to sit next to him.

So I alighted and took the seat behind the driver. Not a very comfortable spot for a 5’6 tall human. We get moving and at some point along the journey, the driver and conductor decide to sell us. Yes, you read that right; they sell us to another matatu that was now truly, honestly and faithfully going to Eldoret. I’m so mad.. I hate being lied to like that let alone being sold(how do women feel when they are exchanged for cows?.. Woshe). I move out fast so I can secure my seat.

I find a middle-aged man there and as I open the door he jumps out so I can sit next to the driver, I decline and say I’m alighting at the next stop. It works. He hops back in and I get my seat. The comfort of this seat is what people who know the meaning call hmmm… orgasmic. I don’t know what that means but a friend once told me it’s like the feeling of chocolate melting in your mouth. Now that’s quite something but not more something than the last bit of eggs on your plate as a kid. I remember back then how we would eat vegetables then save the eggs for last. That last morsel was IT…Those who know know.

The gentleman then falls asleep and I’m so happy he won’t question my not alighting. He wakes up when he hears me tell the driver to stop for me to alight at the Noble hotel that’s about 2kms away now. The driver stops but I change my mind and say “wacha tu nifike town.”  let me just get to the CBD. My sleeping but now awake neighbor quips “Ehehehe.. unaigopa giza? ” you scared of darkness? to which I give him an unsuspected “Hapana, naogopa kwa hiyo giza ntaweza ua mtu.” nop, just concerned I might kill someone in that darkness. “E!” (a very short exclamation he gives). The driver gets the joke and laughs heartily but my friend the sleeper is in shock and keeps looking at my face whenever lights from vehicles in the opposite direction light the windscreen. I’m choking with laughter at his utter disbelief that I, a woman, can actually clobber someone to death.

Hit Me Again


I will not let you
No I won’t
I will not
Let you hit me

You did it once before
And I let you.
I stood there
As you threw
The punches
I did not shed a tear
That maybe made you

I was too hurt to cry
You couldn’t see that.
And you hit me again
And again.
I promise not to let you
Hit me again

Last time, I watched your
You hit me like this like that
Now am ready
Knowing your moves
I’ll hit back

Yes I’ll put up a fight
I’ll do it so well
You’ll wonder if am woman or transgender.
I will punch your stomach
I will scratch your face
I will pull your ears
I will hurt you
I will not scream as I do it
I’ll hit you just like a man would
Yes I Will.

I will

I will not Let you
Hit me Again!


I don’t like
I used to
I used to like
But not anymore.
I don’t
I don’t like people.

Some people are
Most people are
Two faced.
All people are
Pretence itself.

I don’t like people
Men or women
Both I don’t like.
I used to
I used to like
Men and women
Children too
But not anymore.
I don’t like people.

Some people lie
Some others steal
All others watch and do
Do nothing.
I really don’t like.

I don’t like
To lie
I don’t like
to steal
I don’t like
To do nothing.
I really don’t like
To be like people.

Now they dont like
I am not like them.
I don’t like them.
I don’t like people.
I really don’t like
I don’t.

Short Story – Life Might not Give You a Second Chance

Life Might not Give You a Second Chance

It was their anniversary, and Aisha was waiting for her husband Rajiv to show up. Things had changed since their marriage,
the once cute couple couldn’t live without each other had turned bitter.

Fighting over every little things, both didn’t like the way things had changed.
Aisha was waiting to see if Rajiv remembered it was their anniversary!

Just as the door bell rang she ran to find her husband wet and smiling with a bunch of flowers in his hand.
The two started re-living the old days. Making up for fights, then was d plan for champagne,
light music And it was raining outside! It was perfect.

But the moment paused when the phone in the bedroom rang.

Aisha went to pick it up and it was a man. Hello ma’am I’m calling from the police station. Is this Mr Rajiv Mehra’s number?

Yes it is!

I’m sorry maam; but there was an accident and a man died. We got this number from his wallet;
we need you to come and identify his body.

Aisha’s heart sank.!!! She was shocked! But my husband is here with me?

Sorry maam, but the incident took place at 2 pm, when he was boarding the train.

Aisha was about to lose her conscience. How could this happen?!

She had heard about the soul of the person coming to meet a loved one before it leaves!

She ran into the other room. He was not there. It was true! had left her for good!!

Oh God she would have died for another chance to mend every little fight! She rolled on the floor in pain. She lost her chance! Forever!

Suddenly there was a noise from the bathroom, the door opened and Rajiv came out and said Darling, I forgot to tell you my wallet got stolen today.

Let’s start making amends.

No one has a promised tomorrow. Have a wonderful Life with no regrets!

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