You see, there are four types of Kenyans: those who were born and raised in Nairobi; those who were born out of Nairobi and came to Nairobi by bus; those who have never set foot in the city under the sun; and then there are those that were born in Nairobi and raised out of Nairobi. I am the latter.
Disclaimer! When a I start a piece with the phrase “You see,” folk tend to think that I am about to to talk about sex. That I am about to corrupt their minds with profanities/iniquities/irreverence/blasphemy/sacrilege. No, not this time. Well, maybe a little. Okay, just to be on the safe side, if you are reading this from a synagogue, it would be best if you saved it for later because I am just about to say the word “SEX” and your phone might be consumed like the fire from the burning bush. The Moses story, remember ?
There is nothing unique about being a Nairobian. It is people born and raised in Nairobi, and those who came to Nairobi by bus for university education and started acting like they were born on the sidewalk of Moi avenue that make a big deal out of it. There is nothing unique about it. Nothing out of the ordinary. It is like tearing a tea bag and emptying its contents into a mug of steaming hot water rather than putting the tea bag whole into the water as the colonizers told you to. But the folk mentioned above make a big deal out of it. They make it sound like people beyond the capital city’s borders eat ugali while they eat sima.
So yesternight, I was talking to a lady friend of mine—a Nairobian—born and raised. Mama watoto, wherever you are, take it easy. Relax. She is just a friend. So amid the chit chat and a wave of crying, laughing, and winking emojis, I told her that I happened to pass by Ruaka sometime back and that the women in that side of town are marinated! Her response got me thinking. She said, and I quote: “Hawa wanawake watakukunywa hii Nairobi utabaki ukipiga stories za kua conned. Shauri yako” (insert laughing emoji before hawa wanawake and shauri yako). My response was that at least I would have a story to tell my readers. And she laughed, even more, saying that she will be there to wipe my tears when shit goes down. Wipe my tears? When I thought campus girls had drained it all.
Anyway, I couldn’t sleep for a minute after that. Not because a battalion of Nairobi women were at my door chanting a war song but because her responses hit hard. She is a Nairobian, born and raised. When she speaks, you listen. She has probably seen it all.
So I’m here to inquire. Innocently. How exactly do these women “drink” you? Yaani kukukunywa. Do they use a straw? Do they drink you from a calabash? Do they lick you as a cat does?
When a man or a woman leaves her old folk behind, jumps into a shuttle bound for the city to make something good out of their lives, they are full of hope and anticipation for what lies ahead. When their feet touch the ground at Railways or Afya center, a bag in one hand and a sack of maize in the other, they hope for the best. A flashy car; a house with a gazebo in some leafy suburb; a small and happy family with an ugly dog. You name it. But before you find their bearing, a rogue cart pusher unapologetically pokes you in the ribs as he pushes his cart through the crowd. Then it dawns on you that it is a rough world. A strange world. A world where women “drink” men.
Do you have any compelling stories you want to share? Reach out, and I will give you a call.
Life happened in the last couple of days, and some of the scheduled interviews were delayed. I hope to talk to you soon.