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Short ‘first’ stories! (3-in-1) November 12, 2007

Posted by modoathii in anniversary, firsts, the good times.


The blog thirsty dogs raced through the blogosphere in search. They were searching for someone. Someone who had been lost for a few weeks.

They found him sitting under a huge Mugumo tree.

Modo-inspired was seated there, putting his next post together. A post that was inspired by the sapling that was sprouting right next to him. A post delayed by circumstances he couldn’t control.

Indeed both the sapling and the delay, fell victim to the pleasant laws of Mother Nature.

(This was written way back…like waaaaaaay, back before something pleasant happened so please forgive the ‘history’.)

As I fast approach the anniversary of my very first ‘first’ my mind wonders to the many firsts I have had in this notably interesting life. Whoever said life is boring is dead wrong. There have been many interesting firsts and today I highlight a few that made a difference.

I’d already posted about the very first first…so now here are other firsts (among many) that shaped who I be, and likewise, said who I be.

First day in Kindergarten!


My dad looked up from the paper he was so diligently reading and looked at my mum.

“Enough what?”

“Modo is old enough. Next week we are taking him to kindergarten.”

“Why the sudden rush?”

“I can’t stand that kid around the house anymore”

As she says this, the door bursts opens and in runs this hip-high ‘bubble’. It’s a cute little boy with chubby chicks. A very well-fed cute chubby boy with a cute tummy (my older siblings told me I had Kwashiakor, I would have cried if I knew what that was).

When you’re a child everything about you is cute.

But not the dirt/mud that you now have all over the new Six Million Dollar Man tee-shirt which mummy bought you that you cried your lungs out to wear not more than ten minutes ago. And after five years of this, ‘cute’ wasn’t a word mum wanted to hear with regard to this…this…THIS ‘cute’ dirty filthy chubby boy.

Oh that cute dirty filthy chubby boy was me. And I had a present for mummy. I knew this present would wipe the face of disgust off her face. Dad just looked at me quietly. Something nagged him.

“Mummy, I have a present.”

I shuffled across mum’s clean floor with sludge. She wasn’t amused. But I didn’t notice.

I opened my hands to reveal her present.




I can’t remember the exact order but, as I had predicted, the disgust was off her face but never expected the horror that replaced it.

“Aw mum, you scared the frog.” as I chased after the ‘cute’ hopper.

“COME HERE!” as SHE angrily chased after her ‘cute’ son.


My dad just smiled. “Attaboy” he thought.

“That’s why he has to go to school. Tomorrow if need be, (in mother tongue) He’s going. Period.”

Fathe just shrugged his shoulders and continued reading the funnies, especially Bogi Benda. Hmmm, funny how my dad resembled Bodi Benda. Funny not, how I was pinched when i mentioned it.

And with that the coming week I found myself going to school (kindergarten) for the first time. Aw it sucked!

Waking up in the cold cold morning wasn’t my cup of tea. And the one I had with jammed and BlueBanded toasted didn’t taste great that early in the morning either.

So there I was dragging my feet to this here kindergarten. I walked in and I was like, oh great, a sand pit.

Mum wasn’t too amused. She could see many ‘bonding with OMO’ days.

I saw slides. Mum saw ‘bonding with needles’ days to patch up the torn shorts.

I saw beds. Mum saw ‘peaceful afte’. That was the first time I saw her smile that day.

She smiled again.

“Oh look, Modo.”

Oh hell NO! HELL NO!

“It’s Cecilia.”

Oh I know who she is. And there’s no way I’m going to the same school with her. I don’t like her.


I tried fighting my mum, but jeez if you’ve been carried for nine months and stressed her out for five others, there was no way you’d have won this battle.

I was swept off my tiny little ‘cute’ feet and shoved into the equally muscular teacher’s arms. Not cute.


I just never liked that girl. Period. Throw me in a pond with all creepy crawlies. Deny me candy. Heck even swing me 50 nightmares on BOGOF, but don’t make me sit next to her.

Well, it was a nightmare day.

I did get to sit with her.


(I know she’s a spleng right now wherever she is)

My first day in colle!

It’s drizzling and I’m half-soaked.

The reason I’m only half-soaked is because I’m wearing this trench coat. It’s white and quite long. When you walk in the wind you get to feel like Superman. On my head is this home-made hand-stitched top hat. Emblazoned on it is the intimidating X-TRA MADNESS! The missing tooth drives the point home.

The hat is pulled down low and it’s half covering my eyes. I’m bouncing across town (looking for the windy spots) like I own it. Heck, I was born in Nairobi. This is my town. The walk from Old Nation to colle on the other side of town takes 30 minutes, instead of the usual 20 minutes. I waste ten ‘coz I’m walking slowly and like those cowboy oteros who’ve just ridden into town. Too bad I had to park my ‘horse’ across town.

I walk into the paint-shy gate of colle. Above it is the equally paint-shy name of the college. KENYA POLYTECHNIC!

This is my first day, and I am not going to ask for directions. First I’m a man, directions are for suckers (and that’s not why I’m terrible in them) and, two, oteros don’t ask for directions.

Let me make wambui proud with this diversion…clarification rather. ‘Otero” is sheng for “starring”. In an english sentence, “the starring’in the movie is Rambo”…In a sheng sentence “Otero wa movie ni Rambo”….

Well, I did know where I was going. To pull this “Clint Eastwood” walk I had done a recon the week before.

I sauntered into the compound.

I could see them staring. I could feel them too. I also heard them.

Thinking back…BOY I LOOKED LIKE A DOOFUS! and they said it.

But hey it was me, Modo, I made my own fashion. Giorgio Armani and the rest weren’t worried.

Our class was on the 3rd floor.

Oteros don’t walk on stairs. I zip to that floor and pause to catch my breath. Oteros don’t pant.

I walk into class.

Ooops, I am late. Guys are already in the middle of the lesson. Eish. and the teacher looks harsh. At the back are these mean-looking guys. They look seasoned. Boy, this is going to be a hard year I thought.

Otero-ism disappears!

Ehm, meekly I ask,

“Excuse me, I’m a first year.”

“Across the corridor” the lecturer (in colle they are called lecturers not teachers) replies.


I mwagika out of that class gladly and walk towards the other class.

I walk in. Lecturer is ALSO in. Kwani, the guys sleep here.

And, what time was I meant to be here really.

The lecture stops. The murmuring stops. Everything freezes. All eyes are on me.

Remember, I’m still in my white trench coat and my ridiculous (oh now it’s ridiculous? That’s how it is)…ehm, my er…’amazing’ top hat.

I walk towards the lecturer who swallows hard. If I had heightened senses, i would have smelt the second of fear.

“Excuse me, I’m a first year”

The teacher moves back. Looks at me head to toe.

He takes in the ‘top hat’. He takes in the mysterious face. He takes in the ankle-long trench coat. He takes in the muddy shoes. (It was raining and I’m from Limuru…WHAT?)

He asks me a question I will never forget,

“Are you sure?”

Class bursts out laughing. Nervously though, because they stop when I look at them.

Wassap with everyone?

“Hey, i dhot you were a dhad year. hokay, sit ndown but unjue umesherewa saaana, Watu wanakujaga eight thartey.” (good ol’ Mr njeru)

It was 9.20 in the a.m.

I turn and look for an empty seat. I see a few guys placing their bags on the chairs. I don’t need to be David Caruso to know they don’t want me to sit there.

I locate an empty seat next to this wimp of a looking guy. He cowers to the corner. I remove my hat and place it on the table. Then I sit down.

I say hi to my ‘deskmate’.

“Niaje! Mi ni Modo, we ni?”

No reply.

“Vipi! Naitwa Modo. Jina lako ni?”

Still no reply. Jeez, What the F*?

I change tact…

“Hi, how are you? I’m Modo. And you are?”

“Hi. I’m fine. My name is (bleep)”


(up to today one guy still believes I had a dagger under my trench coat)

My first interview!

People know that you have to dress up for an interview. Some hogwash of how the first ten seconds can make or break you.

I never subscribe to this, but this day I must admit, I subscribed. But we had to compromise.

I’d never worn a suit before, well, except during mathe’s funeral. And for that to happen, I was given the longest speech ever. But there was no way this day I was wearing a suit. I’m an artist for crying out LOUD!

Compromise. Real shirt. Real trouser. Polished shoes AND socks. Note. I only had one real shirt. One real trouser. One shoe I could polish. I had like 10 pairs of jeans, countless teeshirts, many checked shirts. But only one of everything ‘real’.

So this day I was looking the sharpest. Though no one noticed. Why?

I knew why.

I was sharp indeed, only in my book. I mean, if you constantly wear torn jeans and rugged tees and equally rugged sneakers, a shirt, a trao and polished shoes is VERY sharp. But to the outside world…KAWAIDA kama Tusker mbili baridi.

So a ‘sharp’ looking Modo walked into Adapt carrying his portfolio of the best works he had done. I was out to impress.

I walked to the receptionist who was wondering who this sharp (smile), hot (smiler), amazing (smilest) looking accountant (frown) was.


“I’m here for the graphics design position”.

Oh! Please have a seat.

I sat there at the reception and waited…and waited….and waited…and waited. Some fly fly chick finally came and announced shocking news.

“I’m sorry, the Creative Director can’t see you today coz he’s in an important meeting. Please come back tomorrow same time.”




Does this chick know I only have, (let’s count) ONE real shirt. ONE real trouser. ONE shoe I can polish. Okay socks I had many pairs, but WOOLLY ones! You’d look silly in Limuru with silk socks, anyway.

So what did I wear the next day…

The only clean clothes I had.

One size 36 jean trouser (I was a size 32 then) which I held up with suspenders (no jean has buttons for suspenders so at this point we should note that I had sewn on the buttons)

Please note too that I usually wore this…THIS trouser (with it’s suspenders on the inside) to coverup the bad work I had done with the buttons.

But this was an important day, so I had to f**k…sorry, tuck in the oversize shirt.

So there I was the next day waltzing again towards the receptionist (in a suspended jean trouser that made me look like a clown, with a checked wooly shirt, and cleaner kicks) who was today wondering who is THIS (frown) funny-looking (frowner) chokora (frownest).


“I’m hear for the…”

“I know. Just what happened between yesterday and today?” (dear lil Mary, JK remember her?)

Well, I did see the CD (unfortunately) looking like a clown. But this is why I like advertising.

It’s not about how I look, it’s what I can do (just know there’s no way in hell, they’ll let you meet the clients)

So I got the job!

My first job!

And that was the beginning of the end.



1. aegeus - November 12, 2007

aiiii! looong like this….positioning myself….back to read…firsts….

and theeeeeeen? first to disappear too.

2. bobby - November 12, 2007

mmmmmmm interesting hope your parents proud of you and where you are now!!! your beginings seem quite humble i might had … we have some things in common. Of course i will link this to my site zeen

well, my pops is. if my mum had seen me then (God rest her soul) she would have had a fit, my granma was a strong woman…hehehe…. yep, we came from far…and feel free…cheers.

3. Kirima - November 12, 2007

Very amusing stories there, I can clearly picture you with the clown attire it would fit very well with your ‘puffs’ LOL!
Sini there are still a few more Firsts we need to hear about like your First Kiss, First Love, First ahem!…….

ah, hizo zingine ni za siku ingine banaaaaa….

4. bryjoe - November 12, 2007

roflmao!you had me in stitches on the interview, seroisly ati you wore a suspender with your jeans?

hope you got your fashion/warddrobe manenos sorted like now 🙂

yep, that day i knew i wasn’t gonna get the job. that was the fashion of then. i’ve always had issues with fashion though…but we are good now, thanks to my consultants kule gikosh (now on the streets)

5. pilato - November 12, 2007

Amerudi tena..karibu Modo tena modo..will be back kama si sasa ni sasa hivi

i’m back. bana that forced hiatus wasn’t the best.

6. aegeus - November 12, 2007

heheheh!! very amusing set of firsts. as kirima says, where is more? eh? hehehe!!! very well told as per kawa.

thanks, lakini hizo zingine…tulizeni, they need..er… yeah…

7. Farmgal - November 12, 2007

Is that why you’re a clown? Nice read…tell us more!

erm, that’s a hard question….thanks.

8. threetypesofcrazy - November 12, 2007

okay, I am off to get a cup of tea. I will need to digest this one vizuri.

And you are back to blogging…………….about time too.

sikupenda kwangu kuwa nilihepa… enjoy ya cup o’ tea with a spot of milk

9. Betty - November 12, 2007

I agree with Kirish n Agiasi..hizo first zingine ulete haraka!

Ok now that hat of yours made me happy..eish you should post a ka
picha like this coz wat i have in mind aint pretty lol na kwanza that rain coat..heh wacha tu.

Haha suspenders on jeans kwanza fungwad on the inside? Only you.

that was the best hat ever…it made my days and spoilt for many…i’ll tafuta picha and weka it.

10. kip - November 12, 2007

lol ..lol @ ati thats was the only trouser you had huh? lol

i still operate only one real trouser.

11. threetypesofcrazy - November 12, 2007

I want to know what Cecilia did.
Otherwise I will assume she was your first love and you are therefore the composer of that famous song “Cecilia”

no bana i just had this dislike for her…don’t know why, don’t know how. but later we became cool. rather i became cool.

12. Gishungwa - November 13, 2007

LMAO dude your firsts are hilarious.

aren’t all firsts? some can be embarrassing too

13. modoathii - November 13, 2007

shucks, wordpress has rearranged my post…ama ni mimi na network yangu?

14. mudskippah - November 13, 2007

the end?


15. Kirima - November 13, 2007

@Betty if you think the hat was funny you should have seen him with the Modopuffs, Hillarious pity I don’t have a picture I would have sent it prontol

kwanza where are those pix

16. Tweety - November 13, 2007

now which part of tis story is short?????? LMAO i’ll be back after i read it.

erm, the short one

17. egm - November 13, 2007

What firsts! Bring on more!

there are young ones amongst us…

18. sisbigbones - November 14, 2007

Thanks a lot Modo, now I can’t get that image of you in jeans and suspenders out of my head. And I even have a face to go with it. You’re hilarious…LOL.

that’s the wrong face…and trust me that image you can never get….

19. jadekitten - November 14, 2007


Yes, Modo, I remember Mary. Good ol’ Mary. I wonder where she’s at now. Reminds me of my interview at Adapt. Kwanza with MaBaker. I’m even shocked that I thought she was nice…and that I actually GOT the job. LOL.

i quote Cars ‘ah, that devil woman…” ma baker turned out alright hehehehe….after she kaziad us payrises, with the assistance of…er, sikutaji, so sitaendelea….

20. Wanja - November 15, 2007

I was about to send out some “modo” seeking missiles!!! what took you so long?!! I am starved of visanga!! Thanks for sharing, First day in Kindergarten..good memories, First Day in Colle..Felt small, First Interview..First question was are you sure you college? Dah!!

LOL! I can imagine….hahahah…niko niko stop the WMDs….

21. frankie - November 15, 2007

welcome back! i was smiling all the way through this blog..
u come from Limuru? i schooled there, and when i left i still had the habit of wearing 3 sweaters all the time…been losing it though..

he he..ati when u went to colle u had on the Clint Eastwood look: long white trench coat and hat..modo, ati u were trying to set ur own fashion, Armani style…

thank you, i’m back. limuru ndio home. the njeves bado sijawai izoea. armani? amini style yangu ilikuw…eish…wacha tu.

22. frankie - November 15, 2007

and i see u have been watching CSI Miami…don’t I like Caruso( code name Horacio, right?)

back in the day when telly behaved i was a fan…

23. frankie - November 15, 2007

and ya, tell us about ur first “everything else” including ahem…

never ever!

24. Klara - November 16, 2007

Umetoka mbali..LOL

na bado tunaenda mbali…

25. boyfulani - November 17, 2007

i printed this ish n read it though an environment class. nacheka mpaka saa hizi. the colle thingy amused me haha

chunga usipatikane.

26. Wambui - November 17, 2007

Thanks for the translation…you do not want to know what I thought an ‘otero’ was…all I saw was white trench coat, Limuru, mud, and thought of the guys I’d see with their socks pulled over their pants when walking to the bus stop during the rainy season, then unrolling them once they got to town! And you wonder why people were intrigued when you walked in? V. Funny!

ati you thought HWAT!?! hahha…

27. Bomseh - November 19, 2007

That first day in Colle…. Ama you are the one who inspired that OMO advert where a student’s sweater is faded and he is asked, “For how many years have you been in formu wan?”

hahahah, by the way, it was a TOSS commercial. and no i didn’t inspire it. maybe i inspired better fashion desighners. hahaha.

28. Seasons - November 21, 2007

The first day in Colle is reaaaally funny! Top hat, Trench Coat and Muddy shoes? And feeling an Otero? Yap..thats the only way you could have pulled that off.

We all came form Mbali

29. Klara - November 22, 2007


30. frankie - November 22, 2007

i have jus remeber anotha day i went to tao wearing my usual 3 sweaters (i was in uniform) plus legwarmers..mpaka a chockosh told me

” Nairobi si baridi vile…”
and Modo, i know u are secretly dying to tell us of ur other “firsts” so why don’t u make it ur next blog?

31. bantutu - November 27, 2007

Aki Domozz si io part ya kutinga…ati interview imerarua…

32. crystalballs - December 6, 2007

Um, i don’t remember any of my firsts…well, maybe i do remeber one…yummy! so thaaaaat’s what otero means? don’t mind me, mi ni baabi wa mabaabi – naskia at some point tulibatizwa maodinari, au? I can type it – but u don’t want to hear me actually try to say it…!

33. larrymads - December 11, 2007

And here I was thinking am the only one who had one REAL trouser and shirt the first time I went for the first job interview. But then again, there have been so many firsts! Damn, I forget.

And to think you got the job, woooooooooooow!

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