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Today the music died January 28, 2008

Posted by modoathii in love, mathogothanio, sad, tragedy.

She always had a song in her heart. She walked with a joyous spring in her step.
Her eyes danced sweetly to the unheard tune. When she smiled, it was a work of magic. And when she spoke, you could heart the melody in her voice. If she wished you ‘good morning’ you dang sure you were gonna have a good morning.

But not this morning.

There was no spring in her step. When she tried to smile it was nothing but a crack on the face. She walked without going anywhere. She looked but wasn’t seeing. She heard but didn’t listen. And when she talked she said nothing. We were sunk. The jolliest person in our small town wasn’t happy. After that, neither were our mornings, noons and nights.

Why was jolly Maryella sad?

It would be unhappy months before we knew what had taken away the music in her. Rather whom.

He was 8 years her senior and she had never loved another as she did him. How the met was in the usual way…

“Hallo, er…er…eh…ya…um…” he mumbled.

“Hehe” she giggled shyly in reply.

“Ehem” He would clear his throat an d gather what was left of his courage and live to fight another day.

She just stood there and blushed. The music though loud was faint to her. It was the 70s and this hunk of a man dressed very much like the BeeGees, only many shades darker, had walked up to her wanting to dance. Their eyes had met across the dance floor through the afros. She watched with that smile we had so come to love as he tripped his way nervously to her side.

He looked cool. But was nowhere near cool at that moment. She was flattered. A man was actually sweating over her. And for once, it wasn’t because he had had to fight another interested party. In those days ‘mating’ was brutal. The birds had the mating dances, they had the fights.

He never said much that night. Neither did she. Actually, none of them had to. The unspoken in their eyes said it all. Wherever they slept that night, each to themselves, had the first of many sweetest dreams of each other…


Clearly never attempt to write a post while feeling like trash. It’s Monday, I’m feeling like trash. Look like trash. Food tastes like it came from the trash. And I’m writing stuff that should be condemned to the trash. Okay, not trash TRASH…

Forgive me but I will continue the story of Maryella, the lady who always made our days good, the lady who had a song in her heart, the song that stopped playing one sad day and never returned, when I have the heart.

Shucks it has a sad ending, so who wants to complete it anyway…

Oh great, I’m feeling the same, though my future isn’t written yet, so my song will return…

As for now, as we would fondly say when we were kids…I’M FEELING MATHOGOTHANIO!

I really need the couch!


Short changed January 23, 2008

Posted by modoathii in archive, TZedi.


Vipi kaka teksi?

Zii bro, sisi tuko besht.

Aaah, kaka braza teksi hii hapa. Na mwaonekana hamna gari.

Sawa msee, ngapi?

Elfu kumi!

Bana fanya kitu?

Sawa, elfu nane.


We ‘jomp’ into the teksi and the guy who hooked us up with the taxi comes over to our window.

Mko freshi kaka?

Tuko timam.

Sasa braza vipi?

Where we are from when someone asks ‘niaje?’ you gather he wants a tip for hooking you up with a ride. Like Kamjesh. The guys who ‘ask’ for 10/20/30 bob from every mathree that picks anyone from ‘their’ stage. Or the watchie who ‘asks’ for a ‘pao’ for ‘watching over’ your car as you go ‘dunda’.

I try as much as possible to ignore him. Which is kinda hard considering I was the guy he was communicating with. My D minus swahili/slang was way better than the one my pals couldn’t speak. So by default I became ‘translator’.

“Wee, you guys hook this jamaa up with something” I ask my pals.

My pals just gesture that they don’t got nothing (sic) and they care zilch

“Ras”, the ‘kamjesh’ pleads with me, “vipi braza nipe kitu.”

Frustrated and eager to rid us of my fellow ‘ras’ I dig into my pocket and unleash a hundred bob. I give it to him.


Ni hiyo tu man.


And we drive off leaving the guy pissed.

Now, it’s like this, if we were in Nai, Kenya for that matter, this would have been a major score for the ‘kamjesh’, but we were in Dar, a hundred bob in TZ is waaaaay less than 10 bob Kenya money (sic).

Not enough for a cuppa tea!

Hey, so I have issues with exchange rates.

The unwanted! January 8, 2008

Posted by modoathii in peace.

I’m sitting in my house.
Listening to the many disgruntled Kenyans on the streets.
Listening to the flames that consume shops of hardworking ‘privileged’ Kenyans set ablaze by their fellow ‘under-privileged’ Kenyans.
Listening to the gunshots I hope are coming from the crowd dispersers.
They instead are from the crowd that refuses to be dispersed.
Listening to my heart beating loudly in my mouth.

It’s just a matter of time before they come.
Bearing gifts of mass destruction.
Not Energizer-powered.
But they will keep on burning and burning and burning.
They aren’t the visitors I have long hoped would come for tea.
These ones are instead coming for me.

They are coming like thieves in the night.
Only because of a thief who stole in broad daylight.

Before that fateful day, we were all Kenyans,
now, it is just us and the rest of the Kenyans.
A fine line drawn by a fellow who will sleep safely tonight.
And for many a night.
While for me yesterday was probably my last safe night.

Tonight, here they come!

The first line of defense is overrun like it never was. Every night for the past 21 months I have trusted that green gate to keep me and my countable possessions safe. Not tonight. Tonight…Tonight…tonight, it lets me down. Rather they run it down. They don’t see Pinky Pinky in the corner. Her usually bright colours unseen in the night. She can’t help me.

They are here!

All that stands between me and the Kuyo blood-thirsty goons is my second line of defence. A flimsy wooden door with a latch as weak as the trust I have in the government. And of course there’s my duvet. For years, since I watched my first horror movie as a wee laddie, I have trusted the safe sanctuary that a blanket/duvet accorded me.

But this isn’t a movie, though it is horror.

Outside, they speak in a tongue I had long admired and had even started learning. I smile as I remember my good friend who insisted that the British named a juicy red fruit/vegetable because of them. His story goes that the Brits were packing the fruit/vegetable in boxes when one rolled in the direction of the onlooking locals. One man picked it up, walked up to them and asked in the local’s dialect ‘na hii je?’. The British were excited! Behold, the tomato!

The smile disappears when I make out what the murderous crowd is saying.

First comes the KICK!
Then the CRACK!
Followed swiftly by the CRASH!
And close behind is the SCREAM that comes from within.

A few seconds later I’m looking into their fiery eyes. All I see is murder. Blue or otherwise. I see death. I relinquish my last defense. My prized duvet. I had spent 5k on it. But that is quite irrelevant right now. I can’t see but I hear them grabbing my ‘first born’. Oh no. My 21″ inch Hitachi TV that had relayed the news of the theft and the ‘murders’ and chaos that followed would give breaking news of hundreds killed (including me) to A N Other.

They look at me menacingly.
I look at them innocently.
Their pangas and machetes gleam in the light from the fiery torches.
My eyes give a false sense of fire in me. It’s just the reflection of the flaming torches.

They ask me a question in their tongue of which I can easily reply in their tongue, and save a life, mine. But I don’t. I defiantly stand and ask in my own language…

‘Ni kii andu? Ni kii murenda?”

I get my answer. The ‘leader’ lifts his panga. The others follow suit and they aim for my neck, back, head, chest, legs…

That would have been my fate had I not moved out of that volatile ‘hood two months before the farce of an election.

Now, here I am in safe Nairobi West. The high high west. Sipping on my vodo watching the news. From Sky, BBC and Aljazeera to KTN, a ricey NTV and a biased Citizen. Shocking news of Kenyans across the country being slaughtered and their houses burnt by their own neighbours.

Vodka evaporates, but not the tears that roll down my cheeks as I see the story of a person who turned on the neighbour, set her house on fire and chased them like dogs. Yet they have been friends living in harmony, helping each other with sugar and salt, for many years

We’ve lived together as brothers and sisters for so long, so why are we letting a few fellows who don’t seem to care for us, except when elections approach, mess everything up? It’s no longer about who or how they won, it’s now about peace!

I wish you all a peaceful and harmonious year.