In my younger days of life I didn’t get it when people said life is hard. I thought they were being too pessimistic and exaggerative. Today, I don’t blame myself for having thought that way for the mjangos I heard or even overheard saying that. You know some of those mjangos are the ones who paid my fees. So no apologies, I was just naïve. I tell a different tale today however. Like every other mjango who has ever admitted it, my life is hard, but I have seen how hard it has gotten on other people. We all have different issues that push us against the wall and squeeze the hell out of our balls. 
Okay I don’t mean to be unfair here when I say balls. We all have them it’s just that some balls have stood out while others prefer to keep matters indoors. I know that makes some try to imagine how men feel when they talk about pain in the balls. Well, so that we may all be on the same page; it is not ordinary pain. Its pain that makes one want to cry and laugh at the same time. But mostly laughter, which comes out more like a scream and a groan. Okay that’s the initial stages in the first two seconds. But after that mjango, the pain comes crashing like a wrecking ball that has been released from a 90° angle mid-air. That’s when the collaboration of the scream and groan turns into a real cry. Only that the tears of a man well up on his throat instead of his eyes. I’m told real men do cry. So if you want the ladies to know you’re a real man, then mjango, let capillarity take your tears from your throat to your eyes and we shall see how that goes for you. I bet we are on the same page now huh? 
That is how I picture the pain that the hardship of life comes with. It is the kind of pain that makes you want to cry because hey, it’s pain and people do cry when in pain. Though at the same time, it makes you want to giggle a little because you realise that that is what the normalcy of life is all about. Like you unconsciously expected it to happen then it happens and it leaves you saying, “This is just great!” “Another scandal…” or “Another loss…” or “An extra expense…” or “Another debt…” It goes on. When something happens in a way to add an ounce of stress on me, I don’t know about you but I find myself saying, “See, life has once again found the perfect angle to kick me right between my legs! How nice!” I’m sure we find ourselves saying something similar to that or even worse by the way. Hehe.
Anyway it shouldn’t go without saying that there is always somebody having a harder kick, or a tighter pinch – than us. Not in the manner to say that we don’t have problems of our own, but simply to say that we can console ourselves a bit with that. Seeing someone take a harder blow than us should make us just a little more grateful if not entirely. Like the way Mwaniki, a bodaboda rider I met yesterday told me. I actually learnt in the middle of our conversation that he is not really a bodaboda operator. He is more than that. He just happens to have three motorbikes, one of which he already sold. So yea, he is a business man and owns four clubs and a booze vending shop not far away from where I currently call home. See the way people are making money in ways you will never know by only looking at them?
I’m not one to start conversations with strangers. But it was a Sunday for Chrissake!
“Mahn I’m telling you I have realised how people have greater problems in this life.” I said. I can’t tell what triggered me to say that. Though it sure did prove to be a good place to start.
“You don’t know what you’re saying brother,” He said. I’m perplexed by now trying not to let it get into my head that he is actually saying I don’t know anything about life. 
Have you met such people? Mjangos who scrap everything you say only for them to give you their version – which to them is better than your side of things. Or mjangos who just want to talk and not let you talk back; showing you how much they know. When you show a loss of interest they can even literally pull you back to the spot they want you to stand. When you insist on exiting the conversation, they get offended. I see that sometimes with mjangos in campus who approach chics over-confidently. What they don’t know is that they are being over-confident about dry jokes, indecent compliments and pointless stories they think are killer vibes. Oh ladies, how do you put up with all that? Especially if you’re not one with a tongue full of stoppers. I can assure you as a man that that is the only remedy for such niggas. Hey I haven’t being feeding on stoppers. I just know things.
So I later realised that he was not being a bad talk-mate. That is just his way of saying he has a good example of the stated point. My mama taught me how to understand people aye.
He continued, “You know I own some clubs…” It was hard to believe at first since we were on a two wheel vehicle ridden by an owner of a few clubs. Anyone else who sees something odd there? Though now it’s not odd anymore. It’s just life, the kicker of balls eh? 
“And in my clubs I have seen men who literally prefer to sleep there than go home.” He pauses. I presume he is giving me time to sink that in as if it’s a horror movie which makes use of suspense to spice up the horror. By the way he has a Kikuyu and sometimes a Meru-ish accent that makes his narration captivating. 
“Why is that?” I ask while curious to know where the hardship of life and men sleeping in clubs connect.
“When they are asked to leave, they beg to have the management allow them to stay till the last cock crows.”
At that time we are riding behind a white Toyota Land Cruiser that’s being driven so slowly and pettily. The driver doesn’t seem to care when Mwaniki hoots to have her drive like someone who is mindful of other road users with vehicles without roofs – who are in a hurry not to get rained on. I said the driver is a she right? I didn’t mean to imply that female drivers are don’t cares. Someone else did.
Quote Mwaniki as he finally overtakes that white machine on wheels, “That one must be a woman. When a woman gets her own money and worse, gets hold of power, she becomes untouchable! You cannot tell her anything.” 
After he overtakes I say, “The windows are properly tinted, you cannot know who is driving.” In effort to try make him go easy on the women agenda. 
“There is a policewoman in the city where I have one of my clubs who visits quite frequently when she is on duty. She’s ever serious and strict. She tells me, “Mwaniki when you see me here don’t look at my boobs, look at the crown I’m wearing.” I had started laughing at the mention of boobs. 
“That is serious bana!” I said while still in stitches. 
“And they are the reason why the men I’m telling you about who prefer to spend the night in clubs. They realised when it’s too late that they married a fellow man. ” I go silent on that one. That is not a laughing matter.
He continues, “It’s not a joke. I know them and some are my friends. They are frequenters in the club. And it’s not as if these guys don’t have money. These are men who pay bills of more than ten thousand! Who buys drinks worth ten thousand in not one and not two nights consecutively? Driving powerful automobiles? Definitely not poor men! And yet, they are afraid of going back to their own houses when the sun sinks in the horizon. Why?” 
There is a brief silence between us. Only the wind blowing against our motioning two wheel ride speaks unashamed.
I say in response, “Because they married their fellow men.” I felt cold in my chest when I said that.
Maybe because that was when it was fully processed in me what amount of shit that could be for one man. Maybe because that is how men who go through such feel when they realise that going back home at night would only brew a storm they cannot calm. What can be crazier than that in this life? What is more devastating than a man who has been stripped off his manly power in a family by the one he calls his wife? A wife who has ingested the same amount of ego as a man thus making herself, though maybe unconsciously – the man of the house. These men go about their businesses probably commanding respect among their employees or colleagues. Though if only they knew that these men are scared lions that are reduced to mere cats when they land on the doorstep of their houses. 
“Brother! There is nothing as bad as that. That is now a real problem.” Mwaniki says. We stop by his wines and spirits shop to unload a box of booze he had bought.
You think you are having it hard mjango? Okay. Nobody can feel your pain in the same way you do. At the same time, nobody has the right to say that what you’re going through is nothing. Though take your eyes off yourself for a moment and look around. You will always spot someone and you will sincerely find yourself saying, “I thought I was having it rough. Whoa!” Eventually, you will cheer yourself up a notch higher because, like Mwaniki, you will have found a new definition of a real problem.
He calls it a real problem? I call it a kick in the balls!


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Written by The Mjango

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johnny javier
johnny javier
5 years ago

Cool stuff

johnny javier
johnny javier
5 years ago

Nice stuff… Brother