(As told by my Roommate and my Nigga. Reader discretion is advised.)
“You want to see life? Then go to campus.”
That slogan runs in my mind as I stand outside our hostels at 10.18pm on Friday. The pavements crisscrossing in between the three hostel buildings was the ring for those who knew what Friday night really means. The yellow street lights gives the grounds a daylight view that says “The night is still young and so are you.” Tempting right? As if that is not enough temptation, I was soberly standing by one pillar in the company of one of God’s very own beautiful species. She is the center of my attraction with her blonde braids glittering along with the night lights, her genuine wide smile and darling eyes that is only designed for me for the night. I call her Goldilocks. She is one of the reasons my roommate makes fun of me saying, “Naona unabadilisha badilisha kama gari!” Fortunately or unfortunately, we didn’t have plans for the night as it was quite obvious for everyone that was out and wild at the time. Just so you know, we only got drunk in shots of laughter, teases and smiles.
But that was not the temptation mjango. It was not until I heard wild cheers and laughter from the staircase not far away that my center of attraction was compromised. She must have noticed by the way. A man is still a man you know? I had to look and I was not going to stop looking anytime soon. Though I underwent some balancing issues with here and there, I managed to feed my curiosity that was throwing killer tantrums within me – with my eyes.
I turned my head and lo and behold! An army of girls who were dressed to kill or maybe I should say, who were barely dressed – was descending down the stairs. I think right now would be a good time to start playing the song ‘Merimela’ if you still have it somewhere. (Hehe). Some songs like that should never get old you know. Whether dressed or barely dressed, they all looked glamorous as far as I can remember. I’m calling a spade a spade in case anyone would want to raise issues. If their objective was to slay, then I was already a victim. They descended down the stairs carefully not to get dirty yet the party had not yet began. Or rather careful not to get themselves exposed, for it was not the designated place to get exposed. Just saying.
“Hey I’m here, not there!” Goldilocks said.
Guiltily turning my head and lifting my fallen jaw, “Enyewe it’s Friday. Hao ndo wamejua sasa.”
Giggling, “Si tuliitwa bash na hatukuenda.”
“Ai! Hio bash naishuku.” Rubbing my overgrown beard.
Then there was an awkward moment there, “Lakini si we’re still having fun sindio?”
We laughed together in consolation, “Yea yea we are.”
Twelve hours later, I’m woken up by the sound of boiling water. He wakes up earlier than me and makes tea we both partake for breakfast. He switches off the socket and notices my movement in bed. I sleep at the lower decker. He looks back and sees one eye of mine open. I’m halfway towards being disappointed since it felt too early to wake up. He is my roommate.
He has a Kalenjin accent, so do the honors for yourself as you read any part of his conversation.
He chuckles, “Hujachoka kulala? Wewe kweli ukona kipaji.”
In my mind I’m thinking that this guy wants to make me start laughing and talking yet I have a sleep deficit to pay. I fought with my conscience on whether to wake up or sleep some more. I was hungry yet a cup of hot cocoa and slices of bread spread with zesta awaited me at the table.
I decided to spare some words to make him know that I wanted no disturbance, “Weh jamaa wacha nilale kiasi.”
He laughs as he pours hot water into a cup. He has this cheeky laughter that ever sounds suspicious. Whenever he laughs when I’m not, I find myself checking what he is finding humorous on me first. I ignore and continue with my attempts for the final touches of sleep. I hear him place the jug on the table and the laughter multiplies. It almost starts to get irritating. Thank the creator for not giving him a laughter like mine. A loud, boisterous, uncontrollable laughter. Had it been like so, I’d wake up and begin quarrelling. Though quarrelling and I have not yet known each other. I hope we won’t either in the name of…
“Sasa weeweee… Unalala kama mtu akona hangover na hakuna mahali ulienda jana usiku. Na sasa wale walienda watalala aje? Ai!”
He continues to pour water. I also hear him reach out for the sugar tin and put one spoon of sugar in his cup and two spoons in mine. He has been telling me about sugar until he gave up. He stirs. All that time I realize I can’t catch sleep again. My lazy body was saying otherwise.
I decide to talk while still in the comfort of the best comfort-giver after a woman. A woman you love for that matter. Not just any woman mjango. But a woman is a woman anyway. Sorry I didn’t mean to say that. (See what I did there? Heh.)
As if he does not get what I am saying, “Kuenda wapi kiaje?”
“Si wewe ndo umesema ninalala kama mtu akona hangover na sikuenda…”
“Oooh,” He recommences his cheeky laughter again.
I opened both eyes, “What is this hutaki kusema inakufanya unacheka cheka hivo?”
“Chamaa si watu walienda clup elefen bwana…” I had to quote that the way he said it aki.
I was now getting interested. He continued in the middle of laughter, “Fithu filithendeka bwana!”
I raised my head while giggling, “Jana si nilikuonyesha hapo kwa dirisha vile watoto wa wenyewe walikuwa wamevalia. Weh? Kijana! Mwanoo sijaiona maishani!”
“Campus just got real my friend. Si nilikuambia twende ukakataa.”
“Twende kitu gani na ata wewe ulikula kitanda kama mimi. Ata ulilala mbele yangu.”
“Mimi ungeniambia twende tungeenda…” Someone knocked. He continued as he opened, “Ata heri mimi nimewahi kanyaga club eleven. Wewe je? Ata bash ya campus hujawai onja,”
“Si nilikuambia twende bash mjango na haukushow up,” Zid said while shutting the door. Zid is my loyal mjango here in Uni. A mutual friend had hosted a bash at her boyfriend’s place.
“Nigga you look like shit, wacha hivo unaniambia uliniita twende. Kwani kulienda aje?”
“Manzeh hio bash iliboh! Argh! Ilisuck vibaya sana!”
I threw my blanket in laughter and my roommate joined in too.
“Sasa hio ndo bash alikuwa anakuita uende?” My roommate said and took a sip of tea.
That reminds me, whenever he comes from home he has to come with fresh milk from a cow. The other day he was telling me how it is a taboo to pour milk carelessly in their culture.
“Si kuna jamaa alimwaga maziwa tu hivo. Baadae kidogo ng’ombe wao akakuwa mgonjwa.”
Giggling and marveling at his words, “Sasa mtu anafaa kumwaga aje?”
“If you have to pour you pour with respect!”
Anyway back to the tales. I asked, “Ni nini ilifanya bash iboh hivo mahn?”
“Hio bash nikama ilikuwa under-budgeted. By saa nne ata hio bash ilikuwa anafaa kuwa iliisha. Ilibidi tukae ju walisema saa sita ndo keki inakatwa. Wasee hawana psych. Wamekaa tu wakiangaliana. Na tei ilikuwa tu mizinga mbili manzeh…”
We burst into laughter when he said the mizingas were only two.
“Hio sasa si mulidilute mpaka ikakuwa kama maji ndo itoshe kila mtu.” I said.
Shaking his head, “Ata usiseme. Tei zenyewe zilikuwa cheap. Sijui wine gani ata haionji na vodka flani…”
After catching my breath and sitting up lest I suffocate, “Na kwani mulikuwa wanaume tupu? Siskii ukiongelea warembo bana. Hao ndo wangefanya bash ichachishe. Ama madem hawakuwa kwa budget?” We burst again this time louder.
My roommate said, “Weh jamaa ukona tubaya bwana. Weh huoni amekuja kuomboleza hapa? That is a wasted night.”
Zid said, “Madem walikuwa. Lakini sasa ata wao hawakuwa wamechangamka. Lakini ilifika time ikabamba kiasi. Wasee walianza kudance.”
“Unataka kuniambia hakuna mtu alirombosewa? ?”
“Wapi! Hakuna manzi alitouch down.”
“Ai! Hio haikuwa bash nyinyi. Mlikuwa mmeenda comrades reunion. Usiite hio bash.”
“Mungetoka huko muende club eleven mahali kulikuwa na mambo yote.” Roommate says.
Zid asks, “Kulikuwa na nini?”
Laughing, “Si kulikuwa na bash kama hiyo yenu. Lakini hiyo naskia hakujawahi kuwa na ingine kama hiyo. Mafresher walikuwa wamejaa huko. Nakwambia watoto walijiharibu. Waschana walibleki mpaka wakatapika, wengine wakajikojolea mara wakashindwa kutembea. Ai! Imagine hata mwenye bash hajui keki ilikatwa saa ngapi. Naskia ilikatwa mara moja alafu kila mtu akajichukulia na mkono. Kulewa kulewa kulewa kabisa!”
Zid and I were in stitches and almost in tears.
Here is his final one, with the killer accent that I will forever celebrate, “My friend kama hujawahi kunywa usikuje kujaribia huku. Watoto wanakuja kujifunza kunywa pombe huku bwana! Mtu kama hajawahi kunywa maishani aitishe soda. Hata kwa klabu si kuna soda pia. Ala? Mbona ujiaibishe sasa?”
He left us there recovering from intense laughter. I guess we still haven’t seen anything yet in campus huh?
(As told by my Roommate and my Nigga. Reader discretion is advised.)