Reality

DEGREE NI HARAMBEE

I intend to have this piece to be a compilation of everything around nothing. ‘Wild thoughts’ in other words, bombarding to and fro within the premises of a University Campus somewhere far far away here in Kenya though.
I saw him standing a short distance away. He has a slighlty raised thorax, half combed hair standing on his skull right above his not so light skinned face, a red tee, a backpack, a smart phone on his right arm and again a face that strongly suggested that he was timing something that he only knew about. I have this tendency not to show signs of being open for approach that I just can’t get over. “Brathe niaje?” So I am the one he was timing. He must be having some juices of ego in his blood if he was able to overlook my uninterested-staki ujinga facial expression to speak to me but first, stop me with the slang greetings.
It’s what I expect of myself especially on a Monday morning. The blues that come on such a morning must have been sent ki-saitanically from someone who doesn’t wish me well. Maybe it’s those people who get the links to my blog on Monday and they say while clicking and cursing, “Ah! Sasa amenitumia hii kitu tena. Huyu jamaa hachoki? Si aandike kitabu mara moja!” Or maybe those who say, “I’ll read when I get time.” Those mjangos who say the latter seem to be nice. But I know people too well. I say again, I know people too well. My madame taught me that.
People never understand why I end up moody sometimes in the morning. If you happen to find me in such a state mjango, please choose your words correctly and don’t do anything stupid; that is if you wouldn’t want to drink from the same cup. No live threats though. Please don’t stop reading.
Eh poa. Unasemaje. Nilikuwa natafuta ata mtu kama wewe.”
My blues had leveled down below the dangerous mark. So the mjango must have been timely indeed and lucky too. Besides, I was also looking for someone like him. Someone I recognized from the first faculty meeting we had a week ago. This mjango was seated next to me. No, I’m the one who sat next to him because I came late when the meeting was in session. I was having a bad day that day. There was an empty seat next to him almost at the rear end of the lecture room. I couldn’t stand mjangos and freshers for that matter – staring at me trying to overlap through seats yet I had a creased face instead of giving me some room to pass. I normally don’t prefer seating at the back. I had no choice that day. The speakers took ages to speak without registering in their learned minds that they weren’t being audible enough. So what does a mjango like me resolve to? Struggle to listen to people who are inconsiderate of mjangos like me who want to listen but were just unlucky to seat at the back? No, not me. I’d rather sleep. Oh yes I did sleep and woke up after what felt like four hours only to find the speaker that led me to slumber being appreciated as he sat down. Mjango, that was not even close to the last speaker and I had no more sleep! A few speakers later, some young suited up mjango who is a lecturer, had his chance to speak. Finally, someone who is audible and vibrant. I told myself. But like I said before, you should know people better. He began by random picking mjangos at the back for some questioning about the names and titles of the previous speakers. Oh damn it! How could I explain to him after he had already publicly picked me that I was actually tuning in but I couldn’t hear a thing? For heaven’s sake those so called learned speakers should have gone for public speaking seminars before they come to use their time and in fact my time – only to ferry me to slumber land. (I don’t know what he was considering when he picked me. But he spotted me first because I was the only one in glasses. I think it’s because my glasses look stylish. Maybe he has something against style. Click.) He asked three questions and I answered in a stern ‘No I don’t know.’ Comrades giggled. I pretended to giggle along a little in between the test. I didn’t tempt myself to say anything beyond that in my defence just because I was having a bad day. The meeting would have ended there and then so as to have my case taken up the ladder. I sat down and consoled myself like, “At least the ladies know me now.”
Anyway, back to this mjango. I was looking for someone like him so we’d locate our first class together. I was better off. He knew nothing.
Unajua mahali class iko?” I asked courteously.
Manzeh ata sijui. Naskia sijui iko ess…”
“SPD 004. Iko tu hapa. Sijui kama imeanza.”
“Ebu twende tukacheki.”
After telling him my name, “… Na me naitwa Edu.”
And that’s how mjangos become friends. Just that simple. I wonder how it’d have been if we were girls. In fact I have an instance.
So I have been spotting this chille for quite sometime before I gathered the correct calculations and necessary hormones to sport her. But see, she is never alone. She is ever hanging with her girl friend whom, I just don’t know how I didn’t spot her first. Okay, both of them are there. You know what I mean? Yea. But that friend of hers? Akiyaoo! She has that complexion that black divas travel the world and spill hundreds of thousands or sometimes millions to obtain- through surgery ofcourse. Shall I go on? Sure I will, because you have used airtime for this. Though you’ve given it to Collymore, not me. So I leave it at that.
So ah, I’m no fisi. Listen when a target is spotted, I get one stone and aim at one bird. The initial bird. I don’t change the plan when a ‘better’ bird appears almost immediately I’m about to launch. But when the D-day came, I actually found myself lucky to hit both with one stone. Well, some may say I’m a pro. But to get rid of the brag, I’ll just say I managed because those two birds don’t leave each other, no matter the impact of a hit of a stone on one of them. So it’s easy to pick up the same stone and hit the other remaining bird.
Long story short we became friends. They once narrated to me how they met. So this is how girls become friends in campus mjango:
Woiyee…”
“Ni nini my dear?”
“Aki nimepoteaaaa…”
Sympathetically, “Kumbe siko pekeangu? “
Relieved to have found a bird of the same feather, “Aki ata wewe? “
“Eeh hii place na hizi maprocess za kuregister zinachanganyaaa…”
“Kwani unafanya course ganiii?”
“(Course fulani fulani.)”
“Ghaai! Ata mimi.” They giggle. Now the birds have two same feathers.
Na unalala wapi? Mimi nafaa kuwa Hall IV na hata sijui iko wapiii ghai.”
“Ata mimiii. Tutaenda tu na wewe. Utansaidia kubeba bags alafu tutacome kubeba zako?”
“Sawa dear. Mimi naitwa….”
“Na mimi naitwa…. Aki I love your hair, the dye and how short. Aki inakufaa tu. Kwanza na skin colour yako…”
Eventually, the chillez I sported told me again of how mjangos in the name of men behave in Uni and their hostels corridors specifically. They spoke out of their experience so far.
Kuna maboy wengine wako sijui aje. Aki unapata tu tumtu tumesimama kwa stairs tu wanangojea madem wapite. Mara wanaknock kwa room alafu ukifungua wanaingia tu wanaanza kuongea, ati “Unaitwa nani? ” Shameless! “ I remained silent all through while essentially drowning in guilt because my fellow mjangos are embarassing. Why do they do this now? Making chilled out mjangos like me be dismissed as one of the many dogs even before I make my move. No wonder the good guys like us have it rough nowadays. Dry spells have become too much. I now know that some elements are they rotten potatoes amongst us.
Ata they are not men. Those are boys! Men don’t behave like that.”
The rest is history.
Edu and I matched into the lecture room. It was already half full. The entrance is at the front of the room. No bags are allowed in there. So just as we unpack our writing materials, a mjango (class rep) speaking in front finishes his announcement by saying, “…so class leo imebounce. Hakuna class leo until further notice.”
Have you ever seen how a dog behaves when you open it’s kennel after you have locked it up for a day and it hasn’t pooped for that whole day? Yea mjango, I saw the replica today from those mjangos in what was supposed to be our first lecture immediately after the last word was made.
I made my way to my room in what they call the modern hostels here. My window directly faces the ladies hostel. In between is a highway that leads to both hostels. By the way, my window facing those hostels means nothing. But the ability to have a window that gives me a view of that highway is what means a lot. I see all kinds of things and all kinds of people. From the bold(literally) to the beautiful and from the divas to the holier than thou. My room is on the third floor but I also get to hear mjangos speak down there. So from time to time, I tune in or I turn my neck only for it to stick at that position. I only stretch out my arm to reach for my glasses not for a clearer view, but for clarification of what I’m seeing. Heaven knows how I recover from such moments.
I have taught myself overtime not to chase every good and perfect image however. From what I know, vindu vitendeka my friend. In campus? It is as serious as it sounds. So I was advised, not once and not twice and I in turn advise myself that, ‘mdudu is real!’ So just leave them. Let them be. Kuwa true.
Amongst all those who were heaven sent to tell me about the crocodile mouths in Uni that are ready to clamp even a finger that comes as close – was my mum.
“Ukiamua kuleta mschana kwa room, that is up to you! Ukiingia kwa mapombe na mabangi, that is also up to you. Lakini mwishowe… Lakini najua wewe si wa hizo vitu na usizijaribu…”
I guess that’s why I didn’t attend fresher’s night last Friday. I left for my native home that afternoon. By Sunday afternoon, I was back to my room to collect what could make me jealous from my roommate about the big night. That mjango is as funny as hell. He is a Kale. That worsens the humour, I know right?
It is with him that I actually confirmed that Wakale do say “Cheget,” and they expect you to understand that they actually mean ‘Jacket.’ (Oh I hope he doesn’t read this. Forgive me brother if you happen to do so. I just can’t help it.) My favourite one went down yesterday. So as ripe as it is, here goes.
I’m chatting on whatsapp when I happen to ask a favour from some chiq then she says amidst emojis that, “… I am just pious…”
So I ask this guy next to me, “Ayye, what is the meaning of ‘pious’?”
He quickly answers to imply that he was so sure, “To show partiality to a particular party.”
That was an awesome use of English from him. I nodded and paused in thought. I tried to relate the meaning he had given and the use of the word in the sentence. You won’t believe what I realized.
I burst into laughter. He looked at me in terror as if I had just been possessed by something murderous.
Sasa nini unacheka? “
I paused to catch my breath, “Wewe unadhani nimesema ‘Bias’! Kuna ‘Bias’ na ‘Pious’.”
He was amused, “Kwani spelling ni gani?”
“P-I-O-U-S.” Still giggling.
Ah! Hio hata haikai kuwa kwa dictionary. Ebu tuangalie.”
After confirming, he says, “Wewe na hawa waschana wako wakona Kiingeresa miiingi.”
I appreciate him that way. Makes my stay here worthwhile. Aside from the stitches, he teaches me alot too.
So I came back after fresher’s night and asked him how things went on that night. He could only say, “My friend fitu filitendeka bwana.” I needed no further explanations.
He continued, “Hata ni vizuri ulienda exile…”
I chuckled, “Siku yangu ikifika ata wewe utaenda exile.”
Stretching his arms and smiling, “Sijakataa! Kama wewe unaeza enda, mimi ni nani nisiende? Naelewa hii maneno bwana.”
Exile is a common term we picked from old comrades whose meaning is best explained in my roommate’s words. (Put the Kale accent while reading it please. For your own sake. Dramatise if you have to, because he is as dramatic too.)
Nikikuja tu usiku moja, alafu nipate umefunga mlango na nikibisha huafungui, mimi najipea tu shughuli. Nitajiambia “Leo nikama akona ‘kamgeni‘. Na hataki kusumbuliwa. Wacha tu nitafute? Mahali pa kulala.” Hio siku napigia tu rafiki yangu naambia yeye, “Hallo, ndugu yangu. Leo nakuja kulala kwako na usiulize kwa nini. Mimi nakuja tu!” Lakini usinifanyie hivo wiki moja bwana! Utakuwa umeniweza.”
I would not be fair to my luhya nature if I don’t talk about my food management issues here. With my love for rank and quality, I eat at only one designated place. Fellow comrades from KU and Maseno, I’m not referring to the Mess place. I’m talking about a joint called Alfa. Of course I tried other cheap joints like the Mess and ma-kibandansky(derived from Kempinsky, you get?) It went on like that for a while until I decided not to settle for less. Should you find your blogger beaten by the cruel life of campus, holding the last bitten piece of an oily chapo with an escort of beef soup in a smoke oriented kibandansky? That reminds me that I went to this kibanda that has more waitresses and waiters than the customers. I have gone there in three separate occasions and I can bet attendants are so many. Mark you they don’t wear uniforms. You’d enter, sit at a table next to a mjango only to see him/her stand up to ask, “Utakuleko nini? Kuna chapo, ugali…” That happened to me and I was freaked out but I didn’t show it. I was thinking, how can a fellow customer take my order? Since when?
Anyway, I shouldn’t dismiss the fact that I need such places in case one day, my budget runs low. Such is campus life ayye? Though I take caution on how I spend money and especially who I spend it on. There are mjangos who exist on this earth and specifically in universities; that are wired for the hearts of pockets of men who are just not as good with their mouths and personalities as much as they are with their wallets. They cannot talk their way into their hearts.
Anyway, I’ll also spend on them when my time comes. Who knows? I’m only taking my time.
I hear people say ‘Degree ni Harambee.’ So when I run low on cash, I have good people who read me here right? Ama namna gani mafans? Hehe. I actually wrote this so that I’d let you know that my harambee will be done in here.
Ayye mjango. Such is campus manzeh. Hey, let me go, my window has shown me someone…

2 comments

Patience October 4, 2017 at 7:37 pm

Those who say they’ll read when they get time are actually truthful,,,, nice window there..
Nice window.

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walukanaversaries October 4, 2017 at 7:47 pm

On that campus experience vybe. It brought forth loads of reminiscing.
Good job here. I however had a kasmall problemito with transition. Like its good that it covers lots of areas but how you transit from one to another, let it smother in to one another.
Otherwise, I loved it.
#TripDownMemoryLane

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