Reality

NO SWEAT

Last Thursday, Brayo calls me to host a radio show in his campus, Riara. I show up with hidden enthusiasm and a good look into that compound too small to be called campus by a student from a public university like K.U or something. You’d get to Riara if you’re from K.U and you’d wish you hadn’t burnt down your old admin. I once went to CUEA and I can assure you I was silently suffocating while I was there. The air there just doesn’t even smell free. I immediately started missing the things I take for granted in my Uni like noisy mjangos chatting about that mrembo and that other other mrembo in other places but not the face – with a Bluetooth radio smashing trap music in between their circle, dudes in ragged outfits even though I don’t do raggeds myself – maybe ragged socks on bad days, ladies in short attires and high shoes and so forth. 
Anyway, back to Riara, a clean nearly silent atmosphere. Perfect structures and buildings just for the right study environment. It reminded me of high school. Listen, I was in a school that was located in a place where the tarmac road ends before you get to school. On your way to school on opening day, the first people to welcome you are village mjangos chirping vernacular as they try to convince you to board the only available ride to the school vicinity – which is a probox already packed with kina mama from a chama meeting somewhere or a kyathi. So for ten good kilometres, you’d be seated squeezed in a probox boot, unwillingly tuning in to the head to head conversations of a kyathi gone bad. (For the lesser Kambas, Kyathi is a function/event.) Therefore when a girls’ school which in comparison would be the now Riara University – came to our school for a function, they would whine over our disgusting water, holes in the ceilings of our classrooms and even the sun that seems to be closer in our school than it is in theirs. But eventually, they would fall in love with our hype, style and everything else high school girls melt when they see or hear. When we go to their school, we would be treated as kings. Their hunger ends immediately we set foot within the premises of their classy school. What I mean is, they offer us their food, a diet we would not dare mention to our school admin lest we be sent home for inciting other students to strike over bad food. So it’s the same thing. Truth be told. Ask Brayo why he cannot announce to his feminine classmates that some mjango from a university in the western part of Kenya will be coming to do a radio show on a particular day. 
I pass a cluster of peeps chatting and giggling and see Brayo a few steps away from me, smiling wide with hands akimbo. 
“My nigga my nigga…” I say as I throw a hand at him. 
“Yea what’s up mahn.” He throws his hand too and our palms meet with a loud clap.
“Good to see you,”
“Good to see you too. I see you decided to plant an afro. That’s new.”
I laugh, “Good for a change sometimes know? Ama utajuaje pesa ya kinyozi ndo imekosekana?”
“Weh huwezi kosa pesa unless ulianza kuwa stingy.” He laughs. 
“Mbaya mbaya eh?”
Chuckles, “Sio hivo,” Points at the gate. “Manzeh I’m starving, si we can go catch lunch as we wait for 3pm. That’s when our studio session begins.”
“Okay that’s cool. Now that you’ve mentioned starving, I am also starving.”
We head for the gate. Along the way Brayo meets his course-mate. She has well blow-dried natural hair, healed spots of acne on her face that I found to be her beauty spots, now add her eyes on top of that, a black see-through chiffon crop-top and a sky blue pair of jeans. She had nude polish on her nails too. In my mind I shout, “Ndani!” After they are done talking in very nice English, some distance away I ask Brayo rather innocently, “What’s her name?” He says with some weight of suspicion in his voice, “Jackie.”
We cross the road after the gate to some kanjo shops that have been occupied by food vendors. What a nice place for business. They sure did know university students are very loyal food customers. 
Music plays from one of the stalls as comrades hang and laugh around the place. I suppose some are arguing over who is who buying who what while others discuss about the new joint for a drink and a smoke. 
Brayo and I take a seat as we waited for our order. 
He begins, “So Vick, today’s topic of conversation on radio is ‘No Sweat’. Have you come up with ideas and incidences you’ll throw in to the convo?”
Nodding, “Yea I have. But do I need to start by explaining what ‘No sweat” means?”
“You should. Just say it’s something rather good that happens to someone without them working for it. It just comes, without sweat. Many times they didn’t even ask for it.”
Rubbing my beard, “Nice… Nice. Maybe you could give me a story of someone who has something big today in his/her life with no sweat. What I have in mind is not even as big.”
He laughs while sitting up, “Ebu tell me. If it’s about you it has to be interesting.”
I like the way people believe in me so much sometimes, more than I believe in myself. Maybe that is one reason I keep blogging. The MjangoSeries is about to celebrate her first birthday by the way. Just you wait till New Year. And maybe that is the fuel that has kept my fire burning throughout the years, even as I add another year to my bucket this Thursday. Yea, you heard me right mjango. Your birthday wishes on the comment segment and kakitu kidogo-tokens to my mpesa number; are welcome, hehe. I share a birthday with my grandmother by the way, isn’t that sweet?
I clear my throat, “Okay today I was in this matatu. I realized I was running late so I boarded the first vehicle that came. I usually don’t prefer Nissans but it was worth the compromise. I squeeze with the conductor of which a minute later, I start to regret why I stooped so low. At the next stage, some chic alights from the driver’s cabin to allow some mjango she was seated next to – to alight. Then I hear, “Boss, kuna kiti mbele,” It was the conductor. The chic having heard that I was coming over stood to wait for me to board first. It seems to be a ladies security measure, they shouldn’t seat between two men in a matatu.” Brayo laughs. I continue, “So I board then she boards too. It was not long into the journey when I spot her checking me out with the corner of my eye. I will not fail to say that she was a good one,” I chuckle. “So before I know it, she starts a conversation, a very suggestive one. We talk and laugh into the journey. Mine was only to cooperate. But nigga, that’s no sweat, I won her attention without even trying.”
Smiling and shaking his head, “Eiy enyewe that’s no sweat mahn. That’s a good one. But almost unbelievable.”
“Ah weh kwenda!” I laugh. “Kula wivu na amani.” We laugh and high five.
“So I don’t know whether mine is a no sweat, but you’ll tell me after I’m done.” He begins. “Si you know my chic?” He pauses and waits for my answer.
“Not personally though. You once mentioned her. She is called Gold, right?”
Nods, “Yea.” (And she is actually called Gold. I didn’t make that up.) 
“Eiy, I see her on facebook, kijana si ameweza kuweza mehn!” I say while whistling.
Brayo chuckles then points me, “Though know that’s my property you talking about eh?”
I say, “Is that supposed to be a threat?”
“Yea, you should be scared and watching your own back now.” We both laugh loud. Probably people could see capital letters spelling out ‘LMAO’ going through our mouths as we laughed.
“Anyway, I have always wanted to know tangu lini ukaanza kucheza ligi thao hivo manzeh. Sisi tukiwa wapi?” I say while clicking and shaking my head. “Call it an unfair life.”
“Will you believe me if I told you I didn’t do anything to make a move on her and today, we are a thing. And it’s as real as any other relo.”
Sitting up quickly and drawing out my glasses, “No sh!t!!!”
“For real! I ain’t pulling your leg. And you’re the only one I have told,” He was wearing an innocent face.
“And now every radio listener will know today,” I said and laughed. I could hear my laughter filled with germs of sarcasm and jealousy.
“As long you don’t use my name. Si you remember my old buddy called Steve?”
“Ehee?”
“Steve has been onto that chic for ages. He has bought ranches and imported snow for her mahn. But she has never fallen for him. In fact she says she detests him like a disease. Steve couldn’t believe it when she told him she was taken. He asked who the lucky man was, only for him to regret having asked that. He nearly cried when she said my name. He even asked for my other name to confirm. Steve was in denial and still is up to date. He has always had in mind the kind of chics I am worth. So now seeing me with Gold of all the ladies in the ever open market of God’s creation is just an insult to hardworking men like him.” 
I was nearly in tears myself. I sat still covering my mouth.
“Ayya hot dog zenu ziko tayari,” The food vendor, a rather elderly woman with a limp in her step placed our orders on the table.
“Kuna kitu ingine mnataka kuorder?”
I remained numb.
Brayo said, “Smokie mbili pekee. Vick will you take soda?”
“Yea it’s fine.”
“Which one?”
“Blackcurrant is good.” Still in disbelief.
She slowly walked back to her station to prepare those orders. Brayo turned over to me.
Yani you’re still processing that?”
“Eh jamaa, that is some serious manenoz you got there. So how did you guys get things rolling?”
“Okay she asked Stevo for my number in August. Gold and I knew each other before only through certain mutual events that we both were in. So we only used to see each other but we never talked. I must say I have been planning to make a move but I never got a clear chance before me. So one time I’m with Stevo and he starts telling me about her. That’s when I got to know kumbe Stevo already had a head start. They were already friends. I despaired since Stevo is my buddy and I didn’t want to kill his vibe. You know I am not that kinda guy,”
“Yea I know you,”
“She came to find out that I was a friend to Stevo. Pap! She asked Stevo for my number. Then one day I get a text, “Hey it’s Gold. Remember me?” He leans on the chair as if to say “Checkmate!” “And since then it has been a fairy tale.” He says in the midst of a giggle.
I put on my glasses as I stand up, “No, it has been no sweat!”
The sodas in plastic drink cups are placed on the table.
“Poleni kwa kuwachelewesha,” The woman says with an accent, maybe Kikuyu or Kamba.
If I was sure she was Kamba I would have told her, “No sawa îndi, ni asanda muno.” 
“Vick let me pay up then we hurry. We shouldn’t late.”
I turn around. My eyes meet with Jackie’s eyes. She held a cup of blackcurrant soda in her hand as she waited to cross the road. She then quickly turned and crossed. She must have feared I’d notice the way the corner of her lips had started widening. Too bad, I already registered that as a smile. No sweat again huh? 

7 comments

Quincy December 13, 2017 at 2:03 am

Good read. Caught my attention from start to end

Reply
TheMjangoSeries December 20, 2017 at 5:53 pm

As always Jargonist

Reply
Quincy December 22, 2017 at 2:56 pm

Who is the jarginist here? You, yes?

Reply
TheMjangoSeries January 2, 2018 at 11:31 am

? oh come on now. Iskuwe argument

Reply
doreen maina December 15, 2017 at 9:45 pm

Can’t afford to miss this. Happy belated birthday

Reply
TheMjangoSeries January 2, 2018 at 11:30 am

Ahsante Doreen

Reply
Jedidah February 27, 2020 at 6:14 am

It’s 2020 ,end of Feb when am reading this-it had to be read anyway-?

Reply

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: