That Business Idea… Sigh

One thing I know about me is that I am uniquely well-suited for unemployment; While Kenyans generally feel guilt or anxiety over being inert all day, I can remain motionless for weeks at a time. But life has not allowed me to thrive at what I do best; More than once I get calls for a job here and there, and those friends who want to parade you all in Java to discuss a business idea you all know is a pile of dust, that will blow with the exhaust pipe Embakasi matatus have.

The sad part is we nod and cheer them on in the hope that if anyone will be foolish enough to fund that hallucination your friend calls an idea, we can be part of the chewing band. Do count, how many times do you go to Java and see guys seated around one laptop looking at a powerpoint presentation named “The Future”, and they’re all looking serious. They all look serious and they concentrate on that screen, ready to change Kenya. But here we are, the economy is still so bad that you have a debt you didn’t even borrow. On Monday a friend I have never thought has any money to be borrowed called me and said this very confidently, “Jalas ile thao tatu ni kama utanirudishia soon. Naumia na imekaa sana.” He will read this and get the message. My friend, you will not go to hell, you will not go to heaven. What will happen to you is that when everyone has been registered in either of these two places, God will leave you alone in Ndururumo. Yes, I know there are places with worse names like Maragua and Pap Onditi, but in Ndururumo, alone, nothing beats that. For all I know, the greatest invention of all time was a bed switch and a remote control, because you can be on bed and control the life out of a room. I’m tempted to say sliced bread but then what would we say about chapo chafua? Serious inventions.

Some friend from high school called yesterday and asked to meet today at Artlantis. He was a clever chap. That nigger never once farted in class. While we were all upstarts letting it out in Physics classes, this chap was decent enough to keep it in for 4 years. How he did it, I wouldn’t want to know because I’ll just ridicule him. But when he called with a business idea, I was excited. This man who never once swallowed diluted phenolphthalein through that pipette. Not once. You respect such people. And, his twitter posts include far-fetched words I don’t even remember their existence. Like duodenum. Who writes duodenum even? On twitter? The other day, at 6:23am, when like every other Nairobian I woke up and switched to social media first, so I wake up properly… This man had posted this: “The politics of this country shall remain imbalanced. The stoichiometry of the players was corrupted ages back”… This guy can think of the word stoichiometry at 6:23.

I decided to go. As usual, I like a fracas. I walk on the alleys and nonexistent roads in the city like Rendille road and Kampala close, I show up on Kiririmo Avenue. That’s where the fracas is. That is where you will know that these mkokoteni guys are terrorists. They can start walking with you at the same pace, but as they keep walking, you find yourself running. You also get to know the difference between “Wawili gari” and “Watu wawili gari iende”. Because the former means the car has two people inside.

Artlantis. There are seven guys on this table, I am the eighth. He greets me so casually like I saw him the other day, but we actually met last in 2010. They’re eating chicken and all these meaty things but I know my pocket strength and I won’t pretend to be illuminati. Also I hate eating on a table. As far as I can tell, it’s a big, flat chunk of a dead tree held above the ground by four posts also made of dead trees. We eat a bunch of dead plants and animals right on top of it, presumably as a warning to the rest of nature to keep its distance. I guess “table” is a nicer name than “wildlife murder station.” But eating on a table for me is too much cynicism and sadism.  Guys chat and laugh etc etc… Then comes idea time. My people have you ever felt like your whole life has been a lie? Like when you discover what you have been calling Nairobi fly is a ‘Narrow Bee Fly’ (On that note you can update this on Facebook, you will look 18 times cooler than your average friends). This man, the epitome of black intellectualism, gathered us all around this table to tell us he wants to create a guitar that teaches you how to play it. No tutorial, no video, no books… It just blinks LED lights and you know where to touch. Everyone looks excited, people praising his IQ… But not this boy. This man, wuod Kagak, Wuod Jalang’o, Nyakwar Njoga daktari, ohero dhao mar Atari (You can detox from that sorcery I have just written by watching Nairobi Diaries), was too clever.

“So, do you know how to play a guitar?” I asked knowing these are the type of people who rate Beenie man above Morgan Heritage and Octopizzo above anyone. I know even Willy Msanii, the guy who tags me to every of his Videos which look like they were filmed using a phone camera, is better than Octo.

“No I want to start learning,” he says.

“Oooh… That is good to know,” I say, knowing that by the time he finishes learning the piano, he will be thirty, with two kids and a wife who wants to shop at village market. At that point in his life if he let down someone 30 years in a row, they finally catch on. If he told us he was a male escort with a clown fetish, we would ignore and start talking about things that have no use existing like Kenya’s Senate, neutral shoe polish and the sign board on state house road that reads ‘state house road’. That doesn’t mean he will have to give up. He can continue to aggressively search for new and different ways to disappoint.

I did what all in people gifted with great minds would do; I stood up, and faked a call, and later a meeting which of course everyone could see I was faking, but I’m turning 24; this just means I’m old enough for everyone in my life to have naturally drifted away without drama or hard feelings. High school was 7 years ago, college was 3 years ago, and none of my current coworkers can remember if I’m alive or dead. At this point, there’s no expectation that I’ll fly across the country to stay in touch with an old classmate. I know he feels like I am a hater, a detriment to his big ideas.

Screw him, I have more important things to do like watch Spongebob. Before sharing ideas, go through your strengths and let us thrive at what we do best… like watch movies, or sleep, or watch movies while sleeping and texting.

Enjoy your day.




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