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Babe, Tembea Twende

This will sound different. It has a point, read to the end. ALERT, LONG.

I’m at a point of unmarried life where I my rice to water-ratio is accurate and perfect without using a cup. If you are familiar with this stage of adulthood, you understand that there is Nationwide interest from your list of friends to see what is happening in your private life. Essentially, this is what has kept me from writing and from general public life. My list of friends which is very brief, tried to lure me out of the house to celebrate my birthday, which was this month. They were disappointed. It’s another day closer to the day I die and there’s nothing much to shout about that. My paternal instincts are also still very suspect and I avoid unnecessary female contact; You’ll end up raising two kids, one with a beard and a job.

I left work on a Saturday afternoon, met with a friend, to visit a friend of his who had invited us for dinner. The details might be skewed, especially with the word dinner being keycode for sanitized, censored undertakings.  My friend, who also reads this blog, is a journalist of fine repute. We shall only call him Yoweri because he is old. Yoweri is an entire prostitute. I’m saying this because even he knows that. If you’re in a skirt, you are his target. He is a bonafide criminal of sexual slavery; There is no way you can have someone’s daughter in your house for 3 days, pounding the oxygen and common sense out of her, while only feeding her water and fries. It is a sin, and a constitutional violation. But he is also the guy with a lot of money owing from his years of journalistic experience, money which he is willing to throw on us, peasants of the trade, who survive on brown envelope journalism and handouts from politicians. I bet politicians look at journalists with a lot more contempt and disdain than they do their voters. We are filth in their eyes, pigs with a price. I’m a terrible journalist, since I only work at night. Proper journalists are pounding heavy content during the day, while I am condemned to the darkness where my ability belongs.

We got to his friends house at Adams, and he introduced himself as Tutu. Yes, he was named after Desmond Tutu, and ladies, he really is the part. When was the last time you saw a potted plant in a man’s house? Not those artificial things… An actual potted plant, properly watered and exposed to sunlight, Osmosis, photosynthesis and shit all going on as they should? I’ll be honest, the last people I saw with potted plants are my mother and my aunt. This man has three different plants growing in his house. One just by the door, two in his living room, by the TV stand and by the water dispenser. Irvin Jalang’o cannot remember to leave Dhania in a glass of water. My onions are an ecosystem on their own; They attract fruit flies that live their full metamorphosis, and die when the onions change into rotten toxic biogas. I was immediately jealous and irritated by how organized this man was. His room was properly spaced, like there was a wife/woman who did proper geospatial engineering to his space. The windows were closed but the air was fresh. Can you believe that voodoo type shit? He let us sit, walked into the kitchen I suppose, and walked back with three goblet glasses, juice drained into a glass jug and ice-cubes in a bucket. Should you come to my house, you will sit down, and we shall have a conversation over a glass of room temperature oxygen. I was disturbed. He had a cream and light grey fluffy rug carpet, that was in its actual manufactured colour.

The wonder of all this is that Tutu says he is single, not by choice. That ladies he meets feel intimidated by him. I’m still confused and will need an explanation from a woman about this. In a world where ‘Niggas ain’t shit’ are getting laid and married, here is a nice guy who works as security detail for some honcho, and is alone, boiling his own milk at 32. I’m starting to slowly believe that I live in a society where the majority of women are those who would rather have conjugal relations with an acid-covered cactus than date good people like Tutu. Thanks to the hypocritical mating rituals of modern women, the chivalrous world of Kenyan society was bred out of existence. Nice guys don’t just finish last; they go extinct. In fact, the only reason I believe this nice guy is single has nothing to do with him but his job: These Security guys have one of those Secret Service-style earpieces that are scientifically designed to block out reason. In the same way that animals have bright colors to scare off predators, security types wear communicators with incredibly obvious wires to warn the world that abusing authority is part of their job description. But Tutu is so nice, he served us juice with ice cubes.

I had long decided that whatever had to happen needed to happen outside that house, because it was too organized. Yoweri has money, so he decided that we had to go to The Alchemist in Westlands. I hardly go there, first because you have to find parking in Sobibor and also because I’m not uptown enough: My newsboy hat always makes me look like I’m about to cause trouble, and those waitresses only respond with speed to proper English. I’ll leave it at that, because the details will end up with me in court. Here’s even more reason to like Tutu, he only had water and a cigar. Yoweri didn’t even try to convince him. I don’t understand their friendship. One man has surrendered his testicles to the world for sexual experimenting, and the other bathes before going to a club.

The space at Alchemist is Hippy. So, there are these fancy looking seats, we took, that had more space than we needed. But I was with Yoweri, as you’d expect, he had a plan. I was closer to Tutu, new friends, and I was getting more info about him as a human being. When you’re in a club/bar and midnight approaches, people with money and soap opera looks take the ladies, while the rest of us are forced to cobble together conversation from what we have available, which is usually ourselves and disappointment. I learnt however, that he had grown up in a privileged white home with guardians. Also, he is not Kenyan, which is why he didn’t respond to anything I said in sheng. Also, he has no degree, but worked in an army for a minute before going private with his art. I went to college and got a soul-crushing white-collar job, and I’m just happy I can pay rent. I work one of those jobs where people say “Anybody can do your job,” and somehow mean it as a compliment. I’m proud to think of myself as an interchangeable part. I’m still waiting for the serious bodily injury that transforms me into a success.

All this while, I kept looking at Yoweri. He was shamelessly cat-calling women and winking at waitresses. That is his standard and nothing surprises me anymore. But there was a woman who had since joined us who was very queer. And I mean this by all standards. First off, her feet were strong. Down at the calf you could see the athleticism story of her life and her cheekbones were firm. She masked it with make-up but she was odd. She sat at the corner and only whispered to Yoweri’s ear, who was now holding her like a trophy. I looked at Tutu and he said it was time up for him and he needed to leave. It was a few minutes past midnight and ladies if you have been following, Tutu is a Nice guy. He left and paid the entire bill. Yoweri was now tipsy and was saying all sort of wrong things. I texted him…

“We need to leave,” to which he responded loud like it was an announcement, “HATUENDI BADO.”

I couldn’t leave him there. Two other ladies joined the table. They looked just as queer save for one who sat next to me. If you sit next to me in a club, and start talking to me, I am immediately suspect; I am not handsome, I am not rich, I have the demeanour of a father of two, husband of one, and enemy of all mankind. So I made it clear to this lady that I am married, I just forgot my ring in the car. She laughed it off and was keen to engage me in conversation about my job. I said I am a cameraman and I have my store on Luthuli, I was only there for my friend. She asked me what kind of store it was and I buried her hope.

“Ni studio tu, hizi zimepakwa rangi ya green. Tunapiga passport pictures na picha za frame,”…

She did not leave, and she did not lose her interest. Having set my standard as low as I could go, I was immediately suspect. I’m not brave enough to sit through such… Brave men die young, while cowardly whiners live long enough to pass on their genes to their cowardly, whiny babies. I told Yoweri I had to leave.

“Twende basi,” he said, but he stood up with this queer woman. The others just sat down waved goodbye.

The further we walked to wards the light at the exit, the more I saw this queer lady’s feet. She had the build of a man who struggled earlier in his life. Not a woman. Man. But her wig, makeup and glasses, covered everything. I told Yoweri I would drive seeing as I was the sober one, and they jumped onto the back seat. We had an argument about waiting for Tutu, because he did not believe me when I told him Tutu left. We had to call a sleeping man four times to confirm, on loudspeaker, that he was home before he left. I drove them to his house along Rhapta road. They got off, and I stayed a bit to see them get into his gate… Being drunk, in his stagger, the lady held him up quite well. All I could hear was “Babe Tembea, Twende.”

As a man, I’m never ready to sit in another man’s house whatsoever, especially not when he has female company. The sounds of such an evening aren’t inviting, and could lead you to some esteem related stress. So I drove off, turned to Waiyaki way to take James Gichuru. I saw a call, Yoweri. I couldn’t pick. He texted.


I did the sign of the cross and turned and rushed back, got to the gate where the guard, on recognizing the car, opened the gate and walked up with me. I got into the house, that was now open, and Yoweri was seated there with a swollen eye. He looked tired, and less drunk, which is surprising because just minutes ago, the man was pulp drunk.

“Haungeniambia nimebeba Mwanaume?” He asked.

My hobbies include mockery and laughing. I’m pretty good at both. I never quit, especially when I’m ahead. And here, I actually was ahead. My life is a string of unmitigated failures connected by occasional periods of sleep. So when I get one successful hit, I laugh my head off, which is exactly what I was doing at this point. This ‘lady’ got into the house, pulled the wig off and apparently, a full grown adult male punched Yoweri into sobriety, before taking his wallet, Samsung phones and a mini laptop, She fit them into her bag, and since Yoweri lives on ground floor, making his/her way out was easy.

I don’t know when Nairobi got here. But here we are. It’s a jungle. Must be the economy.



  1. Clementine Akinyi 29 May, 2019 at 12:08 Reply

    Irvin you are a smart writer with a funny sense of humor, to many more of this. Oh and we have something in common; yes the hobbies mockery and laughter.

  2. Deb 31 May, 2019 at 15:26 Reply

    aaah sorry to Yoweri…he should watch white chicks or rewatch again, he would have also noticed the strong feet & athleticism story

  3. Deb 3 June, 2019 at 14:09 Reply

    Aaah pole to Yoweri
    If he had watched white chicks or rewatched it, would have hepled him notice the strong feet and athleticism story

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