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Reminiscence; Friends, Foes $ Money

Businessmen having drinks at bar

Businessmen having drinks at bar

I can’t say I am much of a friends’ person. I am a bit introverted, a lay-back maybe and I might strike some as nerdy even. I never like to be associated with nerds though. Are nerds not supposed to look uncool and dowdy? Drab in those thick Harry Porter glasses swinging tones of books in their backpacks? Nerds are Folks that write love letters in proper sentences and use words such as ‘aren’t’ when ‘ain’t’ could sit pretty in the sentence instead.  But this might sound weird. Weird because many of us really can’t tell a strand of hair about who we really are so we live entirely dependent on people’s perceptions of us. And I am sure this self-analysis may sound as a joke to someone who knows me closely.

So I made few real friends in high school, and even fewer in campus. There are those folks you are forever indebted of their society. Like that folk in form one who used to write furiously about ‘The hyena and the Hare, Why the Hyena this and that ’ in his compositions. I suspect he turned out a fisi that folk.
Wahome was some comic in that buffoonery sort of way. He was tall and skinny with a slight stoop, scrawny arms with laughing jaws. It was impossible to look at his long and crooked chin and not just laugh.

High school was a mixture of raging mischievous hormones and nerdy ambitions. Only the later came after a brief self-imposed exile from home. I couldn’t stand the tyranny and high handedness of my old man, so I fled to a cruel town of Naivasha, looking for coin. It was a brief stint of squalor and hard knocks of life. I couldn’t stand the cold, so I coiled my tail between my legs and crept back to school, nerdy with a vengeance.
I met some serious folks in those four years. Few who will remain friends in rain and shine. I remember in particular Tony. The Lunje whose razor sharp mind awed me in those first years in high school that I made it my business to put my locker next to his, just in case that brilliance could diffuse to the neighbor. And indeed it did diffuse two years later in our finals, though in a different school,(through hard work, God and determination- haha!)
But I can’t get over his obsession with his girlfriend then. Have you met a guy who attend classes in his girlfriend’s red knickers? He he. And you thought cross dressing started jana!

Talking of girlfriends.
Juliet was that girl I used to write long letters in that grim handwriting of mine but with lots of heat and color. Our thingamajig had started way back in primary. She was a shy fat little round thing whose first love missive pierced through me in that woozy way only an adolescent could understand.

I was 14 then, an altar boy whose ways the Lord was definitely not pleased with. After her first letter I became constantly aware about girls around. We exchanged numerous of such illicit letters. And my little sister, a classmate of hers, god bless her, was the eager go-between.
Even though we were in the same school, and only a wall divided our classes, we never talked face to face! But we wrote to each other constantly!
We could stumble upon each other along corridors, and she could blush so hard until she became red like the insides of a ripe guava, if she were anything white. And I grinned like a goat. No words exchanged, and we passed each other. Then sadly a million words of what I could have said came crashing but she was long gone. Damn! I just never mastered a single ice cracker on this one.

But we wrote each other constantly!
So we moved to high school and the letters became fewer and wide apart. Her school had set stern rules against writing such illicit letters and suspensions and even expulsions were the consequence. But we devised ways. I used to address the envelope with the most feminine of hands;
To My dearest Daughter Juliet….
But it was not long before those tyrants in her school figured that inside those letters, from her ‘mother’, laid the most devastating lines a 15 year old lad could write to a 14 year old virgin girl. I gathered later that she was promptly dismissed from that school. That ended our illegal affair.
Wueh, don’t blame me digging so deep into this girl, he he. I should be allowed to think fondly of her. My only regret is I never came closer to ‘solemnizing’ our ‘union’ if you know what I mean.
High school came and passed. Friends came and went. Girls came and went.

Campus came.
I think it’s on every fresh man’s mind that when they first set their foot on campus they think they are the smartest boys and girls in the world. They walk around beaming and trying to talk clever and sound cool. The fact that one came from the remotest of schools where hunting rabbits is still the shit could not help matters. So most of us, now sprouting serious beards developed habits and airs hitherto alien.

Folks in Afro had always impressed me. And I needed one badly, just to calibrate my new status.
There was that TV series that used to run on NTV back in the day called ‘SoulFood’ It’s here that I first got acquainted to RockMond Dunbar who portrayed as Chadway on SoulFood and ‘C-NOTE’ on Prison Break. RockMond isn’t the story here. Aaron Meeks who portrayed as Ahmed Chadway, son to the older Chadway, is the story. The lad had the coolest Afro and a most reassuring air about him. I wanted to be him. He was easy with the girls and they all wanted a piece of him.

I thought the Afro did the magic. So I grew one! haha.
I grew one huge ass Afro as a freshman and wore those tight pants, and talked lots of American slang trying to look and sound every aspect ‘refined’.
I was consumed in this Afro thingy and feigning coolness that I almost neglected the books. All the pent-up teenage hormones suppressed in high school flooded back like avalanches down the Himalayas. I loved the clubs and the girls and within no time I had got a gang of similar ambitions.

We combed through clubs in town, party hoping from one to another. A bunch of scrawny little devils who with a budget of meager 500 bob could party and dance lame till down. Till now I don’t understand how that math worked. But truth is the cold Saturday mornings of Nairobi found us staggering back to the hostels from club ‘Undecided’. I hear it long closed its doors. Little wonder.
Most of us survived through campus with dangerous ambitions. For one, party life needed money. But our pockets were so hollow that when you dropped a coin there an echo could be heard from a mile. That’s how Jagro, a roommate by the joys of ‘pirating’, and I decided we wanted to be fast millionaires.

Someone who you all know in the campus politics (but I won’t share the name for fear for my head) smelled our ‘potential’ and came knocking through a partner of his.
His flashy lifestyle and swag ensnared us like moths take to a blinding light. We soon became quick friends. We zoomed through city clubs in his Sports car, partying like sons of Sultans and meeting very hot chics that could pass as video vixens. And indeed one of my chipo was a video vixen in a popular song. We were ‘those guys’

We wanted that life badly that we pressed our moneyed brother to share the secrets. We knew he was in some big leagues of something illegal. But who cares! This is Nairobi and money has to be made by nook or crook! And we had just been tasted the glories of what money can do.
I remember how we used to floss to our ‘less fortunate’ rockers with ‘no connections’. We could be idling in town doing window shopping then some sleek German boy toy could pass, engine roaring with cool efficiency. Then Jagro could turn to a brother, and with reassured air say;
“We fala, unacheki hiyo ndai? Nipe kedo two months hivi. Ntakua na kitu kali kushinda hiyo!”
And I could join him, elaborating the kind of house I will be buying in few months time. Somewhere in kile or Runda. And the parking lot could not allow things like Toyota to share space there. I wager!

So after badgering our moneyed bruh to get us into business (We had sworn we will do anything to maintain that lifestyle. Anything!) He eventually ‘gave in’ and outlined the business. But first we would need an investing capital of 1M! His business involved very expensive handlings but it would take only a maximum of three hours to triple the Million!
Wash wash’ as they call it, was alien to us, and it was the first time we were meeting a magician who tripled money by simply using some chemicals, drying the colored notes and finally ironing them into new dough!

We saw a heaven here, and we couldn’t let go!

Story short about 200k disappeared through thin air. Don’t ask me how.
We met those scumbags later, when they had drained us to the bottom, with a proposal to join the business. This time not as clients but as the proprietors.

I can’t deny that I didn’t get interested, and even made several futile attempts. For crissake we were heavily in debt and we needed money badly. Our debtors were on our necks. I still remember a friend had lent us 40k, with assurance that we will refund him in a day’s time, and better still introduce him to the money. After the deal had gone south we went under.

He and many others came after us like angry shylocks. I didn’t have much in my room that could be auctioned.  I had sold everything already anyway.All that was my world’s worth could not fill that green nylon bag. So they went after my partner with threats they will be coming back for my kidneys. My nigga had bits of electronics in his room and an ancient TV we used to call ‘commando’ that he loved so dearly. The room was stripped bare off everything, including his beloved ancient commando.

So it was easy for our monied brothers to excite us into joining the wash wash racket. And we tried. But that new venture was shut down even before it blossomed when one day a bullet ripped through the chest of one of the notorious racketeer from an angry client. I turned to Jesus and proclaimed his greatness. Praise the Lord! He he!

So the get rich quick ambitions quickly evaporated as first as it was planted. I got back to the books which I had gladly neglected, and which a paid painfully with two extra years in college.

I had no intentions of taking this story through this wash wash manenos. Hell, I didn’t even know what I intended to tell here. But its exasperating opening that word document, staring at it like a sheep would watch soccer and boom,  nothing comes!  And I think I am just over my word count!

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2 years 1 month ago

Hahaha ooooooo the good old days. Love it