Wednesday, December 31, 2014

In search of a white man

It’s a typical Sunday evening, the streets are busily empty, I hurriedly check my watch and its 8:53
Oh no, why didn't I leave the parade earlier or better yet, need I have gone?
At a distance I see the short cut street again I look at my watch and damn its 8:54, I can’t risk using that "chochoro" and get robbed. At the thought I shiver not because I have lots of valuables on me; nay on the contrary, I only have Kes 200 and my phone is almost three years now; rugged and grown. But I can’t afford to lose it to some underage thieves in this famous Tom Mboya Street. I am at Odeon now its 8:57 and yes I doubt my own watch. Looking up for a city clock in the street I know so well and I immediately shamefully remember I can’t see all the way to the famous Koja round-about moreover it’s too dark. So I slip my hand through my Susen red leather mix hand bag and get to my phone. Damn it’s really 8:58. A call comes and coincidentally it’s mama. What! Does this woman have the eyes of a hawk or something? How can she know to just call when I am not innocently seated at home? I curse and on the third ring I decide to not pick this call. So I ignore, guilty fingers poke my mind as I slip my yellow Nokia Asha 210 back into my hand bag. Pulling my pink not so warm sweater together I hurriedly move through the semi empty street. I hear the click of one of my red six inch peep toe heel and I hate to know it has just started to wear out. If only I had a car or better yet a man to drop me to wherever my cute blonde mind wanted to go; shopping, horse riding, to a salon for a Pedi or maybe to the spa. But I am not blonde, resentfully regrettable, I wasn't born that girl. I was born a First class student applying above average skills even in a shower. And yeah to get you the right picture I am dark eyed frailly thin, a prominent forehead and tall. A naughty complement from an not so-schooled matatu tout reminds me that my skirt might to be too short to walk in a Sunday evening
"Mrembo siunanimaliza"
I curse....
Oh my word it’s the bus in queue, with only about five passengers inside. Could this day get any longer? I curse again. Taking a seat right in the midst of the shouting empty bus I listen to the random conductor dutifully sing a terrible beautiful lie "wawili twende" I want to pull of his ear like a small child and tell him off but I decide to drift back into the day’s events....
I had woken up at 7:37 to find my door bell ringing like it was on a mission. Sheepishly sleepy I headed to the door ready to give the character on the other side of the door a look he will never forget. The bell stops ringing just as I am about to touch door. I pause. "Huyo hayuko basi" the day watchman try to salvage my sleep but my best friend knows me to well "yuko, I know her she just sleeps like a log" I roll my eyes as I open the door and she confirms to the day guard with a shout "Si unaona"

"Really Sally, it’s almost eight!"
"What in the sky spirits was at eight?" I ask profoundly
"WTF, my word Sally you forgot! We were to go for that motor show you know the one with the white guys!" she says the last part with a whisper and yeah I do remember now and Shish as I call her goes on and on about how much I need this ASAP.
Why on earth do I need a white guy? My granny won't understand a single word he says and I am hopelessly hoping she will still be alive to see me get married.

"Oh, that was today?"

I drag myself back the bedroom and fall on the bed in search for sleep rescue but Shish won't have it.

"Come on Sally, I booked the Salon at 9 and we still have to do our nails"

A simple calculation flashes my mind and that will be slightly above over 3k and I have 4k tops to run me through the rest of the month. I recall my younger brother's cries last evening about a lost bet on an Arsenal game last night and I had to give him 2775 to sort his mess. His mate was threatening to cut off his left ear. Really, who bets a random figure like 2775 or is he conning his employed sister? Whatever the case the thought of having a one eared brother is quite scaring.
" I am broke S" I try although I know it shall fall on deaf ears
" you know my motto: Spend to get and... Hakuna Matata I join in unison "
Truthfully, I couldn’t remember when S had started using this famous slogan as a motto, but I recall how I have had to repeat it so many times and the embarrassing or frustrating terrible outcomes later; like, when we had to hitch a ride on the back of a half full chicken pickup on our way back to Nairobi from Kericho as she had broken up with the guy who had taken us to some resort there, or when I accompanied her to jail when a random police man caught her peeing in the a not so busy city street- I blame myself though, I hadn’t been such a good “cover me” on that one

I give in and we are off to the salon. S insists today is our lucky day but I know it's always about her and I am just a backup in her solo. We are so different; She is a free spirit, beautiful and forever young with a body tone to die for but she is my best friend tip to tail and I love being her back up prop anytime. I wouldn't imagine a life without her.

At 4:43 we arrive at the motor show and clearly we have overdressed the occasion. All guys surely turn heads to Shish in her tight shorts and her leather jacket but I feel wrong in my pencil skirt. I knew I should have listened to my gut and wore some slacks instead but have I ever contradicted S. “You have a nice ass, show it off in this pencil skirt!"
She speeds off to mingle with her other girlfriends and I feel lost. It's 5pm and I am already tired of ogling at cars and motor cycles I could never afford even in my dreams with my five figure salary. Shish has already captured herself a handsome white man; I could rate him 40-something, in this case late 40s. Why does that statement sound judgmental? She is my best friend so I have no room for judgments. I feel thirsty and I move to the bar to get a bottle of water. It costs a hundred bob? A damn barely 50mls? I curse. But I need it more. I am down to Kes 250. I sip my water drink slowly and curse deep inside again and again.
I can’t be here anymore its 6pm and I leave in the other end of the city; Kiambu county; I signal S, and she nods me ahead to leave at my own pleasure. I feel used. But again I wouldn't afford to interrupt her nice chat...

"Twende imejaa" a shout comes from the Bus tout and the engine turns on as I come back from my flashback, simultaneously my phone vibrates, crossing my fingers I pray it’s not Mama again. And it’s not; now I believe God answers prayers of the sinners! Nonetheless it’s an unregistered number on my phone. On the third ring I realize my true caller application is not on and I will have to pick to know the caller.

"Hallo, is that Sally?"
"Yes, who's calling?"
"My name is Alejandro; I requested for your number from your friend at the motor show, I thought you looked very cute in..." his voice disappears behind my crazed mind. I will kill Shish, how could she? He drifts on and on about me but my mind is too far
" Alejandro, you said, let me get back to you after I get off the bus, OK?"
I end the call without waiting for any confirmation and race to search for S's number on my call log to give her a piece of mind about this so called Alejandro but cutting me short a text comes in. It's her. And it reads….
"In our search for a white guy; don’t be angry but he was too cute to say no. HM (Hakuna Matata)"
I smile foolishly nonetheless I still want to kill her then again I smile more foolishly and I know I will surely call him back.

…The end…

Please note; this is not refined yet and it is a work of fiction; these are not real characters whatsoever

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


I have heard of many a myth,
 That only bulls have horns,
 That cows need to be milked
Or otherwise their udders will explode
I wouldn’t know if it’s true
But ILRI may give you that clue
We crawled at dawn,
We and our partners by noon,
We had our first steps, still arm in arm,
Now our strides are fast as we prepare for take off
Tomorrow we shall soar in the skies,
Holding our hands together in our endeavor to finish the arch
Motivation in us that will never die,
And a home within home as we labor for our dreams,
The dreams of our mother Africa,
The dreams of ILRI,
The dream to create one more job- an income
The dream to create nations
Whose beauty is in the cattle,
Whose grace is in the goats,
Whose light is in poultry,
Whose children glow from the milk and eggs.

We are a fountain of knowledge and research,
Down the road we seek and search,
And yes we have built a kingdom,
Like Solomon the king we’re full of wisdom,
From research we have sired,
The best of breeds and hired,
The best of staff and fired,
Outdated ideologies so so tired
Several vaccines our scientists have put onscreen
To guard our livestock and grow our food stores,
These fuel the bus,
Millennium Development Goals, and not forget our very own Vision 2030
But our success has not come on a silver platter,
We have had to work harder,
With the support of partners and donors,
And yes our Safari has just started,

And feed the post MDGs and we will reach the Promised Land.
At 40 we are half way there,
At fifty we hope to knock the door,
That is why we are here,
Celebrating, happy and more determined
Congratulations ILRI at 40!
……….THE END….All rights reserved

Performed By Jane Karanja at ILRI@40 day held at ILRI CAMPUS ON 01/10/2014

I want to highly appreciate Sarah Bonareri who assisted me in writing this Poem

Monday, June 2, 2014


Tell me the meaning of pain,
Of the unknown,
For I am yet to own,
The prophesy of my bane
Like Oedipus the King,
I shutter at the thought of being...

She is an angel
The words sting my mind like a warden's rod,
And I? the demon?
It's over between us,
I can't be with you
We were never true,
I feel myself turn blue,
My world didn't come crushing down
It disappeared in the thin dead air
Nothing of it to bury
Nor scatter the ashes to the seas

I don't cry for I am too proud
I am a leo, I roar so loud,
and bite my tongue instead
It was all about sexual satisfaction right?
I used to call it the nose of power-
I even wrote a poem on it,
I could beg for a second chance,
But you had never granted me even a first,
So I just feel so much pain,
Yet pain of the unknown.

Pain unknown by demons of the day,
Known to angels of the night,
Pain that can't cry,
Pain that kills but won't die,
Pain that one can't explain,
Pain that isn't of the heart nor mind,
Yet pain that pains both mind and heart,
Pain of the unknown....

Let a bird fly away that you love,
It shall return for you to have,
Funny because many return but a broken wings,
Way later after rise and fall of many a kings
History long gone no bells to ring,
And you can't remember the pain,
Pain of the unknown
For you never knew
You the demon of the day
But she the angel of the night
She flashes her light
And you flee

Still I wonder of thy return,
my blind broken Samson,
Will there be walls to behold?
I don't know,
Will I hearken to thy call?
I don't know
For now the three shadows behold,
The pain of the unknown

The End....

All rights reserved

PS- fall in love if you may for the fear of a broken heart is overrated; they mend anyway and you learn- Jane Karanja, May 2014

Sunday, May 18, 2014


I call you here to help me bury my living son,
To hold the basin as I wash my hands,
to remind me to forget that I ever did sire,
a woman inside a man’s face, body but soul,
I see you don’t follow;
my friends, my only son says he is a homosexual

This is worse than Arthur’s bane,
(you know, the now and future king of Camelot)
this is not even equitable to pain
it the new theory of societal insane,
a lost debate,
a terrible fate,
And my son fell for the bait
He calls it coming outta closet

I see you look confused,
Sit down,
Let me make you understand,

At his birth 22 year past,
the village palmist fearfully read of his little left palm,
aligning his little fingers she cried firm,
That my son was the last of the family-tree term,
his heart to a woman shall never affirm,
I didn’t comprehend her cold yells,
(now that I have a flashback),
Damn! What a story to tell.

This my friends is a questionable dice,
Five-sided damned circle of vice,
Nah, doesn’t he have a penis?
Nah, wasn’t he the best in the districts tournaments in tennis,
Nah, I always thought he was a conservative
Nah, he has an impeccable societal functionality
Didn’t he direct the synagogue's play on Sodom and Gomorrah last spring!

Bring him back to life for he could be dead dreaming,
He is in the city parading,
Rights against discrimination, and to marriage
Holding shamelessly his so called friend’s hand up high,
---While he should be celebrating the bill on polygamy----
His face all over the TV,
He didn’t even have the courteous to have power company cut off my power first
No, no, no!
Hold the basin as I wash my hands,
to remind me to forget that I ever did sire,
a woman inside a man’s face, body but soul,

I call to the sounds of my trumpet,
Youthful songs about family facets,
‘What’s not to love on a crumpet?’
But he heeds not to this song not of scarlet,
Warm things they come in two,
Eyes, thighs and even breasts too,
Yet friends,
You wish me to bury the hatchet,
Over my dead body!
I shall never come to terms,
That he is the last of the family-tree,
Hold the basin as I wash my hands,
to remind me to forget that I ever did sire,
a woman inside a man’s face, body but soul
I did not bear a homosexual!

The end…..

all rights reserved
Warning; this piece is not written in discrimination of any sexual orientation in any of our societies today all over the world