Love Gastronomy.

This article is a dedication to a small WhatsApp group of four people called _Big Bang Theory_ Little idiots must rely on their uncle for love advice. But I can’t tire because I am awesome like that.



Courtesy by the artidote

One day, you gain a ton of Courage out of the blue, or inebriation, or just some animal instincts and you decide against all logical judgement running through your brain, that you want to profess your undying love, a love so deep and complex it has you sleep deprived for the last so many weeks. Folks out here are weird I tell you …

I am not sure why we love, or why love is the most powerful thing in the world. A certain Chef, called Ana Ros, Siberia’s only Gastronomy Chef, and one of the world greatest chefs without a Michelin star because her country is just a nascent little piece of geography recently rising, said some lovely words in that almighty fantastic program, CHEFS TABLE ON NETFLIX;

Love is crucial. If we don’t have love, it’s difficult to work well. And in the kitchen, that is extremely important. When one is loved, she can create better. There is more passion. More beautiful thoughts. Because of love we do nice things, and because of love, sometimes we create catastrophes. – Chef’s and I cannot say this enough, are poets. Ill share this line of thought better some other day time.

The day you confess your love, or if you already have confessed, weird thoughts might have run through your mind moments before, especially if you were hoping that your sins may be forgiven with kisses and tears and “yes, I have been waiting for you to tell me this” kind of vibe.

If, for some reason, you professed your love to some untested waters, and by untested, I mean, your telepathy cannot with certainty predict a lovely outcome, here are the scenarios you shall face or have already faced.

First scenario is that she will become excited for various reasons apart from what you expect, or it could be what you expect if you are lucky. So, after a few days, or a few minutes, it depends with how dramatic you guys are, she shall serve you either of these responses.

First response, Wow, look, that’s lovely, but I just cannot bring myself to reciprocate your love, I have never in my fickle life imagined loving you anywhere and I doubt I would love you even if we were in heaven or hell. – Here you shall wonder why you spend so much time together then? But, the good news is that you shall soon realize you loved the wrong person and you resume your friendzone, platonic little world of lust. Which is okay, it happens at times.

Second response, Wow, look, that’s lovely, I think that is extremely flattering especially because I have never imagined you falling in love with me, wa wa wa, okay, this is overwhelming. But you know what, lets keep doing all manner of shit. I am not promising anything, but we can hang out, warm up to each other, become best friends and see how that goes, lets see what comes of it. We are not dating but let’s do these things and see what works or doesn’t.

Third response, Wow, Look, that’s Lovely, I mean goodness, really? Are you even serious or just pulling a leg? Okay I am shocked, not in a bad way, but I am. What happens now, because I mean, I really like you as a person and a close friend you know. I do not want to lose you, please don’t do this to me. How about we do all manner of stuff, hang out as usual, but please accept we can’t date, because I can’t date you, can’t say is it fairer than that, I don’t think I can, Please?

Fourth response, Really? Holy Shit! Really dear? Wow, I mean, wow, I have waited for you to tell me this for so long. I mean what? Come here you ……. (Whatever happens after this may lead to Marriage at some point if you are unlucky, if you are lucky you may avoid marriage).

The Second scenario doesn’t have many responses, it only has one resolute, cold, inconsiderate, loud, heart wrecking response.

The fuck? You are in love with who? Please, stop this madness. How? Are you even listening to yourself right now? Look here, you are lost as shit, I am not your type, and by the way, I think you are sick or you are watching crazy shit, please take a minute and look at yourself, I am not here to be loved by people like you, and please let me never get hold of you telling people who we are acquainted to or not that you are in love with me, because I cannot handle such embarrassment. Please never call, I can’t deal. (At least she did you the courtesy of generously using the word please in her loud outburst)

Ana Ros……, and because of love, sometimes we create catastrophes

I have prepared you sufficiently, in case you decide to try untested waters. By the way, if you get either a second, third or fourth response. Employ your A game fast, your life will suddenly have changed somehow.


My Emotional Dependence was too much I guess. Should have known.

Where I am now, mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally and everything else that is part of mind and feelings necessary to make sense of survival is broken. I am at a place unlike anything I have experienced in life.

To me, friendship matters a lot. I think it is especially more important if you have a friend who speaks your heart language. There are friends who speak words, then there are friends who speak love, encouragement, understanding and life itself.

Some friendships must be God’s way of making himself present in our lives … because, some friendships are blessings. Some friendships are laughs, silliness and tender hugs. Some friendships and especially the best ones are built on overlooking imperfections, that are all too prevalent in us. Some friendships are love, life and warm breadths. Some friendships are all about making memories.

But what happens to our souls when this kind of a friendship breaks. When you can no longer be forgiven for your mistakes, when that person, without any form of warning gets out of your life?

‘Ask me What Happens’ …

I’ll tell you, but even then, unless you have experienced it yourself, you cannot understand this avalanche.

Look, on mornings, anxiety grips you mercilessly, the heart beats fast, it is like a camel has stepped on your chest, the animal’s weight presses in hard. Then your mind roams, searching for a reason, for the cause. Could it be that you are having a muscle pull next to the heart? No, it cannot be a muscle pull, you have never gone to the Gym at least once in your life to count as cool. Muscle pulls only come to those who stretch some. You are by design lacking muscles to stretch. It’s a dark confusing moment.

All the while, subconsciously, you think about your broken friendship. On mornings you would get a funny text, random text, a silly text on WhatsApp … on your way to work, you would reply to the text, use lots of emojis, because what is a text without an emoji anyway! then all the hell would break loose for a moment in that WhatsApp Chat, back and forth, jokes and soft roasts. You throw a punch, she throws one, then abruptly it ceases. It occurs to you that she has left her house heading to work too, or she went to shower. You know because you have spent enough time together on this world to know.

All that noise in the morning, on WhatsApp, was not because there a problem being tackled or an issue to discuss, that noise in the morning was our way of saying ‘good morning dearest.

On this day when anxiety is holding you by the balls it suddenly occurs to you rather unceremoniously that you haven’t had texts come through your phone like they used to.

mister hi! No such Text in the last 20 mornings,

‘mister check out this blog!’ No such text in the last 20 daylights,

‘mister you sleep early like a baby’ No such text in the last 20 evenings.

On this morning, it occurs to you that you have not played chess too, you always loved playing chess with this love, mind chess that is. You do not have means of texting her your soft breadths of silliness, because she has blocked you on phone.

‘hun get a boyfriend! (you would literally log off the phone after texting such, because you knew she would throw missiles your way) … you loved her missiles, they landed a pleasurable punch.

‘dear, do you feel like being treated for a coffee today?

‘girl, I have this idea.

When she won in conversations and high energy discourses, which was often, you had a whole sack of two words … bure kabisa, (fruitlessness). At such moments, when you text those two words you knew she had won and you were trying to save a face. In the last 20 mornings, days and nights, you have not had a chance to text her.  You have always texted her in the last 900 mornings, days and nights until everything the two of you did became part of your DNA.

Anxiety, anxiety, anxiety… then it starts hurting, this time, a camel is too light weight, this time an elephant is stomping on your chest, you wake up, take a difficult shower and imagine how good life was, somehow you still await a text … ‘If you want to talk, I have half a chance for you, meet me at Java at 5 pm’

We have had a lot of cuppas at Java Café. At Java Café we have discussed politics, goals, plans and way forwards. At Java Café we came up with a very intricate Implementation Matrix for each of our personal goals. At Java, we poured our emotional and mind energies on each other. At Java Café we became connected.

Sometimes we tried new coffee shops. Who am I kidding? We tried new coffee shops all the time, even when we didn’t have money, we simply substituted the pastry with a cheap one, or just shared one, because sharing was our strongest faculty.

This friendship was built on shortness and tallness literally. She is tall, elegant and a very good dresser. You on the other hand, are this mass of shortness, weird dressing and baldness. She liked you either way. See, friendship knows no boundaries, you liked her to death of course. All the fucking time, you went out, spent time together, did stuff together, invested both your fears, she assured you, encouraged you, boldly told you what your weaknesses are and were.

On the other hand, you were her greatest cheerleader, together you did ballistic tests on ideas, she is strong, ambitious, and tenacious, she came up and still does come up with many cool ideas, when some failed, you encouraged, when some worked, you cheered, those that worked, were and are pure greatness, pure genius.

900 Mornings, Days and Nights, spent building a support system between the two of you.

On this day, you leave your house, and while heading to work, you meet in the streets, you take a glance ahead, see her and your heart literally skips a beat … what to do, what to do, will she stop … you pull a ‘hi’, after passing by each other like random strangers, it hits you that she didn’t ‘hi’ back, your heart breaks in ways it has never broken before.

What to do … What to do …

900 days, your created love, 900 mornings you talked life, 900 nights you talked goals, generated hearty laughs, and you always looked forward to seeing her.

‘You are toxic, I have decided to cut you off’……,

These words I remember made me feel utterly disoriented. I died twice. I died one for me, and another round for my ancestors, my ancestors refused my dying for them, so here I am breathing, … ‘son, you have to be strong, here we are dead, here we do not know love or friendships, here we are spirits, we exist for the mere fact that we exist, its cold, we watch you, and that’s all we do, watch’ son, hold your heart together, try and live.

Sometimes when we make mistakes, it surprises the person who has been wronged and the wrong doer. The latter meditates through his actions and he arrives’ at a conclusion …  yes, I have wronged, I need to apologize, and I need to do it now.

But it happens you cannot be forgiven … ‘Please hurry up and finish your apology and go, I do not need it, I do not even know why I am tolerating your apology! The only respect I have for you is to tell you that you toxic, I cut you off, don’t call, don’t text, I have blocked you anyway’

That night you cry, you cry so hard for a man, so deeply for a man, so affectionately for friendship, so genuinely the world trembles.

Love is a noun. People say they are in love, people think love is a feeling. When a person say’s I loved her, and she broke my heart, what they are saying is that they felt, and suddenly, the girl unfelt them. What is love anyway if not actions. It’s not a disembodied feeling.

Because love is silly in many ways and commoditised in many ways, friendship becomes the only pure thing there is and the one or two people we spend our emotional energies on daily become our real friends.

Forget feeling hurt because you have a misunderstanding, that’s a cup of cheap tea. Hearing certain words come out of your friend, and a friend in the truest meaning words can manage, hearing your heart beat tell you that you are toxic, and I cut you off, is the mother of all Pain in the world. People know nothing, you know nothing of pain until you hear those words come out of your support system.

If there was a feeling of pain a person might have, were a heart to be pulled out through the mouth, this is the feeling. I cry for her, I miss her, I die 50 times when I remember those words. Yet, you do not blame her, all you need is forgiveness, all you need is to sit at Java together, take coffee, share a pastry and say something silly …

You have very short hair, where do you come from?

Then you laugh so hard because you know the reply will come in hard and without chills.

All you crave and all you miss is your heartbeat, your soul friend.

It is easy to fault your heartbeat and say she was cruel for refusing to forgive you. It is even easier to Imagine that she betrayed you by cutting you off like that. Even easier to convince yourself that she was selfish for hurting you this way.

But, look at it critically, what part could you have contributed to this turn of events? Could you for a mini second place yourself in her shoes, could you forgive you? I certainly could have forgiven myself, were I in her shoes and the fact that my mind is convinced I could have forgiven myself proves that I have not fully comprehended the disappointment she underwent.

Maybe I will never understand that disappointment, Maybe I am too busy paining to reflect objectively, maybe Ill spend months missing, paining and regretting and fail to reflect objectively, but one thing I am learning through this pain is that I was real in that friendship, she was real in that friendship, we never had moments of pretence. We dived in hard, played hard and buddied hard, we were rock stars in this friendship thing, we had figured and patented the formula for deep connections, we were a hurricane, a force of nature.

Where I am now, mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally and everything else that is part of mind and feelings necessary to make sense of survival is crashed. I am at a place unlike anything I have experienced in life.

Where I am now, when other friends get to know that we no longer speak or exchange indiscernible personal jokes, they call it childish. They call it a silly thing. They use words like, grow a pair’, they Imagine themselves comforters by sharing among themselves the facts of our not speaking and they laugh, without realising the weight of that crashed world.

Only I know what level of friendships that was. Only you know the beauty of that friendship. Nobody else out here seems or might understand what we were.

Should a miracle happen, should heavens cry with Joy, and we reconnect, I shall tell you why I shall always guard this friendship against a recurrence of this mountain of pain. That friendship was a patent.

If a miracle happens, and our hearts speak to each other, we shall share a coffee, and I shall tell you It was painful, It was a dark day in Paradise, It was a hellish day when you qualified my heart beats as toxic, It was a heart breaking day when I realised I had pushed you to the abyss of stating such words.

I have learnt new things; I hope, I miss you, and I can’t wait to show you the kindness, warmness and mercies I have learnt in sustaining Friendship. Solitude has me dead chuffed at how good you were at this friendship thing.

All I do is hope that I can find your favour and mercy.

Lastly, too often, I quickly took up being on the wrong even when I was not, so that forgiveness could occur quickly enough for us to resume friendship. Too often I became the ‘guy on the wrong’ deserving or undeserving. I was okay with it so long as we could move on to good times fast. This time, I took up being wrong, or I wronged, but this time, the duck came home to roost. It was imagined I always wronged to begin with, it was imagined it was only one person who wronged from the start. This time, my short cut to resolving matters fast found a fork road. This time, having spent 3 years ditching old friendships and forming new ones, I finally find a firewall I do not know how to write a code on, but you.

Friendships that Flicker and Japan’s Sex Problem.


Enter a capThe Artidote
Page Liked · January 23 · 
Question of the day: 
“Is it possible not to hurt others in the process of personal growth? Because too often the line between self-love and selfishness becomes blurry.” —Anonymous
artwork by Masato Tsuchiya

No human being should find themselves in a position of begging for friendships, but sometimes it happens when all you have got is possibly two close ones that would trigger a heart ache if they elevated or demoted themselves, however you would like to see it, to a class higher or lower to your proffered friendship.

I was watching sometime back on TED about a research that was conducted to figure out the determinant factor of how long you will live on this earth. Placing everything on the table, including but not limited to alcohol, sex, smoking, exercise, healthy eating, poverty, richness etc. The researchers were dumfounded to discover that the foremost and the most dominant factor for your longevity is social structure. The friends you have, people you talk to daily, and the number of times you meet to have fun.

Another poignant study concluded that loneliness kills thirteen times faster than smoking.

Pondering on this data, one thing comes to mind that everyone just wants to be loved. Simple and straightforward. It is then rather unfortunate that we sometimes hurt albeit unawares people that would love to be close to us.

How did the world get to this? A situation that now calls for a country like Britain to create a new Cabinet position and appoint a loneliness minister. Maybe, Britain was just brave enough to admit that something is not right. Far east In Japan, they now have a tricky situation at hand, they have high suicide rates and the experts suggest that it is due to life pressures, meanwhile news coming from that same conduit say that Japan has a sex problem. Young people are not having sex and as a result birth rates have declined, I think there is a correlation here. Mind you, the west has been known to have relatively low birth rates, but not occasioning from a sex problem like Japan, in the west it is more of a choice and at the end of it all Japan shall cite loneliness and in-ability to make new friendships that lead to romantic relationships as the cause of this social problem.

By the way African countries, or shit hole countries, or whatever we fancy calling ourselves are not devoid of loneliness. It is only that sometimes, between searching for bread and the ever-elusive money to survive, while at the same time stomaching corruption, we push issues such as loneliness and lack of social structures at the dragon’s tail. We are somehow lucky that Africa has a DNA of coming together as a people since the beginning. But at the rate we are changing as a society, friendships better begin to matter or else …

As I ponder on this mind-boggling data, I am reminded that late last year I lost a whopping mega amount of old friendships, a situation that arose from incompatibility, tastelessness, mutually exclusive life journeys and unsurmountable shenanigans and currently I am holding on a thread of only a few people who if they slipped through my fingers I might easily slump into depression or something closely related.

But how did it get into this. At the core of who we are, friendships are critical support structures that reach at the roots of our souls. Is it because friendships are least understood, or they are not respected enough by some parties within them or there is just too much judgement within and without.

Sometimes you try too desperately to love a friend and they work hard to frustrate you and maybe they just reach out when it suits them or other times we peg friendships on something material such as a car or something.

Friendships are meant to be easy, full of humour, awesome drama, disturbances such as raiding friends fridges, bags and make shift pantries just so because, hang outs, emotional support, pure genuine love, warmness, closeness, roasts and everything else that tickles a bone.

Over a glass of Juice, wine or whisky with friends, there you realise what it means to live.

This post is simply me pondering and if you would love to have a sit down with me over whisky as we talk more on what maketh a human being I’ll be glad, just drop a line.

What do you think of friendships yourself? Comment.  On the next article we shall explore further on this issue



Poverty Porn – A New Prison for African Writers

Oduor Oduku

A critic brings knowledge, taste, and meaningful judgement to a piece of work. The three elements imply that a critic cannot be neutral – to judge is to move away from the line of neutrality, and this is why critics are important. By consistently portraying the courage to have their judgments presented publicly, they become an authority, gatekeepers in a field. They are choosing ‘preferred literature’ to their audiences, and justifying their choice.

They are activists in a way, and done longer enough, a certain preference begins to emerge, a preference for a certain kind of book, a certain kind of literature, of art. Places that have few, major critics, the ‘superstar’ critics, risk having access to only a few approved choices. Since knowledge feeds on itself, and people tend to pursue few definable positions, a society needs many critics in order to have access to a diversity of approved…

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Dear Jessica : Remember Tomorrow


IMG_5427Portrait shot on the streets of Lamu – April 2017 

8th October 2017

Dear Jessica;

Some todays are like freshly baked buttery cinnamon rolls; pleasant to the senses. The orchestra of glazed crispy dough, melted cinnamon sugar and raisins as they swirl in your mouth is all so perfect. On those today’s; you bask in love and light; and you wish those todays would last forever.

Some todays are like Thorn Melon; cultivated in the depths of  Hades. You have no time to savor nor describe their taste and texture.  The faster they end, the better. My todays the past week were the latter. Long, stressful, tiring, unpleasant.

On days like those, I like to reflect on the tragedy that is life and its different todays.  I have lived through a lot of those todays. Todays that were batshit crazy and  you felt like calling it quits there and then…

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My friends say something is wrong with me.

I have this flaw that drives them up to the wall, infuriates them and it seems I am the only one who cannot seem to see it.

It was really a beautiful day before it all went down the gutters. Now, am knee deep in the murk of my mind trying to figure out what’s this thing that I have got that makes people so mad at me.

This ought to be my very first, 1000 words project and it had better be worthwhile and feel good.

Apparently, I do not get things. Shit is clear right in front of me and it just flows on by. Or maybe am on my menses and am just over-reacting, again.

I really have no idea what is happening around me right now. I wish people would just speak up and not expect me to…

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