At my maternal grandmother’s home, New Year’s Eve is unpretentiously boring and fundamentally humble. Two years ago, I visited on pre-new year. It was important that a few of some young men be there to prepare for slaughter and barbecuing the next day. Never mind, I ended up being the only ‘some young men’. The other cousins didn’t bother to come. I imagined it would be a great time for a bonfire, perhaps several neighbors seated around sharing the night over cups of traditional brew. A jerrycan of the liquid magically appearing to refill visible empty mugs.

No worry in the world, just stories, stars, imbibing and distant howling dogs. Such was what I expected at the least. little did I know that my least was just fantasy. Instead, we sat in the main house; grandmother, an uncle, me and some ten-year-old cousins of mine. All we did was talk, watch news and talk some more. Then at midnight we held prayers to welcome the new year then we slept. It bordered on brashness.

I made a promise to myself never to spend an eve there. This year I was at home, by 31st I didn’t have any plans whatsoever and neither did I have money to oil that machine. Early afternoon a call changed the situation and my mood. A friend of mine proposed we hook up with another friend of ours and hang out somewhere and wait the year out. It was obvious we would split the bill which made the proposal doubly attractive.

Max land Waiyaki Way is a new place, less than a year old; it’s a restaurant, a lounge, a bar, a sunset watch place all in one whose target market is families and at night mainly older non twerking folks and chill millennials. To choose to hang out at this place is to say yes to mugithi, a sunset watch, good contemporary music, perhaps a crowd laden with 50-year old’s and efficient waiters.

It was really a bummer choice of a place for me, because naturally I felt that a younger, loud and dramatic crowd would be the perfect group to shout 10, 9, 8, 7 …… with. In retrospect I was wrong, Maxland was a perfect place to hang out and slowly sip our vodka. But words were already out, my two friends had bought my nonsense and we downed a whole bottle of Vodka by twenty minutes to midnight.

From there, it was a race to catch the new year at a louder sweaty club, with a throwing up younger crowd. Within minutes we were at Galileo Lounge also along waiyaki way, a place that had been hipped on social media as to have a big party, three DJ’s and a good time. Disappointment is not a word I would use to describe what we found there; the place was almost lifeless! Few patrons and even the security guys looked dissatisfied with the night.

Realizing our mistake, we requested for an Uber to rush us to Westlands where perhaps we could be luckier to catch the last few seconds 4,3,2 …

However, traffic coupled with poor judgement, delivered …1 and the all awaited Happy new year hollering on the road. Chasing new year caught us in an Uber. Luckily, we were at a good visual point to capture firework projectiles all around westlands. Of course, cars came to a standstill and I got out to shout Happy new year to Strangers who responded with an even bigger and better drunken yells. It was a big a deal to shout with people because it’s 2020, beginning of a new decade.

Growing up and even many moons while an adult, I have rarely gone out to welcome a new year. Parties and their night proxy events were things frowned upon by my Parents, so much strictness was employed that for a long-time enjoying life a little has been a subconscious battle of will and morality. It’s amazing the kind of seeds a parent can plant in a child and while you assume adulthood brings with it free will and independence, somewhere in the mind lurks the culture and experiences of childhood which have almost certainly become a believe system.

Anyway, after the cheering and drunken shouts, we did hit a couple of more bars, one of which was the Brew Bistro. It was so packed, that they were charging an entrance fee. While many of us were incredulous and hastily left, an equal queued crowd was okay paying the charge! But hell yeah, that place, despite, looked like the lungs of a party. Next year, Ill plan to do the eve there. Why not, it’s a timeless place it seems.

Same street there is Club Havana, a place popular with escorts, whites and some average joes like me and my friends. We downed a few beers, danced a little but since Vodka was dancing harder in our system, we got totally wasted and left for home around 1 pm.

It was a night we chased a new year in vain, brew bistro in vain, Galileo in vain, downed a vodka a little too fast, overspent a little, experienced some thrill, laughter and the craziness of what we were embarking on. All in all, we were glad to have each other for the night and for a new year eve.

Perhaps, after all, fear of missing out (FOMO) is toxic, it deludes you into missing out on a perfectly okay present. As we head into the year, try to relax a bit and rather than hope for alternatives, we could enjoy what we have a little bit more willingly and deliberately all the while trying to grow one bit at a time.

Happy new year 2020. To more fun, friendships, health and prosperity a sum of which is equal to happiness.

Living in the now.

The other day I was watching the movie ‘Spectacular Now’, it is a romantic comedy; stuff I watch when nursing a hangover or bored to my wits end. As time flew by, slower than a fat bee, a line from the movie caught my attention – Today is the youngest we will ever be – it was a rude slap on the damn face, a hard reality check, an unsolicited heart pacer.

Today is the youngest I’ll ever be, why? Well, because tomorrow takes me closer to that all awaiting old age of either misery or ripeness. Think about it, not every old person can describe their sunset years as ripe, that word is reserved for those privileged with resources, good health, and happy grandchildren. Even if all other factors lack, having money is enough for those years to be referred as ripe. Without a little wealth, sunset years are pure misery because poverty is merciless.  Things are thick when poverty and old age mingle.

I am at an age where suddenly all my agemates seems to have figured out their stuff. An age that according to the constituents of society; that is, my priest, age mates, random strangers, the government and my family unequivocally say that I should have been married and with a school going kid or two, busy with the government advocated competency-based curriculum. Witchcraft then must be real, or witches are still night-running naked, working overtime on curses and spells on my life because I am neither married, nor dating, nor rich and nor planning to present myself for an elective post.  To posit; I am just there.

Just there … two words that hurt than a ‘not yet relationship breakup’ that I had recently. Yes, read that again. We were just getting to know one another and even before we could do a few dates I had already messed up and she run for the hills away from my craziness. I pitied myself because losing that one really hurt. I might need to know if my mess up hurt her because if so, I need to stop saying I was hurt, and I just stick with ‘I messed up’. Hey, the narrative going on around modern contemporary feminism has really messed with a man’s brain. We are almost in the brink of not knowing how to handle words when it comes to women and men relations. I choose to play safe.

Now, because I am – just there -, a few things are manifest in my life …

There is outright glaring lack of financial planning, plainly put, I am in financial debts accumulated not of need but of aloofness and living in the now; which is equal to or greater than stupidity. As noted earlier I am at a prime age where my agemates can afford stuff. The way I see it they have figured out this life thing and that’s a big problem for me because as a result, managing the debts is a bigger difficulty than running this country.

What is the connection you ask? Well, I want to be out sometimes with friends, I fear this is the only time I have with them before they settle down to more serious life commitments like having a family or hectic careers, so I figure perhaps, instead of being lonely now and lonely when am older, I can try and hang out a little with these guys now all the while clueless as a drifting hot air balloon about tomorrow.

When I think about it, it’s a ridiculous situation really. Most of those age mates are married, some have businesses and others have really climbed up the career ladder while I qualify myself as stuck in a black hole of some sorts. These people seem to know what they are doing at and in life, while I have no idea what life is. How do I manoeuvre through stuff tomorrow? it really sucks and there is nothing worse than a hopeless man.

For starters, I could at least have an investment somewhere even if it’s rearing a few goats, at the minimum, there could be something to dream about, but no, I don’t have a single investment, I am in debts, stuck career wise, I am not dating – (brokenness can’t allow because every girl I would fancy dating seem above my league, and even if she played ball, how would I do date nights?) and lastly I live in a place that people don’t know, it’s really a hole, a kind of a very rough living. When I think of a man without a vision or goal or an idea of what next, I see myself.

Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful that I have a job, friends, a roof and am not starving but I don’t think I have utilised those blessings well enough. Working for four years with not a high a salary and nothing to show for it is not how responsible people live, the wise save a little, live within their own means (I have no idea what that means) and they make small achievable goals. I on the other hand simplifies a lot of living, I work well and hard during the week, hang out with friends sometimes on weekdays, work, go out on weekends, repeat, no deviation whatsoever for the last few years, crazy stuff!

What is it about life that turns a man into such clueless human being? A curse? Destiny? Idiocy? Or a sort of a rude cocktail of all those things and a mix of witches!

There is a kind of urgency running through my veins, a need to move fast and break a few things otherwise this cruising has me tired and bored to death. One way of stepping out of life’s hopeless whirlwind is thinking. Only through ideas would you awaken the guts to figure out what to do, how to proceed; the steps to undertake despite the vagaries and extremes that persist.

However, that’s where the complexities start mutating. According to successful people out here and if tens of articles are to be believed, the mind is limitless, boundless organ that has inherent power within it to affect how we turn out in this life. How successful we become and what kind of healthy living ecosystem we manage to bury ourselves in depends on how healthy our mind is. So, to have ideas, to think, to dream, the mind needs something first.

A while back we were having an existential conversation with a friend of mine and we were trying to awe ourselves with how some company executives or rather companies are ingenious in how they tackle problems within the company processes and also in the product / service they provide to the society. The more a company imagines and innovates and researches the better disruptive technologies or approaches become inevitable. i.e. Ubers, fintech etc. And not only within companies but we also touched on individuals and what makes some people great. At the end we came to a major realisation … you cannot imagine that which you have never seen.

It simply means, you cannot reimagine for instance your living room interior design if you have never skimmed through countless pages on Pinterest or physically seen great designs out there. Simply put, the mind is a consumer; for it to visualize, or process new ideas it needs material, be it books, networking, watching, or listening. This is where I personally think exists a faint chance that I can make it and figure out stuff in this life thing.

It is somewhat disorienting that at times or most times as a person, setting goals and achieving them is extremely hard and as time goes whatever defines a personality fades slowly to oblivion. I have a lot of fear that if I do not manage to get out debts, change jobs or start a business, if I am not able to start making a little more money, do a little self-development, I might end up wasting away and life so far as I know it will have been for nothing.

For a person to admit they are a failure in the perceived eyes of self, family and loved ones, it requires courage and uncontrollable hurt from within. I really do not know how I will redeem myself at this life thing, how I will utilise my mind to achieve a little self-courage and ambitious persona; I have no idea.

This day, this moment, it being the youngest I will ever be, I am afraid of fading away to oblivion.

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.

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

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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All We Need

Joe Deveraux

For some reason, last weekend I was all smiles. Happy about anything and everything. The sun, the birds, the houseflies, my newborn nephew crying, pretty much EVERYTHING. The source of the sudden euphoria? No idea. Anyway, at nightfall, I decided to text Deedee. She and I are such great friends and I love her vibe and positive energy. She’s such a darling. An innocent and beautiful soul. A modern day princess, with great portions of both beauty and brains that make her priceless. With others, I spend an evening. With her, I invest it.

So I hit her up on WhatsApp and we went on chatting about this and that, then we started talking about women and men. Particularly, Men.

“What’s your idea of an ideal man.” I asked.

Now, before I asked that question, we were chatting consecutively back and forth. After I asked though, I got what most…

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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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Fay Fictitious

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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Troy Onyango

La shamba

The Transfiguration

I am thinking of how to tell my mother that she is a bad woman; that she did not raise me well. The woman with a bleached face and knuckles blacker than the tip of a quill told me so. “The matters of a husband and wife you leave to them. You don’t interfere. Didn’t your mother teach you that? Go tell her to raise you again. No wonder you behave like a woman. Mscheeeew!” She yelled from the window of her apartment which is right above mine. Apartment 4B. I had gone to save her from her husband’s daily beating. Despite all that pounding, the woman didn’t want me to intervene. You don’t save someone who doesn’t want to be saved, mother used to say.

I sit, pen in hand. My palms are sweaty. As my trembling hand presses the pen against the paper, my life cascades…

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Time Travel

#Guest post | Author prefers anonymity but willing to show face over a beer or two.

The time. Twenty friggin’ future. Place. My cluttered mind of course. Muse. The girl on parliament road. My past. Life on its knees facing inevitable death from drowning in the murky sea of depression. My present. Perfect utopia only seen in the movies and at night with our eyes sealed shut by the weight of magic dust and some busy fairies.

Am peeking into the future through a spy glass.


I see Jo, tall in all his majesty, spinning his lover across the living room floor of their retirement home. He has that spark in his eyes when he is excited about something…or someone, in this case. Jo is my low-key best friend. An unspoken agreement between gentlemen to anger and infuriate each other whenever we can when people are looking. Secretly, Jo and I share mysteries of the world and all the knowledge bequeathed upon us and giggle at the vanity of others. We also judged them. Screw what you are thinking of us.

When Jo fell sick, however, I got scared. I lived up to the notion of its impossibility. Such absurdity. We’d all die and leave Jo behind. He was indestructible. Then Jo died. Death has been that lover who always fooled me and chose his other mistresses and I always came back to grovel at his feet. Squirm. Crave. But he never loved me back. He relished at seeing me suffer. Lived for the pain and agony that I went through each time. And when he took Jo that was the last straw. Something inside me relaxed and lessened its grip. Another thing contracted and chocked me.

I re-adjust the lenses and see something else.

I see love. I see the gap between the rich and the poor as non-existent. I see people content with what they have and nobody is out to get the other for what’s not theirs. I see love when religion is being used to ease indescribable pain and heartache and not as a mantra to vanquish a people for not sharing in your beliefs. I see freedom in love and love in freedom. I see a people not tied behind some social, political and economic construct but a love so overwhelming it makes your chest want to explode till there is no hate no more, but only love.

I see a love that doesn’t have to make any sense.

I see love in its grandest form. Free like the birds of the air and as powerful as the stormy gales. I see a love gentle like a sea breeze. Calm like the eye of the storm. I see love curved on the arch of my muse’s back when she succumbs to ecstasy. When she lets herself ride the waves of passion coursing through our bodies and screams my name. When she wakes up in the middle of the night to kiss my forehead and whisper her undying love to me and the great expanse of the sky.


“Time was passing like a hand waving from a train I wanted to be on. 
I hope you never have to think about anything as much as I think about you.”
–Jonathan Safran Foeraption .                              Picture courtesy of @berlinartparasites 

I see a love whereby I can be with the person who wants me as much as I want them and not having to wonder, ‘what if?’

Sadly, people are fighting people alongside diseases and alien attacks. When did we get to points like these where the sight of another person’s blood gushing and splashing all over you invokes a sense of pride? When did we relish the idea of causing immeasurable suffering upon others without even a shadow of remorse? When did we get so callous with humanity?

“Preacher don’t send me to a ghetto in the sky. Don’t promise me streets of gold and free milk…promise me families will be loyal and strangers will be kind. Promise me that or nothing at all.”

See, as I peered into the future, I saw everything that I crave for. Yearned for. I saw myself happy as we all deserve to be and never having to lie between our teeth and with tears in our souls that, ‘it is okay.’ I saw a piece of heaven here on earth.

But who am I kidding, ey?