Saturday, April 22, 2006


…natuo tuhiu tuthece matu…tuthece matu!

Namo matu makoiria mbura makoiria mbura…

He sat lotus like on the dark coloured mat. A mat made of the finest Nubian skin harvested in the days of the siege of Juba. Naked he was, his skin glistening even under the crouching darkness of the witching hour.

I stood, my sheepskin loin cloth in stark contrast with my patent leather ‘Gikomba Deluxe’ shoes and unmatched socks. My forefather’s spirit beckoned from the other side; but as always I held back. My feet shod in modernity. The modernity that is the gravitational pull that keeps me grounded in the terra firma of present day realities- realities of science and foreign gods. But a time comes for me when ying has to met yang; when the souls of the departed twine with those of the living; a time for the past to find harmony with the present; a time for necromancy

The cock crowed once. It was the cock as the mundu mugo had said, “of one body”. It crowed twice. A pure white cock it was, a cock that was as THEY say, as white as snow. The cock crowed thrice. I bit of its head.

I raised my face to Mount KenyaThai Thathaiya Ngai!

Potash Wept

Potash wept for the famine stricken land. For millions that were staved. It was the season of the long rains again. We had to have it this time. If it rains, grass will grow.

…nayo nyeki ikarera njau ikarera njau…

Let it rain! Let it rain!

Teardrops in my eyes, right before the raindrops. Yes raindrops. Manna is, ‘What is it?’ Manna is raindrops on parched earth. The heavens opened to wash away my tears. I opened my moutho- no, I spat out the chicken head first- and was filled. Filled with the green house gas flavoured drops of rain.

….Mbura ura, nguthinjire, gategwa…kari iguku!

The rain filled my mouth and mixed with the blood. The blood of a cock that died that the grass may be saved and have an ever-green life. The cock that has seen too many incarnations since Abraham’s Isaac lived to tell his tale. A cock whose fate sealed the moment God began demanding protection money in the form of firstborn sons or the substitutionary Atonement equivalent in lieu. A cock that has often times been a lamb- or referred to as that; remember Christ crucified? “We want Barrabas!” He died that the felon may live. How great to have another die for you. How humanity, and its gods, demands blood for it covenants. The blood, as Edgar Poe says, is the avatar and the seal.

The blood of the gods is quenched. The rains are here. It doesn’t rain they say, it pours. In Budalangi, Kano plains; they know it all. The rains wash away famine from our headlines and replace it with floods. If it doesn’t rain we die, if it rains we die. Oh misery mine..

…Rain rain go away..

come along another day…

When will ever move to higher ground? A higher state of logic that will allow us not to live as slaves to the elements. I mean, it is already bad enough being slaves to the neo-colonialists and purveyors of dog food…

Maybe someday the rain will not bring tears. Maybe someday the lack of rain will not bring tears. Maybe someday the Government will not bring tears. But up until that day, I am stuck with putting out my begging bowl, for famine relief, by day and biting on chicken heads by night in orgies with necromancers- Looking for a Rain God!

Thursday, April 13, 2006


(Submitted in partial fulfillment of a certificate course
in Urban Linguistics. )

Mtaa Polytechnic- Ask for plumber

The yuppie looked me in the eye. Potash isn't street Philosophy an oxymoron? Maybe. Philein Sophia has to remain the priviledge of mabepari and denizens of ivory towers. The literati.
Potash, I charge thee stick to the Picaresque Narrative. It befits your proletarian idealism, Robin Hood.
Aiih kizee...

Did I mention I speak fluent sheng?
"Sheng is bad news for those interested in upward mobility"
Upward? I can only go as far up as the marijuana-smoke ceiling. The literati? The last thing I read was the label on the can of Napshizzle.

The next day. Digolos. Rock-O, gaffs...nini...nini...

The lawyer she look me in the glazed eye. Potash your english is evidence of good schooling.
Ofcourse it is. Education cannot be imparted in the vulgar tongue of the native. Shenzi type.

My parents were brought up on Shakespeare and the bible. The Shakespeare just incase assimilation, of the Kaffir, could be achieved but the bible mostly to tame the heathen- you cannot sjambok a vodoo priest quoth the Native Commissioner. No limey.No.

I was brough up on Shakespeare and the Bible.
...Perpetuated in the Nyayo Philosophy of Peace, Love and Ngugi Anathema.
The bible because we are a Christian Nation. Duh. It is a mark of civilisation. And Shakespeare because it didn't mirror our rotten society/ government. See we couldn't understand Shakespeare anyway.
8-4- 4 was meant to turn us into carpenters, like Christ's terrestrial daddy. Not Taban Liyong's Intellectual- intelligentsia- convertibles.

But we all couldn't be carpenters... and you still wonder why I am angry at the system?
"Sheng is mostly a stealth language that promotes defiance of authoritative figures."

Nigga Puhliiz!

Study skills- Grammar
They taught me to use Roget's Thesaurus, Oxford English Dictionary.
Synonym Vs. Antonym

Synonyms: words with similar meaning; Exempli Gratia: Kumanga, Kusosi, Kudema.
Verb: Action/ doing word: Eat, Kula, Manga

Object: Refers to person or thing that is affected by the action of the verb: To eat food, kula chakula, Kumanga dish.

In English if you say "to eat" " doesnt know what one is eating"
Question tag: Knowest he?

Logic 101: Fallacy of the uneven middle term.

"There is no standard sheng spoken anywhere" Indeed. Neither is there such spoken English. Cockney!
American Vs. British; Kibich Vs. Ololo.

Or maybe they banned colloquialism and we never got to know about it down here. Hope they can bring the edict down here next time they jump into their relief food truck.

In the meantime to use synonyms to suggest lack of standardised sheng is to me the fallacious grandstanding of an individual who in light of his peculiar, bigoted and ill-informed view of the subject, applies technical terms arbitrarily and consequently brings disrepute to the study of linguistics and the so called 'objectivity' of journalism.

Commentator garbage

IV (b)
Ngeli ya KI: VI:
Kibao Vodka

Niko mtaani nawaka na supuu wa Karen. Walai! Dolli soap soapu.
(She tipsy. Changaa in a boti. Pseudo- vodoski. Easy vibe. "I penda you". In Vino Veritas

On TV, the President. Kuna vile amejienjoy. Kujienjoy doesn't mean to have a good time in my 'hood or any other that I know of!
The president doesn't speak sheng unless his is so dated I cannot figure it out. Retro Makerere?

Two national exams. Straight A's in English. A near perfect score in TOEFL and SAT. I can teach the house of windsor their conjugation- if they can find time in between extra- conjugal trysts.

I decline English and the Latin Equivalent

(Haiya, mpaka I can tell complex mazungu jokes, remember George Eliott; The Mill on The Floss: "what will you declie, roast beef or the Latin equivalent?... ha!ha!ha!)

But how, pray tell does that help me hawk bananas in Gikomba?

The Gigiri crowd can write their high- brow papers in UN Languages trying to change the world, but the world they want to change speaks in the vulgar "...sheng... cop-out of good grammar and academic rigour... linguistic garbage- a non- language that has no stable syntax, no form, no structure and no rules of grammar.

Mwaura ends: "What rubbish!"
Prezzo ends: "Hii ni upumbavu...!"
Vox Populi: "Puba... labda ujijazie asa po!


Sheng is a Secret Code for Deviance;
Mwaura, Peter
The Saturday Nation, April 8th 2006

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Have you ever been jacked…shieet!

I mean there are polite thugs- like those dudes who were singing hymns in the bank. Ama the guys who ingia a bar and throw you a rao. Decent fellows who remind me of church- the priests throws everyone a shot alafu… toa ndugu... toa dada..
Kila ulicho nacho! Hata mobile ni sawa.

But there are crazy obs. Huko in the cocks you are from the hanye; broke ass as per kawa. It is the jave, manze. Suddenly. Some guy in a suit huko nyuma goes:
“Na kwani hii gari inaenda wapi?’

The kange does not even look at him, he just sips on his breakfast Napshizzle and goes:

“Kwani wewe unaenda wapi?”

Another guy, behind the driver, non-chalantly:

“Si mimi naenda Gachie…kwani?”

Baas….People angaliana. They know the drill.

Now huko mbele:

“Dere si ukuje pande hii…”

It is a request.

Toa ndugu… toa dada

Kila ulichonacho. Lakini anza na mobile!

Si you are easy. You have been down this way before. They take you huko kwa kahawa; Nyari/ Peponi road, they give the dere a 2 soc for fries and directions to the nearest cop station. “Just patia us twenty minutes tutoroke alafu mwende mreport”

But this time wapi!

“kila mtu shini na utoe suruali ya ndani…”

“Haya shikana wawili wawili kama kwa safina”

Nao huko you kosad a takeaway at the rave and you are kidogo horny so you are turning with a smile….oops!

Mama Njeri your local mama mboga on her way back from marikiti. You start consoling yourself vile her two daughters are fine. In all ways. I mean you been there, done that…. But her, she is like 59 years. Is bilas.

“Haya angalia haka, kwani kanangoja Viagra?”

Haidhuru you say to yourself. Alafu uko na yako. Ni sawa tu. So you start to chomoa the Trust.

“Ngai, morio, haka ati kanavaa sii ndii…!”

Suddenly, there is a guy pistol whipping you into premature ejaculation screaming:

“Nyama kwa nyama”

Maisha sio sawa

Saturday, April 08, 2006


"In the beginning was the word..." john 1:1

In the beginning, Potash said: "I want to be understood, but most importantly, I want to be misunderstood... it is the only way to stay relevant" ( Frankly, that is how God stays in business; consider this: "I AM WHO I AM" -Ex 3:14)

Potash IS...

And on this third month on KBW, still is...

But it hasn't been easy, writing my street gospel. That because I am by philosophical orientation a hedonist and yet by tragedy of circumstances,life has imposed on me Ascetism. In my heart, my mind, my ego- I wear the badge of a YUPPIE but in the witch's-tit-coldness of reality, the P is for POSEUR: Young Urban Poseur!

It hasn't been easy to keep this story going this last couple of weeks. Then again the city hasn't been kind. I of necessity had to take forced leave, like a whistle blowing bureaucrat, from these scribly pursuits. And off to the village I skwalled; not a moment to bid the metropolis Adieus.

In a decripit village, in a clapboard lean to- where fowls roost on the rafters and men lay their bed rags on the sodden earth floor- I sojourned. Now my ego, that was previously crucified- accursed as a Jew would have it(Deut: 21:23)- lay in a shallow grave rent without quarter into a carcass for hounds.

But man is for hoping, cucu used to say, besides what's a Kenyan without a village: mine was a Kenyan Urban narrative but the somewhere the village lurked. Here is to its coming out: (Potash bottom- ups a hornful of muratina). Furthermore, there was the appointment with the necromancer- mundu mugo- whatever, that I mean to keep... by and by.

For those who tarried here, blessed art thou for thou shalt be quenched in this my return.

For just- passing- by folks, know ye that I do not proselytize. (There aren't even any pools in cyberspace for your baptism). Yet I am like John The Baptist- Vox Clamantis in Deserto- Making disciples. As swahili sages said: Chema Cha jiuza.

For nay saying folks, that said Potash couldn't write to save his Napshizzle: will you stoke the flames with my writings or will I finally make it, even though barely - like the Agnostic Gospel of John The Apostle- into your lowbrow Canon of Populist Literature?

Finally,to my most noble, e'en worthy, brethren: ye that are circumcised in the mind; most Orthodox in Potashian Doctrine; Defenders of the Faith; go tell it on the mountain, o'er the hills and blogs-o-where, go tell ...that Potash is back!