VIII. Shakespeare or the Bible?
Ati, what’s that got to do with anything…? Or do you mean to ask which one I penda, eh?
Skia, a guy… Just because I know some wannabe writers doesn’t maanisha ati I read them or anything else for that matter. Me, I read money…kwisha! I am a businessman… it is all I wanted to be when I grew up. And I am all grown now… and I am not saying that those boyz haven’t grown up yet, they just grew up into something I don’t jua.
I mean, how do you grow up with your boys, dinya the same chicks, half-life anything that matters with them and skive all the same classes… then you wake up one day and the guys are writing stuff that makes you go, ati what? Thing that puzzles me most is vile they are seaming: this is what it is like in our mtaa. But the only thing I recognise in those stories is the nouns.
Really, who are these guys, trying to tell more stories than my grandmother? And it is fine if that is what they want to do but why can’t they just tell stories like the rest of us. Yaani, anaa time I am in the old neighbourhood and I have brought 18 litres of muratina and you know these situations, people thank you for your largesse by giving you an audience. It is the same thing politicians do at funerals, yaani, if a guy writes you a cheque for five thousand bob, you have to sit and listen to his crap. So I am in the middle of a storo big time. See, I am right there speaking like a mtaa boy telling them about the hustle- cops sumbuaing, mafala kuangushwa- and you know what N.M says? “Dinda, man, conjugate?” I didn’t know what conjugate meant back then, but now that I do… conjugate sheng? Who the fuck is this guy, really?
If I am allowed to think, I can say that this writing thing is all good fun, when you are nineteen sipping on Napshizzle in the mtaa, but bro… by the time we are hitting 25 and I am living in one of those, so called leafy suburbs and Timi and P still don’t have a hustle… something is wrong. I mean, it is one thing to not believe in money but it is something else trying to at least try and afford your own fucking booze, you know.
So I am the guy that everyone is flashing because Timi’s sister needs school fees; the Stone Zone is grumpy from alcohol withdrawal; Jose has been arrested again and the OCS is on the case so we are looking at 10Gs, minimum, for the bribe and... Bobo needs another abortion.
It is the reason why us Africans cannot endelea…I mean, I haven’t shagged Bobo since she grew breasts but it is money out of my pocket when everyone else does.
But then again these are my people. It might keep a man like me, a man with ambition, down, but then a man like me cannot exist without a people like them. I am talking about community, belonging… and I cannot speak for Niggers in bloody Congo or Namibia, but what I know of Africa- Sekta III- down there they have a God who they call community. And I love my Sekta III people like ‘Bumpy’ loved his Harlem people. Because there was a time I was a ten-bob-a-joint peddler and yet they all loved me like a brother.
People had my back when I didn’t have shit and I was working choo namba nane. Insane times those, my friend, when I considered it a good day if I had sold nothing but got away with my life. Lived, as we used to say, to die another day. And you know, the boys would come down and shoot the breeze, write Kanjo Mavi on the wall… you know, just be around which a lot of times meant that some big, ugly street kid would not try to stick his mangy prick up my arse that day.
So, on the one hand I cannot bitch but on the other hand I have to hate the guy that invented Mpesa. It made it easier to give but it took away the speeches that go with it… the community. You know, long before Mpesa, when we would hit both an ATM and the nearest wines and spirits and then head out to meet our people, N.M used to say that, to Sekta III, I was like a visiting professor. I didn’t get it. But P put it better: “Dinda, you are the proud alumnus of Mtaa Senior School, who went out there and beat the system and are now returned laden not only with spoils but insider knowledge too. Tunakuinamishia…!”
Anyway, all I am saying is that a man’s money leaves him through many doors, question is: will people come to your funeral because you were a true Negro or will they come because someone has to dig the grave, anyway?
And what I say of me, Me I am a decent African man, the children I know off, I pay for, those that I do not, I pray for.