Saturday, January 30, 2010

The au pair who loved me (without those irritating subtitles)

Three years ago I stayed with my best friend Mike in Thigiri for two months while our house was getting renovated. I was ensconced at the lavish poolside guest suite at the back of the main house separated from the domestic servant quarters by a large cabro-paved courtyard.

Mike’s two angelic offspring are my cherished godchildren and at the time they had an au pair, a young woman from a neighbouring French-speaking country. Mike and Zawadi just wanted their kids to get a head start in life from speaking a foreign language. The au pair’s name was Brigitte and she used to sleep in the domestic servants’ quarters 20 metres or so from my suite.

One breezy night I was startled by an urgent tapping on the bedroom window to spy Brigitte standing outside in the leafy shadows. I thought she looked petrified so I said come to the door and then I got out of the cosy warm bed in my pyjamas after I deftly shut my proscribed-in-Kenya gay porn mag and slipped it under the mattress. When she came to the door I saw Brigitte only had on a deliciously flimsy lavender-coloured see-through nightie more like a mini-camisole and nothing else under. And I mean nothing. Picture that sight because it really happened but then I thought, wait a minute, am I imagining things but I wasn’t imagining because she was there in the flesh and I hadn’t had a drink (hard for some to believe but true). I asked her what’s the matter and she said she was so afraid to sleep in her room alone because she’d eyed a monster spider careening under her bed.

Now, I totally understand the fear of arachnids and other creepy crawlies so I caught her arm said you better come inside quickly and get out of harm’s way. I closed the door and said I’ll go wake Mike and ask him what to do but she sshh-shhed me and whispered hoarsely (excuse me but I’ll do my best to do the accent):

‘No need to coll Mr Mike, Tamakuh. Of al’ ze men I’ve met since I come to Kenyah, therez sam-sing sp├ęcial that…how do you say?….. ooo- la- la….draws me like a magnet to you….aaahh. Me and you…we spend ze night togezzer and no ozer personne needs to know I promesse, non?

So flattering these French-accented lovelies, but oh so, so unfair. Why, why, why knock on the wrong door? Why would it not have been a monsieur kneeling before me asking me about suckin ze kok..

She was standing right up close her eyes flickering wildly like fireflies and I was gulping the night air ogling her goodies. I sink ze fear of ze spider and ze cold July night had made ze nipples stand all sharp and pointy like…

That’s when the penny dropped. But you know me I always do as I’m telled (new English word, lol!)and don’t like to disappoint anyone, least of all damsels in disdress, so I said it’s a very generous offer but not here and not tonight my dear. If you like you can have ze warm bed and I’ll sleep on ze couch. This is what we did until the next morning when I woke up to find she’d gone.

Later that day I called the house from the office to speak to Brigitte. I told her she was absolutely gorgeous but I didn’t think anything should happen between the two of us because of too many complications but I was happy for us to remain friends. Brigitte was taking none of it lying down, she asked me sweetly why not, could we not be friends with benefeets or what you call in English buck fuddies? (opps there’s a spoonerism just for you!) I said I’ve thought long and hard (lies) - but I don’t want to use you and end up hurting your feelings (trues)…I remember also using other words like ‘respect’, 'frogs and princes' and ‘commitment’…blah blah blah. After that we shook hands mentally and agreed to just be friends.

It all turned out well in the end. Brigitte soon met up with one of her compatriots who swept her off her feet in a Mills and Boon with violins-in-the-background romance style. Last year they went back home and now I’m invited to the Land of a Thousand Hills for their wedding later this year.

I’m happy that we were able to develop and maintain such a wonderful friendship to this day.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?

A long time ago, around the time that Trust Bank went under with our terminally ill neighbour’s life savings, I used to be flat mates with a lovely young lady from somewhere down south. She was a stunning black beauty (a deep-black gem a kind rarely seen in Kenya those days).

One day she said to me, ‘Tam, I’m sexually and emotionally starved, I need a boyfriend. Why do the ‘half-caste’ girls have all the nice guys?’ Fact is some black Nairobians equate biracial (aka ‘.5’ or ‘pointi’) with superior social and economic status placing them somewhere in between White and Asian people. These snobs, usually wearing emerald-colored contact lenses, like posing in roach-infested nightclubs combing tobacco-stained fingertips through the tangled blonde weaves sewn on their heads. I replied in a lisp because I used to wear teeth braces back then: ‘Join the queue thithta. I know how you feel because I too desperately need a boyfriend but any caste will do.’ Anyway deep in her mind she was convinced that the reason she didn’t have a steady guy was because she was pitch-dark in complexion. You’ll be amazed the number of people who have self-image issues.

So Janice went out and bought some skin lightening creams which came in yellow tubes, it’s not legal to sell them any more. I said please do be careful you don’t need that poison, you really look amazing just the way God made you, however if you must then don’t leave the tubes lying around in the bathroom I might confuse them for that cream I use to treat my piles. Her mind was made up to attempt to dilute her blackness and nothing would stop her. Well, the results in a few short months were extreme. Soon she looked yellow all over even difficult to ‘treat’ areas like knuckles, knees, ankles, and elbows. She felt vindicated when she shortly hooked herself a nice guy who loved to show off his light-skinned catch.

One Saturday night we were all at the flat jus’ chillaxin’, too broke to go anywhere listening to Musical Youth, ‘how does it feel when you’ve got no food?’ when the boyfriend chanced on a photograph of a younger ‘old’ Janice in the drawer where we used to hide our stash of weed (highly illegal in Kenya make sure you never get caught or they’ll make an example of you unless you have friends in high places – lol!). He asked aloud, ‘Who is this?’ Janice looked spooked but she recovered quickly and lied: ‘It’s my cuzin from bek home.’ The boyfriend looked at the picture again and said, ‘Your cousin is one deadly chick’ but he didn’t mean she had chlamydia (now that's deadly) that’s just the way we used to talk then. Then we carried on passing the spliff on the left hand side.

A year later I was overjoyed to learn they were expecting a baby. When baby Tandy finally arrived she was an original dark copy of her mother. 100% African.

Sting in the tail is that the boyfriend left them because he felt cheated to discover that he had been dating 'local' all along....

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Life is about one gay at a time and keeping fit playing sports (long version)

I think I’m getting a little lazier by the day. I resigned my job at the beginning of December to ‘pursue other interests’ because I believed life should not be just about sitting in endless meetings listening to the same old chatter and nodding like a puppy while dreaming, the sky is so blue and the sun is really shining brightly outside, how I wish I was working on a farm milking cows. We’re still looking for an ideal piece of land to come along at the right price. In the interim I get by on morsels dripping from freelance consultancy work but I’m not exactly overwhelmed. I even put in for voluntary work but nothing yet.

George also left his job with the police force. He’s now a supervisor for a security firm (not the one that keeps losing millions of shillings in transit, ok?). I can’t tell you which one otherwise I’d have to kill you, lol! Anyway he’s definitely getting more confident; thankfully he’s never had that problem in bed hehehehehe. A long time ago I read lies somewhere (no doubt by a sad and lonely bachelor) that there’s nothing like an impotent man; just an incompetent woman. Some men! And the pay George is getting is way better. I’m so happy for him because your self-esteem can take a dent when you’ve got a college diploma but end up working as a Nairobi traffic policeman (many might disagree).

Weekdays I normally get out of bed 8am-ish scratching my bum yawning and thinking foggily, ‘Thank you dear Lord for a lovely new day but what am I going to do with it?’ The demons in my head reply, ‘Tam, today you are going to do less than you did yesterday,’ and shortly after I have breakfast, cooked for me by Imelda (tireless gay-friendly house-keeper). I then sit sipping Sasini-gold black tea in the garden or on the balcony while I catch up on the newspapers. I can’t bear the morning news on the telly. I think that’s when you’re most likely to endure dyslexic presenters. One newsreader who looks like how I imagine William Ruto's and Martha Karua’s lovechild might look over shuffles papers as though she’s ad libbing, everyone knows it’s the autocue, sweetie.

I grab a quick wash next, lately singing what, what in the butt for inspiration. Let me confess at this point, my friends, that yes I do pee in the shower. Don’t be disgusted it’s really textbook man-alone-in-shower and we’ve had this conversation before. It’s how men are plumbed between the legs even the bits look like taps anyway. After I dry myself and dust some nivea pure fine talc on my nuts I get dressed. Freedom means no more suits just tracksuit bottoms and loose kitenge tops. I then sit in the study lying to myself that I'll get some work done at the computer. BTW, there are so many unsecured wireless connections around here it beggars belief. Every other day I also make kit calls to former colleagues (to keep in touch). It’s easy to forget and be forgotten and I also don’t want to cut myself off completely from other humans. This goes on till 11am when I go downstairs to join Imelda for the rest of the day. She’s usually getting our lunch ready or doing some cleaning so I get in the way talking too much while drinking lager. I know it’s very naughty because I now drink at least 3 deliciously cold tuskers before lunch. But not the other day because I wanted to be sharp while live-streaming Clinton’s major policy address on internet freedom. Cheers and good work Hillary!

Imelda is wonderful company and so, so easy to be around. I’m not just saying it, she really is one of God's angels. I love to bounce my tipsy ideas off her from the labyrinth I used to navigate that is branding and PR. In exchange I’m learning about accounting and finance (she’s taking a course at a college in town). Some days I forget about lunch (cold beers can numb the mind and they dull the appetite). So we play some pool (I'm good, but not misspent-youth good) or darts (flukey) in the family room which we converted to a games room and I end up having 5 or 6 half-litre cans straight from the fridge before 3 pm. Imelda never has an alcoholic beverage during the day unless it’s election time when we are nervously awaiting results but sometimes I secretly wish she’d drop her guard because I’d love to peel away the layers for a sneaky peek, see what I find (*major eye-roll*, some people and their filthy thoughts, eish!). She told me last week that now she’s got me during the day it’s like we are a married couple. I laughed but I wasn’t thinking anything like that. I just hope we get to that farm or something worthwhile to do soon. Check my CV, if you hear anything interesting please drop me an email.

In the meantime you can all rest assured that I’m getting better at playing pool.

(Pic is of the shoeshine bank on Aga Khan Walk - Harambee Avenue near my old office)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Chickens come home to roost and some even want to touch your tits

About half a year ago I posted here about my concerns on the growing security threat facing Kenya from lawless Somalia unless drastic preemptive action was taken. There are various elements from that territory (some have already shown their hand in last week's audacious riots in Nairobi's CBD) who threaten our way of life and the government must waste no more time in taking decisive action to smash them.

Otherwise we face a real risk of having Kenyan womens' bras confiscated if they should fail the Al-Shabab firm-bust test.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Which uncouth homosexual tried to finger Barack Muluka, eh? Now look what you’ve done.

I was sitting alone in the garden the other morning having breakfast and trying to figure out what event could have triggered the recent outburst from Barack Muluka. Question: By the way is it Barack with a single or two r's? I felt the anger in the article, it was very personal, I thought here’s a dude who needs to get a grip and lighten up. Especially when I read that part about coming ‘across uncouth male characters who will even try to finger you in conversation and try ‘taking you out’. Mmmmm....this one takes himself too seriously.

Sounds to me like a distressed plea to get shown the ropes on how to ‘congress homosexually’ (reverse psychology 101 chapter on Spotting the Repressed Kenyan Homosexual). Yuck, these ‘journalists’ will try anything all in the name of advancing their craft. Ok fair enough Barry, you know me, always happy to help out. Only condition is that before we proceed and get you trained on this fingering business I must insist you first have an enema. Pure and simple. Yep, you heard right! No ifs no buts darling, fix a hose of gushing water up your arse and enjoy. You can tape old copies of the Standard on the walls to prevent any splatter messing up your room’s decor. Because shit happens also make sure you do it when you are all alone, they’ll be a lot of erm, previously unseen compacted faecal material. (The mental picture was enough to put me right off my breakfast,lol).

Allow me to refresh your memory, dear reader, just where you might have come across that brand of fascist vitriol before. The unwarranted aggression and habit of conflating abhorrent acts of criminality (rape, bestiality , paedophilia) with homosexuality is spookily common to that toerag blogger ‘Blake’ who used to spew his lies here before he got shut down. He’s always whining about how he was shat on. These bullies who can’t take it like a man, I pity them. Since he moved to the other place he’s faded into obscurity.

Or is this the resurrection?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Go, Kenya Go!

I’m delighted with the news that Kenyans are now using over 15 million condoms per month up from 7 million. It's phenomenal considering George and I only got together last year and also after that scare about 'leaky' condoms in the market! By the way would it be fitting to name such a child 'Houdini'? Lol!

Seriously though, I just pray the statistics are to be believed because I haven’t seen anyone round our house rifling through the bins....

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Getting a boy to do a man’s job where cash is king

Reading the harrowing tales of abuse that Kenyan maids have suffered at the hands of their Saudi masters I’m reminded how shamefully some gay expatriates and well-heeled Kenyans are guilty of employing male domestic workers (gardeners, drivers, house-keepers etc) and also subjecting them to horrendous abuse.

There’s an abundance of unskilled labour here in one of the world’s most unequal countries, so some unscrupulous employers get away with paying salaries as low as KSH 4,000 (around USD 50) per month! for 18 hour–days with no shortage of candidates to exploit. The nightmare for the mwananchi (‘citizen’ but lately used by politicians to mean gullible slum-dwelling hoi polloi or The Great Unwashed) can start when he responds to one of those ads placed on shopping mall noticeboards: ‘Live-in Houseboy Wanted by Expat’.

Expat’ in Kenya for many locals conjures up images of better working conditions, Weetabix, evergreen money-growing trees on a well-tended lawn, red Corps Diplomatique licence plates and the chance to dine at the drivers’ canteen when you get taken to the Mara on a working-holiday, wow. Unfortunately there are also cases of some ‘houseboys’ (sometimes married men with families, by the way) being coerced to perform sexual acts as demanded from time to time by the boss. If you thought you had a bad day at the office, think again. This is job mis-description with ass-licking for real!

Sadly a combination of ‘macho society’ and the fear of losing a job means these faceless victims continue to wipe away nightly tears of shame in silence, within plush gated- communities and the over-manicured kei apple hedges grown to keep one set of undesirables from the other. Another irony is that the male employer (saddled with the excessive pay and perks of a business mogul but usually working for NGOs to help the living-on-less-than-a-dollar-a-day Kenyans) is able to buy a veneer of respectability because he hasn’t taken on a female worker. It’s also a fact that Kenyan women form the obvious sexual diet for the majority of predatory employers.

What troubles me still is these are some of the many people here who refer to an adult man as ‘boy’ or grown woman as ‘girl ‘ – 'houseboy', 'shamba-boy' (gardener). Might there be a perverse connection with the apathy that seems to surround the cases of child abuse in this country?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

What to do now?

First poll of 2010 is here. Thanks for those who voted in the last one, I hope anyone who confessed to seeing me naked in their dreams has dried themselves up after a cold shower. Anyway (moving on swiftly) this new poll concerns the boyfriend of a friend’s cousin, a best friend and Facebook. I’m told the issue of cheating is one that plagues many gay relationships. Please vote and let me know what you’d do in the circumstances; poll’s on the left.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What do traditions have to do with any marriage?

Homophobes like to argue against gay unions citing 'traditions'. So here comes a video clip* that deals with some of those 'traditions'.

*With permission from Keith Hartman

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Kenyans must come together to save Mau Forest even if it means giving Daniel arap Moi more tea

We returned to a sodden Nairobi last night which made it a tad better for my arthritic knee after arctic Britain. I see that ex-President Moi has been bolstering his 'impeccable' elder-statesman credentials with his unhelpful brand of science expounding how scarring swathes of Mau Forest Complex with tea plantations has not contributed to any detrimental effects on this crucial water tower. And a member of his erstwhile government William Ole Ntimama has joined the fray claiming to have allocated the forest land under duress. He’s conveniently invoking the principle of following orders (Nuremberg Defense-style) because I know wily Bill Ole Ntimama is no one’s fool.

You can say teetotaller Moi and Ntimama are like frequent whisky- mixed- with- red-wine hangovers; they just get worse and dangerous with age. Scientific fact coming up: More congeners in dark-coloured drinks will give you monster hangovers.

Moi in his trademark raspy voice and toting a silver-tipped ivory baton likes to cloak himself as a traditionalist and a staunch Christian. Who can forget him in the 90’s striking out viperously against homosexuality terming it unAfrican and unChristian? In order to be respected, authority has got to be respectable (Tom Robbins, much respect), unfortunately most of what we remember about Moi is how he, his family and cronies were implicated in many sophisticated corruption scandals of unforgivable proportions. I doubt he has the sense God gave the crocodiles on the Mara River (when they lie waiting for wildebeeste) to draw less attention to himself.

I’m 99.99% certain he’ll now be at the front of the queue; cap in hand, chasing a bumper compensation for dubiously acquired property. Let’s just pay him off and hope it buys him sleep in his sunset years.