The Man Who Sold This Country: #2

No. My answer is no.

[And this is a rant as well by the way, all the way to the end, so quit early if you can’t handle it. Or it has anything to do with your job tomorrow]

I am not even worried about the economy. I make just enough money [and its quite surprising if you see the drama that happens to my bank accounts] to forget that I can pay more than I should and then proceed to not care.

To tell you truth, I don’t feel this country. Not as a thing really. It’s bad that most of the stories you find here are about history, and history is easy to tell. Things happen, Things happened. You can’t change them, and there’s something comforting in that.

But this is real. Your shopping bill has gone higher. Apollo Mboya spent a chunk of his life so far fighting a fight you didn’t even know you were paying for [the KPLC thing, if you need to catch up]. Know what happened with that? We won for a day, then we lost.

Ezekiel Mutua has been our distraction on Twitter. Trying to tell us that a movie is what is wrong with the country. There are too many of this kind of men and women to mention, but they don’t matter really.

Here’s the thing. We are fucked. There’s no other way to say it. There’s no Christian way to say it. There’s no way to say it nicer. There’s no way for you and I to be sure that because I wrote and posted this, I will be alive at the end of this sentence. That’s the thing. That thing you feel is called fear. It takes over your body and your senses. It takes you away from your home and your job. It takes you when, that moment when your kids are playing happily on a bouncy castle you have paid for, your mind is only there for instincts. To make sure these young future taxpayers don’t break their necks and leave you owing more than you did before they died.

You should start them early. If you have young kids, long before you have that sex and condoms conversation. Sit them down in your house in Kinoo or in Mlolongo or wherever, and look them in eye, move closer even, and tell them their future was sold a while ago. You might not want to mention you contributed to it, we should know by now what passing generational trauma to kids does..

If you don’t have kids yet, you probably shouldn’t. Just keep your ovaries and sperm for whatever is under the soil. Because whoever you give birth to, today, will not live a happy life. You haven’t. In fact, in this construct of a country, no one has. We are broken. I have said this before. We were born and raised that way.

Scars. I asked a question on Twitter a while back about scars, and answers went everywhere. About bicycle scars, about riding into cows, jumping over fences, fighting siblings, thinking about love when ironing, jumping from the bed because Superman. That feeling, when those stories were told, when we thought we had a childhood, are actually the legitimate human experience.

This is not normal. And it must end. It must stop.

This is not the story of my generation.

It is not a story of chaos. It is not what it should be. It is not what whatever deity or lord you worship must have intended if he cared for you.

I am weary. Really weary. How many fights can a single human being fight in a day? How many comments can he leave? How many more paid trolls can he fight? How many distractions must he bear? How many more taxes can one human being pay? Are you broke yet?

Fatigue works like this. You go through something, good or bad. You open the door. You remove your shoes without really knowing it. You drop your bag. Or think about it. Then you lock the door. Then you remove something. It could be a bra, or the key. Then you sigh. Then you try and forget the only reality that exists. That you have worked hard all day but you are sad. And labour, in its true and pure form, is meant to bring us pleasure. Balancing accounts or helping clients draft affidavits should give us joy. Did the human Kenyan you were today bring you any joy? In any form? When is the last time you just laughed because something was stupid and funny and weird, and you liked it and your mother wasn’t there.

Our jobs sadden us. Our bosses, even while they are suffering the same fate, might as well be Uhuru Kenyatta himself. And yesterday, a good chunk of people tried to defend Uhuru Kenyatta. How anyone can at this point is not a surprise to me. This is who we are. We are storytellers.

In fact, I am less of a storyteller than you are. If you actually know what’s happening in this country, what happened yesterday, and last month, and you are still here, reading this, then you are a dreamer. Somehow, we have survived. We have woken up one morning and just asked ourselves “How the fuck am I still alive?” Then we have gone and survived again.

It’s not taxes. It’s not even China. It’s not even, and this is surprising, Uhuru Kenyatta. It is fear. We are a people built and joined by one thing alone, fear. A dread of any other possibility, any likelihood of pleasure over pain in our human experience.

Your country does not define you. You define it. Identity is a personal thing. It is a thing that begins far before it becomes a people, or a nation, or a broke state. Identity, that person you look at in the mirror to make sure you don’t have any boogers, is actually who you believe yourself to be. And why it matters. To you.

There’s no carthasis here, and I will end this post with the line “Welcome to my TED talk” because I can. But now that you know how this story ends, do you know how you will feel three paragraphs afte rthis? What fire I might ignite? Because the people who think these stories are for them think that’s what you think. Because we are a state, a government, not a people.

There’s a little oasis in Loiyangalani that looks like how every oasis should look. It is a valley in the harsh Mad Max wild. Just a dip with a hint of green until you get to it. It has been in a movie, I think, but that’s not why I brought it up. It was the oasis part, the fact that we, adults who believe ourselves well-adjusted, drove for hours to get to. Suffered immense back pain, dust, weird laughs, nothingness, to get to. It was quiet, but we couldn’t tell. The journey had worn us out. We were tired. We couldn’t think. We couldn’t feel. We couldn’t experience. We weren’t there.

That’s Kenya right now. The only way to experience this country, and I would pray for anyone who still reads newspapers in this country, is to suffer. It is to actively work to detach yourself, to distract yourself, to read anything that has nothing to do Kenya, and then to go on a date. We are literally living every part of this human experience as an active attempt to forget. To feel anything but.

But.

There’s a but. The only thing we have perfected above corruption is running, which makes only like 5 people (statistically) money. Yet we survive. Yet every generation that has suffered this country has teetered on the edge and not gone over it. Maybe we need to. Maybe we don’t. Maybe this is the reality we must bear.

It is hard to feel anything more. And I am not even sure why exactly. It’s not even new or old, newly dressed taxes. It’s in everything I do. Every decision I make. Everything I pay for. It’s in my food and my drink. It’s in my interactions with any other human being. It’s a strange yet familiar feeling. This foreboding that we are wasting away. That I one human being in a thing that matters to more people than me.

If you have never been to a morgue, in Kenya, you should definitely go. Treat it as local tourism. See dead people. As you stand there, looking at a dead Kenyan, see where you will be quite soon. If everything else about Kenya doesn’t get you, then a random cancerous cell will decide to remind you that you are one disease away from not just poverty, but being barely above begging.

I don’t love or like this country. It is not a thing I walk around thinking about […and yet here we are]. Here, I have done stories only because they either gave me pleasure or alleviated someone’s pain. I have also done things for the simple kick of it because, without knowing it, they gave me pleasure. You have told me they read like movies, and I have sighed, wondering how to balance the relaities of this country with its people.

We don’t know pleasure as a people. There’s literally nothing to love in this country, Name one, one thing you love about Kenya except that it exists [identity, again]. I don’t even mean today, right now, I mean ever. Unless you are out of this country with a tendreprenuer hand thingey [can’t remember the name, don’t care about names at this point, clearly]

&&&

This actually has nothing to do with the man who sold this country. It was a good title and I like those. This is about denying consent. About saying no. About looking an abuser in the eye, even when we might die as a result, and understanding that fear is as okay as happiness. That to be happy, but deliberately stupid and unfeeling, is not our human experience.

This is about us as human beings. Today. Right now. In this reality. Whatever yours is.

Are you suffering today? Can you remember one important point this week when you have made someone’s day happy? And I don’t mean by listening as they talked about the country. I mean just genuine joy. Just a laugh you have to catch because there are kids around and you are the serious parent. When is the last time you laughed so hard your childhood scars pained a little? When is the last time you felt true joy, not because you knew he or she would leave in the morning, or they had said yes, but just because seeing a fellow human being, and I don’t mean fucking them, gave you actual pleasure. When is the last time you smiled because your kid did something stupid? Or because you saw a funny story about Kenya? Actually, what’s the least the least depressing story you have ever read, and I mean ever, about this identity you belong in.

Actually, when is the last time you actually remembered that before you are a [molested, harrased, robbed] Kenyan, you had that laugh that hurts in the stomach. Fought with perfect strangers in pool because you were losing and it was fun? Bought someone you wern’t related to or connected with at all, a drrink because it was their birthday and you wanted to please them and not think about it.

We are unhappy. We are sad. We are in pain. And no, the political class is just one [very signifanct] part of the why or who. And both are just functions of what. What is it that’s making us sad, as individuals at work, in cabs, in matatus, on bodabodas, walking. It is the first part of the medical process, to figure out the what. But that’s a personal journey. This is not the place to be to understand it. This blog isn’t. This is not a carthasis. I am describing your reality.

That place is not even the streets or in offices, where the people being paid by your taxes are holding crisis meetings about this entire rant, wondering what I’m doing or why I won’t shut up, planning how to bring me down before I am more of  an enemy of the state than I was six years ago.

This story has been told. In my eight years here, we have talked about it many times in different ways. We have talked about in other spaces. This is not new. This has been done before. This is a boring movie. I am bored. I am more bored than I am sad. Sadness lost its luster a while back. The same people who will fight this entire process I have decided to drag you into are suffering, but they have normalised it. We all have. And we should. Or not.

I have said here before, if you were keen enough, that I don’t care if this country lives or dies. I do not seek stories because Kenya in 2030 will be better [this is funny if you think about the vision we knew we had after we had it]. It is not about these greedy, vicious, diabolical humans who fight, kill, steal, lie, bribe, and exist just to harm us.

This post, despite its title, is not about them. They can die for all I care. I will not mourn them. I refuse their existence, even when I accept that the imagined reality even means the majority, even if they are algorithms, rule. Humans actually don’t need leaders to survive, surprise surprise, they need human beings. They need to feel. We don’t. They need to care. We wouldn’t even know where to start. They need to be alive, right now, right here, reading this, feeling everything. Wondering how they feel about it, and you, wondering for them without thinking that I am just one human being, writing a thing in the middle of the night. Malking you suffer the same reason you suddlenly have insomnia. And yet work beckons. But not because you love it, but because if you didn’t stop reading this for later, you might actually lose you job. And destitution will mean you and yours owe money you can’t even dean’t.

I am not even angry. Anger doesn’t work anymore. We just take it out on each other without even knowing we are. We hurt each other while we suffer things that have nothing to do with them, yet we can’t tell them because it doesn’t make sense. Not to them, but to us. How can you be angry this far, not about the country, not about losing the feeling of sadness or eternal mental anguish this has become? It’s simple.

You are born into a reality. But you don’t know it. Your parents, people who were adults making bad decisions when they accidentally made you, decide what they belive to be right and wrong. The government and the church help alot but giving that structure. So first you must know fear, then know whether you fear the government or God. And a good number of people who read that last sentence will demand I place the deity before the construct, which proves my point actually.

I refuse.

This can’t be it.

This can’t be the story of my time.

It can’t be how this ends.

It can’t be about human beings who think we are weak and subservient. The only story that should ever matter is that we lived. That here, right now, we lived. We breathed loudly. We fucked each other. We ate in kibandas. We fought. We loved. We demanded. We felt. We were.

We seek being. We seek here, We seek home. We must find it.

This post was about Uhuru Kenyatta the man, because I wanted to know how someone can just not care. Just not give a fuck. There’s no bigger job ever, because to be the head of the ‘free world” you have to be born on an accidental continentl to lead Kenya, it turns, you need to have the least qualifications possibl.e. There’s no greater honor in Kenya than the office Uhuru Kenyatta occupies, no point to suspend everything you think you know and actually search your mind, than that badly-done house on State House Hill. There’s nothing else bigger here than being President. In fact, we have killed each other over it. Or rather, the genealogy of whichever man has decided to be mad enough to try and run a sinking nation. Kenyans like you and I have been maimed and killed

Are you okay, this far? Is this too much? Should I stop?

Facts work like this, they are facts. The truth can be played with. It is like that guy who, when his wife found a pair of thongs in his glove box as they drove to work one morning, threw them out and tried to convince her it was a cloth from the car wash he had been in the previous day. He had thrown it out of the window The facts were gone, and this story could go anywhere. Every time I remember that story, I ask myself what happened to the evidence. What if it fell in someone else’s car and because she hadn’t seen it [because in reality, as my grandmother once told me, women aren’t drivers, they are just women, and he didn’t trust she hadn’t seen it fly in, he tried the car wash story too?

That’s who we are. Let’s, for a second, refuse to be polite and nice. And say that prostitution as a word works better than commercial sex work. Words are words. I can’t demand you understand them the way I do; we have lived different experiences. A thing works the way a word works. For writers, a word either feels right or it doesn’t, or someone actually makes sense when they say it doesn’t work. For us as collective human beings though, we are the cheating man in the story. We are also his wife. We are also the guy in whose car, I think it was a black Harrier, a random thong flies in. And he doesn’t even know why he is defending something he is perfectly innocent for. But he does it anyway.

We are everyone, and we are no one because of it. We actually operate around each other the same way robots will in a few. We just exist. We do tasks, earn money, vote, fuck, complain after, and then just die. That’s how your story ends, with death. I don’t even have a point this far,  I am just tired. You could try survive this nation by saving up for your medical future, then one day keel over in a supermarket and because you are not carrying your insurance card, die. Your death, as a Kenyan today, will not be natural causes. It will be because the men and women you let run the chama, because a country is really a chama, steal the money. It will be because, you let it happen. Becuse you chose a personal reality over the actual shit on the ground. This is not a good story, I refuse to tell this story.

Nature gives us shit. Nature is a woman, to me, because I think no human beings alive ever have understood the facts of the time than women. And it has nothing to do with suffering or hormones or equality. It is just, even in the Bible [I am atheist, so this part is just ridiculous] that if human beings women are Version 2.0. Nature has given us, an accidental country, a chance to try. Just try. We are not even trying. Men wouldn’t survive a quarter of the reality women live in. BUt we try fuck them still. In fact, we are a nation of rapists and killers, because men have always this country, and women have suffered it. Without even thinking too much, you can name two stories in the recent past that that remind you of this. To be a human being here is to be one of several parts, a small tiny part of a nation-state in free fall.

We have locked out human beings from every aspect of this reality because we are men. Because we carry dicks around. We have married and tried and hurt and stolen from an entire, legitimate, breathing, group of our existence. We have refused to see them. And when we have, we have treated like a thing that can be cured by law. A part of society that does not see everyone who exists in it is not a society. It is a bad story.

***

This isn’t a country on a free fall. Free fall automatically means a natural force you can’t explain is pulling you down. Here, we are crabs in a bucket. We trust whoever can survive the Hunger Games to the top, we fight to climb even inch, and then we die.

I keep bringing this up because death is your future. Your future, no matter how bright, or how safe or how angry, is actually just slience. Your story will end. It is not even a can or should, one day, somewhere, somehow, for some reason you wont get time to process, it will just end.

Are we angry enough? Has our human experience been sold enough? Have we killed each other enough? Is the fact that a part of you is worried about the safety of the person who wrote about this tiring enough? Because I am. I am tired of fear. Of any kind. There’s just too much of it going around. I can’t even eat ice cream because once I did and my teeth hurt and that was it, this is not a country for experiments. It was given to me as DNA, which was to subservivent and stupid, and one DNA only. Somehow, by  some magic , we are here now. Can you breathe? When is the last time you too an actual consicous sigh that had nothing to do with this country?

I have no hallucinations that this entire rant, or series of rants, might change anything. As I write this, I am going through carthasis that’s overwhelming. A moment when, for GOT fans, you kill the boy. This country of men with small egos is big on circumcision, yet when we talked about scars, the first person to mention their foreskin scar appeared two days later. We are not here to fuck each other, actually. We are not here to raise each other. Or pay taxes, Or exist like zombies.

We are here, and we are afraid. And its crippling us. Demanding better hasn’t worked before. Trying hasn’t. Voting? Hahahaha. How’s your democracy now? Issa republic, but if you broke your leg at whichever point this rant ends, who would save you? Your mother? Your neighbor? Your friend?

This is not okay, and personally, I refuse everything about it. Its structure, its essence, its existence, its representatives, its entire life. I refuse it when I do normal things like eat, shit, fuck, and sleep. I refuse it when I sit to write, when I have random moments of wondering whether this is when they finally get me. But I am just one man. I am just one story. I am just, actually, a thing.

Is there a Kenya better than this? Probably. Maybe. Maybe not. Do you want to try?

A good number of people who read yesterday’s post thought it was actually about Uhuru Kenyatta. He’s just a man. That’s his entire definition. I do not care for him or about him. I do not lose any sleep about him because I don’t know him. I think if the lady day guard at the gate to my house got sick, and I knew about it, I would care more for her health than I would about Uhuru Kenyatta, or his family, or the lie he presents. He’s just a man. Who’’s only experience in life is that part we are not living. He represents everything that’s hurting us right now. And I refuse him the same way I refuse the state he leads.

***

I want to breathe. I want to walk out of this house immediately after I post this and not be afraid someone is following me or trying to kill me. I want to walk into a matatu and not just be afraid of everyone. That the women will not strip me because the dress is too short, or that the men will do it because the dress is too short. I want to refuse to be preached at, or spitted on, without feeling like if I bear it long enough, it will end. This is how abuse happens. This is what abuse is. We do it. We are doing it right now. If I am living this country, I want to be alive. I want to be here. I want to say these things we are afraid to say.

I refuse. I actively refuse to be alive on 28th September 2018 and convince myself that this is the only reality. The only facts. I refuse to believe I am a slave who can disapper, as you have rightly feared throughout this rant, by the time you reading it. I refuse it because life is beautiful. The sun feels nice. Have you smelt the breeze lately? Have you seen what Wangari Maathai saw while everyone else saw her for her vagina? Have you felt that cringe while you read the last word in the previous sentence. That’s where the rules begin, with language and words. These words are here to remind you to be alive, right now, and accept who and where you are.

With the fact that for any form of healing or recovery or whatever to happen, you must first actually communicate with yourself.

This isn’t right. And I refuse it. And I accept any consequences that come from saying it. Do you accept the ones that do from reading it?

I refuse to be afraid. Fear is taught. The fear of death, danger, nothingness, is actually something you learnt. It is in the scars on your body everyday, It is the bicycle you rode into a cow or the cow you inevitably rode into. It is your dick, if you are a man, because someone reminded me that the circumcision scar is a scar. I was more pissed off that it wasn’t obvious to me than it was just obvious. It is the vagina you are afraid of because you are defined, to everyone who sees you, by its existence. We are more than this, and this nonsense must stop. I refuse it.

We have felt pain. Enough. If I died today and this was my reality but I had a second, I would make it work. I tell stories for a living anyway. Just some random shit that I wouldn’t wake up from. But would it be enough? Would I have I lived? Why am I afraid of anyone in uniform? Why am I afraid that after I post this, literally nothing would suprise me. The site could be hacked, I could be killed, you could be killed, someone would be in jail. We could sell the future of future Kenyans[Hahaha, just tell your kids this is it, really, if you love them. Or do something about it. Anything really.]

On this blog, I have been reckless. I have tried to tell our human experience from this stories, but for the last year, I have been tired. We are tired. This country is in a vicious loop. A hurricane we can’t get out of. A cycle we pay for.

Let’s do the basics. Yes, I care about my life. I care if I want to wake tomorrow. I don’t care if this country lives or dies, but I live in it, therefore the former applies more than the latter. I appear reckless now, because I am saying what you are thinking. If the result of this is nothing, then meh. We lived. This is our experience.

But.

There will always be a but.

This isn’t normal. This is not our human experience.

Fuck it. Actually.

Owaahh, 2018.

One story is good,

Till Another is told.